Friday, 21 October 2016


Mike McCrary, author of the recently enjoyed Genuinely Dangerous was the latest to submit to a gentle inquisition.

Over at his website - his bio gives up the following detail......

Mike is a screenwriter and the author of Remo Went Rogue, Getting Ugly and Genuinely Dangerous. His shorter work has appeared in ThugLit, All Due Respect, Dark Corners, Shotgun Honey and Out of the Gutter.

He's been a waiter, a securities trader, dishwasher, bartender, investment analyst and an unpaid Hollywood intern.

He has quit corporate America, come back, been fired, been promoted, been fired again. Currently, he writes stories about questionable people who make questionable decisions.

Genuinely Dangerous was on the blog yesterday - here.
A few thoughts on Getting Ugly appeared here.

What’s been the most satisfying moment of your writing career so far?

Yeah, “satisfying” is not a word I’d use to describe the writing career. Painful, soul-crushing, long nights crying in the bathtub would probably be a closer description.  In all seriousness, it’s when someone likes your stuff, right? When I see a good review with some kind words or I get an email from a stranger telling they dig what I wrote, that’s pretty damn cool.

What’s your typical (book) writing schedule? 

When I’m really into something (like I am now) I write pretty early in the morning. Like really early in the morning. There’s no distractions and I can rip through a 1,000 plus words in a pretty short amount of time. I try to think of a book in blocks of a 1,000 words. That makes it easier to digest and less terrifying than thinking about hitting a 60-70k mark.

Do you insert family, friends, and colleagues into your characters?

Try not to, but I think it’s unavoidable. At the very least I try to avoid inserting people that I see all the time or people that are currently in my life. I might drop in some asshole that I knew from high school or some shit-stain that I used to work with, but I try to keep clear of using anything that can be easily detected. Never want that uncomfortable conversation over the holidays or at a bar. Of course some people want you to put them in a book and I’m always thinking, “Have you read my stuff? Do you really want me to dump you into the middle of that?” People love punishment I guess.

How long did Genuinely Dangerous take from conception to completion?

That’s hard to say, because Genuinely Dangerous really took on pieces of ideas that I’ve been screwing around with for years. Some stray thoughts that didn’t have a home until I put them together for this one.  I’d say once I put the idea together it probably took about 8-10 weeks to get a good first draft and then another 4-6 to get the final draft to the editors. Not too bad, I guess.

Are you a plotter, or do you make it up as you go along?

A little of both. I usually put together a short outline, more of a beat sheet of quick bullet points with the story broken down in 3 acts. That process is a holdover from screenwriting. Each of those beats will be a bullet point of a sentence or two max. Then as I get into the thing I might get halfway through the beat sheet and then decide that the rest of what I mapped out is complete bullshit and then just wing it as I go along. I think you have to at least have something planned before you start writing. If nothing else I think you’ve got to have a general plot idea and/or the main character. I don’t know how you sit down to write a full-blown novel without knowing those things.

Are there any subjects off limits?

That’s great question. I don’t think that there are, but I will say if you want to sell a lot of books then you have to think about that kind of stuff. Like it or not there some ideas that sell better than others. Of course as I’m saying that I realize that dino-erotica is selling like crazy — so forget what I just said. No, there are no subjects that are off limits.

Any unpublished gems in your bottom drawer?

No. A few unsold scripts that I might rework at some point, but no books hanging around that I’m holding onto.

Genuinely Dangerous, Getting Ugly and Remo Went Rogue are your three published works to date. Is there one of your books you’re more proud of that any of the others? Which and why?

I’m proud of all of them. They are all different in their own way, even though Remo makes a brief appearance in Genuinely Dangerous. I’ll go with Genuinely Dangerous though. It’s always your last thing, right?  It’s the book I set out to write and I was able to work through some demons as far as some of my past failures in Hollywood, plus it’s the first time I tried to write in first person and also the first time I feel I’ve written a full, big boy novel coming in at 70k + words. Not to mention it was so damn fun to write.

Who do you read and enjoy?

I read all kinds but the big ones that have influenced me the most are Chuck Palahniuk, Duane Swierczynski, Don Winslow, Charlie Huston, Victor Gischler and Johnny Shaw. There are others, of course, but I keep going back to those.

Is there any one book you wish you had written?

I’ll give you two — Big Maria by Johnny Shaw and Severance Package by Swierczynski.

What’s the current project in progress? How’s it going?

Got a new pulpy, action thriller thing I’m knee-deep in right now and I’m having a blast writing it. Its kind of a mix between Remo and Genuinely Dangerous as far as tone and style and I can’t wait to unleash it on the world. I hope to have a first draft done in a few weeks and have a final draft not long after that, but who knows. Things get fucked up all the time.

Many thanks to Mike for his time.

Catch him on Twitter - @mcmccrary and on Facebook - here.


  1. Great interview, for which thanks, both. What an interesting background! And I know all about ideas that sell better than others...

    1. Cheers Margot. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm always interested in seeing the various responses from authors about their writing process and the way they go about things. How's the dino-erotica WIP coming along?

  2. "Painful, soul-crushing, long nights crying in the bathtub..." That's pretty much how I'd describe writing, Col. And then, to actually write and publish books must be a wonderful feeling, no doubt. Thanks for the interview with Mike McCrary.

  3. That's a very entertaining interview - he's obviously an entertaining guy...