Today is my stop on the blog tour for Dog Fight by Michael J. Malone and I get to share a guest q&a with you all today. First though, here’s all of the bookish info!
About the book:
Kenny O’Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny’s cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the author:
Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.
He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.
BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.
He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1
We never start on a question – this is your chance to introduce yourself and tell us about Dog Fight.
Cool. The blurb runs thusly – Kenny O’Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny’s cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?
What do we need to know about Kenny O’Neill? Dog Fight is not his first appearance, does he have baggage?
Our Kenny first appeared in Blood Tears alongside his bezzie-mate, Ray McBain and he has appeared in every one of those novels. He took centre stage in Beyond the Rage and does so again in Dog Fight.
As the blurb says, he’s a villain with a conscience. Kenny is a lot of fun to write, he says and does things I wouldn’t dream of, nor would I (mostly) want to.
As for baggage? A shit-load. That’s an official psychological term by the way. You just have to read the books to get the detail.
It gets a bit “punchy” in Dog Fight, have you a history of getting into scrapes and scuffles which helped with your research? Rumour has it that Ayrshire is the Dodge City of Scotland.
Hell, no. I’m the biggest wimp you’re ever going to meet. I did karate for about 6 months as a teenager and learned all about “control”: striking without contact. And I practised this assiduously, while other people were actually hitting me, the bastards, so I gave it up. For research I read some books on MMA fighting, watched some clips of fighting techniques on Youtube, and I also watched some actual fights on satellite TV – through my fingers. These guys are brutal.
As for Ayrshire being the Dodge City of Scotland? My lawyer says I should reply with No Comment. There are restraining orders in process.
If you could pick one highlight from your writing career to date which memory brings the biggest smile to your face?
Aww, man – so many, and you want me to pick one? I will say that each time I get the first copy of one of my books, fresh off the press, that makes me smile bigly (to paraphrase a certain orange-tinged fellow).
Which book has made the best transition to film or a tv series?
Too many to choose from, and on a different day my answer would change, but today I’ll go with the first four series of Game of Thrones. After that the pacing went to shit. It’s still way ahead of most of the stuff that makes it onto our screens, but the more recent series could have been edited with more care.
And the obvious follow up – which of your books would you want to see make its way into film? You get to pick one and explain why that was your choice.
The Guillotine Choice. It’s set in the 1930’s and 40’s and is based on a remarkable true story about a hugely inspiring man from Algeria called Mohand Kaci Saoudi who submitted to a 40 year sentence on Devil’s Island rather than have his cousin guillotined by the colonialial French power. It would make great viewing – it has resonance with the state of the world today and is a demonstration of the power and strength of the human spirit when faced with potentially overwhelming adversity.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Logan. It was excellent – and a lesson to all the other superhero film-makers that having a few exciting set-pieces isn’t enough. You need an actual story if you really want to engage the viewers.
Lots of discussion on whether the next James Bond and also the next Doctor Who should be a woman. Do you agree (and if you do – who should get the roles)?
I’m not a big fan of either of these franchises so I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. However, I do think it’s important that we have a wider representation of humanity in our popular media – and Tilda Swinton would make an awesome Doctor Who.
What book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I just started an advance copy of Dennis Lehane’s next book, Since We Fell – out in May. He’s edging into psychological thriller territory here and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. I’m a huge fan of his work.
And nestling in my kindle is an advance of Lucy Cameron’s debut novel, Night is Watching. I’ve heard big things about this book and can’t wait to get stuck in.
You’ve hit your daily word target and saved some seriously good content into the WIP. How do you clear your head and unwind?
Walk the dog, go to the gym, binge-watch something on Netflix, eat too many sugary snacks. Not necessarily in that order.
What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?
Where to start? I was SO self-conscious and it was such a waste of energy. People look at you for like a second, dismiss you and then go back to inhabiting a world with their ego at its centre. Mostly, you don’t mean shit to them.
When in company and struggling for something to say ask the other person a question about them. If you are interested you become interesting.
You won’t always be this skinny. The cakes will catch up with you.
The things that come easy? Work harder at them, then you get a career you enjoy.
Embrace your love of cinnamon. Add it to everything. Especially porridge.
Brussel Sprouts. The curse of your childhood. You’ll never get over it. Not even garlic will make them palatable. You will continue to barf at the sight of them for the rest of your life.
You will develop a healthy disregard for the celebrity obsessed culture that is coming your way. Try to spread this particular view to as many people as possible. In fact make it your life’s work.
And finally, if my young self is going to pay attention to any of this it should be: ignore everything you’ve just read – the most effective lessons are the ones you learn for yourself.
What is the best job you have ever had?
This one. Writer. 100 per cent the best job ever.
Follow the blog tour: