The Writing Life of: Paul McCracken
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Paul McCracken. Paul will be sharing with us details of his writing life, telling us all about his latest book ‘Layla’s Song‘, which was released on 31st October 2018 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Paul McCracken is a published author from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He first got into writing during a short film making course for the unemployed. He then dedicated himself to learning the craft of screenwriting. Paul would then place in the quarter finals of an international screenplay competition two years in a row. Having originally got into writing first through screenplays, Paul decided to then focus on novels as a way of getting his work into the public domain.
Layla’s Song is Paul’s debut novel, a kidnap crime thriller set in Belfast.
In the summer of 2020, Paul secured two book deals with two different publishers, one of which is available now on Amazon Kindle. It is his serial killer/ detective thriller, Where Crows Land.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
I wanted to be a fine artist. Ever since I could hold a pencil I had loved art. It was only when I began to seriously pursue writing that I began to draw and paint less and less.
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
When I enrolled in a week-long film making course through an unemployment charity when I had left college and was out of work. During the course, I got confidence that I never had before and really showed what I was creatively capable of. The studio owner encouraged me to start writing my own screenplays and I did before eventually moving to writing novels.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
No special routine. I used to convince myself that the mood needed to be right or I had to be in a certain frame of mind before starting. But I soon learned that was nonsense and it is just a case of sitting down and getting started whilst trying to block out any interruptions or distractions.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
Three so far. One self-published. Two traditionally (2nd is due out in 2021)
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A bit of both. Depends on the story.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – Createspace
Pages – 329
Released – 31st October 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1985132382
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
Michael is a family man, working long hours to provide for his family.
Things take a dark turn when he and his family are subject to a series of threatening and intimidating phone calls, claiming Michael is not who he says he is.
One night, when Michael is out, his home is attacked and his daughter, Layla is kidnapped.
Only then is Michael’s criminal past revealed. His old gang has finally found him, demanding a ransom for his daughter’s life, the price tag of an old job that went wrong.
With the help of his estranged brother, Carl. Michael must return to the criminal underworld. A journey that will take them both from the streets of Belfast to Dublin.
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
I knew the city of Belfast and what locations to include. I didn’t plan or plot this book out. I just followed the flow and let it take its course.
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
Just over a year.
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
I took it from a scene near the start of the book.
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
Michael is a man who has changed his life for the better but he has to revert to his old self in order to save his daughter.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I self-published Layla’s Song originally through CreateSpace
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
My latest novel has just been published as an Ebook/Kindle by The Conrad Press.
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
Super speed to blitz out one of the three books I am currently writing.
2) Do you have any pets?
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
‘Alright partner, keep on rollin baby…you know what time it is…’
I would like to say a big thank you to Paul McCracken for sharing with us details of his writing life and for a wonderful interview.