Here at Danville Public Library, we are proud to feature the works of more than 150 local authors. Each Monday, we are featuring one of our beloved local authors by sharing a bit about them and their work.
This week, we feature local author, M.I.H. McCool.
We asked her a few questions about her past and present work, her favorite books, and what her writing process is like.
What made you decide to start writing? Did you (or do you currently) have another career?
I wrote my first ‘novel’ at ten years old and my first poem was published that same year. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know full well that writing would consume my entire life. It’s been the one constant thing in my life from the beginning!
What do you love about writing? What is challenging about it?
I love the feeling of creating a story that will hopefully take the reader away from the real world for a little while. The major challenge that I usually face is the need to edit the work to death. Though thorough editing is a good thing in the end, it can certainly slow down the process when you edit while working on the first few drafts.
Do you have a writing routine? Daily? Whenever the fancy hits you?
I try to write daily, but I find that this can be a little unrealistic for me. Typically I will be inspired by something – a song, a dream, a feeling, a piece of dialogue – and then I’ll run with the idea. I’m more of a ‘pantser’ instead of a ‘planner’, which means my style is to develop the story under a basic idea and let it unfold as it is written. It hasn’t led me wrong yet!
Which of your books gave you the most pleasure in writing? Which was the hardest?
I had a great time writing The Contract: The Revelation of the Opal. It was one of those lovely stories that seemed to just fall into place without any issues. The hardest book to write is its prequel, The Immortal Perception. This novel boasts major historical research that was sometimes extremely difficult to get good answers for. It also covers some intense topics, and it takes special care to convey these scenes properly and appropriately on the page.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to young or beginning writers?
I have had so much advice given to me by extraordinary people over the years. One important piece is: never be afraid to tell a story that others may not like or understand. You are not writing for everyone and not everyone will be able to comprehend your work. My current series follows an immortal prepubescent antihero as he creates lifelong contracts with people in exchange for their souls. Is my story going to satisfy every reader? Absolutely not. But there is at least one person out there that will read and enjoy my words. And that is more than enough.
You’re stranded on an island with one book (written by another author). Which book did you bring?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupér. It is a timeless classic that I love to revisit at least twice a year, or whenever I just need a lovely, short story to ground me.
Any books in progress at the moment? Expected publishing date?
Yes! 2022 will be a great publication year. The Immortal Perception has an expected publication date for Autumn 2022, and McCool Mythos: Dead of Winter, which is also co-written by my brother John R. McCool III, is expected for Winter 2022.
We’re so grateful for this author’s participation in our featured post. Be sure to check out all of M.I.H.’s books!