Toni McCloe interview by David Alan Binder

posted Jan 23, 2016, 8:08 AM by David Alan Binder   [ updated May 16, 2016, 6:39 AM ]

Author Toni McCloe interview by David Alan Binder

 Her Website:


Her Publisher’s page: 


Her Amazon: 


1.     How do you pronounce your name?

McCloe? It rhymes with Joe.


2.     Where are you currently living? 

I divide my time between my oldest daughter’s house in Bucks County and my youngest daughter’s house in Montgomery County. Both are in Pennsylvania.


3.     When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It was a desire that was reinforced with every good book I ever read.

         4.     How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It took me three years to write my first book. I am almost finished my second, which I started a little over a year ago.

5.     What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Normally, I write from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon.  

6.     What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like to sit by a window and use the sky as my “canvas.”


7.     How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I think there is room for everything. Personally, I love holding a book in my hand, but I read a lot faster with an e-reader.



8.     Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

My first book was a memoir so it came directly from my life. Although the second book is a novel, it actually begins where the first book ended.

9.     When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I began my first book, Rude Awakening, in 2008. I was sixty-seven when I started it.

10.               What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I go a little crazy when I’m not writing, but find that reading other peoples’ work tends to anchor me.

11.               What does your family think of your writing?

My children are my first readers and editors.


12.               What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That nothing I’ve ever done before ever absorbed me the way writing does.

13.               How many books have you written?  Two.  Which is your favorite? 

The one I am working on now (which is tentatively called Dear Elvis), and probably because it’s the baby of the two.

14.               Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? Yes  If so, what are they?

Write! Sit down in front of that computer and just write. Also, read a lot, especially in your genre.


15.               Do you hear from your readers much? Yes.  What kinds of things do they say?

Mostly they tell me they love my book, Rude Awakening, and ask when the second book will be available.

16.               What do you think makes a good story?

Anything can make a good story – it’s all in how you structure the telling of it.

17.               As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I loved learning and wanted to stay in school forever.


18.               How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

I lived it. I’ve been keeping a journal most of my life and have taken a lot of notes.


19.               What inspires you? 

The works of other contemporary writers like Bret Anthony Johnston, Elise Juska, and Mona Simpson.  


20.               Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?

F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Nicholas Delbanco.


21.               What are some ways in which you promote your work?

Doing book signings and fairs and through my blog, which I call PsychobabblingsofaMiddleChild.


22.               What do you like to read in your free time?

I take a literature/discussion class at Temple University every semester and our instructor likes to assign literary works of fiction and nonfiction, but every once in a while I long to run off to a quiet corner and read something “lighter.”


23.               What are some day jobs you have held? Did any of them impact your writing?

Believe it or not, I have been a school bus driver for the past fifteen years. Not only is it a job I love, but it affords me plenty of daylight hours in which to write.



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