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Meet the Writer: Faith McKay

So, last week I interviewed the beautiful badass, Julie Hutchings. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for? You're missing out on a peek inside her crazy writer brain! 

This week, I interviewed author of "Prophecy Girl," Faith McKay. Faith and I met on Twitter a few months back and bonded over our mutual love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Here's what was said:

Q: You get into an elevator and there I am looking cool and stuff. I press the button for the tenth floor, the same one you need to get off on. The doors shut. You have 30 seconds to break the ice. Go.

A: "Oh my god, is that a Buffy tattoo?" And then we skip all the awkwardness and hug and are friends forever. 

Q: What's better; never knowing the truth and being happy, or knowing the truth and being miserable?

A: This is something I question a lot, and therefore, I have a bunch of caveats. If I'd never know, and I'd be happy (which I assume must mean I don't know there is something I don't know), then yeah, I'd rather go with being happy. This could be considered a contradictory answer because I'm a huge proponent of honesty, but that's in large part because people always seem to find out eventually and are then extra miserable for knowing the miserable truth AND that they've been lied to. 

Q: Tell me about your favorite fictional character you have written?

A: This is an evil question; picking favorites between your children never goes well. I think I'd have to choose Brody, from a story I'm working on right now. Her life motto is boredom is the enemy. She's obsessed with music and multimedia art, has a popular YouTube channel, is partially deaf, and destroys her suburban neighborhood's dreams. She also runs a little side business wherein she is helping various members of the undead keep themselves a secret in this technological age. 

Q: If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, or group of friends, which would it be?

A: When I was four years old I spent my time in my bedroom throwing tea parties with members of various sitcoms (most commonly Darlene from Roseanne, Carlton from Fresh Prince, the Olsen twins, and Steve Urkel) so this is a pretty serious question for me. Despite the obvious dangers, I'd still say Firefly. There's enough personalities in the mix that I could fit in there; traveling is rad; Kaylee would be a good friend to have. Plus, I always aim to misbehave. 

Q: What’s the inspiration behind your novel Prophecy Girl? Is it related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in any way?

A: Only in that way that BtVS shapes my soul. Prophecy Girl wasn't actually titled until a month after it was completely finished—edited and the whole shebang. I couldn't choose a title for the life of me. 

There is no one source of inspiration. The very first scene I wrote is in chapter nine. I had a clear vision during a free writing session of a cold night on a frozen bridge with deer huddled together in a circle like football players. Something shoots up from the river below, crouches on the railing like a frog, dives for a deer, and rolls off the opposite railing back into the river below with its teeth in the neck of a still kicking deer. From there, I came up with the beings that did this, and then built a story around them. The main characters and story line were mostly pulled from a contemporary novel I had written three different ways years ago that never really worked. The setting was built from a town I went to high school in, though I tweaked it. Like I said, I pull things from everywhere. 

Q: Tell me something embarrassing about your teenaged self that makes you cringe.

A: I think I was pretty awesome, okay? I keep thinking of potentially embarrassing things and instead of cringing, I'm only finding more awesome. I had braces; I tried to give myself short spiky hair but it curled and turned into the cut I called The Medusa; my favorite pastime was waving in the faces of people in the hallways when they were spaced out so it scared them into walking backwards into people. I'm good with teenage me. 

Q: Would you rather delete your memory of the stories you’ve written, or delete the stories from your computer?

A: I would delete them from my memory. It's a tough call, but then I'd be able to read them with fresh eyes. I think that would be a fantastic experience to grow as a writer. I'll do all sorts of painful things if I think it will help me grow as a writer (it was the argument that got me to attend a dance in high school). 

Q: If you had to kick one of the Avengers off the team, who would it be? (Consider their values.)

A: Ugh, you know what? YOU SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH. They need to stay where they are! 

Q: Thunder and lightening simultaneously crashes above their heads, causing the ground to rumble, the piercing white light flashing in everyone’s faces. The wails of newborn babies can be heard, distant but approaching fast. Seconds later, babies begin to fall from the sky like rain, landing softly on the ground as if they’re leaves falling from a tree. What happens next?

A: I crinkle my nose, pull out some ear plugs, and tweet a pic. 

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

A: I moved out of my parents house when I was sixteen years old. It was instead of killing myself. The choice might seem like an obvious one, but the idea of opening myself up to the unknown by leaving my miserable situation, when I believed new and horrible things were waiting for me (because my experience at the time told me things would only get worse) was incredibly difficult. I don't remember the weeks between making the decision and actually doing it; I just remember shaking a lot. 

Q: If you were on death row, what would your last meal be? Also, what would be your last words?

A: I'd like to think I'd order waffles, and then my last words would be, "What about second breakfast?" 

Q: Tell me about your writing. What are you working on? How’s the promoting going for Prophecy Girl?

A: I have a lot of stories pulling at me; it makes focusing diffult. The main thing I'm focused on is pulling together the final revisions for the the sequel to Prophecy Girl, which I feel has been my number one priority for a year now. I'm working on that whole "letting go" thing I hear so much about. The sequel to Prophecy Girl... I just realized I'll never be able to write a descriptiont that doesn't spoil the end to the first one. I'll just say that the first chapter gives me the chills every read through, we go through a lot of things that I hadn't entirely seen coming, and it has lead to a bunch of things in the third one I had not seen coming at all. I had to get a rough draft going of the third one before I could revise the second, in order to make sure that all the strings pulled together. 

My second priority is a short story involving a sixteen year old oppressed witch who has just been dumped by her boyfriend on New Year's Eve. It's going to be in a free ebook anthology on December 26th called The Stroke of Midnight. 

Promoting books is different than I though it was. To tell you the truth, I had a bunch of plans when I went to publish Prophecy Girl, did some reading on how you're supposed to promote, changed my plans, and wound up in a spiral of supposed tos. What I've learned is that every book is different, so reaching the readers for that book will be different than anyone else can tell you it will be. Since breaking the chains of Top 5 Ways to Promote Your Book articles, things have gotten a lot better. I just spent this weekend at GeekGirlCon in Seattle, where I was on a panel for Strong Girls in YA and did a signing afterwards. It was an amazing time. 

Q: In a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice and why?

A: You've asked me this before! I wanted an aluminum baseball bat, which I think you told me was a dumb choice. I figure it's less likely to break and doesn't need maintenance. 

Q: Would you rather have a bell go off every single time you were aroused, or have your past and future web browsing history available to everyone?

A: I have no shame—I'm going for the bell. With my web browsing history you can draw any kind of conclusion you want! With the bell, I can just tell you, I thought I saw Jake Gyllenhaal. 

Side note: someone walked into my Philosophy 101 class who looked just like Jake Gyllenhaal one day. I could hear the bells ringing, okay? The world shifted, my heart stopped! And then this kid started speaking. Damn. That boy was dumb. I could hear my dreams deflating. 

Q: This question is open for you to answer with whatever the hell you want. Talk about drunken monkeys if that's what gets you going, or tell me about the food you are physically attracted to (don’t deny it).

A: I just started Eleanor & Park (I'm about 3 pages in), so I have to assume the drunken monkeys are referencing that. I feel special to get this new insider geek joke. 

Anything I'd like people to know? *ponders* Nobody knows as much as they think they do (which includes you, but definitely that jerk telling you what to do). Also, the coolest people in life sign up for the mailing list on my website, which I use for very occasionally sending out freebies because I like to appease cool people. (See, I'm getting better at this self promo thing all the time!)


Follow the awesome Faith McKay on Twitter here and check out her website here

Here is a sample tweet: