Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Duncan McGonall
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Duncan McGonall
Title of the book you are promoting: The Breach Between
Link to purchase your Book: coming this fall
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Welcome DM…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
DM: Squad 51 was a big deal back in the day and I loved that show. I ran the gamut through the growing up years of the typical fantasy professions. For a while I wanted to be an inventor then a paramedic then I remember thinking being a doctor might be cooler than possibly getting burned alive.
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
DM: When I started writing, I was not old enough to have an influence other than my teachers. They were my cheer section for a long time. Later, I read the modern classic authors like Faulkner and Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Their ability to capture images so complete and include mood fascinated me. The short story’s full range of possibilities was stunning to me.
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
DM: I’m published through a small press, built with the Indie in mind. I could go on for hours about publishing under the new paradigm, but I will confine my remarks to this; publishing under contract is becoming less and less mainstream. Good if you’re an independently minded writer, bad if you’re a hipster.
LH: As an Indie Author, I was hesitant about being with a publishing company. If you are an Indie author, would you like to be published by a traditional publisher and if so, why or why not?
DM: I think every Indie would like the recognition that comes with a company being willing to take a chance on their work. Any press other than the one I work with, I’d have to evaluate. Publishing is a far different beast than it was even ten years ago. In this new digitally dominated landscape, the kinks still need working out. The idea is nice; I’m just not so sure about the fine print.
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
DM: Robert Jarvik, and we would not discuss work.
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest contributors. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Ever feel conflicted and if so, why?
DM: Sex and violence are both part of the human condition. When it seems there is too much of anything showing up in the art, too high a concentration, it’s time to pay attention and try to recognize the meta-conflict in the message. Some related examples are apocalypse and zombie themes. Both of these are very popular right now, but why? There’s more to it than fad. Concerned? A little, but my concern is concentrated on “getting the message.” Conflicted? No. Not really. If it’s too much for me, I’m in control of what I consume.
LH: I’m a huge softy and by no means a beauty queen… lol but, I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye if I could make it happen…If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
DM: This is a loaded question. Let me just say that I’ve learned in life that most everything is just fine how it is. Massive change or even small change globally applied has a kind of Tsunami effect on reality.
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
DM: A good cover will do one thing and only one thing—it will cause a potential buyer to look closer. It is one layer in the decision to buy process, but it’s a critical one. I see where the saying comes from but it’s misleading. If the work attached to that cover is crap, the cover means nothing. The story has to be better than good; it has to be awesome. There just isn’t room in the market for less.
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
DM: Ha, ha. Much to my parents’ chagrin, I started writing seriously, winning awards and stuff, in the sixth grade. They did what they could to shut that down, and in response I did what any self-respecting 11-year-old would do; I did it anyway. I would walk around thinking in narrative, translating events, scenes and dialog into prose in my head. I was a weird kid that way, but I learned how to do something that has never failed me since. I learned to write at will. Whether I had pen and paper or later a computer keyboard, or not I could write. I still do this today. Writing is not something you do—its something you are.
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
DM: What interests me most is impact. Circumstances-Shmirckumstances, everyone has those. Show me the impact. Show me how they overcame or how they failed and what either one meant to them—put skin on those characters and make me care what happens to them.
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
DM: My stories come in pieces. I don’t get the movie-in-my-head and it’s a good thing, too, because I would probably over-describe the scenes and have to cut 40% of it later. I usually begin daydreaming about some end result and work backward from that point.
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
DM: Oh yeah. I’ve got several projects in the offing.
- A dramatic comedy called Sugar in my Whiskey about illiterate moonshiners, discarded federal agents and a local sheriff who’s been scamming everyone.
- A psy-thriller so twisted it makes even me cringe
- Book 3 of The Spiral Dance series
LH: I’m working on #6…3 are published and the other 3 are due out this year… How many books have you written? How many have been published?
DM: I’ve written 4, one is published and another is soon to be out on 18 October 2014. Sugar in my Whiskey is due out in the early spring of 2014. And by early I mean late January.
LH: I write for fun I don’t even dream of riches…Do you write for fun or money?
DM: Both. I worked for years to see to the needs of my family. Retired Navy, I’ve got the income now and the time to pursue this dream of mine.
LH: Some of my family members had a bit of a problem with me writing my first book “A Beautiful Liar” because the character Maggie West is basically me…to a point 😉 They had a problem with the genre and me “putting it all out there” so to speak so I took a pen name. They eventually came around as I have never cared who knows who I am what I’ve done or what they think of me. I’ve never wanted to be famous, just infamous! What has been your biggest problem when it comes to family or friends when writing?
DM: Striking a balance between what must be done at my desk and what requires attention away from my desk is something that requires constant attention. Writing seriously requires an enormous time commitment, both to my craft (writing) and the craft of others (reading). There is no set formula. I’ve tried that—no dice. Nothing I’m doing matters if I forget to thaw dinner or don’t pick someone up from school or practice because I got lost drafting a scene.
My family is my foundation. Taking care of them is taking care of what makes my writing possible in the first place.
LH: I have never experienced writers block…I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
DM: Ha, ha. I don’t believe in it. I’m sure many would scoff at my unbelief but I don’t care. I’ve been “stuck” before, but that’s usually an issue with my draft. I’ve been oversaturated with a story or a plot line in a story and couldn’t answer that crucial question, ‘then what happens?’ but I’ve never been blocked. Miraculously, I put the draft I’m stuck in away and pick up another and I’m not “blocked” anymore.
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
DM: Read. Read your ass off. When you stop saying to yourself, “Wow. How did he /she do that?” and start saying, “Oh hell, I can do that.” Then you’re ready to try writing something. Note I said, “try.”
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
DM: Nada . . . with the possible exception of finding my wife sooner.
LH: I would freak out if someone contacted me and said they wanted to make one of my books or my series of book into a movie as I am really very shy in person and I’d probably go into hiding. I don’t think I could handle it. How would you handle it? Who would be the first person you told?
DM: “Cool. What will it be, Scotch or bourbon?”
My wife hears everything first from me, unless you count my boxer. He listens but I don’t think he really gets much.
Thanks for that fun and fascinating interview DM…Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? Alcoholic or non?
Exercise or Bubble Bath?
Favorite Color? Depends on the season. Blue in the autumn. Orange in summer. Red in winter. Green in spring.
Take out or Dine in? Also depends. Sushi isn’t something you want to risk ordering in. I love sushi. I can get high off of sushi.
Camping or Hotel? Camping. Hell yes, camping.
Sports or Chocolate? I’m a guy. What do you think?
Dogs or Cats? Dogs. I love cats but I’m allergic and that takes the fun right out of having one. Now Ocelot—yeah buddy that is ticket. When I get a few grand gathered up in a corner somewhere I’ll get myself one of those.
Favorite Food? We’ve been over this . . . sushi, duh.
Favorite Song? I don’t have a favorite song I have a favorite category of songs—witness Nickelback’s Here and Now for that category. Heavy riffs and a message to go with it, yeah crack open the beer and party on.
Favorite Movie? Hands down my favorite all time movies is the Matrix trilogy. What the Wachowski brothers did with those films reinvented science fiction in my mind. Besides the general badassery can’t be beat.
Favorite Car? My truck. What can I say; I live in Tennessee.
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 I’m a guy. What do you think?
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
DM: Okay boring as it might sound, I’d take my wife. We have five—yes you read that right—five kids, four of them teens. Time we get to spend together without repercussion is indeed rare. A whole week just her and me and none of the kids knowing about it would be seven days of paradise. I’d take her to Alaska because she has always wanted to go. I’ve been there a few times and it is a beautiful place. My wife is my cheer section, bullshit meter, number one ally and best friend. Going anywhere and doing anything with her is my idea of a good time.
Thank you for spending this time with us. Make sure to pick up your copy of Duncan McGonall’s cthis fall on Amazon.com