Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trestle Press Author, McDroll talks about her crime fiction book, Kick It!

It's been a long while since I've featured a writer here at A Rage. Having recently joined the Trestle Press family myself, it is my pleasure to have fellow Trestle Press short story writer, McDroll stop by and provide you all with the lowdown on her crime collection, Kick It. McDroll is quite obviously excited by this publication and shares with us, "To have a book published is a magical experience that very few people ever get to achieve, but thanks to TRESTLE PRESS and their amazing outlook on the revolution of digital publishing which is about to hit readers around the world like a literary tsunami, more amazing writers will be able to get their writing out there to an ever increasing digital audience.

My first collection of short stories, KICK IT has just been published this week and my goodness, I certainly did get a kick from seeing my book up there for sale on Amazon. KICK IT is a collection of 5 short noir / crime stories with a little twist of Scottish humour thrown into the mix.

Three of the stories have my favourite character, DC Gemma Dixon, strutting her stuff around the crime scene of Glasgow. New to CID, Gemma has to learn very quickly to stand up for herself in male dominated environments where as the newbie she gets some of the roughest assignments on offer.

I love having fun with Gemma as she banters with her fellow officers, making sure that she asserts herself and doesn’t take any of their cheek.

My other two stories deal with our perceptions of people and I attempt to show how far off the mark we can be when we don’t take the time to dig a bit deeper into ‘hidden stories;’ the secrets that people keep close to their chests as they go about their daily lives. So much can be going on beneath a person’s outward shell and I try to uncover some of these tales.

So I hope you check out my first ever e-Book and please let me know what you think!"

Let's get to know a bit more about the mysterious McDroll (aka. Fiona Grace), shall we?
1. Who is McDroll?

To begin with, going back about three years; McDroll was the silly name I came up with when I started tweeting. I wanted a name that would combine the fact that I am proud to be Scottish and indicate that my tweets would contain a certain amount of ‘tongue in cheek’ humour. Like most nicknames it kind of stuck and now that’s how most people on-line know me.

I think it’s quite memorable and a bit different so perhaps it will help me to get noticed!

When I’m not writing / reviewing, I teach and have been a primary school head teacher for the past 23 years, I know, I don’t look old enough! Cough

I live in Argyll, Scotland which is easily one of the most beautiful places in the world, steeped in history from prehistoric standing stones to Celtic crosses and castles and countless lochs and glens.

I sit at night, laptop on knees and write about murders…well, what else would I do?

2. Why crime writing?
I’ve always wanted to write as far back as I can remember and over the years I’ve had various disastrous attempts that just didn’t work. My writing was boring, bland and twee. I had come to the conclusion that I just didn’t have what it takes.

Then I joined Twitter and quickly discovered that there were lots of writers around the world tweeting about their writing. They would discuss their difficulties, the characters they wrote about and the struggle to get published.

Slowly I crept into this circle of talented people and as I have always been a rabid reader of crime fiction, I thought that if I couldn’t write then at least I could review and be a little help to those with talent struggling to get noticed.

Eventually some very kind people asked if I wrote. After the initial, ‘no, no, no,’ I decided to give the writing lark another go but this time try to write within the crime genre….and that’s all it took. My years of reading crime have somehow helped me understand how to write the type of story that people seem to get a lot of fun out of reading.

3. Who do you read?
I’ve really enjoyed reading No One To Hear You Scream by Julia Madeleine, another Trestle author. She takes you on a trip to a beautiful house in the remote countryside, the most beautiful spot imaginable and in this amazing setting creates the home to die for. If you love browsing through House and Home magazine then you'll pretty much have seen the type of house she creates. What more could anyone ask for? Oh yeah...the owner murders his girlfriend and buries her body in the woods at the back and he’s built the house on the back of his drugs money. He's one of those Irish guys that (WARNING) women, don’t ever go near because he's got a twinkle in his eye, he can soft soap the pants off you and then he'll garrote you when he's bored and toss your body aside. And he's gorgeous (I was thinking Patrick Dempsey with an Irish accent and a couple of days' stubble.)

Anyway, twists of fortune and all that, Rory Madden (that's the Patrick Dempsey guy) ends up in jail and loses all his money and his house that he loves more than anything in the world gets sold from under his feet and Rory vows to get it back come hell or high water. Pity the family who bought it and my, do they have their own troubles!

I love Julia’s ability to weave a wonderful story that just doesn’t allow me to put down from start to finish.

4. What’s next?
I’m hoping to have another collection of short stories KICK IT AGAIN out soon and then move onto a serialization of a novella that I’ve been working on for some time. More ‘Gemma’ stories are in the pipeline and you will be able to meet Gemma again in BRIT GRIT TOO, soon to be published by TRESTLE.

Many thanks to McDroll for making the time to be here with us. It's been a true pleasure!

You can visit McDroll at her blog site here, and for .99 cents you can purchase Kick It for your Kindle on Amazon. You can also follow her Twitter tweets @McDroll.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why You Shouldn’t Buy My Book

In the advent of my publisher, Panic Press suddenly calling it quits, there are some unresolved issues. For one thing, my book, The Man of Shadows is still available in certain markets. If you purchase the print and/or the Kindle version, I won’t receive any compensation for it. Translation: At this time, please don’t buy my book in print or e-pub form from anywhere or anyone. Secondly, there are a lot of angry writers from the Panic Press line who are battling for reimbursement of unfulfilled orders and unseen royalties, so I can easily feel my rage beginning to froth at the surface again, and I’m trying to remain moderately professional about the entire ordeal.

The small press is a wonderful resource for aspiring authors to see their work published, but if you’re not careful it can also turn and bite you on the ass. As I still retain all rights to my work, my hope is to have another publisher pick my book up, dust it off, and make it available on their shelves. Yes, I know I can self-publish, but it just won’t feel the same to me… you know what I’m saying?

In general, and this is cumulative to this situation and my growing weariness with publications, I feel a bit like a home in need of a makeover. Maybe I’ve reached a crossroads. There are definitive choices to be made. Either way, The Man of Shadows will be slipping back into the darkness for awhile.