Interview with S.C. McGrath, Author of To the Waters and the Wild
11 Jun 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, To the Waters and the Wild?
To the Waters and the Wild tells the story of Keelin, a fearless chieftain’s daughter. Gifted by the gods in the arts of healing and telepathy, and destined to become a priestess, she nonetheless rails against such a solitary and self-sacrificing life. When Eire is threatened by Roman invaders, Keelin must resolve her internal strife and join clan warriors to save her island from destruction.
To the Waters and the Wild is loosely anchored in history and filled with fantasy, excitement, and danger.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I was inspired by the books read to me by my parents when I was young. To name a few, The Story of Ferdinand (Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson), The Story about Ping (Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese), The Secret Garden, and A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) introduced me to the power of storytelling, the joy of reading, and the beauty of language.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
I don’t really have a top 5 list of best books. Instead, there are books that stayed with me long after I finished the last page. Ones that come to mind are, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith), Green Mansions (W.H. Hudson), Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck), Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), and The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett).
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I must say that the thought of being a host of a literary talk show terrifies me. However, if I was, I would probably chose to interview someone like David McCullough who writes wonderful nonfiction books such as The Path Between the Seas. Those writers who can make history come alive are incredibly gifted. I would love to know how much research they do on the characters and personalities of the men and women they write about.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is the ability to make my dream world come alive. I also love language and how words can flow together perfectly to create emotions, sensations, and images.
What is a typical day like for you?
My day starts early (5am, yikes!). I usually do my best thinking and writing in the morning. Sometimes my best ideas come while walking my dogs or riding my lovable big horse, Flanagan. My husband and I are lucky enough to live close to our two grandchildren so we see and help care for them almost daily. Although retired from my career as a CPA with an international biotechnology company, I am busier than ever with my writing, family, and friends!
What scene in To the Waters and the Wild was your favorite to write?
I love the scene with Keelin and the falcon, Bronach. The battle chapter is also a favorite simply because it was the most difficult to write effectively. I not only researched Roman battle strategies and tactics, but I also drew a map of the bay where the Romans landed, the battlefield itself and the positions of the various combatants, and finally, of the field camps and infirmaries.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I think Carl Sandburg said it best: Nothing happens unless first we dream.
S.C. McGrath is the author of the new book To the Waters and the Wild.
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