About Jesse McKinnell:
JESSE McKINNELL grew up in Massachusetts but has lived peacefully in Maine for many years. On July 4, 2015, he had a dream about a dentist with a passion for writing sitcoms. Somehow, DEAD CATS And Other Reflections on Parenthood was the result. It is his first novel.
What inspires you to write?
I have things that I want to say and for me, writing is the best form of self-expression. The process of putting together characters and personalities and worlds is really fun for me.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am not a big outliner. I start with a concept, usually a character and an opening scene and I go from there. Every night before I close up the laptop I try to leave myself with an idea sketched out about where to go next. The beginning and the ends of books come to me pretty quickly and I fill in the rest as I go.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
A big emphasis for me is making sure that I don't get too precious with my characters. I hate it in books when authors get attached to their creations. I like my characters to come out at the end of the book bearing the scars of the story. I don't listen to what they want and if I did I would do the exact opposite.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After I finished the manuscript for Dead Cats and Other Reflections On Parenthood, I sought out a traditional publisher and was lucky enough to get an offer. After reading the contract and thinking it over I didn't see a lot of advantages to tying up my intellectual property with someone else for 5 years, so I started my own little imprint (Shine Box Publishing) and published my first novel through it. I don't know if it was the right decision yet. Now that I'm responsible for all of the marketing of Dead Cats while working on two other manuscripts and polishing a couple of short stories, it has become a lot to handle. Technology has really democratized the process and put authors in control but sometimes it's nice to have a team behind you. It's a tough decision.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I'm a total neophyte. I don't own a kindle or read books on an app. or anything. I like the feel of a paperback book. I like to carry them around and dog ear the pages. I like stacking them up in my house and looking at them, so if the future of publishing is going to be digital, then it is lost on me a bit. For what it's worth, Dead Cats is selling better on paperback than it is on kindle. Amazon has a lot of really impressive tools that makes it relatively easy and fast to publish. But I worry that they have become this all-encompassing global eating machine, like a digital War-Mart. I hope there is still a place for independent regional book stores. Is there anything better than going into a musty old shop, flipping through the employees picks list and nerding out with someone behind the register about Kurt Vonnegut?
What genres do you write?: Dark comedy, literary fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Jesse McKinnell Home Page Link
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.