Tuesday, June 7, 2011
M. Edward McNally
An interesting anecdote Ed mentioned is that he studied with Jane Smiley the year she won her Pulitzer as he was completing his master's degree in English Literature/Creative Writing.
You can buy The Sable City at these links to: AMAZON or SMASHWORDS
TAS: Let's get the plug out of the way. Tell us a little bit about The Sable City - who will be interested and why?
MEM: The Norothian Cycle, of which The Sable City is the first book, is a wide-ranging fantasy based in part on the premise that a world in which magic was "real" would not look like an idealized version of medieval Europe, only with some orcs running around and guys in pointy hats shooting lightning bolts out of sticks. The world I have tried to create in my stories is one with its own history of cultural, political, religious, and economic development, all shaped by the “fact” that magic is real. But that is just background. I am a firm believer that the story and the characters come first. The rest is just set-dressing, when you come right down to it. Though I do have an awful lot of it.
TAS: What aspects of being an author do you most enjoy?
MEM: Getting lost in my own head to the extent that I totally get away from myself. It’s like I’m not even writing, I’m just scribbling or typing as fast as I can to keep up.
TAS: What aspects of being an author do you least enjoy?
MEM: The reaction of the people I care about when I get lost in my own head to the extent that I forget about them, too. I really am sorry. But I’m not going to stop. Not again.
TAS: What moment as an author have you experienced that you are likely to remember 20 years from now (good or bad)?
MEM: The first time I got a short story published in a literary magazine, I took it to a park and read it about twenty times, sitting on a bench. That was almost 20 years ago now, and just thinking about it, it’s like I’m still there.
TAS: What bad habits do you have when it comes to writing/promoting your books and/or what do you wish you could do better?
MEM: I’m awful at self-promotion. I keep making friends, not “customers,” which is apparently the wrong way to go. But anything else makes me feel icky.
TAS: Do you have any moments or anecdotes that led you to want to be an author?
MEM: When I was about ten, I had a cutesy little-kid poem published in the Kansas City Star. My name in print...that was it, I was a goner.
TAS: Do you write books that are part of a series or stand-alone? Why have you chosen as you have?
MEM: Series, and it chose me. I made a “world” over the course of about ten years, during which time I did not write any “fiction” in the traditional sense. Then some of the people of that world started to yammer at me, and I get the feeling they are not going to stop until their story is told in full.
TAS: If an editor suggested a change that you felt weakened the story but you also felt it would increase sales, would you do it?
MEM: In theory, yes. I am always willing to listen to the suggestions/criticisms of people I respect. But if it was a matter of changing something so profoundly that I felt it wasn’t my story anymore with the changes made, then no.