Get To Know—Steven A. McKay
A couple of weeks ago, Steven A. McKay did an interview of me for his readers, and I found out that I inadvertently used Steven’s home town in my books. (You can read that interview HERE: ) Being a good natured sort, he let that slide because I’m sure his home is far nicer than what I wrote in my books. Today I get to ask him the same questions. And, Steven is offering anyone who asks for it, an exclusive, fans only short story. Read through to the end for details.
Welcome Steven!. Since this is your first time to the blog, tell the audience a bit about yourself.
I’m from the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland and I write mostly historical fiction. My books have all, so far, explored the Robin Hood legend and they’ve sold around 90,000 copies which is just mind-blowing to me, a working-class guy.
Other than writing I love to play my Jackson guitars and listen to old school heavy metal. I’m married and have two young children who always cheer me up when I’m having a crappy day!
How long have you been writing?
My debut novel, Wolf’s Head, came out in 2013 so, officially, 4 years now. Phew, it seems like yesterday too! Of course, I always enjoyed writing and I would come up with silly stories when I was at school, amusing my friends and irritating my teachers who felt I had more in me than childish nonsense. They were right, it seems.
What was the first story you wrote?
I broke my leg really badly as a teenager, bone through the skin, the works, so, of course I had lots of spare time where I couldn’t get out of a chair. So I started writing science fiction short stories and even submitted a few to some little fanzine. They were all rejected although the editor was very encouraging. I don’t know which story I wrote first, but I still have them. “The Black Hole” is one, as is “Dream Lover” which is a ludicrous romance kinda thing I can hardly believe I wrote although it does have an interesting premise.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Losing myself in a scene and finding the characters directing the action without, apparently, any conscious effort on my part. As an example of that, in my second book, The Wolf and the Raven, I had planned on killing off a certain character but when I sat down and started work that day the scene seemed to change of its own accord and a completely different character took a crossbow bolt to the chest. He was thrown into the river and it opened up a totally unexpected direction I could take the plot in.
Sometimes it’s like someone else is writing the stories and that is a really great experience.
What is your least favorite part?
I hate writing blurbs. Trying to describe a 100,000 word novel in a few paragraphs which will interest and excite would-be readers is a real pain. That’s one part of the whole process I would love to delegate to someone else.
Tell the readers something interesting that isn’t in your bio?
I’ve performed in front of audiences using a variety of musical instruments. I was lead guitarist in a metal band covering stuff like Metallica and Slayer but I’ve also drummed live to Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction”, and sang Led Zeppelin tunes at an open-mic night while playing 12-string acoustic guitar and mandolin.
Writing and music are my two main hobbies although I’ve yet to make any money from playing an instrument! I do record my own music for my book trailers on Youtube though.
What have you read lately that most people haven’t read but should?
Fortean Times magazine. I’ve subscribed to it for over 20 years now – it has articles on the paranormal, weird news, ghosts, UFOs, folklore etc but not in a tabloid, sensationalist style. It’s the best magazine in the world and everyone should check it out.
If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
That’s a very hard question. Maybe HP Lovecraft to ask him how he wrote such wonderfully twisted stories, but I don’t think he’d be very good company to be honest, I’ve only seen him smile in one photo and it freaked me the hell out.
What about Aleister Crowley, just to see what he was REALLY like since opinions were so polarized during his lifetime?
I think, honestly, I’d be as well just meeting one of the authors from my friends list on Facebook like Douglas Jackson, Matthew Harffy or Ben Kane – purely because I think they’d be good fun on a night out down the pub!
What’s a fun – non-writing – day for you?
My favourite thing is to spend time with my family. Honestly, if I’m having a hard day at work or feeling down, I think about going home and seeing my children and it always cheers me up. I was never the type of person that was desperate to be a dad – I actually thought I was too selfish to be a very good parent. But now…I’d rather take the little ones to the library or the park than anything else in the world. So, as long as I’m with my family, any day is fun for me.
Last question is all yours – feel free to talk about anything you want your readers to know about you, your book, anything at all.
A lot of readers are also aspiring writers, so to them, and to everyone really, I’d say – if you have a dream, chase it, even if you’re told it’s pointless. I always wanted to make a living writing and now I do.
There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty and gloom in the world these days which is being magnified by social media but there’s still some magic left out there, if you look for it.
Thanks for having me today, Andrew. I enjoyed it immensely!
Your readers can find me at the links below, I hope they’ll take a look.
If you sign up for my mailing list you get a FREE Forest Lord short story that’s only available to my subscribers –
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RobinHoodNovel/
Amazon – http://viewauthor.at/SA-McKay
Twitter – @SA_McKay