Irish Horror Writers Month – An Interview with Brian McKinley
Brian McKinley doesn’t really exist. He’s a constructed mortal identity used by a relatively young Vampyr in order to publish the truth about The Order. Due to the world-wide influence of The Order and its minions, these accounts must all be published as fiction. Sometimes the names and sequence of events have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty, and to keep from getting sued.
Brian is no longer a typical Vampyr and, for this reason, lives in hiding and writes from a secret location. The real “Brian” lives a life of danger and excitement; he loves Star Trek, Game of Thrones, and gangster movies as much as he loves chicken fried steak. And he really loves chicken fried steak! He’s a reader, a role-player, and a dreamer. He’s lived many lifetimes and is eager to share as many of them as possible with his readers.
He’s the author of Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony and Drawing Dead: A Faolan O’Connor Novel which won the Author’s Talk About It 2016 Horror Novel Contest.
How and when did you start writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to put words together. I remember writing little tales to show my grandparents, but I started getting serious about it in high school.
Why write Horror?
I sort of fell backwards into horror because of my interest in vampires. I started writing screenplays for a “ground-breaking” vampire movie and, eventually, it became a novel. Then that novel inspired a world that I started to set other stories in.
What inspires you to write?
Fame and fortune, LOL! Seriously, it’s really my characters needing their stories told that push me to keep writing. My stories really begin and end with my characters.
Does being Irish inspire any part of your writing?
I like to think that I’m part of a great tradition of Irish writers like Stoker and LeFanu, but really I just like to tell a good story and keep a reader interested. It’s hard to tell. Most of my family is very typical Irish-American, blue collar, with its share of cops and social workers. Both of my main protagonists are Irish American like me, which I didn’t plan on originally, but it came out that way.
I think my heritage came out more in Drawing Dead with the character of Faolan O’Connor because I started looking into my family history a bit more for research. My grandfather was a police captain and had been an officer during the 20s and 30s, so I talked to him about the period. I wound up using a lot of his attitude in Faolan even though he walks the other side of the street.
What scares you?
I think probably a lot of the things that scare most people. Spiders, ghosts, dark spooky places, and the like. I use that as much as I can to write scenes that scare me when I need to. There’s a scene in my novel Drawing Dead involving spiders that I had to have a friend research and summarize for me because I couldn’t bear to look up the information I needed!
Who is your favorite author?
Probably Stephen King. While not all of his books are home runs, he has one of the most readable narrative styles I know and breathes life into his characters like no one else. Additionally, as a person, he’s so down-to-Earth despite his massive success. His book On Writing remains the best guide I’ve ever read. I’d like to think that I could do that too if given the chance.
What is your creative process like? What happens before you sit down to write?
Lots of silent suffering. I outline, I do research, I read for inspiration, and I generally put off the actual writing for as long as I possibly can.
Tell us about your current projects.
My current projects are both sequels: the second installment of Faolan O’Connor’s gangster adventures and the third book in The Hegemony series.
What have you written and where can our readers find it?
I have three novels currently. Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony, Ancient Enemies: A Novel of the Hegemony and Drawing Dead: A Faolan O’Connor novel. The links are below:
Drawing Dead Link: https://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Dead-Faolan-OConnor-Book-ebook/dp/B01KN27CPA/
Ancient Blood Link: https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Blood-Novel-Hegemony-Order-ebook/dp/B01ESK2NTS/