*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Interview with Mark M. McMillin, author of "The Butcher's Daughter"

Q: What do you think about the current publishing market? 
A: It’s hard, nearly impossible, for and unknown new writer to break into. I know that much.

Q: What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? 
A: Just write, ignore the rules and processes and just write. Then polish, polish and polish your story and when you think you’re done, go back and polish it some more.

Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book? 
A: Six months or so – but then it takes me eighteen months or more on the rewrites. I bet I wrote well over 600,000 words to get the 100,000 + words for The Butcher’s Daughter.

Q: Do you believe in writer’s block? 
A: Of course, no question. When it happens, just walk away from your work - but keep a notebook handy or voice recorder nearby if that’s your thing. At some point an inspiration will hit you square in the face out of the blue and then you’ll know you are ready to write again.
Q: What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book? 
A: I do some preliminary research about the era I intend to write about and then I just write. I fill-in the historical details later to add an element of authenticity. I know, I know, my process is backwards. For example, this book takes place in the late 1550’s. When I wrote some scene with Mary (who wears men’s clothing as most of her time is spent at sea) and a refined lady, I just write the scene and research the types and colors of dresses the lady might have worn later. I’ve tried hard to strike a balance between adding enough detail to create realism but not too much detail that can bog a story down.

The Butcher's Daughter
by Mark M. McMillin
Genre: Historical Nautical Romantic Adventure 

In an age ruled by iron men, in a world of new discovery and Spanish gold, a young Irishwoman named Mary rises from the ashes of her broken childhood with ships and men-at-arms under her command. She and her loyal crew prowl the Caribbean and prosper in the New World for a time until the ugly past Mary has fled from in the old one finds her.

Across the great ocean to the east, war is coming. The King of Spain is assembling the most powerful armada the world has ever seen - an enormous beast - to invade England and depose the Protestant “heretic queen.” To have any chance against the wealth and might of Spain, England will need every warship, she will need every able captain. To this purpose, Queen Elizabeth spares Mary from the headman’s axe for past sins in exchange for her loyalty, her ships and men.

Based on true historical events, this is a tale about war, adventure, love and betrayal. This is a story about vengeance, this is a tale of heartbreak…

“… a pleasurable and action-packed read … a delicious spin to the otherwise tired clichés of male captains … the joy of the open seas - as well as the danger churning below - pulses throughout this rip-roaring, hearty tale of the high seas.” - Kirkus Reviews

Born in 1954 in Indiana, Mark McMillin has lived in a number of states throughout the U.S. as well as overseas. He attended Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, focusing his studies mostly on military history, and served as a cadet in Canisius's nationally recognized ROTC program. After graduating in 1976, Mark was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and was stationed in Bad Kissingen, Germany where he served with the elite 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

In 1986, Mark received his J.D. degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois and began his legal career with a law firm in White Plains, New York focusing his attention on general corporate law. In 1994, Mark moved to Virginia and ventured out into hazardous world of litigation where, in 1999, he won what was reported to be at the time one of the largest and longest federal criminal trials in Virginia's history. Mark thereafter moved to Georgia where he resumed his general corporate practice and served as general counsel for several companies, including a $1B publicly-traded airline.

Mark has been a life-long student of military history. And he has always had a passion for reading and love for writing and wanted to someday write his own book. But write a book about what? Mark had no desire to write about some subject that 100 authors before him had already delved into. And then, almost by accident, this fascinating, little known story of Captain Luke Ryan fell into his lap. It was an opportunity was too good to pass on and so Mark began the long and tedious journey of researching, writing and rewriting. The twelve year project ended in 2011 with Gather the Shadowmen (The Lords of the Ocean), Prince of the Atlantic and Napoleon's Gold.

Mark currently lives in the Southeastern part of the United States.

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