A big thank you to everybody at Ether Books I am the Writer of the Week thanks very much everyone, sincerely thanks.
Interview with Thomas MacKay King
Thomas Mackay King was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, a city with deep artistic and cultural roots, as well as a darker, sinister side. He has worked and lived across the world for over twenty five years. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife and son.
Thomas has many stories available from Ether including:
The Kranji Boy
The Private Banker
It Was Daisy The Cat
The Final Haircut
How the Formula One Was Won
HR = Human Remains
Right Time, Right Place, Wrong Guy
To find out more about Thomas, check out his website thomasmackayking.wordpress.com
1. How long have you been writing short fiction and what initially inspired you to write?
Since my High School in Edinburgh, an English teacher gave me positive feedback one day and I was hooked, I think her name was Ms Hendry. A pity about all the other subjects though!
However I didn’t have much time to really create, I have been too busy working and living. I used to try and write a lot in different jobs I held. In Hong Kong I would do the English versions for some brochures and one day in an article about the new airport I wrote that the “centre of gravity of Hong Kong was moving west” it was used by a lot of people after that and I realized that words can be so, well, powerful.
2. Your short story ‘HR = Human Remains’ is now available on the Ether App. A description of corporate politics and relationships in business with a shocking twist, where did the idea of this story come from?
Well it is not a true story, I have to clear that one up right! But it is constructed around individuals I have encountered. Clearly I teased out, embellished and embroidered the persona’s, maybe some readers will recognise the character traits though, especially if you are reading it on the way to a politically tainted workplace.
3. You have now had quite a few stories published by Ether, with more to be released soon. How have you found being published by Ether and being part of the Ether Writers Community?
So glad I found Ether I love it, it has inspired me so much. Now whether or not I can go further and deeper is up to me, but I have to praise and thank everyone at Ether for creating the platform. I am exploring all the other Ether authors’ works every day and tying up through twitter etc. They are all much better than me too.
Ether I feel is a world class product, I am sure Apple or Google must be hunting you down!
4. You’re originally from Edinburgh, Scotland but now live in Singapore. How do you think your experience of living abroad and any nostalgia from your Scottish roots comes up in your writing?
Without a doubt it is all mixed up in my head and my heart. I also spent around 14 years in Hong Kong and 8 years in London so a good cocktail. Subconsciously I absorb and observe a lot, you might not think so at the time, but like a seed is planted in your head, it lays dormant, until one day the conditions are right and it grows. Hopefully it is a flourishing plant or flower and not a weed though!
5. Which writers and thinkers have particularly inspired you?
When I was growing up in Edinburgh I loved the 7.84 Theatre Company, The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil that really blew me away politically and socially and it got me into going to the theatre, it was written by a guy from Liverpool John McGrath I think. All of that earthy, working class ‘real’ material in the late 70’s set in Liverpool, Glasgow, the East End, influenced me as did real life of course. People that have inspired me are real people like, Eric Liddell, Sir Tom Farmer, Aung San Suu Kyi.
6. Which short fiction writer would you recommend that every aspiring writer should read?
I am a bit stuck with the old guys here; I have recently been reading Dylan Thomas, Arthur Conan Doyle and Anton Chekov who can take you from extreme optimism to dark pessimism in one well-crafted line, but, and it might make me look immature but, Roald Dahl, what was in his head?
7. What are you working on at the moment?
I have a novel three quarters done. It is about a family owned bank and how the current generation blows it all, corruption, murder, sex, exotic locations, the usual stuff right! Trying to complete it before Christmas only 30,000 words to go…….
Recently though I am waking at around 4 a.m. ish every day, my head filling with ‘stuff’, so I am writing it down and I hope I can share it with you soon.