Good morning everyone. We're straying a bit from my usual posting. As you can see, my blog has been taken over by this giant. I've long wanted to do an interview with my absolutely fabulous crit partner Mac Wheeler, and after having gone round in a number of conversations, he finally consented.
Mac's a prolific writer, authoring over 19 books, and has finally gone the self-publishing route, putting his BLACK LAKE series out to Kindle. Filled with ogres, orcs, dragons, wizards, daemons and trolls, it's a character driven fantasy epic that enthralls and delights those who have a hankering for the "other" side of life.
1. How did you end up becoming a writer?
Sitting at a traffic light one day on my way to work, my door flung open and an ogre ripped me out of my car. I knew he was an ogre just like that. Ya can't miss the tusks and snout, let me tell ya. He dragged me along on this epic journey to secure peace for his warlock and witch friends. Oh, the stories I could tell ya about them dragons we came 'cross. We experienced many near-death events that changed me—in a dark way, let me tell ya. We became great friends after a time (wrapping up each other's knife wounds, wizard afflictions and such can bring two critters together like nothing else), and I decided to dedicate my life to erasing the unfair prejudice against ogres and their cousins (orcs, dwarves, elves, trolls, goblins and daemons). They aren't such bad folks. Just misunderstand. Just because them trolls think centipedes make a great snack….
2. What is your favorite genre to write?
Non-fiction—such things as brain surgery and rocket science. But since I don't know much attall about those things, I make up lies about my neighbors and their late night séances, my ogre and elf friends and such. Actually most what I right about is the bare butt truth, cross my heart. I just change the names to protect the guilty, as they say.
3. Are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?
As a former draftsman, I've used many different plotting devices, but I can't imagine why anyone would refer to themselves as a graphic printing apparatus. During a recent trip to Black Lake, I met a wizard who went by the name The Muse. Funny coincidence you would ask about him. He was a cranky, smelly troll though, and I wouldn't follow him out of a blizzard.
4. What do you read? Who are your favorite authors?
I read the back of the cereal box every morning. I have the intention of one day pulling the A section of the encyclopedia out and starting on a new world exploration. But that sounds like a lot of work. Tony the Tiger has interesting things to say.
5. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
I like to stay up into the wee morn' hours and watch my drunken neighbor stagger into his house (if he gets started in the right direction—sometimes he doesn't, and ends up at Tom's house, but since his key doesn't fit Tom's door….) Most of my stories are naked truth. Cross my heart. My ogre friend and I experienced many a knee slapper crisscrossing the Range. Oh, let me tell you about this one ogre bar wench we met with the grandest pair of….
6. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Getting the right edge on my quill. Aggravating as all get out how quickly those things get rubbed to a stub and you have to start all over. I mean, really. Can't they develop a better method for getting ideas on parchment?
7. How long were you trying to get published before you decided to self-publish?
I woke up last Tuesday and said I just ought to do it. I grabbed up a handful of my scrolls and went down to the corner where this printer set up a shop a few years back. I told him what I wanted to do and he just glared at me. Well, I'll tell you that put a damper on my publishing plans, so I came home and opened a Kerr jar of brew and read the back of my cereal box for an hour until I calmed down.
8. What is the most surprising thing you discovered during the self-publishing process?
After a couple Kerr jars, the print on the back of the cereal box gets right fuzzy.
9. The Black Lake series consists of four books. Give me a little blurb on each.
There's volume one. Volume two. Volume three. And volume four. I gotta tell ya I went through a ton of quills.
Mac on Kindle