In more than 20 years as a fiction writer, my second-biggest claim to fame is a 2004 issue of Esquire that does not have fiction in it. And the fiction it doesn’t have in it is mine.
This post is less about what happened than it is about why it matters. But let’s start with what happened. A few years earlier, I’d had a story published in GQ. The fiction editor who’d chosen my story for GQ had, in the interim, become the fiction editor at Esquire. She called me and told me she wanted to publish a story of mine in her debut issue.
I am a writer, and therefore a thief.
Last week the most recent case in point. A Tweet of a line I liked, one that resonated and is likely percolating in my amoral brain even now: bad decisions I don’t regret. It was, I knew, the spawn of a conversation I’d had over a drink with a new friend. It was, in my mind, fair game. She didn’t fully share that perspective.
“Didn’t we kind of arrive at that phrase together?” I asked.
The Muse and the Marketplace kicks off on May 2nd at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. In anticipation of the conference, we collected micro-interviews written by authors, agents and editors who will be attending the event. This is the third in the series.
Micro-Interview with Ron MacLean
By Ron MacLean
In 20 years of writing fiction, I've never been accused of putting plot first. Plot as driver isn't where my instincts, interests or strengths lie. So what ever possessed me to write a straight-ahead, plot-driven, quasi-crime novel?
I fell in love with an idea, and that's where it took me. Writing Headlong has been a learning experience (in the way that falling off a cliff face while rock climbing is a learning experience). It has made me a better writer. It has brought me face-to-face with my limitations (hey, that's fun).
1. What’s the strangest or most memorable question you’ve ever gotten during a reading Q&A session?
"Are you banging that guy's wife?"
2. As an author, how have the changes in the publishing world affected you?
As a writer published by a small press, the changes have actually been positive for me; a more indie sensibility is developing in publishing outside the major houses and traditional distribution channels