Hello Wordy Wednesday fans, another Wednesday and another author, this week Alec McQuay
Hello Alec, let's get to know you, tell us a little about yourself and your writing,
Hi, and thanks for the invite to come have a natter. Other than work and writing I’m a (rubbish and too heavy) martial artist (less Sammo Hung, more Kung Fu Panda) and a powerlifter, which makes me strong and healthy but allows me to eat a lot and call it “training.” Writing wise I don’t tend to stick very rigidly to any particular genre (I’m a bit chaotic (annoying) in my approach) but I’m mostly a sci-fi and action fan, so my writing tends to look to bleak futures and can be a little violent. My debut novel Emily Nation is a post-apocalyptic cyber-punk western about an assassin, whose arrogance almost destroys everything she cares about. I’ve toyed with horror in the past and I can’t wait to go back and sink my teeth into it. oooh I like the sound of this!
Do you have another job or are you a full time author? If you do something else (international spy?) what is it and do you like it?
Oh dear… I’m an Architectural Ironmonger. I make sure all the hardware on building projects is specified correctly so it’s safe and up to legal requirements. It can be interesting work to do, but to people outside the industry it’s generally like conversational cyanide. hahaha a man of railings...
When did you start writing?
I’ve written on and off for as long as I can remember but I started taking it seriously about six years ago when my eldest son was a baby. Can’t always get back to sleep after those night feeds so it’s good to have a quiet hobby!
What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
My sons, new achievements at the gym and bunnies. If bunnies don’t make you smile there’s something up.
Do you have any pets? If yes, what, and do they help or hinder the writing process?
I’m up to my neck in pets. I have a collie / lab cross called Piran, three cats (Betty, Honey and Mordred) and a Siamese fighting fish called Thanos. We also have a pond full of Koi Carp with Disney names… Writing wise they’re mostly pretty neutral as Piran would rather be in front of the fire and two of the cats are elderly and just want somewhere quiet to snuggle down, but Mordred… he was taken from his mum too early and he’s a strange mixture of lethality and neurosis. He’ll sneak up and start licking me if he wants attention and he won’t. Ever. Stop…
Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
Terry Pratchett without a doubt. His work and mine are nothing alike but from what I know of the man, some of our motivations are similar - alongside the love he had for the world and its people there was a great deal of anger about some of what there is to see out there. If I’m ever half the world builder he was, or if I were to ever receive an unprompted comparison to him in any way, I’d be delighted. He was indeed a fine fine chap who I had the pleasure to meet several times, a sad loss to the world of writing when he died, but what an amazing legacy to leave, a whole world!
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I’ve got a few open at the moment. The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche and Brian Blessed’s autobiography “Absolute Pandemonium.” I try and read from as broad a spectrum as possible to keep my brain churning away but I have to block out time to do nothing but read or none of them ever get finished. As needs must I’ll go a while without getting to read much, then I’ll binge until my eyes hurt.
Where do you do most of your writing?
Most of it is done either at work during my lunch break or late at night in my front room. When I can I sit up late with music on, a glass (or several) of JD and Coke and write until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Or I can’t see the keyboard… I thrive on sleep deprivation. It’s a good job too because it’s not like I have much choice! Probably a throwback to when the boys were first born.
Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
Naturally Emily Nation is about its titular character but one of the side characters, Jemima Clayton, is my favourite. She’s a confident, foul mouthed girl who takes absolutely no crap from anybody and in many ways is probably the best adjusted of the whole cast. All characters have their own history and sometimes that’s pretty damn dark, but Jemima owns her past better than any of my other characters do and doesn’t let anyone else determine how she should feel about it.
What is your favourite biscuit?
Dark chocolate Hobnobs!
Tea or Coffee?
In the film of your life who would play you? (why)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson would be a good fit – there aren’t many people who could pull off my special mixture of antisocial awkwardness and mad fighting skills. I’d love to say Henry Rollins but damn it I’m just not sexy enough.
If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a potato and a sloth...could you get a lazier creature? (my soul mate)
An excellent question worthy of considerable thought… I’d cross a rabbit with a carrot because I kinda want to see what would happen. We’d either end up up to our necks in tiny little chantenay bunnies or it’d be a very quick, very sad little massacre.
Thanks for taking part in my blog series Alec, and dear reader, if you are inspired to know more why not download a copy of Emily nation for your Kindle or even treat yourself to a paperback
This is my debut novel Emily Nation, to which I am currently writing a sequel. There are buy links to get the book cheaper but they’re a big shower of lying gits. They don’t have stock and can’t get it because the paperback is print on demand and I hope all their shoes catch fire. Sadly, these entirely pointless seller links have been a bit of a pain in the butt as they promise delivery of an item that will never turn up.
Alec's Twitter wotsit is @VampiricChicken – He doesn't use Facebook at the moment.
I use Facebook though! Come and give my page a like at Tattooed Mummy's Randoms and follow me on Twitter at @Tattooed Mummy