With a bit of background, who is Michael J Malone?
He’s a young-ish (aye, right) fella from a modest background. Father of one. Reader of thousands of books. Published poet, writer of fiction and non-fiction.
What inspired you to pick up a pen and start writing?
I was an avid reader from a very young age – certainly before I was eight – and can remember feeling even at that age, when I was holding a book that I wanted to produce one of my own. Of course, life kinda distracted me – for a long time – and I found myself doing that thing where you say, “when I retire …” Until one day at work I had a conversation with a colleague during a boring meeting – up the back of the conference room. We regularly swapped book recommendations but on this occasion we both admitted that one day we would love to write a book. So he suggested that we write one together. He wrote the first chapter, passed it to me and I wrote the next chapter. We did this four times and then he decided he would rather work on a book on his own. That was fine by me, so I took back my chapters and from there wrote my first novel. As far as I’m aware, he didn’t write another word, but I’m grateful to him for inadvertently giving me the push I had forgotten I needed.
What was the hardest part of writing your first book?
The end. Writing the end was REALLY difficult. I remember thinking, how on earth am I going to pull this together and how on earth will I know that it’s finished?
BLOOD TEARS starts off as a police procedural and then shoots off in its own direction. It has a lot of “salty” language, gritty/ disturbing content – and a few laughs.
What is next for Michael J Malone?
Carnegie’s Call is a non-fiction book being published in October by Argyll Publishing. This is a work that celebrates the success of a few high-achieving Scots and as intended as a wee nudge in the ribs to my countrymen and women – as in, if they can do it, why can’t we? I am tired of the miserabilism that surrounds us and wanted to remind people that there is good news out there. I am also tired of the cult of celebrity and wanted to point readers in the direction of people who had actually achieved something other than having a facility for getting noticed by TV cameras. My writing of the book pre-dated the Olympics which has, one could argue, kicked off what I hope to achieve, so I’m hoping this mindset persists well beyond the games – and Carnegie’s Call can tap into this.
The book has chapters dedicated to the narrative of the successes of my interviewees – followed by some suggestions as how us mere mortals can emulate their success.
So here’s where I cheat a bit and get some more info out of you.
Bonus question: You are stranded on a desert island. You can have 3 ‘luxury’ items and one person with you. What and who would they be and why?
Luxury items -
1. My bookcase. It has loads of books on it. No further explanation needed.
2. My ipod. It has loads of tunes on it. No further explanation needed.
3. My fridge … you can fill in the rest.
My one person would be my son. Cos he’s a wee star.
Great answers, Michael. It was a pleasure having you stop by for a chat. Thank you.