Today's Q&A Thursday is with author M.P. McVey! Enjoy & Comment!!
What is the worst thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
Oh, god … there have been so many terrible things that I’ve written. If I had to decide on the absolute worst thing that I’ve written, though, I’d have to say that it was a short story I wrote in the first grade.
I was a huge fan of Indiana Jones, and I thought the most original story ever written would be a sort of parody of Indiana Jones. In the story, my little brother Kevin (having always been the guinea pig and muse for all of my early, creative ventures) is Indiana Jones and is involved in some sort of adventure. It ended in the traditional, Bob Newhart fashion of, and it was all just a dream.
At the time, I thought it was absolutely amazing. I was never short of confidence in those days. It wasn’t until middle school that I learned that I really wasn’t as cool, smart, or amazing as I always thought I was.
I think we learn a bit from everything we write, whether it be good or bad in the end. Over the years I’ve learned to be patient with my writing. It has taking me nearly a decade to get Plod On, Sleepless Giant to the point where I feel it’s ready, and there were far too many times when walking away seemed like the best option.
Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
I think I first started writing as a way to get the stories out that I always thought should have been written. As a kid, I was a movie fanatic and still am today. There were far too many ideas that I thought would have been awesome to see on the screen, but they never came. I guess I thought it was up to me to write those stories, even if they ended up only being read by myself.
I decide to go professional shortly after my brief stint in college. I was going to school to major in English with the idea of perhaps teaching. I took a lot of composition classes and the teachers gave me a lot of praise and direction. I thought more and more about writing and decided that I might as well go for it, rather than regret it later in life.
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I look forward to a point in time when genre sort of slips away. I write in a grey area of genre, where they all come together and mingle, like at a dinner party. I write what would be considered fantasy and science fiction, but I also dabble a bit with horror and humor, and all the little crossovers in between. I guess I just like writing, and the story I’m telling dictates the genre it will fall in. As far as a favorite, I suppose I don’t have one.
Do you read other author’s books while you are writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
I love reading, but I find it hard to read anything while I am writing. I take little breaks from writing, when I feel like I hit a wall and have no way around it. In those times I tend to read more. I try not read anything too similar to what I’m writing; I don’t want to be influenced too heavily by another writer’s story.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing, etc.
I would have too vehemently say that the querying is the most difficult thing for me. I hate summarizing a book into a concise yet catchy two paragraphs. With Plod On, Sleepless Giant it felt nearly impossible. I spent roughly two months trying to iron out a query letter that made any sense and I don’t think I ever accomplished that. It’s not surprising that there are editors out there that get paid to merely write query letters for writers like me that have no clue how to do so properly.
M.P. McVey is the author of the contemporary fantasy Plod On, Sleepless Giant. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his girlfriend, Laura, and a one-eyed cat with a deviated septum named Stanley. He is currently working on his second novel.
The world is not as it seems …
At the center of our world lives an elephant. Ancient and alone, he’s chained to a great wooden wheel—turning our rock as it glides through space. But what would happen if he were to stop? What would become of all we know and love on the surface?
All that stands between Earth and its downfall is a sole Watcher—beings tasked with guarding all in creation. Sent on a fool’s mission, he must gather humans from the surface that somehow play a role in our world’s destruction.
But from one mistake, a decision is made … an opportunity taken. When insurmountable forces align against humanity, it seems all will be lost. Can it be stopped in time? Can wrongs be righted? Can we be saved?
Book trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKMbJytW7Lk