Interview with Janine McCaw

Janine McCaw

Interview Date: 5/22/2012


Currently enjoying my "Helen" years, I live in Vancouver, Canada, but originate from the centre of the universe (Toronto). I spent my "Ellie" years in a town called Mount Forest, also in Ontario. I am not thinking about my "Helena" years quite yet.
I graduated from Humber College's Cinematography course many moons ago, and spent a few decades working in the Canadian Television industry (distribution).
In 2006, I wrote my first novel, "Olivia's Mine" that is a fictional account of the disasters that happened at Britannia Beach (BC) in the early 1900's. You can purchase it in the gift shop at The BC Museum of Mining, or through Chapters, Barnes and Nobel or Amazon. If you live in Canada, you can most likely "check it out" through your local library.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I think that writing was just a natural progression from talking to my dolls. As an adult, you don't look as silly having conversations with people who aren't there as long as you're writing them down.

Kev's response: As an alternative, put on a bluetooth earpiece, and you're pretty much set as well! :)

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I think super-strength is the best. Helen, in Helens-of-Troy has ESP, which is sometimes not such a great thing. Not everything she sees is a lot of fun. Her mother Helena however is crazy strong when she needs to be, and that comes in handy when you're fighting demons. Ellie's powers are still developing.

Kev's response: If you can "activate" the super-strength at will, it'd be great. In my superhero novels, the "bricks" are super-strong, but it's always "on," so they tend to be like bulls in a china shop at all times (worse, considering a bull can't move 50 tons....).

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

I used to like Underdog. I always liked Catwoman better than Batwoman, so I don't know what that says about me. Probably nothing good.

Kev's response: I was about to say you're an animal lover, but not all. Hmmm.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

With Helens-of-Troy, the title came to me first. I was thinking about that other Helen of Troy, the one with the wooden horse, and I got to thinking, what if there were more of them, and what if they were kick-ass demon killers? So I have three generations of Helens, (Helena, Helen and Ellie) all living in a small town called Troy.

Kev's response: Good thing there's not a guy named Troy who lives in Troy (and who has a horse ... named Troy). >:)

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I`m not big on outlines, but I do need at least a small one, or I find that the characters try to take over and write a totally different book. I have to reel them back in from time to time. They start to believe their own personalities.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I wish I could write by a schedule, but it`s more a mood thing with me. Because of this, I don`t necessarily write the chapters in order. I try to write in blocks of three and go back and fill in the pieces later.

Kev's response: Okay, I'm now labeling you an alien. I have difficulties writing out of order, it just feels odd to me.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Fantasy was a lot of fun for me, my first book being historical fiction based on fact. As for what I like to read, I like biographies and I like books that entertain, like Janet Evanovitch`s books. You know exactly what you`re getting when you pick one of hers up.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I think it`s fun. It`s a stress releaser for me. Once, after a particularly bad day at work, I was in the mood to kill a baby I had to kill in a novel. That`s never fun, and readers go…oh, no…but it was better than killing some colleagues.

Kev's response: Hey, don't knock it until you try it! Uh, just saying....

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

I don`t like descriptive narrative. I`m a dialogue gal.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I don`t like to eat the whites of my sunny side up eggs once the juice is gone. Waiters tend to look at me oddly when I do that.

Kev's response: I'm sure vampires would say something similar about humans and blood!

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I have a few going. Right now I`m working on the sequel to Helens-of-Troy called Nightmare on Jacey Street, and I have another one called The Inn at Hazy River that I switch to from time to time.

Have you ever wondered why evil people want to take over the world. Why not take under it?

Evil people want the good real estate just like everybody else. They`re not big on Vancouver, though…where I live, because we have all the demon killers filming here…Supernatural, Fringe, The Secret Circle, Sanctuary….

Kev's response: Huh. I was unaware so many shows filmed there. Must be something (demonic) to it!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I`m a fan of both because I commute. I like something light that I can carry with me. I still read paperbacks, but it seems more rad to have the eReader with me. When it works…but that`s a whole different story.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Just do it. Whether you opt for print or eReader or both, just do it. There`s nothing like seeing your work out there in the universe.

Kev's response: And here I was just looking to sell well in the US, perhaps eventually the entire world. But now ... THE UNIVERSE! I just need to find a delivery mechanism! :)

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

The best place to check in right now is at All other links can be found there.

Kev's response: Janine, thanks for joining me. Hopefully, you'll be able to avoid the demons up there, and finish your sequel! Good fortune!




by Janine McCaw



“The Gilmore Girls meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer”


Fifteen year old Goth-chic Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch.  All on the first night!


But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having — the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy — because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.


Then there’s the little matter between Helena and Gaspar BonVillaine, the teenaged vampire who is learning to feed on young prey. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.


To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether its time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy”.


Author Janine McCaw (Olivia’s Mine, Feb. 2006,) has written this 100,000 word novel, the first in a fantasy series about “the Helens”. The three generations of gatekeepers will take the reader on a trip to a realm mere mortals fear to visit alone, and they’ll make her want to stay a while. 

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