On a comment on my last post I was informed of the passing of author Ian McKay on Sunday 7th July following a battle with lymphatic cancer. Back in 2015 I reviewed Ian’s debut comic novel “Something Fishy” and he agreed to be interviewed as part of my Author Strikes Back Thread. This established a connection with Ian’s wife Monika who has since then been one of the main contributors of comments to this site and has initiated many discussions here over the past four years. My thoughts are with her and with Ian’s family and friends at this sad time. As way of a tribute I thought I would repost the interview which first appeared here in August 2015.
The Author Strikes Back – Ian McKay Interview
I am absolutely delighted to welcome Ian Mckay to take part in the third interview in my Author Strikes Back category. Ian has recently published “Something Fishy” – a comic novel centred around a fishing trip and I am very grateful that he has found time to respond to my questions.
It has taken you quite a time to put out your debut novel. How did this come about?
I suppose that the best way to answer your first question would be to say that I’ve been so busy ‘living an eventful life’ that I haven’t really had much time to sit down and devote the time I needed to actually write my first book. So, as you can imagine, apart from a few sporadic forays into the worlds of short stories and poetry writing, the economics of paying the bills and putting food on the table for a wife and four children: plus the emotional trauma of an acrimonious divorce 22 years later, left me with very little time to pursue my passion for writing. For anyone who cares to know a little more on the reason why I didn’t publish my first novel until the age of 76, the ‘About Me’ page on my web site, http://Ian-McKay.com will tell you more.
Ian is certainly an inspiration for all of us who have put the writing on the back burner and is proof that it’s never too late to realise your dreams .
Your Disclaimer at the front of the book states it is based on “some true events”. Without giving too much away could you reveal one of those true events for us?
In my disclaimer I did, indeed, say parts of my book were based on ‘Some true events’, one of which was the incident that happened on the charter fishing boat. When, much to the amusement of the other fishermen, the character ‘Mara’, sneezed and his false teeth shot out over the side of the boat and into the sea.
One of the other anglers, who also wore false teeth, covertly took out his dentures and tied them to the end of his fishing line, to fool Mara into thinking that he had ‘caught’ the set of dentures that Mara had sneezed out over the side. What he hadn’t counted on was that, when Mara popped the dentures into his mouth; and, realised that they didn’t fit, that he would take them out and throw them over the side, back into the sea.
The subsequent discovery of the teeth inside a large cod was pure invention on my part; and, believe it or not, the episode, back in Liverpool, when they ‘took Charlie Abbott home’ did also actually happen, however, to protect the guilty, I can’t say any more about that!
What books have made you laugh?
The books that have made me laugh are those written by Tom Sharpe, such as ‘Porterhouse Blue’; and, in particular, the ‘Wilt’ series, absolutely hilarious!
Who are your comedy heroes?
My comedy heroes are many; however, if I had to make a choice, it would have to be the inspired ensemble of the whole cast of ‘Only Fools and Horses’.
I think that the writer of the series; who, sadly, died of viral pneumonia in 2011, was a comic genius. Most people will remember the names of the main characters Del-Boy & Rodney, but how many remember the name of the man, without whom the series would never have been born, John Sullivan, the man who wrote ’Only Fools and Horses’?
I also have been found, on occasions, collapsed in a heap, laughing at the ‘Allo Allo’ series, a brilliant comedy set during the second world war, in Nazi occupied France; incongruously brilliant.
What’s next for Ian McKay?
Well, as my M A degree is in writing for film and television, I have one or two comedy film scripts to my name that I intend to re-format into books: and, as a point of interest, ‘Something Fishy’ started its life as a feature length comedy film script too.
Paradoxically, I am also writing a factual series called ‘The Nazis’, which covers the period from the end of the 1st World War up until the Nuremburg war crimes trials. The first two books are titled as, ‘From The Kaiser to Weimar’ and ‘From Weimar to Hitler’. The third book in the series, ‘Hitler’s First Year’ is still a work in progress.
I would like to thank Ian for providing me with a copy of “Something Fishy” and for answering my questions and I’d like to remind you that this comic novel is available from Amazon both as a paperback and as a Kindle edition by following this direct link. Ian’s non-fiction titles mentioned above are also available from Amazon or by following the link from his website http://Ian-McKay.com
My original review of “Something Fishy” can be found here