If you haven’t heard of our new project, the On Fire anthology, this interview series will showcase our authors and their writing lives beyond their ignited tales. In Stephen McQuggan‘s “The Passing of Mickey Rulebook,” a man mourns his firebug of a friend only to be consumed by Mickey’s demons.
How many stories have you written?
I’ve been lucky enough to have had just over a hundred stories published to date.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A crow. In some mythologies they are viewed as psychopomps, guides for recently departed souls to the afterlife – some people just see them as vermin. I can relate to that kind of extreme dichotomy. Plus they’ve got a great voice – they are like the Tom Waits of the bird world.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I’m not sure I believe in it. Just write. Write about writer’s block if you have to. If your mind is that consistently blank perhaps you’d be better suited trying something else – meditation perhaps.
Roughly what percentage of your time is spent editing?
I always hand write a rough draft first, then a cleaner second one – the third and final one is when I type it up.
What advice do you have for beginning authors?
Go to your local zoo and observe the elephants. Then go home and do your best to develop a hide as thick as theirs. Write everyday and write what you believe in. Find your own voice, not one you think might be popular. Don’t become disheartened by rejections, just learn to see them for what they really are – the insane ramblings of editors who know nothing and shouldn’t be even doing the job in the first place. Oh, and read – read constantly and widely and voraciously. It’s good for the soul.
Stephen McQuiggan liked nothing more than walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, and taunting magpies until he fell into a sudden and inexplicable coma. His first novel, A Pig’s View Of Heaven, is available now from Grinning Skull Press.
Follow our Amazon page for On Fire’s release this December 1st!
Photo credit (c)”Crow” by igreeny