Because authors don’t always sit alone in dark rooms, feverishly clicking away at their keyboard or scribbling in notebooks, I’m inviting other author friends to drop by and talk about their writing.
Q: Who are you?
A: Who me? Why, what did I do? Oh, wait, okay. I’m Brent McGuffin.
Q: What have you wrote?
A: Well, lots of things. Like just earlier I wrote my name. I wrote a couple of little stories in an anthology last year around Halloween (Hey Marsha, you were there too!!). It’s called Wicked Words and you can find it here (Shameless Self Promotion). I’ve written loads of other things. A couple of books about a three year old girl who can see spirits who have passed on. A crazy amount of short stories. I’m working on two books right now, a YA Zombie Apocalypse story (I know, zombies, right?) and I’m finishing up my NaNo novel which is a supernatural story about a couple of guys who return home to find a cult has been kidnapping children, but why? Oh, and my zombie cookbook!!
Q: What is your writing process like?
A: I usually just string words together that I type into this tiny machine. In the past I would just write when I could. Usually late at night after the world has gone to sleep and I could focus on what goes bump in the night. That worked with varying degrees of success. Sometimes 2000 words, sometimes 200. However, during this last year’s NaNo I figured out during one of our Write-Ins that I got more out in timed sprints than I did in marathons. Meaning that writing for 15 to 20 minutes and then breaking for a breather and then going in again resulted in me getting more words (and often better words) on the page in nearly the same amount of time. So, I started putting this into my daily writing. I also started writing at different times of the day, morning, afternoon, and evening. Whenever I could find a block of time where I could get some words in. And I wrote more that month than I’ve ever written. Yay me!! I finished out Nano with over 70,000. I think the reason for this was that I was less stressed and creatively fatigued. Also, I had time to give a treat to the muse I keep in a cage under my desk.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: I steal them from other, more successful writers. I’m only half kidding. Everything has been done, sometimes you gotta. But more or less I get them from everywhere. Prompts, seeing people walk down the street, an old episode of The X-Files, the muse I keep in a cage under my desk, a trip to the pharmacy at Wal-Mart. Everywhere. Oh, and shame on you for even asking that question.
Q: If you could hang out with one author (dead or alive) for a day, who would it be and why?
A: Another crazily unfair question!! There are too many. But, gun to my head, Stephen King. Why? He’s Stephen Freaking King. There’s a reason he’s the king and it’s not just because his daddy married his mommy and they loved each other in a tight love-hug to make him and gave him the name. He never ceases to amaze and entertain me. I’d love to pick his brain…and talk to him about writing.
Q: Who is your favorite character you’ve written and why?
A: You are just full of the cruelest questions, Marsha. What did I ever do to you? Oh, wait…
Again, gun to my head, I’d have to say Jo from my little girl sees dead people novel, Kyriel (Coming Soon). She’s sassy, spunky, fearless, and loyal and tons of fun to write. I can’t wait to share that book with people and she’s one of the top reasons.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: You mean after finishing this cruel test of yours? Breakfast. Oh, you mean as a writer? More writing. We have another anthology planned this year, so that’s fun. I also plan on getting some professional editing on the books that I have done and try to get them out by traditional publishing and if nothing bites, I’ll go the self-publishing route. I also need to finish up last years NaNo novel and I have another novel I’m ready to start when that’s finished about a killer vigilante who is kind of like the lovechild of Batman and Sheriff Buford Pusser.
Q: What book other than your own would you want to see made into a movie? What book do you hope is never made into a movie? Why?
A: Hmm, I just finished a book last week by Caroline Kepnes called YOU. If done right it would be amazing. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would look like as a movie. Also, Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. That would be crazy fun on the big screen.
Sadly, most of the books that I hope aren’t made have already been made. The good and the bad. But I still hold out hope that Taken by the T-Rex remains only on the page.
Q: What advice would you give to other writers?
A: STOP! Go back! This way only leads to pain and suffering!! If that didn’t deter you. NEVER GIVE UP!!
Q: What is the worst writing advice you ever received?
A: Write with your left hand. But other than that, I’m not sure that I’ve gotten any bad writing advice. Even when I didn’t agree with it or it turned out to be something that didn’t work out for me I still learned something about writing and about myself as a writer. I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I should be doing something else with my time or that I should write differently but I’ve had more people tell me that I should be a writer and that they liked the way I spun a yarn.
I hope you enjoyed this Q & A with Brent. Stay tuned for my February guest author! Who will it be?