Interview with J. Cain McKrell

What are you working on next?
Currently I'm working on the concluding sequel for The Witch's Catalyst, book 2 of The Risen Lands Duology. I've also been toying with the idea of making two related companion books, one that details what happened before the series began, and another going into the life and mind of Sevra - the main antagonist of the Witch's Catalyst.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do a lot of pacing when I can't figure out what to do. It makes my wife nuts. Aside from that I have a lot of hobbies: weightlifting, astronomy, programming, video games, or spending time flopping on my recliner with my eighty pound lapdog, Boris.
Describe your desk
There is a toy smurf with a very panicked look on his face, I'm not sure where that came from. I have a lot of photoshopped pictures up on the walls, most of them are silly in nature. Loose papers are everywhere, along with many post-it notes that no longer have meaning. However, I bet I could find any piece of information on those papers and notes as if they were neatly filed, if I had to.
What is your writing process?
It usually involves a lot of procrastination. Finally sitting down with the laptop, then getting up to get a drink, and then deciding I want to listen to music while typing and looking around for the headphones. When I finally start I have scenes in mind that I try to type through as if I were watching it in a movie. I don't work off of an outline anymore, though I tried to when I first started writing. I quickly found the writing takes on a life of its own and just try to guide it along.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
On good days, looking forward to learning something new, or creating something whether it's programming/database related or writing. When I have a big project nearly done, it usually gets me up so I can get right back to working at it some more.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do - as a kid I played Dungeons & Dragons a lot and that always had my imagination going. In 7th grade I wrote a 2 page story about an adventurer falling into a goblin den. The teacher didn't seem to care for it but the other kids liked it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Robert Jordan and RA Salvatore are two of my favorites, also I like James Herriot, Douglas Adams, and Aldous Huxley.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Around eleven or twelve I read The Hobbit, and that was the first fantasy book I ever experienced. I never really liked reading until I found the fantasy genre. As a freshman in high school we went to the library to find something to read and do a report on, and I remember looking and looking for something, nothing really piqued any interest. Finally I stumbled into their tiny fiction section and found Ursula K. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea series. It was the only book besides the Hobbit that I enjoyed reading until I found the Wheel of Time at age nineteen or so, and from then on I've always had some book in hand.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
At 13 I moved from a small city, out into the woods. This was probably a few years before all of the online social sites so I didn't keep in touch with any of the people I moved away from. The new town was a lot wealthier than the old one even though they were right next to each other geographically, and the culture shock of it was huge, I never adjusted to it. It made me a more thoughtful, introspective person. I think developing that quality of external awareness along with an internal reflection process is necessary for any writer.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm still trying to navigate the murky process of getting a piece of work out to an audience. Everything I read about how to do so said something different, and the only conclusion I could draw is that there is no 'best way'. Attempting to self-publish made the most sense to me; I'm technically inclined and have made a few websites to help promote the books. Also Smashwords has made it a very painless process to get an ebook up for sale independently of a traditional publisher.
Published 2016-02-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Destiny's Gem
Price: Free! Words: 36,830. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
"Every character has a tale, a history all their own. Each plays a part in the story of the gems, a role however large or small, for good or evil. This is the story of Sevra, most decidedly evil - though she was not always this way." Learn the tragic tale of Sevra, the main antagonist of The Witch's Catalyst. This book can be read before or after reading the Risen Lands series.
The Witch's Catalyst
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 152,220. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
They thought they had succeeded, containing what they could not destroy. An evil forgotten to time for nearly 2,000 years is on the brink of resurfacing. The world will feel the consequences of failure from the wizards of old, suffering a magic more devastating than even its twisted creator could imagine. The land of Luskir will never be the same. Book 1 of the Risen Lands Duology.