21 Jul 2017


Author Interview / David Jester

Kieran McCall’s youth was a series of misguided attempts at love—a succession of sexual failures that always ended in disaster but somehow led to something worthwhile. As an adult, his failures looked like they were behind him. He married the love of his life and they had a child together, but chaos was never far away.

An Idiot in Marriage follows Kieran McCall as he learns to live with the strains of married life and parenthood, from dealing with incompetent babysitters and dirty diapers to neighbors from hell, stray ducks, and a best friend who still thinks with his dick.

Kieran McCall grew up, but he never matured and he never changed. He’s still a little immature, he’s still a little naïve, and he’s still massively incompetent. Kieran may be older, but he’s definitely not wiser. And if he doesn’t shape up, he may risk losing it all.


1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 

I would love to have worked with Philip K. Dick. He’s my favorite author and one of my biggest inspirations. I write in a different genre, but it was because of his books that I first started branching out, writing and reading more genres and bringing together an amalgamation of styles.

Of course, he’s otherwise engaged these days. If I had to choose someone else—someone living—it would be Bill Bryson. I have so much admiration for him. I love his humor and his style and would love to work with him on a nonfiction book or to convince him to cross-over into horror.

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 

I hate to say it, but my working day begins when I wake up and it ends when I go to sleep. And that’s not an exaggeration. It means I don’t have much of a social life right now. If you ask my friends/family to describe me in one word it would be “ticky-tickey”, as the only sound they hear from me is the constant keyboard noise.

I freelance full-time, I run a writing/SEO company, and I own several content websites. As a result, I usually get through in excess of 20,000 words a day split between several different projects. I ride a wave of mild insomnia and excessive caffeine, but I love what I do and I appreciate that I am in a very unique position because of that. So, I rarely get stressed and I rarely get angry. 

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you? 

Right now it’s finding the right mindset. I never used to freelance. When I wrote An Idiot in Love and Forever After I was an aspiring author. I was broke, but I had free time to be as creative a I wanted. When I wrote This is How You Die and An Idiot in Marriage there was a little more pressure, but I wasn’t freelancing full-time so I still had free time.

These days time is hard to come by and it puts me in a Catch-22 of sorts. I write all day, but because of that I find it hard to write anything. In other words, I can write website content, magazine articles and other freelance work in my sleep, but ask me to be creative and to work on a novel, and it’s a different story.

4.  When and why did you first start writing? 

I have written for as long as I can remember. I found solace in books at a very young age, as many introverted, odd children do. It didn’t take long for me to try and create my own stories.

My very first “books” were written on crayon on folded sheets of paper that I would then staple together. I was only 6 or 7 so I wrote about the things that I obsessed about at that age, including sport and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I would draw a title page, add some scribbled sketches and then sell the finished pieces to my parents for 50 pence.

As luck would have it, I got my first break twenty years later self publishing books that I created myself and then sold for a couple bucks. I left that artwork to a designer though, art was never my forte. I’m sure my parents would have asked for their 50 pence back if I hadn’t insisted there were no refunds. 

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book? 

An Idiot in Marriage is a sequel, a standalone title that follows on from An Idiot in Love but can be read even if you haven’t read the first one (and I’m not just saying that so you’ll buy it. Honestly). The idea for the first book actually came off the back of a single story, a snippet in the life of an idiot.

I loved writing it and by chance my partner ended up reading it. I caught her laughing uncontrollably on the computer one day and just as I was about to have her committed, she told me she had read the story and that I should write a novel with the same character.

So I did and I dedicated the book and the series to her. The sequel is an extension of that story and those characters but it’s one that will probably be more relatable.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 

I usually have several books on the go. Right now I’m reading The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England (I loved the Medieval one) and a book by Connie Willis, who is my favorite living Sci-Fi author.

I think that all writers need to read. That’s how I learned to write at a very young age and it’s also a great tool for discovery.

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? 

All aspiring writers have been told to “never give up” and this is great advice. If you work hard enough then it will happen eventually. But if you fail with one book, don’t edit it and then resend. That’s not how you improve as an author. I know aspiring authors who have been trying to push the same book for ten years and they can’t see what they’re doing wrong because they never matured as writers.

Write short stories, write novellas. Write novels in different genres. Just keep writing. You can always go back to those rejected books when you’re successful.