Mark Wayne McGinnis is a full-time author who comes from a film making background. He enjoys writing thrillers and Sci-fi with a military touch. As our author of the day, McGinnis tells us all about his latest book, Scrapyard Ship and gives us some insights in his writing process, along with a sneak peek into what readers can expect from him next.
Please give us a short introduction to what Scrapyard Ship is about.
Scrapyard ship is a fun romp that starts out with a Navy Lieutenant Commander who is in trouble and awaiting court-martial. As he sits upon his grandfather’s back porch – looking out the crowed scrapyard (where he grew up as a child) – he notices that something is very different than how he remembered things. When he and his young daughter, Mollie, investigate, they not only discover a small alien being – but an underground cavern as well. There they will first find The Lilly.
What inspired you to write about an advanced alien spacecraft, discovered in a scrapyard?
The story just came to me – like someone was transmitting me the story and I had to hurry just to keep up with the download.
Tell us more about Jason Reynolds. What makes him tick?
Captain Jason Reynolds is emotional and passionate. It gets him in trouble – with his relationships and with his, eventual, crew. But it also makes him wonderfully fun to read about. He gets himself in trouble way too often.
Your characters have a lot of human flaws. Why did you create them this way?
My characters are messy. They have baggage and don’t always play well with others. They also are deeply loyal to each other and I think people like that – want that for their own lives.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I started out writing movie scripts. It’s a fantastic way to learn about storytelling. You’re forced to show – not tell, when script writing. I co-wrote, co-produced, and directed a popular feature film called Openings – The Search For Harry, which get picked up by Gaiam TV several years back.
How does the next book in the series tie in with this one? Can they be read as standalones?
It was important for HAB 12 not to be a duplicate of Scrapyard Ship. So many SciFi writers today keep writing the same book over and over again within a series. HAB 12 takes place with the same characters but within a virtual habitat within the Lilly. It’s non-stop action and not everybody makes it out alive.
You describe the ship and its technology with a lot of detail. How did you pull this off?
Lots of research and pulling things out of my ... ear.
Why military sci-fi? What drew you to the genre?
Before writing Scrapyard Ship I was reading a ton of military science fiction. Ryk Brown, BV Larson ... the masters. They sold exceptionally well and I wanted to tap into that growing market.
Readers report that Scrapyard Ship is a page turner - how did you manage to keep an air of suspense throughout?
Here’s a secret. Even old-timer military folks get hooked into the romance between characters. I get more emails about Jason’s and Dira’s love life than anything else. Putting characters in jeopardy and their relationship in jeopardy was always important.
How did you go about creating the plot for the books? Did you plan it out before you started writing?
Nope. I rarely plot or outline my books. I wing it and hope for the best.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What does an average writing day look like for you?
I’m up at 4:30 am every morning. I write every day. I’m extremely disciplined about writing 1400 words a day and beat myself up if I don’t manage that. I ALWAYS listen to my pros via my Mac’s text to voice app ... make sure what I’ve written sound natural.
Can you give our readers a sneak peek into what to expect from you next?
Working on three books: Boy Gone, about an abducted little boy – who returns 16 years later to help save the population... CloudWalkers, a post-apocalyptic tale I can't talk about yet, and of course Ship Wrecked 2, the sequel to one of my most successful books ever.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
On my website: markwaynemcginnis.com or on my mark wayne mcginnis author’s amazon page. Would love to hear from fans of my SciFi stories!