Sunday, January 8, 2012

Interview with Mackenzie Brown

Tell us about you.
I am a Liverpool born writer who has had representation for some years but regretfully this did not develop into a publishing contract. I have therefore elected to go down the e-publishing route with my fourth book THE SHIFTING.

I am happily married with two wonderful daughters and a cute black cat we call SNOZ. I love great literature, fantasy novels and hard boiled thrillers, movies, sports and life in general and I do my best to run 10 miles each week.  I don't take myself too seriously though.

Tell us about your book.
Doctor Stephen Forshaw belonged to one of London's oldest and wealthiest families. We learn that one day Doctor Forshaw simply vanished into thin air. Only to be followed one year later by his sons, Robert, Angus and Toby. No motive or clue to their disappearances was ever discovered by the Police and their bodies were never found. Despite this, the authorities secretly believed that all four were dead and were certain that it was only a matter of time before their bodies were discovered.............

Almost ten years to the day Stephen was discovered missing, a boy matching Toby's description reappears at a disused farm in Hertfordshire. The boy has no memory of where he has been and doesn't even know his name. The Boy cannot understand why he hasn't aged one day in nearly a decade. He is only aware that his life is in grave danger.......

What inspired you to write this particular story?
I was inspired by my love of the mystery and I've always wanted to write about Victorian London. I wasn't sure I could pull off a story that has a place in the present and the past, but I'm pleased with the results.

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn't on the book blurb.
A style that should appeal to the modern reader, fast paced and concise. With a villain you should shrink from. I believe any good book should have characters you care about and a villain who turns your blood cold. I try to keep the twists and turns coming right up until the final page.

How old were you when you started writing?
Ten years old approximately.

Do you stick with one genre, or have you branched out to others? Which ones?
No, I've written a children's fantasy, a book based upon the lives of my maternal grandparents and a Liverpool based thriller. I see myself writing thrillers in the main, some with a supernatural twist as in THE SHIFTING.

Where do you get your ideas?
From my head - I think. These days I like to kick an idea around for quite a while. Letting it fester (one of my favourite words) before I decide whether it has legs.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
My mother, who has at times been my most fierce critic and at the same time my strongest advocate.
Plus a myriad of stunning writers and new friends I've made through twitter.

What are you reading right now?
Just finished Empire Falls by Richard Russo. A bit of a throwback but a writer so gifted that we all surely aspire to write like him.

Who are your favorite authors?
Howard Spring, The Brontes, Charles Dickens, Richard Russo, Stephen King, Peter Straub, James Lee Burke, John D McDonald to name but a few.

What is your current project?
THE BURNING - a follow up to the shifting. Something I've been advised to do, but was really enthusiastic about and I'm happy with the initial chapters.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Completing my first novel.

Have you experienced any setbacks for your writing along the way? If so, will you share with us.
Inability to find a convential publisher, but nothing else of any significant note. Nothing my fellow writers haven't had to deal with I'm sure.

How did you overcome these setbacks?
I think the best solution to any problems with written work is to keep at it. I think have a great work ethic which is; 'I've started therefore I WILL finish.' Even if the work is eventually consigned to the bin.

Do you believe in writer's block?
Yes, but I forunately have never been a sufferer.

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
Avoid the use of adverbs when describing a speakers feelings and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite until you can stand it no more.

What is the best advice you have for other writers?
If you enjoy writing keep at it and never think you've nothing new to learn.

What is more important to you, plot or character?
Plot wins because this is in my view is the canvass. The characters the paint or raw materials you apply.

Are you a panster or a plotter?
A bit of both.

Tell us 5 things about you the person, not the author
1. : Hairy
2. : Good sense of humour
3. : Laid back
4. : Prefer to think things through when I can
5. : Competitive

Where to connect with you online
Twitter : @mackbrownbooks

What format does your book(s) come in? : All e-book formats