... Brett McKay
1. Tell me about your book Damage Inc. and where you got your inspiration for it?
It’s a simple idea. Imagine a group of hitmen that had the supernatural ability to make your worst nightmares come to life...now imagine they’re after you. You can hire this company to take someone out in any horrific fashion you desire. It’s an ultimate revenge idea. I worked as a carpet cleaner for many years, and while I was at this huge house servicing their carpets, the lady of the house started to play a beautiful piece on her piano. It was mesmerising, and my thoughts started to wander as I worked, and I came up with the plot. The main character is a carpet cleaner, and while working a big job in a fancy mansion, falls head over heels for a woman who’s trapped by an abusive mob boss for a husband. Her only escape is hiring Damage Inc., and she needs Link, the carpet cleaner, to help her.
2. Who has had the most influence in your life? What lessons did this person teach you?
Teachers. My sixth grade teacher shared one of my stories with the whole class, and it gave a quiet, shy boy a lot of attention. As I continued to write, other teachers I had throughout junior high and high school, really helped me along. Ultimately, it was my mom, my wife and my kids who’ve always believed in me.
3. How would you like to be remembered?
I’d like people to say that not only were my books entertaining, but they meant something, and touched them deeply in some way. I hope people also feel that way about me.
4. Ninjas or Pirates?
Pirates by day; ninjas by night.
5. Do you have a writing process? If so describe it.
Once everyone in my house has gone to bed, and it’s late at night, that’s when I write. It’s quiet, dark, and that’s when the voices in my head speak clearly.
6. You’re given one million pounds/dollars/euros, what would you spend it on?
With one million dollars, I would quit my job, write full time, promote my work and put my two boys through school.
7. If someone came up to you and wanted to tell you about an idea or a book they were writing, what would you do? Or what advice would you give?
Write, write and write some more and get business savvy. You can have a great book, but you need someone to publish it and promote it, and that’s where you need as much help as possible. The most important thing, is to never, ever give up.
8. How would you describe yourself in three words?
Optimistic, passionate, and easy going.
9. How do you react to a bad interview of one of your books?
I hire Damage Inc. to come after them.
10. Are the names of characters in your novels important?
Yes and no. I struggle at times to come up with good names for characters, and sometimes I just throw some in. But after awhile, if the character doesn’t match the name, I’ll change it. Like Becca, in this story, was Miranda all the way up until I finished the book. I re-read the book, and the name just didn’t fit, so I changed it.
11. Would you rather write for children or adults?
I love good children’s books, but I don’t have the talent to write them. Everytime I try, it turns out dark and violent. You have to stick with what bubbles up to the surface from deep down. Mine happens to be quite dark.
12. Have you ever killed someone in a novel and regretted it later?
Yes. Killing off someone you love hurts, but is sometimes necessary. One book I wrote when I was a teenager, I killed off quite a few innocent victims just to fuel the main character’s vengeance, and looking back, that was wrong. It’s unsympathetic. If a character dies, it’s just because the circumstances happen that way during the writing process. If it happens to spark someone’s vengeance, then it does. But characters’ lives should not be used as tools.
13. Which do you find more embarrassing to write, violence or sex?
Sex. I believe it is a personal matter, and I don’t need to write a porno for someone to know that two people had sex. Violence is not a problem to me as long as it’s not forced or used as a tool to gore or sicken the reader. It has to be justified.
14. Who would play you in a film about your life?
Matt Damon is one of the finest actors out there currently, and he inspires me since he started out as a writer himself. He’d probably understand me the best.
15. What are the most important attributes to staying sane as a writer?
Continue to write, write,write, or my head will eventually burst from the amount of ideas stored in my brain. Don’t look to the left or right, keep your eyes straight ahead on the page.
16. Do you research your novels?
No, but maybe I should. I research certain things I don’t know about when I put it into my novel, but not a whole lot.
17. What are books for?
To expand the imagination, entertain, and take you out of your real world for a moment.
18. Are you jealous of other writers?
No. There are many writers I admire, and I’m humble enough to know that my writing is not up to their par, but I’ve always wanted to be just me. No one else writes exactly like me, and I write what I like. Other books don’t always go the way I want them to, or end the way I want them to, but my books do.
19. Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever experienced it?
When I first met my wife, it was love at first sight, even though I didn’t know it yet. I just knew something was different and I couldn’t get her off of my mind. When soul mates meet, like we did, it was almost like “hello again. I remember you from somewhere, even though we’ve never met,” and all of the pieces fit right away.
20. What’s your favourite book and why?
“Pet Semetary” by Stephen King, and “Nightshift” a collection of King’s short stories truly gave me nightmares. Another one, may not be my favorite book, but it’s the one that disturbed me the most and I can’t forget it. “The Bad Place” by Dean Koontz.
21. What do you like most about being a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be an inventor when I was little, and by being a writer, I get to invent. I can create anything my imagination will allow, and it excites me. But, what I love the most is in those small moments that I write something, a sentence or paragraph, that makes me stop and go “Wow. That sounds like a writer wrote that, and it’s really good. Where did that come from?”
22. If you could ask your favourite author one question, who would it be and what would you ask?
Stephen King, and I’d ask, “How do I become the new “King” of horror?
23. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
It was inspired by a Metallica song called Damage inc. The song is also about a hitman, so it fits perfectly.
24. Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
Bentely Little and Suzanne Collins.
25. What are your current projects?
I’m working on the sequel to Damage Inc. called Damage Inc The Hit List.
26. What’s your favourite love story? (movie or book)
I was always a sucker for Ghost and Titanic.
27. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go to school, get more education, and go after your dream 100%!
28. Someday I want to...?
Travel to each state in the country, and travel the world.
29. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?
Nothing’s better than a brand new hardback, and you can smell the new print off of the pages. But reading an ebook is really nice and convenient.
When Link Balsey, a young carpet cleaner falls head over heels for his customer Becca Falco, who’s married to a violent and abusive mob boss, she begs for his help to escape. Because of her husband’s underground connections, hiring Damage Inc., a supernatural company of hit men, is her only way out. Things turn upside down when the job is finished and Link becomes the cops’ lead suspect. To make matters worse, someone’s sent Damage Inc. after him! Now Link and Becca must find out who hired Damage Inc., run from the police and survive an onslaught of horrors come to life who will stop at nothing until he is dead.
Brett McKay was born in Payson, Utah and now resides in Eagle Mountain, Utah with his wife Stacy and two boys Mason and Dylan. He’s been writing fiction since he can remember and enjoys the art of bringing characters to life as well as the dark and horrific.