Interview with F.T. McKinstry, Author of The Crossroads Bargain

18 Jan 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Crossroads Bargain?

I’ve always loved gothic horror and fairytales; monsters, witches, curses, dark themes and otherworldly events find their way into most of my work. This story came to me out of nowhere and got a foothold before I could put it on the back burner. It’s old-world, balanced on the edge of the veil, and told from the point of view of a tormented soul who’s not quite here. It’s like one of those old George MacDonald fairytales where you’re shifting back and forth between the worlds and can’t be sure what’s real.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Crossroads Bargain, what would they be?

I created a playlist called “Lullaby of Woe” for this story. It includes goth, classical, traditional folk and an odd assortment of dark and airy tunes. I’m still tinkering with it, and it has become one of my favorite mixes.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Pretty much. High fantasy on the dark side, sword and sorcery, war, witchcraft, Northern European fairytales and mythology.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Passage to Dawn (The Legend of Drizzt, #10) by R.A. Salvatore, Sword of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #12) by Bernard Cornwell, The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (I read this when I was a kid, but want to reread it.), The Law by Jim Butcher, and Woodland Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The most devastating one. It unleashed a wild landscape of impressions that reminded me of why I do this.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Living things: cats, houseplants, the birdfeeder outside, and a small aquarium on my desk with shrimps, snails and little fishes swimming and creeping around in a jungle of live plants. I also need music when I write, and have an empire of playlists that I use for background effects. Oh, and I find comfort in a messy desk.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Trust your heart. It’s often the darkest forest paths that will lead you home.


F.T. McKinstry is the author of the new book The Crossroads Bargain

Connect with F.T. McKinstry

Author Site



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