Bad Author Interviews Revisited and it’s…

the turn of
Robert McCarroll

What’s so great about your crap book?

than the fact that it’s my book?  Mad Science, Magic,
Aliens,Superheroes, and no cardboard cut-outs masquerading as main
characters.  Oh, and Masquerade.  Everyone loves Masquerade.

What do you really think about erotica?

As a writer or a reader?

Is it the low of the lows for writers?

No, that distinction belongs to those who ghostwrite for celebrity and/or politician ego projects.

Oooh, I’ve never thought of that group being at the bottom. But that’s what keeps the bricks and motor book stores afloat, I guess.

you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think
you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?

if I have had it professionally done? 

Then don’t answer the question, doh!

After all my re-writes, after
the editor was done, led to all the proofing error complaints.  I am so
error prone that I’ve had to hire yet another proofreader to deal with
the fallout from my fat fingers.

Yeah, been there, done that. Now I’ve leant you don’t get an editor until your typescript is perfect.

Yawn, so basically
you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and you’re the
Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I spend
time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?

I’m holding a puppy hostage, and bad things will happen if you don’t
read my book.  Or was I making an army of puppy bombers?  Let me check
my notes.

Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?

Not really.  I write to fill the gaps in my entertainment.  If there’s
someone providing that, I’d have no reason to write it.

So you write because there are no other books out there that you like? That’s a good reason to write, and probably means there’s a niche for your book.

Do you think you write better than them?

Yes, of course.  If they were better than me, I wouldn’t be writing.

Is your aim to out-sell them?

Who were we talking about again? 

The writers who inspire you. Keep up!

the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your
own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued
on-line, copied someone else’s idea?

I released an e-book before
it was ready, and ended up unpublishing it out of embarrassment.  It’s
not for sale anymore. To the five people who bought it, I’m sorry.


What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?

A lifetime of geekdom.

Top qualification, or so I’ve heard.

authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents
i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present)
and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep
your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?

I have to keep it at bay or I’d be sued for copyright and trademark infringement.  I don’t have that kind of money.

Must be difficult. Do you wear your cardigans and braces only after dark? 

I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of
acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the
meat of a story?

Acknowledgements, yes, praising the book, no.  Though you may want to be sure your sanity score is high enough.

What part of the world do you come from?

New York, the real New York, not that city that keeps impersonating New York and sending corrupt politicians to Albany.

What do you think of your government?
one? The corrupt state government, the inept federal government, the
totalitarian bureaucracy or the local yokels?  I guess I answered the
question then.

Don’t sit on the fence!

If your book is set outside England would I
understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT
backside, car hood is a car bonnet–everyone knows that, right? Are
British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?

It’s in America, where pants are trousers, not underwear.

Why that shitty title?

hit ‘save’ and it asked me to name the file.  I had to name it
something, so I named it after the Main character’s codename.  Then I
promptly went and changed the codename in story, making the title
obsolete before part 5.

Did you run out of ideas?

Yes, how could you tell?  I never found a real title to replace the working title.

you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you
were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask?
(answer it).

Would you vote Disestablishmentarian or Bull Moose?  Zombie Teddy for the win!

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)?

One year.  One month to write it, eleven to edit it.

it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does
that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim?

Pshaw.  It was written because I get fed up writing a serious take on
the Superhero Genre, so I wrote a light and fluffy embrasure of the
conventions.  Only I’d been writing Grimdark to sell to the Black
Library, and ‘Light and Fluffy’ turned into “First person narrator tried
to console abused child while the narrator is dying from being impaled
on a steel rod.”  Yeah… I missed the lighthearted romp target by a

If it took over a year to write: Does that mean this book is boringly long and laborious to read?

Not at all, it’s only 107,000 words.  Those 11 months were pure, unadulterated laziness.

Yeah right, I’m a writer too remember, so I know what it’s like. Those eleven months were full of pacing, tearing out hair, drinking, sitting bolt upright in bed with a sudden idea and waking your partner, punching walls, forgetting to eat, forgetting you have kids. My scenario: Child: ‘Mummy, what time’s dinner? I haven’t eaten in a week.’ Me: ‘Eh? Who are you and how did you get into my house?’

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?

have to have a computer, I have to be alone, and I have to have
background noise, preferably music, because anything with a plot will
distract me.

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and
‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you
think that has on a writer?

No, I’ve been labelled as a
crumudgeon, or cantakerous, because I only interact with people at my
day job.  I say ‘people’ but we’re more like drones.

What do you think of social media (pick one answer): 

  1. Somewhere to advertise my book.
  2. Somewhere to interact with other writers.
  3. Somewhere to find information.
  4. All of the above.

5. ***None of the above***

I find social media to be *redacted* and *expletive deleted**redacted* and a place where *redacted* *expletive deleted*

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?

You think those people are Normal?  They willingly associate with me
for crying out loud, how ‘Normal’ could they possibly be?

Guess not then. 

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. Bureaucracy.  I’d rather take a fist to the face than have to deal with
    the Bureau of Hero Affairs, but then I’d end up having to fill out one
    of the innumerable BHA forms.
  2. “He’s sixteen,” Torquespiral said, “Could you pitch a two million dollar project at that age?”
  3. After all, what would I do with myself?

Thanks, Robert, for being a brilliant amazing thrilling shit interviewee! 

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