This evening in the Library we have Kevin McManus, creator of the Ray Logue Mysteries, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into his life as an author.
You are very welcome, Kevin, please introduce yourself:
I am a crime fiction writer from Leitrim in Western Ireland. I graduated from Maynooth university in 1998 with an MA in History and a Higher Diploma in Education. I have worked as a secondary school teacher since then.
In 2016 I was awarded the Leonard Trophy for my writing and in 2017, my third novel: Under the Red Winter Sky was voted the best Crime Novel of the year and 5th best Indie published novel of the year out of 2000 nominated books.
I support Aston Villa FC and I love Classic Rock music from the 70s. I played Bass guitar in Rock Bands for over 20 years.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I started out as a kid reading comics, I had my head permanently stuck in Marvel and Sci-Fi magazines. Later as a teenager I graduated to fantasy and horror books by Robert E. Howard, Harry Harrison, Michael Moorcock and James Herbert. From there on to literary and crime fiction.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I am traditionally published with Sharpe Book.
Which genre do you write in and why?
I write in the crime fiction genre, it wasn’t a conscious decision. My first novel The Whole of the Moon, started out as standard literary fiction but it morphed into crime fiction. I continued that trend for my next three books.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
Jo Nebo, Dennis Lehane, Ken Bruen, Ian Rankin and George V. Higgins.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
Absolutely, all of my novels are set in Western Ireland. The storylines are shaped by the culture, music, weather, landscape, dialect and particular sense of black humour.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
Finding time to write. I am a full time school teacher. So I only really get time to write during school holidays. It can be difficult then just to turn on the tap and get yourself into writing mode.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
Evenings are best for me generally.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
Writing is really enjoyable when you get in the zone and everything starts to flow but getting started is difficult. The first four chapters are a chore after that it sort of takes off. Editing and rewrites get tedious after a while. You can only rewrite so many times but you eventually have to just let it go.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I only realised after I published my first book that you end up spending more time on social media trying to market yourself than you do writing. But It’s a necessary evil.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
A Rock Star. LOL.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
The instructions of how to build a nuclear fall out shelter.
Please tell us what you are working on at the moment:
My latest published book is New Blood. The second Detective Ray Logue book and the follow up to Death Rains Down. They are both published by Sharpe Books. At present I am working on the very early stage of a third Ray Logue Book which I hope to publish late 2018 or early 2019.
If you’d like to know more about Kevin and his work, please check out his links below: