It was my pleasure to read Lee’s YA novel, SLIDING ON THE EDGE, in manuscript form. I’m proud to have played a small part in its success, and there is no doubt in my mind that Lee’s editorial insights helped make my novel better.
Alone and broke, Shawna Stone feels she has nothing left to live for. Her daily life is a struggle to survive … and now she is a heartbeat away from giving up. Kay Stone is the grandmother Shawna has never known, and at sixty-four, Kay too feels she has is little left worth fighting for. When the two are thrown together, they circle each other in a crucible of secrets and distrust until saving a doomed horse unites them and gives each a reason to live.
A native Californian, C. Lee McKenzie has been a university lecturer, academic editor, and short story writer. Sliding on the Edge is her first young adult novel. Writing for teen readers keeps Lee in touch with the young members of her family, and allows her to re-visit those wonderful years in life when everything is possible. When she isn’t writing, Lee’s hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Los Gatos, California.
Thai food or Chinese?
Thai every time. Hot, spicy, not greasy.
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Don't ever give up.
What are you reading right now?
I'm into retro-reading right now: S.E. Hinton's that was then this is now.
In writing, are you a plotter or a plunger?
Plunger who suffers for it.
If you couldn’t write in your current genre, what would you write?
Hmmm. Guess I'd return to Middle Grade. That's fun to write and I fiddle with magic and ghosts and dragons--I loves those dragons.
Favorite movie snack?
I thought popcorn was the only snack permitted during a movie. I've had other choices all these years? Sheesh!
Ocean or lake?
Ocean by far. Love to body-surf.
Snorkeling or skiing?
Snorkeling, hence, the ocean answer.
Do you speak a foreign language?
Ha! I really do try and now I can usually get what I want when I ask for something in Spanish--even when I'm in Turkey! What does that tell you?
Which celebrity shares your birthday?
Abraham Lincoln. He's a celebrity, right?
Last book you gave as a gift.
(Face turns slightly red here.) Mine. I gave an ARC to my mom for her birthday. Well, I took her to dinner too. Just didn't want to appear self-center and cheap.
Pick three words to go on your tombstone.
Did My Best.
Early bird or night owl?
Definitely early bird. I roost at sunset.
Have considered one, but . . . hate pain. Not too much into permanent jewelry.
Where would you like to travel that you haven’t yet?
Africa. I've come close three times and each time there's been something that stopped me--a couple were funny, one not so much. So, Africa, yes, my next place.
Chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles?
Snickerdoodles. I can't explain why, except that after one chocolate chip I'm finished. With a snickerdoodle, I don't stop until they're gone.
Best present anyone ever gave you?
It was a small velvet drawstring bag with tiny rhinestones--like stars. I was 15 and it was the prettiest thing I'd ever owned.
What books are on your night-stand right now?
Rumble Fish, John Adams (biography), For One More Day, The Last Lecture. I jump around a lot in what I read.
If someone made you sing karaoke – you couldn’t refuse! – what would you sing?
Moonshadow. I love that James Taylor song and sometimes I can't get it out of my head. Of course, one chorus and the audience would be history, just like the song.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Lee!