Author Interview: Al Macy

Hi bookies (you bookworms),

As we finish a good book and turn to that last page with a satisfied sigh, a lot of times we begin to wonder how the story would continue. How did the characters live after the previously mentioned events? We begin to think: I wish the author had told us more about this or that. And as a result, we wish we could talk to the author and make those suggestions or ask him/her those questions.

Well, I’m happy to announce we got that chance. We have secured an author interview for those that want to get to know Al Macy a bit better. This is the time you get to see what he’s thinking, working on, and know more about the how he thinks. Feel free to ask questions to the author below and you might get an answer! Enjoy!

Author Interview

hardcoverlover: First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. So far, I have only read one of your books: “Yesterday’s Thief”. Tell us a little bit about it.

AM: It’s a paranormal thriller involving a mind-reading detective (Eric) and a jewel thief (Viviana). Viviana traveled forward in time to escape the police. I’d like to tell you more about what happens, but that would spoil things for the readers.

hardcoverlover: How did you get the idea for this book?

AM: I asked myself the question: “What would happen if someone materialized in the middle of a televised baseball game?” That’s it. That’s the whole genesis of the book. Next, I figured out how that might happen, what might have caused that.

In the same way, my first novel, Contact Us, came from a similar question: “What would happen if everyone on Earth sneezed at exactly the same moment?”

hardcoverlover: Wow! That sounds so easy! Of course, getting an idea and making a story out of it must be really different. You must put a lot of work into it, I’m sure. But, how did you come up with the title?

AM: In the past I’ve come up with titles on my own, just thinking about possibilities until one caught my fancy. Bad idea. Now, I come up with fifty or more ideas, and then present them in a forum filled with authors (kboards.com). The authors make comments and vote on which title they think is best.

My original title idea for Yesterday’s Thief was The Lady Unvanishes. I actually liked that title, but it’s derived from a Hitchcock movie that came out in the thirties! Yesterday’s Thief is more fun.

hardcoverlover: Yes, I think so too. Would you like to tell us about your upcoming book?

AM: I’m ninety-percent done writing The Universe Next Door. In it, Jake Corby, the main character in Contact Us and The Antiterrorist, is transported to a parallel universe with his dog and his eighty-three-year-old grandmother-in-law.

The grandmother was a mid-level character in Contact Us, but so many readers told me she was their favorite character that I had to give her a prominent role in the next book.

Here’s the first draft of the blurb:

Jake Corby is recovering from his last mission, enjoying life with his new family, when he’s sucked into a parallel universe with nothing but his clothes, his dog, and his eighty-three-year-old grandmother-in-law.
On this version of Earth, the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct and the world is ruled by a spacefaring civilization of dinobirds. If Jake wants to return home, he’ll need to not only survive but locate the rulers of Earth so they can send him back.
Worse, Corby learns that a universe collision is imminent. Unless he can adapt to his new reality and work with the dinobirds to ward off that danger, his universe, as well as countless others, will cease to exist.

But I’ve been really bad. I’ve started work on another book even though I’m not done with The Universe Next Door. This next one will be another Eric Beckman book (the main character in Yesterday’s Thief). Eric, the mind-reading detective, will go undercover in an insane asylum. I’m excited about it, but I can’t tell you more!

hardcoverlover: Sounds really interesting! Now, about your writing process: how long does it take you to write a book?

AM: It took me 4.5 months to write Yesterday’s Thief. This graph shows my progress (number of words written versus time):

Al Macy progress chart

I tried writing The Universe Next Door faster, but it’s not working out that way.

hardcoverlover: How do you name your characters?

AM: I use a tool that’s part of Scrivener, the novel-writing software I use. Here’s the dialog box:

Al Macy Scrivener namer.png

hardcoverlover: Hmm. That’s pretty interesting. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

AM: Outline all the way. Scrivener makes it easy. Here’s what things look like, outlined in Scrivener:

Al Macy scrivener outline.png

I’d show you the whole thing, and with text that’s actually big enough to read, but that would give too much away.

hardcoverlover: Dang it. I guess we will just have to wait for the next book! Sounds like this Scrivener is a pretty important tool. I think you have given aspiring authors a good idea of how to organize their stories. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

AM: I proofread my first several books by myself, but now I outsource it. I had to read a book six times to find all the errors. Aargh! It’s better to spend that time writing my next book. So now, I have a great editor who does that for me (Julie at FreeRangeEditorial.com).

hardcoverlover: Where do you write? Is your workspace the definition of “neat freak” or do you prefer to keep a “controlled chaos” atmosphere?

AM: I’ve got a relatively neat rolltop desk in my living room. It has a great view of the forest, and I’m heated from behind by our woodstove. This is what it looks like (but it’s rarely that neat):

Al Macy workspace.png

hardcoverlover: Ooh, looks cozy! How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

AM: I’ve written three novels and two nonfiction books. By the way, if your readers are so infatuated with me that they have to have more, more, more, my book Drive, Ride, Repeat is free on Amazon.

Yesterday’s Thief is my favorite so far.

hardcoverlover: Well, Mr. Macy, we really do appreciate the work you do and especially the time that you took to answer our questions despite your busy schedule. We look forward to your future books.

For more information on Al Macy, see his bio here or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Review: Yesterday’s Thief

Hi bookies (you raving book lovers),

I know that you’ve probably been waiting for the next book to check out, right? Or maybe you have been enjoying a good book yourself and want to read some more. Either way, I am happy to present this new review on Al Macy’s “Yesterday’s Thief”. Here are the basics:

Title: Yesterday’s Thief
Author: Al Macy
Genre: Sci-fi, Mystery

Now the blurb:

It’s the year 2020, and Eric Beckman is a mind-reading detective.
Although he reads only the conscious thoughts of the people he interviews, it usually gives him enough of an edge to overcome his inexperience as a PI. But mind reading is hell on relationships. Trusting comes hard when you know what people are really thinking.
The case of his life lands in his lap when a beautiful woman materializes during a televised baseball game. She floats in midair, then drops to the ground, comatose.
Beckman is at her bedside when she wakes up. From the moment she opens her eyes, she has him under her spell. He vows to figure out where—or when—she came from, even if it kills him.
The stakes increase when she disappears without a trace. Worse, she holds the key to a worldwide energy catastrophe. If Beckman can’t find her and unlock her secrets, economies will collapse, and the world will spiral down into chaos.

Let’s do things a little differently this time. First of all, my rating for this book is 3/5 stars. It is an good book to pass the time, but nothing I will be raving about or dying to read. It’s just kind of a “Meh” book.

shrug

Why? Well, let’s get into that.

The good: The author does a really good job for the introduction. He gets straight to telling the story. It just so happens that this beginning is very unique. A mysterious woman just appears out of thin air in the middle of a broadcasted baseball game… Yeah, definitely not your usual beginning. So you immediately want to know more, of course. You meet your main characters and get a brief description of the main characters and co. Our main character, the mind-reading private investigator, has all the right connections/friends to meet the mysterious woman as she is in a temporary coma.

I’ll be honest. At first I had big hopes for these interesting characters. I mean, mind-reading powers? Awesome! Mysterious woman materializes out of thin air? Great! You later find out she time traveled- yet another topic I am fascinated by. Everything seems to point towards a great story developing. Even the cover and blurb sound/ look professional and cool! Unfortunately, that’s where the bad starts to kick in.

Maybe one of the things I was most disappointed by was the lack of character development. I mean, you can do so much for this story just by giving a little bit of backstory. How did Eric get his powers? Since when has he had these powers? It is hinted at that he has had it for some time. How did he first feel when he discovered them? How did he discover it? As for Viviana, our second main character, what was her childhood like? How did it feel living with a genius? When did she develop her knack for burglary skills. How did she justify it?

As for the world building, it’s decent but things like the world situation and struggle with energy and economic problems can be explained more. The society is futuristic but we are not given too much in regards to the societal advancements. There is a romantic relationship, unfortunately, it’s my least favorite kind: the insta-love kind. There is a physical attraction between the two characters involved and that’s basically it. They throw all sense and reason to the wind and “trust” each other that easily. It kind of feels like they are just lonely and desperate for some type company.

Now, despite these shortcomings, the story is decent. It doesn’t go the way you expect. There are quite a few twists that throw you off and keep the story interesting, enough to keep you interested. Think mind-reading, learning languages, natural disasters, burglary adventures, manhunts, romance, an “evil genius”, and life-threatening wounds. Plenty to keep a fast-paced story running. Would I read this again? Probably not. Once is enough. And if I had known before hand what it would be like, I would probably just save it for a rainy day, when I have no other reading material, but feel like relaxing with a casual book.

What do you think about this book, readers? Do you think that you would read it? Does the blurb convince you? What would you want to know about our main characters? Hope you enjoyed this review!