Monday, February 16, 2015

Free Book: Great Expectations + interview with the author

It is said that the course of true love never runs smooth - even for us men. Yet it has never been easier to find love than in this modern digital era where the mighty computer has all but rendered Cupid redundant. Love is now to be found, quite literally, at your fingertips. Although love also seems to have changed with the times. This new love is deceitful and manipulative, cunning and untrustworthy. Love has gotten ugly. Thankfully, not all the answers to life’s mysteries are to be found in the computer and Cupid - battered and bruised as he may be - proves that he still has some game and a few tricks up his sleeve…

And now an interview with the author!

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.

Hi, and thank you so much for having me!  Well, what can I say? I am a Scotsman, currently living in Toronto with my Canadian wife Marie and our 4 month old baby boy, Gabriel. Marie and I met in New Zealand and lived there for almost a year before moving back to Scotland and now we are settling to life in Canada. Hopefully this is the last move for us for a while as we have moved 4 times in as many years over 3 continents – it’s exhausting. I am not as young as I was, although now I am too old to die young!

I started writing articles for the local paper and the book sort of developed from there.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

Actually, I can be rather specific about when I started writing. It was September 2013 as my wife got a job in Saskatchewan, Canada. As I am Scottish, I have no legal right to work and so began to write whilst my visa was being processed. It is a long and laborious process and, 18 months or so later, we are still waiting and I am still not allowed to work. So, I have kept up the writing to preserve my sanity, what’s left of it!

I have only the one published book so far, a romantic comedy called “Greater Expectations”.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

I am currently working on a sequel and this a thriller. I hope to retain some of the humour from the first book but it remains to be seen if that will happen. It is challenging in a completely different, but equally exciting, way. Using the same main characters allows me to build upon the familiarity that has been established with the reader but also explore more of their background and personalities.

The challenges and opportunities offered by other genres are way too appealing for me to restrict myself to any single one. Horror may well be next but we shall see.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?

To be honest, I would say there is a little of both. I have a general idea of where I want a chapter and the book to go but no set idea, until I start writing, how it’s going to get there.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

To be honest, there is no such thing as a “typical writing day” for me. Writing, for me, is the very last stage in my process. The ideas come to me and then I have to let them stew for a while, then they come together and explode onto the page. This can see me go for weeks away from the computer then I may wake at 2am and throw out the better part of 10,000 words in a few hours.

It really is wonderfully chaotic.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?

As a law graduate, it will come as no surprise that John Grisham is a favourite of mine. I also really enjoy some of Jeffrey Archer’s earlier works. Dan Brown’s books are quite intriguing and Steig Larsson. Such a sad loss, I finished his Millennium Trilogy in 5 days and would loved to have read what he would have done next.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

I would like to complete and launch the sequel to “Greater Expectations” and hope to build upon that success.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

I would love to have a Medium’s ability. My mum died very suddenly and my dad has also now passed so it would be great to talk with them again, even for just a few minutes.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland and it symbolizes innocence and purity, healing powers, joy and life itself.

I would rather not have it as a pet though, as that implies ownership. I would rather it was free and my friend.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

I would be delighted to, and thank you so much for asking. “Greater Expectations” is about a recently separated and soon to be divorced man after he caught his wife cheating. It looks at how he copes, or not, with this tragic life event and how he searches for love after 5 years away from dating. It’s a feel good romantic comedy with some dark humour and all, rather unusually, from a male perspective.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)

My imagination. It gives me the ability to dream, to create, to challenge myself – professionally, personally, and academically – and enjoy the fruits of those labours. It also allows me to ignore the doubters, those that either don’t share my imagination or who cannot see life the way I do.

My imagination also challenges all those people who say “you cannot do that” with “why not?”.

For example, I have a few friends who work for 6 months then spend 6 months in Thailand. I think this is brilliant and love their attitude. They share my outlook on life and have the imagination to make their dreams a reality. I love them for it and they are some of my dearest friends.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?

I really don’t think I could. I’m sure it would be great fun but I have experience of co-authoring academic work and felt that it was rather restrictive. I can only imagine this would be even more so when writing a work of fiction. Harnessing and compromising your own imagination? That would be practically impossible for me.

I have to admit that I do admire those that can though.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

This is a great question and one is just too restrictive! So, let’s throw a few out there.

Andrew Carnegie – A Scotsman born into poverty to become the world’s richest man? I’d love to talk to him about his life’s journey.

Marilyn Monroe – Was it murder or suicide?

William Wallace – Our house in Scotland is actually on the official site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. I’d love to know what motivated him and hear his life story.

JFK – Did he believe it was Oswald that killed him? If not, who did he think it was and why?

Leonardo Da Vinci – A genius in so many fields, he would be fascinating to just listen to. As a man who is more into talking than listening, this would be an interesting change for me!

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?

I love to travel and have lived and worked in China, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, London and now Canada. I was also a truck driver and drove all over Europe, as well as holidays to far flung places like Turkey and Egypt. In fact, I have been in 5 of the 7 continents. Only Antarctica and South America are left on my bucket list.

My mum used to tell me that there are some things that money can’t buy, and experience is one of them. As I get older, I realise that she was correct. So I try and travel as much as possible and there are so many places still for me to see.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?

This would have to be Hollywood’s version of Steig Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy. I loved the original Swedish adaptations, the subtitles seemed to make it all the more authentic for me too,  and thought that “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” with Daniel Craig was pretty good. I just wish they had finished the trilogy.

I also enjoyed those movie adaptations of John Grisham’s books – The Firm, The Pelican Brief – and would like to see something else of his.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?

Oh, this is easy. I wish I could play a musical instrument, especially the drums. However, I have absolutely no sense of rhythm and would struggle to play the triangle!

Favorite color?


Weather: Hot or cold?

I am Scottish so the heat is a stranger to me. Somewhat pathetically, I would have to say I prefer it mild.

Favorite place to read?

Lately, it has been in a corner at our local coffee shop. I am an avid people watcher so this allows me to combine two of my favourite pastimes.

Favorite meal?

Oh it’s impossible to pick just one. Steak and chips is always great, pasta too, or something Mexican that is hot and spicy. Anything really, as long as it’s with my wife and son.

In my experience, it is more the company that makes the meal than the actual food.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.

Strawberry milk shake.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?

Oh another impossible question. Immediately springing to mind would be base camp of Everest or Machu Pichu, Peru. A very good friend of mine has been to both and the pictures were simply spectacular, I was incredibly envious. Still am, to be honest.

I’d like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH once again for having me. It has been really great fun for me and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that the prelude for my second book can be seen on my website 

I hope you enjoy it and, once again, thank you so much for having me.

Have a great day everyone!

Author Bio:  

After graduating with a couple of useless degrees in law, Alexander McCabe left his Scottish homeland and wandered nomadically around the globe to experience the rich diversity of culture that the world has to offer. For the moment, it is Toronto's turn to provide a suitable abode for him and the wife that he picked up along the way...

Get it FREE during the tour!



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