Interview with John McGuire

When did you first start writing?
I grew up on comic books. So that's what my friends and I would play out during the day. We came up with all sorts of characters with their special powers, villains, teams, and so on. It was a no-brainer to begin writing some of the ideas down in a notebook, and soon those stories kept getting bigger and bigger. I still have the notebook and while the writing isn't all that great, there is a decent amount of it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Piece by Piece is a short story featuring the lead character from my novel The Dark That Follows. He's a fortune teller in Atlanta, Georgia who actually can see the future. In that book he got involved in Black Masses and potential demon summonings all because of a reading he did for 1 guy.

In Piece by Piece I try to tell the story that's not so "end of the world". Just what happens when 1 guy wants him to use his gift over and over on the same day.

Hopefully Piece by Piece can give people a taste (for free!) and they'll want to check out the novel.
What are you working on next?
Currently I have three prose projects in the works:

The White Effect is my sci-fi novel about a guy who realizes that our world is resetting every 3000 years. It deals with the ideas of "what ifs" and what it might mean if you were one of the few "in the know". It should be out towards the end of 2014.

Hollow Empire is a serialized dark fantasy novel I co-wrote with my Tessera Guildmate, J Edward Neill. Set 20 some years after our world has been devastated by a Black Plague type of disease, it is about those who remain when the whole world is still in disarray. We hope to have it out this summer.

The Edge of the World is my adventure-steampunk-fantasy story about a girl who must travel to the ends of the Earth to find her uncle. This should be out sometime in 2015.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jack London might be my favorite writer of all time. I read To Build A Fire in high school and fell in love with his work.

Comic Book wise I love everything Brian K. Vaughn seems to put out there, starting with Y the Last Man and continuing to his current project Saga.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Other people, authors I want to read (say a new Steven King book), podcasts, random blurbs that catch my eye, and probably a dozen other ways. Though I know plenty more slip past me.
What is your writing process?
My first draft is a literal "get everything out of my head and onto the page" situation. I'm mostly unworried about editing or anything that resembles a polish. Then I stick it in a drawer for a couple of months before doing my 2nd draft. That one is for the clean-up, repetitive words, fleshing out scenes, cutting, and deleting some of my crutch words. I might take 1 more pass before I send off to BETA readers. Then I take their notes, do 1 more draft before an editor.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I just feel better after a night of writing. Maybe it's like when runners talk about the "runner high", I think I get kind of a writer's high when things are just flowing and clicking and the story is working.

But it is also about that moment of writing "The End". Having finished something. To me that's the biggest thing that separates writers and those who want to be writers. Because it is difficult to get your work to the point that you can write those 2 words.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hanging out with my wife and friends. Cuddling up with my cats. Watching tv or movies. Reading. Playing video games.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Call of the Wild - I remember reading this as a kid, and then reread it as an adult. It is amazing how much soul that book has. You are there with Buck every step of the way. You feel the frost, the strain of the sleds, and the love that some people have for the dog.

The Princess Bride - This is a bit of a cheat since I saw the movie hundreds of times before I read the book. But the thing that I didn't expect was how much of the book was the movie. All the great moments were there first.

Time Enough For Love - This is my father's favorite book. He had always mentioned it to me, but I put it off for years. And then at some point during college I picked it up and understood. I think Heinlein's ability to connect those separate tales in a way that evokes emotion from a reader... that's what a writer wants to do.

The Flash - Terminal Velocity - A comic, but it was the story which made the Flash my second favorite comic character (Spidey is #1). A story about a hero who knows his time is running out. It is about love and loss and legacy and about becoming a man.

A Storm of Swords - This is the book where everything just clicked. Even the characters I might not care as much about jumped off the page. Twist after twist after twist. This was really the book that told me sometimes you have to kill the characters that you love.
Published 2014-06-09.
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Books by This Author

Hollow Empire: Episode 5 (Night of Knives)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,940. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Episode 5 of a 6 part Season! Once, the empire of Vhur was the world's most powerful. But that was before the Lichy plague. Now, twenty years and millions of dead later, only a few cities remain. The survivors walk a fine line between staying alive and crumbling into the grave. Come the Night of Knives, even these last few might perish.
Hollow Empire: Episode 3 (Night of Knives)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,470. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Episode 3 of a 6 part Season! Once, the empire of Vhur was the world's most powerful. But that was before the Lichy plague. Now, twenty years and millions of dead later, only a few cities remain. The survivors walk a fine line between staying alive and crumbling into the grave. Come the Night of Knives, even these last few might perish.
Hollow Empire - Night of Knives - Episode 6
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,900. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
In the final Episode of Season One, learn the fates of Vadim, Cassidy, Murgul, and Nadya. Each is confronted with a different horror and a choice leading them to life...or death. Includes bonus chapters for Isidora and Little Lys.
Hollow Empire - Night of Knives - Episode 4
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,370. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Episode Four of J Edward Neill and John R McGuire's six-part medieval dark fantasy opera. Join Vadim of the Long Ride, Nadya of the Bashir, Murgul the Maggot, and Cassidy as they fight to survive in a world that wants them ALL dead.
Hollow Empire: Episode 1 (Night of Knives)
Price: Free! Words: 15,440. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Once, the empire of Vhur was the world's most powerful. But that was before the Lichy plague. Now, twenty years and millions of dead later, only a few cities remain. The survivors walk a fine line between staying alive and crumbling into the grave. Come the Night of Knives, even these last few might perish.
Piece by Piece
Price: Free! Words: 7,820. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
From the pages of The Dark That Follows comes a short story about Jason Mills. Jason Mills is no ordinary Fortune Teller. As opposed to most of his brethren, Jason can actually see the future. And his latest customer wants to push that gift to its limits. Piece By Piece shows what Jason Mills does when he's not worrying about the end of the world.