Sunday, January 19, 2014

Author Interview: Steven A. McKay: Author Of Wolf's Head

Welcome Steven A. McKay, a writer from Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow in Scotland, heavily influenced by the likes of Bernard Cornwell, Doug Jackson, Anthony Riches, Robert Low et al. His first book, Wolf’s Head, is set in medieval England and is a fast-paced, violent retelling of the Robin Hood legends. His take on the theme is quite different to anything that’s been done before. (ref. his bio on Goodreads)
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Before I started school I used to spend the days with my grandmother. She'd take me for walks in the trees and streams and so on, telling me about nature and things like that. I loved those times. Visiting France with my school football team was a really good experience too.

About your education

I left school when I was quite young, but I studied as an adult and managed to get a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Open University.


What career did you plan during your education days
I didn't really have a plan. When I was very young, I wanted to be a lawyer and drive a big BMW. Then I got a bit older and wanted to play guitar in a band or write for a newspaper or something "cool" like that. I still don't really know what I'd like to do with myself, other than writing novels - hopefully that will become a reality one day.


What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
My 5 year-old daughter Freya. I am, by nature, quite a driven person. I've always wanted to push myself to do things, but since Freya was born I've felt like I really want her to have a father she can be proud of. I don't dream of making lots of money so I can buy a fancy car, or flashy clothes or other material goods - I dream of making enough money so that I can spend more time with my family.


What hurts you most in this world
Our second daughter was still-born last year.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced? Were you able to overcome it? How?
See previous answer. I've been able to overcome it to an extent, although I had to force myself to be positive lots of times and I still do. Life goes on, and, although I might want to wallow in depression at times, we all have to be strong for those around us.


If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead
personality, who would it be and why?
Good question! I think maybe Neil Armstrong, just to know what it felt like to stand on the moon and look back at Earth. That must have been pretty incredible!


What is your favorite genre and why?
Historical fiction is what I like to read most. I always loved reading about history, but I also like action, so a good historical fiction novel gives me the best of both worlds.


What is the purpose of your writing?
I just always loved to write stories, ever since I was at school. I'm a creative person - I also write and play music in a heavy metal band - writing is a very enjoyable hobby for me. Some people like to play the Xbox, or watch football - I like to spend my time writing (or reading) stories.


Which of your work published so far?
My debut novel is called _Wolf's Head_, and is available worldwide from Amazon in ebook or paperback format. It's a retelling of the Robin Hood legend but, hopefully, in a new and interesting way. It's been getting excellent reviews so far!


What are your forthcoming writings?
Currently I'm working on the sequel to _Wolf's Head_ and it should be out in a few months. It's called _The Wolf and the Raven_.


What are your future plans?
To write more books, play more music and enjoy time with my lovely family!


What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
1- that the story flows nicely and is easy to read, 2- that everything makes sense and there's no plot-holes, 3- I get the right balance between "too much history" and "not enough", 4 - everything is as realistic as possible without things being dull.


Your dream destination on Earth?
Egypt. I always loved reading about the pyramids and the sphynx and so on. I really don't like flying though, so I'll probably never get a chance to visit!


Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed.
What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I was born in Scotland and lived here all my life. I love Scotland, the scenery is fantastic, magical even, and although we complain about our weather, I love it!
I have also visited Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Jersey and the Czech Republic.  Sitting in Austria, with a mountain beside our hotel, a beer in my hand, heavy metal on my headphones and a raging thunderstorm going on...that was incredible.
The most amazing place I have visited though, is Rome. Being a fan of history, you can imagine how I felt when I saw places like the Colloseum - just amazing!

What is your zodiac?

Aquarius


One thing in your life you wish had not happened?
Our second daughter being still-born.


What is your definition of fear and how to overcome it?
I think Frank Herbert defined it best in his epic novel _Dune_. "Fear is the mind killer..." I overcome it by telling myself we have to put ourselves into hard, dangerous situations to grow and evolve as people. If we never take any chances, if we let fear hold us back, then we'll never get anywhere in life and come to the end of our days wishing we hadn't taken the easy route. "Seek the mysteries!"


How would you define God in your words?
God gave us the gift of life and we should make the most of that gift. Whatever talent you have - be it writing, painting, dancing, swimming, or whatever - you should do your best to develop and enjoy that God-given talent.


What is your definition of love?

When you hate being apart from someone for even a few hours, and can't wait to see them again.

Thanks Jaideep for having me, your questions were a little different and good fun to answer!

You can buy _Wolf's Head_ from Amazon here, in India: 
http://www.amazon.in/Wolfs-Head-Forest-Lord-ebook/dp/B00DSCDZFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380137559&sr=8-1&keywords=wolf%27s+head

or here in the UK: 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolfs-Head-Forest-Lord-ebook/dp/B00DSCDZFY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1372869572&sr=8-1

Find out more at my website/blog: 
http://stevenamckay.wordpress.com/

Join me on Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/RobinHoodNovel?ref=hl

Short video trailer on Youtube: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_lApbZB3kY

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