Interview with Mark McGinn

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Christchurch, NZ and that influenced my writing - not so much because childhood had an influence, happy though that was, but because my first full time job was as a clerk working in the courts. It was a great career path but little did I know it would result in writing about stuff I'd stored away in the dark recesses of my mind.
When did you first start writing?
I think this was in the summer of 2009 but the decision to write occurred the previous year as a result of a dinner conversation with a good friend about crime writers we enjoyed.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I did what many of us do and sought publishers and agents. Seeing 'my book' on book shelves certainly appealed to the ego. I soon found I'd entered the publishing world at an incredibly difficult time for publishers and agents. Their world of books was, and still is, changing around them. Many have become very risk averse in taking on new writers, almost to the point where deep down, they want assurances they've got a 'best seller' on their hands. I simply decided I wanted to spend more time writing than chasing and was prepared to take on the cost of contracting a good editor and cover designer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is entitled Greed. It's just been through the final edit and is set in Christchurch although the first murder occurs in Akaroa. It begins with the main character Sasha Stace, securing the acquittal of a sleezy MP on a rape charge. Readers will remember Sasha was herself raped in Best Served Cold. But she's disillusioned with criminal law and vows to retire. Then Ben Tyler, her former life partner who betrayed her in Trust No one, is arrested for the murder of his wife. This was the woman Sasha discovered Ben in bed with when they were going through a rocky time but still 'together'. She's not interested in taking the case until she finds out that Quilter Fyne, a grudge holding, ambitious and deceitful lawyer is prosecuting. Sasha already has law society misconduct proceedings against Fyne who wants to win at any cost, so we can expect fireworks in court. The book doesn't stop with the end of the trial - there's a high drama and high octane finish.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Plotting and dialogue. I find its 'playtime'. It's a bit self indulgent to entertain myself but when its going well that's an outcome for me. I believe if I can enjoy writing in that way, I will be able to entertain others.
What are you working on next?
Number 4. This will be another Sasha Stace story. I think we might see the return of Ben Tyler from books 1 and 2 and Clay Tempero from books 2 & 3. For readers who've read all three, they will understanding why those men are likely to cross swords.
Who are your favorite authors?
In the crime genre: Peter Temple, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, P D James. There are so many great authors. I'm now reading more NZ crime authors and recognise they are just as good as anyone else, particularly Neil Cross and Paul Cleave,
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
There is a bit of creative opportunity in my professional work as a human resource consultant. Just recently, I wrote some role-play briefs for a management selection process and performed as the difficult person to deal with. Some people say that the difficult person role comes too easy to me. Can't think why! But there's lots of business writing in my role and lots of working with people when I'm a facilitator of groups dealing with tough work issues.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
New authors are almost always word-of-mouth referrals from friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't know whether it was first but it was the first memorable one and that was 'The wind in the willows'. I loved the characterisation with the animals that Graham produced. Close on the heels of that would have been the famous five series.
How do you approach cover design?
Cautious optimism balanced with the sort of realism that says I wouldn't hire a plumber to wire my house. Cover design is every bit as skilful as writing the stuff behind it. I like to guide the designer with an idea or two.
Describe your desk
Where chaos and disorder are corralled into an L shape.
Published 2015-01-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Perfect Cover
Price: Free! Words: 6,030. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Missing out on a coveted promotion, Henry Peters has little to boast about and he feels his wife’s disappointment in him. One cool September morning in Christchurch, a 7.1 earthquake strikes Henry’s city, damaging his old work premises and trapping a young woman inside a basement. If he does the right thing, it’s a chance for Henry to shine. Or is it? Perfect Cover is a short story with a twist.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,550. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective
Lawyer, Clay Tempero's disorganisation has cost him his liberty and job. Even the good PI assignments have dried up. But when an old lawyer mate gives him a break, the client, charged with murdering her son, terminates his services on their first meeting. Dogged by poor family relationships, Clay's asked by a politician, believing the son to be alive, to stay on a case that just gets tougher.
Trust No one
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,670. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Sasha Stace QC represents an insurance company in a most unpopular defence: the company's refusal to pay the life cover to the widow of a popular and respected lawyer and philanthropist. But as the death toll mounts, this case is far from what it seems.
Best Served Cold
Price: Free! Words: 78,920. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Courtroom, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
In this legal thriller, Sasha Stace follows in the footsteps of a father she never knew, reluctantly becoming a Queen's Counsel and, like her father, unwittingly guiding the prosecution of a man that ends with disasterous consequences.