Michael Malone was born in Ayrshire. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings
BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize. He has since published (Oct '12) a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots - Carnegie's Call. And he lost the "J". The U.S. dude doesn't write poetry (as far as we know) or about Scottish success stories, so it was deemed superfluous.
A TASTE OF MALICE, the second book in the D.I. Ray McBain was published in June this year to great reviews. Intriguingly, there is a strange lack of dead bodies for a crime novel. The third novel in the series is due in 2014.
He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/
What first inspired you to write?
Like most writers, reading was my gateway drug to writing. I remember as a child (I was a voracious reader, like most writers I expect) holding a book in my hand and promising myself that one day I would be holding a book with my name on it ... and lo, eventually, that day came to pass. Not without lots of heartache.
What inspires you now?
Itís become a habit. Something I do. Like walking the dog, going to the gym, eating too many sugary snacks ... I also happen to write. At a sub-conscious level itís how I see myself. Iím a writer. So, as I said, itís less something Iím inspired to do Ė more ďjustĒ something that I do.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
How long have you got? Iíll shorten it somewhat and go with something I borrowed from Stephen King Ė read a lot, write a lot. And Iíll add ... then send it out. Learn to accept feedback Ė without it you canít grow as a writer. Then grow a rhinoceros hide, cos youíll have a lot of criticism and rejection heading your way.
What are you writing
I have a novel due out next February 2014 Ė The Guillotine Choice - that needs a new final chapter and some edits. Itís based on the true story of an innocent young Algerian Berber who stayed silent and was sent to Devilís Island in 1929, rather than give up his cousin to the French authorities. His cousin would have faced the Guillotine.
It was an amazing gift, as a writer, to come across such an amazing story. Truth really is stranger than fiction Ė the things that this man had to endure Ė he was an incredible character and itís been a privilege to be involved in bringing his story to an audience.
What are you reading?
I often have several books on the go. Iíve just finished Walter Mosely;s Little Green. Man, that guy can write Ė and Iím currently desperate to get back to Joe Hillís latest, NOS4R2. In case you didnít know, heís Stephen Kingís son Ė and that apple hasnít fallen far from that tree. Joe is clearly his own man, but he can write up a storm. And then thereís Laidlaw staring at me from my mahoosive To Be Read pile.
Who is your favorite literary character?
Not sure I have a favourite. It depends on the most recent books Iíve read Ė and who is on my mind. So it could well change next month. Easy Rawlins from the Walter Mosely books is a fascinating guy. Heís a black P.I. working in 1940ís/ 50s Los Angeles. In a time when rascism was open and condoned Ė investigating cases that no one else cares about. Heís a ďwhiteĒ knight. A character with heart, courage and a deep intelligence.
What future projects do you have planned?
I have started a third novel in the McBain Series (book two is out now, folks Ė A Taste for Malice). I paused in the writing of it because a publisher was interested in the Algerian novel. Iím 25,000 words in and it feels like Iím mentally wading through treacle. I donít plot Ė preferring to fly by the seat of my pants. And this is one of those times when I resent thatís the approach that suits me best.
What interests do you have outside of writing?
Hereís where I wish I was more interesting and could say I went bungee jumping off Balinese bridges, ran marathons across continents or at the very least went line-dancing with chimpanzees. But itís just the usual suspects Ė reading, movies, watching footie on the telly, walking the dog and trying to work off those sugary snacks in the gym.
Any last words of wisdom?
That last mars bar is never a good idea.