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
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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.
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