A.T. (Mac) McTavish recently released his new novel, After the Storm Was Over, in March 2018. We wanted to catch up with the author and find out how his life had changed since becoming a published author.
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
No! My career has been so varied that writing was not a priority. Mind you, I have always loved telling stories.
What was your first job?
Really? When I left school, I worked in a butchers shop as a 'trainee cutter'.
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I had the germ of the story which, for quite a long time, played on my mind. It seemed that I was dreaming more events and decided to write them all down. It was a friend who suggested I might try to get this story, and some of my other tales, published.
What was your life like before you became an author?
My life, like many others, was typically 'working class'. I had many different careers as life took different turns. The main thing was to earn a living and I turned my hand to many skills. Butcher, baker and candlestick maker! My early career was in transport and I enjoyed that. However, after an accident that damaged my back, I re-trained in computing and, eventually, taught the subject.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
Oh, many! In the early days, one could walk out of a job on Friday and get another on Monday. Later, of course, jobs became scarce and, more than once, I have known what it is like to be unemployed. Relationships have been difficult and I am a person who needs a companion. I've had three wives and am looking for number four...any volunteers?
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
Not much yet! I do expect it to though. In fact, I rather hope it does. I have several other stories that could soon be published. I would like to travel more, if only to research a couple of ideas I have.
Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
I am very lucky; I live in Spain in an old farmhouse that is miles from anywhere. My nearest neighbour is about a kilometre away and out of sight. Having said that, I have four other 'Finca's' close by but all are uninhabited.
At the moment we are not getting enough sun to keep the batteries charged and so, I normally have to start up the generator first thing. Once every three weeks, I top up the cisterna from the well. This provides everyday water for washing etc. Three times a week, we shop in the town about 20 kilometres away and, amongst other groceries, we buy drinking water in 5 litre bottles.
Other than that, I indulge my three passions:
I have written a piece of software for Podiatrists and I add to that as and when I have feature requests.
I have had several boxes with model trains in for years. For which I had every intention of constructing a 'layout' and haven't yet done so.
And, of course, I have a further two novels waiting to be finalised and sent to the publisher.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
Having my book accepted by Pegasus. I never thought it would happen!
In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
I have to say that they have been really helpful considering my own inexperience. They have guided me through the process and made the whole experience easy.
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