Jack Mackenzie & G. W. Thomas Shoot the Poop!

The publisher of Rage Machine Books, G. W. Thomas and I sat down and had a bit of a back-and-forth about writing: Here’s how it went:

 

 

GW: How did you ever decide to become a novelist? Certainly there are easier ways to express yourself. Finger painting. Interpretive dance?

Jack: Well, as much as I love interpretive dance as a medium for expression (and, honestly you should see my “Dying Swan” It brings people to tears), my chief medium for expression has always been words. And, I’ve always loved books, chiefly Science Fiction novels. The authors who wrote those books were my heroes growing up, so it was natural that I would try to emulate them. Short stories are great, sure, but novels are like a big canvas. That’s where you get the chance to stretch out and do world building.

It all boils down to not stopping, I guess. You just write. As Neil Gaiman says writing is like laying bricks. You pick up a brick, you lay it down. You pick up another brick, you lay it down beside the first. You keep doing that until you build a wall. With writing you write a word. Then you write another, Then another. Then another. It’s that easy and it’s that hard. It’s all about how long you can stand to keep doing that. I found that I could stand to do it for long stretches at a time. How about you?

GW: I’m not sure I’m really all that fond of the full-blown novel. The 20,000 worder seems more fun to me. Sadly, the Pulps are gone so no one is going to call it a “brand new novel” by G. W. Thomas. They were pretty loose with that term.

Jack: Well, they keep saying, with the rise of e-books, that shorter, tighter works are becoming popular again. Do you think that is the case or is Google just giving everybody short attention spans?

GW: I do think that ebooks do open up a door for shorter works. The issue in paper publishing is: what do I do with less than a 50,000-80,000 word piece? Different people tried small paperbacks or small brochures. Think of the Dime novels. They were saddle-stapled booklets. Hugo Gernsback supplemented his Pulps with a booklet series. (Those are incredibly hard to find now.) The 1980s small press horror field exploded with saddle-stapled booklets. (I miss those!) But nobody has made any real money on small books. With ebooks now, books can be any length. And priced accordingly.

Jack: What’s your process for writing?

GW: The fiction writing process for me has been a binge thing. With a day job, you grab time where can. When I was young and poor this was pretty easy. I’d write at the dentist office, on the bus. Now that I am old and fat, the distractions are more difficult. Mostly wasting time on my computer or phone. Or watching Netflix. I have to leave my house and go to a coffee shop.

Is your process for nonfiction the same as fiction?

 

Jack: My process for writing nonfiction is different from my fiction writing process. Currently I am treating my fiction writing process like a job. I start at a certain time, I have a target for the amount of words I want to get done. I tend to work at it every day from Monday to Friday and take weekends off. Within that writing time I will block out some time for nonfiction. For me most of the time I spend writing nonfiction is doing research. Once I think I have what I want to say worked out then I will sit down and start writing. The actual writing doesn’t take a lot of time. Sometimes I’ll have to spend some time doing supplemental research while I’m writing which slows me down a bit but for the most part the nonfiction writing itself happens fairly quickly.

And, yeah, Facebook, Netflix and phone are all big hazards for any kind of writing.

GW: My non-fiction process is messy. I start lots of pieces and finish them as the reading gets done. For instance, I have a piece on Francis Flagg that is two-thirds done. But I need to read any eight stories first to finish it. When will that happen? As the mood catches me. There’s no dire consequence to finishing it, so I guess that makes me a hobbyist. Of course, three other pieces may get finished this week instead.

Well, it’s been fun yakking. We’ll do it again soon.

 

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Hard Copy now available

Don’t like e-books? Miss the tactile experience you get with actual, physical, printed-on-paper type books?

Well, my latest book TIME LIKE BROKEN GLASS is now available from my publisher, Rage Machine Books in a print version! You can order a copy and get it at a 30% discount for a limited time!

Just follow THIS LINK or click on the book cover below:

Time Like Broken Glass_Cvr

http://www.lulu.com/shop/jack-mackenzie/time-like-broken-glass/paperback/product-23022210.html

Coming Soon: Time Like Broken Glass

Time Like Broken Glass_Cvr

“In a world of magic one city is the focal point for a desperate struggle that is fought through all of time.

Mages harness the powers of different elements – air, fire, ice, metal, even death – and wield that power in their struggle to survive. But one powerful mage can cantrol time itself. Now mages and mortals alike find themselves allied against that power and three heroes, separated by vast gulfs of time, must find a way to save the magic, the great city and existence itself.”

This is my first fantasy novel and it will be released in the next couple of days from RAGE MACHINE BOOKS. Look for a longer post about the book and about the universe in which it is set: Magistria!

DID YOU GET A KINDLE FOR CHRISTMAS?

Did you buy a Kobo on Boxing Day? Did you recently get an e-reader either as a gift or at a bargain price?

If so, may I make a few humble suggestions?

   

The Mask of Eternity and The Green Beast are both available for Kindle.

 


Or check out the Rage Machine Bookstore page where you can find other titles by Jack Mackenzie and other terrific writers!

Exciting fiction available at Boxing Day prices!

PIECES IN A GAME

Sirtago and Poet’s longest adventure to date, “Pieces in the Game” follows the pair as they navigate a war between the Tey’ei and the Kajaghn Fighters. Making things worse a Tey’ei sorceress is trying to unleash an unholy terror that has been locked away for millennia.

Can Poet solve the mystery and keep an eye on his over-zealous friend, Sirtago, Ka of Trigassa?

$1.99 from Smashwords

 

THE CLATTER OF DRY BONES

They were in the desert to secure freedom for Democracy. The spirits of the dead and the Great Old Ones cared little for bombs, bullets and bravado. They only understood blood.

Follow a troop of American soldiers into the Iraqi desert as they stumble upon secrets much older, much more dangerous than mere terrorism. What are Weapons of Mass Destruction to Cthulhu?

Buy it here for a mere 99 cents!

THE MASK OF ETERNITY

Here is M.D. Jackson’s cover at for my upcoming science fiction novel THE MASK OF ETERNITY. It is being published by Rage Machine Books and will probably be available sometime this summer in both hardcover and trade paperback (as well as an e-version, of course).

What’s it about? Well:

A forgotten world,
a powerful artifact and a
galaxy on the brink of war…

Solis DeLacey, captain of the Alpha Centauri Sol Collective vessel Boston, has been sent to a newly discovered world rich in natural resources. But one ship, the Empress Jade and her crew has already gone missing while surveying the planet, dubbed Bounty, and the finger of suspicion is pointing directly to the heart of the Orion Hegemony, the ACSC`s sworn enemy.

DeLacey, her crew and a ship full of scientists find a world teeming with life including the enigmatic natives of Bounty, the Shum. The planet seems like a paradise where life does more than thrive, it excels.
But when they find the wreckage of the the Empress Jade, they also find definitive evidence that the Hegemony was involved in her destruction.

With the arrival of a Hegemony vessel crewed by Da’baa’kh, ruthless, animal-like soldiers, the game changes. The Da’baa’kh are hell bent on finding an ancient treasure – an artifact powerful enough to bring an entire Collective to its knees.
Now DeLacey must discover its secret and defeat her enemies before the galaxy is plunged into total war.

Here is the book trailer: