"I'D LOVE TO SAY IT WAS SOMETHING MAGICAL": AN INTERVIEW WITH TABLE 13'S MIKE MCCRARY
MIke McCrary is one of the hardest working and talented writers punching it out in the self published world. His latest Table 13 involves a water who gets insnared in the dangerous and bat shit crazy life of a regular couple. Mike was kind enough to take some Hard Word questions.
SCOTT MONTGOMERY: How did the idea for Table 13 come about? MIKE MCRARY: I’d love to say it was something magical, but it really came from when I used to wait tables years ago. I had this one couple that came in all the time and always asked for me to wait on them. They were always very nice. There was nothing crazy about it-nothing like in book-but I always kinda wondered, why me? Then, when I was fooling around with ideas for a new book, I took that memory and made it the worst case scenario I could think of. S.M. : The class structure plays a part in the story.What did you want to explore about that? M.M. :I’ve always been a little fascinated with that I guess. I thought that Hank being a server in a high-end restaurant in New York was a perfect place to play with some of those ideas. You’ve got people barely-if at all-earning enough money to live in that city, giving the insanely wealthy everything they want, and all under the umbrella of the “customer is always right.” Seemed like a great backdrop for this story. S.M. : The restaurant business is one many have worked in. Was there anything you did to make sure you gave an authentic feel? M.M. : Like I said, I worked as a server many years ago so I tried to use those memories as much as I could. But I also worked a lot of other service gigs through the years too. Worked at a liquor store. Customer service phones. And all of them have a similar look and feel. They’re different, but everyone who’s ever worked in the service industry has many-if not millions-of crazy customer stories. S.M. : Nathan and Gina are intriguing, sexy, and scary protagonists. How did you go about constructing them and their relationship? M.M. : They’re flat-out fun to write, man. I really just wanted to create a couple that was alluring to the reader and to the main character Hank. You want to know more about them no matter how crazy it all gets. A lot times I’d think of one thing, then I’d think “no, that’s too easy” so I’d come up with three other options and pick the one that seemed the most interesting. Those moments blew up my early outlines, but what can you do? S.M. : No matter what you write, your writing has a feeling of fast forward momentum. Do you have a technique to accomplish that?
M.M. : Thank you, sir. It is by design. I try to write lean and keep my stories on a fairly tight timeline.
Meaning they take place over a few days or weeks. Pick the worst time in someone’s life and dig in. I mostly write in present tense as well. That helps quite a bit. Maybe it’s the immediacy of it that makes a thriller feel like you’re being dropped into a speeding car with no steering wheel.
S.M. : What do you have for us next?
M.M. : I’m working a new book that I think will be the beginning of a new series. I’m having a lot of fun with it. As with all things in this writing life, we’ll see what happens.