John Mckay is with us today on Terraverum to talk about his writing process as well as give us a glimpse at his brand new book, The N Days, that is set to be available by the end of the year. I can personally say that this writer is definitely one to follow, his writing is full of amazing descriptions, breathtaking scenery, swashbuckling adventure and intricate human interaction.
Firstly, can you tell us a little more about your new book?
The N Days is fantasy/Sci-Fi cross over novel that takes the well told dystopian tale of the world in crises and turns it on its head. What would happen if all the monsters and fairytale creatures came alive and wanted to take over the world? The N Days tells the story of three sisters (Samantha, Diana and Christina) and how each of them fit in with the events surrounding the war between human and creature. What make The N Days unique is the locations and the GPS coordinates so you can follow the story on Google Maps.
When will it be available?
It will be available on Amazon at midnight on the 1st of December 2013.
It is an extremely exciting plot; where did your idea for ‘The N Days’ come from?
Would you believe from the very sweet TV series “Once upon a time”? I saw the characters moving between time and something just made me think of the plot of my novel.
How long have you been busy with the idea and writing this book?
It’s been almost two and half years now and the end is not yet in sight. I figure I am just past half way in the series now.
Have you always enjoyed writing and wanted to write?
I have been writing since I was very small. I started off with poetry and short stories but the spark really happened with my web exclusive daily series “Man on an island”. Things just took off from there and I must say, I have enjoyed every single moment of it.
You main character is a very strong female character – is there someone you have based her upon or was there any specific reason or process for her creation?
I found a lot of inspiration in the cinematic works of Quentin Tarrantino and how he portrays powerful women. They break the mold on so many levels and that is what I was pushing for with Samantha. I wanted to break away from the muscled up male protagonist that has become such a cliché and bore lately. Also I wanted a female lead that could stand up for herself in the face of impossible odds without needing the assistance or guidance of a man.
What is your writing process like? Explain a normal writing day for you.
I usually see a scene in my head and then I start building a chapter around it. Sometimes inspiration comes while I’m typing away. I must admit that I don’t plan out my chapters before hand; they just seem to come to me. I have been taking down notes for book 3 of The N Days for the reason that it will be the most complicated and complex book I’ve ever written and I need to keep my head straight around it.
Do you have a specific band or type of music that supports your writing and helps creativity bloom?
I usually listen to “Within Temptation” to get the blood flowing but then I need silence to write, I simply cannot work with any noise or music around me.
Do you have any special ‘writing rituals’ that you rely upon, such as wearing a specific hat or wearing special socks?
Ha-ha no but I have to put my feet on the desk and I have to be barefoot to write. That’s my only rituals.
What do you admire most of your main character?
I simply adore Samantha’s guts and will to carry on. She has lost everything she ever loved and she is scared and alone. She’s a fighter but there is a softer side to her, like the instances when she has shown mercy to stricken members of the Horde. It’s all about balance with her- tough without being a cliché, feminine without being needy of male approval or help. Balance, yes.
If she could ask you one thing about herself, what do you think it would be?
Why won’t you cut me some slack? Kidding, I think she would ask me, why exactly she was chosen to have this epic adventure and face such mortal danger around every turn.
Did you find it easy to write a female character or were the thought processes a bit of a confusing subject at times?
Some days it came very easy to me but some days I am terrified that female readers will want to lynch me or something. But I must say the feedback on Samantha as a character and a human being has been very positive from my female readers and fans- they seem to relate to her fortitude and spirit. I always strive to keep that balance while I’m writing.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with Samantha, what do you think you would talk about?
I would love to talk to her about normal, everyday happenings. How she lived her life before N day and how she saw her life unfolding. I would love to find out about her relationships with her mother, father and especially her sisters.
Is there a specific theme or moral you are hoping to get across from your book?
Never give up and carry on. There will always be a light in a window somewhere down the road, no matter how dark it may seem.
What authors have inspired you to write your own stories?
I have always adored the writings of Pratchett and Cussler but I take most of my inspiration from the great movie directors and how they painted with images and themes.
So this is the first book of a series – how many more are you planning on?
At this moment, I see the series ending after book 4 but The N Days is constantly evolving, so there could always be more books in the offering. Oh and I would love to do a spin off series centering around Samantha’s Imp companion Trippy.
When can we expect the next installment?
I am starting work on book 3 in early January 2014. I’m taking a hiatus and focusing on getting book 1 out and ready for the digital market (cross fingers)
Last but not least where can we purchase ‘The N Days?
It will available on Amazon.com from the 1st of December 2013 and if all goes well, Smashwords and other good digital book sellers. I really hope you enjoy reading The N Days as much as I did writing it.