It is my pleasure to have a guest post by author Rory B. Mackay, who answers the question...
What scares you the most or makes you the happiest about writing?
RBM: I've known most of my life that I wanted to be a writer. I knew I had stories, characters and worlds inside my head that I wanted to be able to bring to life and share with the world. As a kid, my first love was comic books and I used to write, draw and compile my own comics throughout my childhood. This was the start of my writing career, I guess! I don't even know why I did it. Somehow, to create and tell stories was as natural to me as breathing.
I don't know if writing makes me happy as much as it's simply something I have to do. If I stop too long between novels I start to experience an itch—a burning desire to write more—and it only gets worse until I finally scratch it. It can be a long, hard slog at times; and it can be a lonely endeavor too. Maybe one day I'll find another writer to collaborate with, but for now it's an entirely solitary effort; a process of excavation in which I'm digging deep into my own mind and transcribing what I see, hear and visualize into words on a screen. There's no one there to hold my hand as I'm doing it, because no one gets to read anything I write until it's gone through successive and often countless drafts.
The hardest thing with writing is to simply keep persevering; to keep churning out words in the hope they will form something worthwhile and something that people will enjoy. Writers often struggle with immense, and at times almost crippling, self-doubt. I used to think I was alone in that respect, but I'm certainly not! To write and to continue writing requires not just an incredible investment of time and energy, but also continual leaps of faith. I've had to learn to trust my vision, my abilities and my skills. Some days writing can be effortless, and then there are the days when it's a struggle to get out any words at all. Such days usually require extra coffee (I'm very fond of amaretto coffee at the moment), and cutting myself a little slack. While sometimes it's necessary to crack the whip, on the days when I'm struggling to get into the flow, it's usually counterproductive to beat myself up.
I'm very much inspired by Taoist philosophy and know that everything in life has its own ebb and flow. You can't try to force the tide; you can only get yourself into the right position to take advantage of the next wave. Sometimes I experience self-doubt so terrible that I never want to write again. I convince myself that my books and terrible and no one will ever want to read them. During the writing of both my novels, The Key of Alanar, and my debut novel Eladria, I got to a point where I was ready to bin them! I'm glad I didn't though, because both have received such wonderful feedback from readers. If I'd killed those books I'd have killed a little part of myself.
Writing has taught me the art of patience and perseverance—both essential skills for life. A writer's journey isn't always an easy one (we just make it look like it is!). But it's one we must undertake, because, quite simply, it is our nature. It's my nature to tell stories, to share the visions in my head and the ideas and reflections in my heart. I've tried quitting writing before and it just made me feel utterly miserable. I realized that, if nothing else, I had to at least do it for myself. For me, to quit writing would be like trying to quit breathing.
My latest novel, The Key of Alanar, took me the best part of two decades from inception to publication. It's been with me the majority of my life—my own private little world. Now it's finally time to share it with the world and it's the most exciting, terrifying and gratifying feeling in the world. To create is to be almost godlike in a way! As a writer I strive to create works that benefit and enhance the world in some way; stories that I feel need to be told and ideas that need to be shared. Being able to share my heart with the world in this way is such an amazing thing and reinforces why I am a writer—and why I will probably always be a writer.
by Rory B. Mackay
GENRE: Fantasy / Science Fiction
Lasandria. An ancient, advanced civilization, consigned to oblivion by the greed and power lust of its own people. The coming apocalypse heralds a new evil that will ravage the world of Alanar for an entire age. Yet on the eve of Lasandria’s destruction, the ethereal overseers of the mortal realm grant a dispensation—a promise of hope for the future.
That hope lies with an orphaned teenager named David, born some ten millennia later; a boy whose isolated and uncertain existence leads him on a journey upon which hinges the fate of not just his world, but countless others.
On the run from a brutal military force, David’s quest is one born of shattered dreams and tainted by the thirst for revenge. As an inter-dimensional war that has been waged since the beginning of time threatens to consume his world, the dark force that destroyed Lasandria lurks in the shadows, ready to take possession of the one thing that will either save Alanar or destroy it — David.
Although no stranger to death, his own mortality was something David had never given much thought. In spite of all the peril he had faced along his path, he was still only a teenager and had always assumed that his entire life lay ahead of him. With the end now in sight, he was shaken free of this complacency and the thought of his own impending death elicited within him a potent fear.
Yet surely just one life, his life, was a small price to pay for saving his world. If he refused to accept his fate and carry out this task, he’d be dead anyway, along with everyone else; for Alanar would long since have ceased to exist. He wouldn’t let his fear blind him to the path of his destiny. This was his entire reason for existing. He now had a purpose and he would do whatever it took to save his world. He looked up at Balaska and nodded. “Very well. If this is the way it’s to be, then I accept my fate.”
“We are all part of a symphony of existence, each of us with our own unique note to sound,” Balaska said. “Some are subtle and barely heard, while others are louder and more pronounced. And some—some are of such power that they echo throughout eternity.”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A natural born writer, thinker and dreamer, Rory Mackay was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1979. Since then he has lived most of his life in the North East of Scotland, a place he finds scenic and inspiring, if a tad cold. With a lifelong passion for creative writing and art, Rory knew from a young age that he had stories to tell and adventures to share. As he grew up and became interested in philosophy and metaphysics, he came to realize the potential of literature and art as a means of sharing ideas, posing questions and exploring the nature of reality in a way that is accessible yet compelling and challenging.
Rory is also an animal and nature lover, music junkie, social and environmental activist, cake enthusiast and generally rather chilled out guy. He sells his art online and writes blogs on creativity, writing, philosophy, spirituality and whatever else inspires him. He has written his own commentary on the classic Chinese text, the Tao Te Ching and is planning a self-help book as well as a new series of fantasy books called The Dreamlight Fugitives. ¬
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