Tuesday, August 29, 2017

J Kyle McNeal Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you....

Hidden within a hemlock ‘fort’ on the side of a small mountain in North Carolina, I imagined vast new worlds and incredible adventures. I was a child then, but I’ve never stopped imagining. Now, I write about and share these worlds and adventures.
I’m a reformed engineer, a closet geek, a sports fanatic, and a very proud father.
Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
Fantasy—specifically epic fantasy—is my first passion. I’ve let the story arc for my Revisions to the Truth series (Birthrights, Broken Oaths, and two more to come) simmer in my head for a couple decades while I flavored it with life experiences and travels to over 40 countries. That said, I enjoy telling tales and write in a mix of genres and perspectives to keep my mind fresh.

When did you start writing?
I’ve dabbled in writing for most of my life, but with only the vague idea that I’d like to make it a career “some day” in the future. However, three years ago, after spending a decade establishing and running a factory in China, I decided to pursue my dream of writing full-time. During this period, I finished Birthrights (which I started in university), wrote Broken Oaths (the second book in the 4-book series), and penned a shorter Supernatural Suspense novel (while waiting for beta readers to review the Broken Oaths manuscript).

Why do you write?
We are all allowed a couple senseless choices in our lives, right? I mean, who wouldn’t walk away from a solid professional career to hole up alone a room and pound on a keyboard for long hours every day?

What would be your choice for a superpower?
I’d be grateful for any superpower—and be guaranteed to get myself in trouble using it. Forced to choose one, I suppose I’d select the ability to read minds—to understand the complex emotions that reside behind people’s words, expressions, and actions. Then, for once, I might win an argument with my wife. Or maybe not.

Who is your favorite author?
I owe debts to a great number of authors who’ve influenced both my perspective and my writing. When I consider an all-time favorite, though, George RR Martin takes a slight edge over Neil Gaiman. Though I’m not much a fan of his Conan books, Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) has surpassed Lord of the Rings as my favorite series—assuming he finishes the story in the next decade (and the HBO show doesn’t count).

What are you reading now?
I divide my reading into three categories — “audio”, “before sleep”, and “time to savor”. I listen to audio books while doing yard work and driving, and am currently nearing the end of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Before sleep, I’ve started reading short stories and am halfway through Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier. My favorite reading, though, is when I have the chance to sit down and enjoy some uninterrupted time with a novel. At the moment, I’m enjoying The Six-Gun Tarot during these periods.

Who is your favorite character to write?
Kakati, the heroine in Broken Oaths, is hands down my favorite. She’s the type of free-thinking, boundary-pushing, ass-kicking young woman I hope my daughter will one day identify with (though not necessarily emulate in every regard).

Do you have a writing process?
I’m most efficient when I outline each chapter and write from start to finish. I’m most creative when I bounce between chapters based on inspiration, ignoring the outline when the characters insist. I try to find a balance between the two, but it’s a constant give and take.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Be ever hungry for constructive feedback and avoid mistaking criticism of your work for criticism of you. Cultivating a group of fellow authors who will push you to address the weaknesses in your writing style and stories is invaluable.

What inspired you to pursue writing?
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write. The chance to create stories that give to others the enjoyment and inspiration I’ve received from reading books is a constant draw. And … being an author is more accessible than some of my other dreams—astronaut, superhero, pro athlete.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
The Last Kingdom and Game of Thrones are my two favorite series, but between writing I use sitcoms like palette cleansers. Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and Life In Pieces are my top choices.

What are your current projects?
I’m finishing the final edits for Broken Oaths, Book 2 in the Revisions to the Truth series and, at the same time, finalizing Jugdes by Jij (YA Paranormal Suspense) to send to beta readers.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
Should my writing interest you, I’d love for you to subscribe to my newsletter (available on www.jkylemcneal.com) so I can keep you updated on my projects as well as giveaways and sales.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Dogs! My eyes swell shut around cats.
Coffee or tea? Tea — bubble tea if possible.
Favorite food? Thai food — hot and spicy
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Plain vanilla, that’s me … ha!
What is something you never leave home without? Clothes (at least not recently)
Laptop or desktop? Laptop for sure … like to change up positions.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
1) JK Rowling
2) Neil Gaiman
3) Scarlett Johansson (shh, don’t tell Viki)
TV or Movies? Movies, though DVR’s have helped narrow the gap.

Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

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