Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Andrew Mackay author of In Their Shoes series
ME: Hi Andrew, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
ANDREW MACKAY: Former teacher and screenwriter, although I still do the latter. Bestselling author of satire series In Their Shoes, and am moving into crime and horror
ME: Which writers inspire you?
ANDREW MACKAY: John Cleese, Martin Amis, Hunter S Thompson, Douglas Adams
ME: What are you working on at the minute?
ANDREW MACKAY: Versus - a crime/thriller about a school shooter and a radicalized Islam bomber who enact their atrocity on the same day.
ME: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
ANDREW MACKAY: Ellie Goulding would be perfect for Joy Attwood, from In Their Shoes
ME: When did you decide to become a writer?
ME: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
ANDREW MACKAY: At first, pen and paper. Now I use Final Draft for screenplays and Scrivener for Novels
ME: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
ANDREW MACKAY: I always have a broad outline, but it's usually in mind. If I forget something, it didn't deserve to be included. I'd say 40% outline, 60% "pantsing"
ME: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
ANDREW MACKAY: I don't read as much as I'd like to. My favorite authors are John Cleese, The Gibbons Brothers (Alan Partridge), Douglas Adams, and a lot of biographies.
ME: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
ANDREW MACKAY: Hmm, not sure. It does if you can compel the reader to actually read the book if they got it for free. I try my best!
ME: How do you relax?
ANDREW MACKAY: I'm a movie obsessive. It helps my writing. Also, I love to walk, play certain video games and I also play badminton
ME: What is your favorite book and why?
ANDREW MACKAY: Probably The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy. I also love of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird.
ME: What is your favorite quote?
ME: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
ANDREW MACKAY: Just start typing. Your first draft and even your first book will be shit. Just get over it. Pass that point, and get on with it. You'll improve. Don't start making excuses (classic: I'm not ready yet). If your fingers work, you have a keyboard and a half decent idea, then there's just no excuse.
ME: What does your writing process look like?
ANDREW MACKAY: Brain, fingers, monitor. I have an idea, and never write it down. if it stays in my head, it's earned its place in my brain. I establish the beginning, middle and end. And then I start typing.
ME: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
ANDREW MACKAY: Marketing. I'm okay at it, but I could be so much better. That said, the frequent production of material is the best marketing advice I could ever give. Keep writing, keep publishing.
ME: Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
ANDREW MACKAY: Not really. I can write pretty much everything. My stuff is very edgy, more than most - the real test for me is holding back.
ME: Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
ANDREW MACKAY: Oh, definitely. My first book, compared to my newest isn't as well written. This comes from edit notes you accrue over the course of a few books. The next book you write, you're trying to learn from the notes and improve yourself. it's not a concerted effort - you have no choice but to do this. It's instinctive thinking "okay, I'm not making that mistake again, and I want less notes from my editor, particularly from my shoddier aspects of writing!"
ME: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
ANDREW MACKAY: Definitely certain online groups, especially on Facebook. The author community, on the whole, is quite tight knit and a lot of authors all know each other.
ME: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
ANDREW MACKAY: I trust my faith in myself. But there's always that tiny, tiny part of you that says "are you sure you're ready to start writing" before you embark on a book. It gets easier to shut that f**ker up the more books you write.
ME: What book are you reading now?
ANDREW MACKAY: I'm ashamed to say I am not. If anything, I'm reading my own, latest book - Versus. It's out on July 27th.
ME: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
ANDREW MACKAY: I'd like to meet John Cleese and film director Larry Cohen before they die. they're in their seventies. I don't want to ask them anything especially. I just want them to talk to me, and for me to tell them that, without them as my idols, I'd never be doing this.
ME: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
ANDREW MACKAY: I love comedy because I like to make people laugh. I like edgy, hardcore stuff because I like the shock value. I like crime thrillers because of the thrill (duh!) Also, I love horror because I like to disturb people. Not in a stupid way, but in a way, that makes readers think.
ME: What is your favorite theme/genre to read?
ME: What secret talents do you have?
ANDREW MACKAY: What can I say, I am blessed in one particular respect which I cannot mention here. I am a relatively good magician and really quite persuasive. You develop those last two skills as a teacher. A fundamentally skillful liar - which, I guess, helps when you write fiction.
ME: Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
ANDREW MACKAY: Australia. It's the only part of the world I've not visited as yet.
ME: How can readers discover more about you and you work? i.e. Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Lnkedin: Pinterest: Amazon Author Page: Smashwords: Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.) Goodreads:
ME: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
ANDREW MACKAY: I don't think so! A good set of questions, thank you!
ME: Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
ANDREW MACKAY: Any time!
***MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE FACEBOOK EVENT FOR THE RELEASE OF ANDREW' NEW BOOK VERSUS****
BLURB: It was only a matter of time before the school shooting craze hit UK.
Disaffected teenager Daryl is going to shoot up his high school on Wednesday. His classmate, Fariq, is going to blow himself a suicide attack at the same place and time.
One is doing it for the notoriety, and because he'll be the first. The other is doing it in the name of his religion. Neither of them know of each other's plans, but both know the media will make them superstars.
Pick up this relentless and unflinching cautionary crime thriller today... and hug your loved ones a little closer tomorrow.