Interview with Mac Dyson

Why do you write?
I write because I love to read! I love the gift of words.
My life is so much richer for having experienced so many great books by so many wonderful authors. I love the way you can examine things beyond your normal reach, go places you may never get otherwise, meet fascinating people who don't actually exist in this world.
I don't think I have ever felt like I belonged or was normal. My life has been just a bit strange. So, many of the things I have experienced don't get written about. So I thought I would try and explore some of those experiences in books. Perhaps I can live better when I understand them more. Perhaps in my writing I can help others who feel outside find more connection, and fulfilment in their own lives.
Why did you write this new book "Making It Home"?
Well, this is my fun book. It's tiring to be too serious all the time. I wanted to write a book that was as exciting and engaging to read as a great cartoon movie is to watch. So I wrote a film - in words! I wanted to explore and celebrate how words can set the imagination alive with images. Books are great because the reader gets to collaborate with the writer to make it all come alive in their minds eye. Which is why I use the device of 'glasses that show stories' to help Sam tell his.
I also wanted to write something fantastical for younger readers. So this one is aimed at 12 - 15 year olds. Though of course anybody can read it that wants to.
What are you working on next?
I currently editing "Up From Unda". A series of five kids books for ages 8 -10. They star one of Aotearoa/NZ's unique flightless birds, the weka. Wekas - a native bush hen - are by nature very inquisitve and very fond of people. If you go for a wander through the bush of Rakiura (Stewart Island) you'll quite often find that you are being followed by a weka, keen to see what you're up to and where you're going. I shall upload these fun little books in the next month.

I'm also channeling "The Book Of B.S." - a mystery fantasy novel for 10-14 year-olds starring a tiny Lichfield Dragon the size and colouring of a Bumble Bee. Beyond that? Well so far a Cathedral has disappeared and reappeared a couple of times and its statues and stained glass seem to be prone to coming alive. Why? Actually at this stage of the writing I have no idea!
Why write a book like "The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea"?
I wanted to create a book that had our lives at the centre of it – where gay/lesbian/etc was the norm for the main characters. No struggles with coming out and the like, but instead the more interesting challenge of creating a life for oneself.
I also wanted to explore the idea of the history/herstory of our queer Culture. Taking the point that accepted history is no more than the myths of the ruling class – history being always written by the victor. There is strong indication that we are part of a very long lived, and very rich and intricate, culture. Aspects of who we are now are recorded as far back as can be ascertained. So what if I had a character who had been around since ‘time’ began. How would the history of humanity - especially queer humanity - look from his point of view?
I go into this in more detail in an appendix to the eBook, but I should at least say that I have taken original myths and other's ideas and added my own spin on them to try and make them relevant to contemporary life (well, as it’s lived in the ‘west’.) No blame can be attached to their sources :-)
It starts with an attempted suicide. What’s that about?
It starts from the place I was at when I began to write. (If you want a fantastic description of what it is like to be depressed take a look at “Warm Bodies” – ‘R’ in his zombie state sums it up exactly.) I needed to find a way out. A cause that fired me up enough to take me out of myself – hence the themes I chose and the audience I chose them for.
Of course the truth of suicide is not that one wants to die but that one desperately wants the pain to stop. The danger lies in that amazing thing called our brain. It’s capable of absolutely anything. Feed it a programme, any programme – try ‘what is wrong with me?’ – and it’ll expend all its unbelievable capacity to fulfil the request. So try to avoid those kind of questions. Or, as I did, give it something else to play with … “What if the Devil saved my life?”
In the end I hope I’ve written a book about living. Learning to live with yourself - through sickness and health, tears and laughter, loneliness and connection.
Why publish on Smashwords?
I sent my book round the usual haunts, to both agents and publishers. The sexuality issue was a major problem for most of them. My best response was from Allen and Unwin - “Very promising. The poetic language, fresh variety of voices, flashes of humour and interesting treatment of non-mainstream subject matter all make it an original and entertaining work”. But they went on to say that they wouldn’t publish as there wouldn’t be enough return in it. Fair enough. So here we are on Smashwords, hoping that it’ll sell at least enough to keep me in coffee money.
In truth I've now made it free so ... anybody care to take me out for coffee?
Published 2016-09-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

"Up From Unda" - Up & The House of :-/
Price: Free! Words: 3,490. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Christian » General
Up - the little flightless weka - likes to visit his human friends on the remote southern isle of Rakiura. However they can’t figure out each other’s language, so there is always an adventure to had in the misunderstanding. Children 8 to 10. In Book 5, Up tries to look after the sick and becomes an accidental fashion stylist. His efforts might just lead to an international online career!
"Up From Unda" - Up & The Very Brainy Day
Price: Free! Words: 4,010. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Christian » General
Up - the little flightless weka - likes to visit his human friends on the remote southern isle of Rakiura. However they can’t figure out each other’s language, so there is always an adventure to had in the misunderstanding. Children 8 to 10. In Book 4 of the series, Up has a most discombobulating interaction with music. Is it an issue of mind over matter? What are the chances of sweet harmony?
"Up From Unda" - Up & The Xmas Alien
Price: Free! Words: 4,050. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Christian » General
Up - the little flightless weka - likes to visit his human friends on the remote southern isle of Rakiura. However they can’t figure out each other’s language, so there is always an adventure to had in the misunderstanding. Children 8 to 10 In Book 3 of the series, Up restores the sparkle to Xmas at the Christian Allsorts Church. But nearly spoils his own!
"Up From Unda" - Up & The Great Magician Moon
Price: Free! Words: 4,050. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Christian » Short stories
Up - the little flightless weka - likes to visit his human friends on the remote southern isle of Rakiura. However they can’t figure out each other’s language, so there is always an adventure to had in the misunderstanding. In Book 2 of the series, Up gets caught up in some very devilish dangers. Will she be able to save the fair maiden? The result is pure magic!
"Up From Unda" - Up & The Rev. Dyson
Price: Free! Words: 3,570. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Christian » General
Up - the little flightless weka - likes to visit his human friends on the remote southern isle of Rakiura. However they can’t figure out each other’s language, so there is always an adventure to had in the misunderstanding. In Book 1 of a five part series: Up makes his very first human acquaintances - the Reverend Dyson and her husband Skipper John. But will they all become friends?
Making It Home
Price: Free! Words: 49,120. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
A madcap adventure for teens. On Earth, Sam struggles to come to terms with a whole new family experience. While, on the dying desert planet URF, a banished alien child crash-lands on a beach where a mum with memory issues has gone walk about. Fortunately, with the help of odd new friends, a lot of peculiar imagination, and a weird bunch of bits-n-bobs-beings, they all are soon “Making It Home”.
An Angel At My Stable
Series: The Fallen, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 6,520. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
A second short story sequel to The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea. Jamie flies north to join Jude & Su for Xmas, gets injured in a storm and takes refuge in Christchurch’s Cathedral Of The Blessed Sacrament. A little girl with an angelic nature convinces him to take part in the Xmas nativity.
Balls (September 1981)
Series: The Fallen, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 7,160. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
A short story, complimentary to The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea, based on actual events, set two years later. Jude and Su have got embroiled in violent civil conflict that threatens to tear New Zealand-Aotearoa apart. Of course NZ being NZ it could only be about Rugby!
The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
Series: The Fallen, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 65,610. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: August 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Gay & Lesbian, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
A queer romantic fable for young adults (and the young at heart) - love, life, and history never looked quite like this before. "So your life sucks. Couldn't be suckier if you tried. Falling in love with the most hated and feared figure of all time isn't going to make it any better. So he brought you back from the dead. Just say thanks. And move on. Very quickly. Please?"