This week I’m talking to Paul McCracken, a Belfast based author who pens gritty crime thrillers which have you turning the pages quicker than Mo Farah running a half marathon. I caught up with Paul to discuss his books, future writing plans and a host of other topics. Paul’s books can be found on your local Amazon site and his social media pages are listed at the bottom of this interview. Join me next week when I’ll be interviewing another top class indie author.
You’re a Belfast based author. How much does the city influence your writing?
A lot. All of my books have a heavy focus on Belfast. It’s where I grew up. I use locations that I think work well in a certain story setting as well as key scenes. Some are specific whilst others are not mentioned by name. There are a lot of places off the beaten track that I remember from my teens which are actually great locations for a story. The book I am writing at the moment takes one of these locations, an old abandoned animal testing lab. It is as creepy as it sounds, believe me, which is also why it is perfect for the story.
When did you start to write?
I was 20. I enrolled in a week-long film making course and from there I was encouraged to start writing screenplays. From screenplays, I finally fell into writing novels as a way of getting my work out there and seen.
What gave you the idea for ‘Where Crows Land?’
One sentence that entered my head when I tried coming up with a new story. ‘When was the last time you saw Sarah alive?’ I worked outwards from that sentence in order to create the story. To me, the story could’ve taken on many forms and it could’ve went in many different directions but the one I settled on was a disgraced detective seeking redemption for failing to solve a case the first time around. Something that not only haunts him, but cost him more than just his job.
How long did it take to write?
Just over a year. I was rewriting an old work in progress alongside this book before it became my main focus.
What other crime writers inspire you?
Dennis Lehane would be my main inspiration along with the likes of Thomas Harris, Richard Laymon and Karen Rose.
Have you ever experienced writers block?
For myself, I just had to realize that there is no perfect time to write and that I don’t need to be in a certain mood to make it happen. Sometimes overthinking and stressing about it caused it for me. I just let it all spill out and filter it afterwards.
Where is your favourite writing space?
Kitchen where I am close to food/coffee as well as the back door for a cigarette.
What other interests do you have outside of writing?
Art. Love art, drawing and painting but I never do it anymore really unless I’m doodling with my daughter. Plus I thought oil paints were expensive when I was in college, now they’re just ridiculous prices.
What’s next for you?
My next novel is coming out as a kindle very soon. It is called ‘The Last Rains Of Winter’, published by PM Books. It is a dark thriller following Jack Strauss, a man obsessed with a revenge that leads to some roads best not traveled.
Where can we find you on social media?