Nanowrimo Spotlight: L.J. McLean, author of Mana Pool and Road to Recovery series

Good evening! Today’s spotlight comes from LJ McLean, who can be found at and at his nano profile:

I’m a veteran Nanower that wrote three books, two of them won in 2009 and 2012. I’ve also attended Night of Writing Dangerously on two separate occasions.

What are you writing about this year?
I have about four projects to do for the rest of the year and into next spring: Mana Pool’s sequel, From the Den’s follow up novel, a comic book script for a contest. So why not a Nano novel on top? I decided to write the stories I’ve piled up in my “Soon-to-write” folder over the years. These stories I’m not releasing for the record; they are simply to try out different genres from what I’m used to write.

What is your favorite movie – you have to pick just one!
It’s got to be Jurassic Park because that is the movie that got me into my love for science fiction. Come to think of it, this is the first movie I saw in my hometown’s small movie theater.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Two things: passion and planning. If you got the urge to tell a story, or a story that has been living in your brain for a while, give it a chance to come out so you can share it. And if you want to write a novel, take care in planning the novel so you can have a roadmap for that first draft.

Sneaky Ninja question! When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Back in college, Crafton Hills in Yucaipa, CA, 2006-2007, my first year straight out of high school. I had my mind set to get a Computer Science degree, so I started with general ed to transfer with. But really, from K – 12, I struggled with English. I begged for an honorable C just so I can be by myself and read books what I thought was interesting. I never paid attention to writing. Once college came, I had to get serious if I have to develop programming documents, and get over my research paper phobia (more like loathe entirely). First semester, I enrolled in a basic English class. That stupid class fixed everything, from punctuation to grammar and writing tips, stuff even grade school teachers NEVER taught me. Second semester, I enrolled in a Creative Writing class with a poet named Ryan Bartlett (haven’t talked to him since) to develop any sort of tricks to writer better research papers. Before I even realized it, I deviled the early, twelve page draft of Mana Pool, which was WAY different that what it is today. He even thought it would be great as a graphic novel, but that’s another hurdle to deal with. So I made fiction writing a hobby while working towards an IT degree.

I guess that when I realized it was when I could take my overactive, vivid imagination to good use. Seriously, if you catch me making noises alone, that’s me thinking of a really cook scene. And I still do it.


Not only do I write in hopes to make it a full-time job, I’m also a computer network troubleshooter learning how to program, have interests in cob houses and gardening, loves my yoga mat, and a great local craft beer in my hand.

Thanks so much, LJ!

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