C.B. Mac Gillavry studied English and Dutch literature, she has an affinity with Colonial Dutch
literature. C.B., like so many authors, started writing as soon as she was able to write, although
the actual reading started at a later stadium, with the discovery of Jane Austen. She enjoys many
different genres and writers, preferably in the original language. The environment is a key topic in
her writings and she ideally writes for young adults, in the hope of enchanting them, even if just
for a short while.
Excerpt from Fog on the Loch
‘“The name is Alexandra Drerea Ramsey. You may call me Twang.” But the old man looked puzzled,’
The girl explained.
‘So I added “I shoot pretty well with the crossbow, and that’s the sound the arrow makes every time I
shoot.” And I smiled.’
‘He still looked at me, but he smiled back, eventually. He cleared his throat. He readjusted his big, fluffy
coat. “Did you bake those cupcakes?” he asked pointing at my table.’
She mimed his movements.
‘I had just finished the cakes for my mom’s birthday, you see. I’d made several cupcakes with sugar
flowers and coloured buttons and the big cake with roses. The one that looked like it was made of china,
Victoria nodded quickly, she wanted her friend to continue her story. She motioned her to continue.
‘Well, I said “Of course I made them! And they should be pretty good too!” and that’s when I heard the
foghorn screaming outside. He turned towards the window, he looked worried, absorbed in his own
thoughts. It can get spooky around the lake when the fog is that thick and I would have sworn that he
was starting to feel a little restless.’
The girl slightly raised her voice.
‘Then he turned to me again and said “I heard that you weld things together.” I didn’t like this one bit!’
Her cheeks reddened.
‘I had left the newborn dragon, George, in the workshop, because when they are that young they tend to
breathe more fire while they are asleep. I didn’t want him to burn down the house by accident. You need
to train them first, right? Plus, Charlie, my black cat, was there too, taking a nap and keeping the little
one company. I really didn’t want the old chap to see baby George.’
Twang paused again. Victoria feared this was due to the effect: the girl knew how to tell a story, that
much was clear! She readjusted her long black skirt, fidgeted with the laces of her high heeled boots and
sighed. Joe noticed that Victoria could hardly wait for Twang to continue, perched as she was on the
sofa, almost lauching herself in the other’s arms.
‘Anyway, I was curious. Why was he asking about my welding? And he said these words, honest to the
dragons, he said “My sledge, I think one of the runners needs some welding, and I really have to leave
Twang shook her head in disbelief.
‘ I replied “I understand, sir, but the fog is too thick anyway, you wouldn’t be able to see anything. The
Police notified us that it would last for a couple of days and that it’s too dangerous to drive.” He looked
at me with that puzzled look again and said “I wasn’t going to drive, I wanted to slide away.”’
‘I said, “Well, I suppose that doesn’t change much. Are you hungry? I just made some organic popcorn. I
was going to watch some tv before going to bed.”’
She pointed her finger towards the imaginary table with the cakes.
‘He looked at my cupcakes again. I swear, he would have eaten the whole table if I had let him! Not that
he would have needed the extra pounds, if you know what I mean…’
Victoria knitted her eyebrows, ‘No, I don’t. I thought it was his coat that was big, not that he actually had
a big belly!’
Twang replied, ‘Well, yes, he was filling the coat all right!’
‘What did it look like? You said it was fluffy…’ said Victoria.
‘It was red, with a thick white hem, like it was fur.’
Joe and Victoria both pulled faces at that word, as they felt very strongly against fur and leather.
‘Don’t get all touchy! I pretended I was passing him the popcorn and actually felt with my hand: it was
just fabric, I’m positive.’ Twang explained.
The others relaxed. Joe smiled amaibly and counted on his fingers, while he spoke,
‘So, he wasn’t thin, was waring a big red coat with a thick white hem, he was rather old… What did he
‘Oh, he had a bit of a beard, white hair, red cheeks… you know, the rubicund kind!’
‘Yes,’ allowed the boy, ‘but he didn’t take the popcorn you offered him and you never let him touch the
cupcakes. So maybe he wasn’t the rubicond kind..’
‘Oh, well,’ Twang was getting impatient, ‘whatever! I wanted to go to bed, but with him there, all
stressed out and all, I couldn’t. He even started flipping through my photo album I keep near the the
antique typewriter and I was afraid he might get to the part with the pictures of the dragons! I found it
rather rude to be honest, so I got my angle grinder and my soldering iron at once, and went outside with
him to take a look at the sledge. He had the most ridiculous hat on, it was also red and rimmed, but with
this white pompon dangling next to his ear.’
Joe and Victoria looked at each other and sniggered.
‘What!’ the snigger turned into laughter, ‘What!! I don’t understand… Oh, stop it! I won’t tell you how it
ends if you continue…’ said Twang.
The two forced themselves to stop laughing, wiping the tears from their cheeks, and tried to resume
‘That’s better,’ Twang snorted, ‘so, we went outside and the sledge really needed some welding. Lucky
for him, I’m good at that too, so I fixed the runner. It looked like I had used glue to repair it. I was quite
pleased with myself! Then he thanked me, he said he had to go even if I had told him it wasn’t safe.’
Twang imitated the man’s manners, ‘“Don’t worry, Miss Ramsey, my deer have a kind of built in alarm in
the tip of their ears. I never bumped into anything before, and I’ve been going about in this kind of
weather for quite some time now.”’
She said in her usual way, ‘“Where are you actually going?” I said.’
Then, imitating him again, she said, ‘“I’m going home, I have done everything I had to do for this year.”’
Twang spoke like her normal self once more.
‘And he winked at me. Then he stepped on the sledge, it didn’t even wobble a bit under his weight, he
waved at me, and turned towards the Church. He had little bells attached to the reins, and they jingled
when the whole thing moved, that’s how I heard where he was going. He laughed too, it sounded like
“Hohoho…”, very peculiar. I swear I heard the sound over my head at a certain point.’
Joe and Victoria boomed with laughter.
“What! Stop that already. Why do you do that?”
And the two sang, mocking,
‘Santa Clause is coming to town…’
C: I write for young adults, but I hope that people over 18 will like my stories as well. I actually write eco fantasy, which is fantasy with an environmental topic, and this is the hard yet easy part: smuggling a message this complicated in my stories.
Q: Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
C: I have completed one novel and one novella so far. There is a fairy tale spinning in my head: it’s like having to breath in and out, this story must blossom and if I ignore it, it’s bound to bother me until I write it down.
Q: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
C: The title is SuperMoon, the moon and the fascination I feel for “her” inspired it, together with the urge to be with some people I have lost a long time ago. My book is my special place where I get to be with them yet again.
Q: Do you have any unusual writing habits?
C: I listen to music while I write, classical (Bach!) when I’m near a deadline, and just the radio when I’m not running late. I also drink too much coffee and eat too much…
Q: What authors or books have influenced you?
C: There are so many authors I love, but let’s just name a few: Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling, Isabel Allende, Primo Levi (Italian writer), Andrea Camilleri (Sicilian writer, he writes in Sicilian, not in Italian), F. Springer (Dutch writer), Hermann Hesse.
Q: What are you working on now?
C: I’m about to start my fairy tale, I don’t have a title yet.
Q: What is your best method or website for book promotion
C:I bug people until they read my writings. I don’t have such a crowded audience so far.
Q: Do you have any advice for new authors?
C: I’m new, so please! Do tell me what to do!!
Q: What is the best advice you have ever heard?
C:I hope it’s a good one, but many people have told me to just keep writing.
Q: What are you reading now?
C: The 11th percent, by T.H. Morris, but next will be Argentum by Debbie Manber Kupfer
Q: What’s next for you as a writer?
C: Well, I don’t know yet, I just take it one day at the time
Q: 3 or 4 books for deserted island?
C: Complete works by William Shakespeare, by Jane Austen, by F. Springer and by Andrea Camilleri. So, I’m a cheater.
Q: What inspires you to write?
C:The things I hate are one inspiration, then the need to be with my loved ones and the need to be in my own happy place.
Q:Tell us about your writing process
C: I start daydreaming and as soon as I’m alone I start writing or recording my ideas on my phone.
Q: Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer?
C: I don’t know, I guess I’m a seat of the pants writer.
Q: If you are an outliner, what do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software?
C: I use Scrivener, I love it!
Q: Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?
C: No, they already exist, they are and I write about them.
Q: Do you listen to or talk to your characters?
C:They act, I describe, just as simple as that. I see the pictures in my mind, mostly moving and unfolding, and I write down what I see.
Q: How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?
C: I don’t, it’s like watching a movie I suppose.
Q: What advice would you give other writers?
C: Just write and be happy.
Q: How did you decide how to publish your books?
C: I haven’t gone that far in the process yet. I still have to submit my manuscript…
Q: What do you think about the future of book publishing?
C: I hope people will keep reading real paper books, although ebooks are good enough, as long as people keep reading. I wish others had the same addiction to books that I have, I still think it’s a good addiction, one that actually improves something of the general condition of the addicted person. And yes, I’m also a pusher…