Interview with M.D. Massey, author of Druid Enforcer
29 May 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Druid Enforcer?
Druid Enforcer is the sixth book in the Colin McCool urban fantasy series, and my fourteenth novel published to date. In this book, Colin is now at a stage in his life where he’s maturing, and he’s learned to accept his responsibilities as a druid apprentice. In short, he’s come a long way from the whiny, self-involved college student who debuted in Junkyard Druid.
However, his recent appointment to the position of Druid Justiciar is giving him fits, as the role of “supernatural sheriff and problem-solver” is putting a serious cramp in his style. He’s also experiencing girlfriend troubles, since his ex has shown up quite unexpectedly and set up shop in his backyard. As you might imagine, this creates quite a bit of friction with his current girlfriend.
While Colin is juggling his new job responsibilities and dealing with his relationship challenges, his friend goes missing, which sets him on a quest to find the young man. Unfortunately for our hero, all is not as it seems, and the deeper he gets into solving the case the further he gets sucked into a plot to ruin his reputation, and quite possibly end his life.
I honestly think it’s one of my best books to date, and early reader feedback on it has been fantastic. I hope longtime readers of the series enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t pay attention to your critics. If they had an ounce of talent, they’d be too busy creating art to criticize your work. Just find an audience, then keep your fingers on the keyboard and keep turning out the best work you can. Focusing on serving the people who appreciate you is the best way to get ahead as an artist.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
That’s tough. I’m going to include a few classics that impacted me greatly as a child, then I’m going to list some of the most entertaining fantasy novels I’ve read.
Homer’s Odyssey (the Fitzgerald translation)
The Lord of the Rings (of course)
Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover, simply because it was grimdark before grimdark was cool… plus it’s a damned ingenious cross-genre mash-up of fantasy and sci-fi.
The entire Twenty Palaces series by Harry Connolly. It’s urban fantasy for people who like grimdark.
Will Wight’s Traveler’s Gate trilogy, which is kind of a cross between Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber (a classic) and Glen Cook’s Black Companynovels (which are among my favorites). The trilogy is weird and trippy, and it’s a hell of a fun read.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I’d probably want to share a bowl of Old Toby with J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Then I’d just let them talk, sit back, and soak it in.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
It allows me to express my creative side, which was a part of me that I either suppressed or ignored for a long, long time. I grew up very poor, and because of that as a young man I became fixated on achieving financial success. I did, but unfortunately it came at the cost of my personal happiness. It took me two decades to learn that money can only make you so happy. Thankfully, I also discovered that writing offers me an endless fount of joy, and I’d gladly be doing it even if it didn’t pay the bills.
What’s on your writing desk?
My Das Keyboard mechanical keyboard, a life-changing piece of tech gear that I couldn’t live without. Those sweet, sweet Cherry Blue MX key switches make music when I write.
My iMac. I was a PC user for over twenty years, and switched to Mac so I could use Vellum and Ulysses, and I’ll never go back.
A Writer’s Digest Flip Dictionary.
A cup of coffee, always.
My LED blue light therapy lamp.
My Samsung Radiant 360 Wi-Fi bluetooth speaker. I was going to get a Sonos, but I found the Samsung for about half the price, and I can’t tell the difference.
A fresh pad of sticky notes, that I use to jot down plot ideas and things I need to go back and fix when I’m writing a novel.
A Uni-Ball Jetstream Premier Ballpoint Pen, the one with the fat barrel that fits my giant sausage fingers.
What scene in Druid Enforcer was your favorite to write?
Probably the opening scene. I took my time with it, allowing myself to have fun with the prose instead of just cranking it out. There’s a fine line between penning a satisfactory description and writing purple prose, and I think I did an okay job of walking it when I wrote that scene.
Plus, when I was scouting locations for the novel I ate at this fantastic little cafe and bakery in Fredericksburg Texas called Woerner Warehouse, which is where the scene is set. It’s the most oddball place, a combination cafe, bakery, and antique store in a ninety-year-old warehouse, and they have the best pizza, ever.
That’s how I got the idea for the scene, actually, because the day we scouted the place I saw this creepy old chair and thought, “That thing looks like it’s haunted.” Before I knew it, I had the entire scene worked out in my head. If you visit my Instagram feed, you can see a picture of the chair there.
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