I recently read the books Pimp in the Pulpit volumes 1 and 2 by Thomas McRae. I got a chance to interview the author and here are some of the things that we spoke about.
Me: When did you first realized that you wanted to write?
TM: I wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. I love poetry and writing it, I also love short fiction novels. I love the idea that something I can put on paper can actually touch many lives, plus different people. Words are a powerful thing they can inspire or break people’s spirit so that is why I like to write. I like knowing that my words have meaning and that people are interested in what I have to say.
Me: How did the process of publishing your first book change you as a person?
TM: In the beginning it was a fulfilling experience, but to be honest Author House Publishing is all about taking people’s money and not providing quality work or support. Speaking as a self-published author I would recommend before you handover any of your money you do thorough research and stick to your budget and don’t let any self publishing company convenience you differently. I am grateful for learning things and experiencing some harsh lessons in life. But it’s a lesson I learned and I’m a better writer for it.
Me: Seeing that Pimp in the pulpit was inspired by your own life experiences what was the hardest scene that you had to write?
TM: To be perfectly honest nothing I wrote was all that difficult. Because speaking the truth is refreshing and uplifting I believe it’s sad that most people spend so much time trying to be politically correct, instead of being honest and direct about life and everything involving it.
Me: What was one of the interesting things that you learnt during the process of creating this book?
TM: I learned that people don’t like having the truth about themselves being broadcast for everyone to see. But it’s ironic that they won’t do or try and be better. If people spend less time putting on a show for everyone else and be the man and woman they say they are then this world would be a better place.
Me: What do you hope that your readers take away from the book?
TM: I hope everyone and anyone who is willing to keep an open mind will enjoy and learn from the story in this book. Because Pimp in the Pulpit has a little bit of truth, fiction and a diversity in characteristic and literary form. Families aren’t perfect but some are worse than others so always be happy and grateful for what you have.
Me: What does your family think of your writing?
TM: Some of my family is supportive, but most of them genuinely are just putting on a show. They only care when there is an audience or if I’m doing radio, book bloggers or newspaper interviews. I try not to focus on that but dedicate myself to my craft as a writer and a author.
Me: Do you read reviews for your books? How do you react to them?
TM: I do read my reviews from time to time. I usually try to get a mental concept of the good and bad reviews, because accepting criticism and embracing good reviews is something you have to accept if you’re going to be an author. Not everyone is going to like what you write or understand your creative style. But always stay true to who you are and Never Lose Yourself in your literary journey.
Me: Describe a typical writing day.
TM: I don’t have any typical procedures. I write when I’m happy, sad or just bored. As long as I feel I have something to say, I will write it down on a piece of scrap paper and go back to reevaluate my thoughts and ideas.
Me: Writing can be emotionally draining how do you deal with that?
TM: I usually don’t get drained by writing, because writing is an excitement that touches the core of my soul. I love to write because it gives me purpose and it helps me see who and what I am.
Me: What are some of the common traps for aspiring writers?
TM: Speaking from a self publishing author perspective, I can honestly say one of the main traps you fall into when dealing with these self-publishing companies is being persuaded into going over your budget with false notion of support and marketing help. Many of these self publishing company’s will promise you everything from the stars and the moon but once the money exchanges hands they act like these real estate agents and grab your money plus run like the wind. Some will continue to take your calls but ignore you in general. So my advice is this- stand your ground and stick to your guns and don’t do anything that doesn’t work for you.
Me: Do you see yourself writing in any other genre?
TM: Anything is possible because there was a time, I wasn’t sure I would ever work up the courage to publish a book led alone trying to market it myself. So yeah it could happen.
Me: What does literary success mean to you?
TM: Literary success, it simply means to me knowing that I gave it my all and was able to get my message out to you the people. No matter how many books I sell I just want to touch at least one person with my words and my stories and that alone will be enough.
Me: What are you currently working on?
TM: As of right now my poetry book Fatal Impact is available online, for more information about that contact iuniverse publishing. But Fatal Impact is filled with passion and desire plus a variety of collection of poems such as spiritual, love, death, political and personal. It’s a good poetry book that anyone and everyone could relate to.