An Interview with Christy McKee

Please help me welcome Christy McKee to my blog today. Be sure and leave a comment to be entered into the prize drawing.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog on this beautiful fall day. Having your debut novel published is a dream come true for me and I am so happy to share a bit about Maybe Too Good to Be True with your readers.

Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

If you add up all of the qualities of Pierce Hastings, you’ll end up with a man and a half. He’s handsome, not pretty but rugged, intelligent, and is best known for his strength as a cool headed strategist. In business and in his personal life, he effectively analyzes, assesses, and strategizes to achieve his desired outcome. His family calls him the “fixer” because he solves their problems so they don’t have to. His interference though is not always welcome, especially when he falls for an independent woman and he tries to influence her decision on accepting a job. One zealous step over the line and Pierce the strategist, morphs into Pierce the control freak. Standing on the sidelines while someone he loves waffles on an important decision, is the most difficult thing he’s ever had to do.

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

My tastes are fairly eclectic and range from dark vampire tales (ala Lara Adrian) to the slap stick, laugh out loud humor of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, or perhaps “issue oriented” Jodi Picoult. When I pick up a book— there are two or three scattered around the house—my mood, stress level, and need to escape tend to dictate which one I’ll pick up.

Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not?

Yes, I do, simply because I would like my private life to remain private. I chose “McKee” to honor my namesake and great grandmother, whom I knew through stories told to me by my father. Christina Ann McKee raised her orphaned grandson, my father, to adulthood. When her parents nearly perished in the dust storms in Kansas, she almost singlehandedly rescued them and brought them back to Ohio where she started a chicken hatchery that supported all of them. She was a determined woman who instilled the belief in my dad that he could accomplish anything if he put his mind to it. That’s why I became, at least between the pages, Christy McKee.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

I had only written Maybe Too Good to Be True before I sold, BUT it had gone through four complete incarnations and spent a year under the bed before I hauled it out, coughed, sneezed, dusted it off, and started querying online to epubs.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

Without a doubt it’s the pure joy you feel when a publisher says they want your book. The reward is validation of your work. I don’t care what your job is, if you never get positive feedback, you might start to question your value. I did and I know when I’m trying to sell my next project, I’ll probably have some of the same doubts again.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

There are many new emerging markets today for writers; so many more opportunities now with e-publishers that didn’t exist five years ago. I would encourage new writers to participate in events like online pitches to publishers that many web sites like offer. Be sure your book is finished, revised, polished, and ready to go before you pitch it. The last thing you want to happen is that an editor likes your three chapters and synopsis and wants to see the full and it isn’t written. If they have a need now, you’re out of luck. Also, do your homework and find out what editors are specifically looking for now. Don’t send a YA fantasy to a sweet contemporary line. Most important, never quit.

Today, one lucky commenter will win a free copy of Maybe Too Good to Be True. Be sure to leave your email!
Maybe Too Good to Be True



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Maybe Too Good to Be True 8-15-2012

Gabrielle March is summoned to an oceanfront estate in Massachusetts by the matriarch of Atlantic-Hastings International where she is presented with a hefty block of shares as amends for a crime committed against her family. The stock—worth several million dollars—can give her the means to make her dream of starting her own video production company come true if only she can muster the courage to break free from her past and believe in her unique creative talent.

Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactress, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings. Never one to mix business with pleasure, Pierce stuns himself when he ignores his own self imposed rule. Gabrielle’s complete lack of artifice, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are intoxicating to him―and he’s rapidly becoming addicted. He’s blindsided when Gabrielle confesses that, in spite of her growing feelings for him, she will never fit into his world of power and privilege. Pierce has never encountered anyone who suffers such destructive self doubt.

Excerpt for Maybe Too Good to Be True by Christy McKee

“Newspapers were never very favorable to my father,” he explained. “To the best of my knowledge, a newspaper reporter has never been invited to this house.” He wouldn’t tell her that his father referred to them as a pack of ill-bred, bloodthirsty hounds. Edward Hastings refused to return calls or grant interviews to any newspaper.

“Are you insinuating that I’m here under false pretenses?”

From beneath his sunglasses, Pierce looked directly into her fiery green eyes. “No, not at all Miss March. I was merely stating a fact.”

“The fact is, Mr. Hastings, it is not a reporter’s job to be favorable. They are in the business of finding and reporting the truth.”

“Nobly put, Miss March.” The woman certainly didn’t pull any punches.

“I hope this will put you at ease, Mr. Hastings. I own the newspaper. It’s been several years since I single-handedly set out to ruin anyone.”
Sarcasm, even with a lovely Southern accent, was still sarcasm.

“I see.” Pierce sounded duly impressed. “That’s certainly an accomplishment for such a young …” He froze when her eyes narrowed. What the hell was wrong with him? He careened from one blunder to the next.

“Tell me, is it my age or the fact that I’m a woman that bothers you?” Her face was considerably more colorful than the rest of her and he knew it had nothing to do with the heat.

Pierce was no chauvinist and certainly had no prejudice against successful females. After all, he’d been married to a talented trial attorney. Hadn’t he put his wife through law school? Hadn’t he supported Glenna in every way until she made partner in her firm and then announced that she’d changed her mind about having children and, by the way, she didn’t want to be his wife anymore either.

“I didn’t mean that you weren’t responsible.” His eyes returned to the very entertaining Miss March who had just snapped up the ball and was ready to run with it.

“What would someone like you know about responsibility anyway? You’ve probably never put in an honest day’s work in your entire over-privileged life. Flying around the world trying to stay one step ahead of reality. One of these days you’re going to have to come down to earth and see what it’s like in the real world.”

Where did the woman get her information? She’d obviously pegged him as some sort of wealthy derelict. Fired up, she was something. Misinformed maybe, but she had balls of steel. “For a newspaper woman, you’re lacking in your facts, Miss….”

Frenzied barking drew Pierce’s attention skyward. Just as he looked up a huge black creature soared through the air, plunging down on top of him, upending his float and catapulting him to the bottom of the pool.

Max exuberantly dog paddled to his mistress and was rewarded with an affectionate pat on his broad head. “Perfect timing, Max.” Gabrielle smiled and broke into laughter.

“What did you do, signal him to attack?” Pierce sputtered, trying to locate his five hundred dollar sunglasses.

“Don’t be silly.” She laughed. “It’s just Max’s way of thanking you for the afternoon snack.”

Max offered up a cheerful bark. The behemoth black dog actually looked pleased with himself. He was a retriever for God’s sake; he should be down there looking for Pierce’s glasses.


In one media or another, Christy McKee has written her entire life. In middle school, she started a neighborhood newspaper in her hometown in Ohio. Stories about whose poodle just had puppies or where the Millers spent their vacation were pretty boring—at least to her— so she embellished with a few bits of overheard gossip which got her into big time trouble with the neighbors. Amid a flurry of apologies issued by her parents, Christy’s news operation folded overnight and she was shipped off to a nearby summer camp. Clearly she was not cut out to be a newspaper woman.

Christy’s degree in Radio-TV-Film opened a world of creative possibilities. She enjoyed her work as a reporter and news anchor in Missouri and Ohio, but after a few years she gave in to her creative itch and moved into production. Although not as glamorous as being “on air” it satisfied her growing passion to create a story and characters—even if those characters only existed inside a 30 second TV commercial. It was a short time fix for someone who craved a more diversified range of opportunities. Christy took a brave leap—sacrificing a regular paycheck— to work as a full time freelancer, writing/producing everything from travel brochures to radio commercials. It wasn’t enough— she wanted to create her own fictional world and fill it with unforgettable characters. Finally three years ago, Christy beat back self-doubt and embraced the risk and exhilaration of writing and never looked back.

After four incarnations and a year under the bed, Christy’s debut novel Maybe Too Good to Be True will be released in August, 2012. She lives in Ohio with her family and her two “Lab” assistants, Gracie and Lambeau.

11 thoughts on “An Interview with Christy McKee

  1. Great interview, Christy, and I’m so happy your book is now out! Great advice to those still waiting for word on their first sale. I’m looking forward to reading this one!

  2. I love the story of your great grandmother . I’m sure she’ll be proud that you carry on her name. The book sounds great! I’m glad you kept at it until you got a contract! All the best

  3. Cindy,

    Thank you so much for having me as your guest today. Wonderful comments from your readers. You asked some thoughtful questions in our interview.

    I’ll be checking back a little later.


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