Meet the author: Mac Logan

Over the next few months, I'm going to do a series of interviews with authors that I know. I'm delighted that first up is Mac Logan. I met Mac at the first Crime Writers' Association lunch that I went to, earlier this year and he kindly agreed to be my first victim interview.
Picture of Mac Logan
Mac Logan

When did you first start writing?
As far back as I can remember. There are poems, songs and snippets going back to the early 1970's. I still have hand-written originals.

What made you start?
It's as natural as breathing to me. I simply do it. Blogging, ekphrasis (collaboration with other art forms), poetry, prose, novels, business books, it's all the same to me … I love the work.

What was the first full-length novel you ever wrote?
The Angels’ Share which metamorphosed into Angels Cut.
Is it the first book you got published or was it something else?
Yes, unless my thesis counts. My articles have been published in magazines and more recently in electronic media.

Do you have any regrets over choosing to be a writer?
A few … too few to mention (much).

If so, what are they?
Spending a lot of time alone; compensated, of course, by meeting and sharing with other writers.

What inspired you to write The Angel’s Share series?
My personal experience of corruption in government and business; I could rabbit on about big-C corruption (intentional and self-seeking) and wee-C corruption (unawarely supporting and working in corrupt cultures – but I won’t.

Think of a knight in slightly tarnished armour, a maiden who is tough yet still learning, loads of goblins, orcs, dragons and evil witches/warlocks and so on …
  • a young, innocent and highly capable woman (the future)
  • an older brother (the past/present) reaching out to rescue her
  • a scary journey where roles can mix, match, reverse and equalise (if they don’t die first)

Have you any direct experience that you draw on?
Obviously I can’t tell you everything or I’d have make sure your silence is guaranteed …

My experience includes sharp contact with naughty self-interested people and groups in big business and the public sector. Of course, not everyone is a bad person and there are many wonderful people in all walks of life. However, the banking crisis happened and remains for proper criminal investigation.

Don’t forget the endemic issues of procurement (for example at least £10bn on a failed records system for the NHS). We mustn’t forget the Type 45 Destroyer engines plus the ship-shortening stupidities, nor the allegations around the engines for our new aircraft carriers or the destruction of the newly re-fitted Nimrod early warning planes. Project failure continues and Parliament and their top public servants do nothing we can see. We mustn’t forget the huge pressures on whistle-blowers who must be loaded with courage (real or Dutch) to stand-up and be counted and, corrupting factors like the gravy trains beyond politics.

Rather than be cynical, I prefer hope. But, things won’t improve until the sleeping giant, AKA the British public wakes up and sorts out the political Corruption and self-interest (note the big C).

Had you always intended to write a series?
Early on it became a series. I'd reached 112K words (before my Editor – AKA Miss Whiplash, started scissoring my delightful (if irrelevant) prose. Don’t we writers love our beauties.

Or did you write one and everyone kept insisting on more?
One of my USA reviewers expresses it eloquently. “The story is engaging and I found it hard to put down once I began reading. The primary disappointment in the book is that it ends abruptly leaving you wanting the next book. While many authors create characters and stories that continue throughout entire series, they typically end each book in a manner that is a "stand alone" story. Logan doesn't do that with this book so you immediately want the next book. As a first novel it is clear that Logan is a storyteller that will engage readers as he develops both his style and his characters.”
I revised and lengthened Angels Cut in response. She received a copy of the new version earlier this year.
What are you working on at the moment?
A number of projects:

  • The Angels' Share series goes on with book 3, Devils Due.
  • Ankharran is an historic novel, with a Celtic focus, set in Roman times. It is 40% finished.
  • The Hole in the Wall is an older children’s fairy tale. It's languishing but remembered.

  • How to Sort Out People who Waste Your Time (including you). Is in pre-publishing.
  • I’m writing a book on Mentoring in collaboration with an expert from St Andrews University. It’s a lot of fun.
  • There’s an Organisation Development book on the stocks. With Change and Culture to follow.

  • I’m collaborating with a Scots artist, Pauline McGee, by writing poems in response to some of her paintings. She has begun interpreting poems of mine. We aspire to have a joint publication and hope to get the go ahead for a joint exhibition soon.

Audio Book
  • The audiobook of Angels Cut is in pursuit of a publication channel. The last retailer went bust not so long ago.

Script writing
  • I've tested the dialogue of the Angels Cut pilot script with two readers. There's nothing like hearing your words spoken aloud.

What will be the next book to be released? When can we expect to see it?
Devils Due, third of the Angels Share series, is on the way. The aim is to publish early 2017 at the latest; it’d be great to make December. Ms W is chasing me for the text.

If you had one piece of advice for a new writer, what would it be?
Be aware, criticism stings and rejection can hurt like a body blow. If you're not prepared to take such heat, try cooking.

Up for it? Take your time. Learn your craft. Have fun.

Many thanks to Mac for answering all my questions. You can find links to all of his books below. Next month I will be interviewing Frank Muir, author of the Andy Gilchrist series.