– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Death Rains Down’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty year. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely.
Introducing Detective Ray Logue. A renegade, hard living & damaged cop. Full of Irish charm & the best detective in Port Ard.
Detective Ray Logue has become something of a maverick in Jim Mulcahy’s police department, having never quite got over the death of his wife 12 years earlier.
Now a hard-drinking loner and occasional loose cannon, Logue is a thorn in Mulcahy’s side, who occasionally crosses the fine line of taking the law into his own hands to see justice served.
As the body count starts to rise, Logue suspects he may have stumbled into a dangerous web of lies and cover-ups, stretching from his own department all the way to the very top of the political spectrum.
From the law-enforcers to the law-makers, from respectable businessmen to Russian mobsters – a sinister hand is exercising an iron grip across the whole social order and it will destroy anyone who dares get in its way.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My name is Kevin McManus. I am a writer of mainly Crime fiction. I live in Western Ireland with my wife, Mary and our dog, Jack. I work as a secondary school teacher by day.
In terms of how I became a writer, I dabbled with poetry as a teenager and that turned into dabbling with writing song lyrics as a young adult when I got involved with bands. I always liked words and the sounds that they make. I had a brilliant English teacher at secondary school. He inspired a love for reading in me and for writing. He also inspired me to become a teacher.
I always loved the crime genre. Whether it was reading crime novels or watching crime movies. However, when I began writing my first novel. “The whole of the Moon” it was not a conscious decision to write a crime novel. It began as a story about growing up in rural Ireland and the study of the relationship between the three central characters, but as the plot developed, I introduced a crime aspect into it and when it was published it was marketed by the book company as a crime novel. I then began thinking about writing a more straightforward crime novel and this led to the first in the Detective Ray Logue novels: “Death rains down”.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I read tonnes of comic books and I was always inventing my own comic book stories. My head was always stuck in Marvel comics and British comics like 2000 AD. I was obsessed with science fiction. I loved Star Wars and started to read short science fiction and fantasy novels as a result when I was about 12. Roger Zelazny, Harry Harrison, Philip K. Dick. Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard etc.
My favourite novel always has been and always will be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It has everything, incredible descriptions of the Yorkshire Moors, love, death and the supernatural. Heathcliff is probably the greatest literary character ever created. A close second is 1984 by George Orwell, it has so much to say about the world we live in today.
My books are crime novels, but I read a lot of different genres. I like Charles Bukowski, Dermot Healy, Ken Bruen, Henning Mankell, Thomas Harris, James Ellroy, Franz Kafka, Dennis Lehane, and Ian Rankin.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Ian Rankin is a brilliant writer and I adore his creation, Rebus. I have never met Ian. It would be such a pleasure to talk with him and to learn about his craft. His stories, characters and settings are so well developed. I think he is a master of the crime genre.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would like to go for a pint with Ray Logue from my book “Death Rains Down”. He probably would be an entertaining companion on a pub crawl.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I like to listen to music, but it has to be instrumental. I can’t listen to songs with lyrics, I start to focus on the words too much and that distracts me from writing. I constantly listen to “The Blue Notebooks” by Max Richter at present. I find it is just perfect to write along to.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Generally from TV news stories or newspapers. I often google about unsolved murder cases for ideas.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I generally have a vague idea about the story outline for the first three or four chapters but after that it is more interesting and nerve wrecking when you have no idea where the story will take you. The plot can change multiple times as you write more and more chapters. Inspiration arrives as you write.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Just go for it. Have confidence in yourself, get it down on paper, you can always rewrite and edit your work afterwards. Read as much as you can, try to mirror great writers in your chosen genre but also bring in your own ideas. Don’t worry about all these so-called rules of writing. Just write in a style that you are comfortable in.
I think patience is very important, we all think that we are going to be the next big thing overnight. It takes years to build up a following. In reality most of us will never become literary super stars but if some people around the world enjoy reading your books that is a real achievement.
What are your futureplans as an author?
Just keep writing and improve how I write.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
“She never heard the footsteps coming up behind her, the first sensation was something being wrapped and twisted around her neck. Her hands instinctively shot upwards to pull at what was strangling her, to try to free herself but her strength did not match the force that was pulling it tight. Anna tried to wheel around, to scratch or kick at her attacker. But she was losing strength. She was choking, losing oxygen. As the attacker pulled and twisted the rope, her feet were lifted off the floor. Anna dug deep to find her last reserves of energy. Her final breaths were used trying to force her fingers under the rope to free her throat. But it was in vain.
She collapsed to the floor and her eyes gave one final turn towards the large bay window and the light of the early afternoon sun as she dreamt up images in her mind of happy days back home in Poland with her mother and sister.”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Kevin McManus.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!