Thursday, April 19, 2012

Questionable TAG! - Matthew MacNish

Quality Queries Question Quintessentially

This TAG is exciting for me, I don't know why exactly-other than I enjoy his blog and was excited when I stumbled upon it. Oh and I was excited that he agreed to be one of my TAG victims participants.

Many of you know Matthew (Matt) MacNish from his wonderful blog, The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. I don't know him personally, but I found his blog a few months back and have been following ever since. He's awesome :D You can read some of his short stories, here. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook. If you haven't visited his blog, go now...well, after you read this post. :)

1. When did you start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, well, at least ever since I learned how, but I did not really start pursuing writing as a career until about 4 years ago.

2. What made you want to write?
I wanted to tell stories. To make people enjoy reading a story as much as I did.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
See above. But to give more detail, I always kind of wanted to write a novel, but actually gave up on writing for over a decade in my twenties, because life just got in the way. Then, I had a great idea for a novel, one that finally felt worth dedicating my time to, and I just got started.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Everything. The only novels I’ve written would all be sold as YA (Young Adult) but that’s not really a label I believe in. My short fiction has been published as Fantasy, Literary, Horror, and pretty much everything.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
Well, I just write the stories that come to me, but when I write novels (or manuscripts intended to become novels) I write about young people, because that was when everything exciting happened to me in my life – when I was young.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Not anymore. I used to have to be at my desk, at work, in the early morning hours. But then I got promoted a few times, and I no longer have that freedom. Now I write wherever and whenever I can.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
Unless it’s for something very short, I can’t even begin writing if I don’t have at least a loose outline telling me where I’m going.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
I generally prefer a glass of nice Highland Single Malt Scotch, and a beer, but neither is required.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Lord no. My handwriting is illegible.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
Two novels, and countless short fiction. You can find the short fiction that has been published, on (this page), on my blog.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
No, because I don’t tell anyone about it who actually knows me.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
Yes, I have the blog, and I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Show don’t tell. I know what people really mean, and I get it, but most rules are just guidelines. Just write a great story, and realize it will have to include some telling.

14. Where did you come up with your blog title: The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment?
The QQQE is an alliterative play on the fact that my blog started as a place where I would share examples of the query mistakes I made in the beginning, in the hopes that others could learn from them.

15. What goes on at your uniquely named blog?
Lots of things. Mostly it's my own random thoughts on life, style, reading, writing, books, films, music, and entertainment, but there's a good helping of advice when it comes to getting published. Like query critiques, and examples of successful queries.

16. What is the longest book you've read?
I've read War and Peace, but if you research Tolkien, you'll find that he intended The Lord of the Rings to be a single book, originally, and since he's my all time favorite author, I count LOTR.

17. A favorite quote that starts with a Q?
No idea. Are there any? Here's one I like, but I had to look it up: Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. - Thomas Jefferson

18. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I have a day job. I’m a dad. I collect vinyl. I walk my dog.

19. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
Read, write, and critique. Read everything you can get your hands on, write whatever you feel like writing, and realize that you learn more about the craft by giving others feedback than anything else.


Matthew MacNish said...

This worked out very well. Thanks, Kela!

Kela McClelland said...

You're Quite welcome. Thanks again for doing it! :)

Carrie Monroe said...

Great interview. Matt's blog is so helpful.

Shannon Cyr said...

Matt is the sh*t. Great to see him getting some bloggerly love. Thanks for the interview, you two.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You collect vinyl? Want mine?

Joe Lunievicz said...

Great interview. Every time I hear show don't tell I have to wonder exactly what does it mean. Somebody usually tells me.

Now I'm curious about the second novel...

Matthew MacNish said...

Alex - what kind of records are they? Are you paying for the shipping?

Joe - don't worry. You'll find out soon.

Eric W. Trant said...

Thank you Baby Jesus, I'm not the only one!

"Show don’t tell. I know what people really mean, and I get it, but most rules are just guidelines. Just write a great story, and realize it will have to include some telling."

Gaiman said something like that, in an interview I read. Paraphrased, it was something along the lines of, "I tell the store the way it wants to be told."

Let us pray.

- Eric

Christina Lee said...

YAY, Matt, Woot WoooooT! <3 ya, bud. And hi Kela *waves* nice interview!!

Now tell me Matt, do you have to have the scotch and beer together? And if you double fist it, how the heck do you type? *snert* xoxo

Matthew MacNish said...

Eric - Amen, brother.

Christina - I actually can't afford Scotch all the time, so it's rare. Maybe every other weekend I have a glass or two. And I do have to have the beer back, because good Scotch really stings the tongue.

Jessica Salyer said...

Great job, Kela. Nice to get to know you a little better, Matthew.

Jemi Fraser said...

Matt is awesome! I love his blog and his wry sense of humour. :)

Totally agree with LotR and his line about feedback. That's so true - and it was a surprise to me when I discovered it! :)

Jean Oram said...

Matt, I agree--read and critique everything. It's amazing how that can improve your own abilities.

Kudos to you, Kela, for finding a 'Q' on your A to Z challenge AND blending it with your Tag series. Amazing!

I'm glad you are doing better.

P.S. I gave a little shout out to you on my blog--a little thanks for being a cheerleader while I talk about Giver's Gain. Thanks, Kela. You often surprise me with your kind shout outs.

Kela McClelland said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! And thanks again Matt for the interview :)