Interview with Blair MacKinnon

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Well that's an interesting question. I grew up on RAF airfields, but not in one place as my Dad kept getting posted. A direct influence from this was an interest in aircraft and flying which developed into an interest in space and astronomy. Also, reading books helped me deal with not really feeling settled anywhere. I read a lot and the books I read were mostly those that took me into fantastic worlds, so, mainly mythology, science fiction and fantasy (which is pretty much what I'm writing now). I think you grow with every new experience in life so everything I've experienced in life makes some contribution to my writing.
When did you first start writing?
The first stories I can remember writing were essays in school when I was about 10. I've always had stories floating around in my head but didn't start seriously writing until I took a Creative Writing course with FutureLearn (highly recommended) in Autumn 2014. This unblocked my creative stream and also gave me the confidence to believe that I could write stories that people enjoyed reading (the feedback I had from fellow course members was very encouraging).
What's the story behind your latest book?
'And My Heart Beats' is the first story that I've completed and it is an intense spiritual sci-fi fantasy. It is a short story told from the viewpoint of a young person confronting the destructive rage that humanity seems to carry within itself.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Once I started to write seriously I considered how I wanted to get my stories published and the indie self-publishing route was the one that resonated the most with me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That point when the characters I'm writing about take over and tell me where their story is going to go. That's when I know the story is going in the right direction.
What are you working on next?
I have a number of stories on the go. The one I'm working on now is the story surrounding And My Heart Beats (titled Phoenix Rising). Other stories I'm working on include a mediaeval fantasy (provisionally entitled The Fall of The Confessori), a sci-fi interpretation of The Maltese Falcon featuring a lizard city and a very sassy cat and, of course, Henley Bear's story.
Who are your favorite authors?
This is a long list and I'd expand it to say who are my favourite authors. In no particular order they are:
Roger Zelazny, CJ Cherryh, Philip K Dick, Russell T Davies, Ursula K Le Guin, Daniel Quinn, Joseph Campbell, Jen Foehner Wells, Frank Herbert, Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare, Oliver Postgate, Joss Whedon, Douglas Adams, Spike Milligan, Conan Doyle, JK Rowling, Eric Frank Russell and William Goldman (entirely for The Princess Bride).
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Wanting to find out what new adventure the new day has in store for me. That and breakfast.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Princess Bride (William Goldman) - it manages to be everything a fairy tale should be without being any of the things a fairy tale shouldn't be. It's funny, exciting, quirky, unpredictable, scary, has great characters and brilliant dialogue. Not your average, everyday ho-hum fairy tale.
The Chronicles of Morgaine (CJ Cherryh) - intense, demanding, uncompromising, completely absorbing with a wonderful relationship between the two main characters which remains honest, true and believable throughout.
Nine Princes in Amber (Roger Zelazny) - if it was possible to travel into any fictional universe Amber is where I'd visit first.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) - probably the most brilliant and funny book to come out of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor Beta. In amongst all the fun the books are bursting with loads of brilliant ideas.
Dune (Frank Herbert) - the most complete epic SF book I've ever read.
What do you most want to write about but haven't yet?
I asked my wife (my greatest inspiration) if she had a question she wanted to ask author me and she asked me this very question 'what did I most want to write about but haven't yet'. After thinking about this I think what I most want to write about is applying the Gaia concept to the Universe as a whole - the Universe as Gaia, the Gaiaverse.
Published 2015-10-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Henley Bear Saves Christmas
Price: $1.30 USD. Words: 3,080. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Short Stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Christmas was being Humbugged and Henley Bear and his adopted human Emily have very little time to save the day.
Falling Into Light
Price: Free! Words: 5,610. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Garyth is a leaf on life's wind, drifting through life, until he encounters an old woman while wandering down Glastonbury High Street. He gazes into her eyes and finds himself unable to move. Her touch sends him tumbling into a remembrance of his past lives. Reliving past incarnations reconnects him with his life's purpose. He is a Guardian, saving those lives that must be saved throughout time.
And My Heart Beats
Price: Free! Words: 3,000. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Science fiction » General
(3.00 from 1 review)
The Beast has returned and today is the day young spiritual warrior Nireti must confront her deepest fears to face the Beast. Alone and armed only with her crystal sword, her courage and her hope, she enters the Forest of the Beast. Rage, darkness and despair await her.