Nano Spotlight: Marshall Norman McCarthy

Good morning! It’s the final week of November, so these spotlights are nearly run their appointed course. Today it’s Marshall’s turn.

Marshall and Nanowrimo, in his own words:
This is year is my first NaNoWrimo. I discovered it last year, when a friend posted about it on Facebook. Unfortunately, it was the end of November when I found out about it, so I missed the cut (not to mention that, while I was working on a novel at the time, it was pretty terrible). I’m taking part this year for two reasons: 1) I’ve done relatively little in the last year other than work on my writing and feel that my craft is worlds ahead of where it was a year ago and 2) I’ve been outlining a novel since the end of August and think that NaNo would be a great motivator to keep on track.

What are you writing about this year?
I am writing about a man who is as far away from home as anyone can be; about a partnership, a friendship that is torn apart by Immortal machinations. The story follows a pair of Gunfighters, tasked with killing an Immortal, and leads to betrayal, tragedy, and one man’s first steps on the road to redemption. I am writing about a man named Bates, exiled to a wasted fragment of the world, forced to earn his living with spilled blood, and his quest to find that spark of light in his blackening heart.

Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
Bates, our (Anti-) Hero. He’s sort of the culmination of aspects derived from a few people in my own life, as well as few older characters from my past writing. At heart, he’s a hero; a man of justice and a loving husband and father. But, desperate and severed from his old life, he’s become a killer for hire.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Since this is my first year, I’ll just say this: I’ve learned (the hard way) that no novel can be completed fully in 30 days. So, just write. Don’t get hung up on edit-checks. Shoot for 50k words, but treat it as a first draft – you’ll just have go to back and edit it later. If November is Nation Novel Writing Month, then December should be National Novel Editing Month.

Sneaky Ninja question! Out of your favourite fictional characters, who’d make the best sneaky ninja?
Hmm. Well, the first character that comes to mind is Apsalar, from the Malazan Book of the Fallen, but she’s already an assassin, so I think that would be cheating. So, I’ll go with Kevin, from Home Alone. After those two movies, I think he’s well on his way to a career as a Ninja.

Marshall Norman McCarthy possesses a love/hate relationship with fantasy. At the best of times, the genre has brought him to tears of joy and tragedy, and has taken him to worlds he is desperate to explore. At the worst, he’s railed at the overuse of tropes, the reliance on Tolkien conventions and has given him cause to shake his head and ask, ‘Can’t we do more?’ But, such questions are best answered by the one asking them.

The-Good-The-Bad-and-the-Ugly-Legos (450x270)

His novel, Ain’t No Redemption, is his answer to his own challenge. It will combine aspects of High Fantasy and Spaghetti Westerns into something he hopes will be unique – or at the very least, will be more than ‘run of the mill.’ But, he stresses that the important thing to consider is not the genre, but the heart of the story. ‘If you can’t take your characters, your theme, and your basic plot, and transpose them into a contemporary setting, and still have everything make sense, then you better get back to the drawing board.’

Ain’t No Redemption, will be published on Leanpub and Marshall is pledging to donate half of any proceeds to NaNoWriMo.
You can find it here:

Marshall’s DeviantArt link.

One Response to Nano Spotlight: Marshall Norman McCarthy

  1. Reblogged this on Fragments of Noth and commented:
    Check out my interview over on the Kelmorth Files, for NaNoWriMo!

    Thanks goes to Chris Kelworth.


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