An Interview with Mae Clair

The Queen of Urban Fantasy Mystery & Suspense, Mae Clair has kindly accepted my invitation to be interrogated.. er… Interviewed (innocent smile) about what makes her tick her influence and writing.

So, Mae, having read your books, I can’t help but wonder what it is that draws you so deeply into urban fantasy mystery & suspense. Is it some sinister force that beckons you in such a compelling manner that you lose complete control of your pen and awaken from a stupor feeling exhausted to find the story completed and written in the blood of Hode’s Hill’s latest victim? (Deep breath.)

LOL! Well, to be honest, I don’t think of my work as urban fantasy. You won’t find wizards, the Fae, magic spells, werewolves, or witches. What you will find are threads relating to established folklore or old legends. I like mysteries and suspenseful tales, but I also like creatures and elements of the unexplained. I weave those into my novels, usually with a good dollop of history.

The past fascinates me. When you poke around in dusty legends, there’s usually a historical element involved. Believe it or not, the catalyst for Cusp of Night, the first book in my Hode’s Hill Series, was Spring Heeled Jack. The newspaper accounts and eye-witness sightings got me thinking about a creature that roams the dark alleyways and rooftops of Hode’s Hill. I split the book into two timelines—one set in the late 1800s and one in present day—then built to an ending that ties the mystery of each time period together. It was like writing two books in one. I had a blast with it—and my creature. 🙂

Going back in time, when I read your Point Pleasant Series and spoke to you about it, you talked about your research and bunking it out in the TNT. What really happened to you there? I ask because anyone who knows anything about you knows that you did not come back the same. For example, you stopped wearing your hat. (I loved that hat.) Did you meet the Mothman?

Oh, that hat! I still have it, you know, but thought it was time for an updated photo. As for the Mothman, no he didn’t show, but I did get my picture taken with his statue. Does that count? 🙂

Look out, Mae! The Mothman is behind you!

It was eerie in the TNT—and that was during the day. No way would you get me to go there at night! When I told my cousin about it, she said, I guess you’ve never seen the movie Wrong Turn? That got me thinking about all the things that could have gone wrong. Not a place you want to get a flat tire or have your car stall out. There’s one road in particular, where cars are said to stall for no reason.  Fortunately that didn’t happen. I guess you could say I developed a strong love of “odd” while there. 🙂

Thank goodness you still have that hat! Now I can relax in the knowledge you came back from the TNT completely unscathed. (Phew!) Many who have dared venture into such dark places are not so lucky! As for your picture taken with the Mothman’s statue… That definitely counts!

Coming back to the present, did you do any similar kind of research for your Hode’s Hill series as you did for your Point Pleasant series?

Hode’s Hill is a fictional town, so I couldn’t visit any locations but I still did a ton of research. The part of the book set in the late 1800s involves a woman who gets caught up in the Spiritualist movement and passes herself off as a medium. I spent a good deal of time learning about table tilting, home circles, spirit trumpets, ectoplasm, and other tricks fraudulent mediums used. I also read a good deal about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini. Conan Doyle was a strong believer in Spiritualism, while Houdini made it his mission in life to expose fraudulent mediums. Strangely, the two were friends. Do you know Houdini once performed a trick for Doyle that so unnerved Sir Arthur, Houdini never performed it again? It was fascinating research!

I didn’t know that about Sir Arthur and Houdini, Mae! It’s amazing what you can discover while doing research.

In addition to Spiritualism and Spring Heeled Jack, I also spent a good deal of time reading about the traveling carnivals of the 1800s and sideshow attractions. The final element was a rare genetic disorder that turns the skin blue. There is nothing I like more than combining, history, present day, and folklore!  

What can we expect next from the Queen of Urban Mystery & Suspense? Is there an upcoming release?

Well….truthfully, my current WIP is pure mystery/suspense. No creatures or aliens, not even a sideshow freak. But­—there will be a legend woven into the book about an unfortunate woman and what became of her. I won’t ever abandon my love for folklore entirely, but my next series won’t play up dark creatures like the last two did. Hopefully, readers won’t be disappointed!

Oh no! I do so love the dark creatures! However, I’m sure your new mystery/suspense novels will be just as intoxicating. I cannot possibly imagine anyone being disappointed with anything you write, but this brings me to the last question I wanted to ask you.

Having loved all your urban mystery & suspense series to date, I’ve wondered what kind of a read I would get if you wrote a British Urban Mystery & Suspense series. I can see it now at a setting in rural England, Kev’sphantomville, Yorkshire. (Okay, I made up the kev’sphantomville bit, but you could always change that part.) Is this something you would ever consider doing?

Aww, thanks for those kind words. As for rural England? That’s a writer’s dream! Your country is so rich in folklore—you’ve got standing stones, barrows, old churches, ley lines, funerary paths—yes, I could have a field day! The United States is such a young country by comparison. We haven’t had time to build up the wealth of folklore and legends England has. If I trusted myself with the culture, setting (and even the language!) I’d do it in a heartbeat. Who knows….maybe someday. 🙂

Kev, thank you so much for the great interview! I enjoyed myself immensely, and it’s always a pleasure to be on your blog. I’m delighted and honoured that you invited me to be a guest. This was wonderful!

It’s been great fun, Mae. Thanks for popping in!

More About Mae and Her Books:

HODE’S HILL SERIES

Forli, Emilia Romagna, Italy: narrow dark alley in the old town – ancient Italian street at night with lampposts and cobbled pavement

Cusp of NightUniversal Purchase Link

End of DayUniversal Purchase Link

POINT PLEASANT SERIES


A Thousand Yesteryears • Universial Purchase Link
Road on through the meadow near few trees and foggy in forest at night

A Cold TomorrowUniversial Purchase Link
Man standing in a dark mysterious forest with bloody lake on halloween

A Desolate HourUniversal Purchase Link

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon | Newsletter Sign-Up | Website & Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media

85 Replies to “An Interview with Mae Clair”

  1. John, a terrific interview with Mae! 😀 Mae, I definitely think you should consider a British setting, the very atmospheric Whitby would be a great starting point, along with elements of York and the stunning eerie moors! Lovely photo of you and great answers to the questions … felt I was part of a chat!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for visiting and checking out the interview, Flossie.
    I love writing dual timelines! It was a challenge at first, but now I’m finding it hard NOT to write that way, LOL. I truly appreciate all your support!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi, Anonyomous! 🙂

    Yes, the TNT is an area about 6 miles outside of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. It was once an WWII munitions site but has long been abandoned. The “igloos” where weapons were stored dot the landscape, covered by trees and foliage. It’s about 8000 acres of woods, bottomland, ponds, and the shells of old abandoned buildings. It was the site where the Mothman was first spotted in 1967 and is rumored to be his home. Today, much of it is a part of the McClintock Wildlife Preserve but the old buildings and igloos remain. It’s not a place I would ever go in the dark, LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love all Mae’s books. Each one is given the full throttle by the author, and I’m quite impressed by how she handled the dual timelines. We share a love of folklore and all things mysterious. Her books never disappoint!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Natalie, would you believe that I’ve never seen 2:22 on the clock?
    For some reason I catch 4:44 frequently. I wonder if means anything that it’s doubled, LOL.
    Thanks so much for visiting with me and Kev!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a joy to read, Mae and Kevin! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Mae, I still get chills when I think of the TNT. That’s brilliant writing!
    Oh, and I woke up a few times to see the clock reveal it’s 2:22. Yikes!
    Have a fantastic weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Jess, many thanks for visiting. Kevin does have a way of interrogating….er, interviewing, his guests. He knows just the right questions to ask, I always have so much fun when I visit his blog.
    Thanks for your kind words and support and for visiting me here as I hang out with Kev (and the Mothman)!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Julie, I feel like I’m behind already, LOL. Hopefully, I can get my new WIP completed within the year. And I agree with you about rural England. Think of all the legends and folklore! I’d have a blast playing in that arena 🙂

    Many thanks for visiting and reading!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great interview! I love learning more about my fellow authors, and Mae is one of my faves! I like your idea, Kev, about an urban mystery set in England. There is a whole lot of material there that just begs to be in a story. Lots of stories. Can’t wait for the last Hode’s Hill book … and another series already?? Damn! I want to be like you and Staci, cranking out good books (series, even!) with a year (or less) between 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Fantastic interview. I really love your style of interrogation, er, interviewing 😉
    Mae’s one of my favourite bloggers / writers so I was happy to see her featured and read a bit more about our mistress of all things paranormal / mystery / suspense.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Welcome back from vacation, Judi! Yes, I visited the TNT–twice. It was intriguing, but not anywhere I’d ever go at night. When I think the original people who spotted the Mothman were there in the dark…..

    Thanks so much for your kind words, and support. I’m looking forward to trying a straight mystery/suspense novel. I will never abandon folklore and legend, but I thought I’d give my creatures a rest for now, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just got back from vacation and found this. I love Mae’s writing, but I had no idea she actually went to the TNT. No place I’d go voluntarily:) This was such a fun interview! I’m (im)patiently waiting for book 3 in Hode’s Hill and it will be interesting to read a straight mystery/suspense from Mae. I’ll enjoy that, too. Great writing and great characters.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Denise, Jan, Teri, Teagan, thanks for visiting with me and Kev today. I had so much fun with his interview…and I got to trot out the photo of me and Mothy again (although I’d never call the guy Mothy to his face, LOL). I appreciate all your wonderful support and comments. I have such wonderful blogging buddies. All of you rock! (The Mothman agrees with that, too! ) 😀

    Like

  14. Great and entertaining interview:) I’m a huge fan of the Point Pleasant series and the Hode Hill books. I loved the story being told from two different time lines. Love the picture with Mothman, too. The research and details really hold my interest!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. This is truly a FANTASTIC interview! Mae, I did not know you actually went to the TNT bunker! Wow! You are a brave girl. I love the photo with The Mothman. 🙂 Kevin certainly knew the right questions to ask you. And, I love the title he gave you! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  16. John, Priscillia, Diana, Bette, Joan, Craig, Staci, Anita and Jaye–all of you made my day with your wonderful comments. The Mothman and I (and all my creatures) thank you! 😀
    I loved writing the Point Pleasant and Hode’s Hill series. It’s always a pleasure to discover when others enjoy them, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Kev, I am so honored to be on your blog. I had such a blast with this interview–you made it so much fun! I wanted to reply to each comment individually, but for some reason my Mac isn’t giving me that option tonight. Technology! Grrr!

    It’s wonderful to find so many comments here that make me smile. I so appreciate the thoughts left by others, and, especially, your kindness in having me as your guest. Thank you, thank you! I’m doing a Snoopy Dance of excitement! 😀

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Loved the interview, Kevin and Mae. I haven’t read the Point Pleasant series yet (great picture of Mae with the mothman, btw) but I’ve read both installments of the Hode’s Hill series. A wonderful couple of books. I would consider it urban fantasy despite the lack of elves, but the mystery and legend aspects are indeed strong! Happy Writing!

    Liked by 3 people

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