About Paul McCracken:
My name is Paul McCracken, I am 30 and a novelist from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
I write in the crime fiction genre where I use my native Northern Ireland as the setting for all of my books.
I got into writing after initially writing spec screenplays. One of these screenplays got me to the quarter-finals of a competition being ran out of L.A. This was a very big deal to me and it made me think that I had something.
After years of trying to find a way into the film industry with no real breakthrough, I turned to writing novels as a way to get my stories in front of people.
I self published my debut novel, Layla's Song in 2018.
In 2020, I secured two different publishers for my next two books.
In Feb 2021, I finished what will be my forth book and I am currently submitting it to publishers.
What inspires you to write?
I'm inspired by a lot of things. I have a very heavy influence from films and books. I am also heavily influenced by music. I have even written large sections of some of my books to a certain song, using it kind of like the trailer music in my head if the book was ever to be visually realized as a film.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Tell us about your writing process.
I have tried every method, it really depends on the book.
The one I enjoy most is just making it up as it comes along. I would make side notes along the way as to remember key points or even descriptions (nothing more embarrassing that having a character changing hair colour halfway through the story).
With another book, I outlined the entire story, which kind of made it anti-climatic when writing because it was a matter of hitting key beats so as the author, it made it less interesting to write.
On my second book, I wrote it like a jigsaw puzzle, kind of like the film Memento. I wrote blocks of the story that came to me no matter where it was in the narrative. I could've wrote the first chapter then skipped ahead to a key scene I had in mind towards the end. This is definately a method I won't be trying again anytime soon. It was great at getting content created and bumping the word count up quickly, but piecing it and bridging the pieces together was a bit of a nightmare, especially when trying to maintain the flow of the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try my best to get an understanding of their mindset. What their moral compass is like and what actions or decisions define them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don't change your style or material for anyone. Even if it means impressing an agent or publisher, stick to your guns.
It's a long road to get anywhere in this space so keep the patience and keep the drive you had when you started.
It's also important to note that even professionals in the field can give bad advice, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Lastly, embrace constructive criticism. Embrace bad reviews and know they are coming. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, take them onboard and use them to grow as a writer, incorporating the useful and discarding the rest.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published my debut novel, Layla's Song after my first ever agent/publisher deal fell through.
For my second and third novels, I managed to secure two different publishers. The first of these books, Where Crows Land, is out now, published by The Conrad Press. The second, The Last Rains Of Winter, is coming out soon, published by PM Books.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Everything is rapidly changing and it seems that it's getting even more competitive to stand out. Anyone can now use self-publishing services to publish a book and the marketplace is becoming quite flooded.
I think that traditional publishing contracts may become a thing of the past as advances have. With the continued rise of these 'Hybrid' contracts being offered by some publishers.
What genres do you write?: Crime Fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
Paul McCracken Home Page Link
Link To Paul McCracken Page On Amazon
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.