Mack Little Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Mack Little grew up in the Deep South and accumulated a vibrant experience which I try to emulate in my storytelling. My studies in International Politics and service in the Army have given me unique perspectives to bring to my novels additional layers of intrigues and twists, which are all quite prevalent in my latest novel, Daughter of Hades.
Mack Little How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have about five books not published.
Three of them are first drafts of my Vampire/Demon hunter series that I plan to turn over to my publisher in the next couple of years.
I have a novella that is a prequel to Daughter Hades due out the fall of 2022. And I am currently working on the second novel in my Love & Peace series.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
Daughter of Hades was the book I wanted to read and since I could not find many authors with POC lead characters in a historical romance with pirates and such. I really wanted something like that when I was into the bodice ripping historical romance novels. However, as my reading tastes evolved, I found I could not get into the shallow fare of the typical historical romance. I was even reluctant to read Diana Gabaldon’s series, but when I finally did…boy oh boy. It was a revelation. The Outlander series was a sexy smart romance with an eye to historical accuracy I was all in.
However, the POC characters—except for Claire, who I am convinced is bi-racial at least(She has nebulous parentage, untamable curly black hair, and large butt)—were under-developed though I could see she did try to handle them sensitively. Still, slaves were slaves and not enslaved men and women who were individuals that had their own regency despite their captivity. She left out the presence of blacks, both free and enslaved, who were present in Europe and (Including the Scotland Highlands) the Americas some of whom had historical impact. The one Asian character…well, I just wonder what an Asian reader might think of him. I don’t mean any of this as a critique but as reader and person of color I want to shine a light on the aspects of history that is often overlooked.
Another source of inspiration was the television show, Black Sails. I had a vague idea of who the maroons were, but this series really put a spotlight on their community. I was so inspired and excited to explore who the people were and to write about maroons and their relationships with buccaneers and pirates. Also, there was that bad-ass Asian pirate who never said anything. Who was he? Writing Daughter of Hades allowed me to discover where he might have come from. While creating the character, Lei, I learned about the Asian presence in the Caribbean that had been left out of the history I learned in school and in college. I had taken many Latin American studies courses as an undergrad, studying politics, culture, and literature and I never learned about it.
Mack Little How do you develop your plots and characters?
I do not outline my stories. I have an idea of where I want my story to go—the main plot points and which characters I want to follow but it is the characters who determine where the story goes. I usually end up somewhere completely different than I thought I would. However, since I do have several storylines going at once and subplots, my novel writing software creates the outline for me as I write so that I can get an overview of the story and fill in the holes
For my characters, I keep extensive character sheets. I rely on these to develop my story. Usually, just knowing who the character is, where they came from, and their personality propels the story for me.
How do you get inspired to write?
Music inspires me. Now, I know other writers would shake their heads vigorously to know that I like to write with the TV going in the background. I usually play shows that help get me in the mood or give me a sense of place or rhythm of language. For instance, when I am writing my historical romance, I watch Outlanders, Black Sails, Rome, the Musketeers, and others in that vein. When I’m writing my demon hunter series, I watch Buffy the Vampire slayer, Downton Abbey (to get the rhythm of the Posh British accent and the story is delightful), Killjoys or anything with a badass female lead.
One thing I must have is a good cigar. Since I’m not allowed to smoke in the house and I can’t type and smoke at the same time, I write my first draft longhand outdoors whatever the weather. Also, starting from scratch on a blank screen freaks me out. I freeze. Writing long hand and a good bourbon frees me up.
Also, I keep totems on my desk that I feel give me good energy for writing. A bobble head Walter White inspires my character development. A statue of the patron saint of lost causes reminds me it’s not impossible to finish a story and get it publish. A statue of buddha signals me to breath and focus. Then there are various crystals and gemstones….
Mack Little currently writing the second novel in the Daughter of Hades series, where a mysterious pirate bent on revenge finds love instead.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Just write. Accountability helps. I have a critique group for whom I have to produce 10 pages per week. Even if you don’t know what the story is or if you think your blocked, write. Sometimes you have to write around it or come at it at a different direction. A lot of time when I feel blocked or don’t know what happens next, I tell the story from a different POV.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I have always liked to daydream. Writing makes my imaginary world tangible.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I have a novella coming out in the fall. It is tentatively titled “By Chance, My Beloved”. It is a prequel that follows the journey of Badu Obosi from pre-colonial Africa to his enslavement in Barbados and his escape to freedom. It is a follow up to Daughter of Hades.
Mack Little preferred method for readers to get in touch with me would be anyway they can. I love to talk about my stories and the characters. And I want to hear what I got right as well as what I got wrong. So, methods for contacting me are below. Choose your poison.
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