Feeling that her everyday job as a graphic designer was robbing her of creativity, Deb Mcleod returned to school about 10 years ago to pick up a master’s degree in creative writing.
Since that day, McLeod has surrounded herself with writing, hers and others’. McLeod, who presently is working on an “Angel Thriller,” serves as a private writing coach for a dozen writers scattered around the United States, as well as another half dozen in Douglas County.
Two years ago, she helped initiate the Writing Ranch at the Douglas County Library District. After a year of hosting events at all four major branches in the district, McLeod narrowed her focus to Highlands Ranch a little more than a year ago.
“I’ve been living in Highlands Ranch for 20 years,” she said, “and with the other communities all already having popular writing groups, the turnout was always better here so it made sense.”
McLeod hosts free educational seminars and panel discussions every other month at the library on topics ranging from virtual books to e-publishing, to marketing in the past, to upcoming workshops on how to upload one’s book to Amazon, the latter of which will be discussed this October.
She also will give a $40 talk on how to use Scrivener at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Highlands Ranch branch, 9292 S. Ridgeline Blvd.
In addition to the every-other-month seminars, she puts on a writer’s book club on the second Thursday of every month, with the next one coming up Sept. 12.
“We’re not your traditional wine and cheese, chit-chat book club,” she said. “We spend our time together looking at the craft of the book. It’s less about ‘do you like the book and the characters’ and more ‘how did that writer do that.’ ”
If those offerings aren’t enough, the author/coach also leads low-cost writing circles suited for the beginning writer to those who have been pecking at the keys for years. One thing McLeod doesn’t want people to get confused about is that these circles are not critique groups, but geared to giving six or seven writers the freedom to create.
“It’s all about writing,” she said. “It’s a way for writers to produce pages, get support from other writers, and really put an emphasis on developing voice and imagery before bringing one’s story to the workshop table.”
To learn more about the many offerings McLeod has through the Writing Ranch and Douglas County Libraries, visit www.debmcleod.com.