Ryan Schneider’s 10 question interview with horror and science fiction author Michael McCarty
10 Questions with Writer Michael McCarty (@michaelmccarty6)
This Author Spotlight
Michael McCarty with an Abby Road backdrop
Michael McCarty has been a professional writer since 1983 and is the author of over thirty books of fiction and nonfiction including I Kissed A Ghoul, Modern Mythmakers, Masters of Imagination, Revenge of the Two-Headed Poetry Monster (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) and many others.
He is a five-time Bram Stoker Finalist and in 2008 David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Writing Center. He lives in Rock Island, Illinois with his wife Cindy and pet rabbit Latte.
1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?
I’ve been writing for a long time. My first published article was of an interview with a teacher for the school newspaper and that was in grade school. Ten years later, my first paid article was a record review of a Pink Floyd album. Ten years after that, I had my first national publication, an interview with Frederik Pohl for Starlog Magazine. In 2003, my first book came out, Giants of The Genre from Wildside Press. I haven’t stopped since.
2.What do you like best (or least) about writing?
What I like best about writing; that it’s like magic. You take nothing and create something. Abracadabra, Hocus Pocus, Alakazam! Boom, you have a book. I like doing book signings a lot too, because I get to meet the fans, which is always fun.
What I like least is editing, it is like operating on yourself without using any anesthesia. Promotion is a necessary evil, like voting. (Laughs).
3.What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I didn’t start out using an outline for my first book Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack: 2 Vampire Satires but I ended up zigging and zagging all over the place for about a decade.
I decided to try a 20-page outline for Monster Behind The Wheel; my collaborator Mark McLaughlin and I took 5 years to write that novel. Since then, I haven’t used an outline because, if I don’t know what is going to happen, neither will my readers. My plots are by the seat-of-my-pants; I guess if I give up wearing pants I won’t be able to write anymore (laughs).
Ten years ago, I tried to stick to a four-page-a-day quota. But after 30 books, I write when I’m inspired, after that many books, you get that luxury.
4.Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
Most of the writers I like best, I have interviewed in my interview books such as Giants of the Genre, More Giants of the Genre, Masters of Imagination, Mythmakers and Esoteria-Land. That is over 150 people including: Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Bentley Little, Peter Straub, Joe McKinney, Richard Matheson, Whitley Streiber — you get the idea.
All of those books are out of print … but MODERN MYTHMAKERS is still available and the ebook is only .99 cents
5.Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
In the United States, periods and commas go inside quotation marks. The British do it the other way around.
6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
The ‘Oxford comma’ is an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list. As an English Major and Journalism Major in college, this stuff was shoved down my throat, like a worm to a baby birdie. Now that I am graduated and the author of over thirty books, I say, who gives a bloody hell about the Oxford comma (laughs).
7.What is your book Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures about and how did it come to fruition?
Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures by Sherry Decker and Michael McCarty was recently published by Pie Plate Publishing. This is my first kid’s book and I had more fun than Kim Kardashian at a pie-eating contest.
8.What’s your current writing project?
I’m doing another short story collection for Damnation Books called Laughing In The Dark; it should be out early 2014. This is going to be my sixth short story collection. These are all kooky and spooky twisted tales, I think my fans will really enjoy it. William F. Nolan, the author of Logan’s Run wrote the introduction and Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Winner P.D. Cacek wrote the afterword.
9.What book(s) are you currently reading?
Zombies Don’t Cry by Rusty Fischer, Paranormal Properties by Tracy Lane, The Adulterer’s Unofficial Guide To Family Vacations by Leslie Langtry and Forever In Vein by Jody R. LaGreca.
10.Who or what inspires your writing?
Dreams, nightmares and my zany life and friends.
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
Thank you for taking the time to interview me. And thank you to all my fans for supporting me for all these years. Please check out my books. Here are some of my latest and links to them. These are available as trade paperback and kindles. (If you want them in Nook, check out Barnes & Noble.)
Modern Mythmakers by Michael McCarty
Bloodless by Michael McCarty and Jody R. LaGreca
Bloodlust by Jody R. LaGreca and Michael McCarty
Bloodline by Michael McCarty and Jody LaGreca
Lost Girl of the Lake by Joe McKinney and Michael McCarty
I Kissed A Ghoul by Michael McCarty
Thanks, Mike, for sharing your many works. Best of luck with Modern Mythmakers and keep us posted on your future works.
Michael McCarty is on Twitter as @michaelmccarty6. Facebook! Like him on his official page: http://www.facebook.com/michaelmccarty.horror. Or snail mail him at:
P.O. Box 4441
Rock Island, IL