Earlier this year, when reading at Noir at the Bar in Edinburgh, I was introduced to a certain Mr Mac Logan who was also there to read from his novel ‘Angels Cut‘. He’s on the blog today to talk writing with us.
My thanks to Mac for taking the time to chat to us – I look forward to welcoming him at Noir at the Bar Newcastle sometime!
Tell us about your books.
In addition to my poetry, I’m writing two fiction series and business non-fiction:
- The Angels Share series: Angels’ Cut, Dark Art, Devils Due and more to come, see my website for more info on upcoming releases.
My inspiration comes from personal experience of corruption and greed in both the public and private sectors. Sad to say, this has impacted on my life. However, vengeance in the real world is not acceptable and I wouldn’t wish to harm anyone for real.
In spite of past experience, crime fiction provides a means of pursuing nasty people with satisfying and inventive robustness. My thrillers offer a sense of recourse against the corrupt people and cadres who screw us, steal our money and, what’s more, they provide an insight into what might well be going on.
- The Reborn Tree series: I’m currently writing Protector and there are more in the series to come.
My inspiration comes from the time of the five good emperors of Rome. This work is a history-based fantasy.
In the north of Britain the tribes of what is now Scotland (and Irish their cousins) stood against Roman expansionism. The Pictish/Celts faced a massive challenge to their survival as a culture protecting a way of life and their spiritual values and beliefs. Imagine lethal confrontations with the materialistic greed of Rome as well as unexpected friends… and enemies.
- Business Non-fiction: I am working on a series of simple explanatory books on topics around the human aspects of work. There are two titles so far on Time and Mentoring (co-written a specialist from St Andrews University).
Where do you get your ideas from?
Experience, reading and emotional connections. When I watch grown people weep in anguish over cruel circumstances, or hear dishonesty splatter from the mouths of politicians, I am affected. Similarly, when I play with my grandchildren and we laugh, do exciting things and make a noise, I am affected. Such feelings energise me.
I believe powerful emotions – good and bad – generate ideas. These in turn stimulate my muse and, via the predispositions of my personality, create a tangible output.
Do you have a favourite story / character / scene you’ve written?
The adventure in Dark Art, where Eilidh, is coming to terms with the harsh, deadly world in which she finds herself springs to mind. She starts off dependent yet, like a child, she develops skills and insights essential to her survival. She builds relationships and earns respect on her journey. There is humour and the inevitable mistakes and risks she must navigate to survive.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given and who it was from?
Write every day. It’s pretty common advice, but practise is key. To that I’d add get it read. My editor is a solid, constructive and fearless critic. She tells me good things and bad with clarity.
What can readers expect from your books?
Pace. Action. Violence. Realism. Humanity. Love. Flaws. Hatred. Greed. People worth caring for. Evil villains that’ll make skin your crawl.
Have you got any advice for aspiring writers?
Write. Be yourself. Take criticism on the chin and, soon as you can, learn from it. However: remember that not all criticism is correct.
What do you like and dislike about writing?
I can’t think of much I dislike except my own procrastination. I love writing and sharing my work. I enjoy readings.
I’ve done a couple of “shows” where I’ve had an audience there to meet me alone, and talk, read from my books and poetry and generally have fun. It’s nourishing.
A biggie is when my granddaughter climbs on my knee and says “Grandpa, tell me a story with your heart.” Making stories up, on request, for young children is an unique compliment.
Are you writing anything at the moment?
Devils Due (Angels’ Share series) is underway and the pressure is mounting for me to finish it. My editor is booked for Protector (Reborn Tree series). She’s expecting it for the end of this month, OMG.
What’s your favourite writing-related moment?
A business man I know bought 25 copies of Angels’ Cut as Christmas presents. He loves my writing. When he asked me to sign them it felt fantastic.