Megan Mackie is a writer, actor, podcaster and playwright. When she isn't knitting, playing Pathfinder or games involving dice, Mackie likes to write riveting books. Her latest, The Finder of the Lucky Devil, is an interesting mix of urban fantasy, hypertech, magic and a lot of unexpected twists. As our Author of the Day, Mackie tells us all about it.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Finder of the Lucky Devil is about
The story is set in an alternate Chicago where magic and technology are in competition with each other. We follow Rune Leveau, she has a magical Talent for Finding things. She meets a cybernetically altered corporate spy who wants her to help him find a wanted criminal called Anna Masterson. The problem is... she is is Anna Masterson. And he’s not taking no for an answer.
Tell us more about Rune Leveau - what makes her so special?
She’s a survivor without losing what makes her funny and likeable. She also is dealing with tough issues and her arc is very much about her personal development. In a lot of ways, she is the story of a young adult learning how to be simply an adult. Not so much a coming age as coming into her own.
Why did you pick an alternate Chicago as the backdrop for your book/ And in which way is this one different from the Chicago we know?
There was another series that will remain unnamed, that uses Chicago as it’s backdrop and it’s accuracy is definitely tourist level. I wanted to represent Chicago well, not just the big Google search stuff, but the smaller details that only those who live here know about. I had a lot of fun doing it.
Did you know from the start that you were going to make this into a series?
Well, I actually wrote a scene of this story based off of a dream first. Then I tried to write the book that justified that scene. After I finished that book I got some feedback that it seemed like these characters had known each other awhile, so finally I wrote a first adventure. I’m now trying to write back to that scene.
You threw in quite a couple of unexpected twists - did you plan them out before you started writing or did some of them just "happen"?
Some of the twists are coming about because of where I know the story has go, others are because I love breaking expectations. Basic story tropes are sooooo fun to twist into something new.
Hypertech and magic - an interesting combination. Why did you include this mix in the book?
Well the Tolkien well has been tapped a long time, but the Shadowrun well not so much, and since I’ve played Shadowrun, I can’t say it’s not an influence. I figured if I was going to set my magic world in the modern setting and technology is currently going that super advanced direction in real life any way, it would be fun to and interesting to combine them.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am also an actor and podcaster. I have a podcast right now called the Princess Peach Conspiracy, which is about how all of the Super Mario Bros games are actually a conspiracy by Princess Peach to keep the war economy going. During the day, I am a clinical massage therapist, on the weekends I play pathfinder and in between that I knit.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively since you published your first book?
Oh yeah. I can tell my writing is continually getting better and managing all my creative projects is getting easier.
Was there anything in particular, an incident or something you read, that made you want to tackle this?
I am also a playwright and while I found writing plays easier, I always wanted to tackle writing stories and I was also getting frustrated because I just wasn’t finding a story I really wanted to read. So I wrote one. It all came together, my learning how to do arc, character developmental, and plot points from playwrighting and my constantly thinking about what I wanted to see in a book.
Which of your characters has been the most challenging to write for?
Currently, it’s Calvin. I am working on my second in the series and Calvin was definitely rough because I’m transitioning him from being a whinny thug to the King of the Faeries without losing what makes Calvin, Calvin was tougher than I thought he would be.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? Best time of the day to write, favorite writing spot etc.?
I seem to be able to write anywhere, whether on a bus or at work and sometimes it’s only a sentence at a time, sometimes it pages. I don’t seem to need to have a ritual or designated space to do it. I also write really fast.
Did you work against a deadline for this book? How hard was it to stick to it?
No deadline for the first book, but I’ve given myself the deadline of June for this second book so that it’ll be out for the anniversary of the first con I went to.
What are you working on right now?
The Saint of Liars, the second installment. I’m also starting production on season 3 of the Princess Peach Conspiracy
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My website is meganmackieauthor.com, you can find my on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My books are on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Applebooks