Vanessa MacLellan was born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist, gamer, and runner living in Portland, Oregon. Her website is vanmaclellan.com.
Welcome to the HRB family! Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a tattooed, vegetarian, outdoorsy woman with one head in the clouds and the other firmly settled in my hiking boots. I'm an environmental engineer by day, author, runner, reader, gamer, naturalist by night (and weekends).
Tell us about your debut novel, Three Great Lies! It's fantasy, with historical and literary trappings. It carries a bit of a Finding My Place in Life theme. Jeannette Walker, a modern scientist, ends up in ancient, mythological Egypt. Though she constantly casts doubt on the existence of such a world, she has to learn to live in it. While trying to save her mummy friend's soul from a wicked tomb robbing ring, she realizes a few important things about life. What those are, well, you'll have to read the book!
The novel is set in ancient, mythological Egypt. It never rains. People's lives aren't equal. Prayers constantly dance upon lips. Beer is a meal. Sand is a major filler in the bread. Children of gods walk the street with the heads of animals and prophecy on their lips. To Jeannette it's, of course, a total shock. There are people about in public naked and jackals speak. A mummy—a desiccated, lumbering thing—chases her through the crowded streets, accusing her of stealing his ba! It's not necessarily a friendly place, but people are people, and even Jeannette is able to find friends in ways she never expected.
Any challenges with getting Three Great Lies to where it is today? Three Great Lies has been on a long journey. In 2008, I wrote my fifth NaNoWriMo novel. That was Three Great Lies. It was titled simply "Egypt" back then. It was a 50,000 word rough draft. Then I added extra plot threads and themes, and it topped out at 140,000 words. That's quite an addition! Then there were years and years of critiquing and editing. Finally in 2013, I begin seeking representation for Three Great Lies, and it was picked up by Hadley Rille Books (which was the most perfect place for this book to land).
Now for the rough stuff. As I was due my edits, my publisher had a stroke. (Though he insists he was abducted by aliens to an alternate universe.) It was terrible, we weren't sure if he would make it. The entire press huddled together in worry and anticipation. I was wavering between feeling devastated for my publisher's situation and worrying about the state of my book (and feeling so so guilty for that.) But he did pull through and has worked tirelessly on my novel, by my side every step of the way. Now, we're here, and my novel is published!
Thanks for reading! You can find me at: http://vanmaclellan.com/ I hope you come by and check out my site and my novel. It was a joy to write, and I hope it brings joy to you as well.