Debut mystery author Marc McGuire is here today chatting with me about his political thriller, Missions.
Marc McGuire is an American-born international business lawyer who has lived much of his career in Europe, first in Zurich, Switzerland, and later in Paris, France. He received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law, and he currently resides in California. Missions is his authorial debut.
Welcome, Marc. Please tell us about your current release.
Missions is a fast-paced, thought-provoking political thriller with an offbeat plot and unexpected outcomes. The resurgence of Islamic jihad has inspired several best-selling novels, but Missions delves more deeply into the dark recesses of the human spirit that permit a select few to murder in the name of God or politics. These new enemies emerge from the story not as cardboard background villains but rather as complex personalities fighting for causes they believe justify their crimes.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted my first novel to arise from historical events that transformed my generation in some powerful way. One of my top candidates was the attack on Sept. 11 and its aftermath. Nothing else during my lifetime has stirred such a variety of strong emotions among so many people: feelings of loss, anger, fear, patriotism, suspicion, disillusionment and many other emotions. Missions takes place during the first year following the 9/11 attacks, when those feelings are still raw and the transformations of our society are still underway.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I have several ideas but no decision, yet.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a lawyer, I have written daily throughout my career, but I soon discovered that writing a novel is entirely different. It took me several years and countless drafts working on the Missions project before I began to consider myself a writer of fiction.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Initially I worked on the book sporadically, making halting progress on research, brainstorming, outlines and rough drafts; once the full story was outlined and the main characters were sketched out, I began to work more regularly, reviewing and writing every morning for several hours. With each draft, the project seemed to gain momentum (the most exhilarating phase) until my agent Linda Langton finally decided the book was ready for submission. Now that Missions is in publication, I am taking a break, mostly playing tennis, performing magic for friends, skiing, traveling and other fun stuff. My wife and I are headed to France and Italy this month, so I plan to give the next project some more thought and get started with the writing when we return.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love to learn from the masters. In preparing for Missions, I read (or re-read) a lot of novels by great authors, such as Hemingway and LeCarré, trying to understand the secrets of their writing. I never tried to copy them, but whatever I grasped of their marvelous techniques inspired me to try similar things with my story and my characters.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At various times, I actually imagined becoming a writer or a lawyer; I guess that’s why I studied English literature at UCLA and went on to UCLA School of Law. I’m not sure if that is a case of “living the childhood dream” or lacking imagination to try something different.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am also an amateur magician; even performed a few times at the Magic Castle in Hollywood while I was at UCLA.
Thanks for joining me today, Marc.