Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Blood Tears by Michael J Malone and I’ll be sharing a Q&A with you all a little further down!
About the author:
Michael J. 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
About the book:
The first in a series of books with D.I. Ray McBain – a Glasgow detective who turns to his best friend, Kenny O’Neill when he goes on the run after he becomes the prime suspect in a grisly murder.
An old man is found murdered in his Glasgow flat. DI Ray McBain is called to the scene and is the first to notice that the man’s wounds mirror the Stigmata. The police quickly discover that the victim is a former janitor who worked in several care homes where he abused his charges. Is someone taking revenge thirty years after the fact?
McBain, as a child was a resident of Bethlehem House, a Catholic run care home where the murdered man worked and early on in the investigation, McBain decides to hide a crucial bit of evidence relating to his stay in the convent orphanage.
When his superiors find out, McBain becomes the prime suspect in the case and has to make a decision which will leave him on the run and alone, trying to solve the murders and, at the same time, the puzzle of his past – a past that is pushing into the present with a recurring suffocating dream of blood and feathers that descends on him every night.
Click HERE to get your copy!
First we do the introductions and get some gratuitous plugs in. Would you like to introduce yourself and draw our attention to the Michael J Malone books which we should be reading?
I started to take my writing seriously around 1996 – after I found myself saying that once I retired I would write a novel. Then I asked myself: why wait? I discovered my local writing club. Met lots of amazing, generous people – learned lots and put in lots of practise – and it took a few years to get published. My poetry took on more quickly and within 2 or 3 years I was regularly getting poems published. The novels were a different story, and it took until 2012 for my first novel to be released.
As to which MJM books people should be reading? All of ‘em, thank you please very much.
The book I would like to focus on today is Blood Tears which was first published in 2012 – so why have we singled this book out to chat about today?
My publisher for this book (and the follow-up) Five Leaves – to whom I will be eternally grateful to taking a chance on me – are concentrating on their other business (a bookshop) so it felt like this was the time for me to take the right back – and re-publish.
For readers who may not have met Ray McBain before could you introduce your leading man and give us an indication as to what type of guy he is.
He’s abrasive, loyal, committed to the job, doesn’t suffer fools, haunted by his past, has an unhealthy attitude to food – there’s a lot to him which makes it a real pleasure to write.
When Blood Tears was a work in progress was there already a plan in place to bring him back for further outings?
I can barely think beyond the next page that I’m writing so I rarely have a big plan in mind. I just concentrate on the book I’m writing. So, no, I had no idea that this character had “legs” when I started writing him.
I have heard more than one author say that once they publish a book they have gone through it so many times that they never want to read it again…how does it feel to return to Blood Tears after all this time?
There’s been enough distance – 6 years – since I went through that part of the process. A period during which I have published another 8 books, so there’s enough literary water gone under the bridge – if you excuse the strangled metaphor. To go back after all this time, was – how shall I put it – interesting? I’m not sure how to characterise it. I’m not one for self-analysis when it comes to my writing. I’ll leave the critique to others. Friends tell me they can see that I’ve matured as a writer, which I appreciate, but I’m unable to make that judgement. But I can see Blood Tears has a raw feel to it. Not sure if that has answered your question.
Do you have any urge to tinker with the story for this re-release?
I did. But I resisted. It felt dishonest to do so. When it was first released it sold a good few copies and to change it in any way felt like I was cheating those early readers who supported me.
Has self-publishing Blood Tears presented some new challenges? Are you having to perform roles which previously were dealt with by someone else?
Yes, absolutely. Sourcing a cover. Formatting the script for the various e-book outlets – I’m a technophobe so a good friend of mine (thanks, Martie) was a massive help. And now that the book has been re-released I need to help people discover it and that’s where marketing comes in.
Do you have any other manuscripts lurking on a hard-drive somewhere which you may consider self- publishing?
The VERY first book I wrote hasn’t been published – and the story in there deserves an audience and I’m hoping my publisher will help me whip it in to shape. So the answer is no, but I have a number of poems that could be released in a collection when I get the time.
Catch up with the tour: