GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview with author Mark McCann + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Paranormal reviews of books, movies, comics with author interviews and giveaways we love urban fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, mysteries

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interview with author Mark McCann + giveaway

Today the ladies of Sheep bring you our latest interview victim *insert evil laugh* Irish author Mark McCann. With his debut novel, Deadfast out now, and a second in the works we had much to discuss. And for all of you he is offering up a copy of his latest book at the end of the interview.

Ireland. Deep within a Castle. 2 Sheep and 1 Irish Hunk meet.

Katie: Mark thanks so much for stopping by to chat with us today, can you start by telling folks about your debut novel Deadfast?

Yeah, well I guess it'd probably be slightly more articulate if I just paste in the blurb as opposed to me rambling on for about three paragraphs lol!! Here it is:

Meet Terry Fennell, Belfast's guiltiest drunk and most unobliging detector. A former soldier for a secret branch of the army, Terry dealt with all the things that go bump in the night, now cut loose and disenfranchised after a secret handshake between the government and the nocturnal element put him out of a job and on to the dole queue.

When a distraught mother seeks Terry out to help find her kids, kidnapped by her back-from-the-dead ex-husband, he can't resist the lure of fast money. However, a simple no hope case turns into a complex web of lies and misdirection as Terry finds himself plunged into a life and death chase where violence is the fastest route to the truth and hard drinking is a hangover cure. It's the sort of life he wishes was somebody elses. It's the sort of life that could get you... Deadfast.

Basically it's a hard boiled supernatural thriller. So if you like pulpy horror stuff with an Irish accent then have a look.

Katie: Deadfast is unapologetic in it's story and dialog what was your reasoning behind creating a novel with such grit?

I love pulp mysteries. I love low down dirty private dick stories, with broken down protagonists with addictive personalities who are hateful, but you can't help rooting for. So I wanted to write something like that but make it supernatural. I loved Mike Careys Felix Castor Novels and James Crumley's gumshoe books and I wanted to do something like that, but base it in Belfast. Which for such a small city is teeming with nut cases, hence character.

Katie: Along with the nut cases Belfast has a rich historic past, how much research did you do for Deadfast?

I actually did a fair bit. More research on places that my characters tread through and just a little bit about an area of the city if they happen to be in it. I spent a lot of time on google maps and actually out at places to make sure I had the details right, but I think I did a hell of a lot more research on the sequel. It was strange finding out things about somewhere you've been your whole life, but I really enjoyed it. Retrospectively you look at the place with different eyes

Sharon: I have been reading pulp graphic novels and I have to admit, I am starting to like this kind of stories. Big change from my normal romance .

Cool. Buy DEADFAST lol!! But also if you like pulp one of my favourite current pulp authors is Christa Faust. Check out her Money Shot and upcoming Choke Hold. That lady writes Pulp the way I like it

Sharon: When and where do you like to write, and how do you inspire yourself?

I write in my man cave (which is basically the combination of my bedroom and the easy chair that composes my office). I know what your thinking, lush! But yeah, that's where I like to write. It’s comfortable and I usually don't get bothered by anyone other than my cats. I inspire myself pretty easily, because I just have this drive to write. I think when your creatively minded you just have something in you that presses on you to get it out. Even when I'm not overly motivated I feel slightly guilty about procrastinating, but I love to write and then get feed back. I'm a fairly overt ego fiend lol

Sharon: And a cat lover. What is your kitty’s name? (completely OT, but you brought up the pet and it would be rude to ignore your desperate plea to have kitty acknowledged )

I have three cats; Mister Malawkus, Henrietta Moan and Nahla Nubbin Teeth. Malawkus is the inspiration for Terry's little pal, because he pretty much is exactly how I write him. A wee fecker with a heart of gold lol

Katie: Your main character Terry was all over the place in regards to emotion including depression, almost a walking mess, will he ever pull it together?

Terry is critically flawed, and that's a very human thing. Sometimes you are just born with character defects. I for instance, will never be able to shut my big mouth no matter how much trouble it gets me in lol. It's nature not nurture. And no matter how much he tries Terry's always going to be at war with what's inherent in him. He's a messed up guy and he's been through a lot. It's the fact that he tries to be better that makes him interesting. It's the fact that he so often fails that makes him sympathetic.

Katie: And that he gets knocked down but comes clawing his way back up. You have to admire that about the guy...

He's stubborn and wont roll over when someone's trying to step on him, which I think comes from my personal experience with people trying to step on me. But it's what I like about Terry, probably because I relate to it; he knows when he's beat, and is totally human when it comes to fearing for his life. But he still has that vengeful mean streak that means in some tight spots he still might just have a go in spite of his crappy odds.

Katie: As I said in my review I love The Saints character, did you base elements of him off anyone?

The Saint is Like Vic Mackie Meets Richard B. Riddick but with an honour code. He's got a dark past, he has a guilt that eats away at him, but he also has this drive to continue doing what he's doing even if it kills him. Hoping it will kill him. He's like a samurai with a Celtic curse. His honour comes from doing what he feels is right and his final redemption will come when he's died for something worthy. Death is the way out for the Saint, but he's just too damn tough to die.

Katie: And will we be getting more of The Saint in coming books?

Sharon: (look Katie! He spoke Irish, he said “honour” )

The Saint is the main character of my sequel: The Generous Dead, and if you have any questions about this reticent, murderous powerhouse, then prepare to have them answered. As you may know; the Saint is an almost unstoppable powerhouse, so I had to create something that was not only his equal as a nemesis, but could kill him stone dead if he plays it wrong. I let you read the book to see how that turns out.

Katie: I'm a die hard vampire lover and for me I MUST know how much more from the creatures of the night will be revealed?

Yeah, there's some interesting takes on Vamps. I'm talking old school mythological bloodsuckers. There's a whole melting pot of Nocturnal creatures I've explored and plan on exploring. Culturally speaking we mostly stick with the conventional, more modernized view of vamps and werewolves and stuff. But if you get into the myths it gets a lot stranger, and for me, more interesting. That's what I love about Mike Mignola's Hellboy stuff. He picks up these obscure myths and makes them very tangible in a modern context. That's what I want to do with my mythology. Make these old legends of monsters and demons and things out of folklore dangerous in a contemporary, realistic sense.

Katie: And sexy! Make them sexy for me…*purrs*

Sharon: Katie, have you no shame! What about shifters? ;)

There's plenty of shifters on the horizon, but I don't want to give too much away.

Sharon: I love the Irish accent. I’ve been practicing “Cheers!” Now your turn. Say something Irish!

Katie: Yes, yes! Say something sexy and Irish. lol

Hey girl, you sound like your up fer the banter now c'mon over here til I get a squazz at ye. That's pure Malojian ;D

Katie: Uhhh….. (Looks to Sharon for help)

Sharon: translate?... what the heck is “squazz”? sounds dirty.

It means 'a look'. Don't ask me how exactly lol

Katie: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I always knew I wanted to be something. I just couldn't put my finger on what that was. All the jobs I worked just didn't interest me and I found I was drifting listless into careers that we're slowly draining me and no amount of money seemed to make it any better. When I was about 27 I started writing. I'd always written intermittently, but I was mostly a reviewer. I started with scripts and then my girlfriend at the time suggested I try to convert them into a novel, as she found the scripts a bit dry. So I did, and suddenly I found I was actually writing a book and loving it. I've two books behind me now and I haven't looked back. This feels right as clich├ęd as that sounds, so I hope I can sell a few books and make it permanent.

Sharon: If you could pick *any pet, real or mythological, what would you pick and why?

I have a load of cats, so I'm gonna stick with cats. I like them, their independent wee creatures and they have tonnes of character. I'd like a dog, but my landlord would lose his mind if I moved any more animals in, so for the moment, it's gonna have to be cats. It'd be pretty cool if my cats could actually talk, like in DEADFAST, but I'm at a point now where we pretty much understand each other anyway. Still it'd be cool if Mister Malawkus could actually ask me to run his belly instead of just implying it

Sharon: He spoke Irish again, he said “wee”.

Katie: What was your favourite series to read as a kid?

As a kid I read a lot of Star Wars books, so probably the Kevin J. Anderson trilogy he wrote (I can't recall the name). It was a really kick ass read and I was a Star Wars obsessive back then. But I was always a bigger comic reader as a kid, so I was reading stuff like Ninja Turtles, Judge Dredd and Slaine in 2000AD, Matt Wagners Grendel, the X-Men, Wolverines solo title, the Incredible Hulk. My favourite read as a kid was a strip called the ABC Warriors by Patt Mills and Simon Bizley; about a bunch of sentient war Robots assembled by chaos lord Nemesis the Warlock to deal with kind of universal catastrophes like time rifts and stuff like that. I could still pick that out now and read it, it was just that damn good!

Sharon: “All around the cobbler’s bench, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought was all in fun, POP goes the weasel” What do they mean by POP?

Yeah, I think that weasel lost his shit with the monkey and bit his ass. I mean, that monkey was probably loving it right up until that weasel was like 'RIGHT!! I'VE HAD IT WITH THIS CHASING SHIT' and went all Jason Statham on the Monkey. Or maybe the monkey accidentally killed the weasel, and the death knell is the weasel going 'POP'.It's a toughie. I mean they left that last bit right open for interpretation to mess with my head lol

Sharon: Wow, I wasn’t expecting such a detailed answer. 10 coolness points for you!

Katie: If you could travel anywhere in the galaxy where would you go and why?

I'd pick a planet with life on it outside our solar system. I'd like to see what else has evolved out there, and into what. That would interest me, and it would also put a dent in the human hubris that 'we're it', the centre of the universe and all that jazz. I think we're quite an arrogant species, and seeing what the rest of the universe has to offer is quite humbling

Katie: Sure would be a waste of space if life didn't exist out there.

Sharon: Wow, he got all philosophical on us . 10 more coolness points!

Sharon: If someone was coming to visit Ireland, where would you tell them they must go?

Home. This place is freezing and freaking rainy all the time LOL!! No seriously, I'd say go check out the Giants Causeway probably. It's one of the wonders of the world and has some interesting mythology attached. It's definitely worth a look.

Katie: Where can folks find you in the coming months?

On my website: where I can be found informing you of all things nerdy and interesting along with my dedicated co-workers, via our own skewered view.

Sharon: Do real men wear jewelry?

Real men wear whatever they want. Because if they are real men, then they'd be secure enough not to give a crap what anybody else thinks

Sharon: Can I get a “Hell, Yeah!”

Hell yeah ya can ;D

Katie: And now we move on to our Rapid Fire round of questions! Sit back, clear your mind and answer with the first thing that pops up. Ready?…Set…Go!

Katie: Cypher or Brother Power the Geek?

Brother Power sounds like more my cup of tea

Sharon: Power or Finesse?

Powerhouse every time. I don't have time to be subtle

Katie: Dick Tracy or Darkman?

Dark Man. Sam Raimi's the daddy

Katie: Silk or Cotton?

Cotton. Silk just feels off to me so cotton

Sharon: I never understood the whole silk thing either

Sharon: Jeans or Shorts?


Katie: Hammer or Axe?

Claw Hammer. To see what you can do with one just watch Old Boy

Sharon: Left or Right?


Katie: Coke or Pepsi?


Katie: What?! NOOOOO!!! *drops to knees and starts weeping*

Sharon: BWAHAHAHA!! You don’t know how happy this makes me Mark

Katie: Oh stuff it Sharon. *sticks tongue out*

Sharon: Daisies or Roses?

What Really? Okay Roses at a push

Sharon: Real men, remember?

Yeah, if I was interested in botany, but seriously I ain't lol

Katie: 80's Hair or 90's pants?

I'm a baldy so I guess it's MC Hammer all the way

Katie: 2 Legit 2 Quit!

Sharon: Clint Eastwood or John Wayne?

I grew up on John Wayne and I loved him as a take no crap cowboy, but Clint is just a tall cool glass of snakebite and he could kill you in a sparrows heart beat. It's gotta be Clint

Katie: Ben-Hur or The Hustler?

The Hustler. Paul Newman is one slick daddio

Sharon: Peanuts or Almonds?


Katie: Bust a move or Baby got back?

Bust a move

Katie: Raven or Ms Marvel?

I always liked Carol Danvers and Raven was just a bit too Emo. Ms Marvel

Katie: Now we're getting back on track! lol

Sharon: Hey, Mark? What kind of soda did you prefer? Could you say that again?

Katie: Ben! Take this one away to the dungeons!

BAK: *looks up from book* You know what? No. I've fething had it up to here with your dirty work! You want to take him to your Emperor-forsaken dungeons, you do it. I'm going to be over here. Reading. Or playing with my model trains. Possibly both.

Katie: You see what I have to put up with around here Mark?! Can't find decent slaves anymore!

Sharon: Autobots or Deceptacons?

Decepticons. They had more character

Katie: Vampires or Zombies?

I love Zombie films more, but if I had to choose on a superficial level it would be vampires. They have more fun and live forever. Those kids got it made

Katie: Yup, we do. lol

Sharon: Pancakes or Waffles?

I am Hellboy obsessed with Pancakes. I eat those things like sweets

Sharon: Chocolate chip pancakes at the IHOP!

Katie: Dirty Dancing or Ghost?

Ghost. Whoopi Goldberg's the clincher

Katie: Thanks again for stopping by and letting us harass..erm I mean interview Would you like to add anything before we wrap?

Yeah, it was great talking to you two lovely ladies and I had a great time, even though your both pure sass. And as for your readers, I hope you enjoyed this little slice of McCann pie, now go check out my book on Kindle or on and my website: and feel free to say hi. I don't bite (unless you ask nicely ;D)

Sharon: Thanks, it was fun (say something Irish again )

Away ye go ye Hallion ye

Katie: Uhhh…..

Sharon: We did ask him to talk Irish to us ;)

Giveaway: Mark has been kind enough to offer up a copy of Deadfast to one lucky person leaving a comment, and we'll throw in some fun Sheep swag items! Please make sure to do both things for your chance to win!

1. Go to Mark's Facebook page and hit "like".

2. Leave a comment saying "We Sheep are sweet as!"

Contest runs until August 28th at midnight.

Good luck!


  1. Cassandra Pearson

    Deadfast sounds interesting. That was a very entertaining interview...and i totally agree about the vamps and zombies. The zombies are more fun, but if you had to choose which you'd rather be or be around it would have to be vamps...I don't want any zombies after my spicy brain...

  2. Y'all always have the best interviews. i haven't read zombie books before but I am going to have to read this one. Like Katie I am a Vampire fan. Deadfast seems very interesting.

    truebloodfan AT

  3. I've got it on my list! We have been real lucky with our interviews. The author's are willing to play along and be silly

  4. "We Sheep are sweet as!". as sweet as what though??
    and i liked his page!!! this book sounds interesting, and a great interview, thanks!!

  5. lol it's an irish saying kinda. ;) We are sweet as bees I tell ya.

    Keep the love comin!

  6. great interview laughed alot

    cant wait to read the book

  7. Hey guys and Gals, glad ya'll enjoyed the interview. I know I did ;D

  8. Thank you so much for the fun interview today, but I need just a little more Irish speaking around here. I think you have created a monster here. I hopped over the FB to Mark know just how sweet we sheep really are, but forgot to mention the Kool-Aid:)


  9. Ok try this one Denise, "dead on" is kinda like us saying right on to something really cool.

    Example: ME "I got bit by a sexy vamp today!" YOU "dead on!" and I could follow that up with the "sweet as". lol or so the american thinks anyway. :P

    lovin the support from the flock, keep it up! xoxoxo

  10. "We Sheep are sweet as Cherry Yum Yum!
    I love thrillers. Through in a zombie and an Irish accent and I'll be drooling all over the floor.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  11. You sheep are sweet! Thanks for the giveaway!

    jbronderblogs at aol dot com

  12. We sheep are as sweet as reading a good book on a nice summer day in the shade.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. you are a new author for me and am always looking for new authors and books to read.
    christinebails (at) yahoo (dot) com

  13. We Sheep are sweet as! A tall cool glass of Kool-Aid on a hot summer day

    The darn Kool-Aid popped in my head when I was typing that out (figured it was a SHeep joke so why not)

    Sounds like a great read also, great interview.


  14. We Sheep are sweet as!

    "Ireland. Deep within a Castle. 2 Sheep and 1 Irish Hunk meet. " After it began like this, I was expecting a dirty joke or two.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Cheers for all the comments guys. I'm particularly loving just how much effort your putting into nailing my norn Irish accent ;D

  17. @acm05 you know us too well, we had some dirty fun off the record. If ya know what I mean. *wink wink. nudge nudge* lmao

    @Mark aye, aye Captain!