Twenty Questions: An Interview With Author, Jerry McKinney

I’d like to take a moment & thank my good friend & author, Jerry McKinney for taking the time away from his family & his writing to do this with me.

The Man Behind The Madness

Where are you from?

I am from Northern Illinois. Born in Libertyville, August 9th, 1963. My family bought a house in Spring Grove, off of a chain of lakes. In the times before video games, we had fishing, swimming and five channels on television. The neighborhood kids would war every snowfall. I wonder if they still do? We now live in Central Florida.

  1. Tell us a bit about your family…Married, single, kids, etc…

I am married with one son, age thirteen. He is an extremely gifted young man. Every day he continues to amaze me.

What are you the most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

I have been a foreman on many construction crews, a lead singer of a local cover band, assistant manager for Wal-Mart and even been a member of Mensa for the last eight years, but nothing beats seeing my writing printed. Is it arrogant to feel it’s like living forever between pages?

What is your favorite food? I think I may already know the answer to this one, since we’ve discovered that we have this very much in common…LOL

On the eighth day, God made gizzards and they were good. It seems like a lot of things taste like chicken, except eggs. Go figure.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’d love to say I would engage in some fantastic hobbies or events but basically I live in the real world and drive a truck for the local dairy. In my spare time I enjoy spilling my mind on the blank pages and creating.

When & why did you start writing?

About two years ago I had an idea and sat at my computer and wrote a really short story, maybe 1700 words. It was wrought with mistakes and grammatical errors. But damn, it was good. I had posted it on a website and had several great comments on it. I believe I’ll post it on my own website. It was the first draft of my story FEED.

  1. What inspired you to pen your first novel?

One day on Facebook, I was chatting on a horror story website and a lady named Laura Ehlers took me to the next step and introduced me to the Key Publications group. It was where writers help writers. I’ve met many talented people there and many close friends. They also published my work for the first time. I did two anthologies with them, but they sadly have dispersed and the books are now out of print.

What are some of your influences?

Propped up with a bowl of popcorn watching Svengoolie’s pick of horror for the night. Babysitted by Dark Shadows and Creature Features. In the world of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.  Reading King, Barker and Matheson. Don’t worry, my eye always twitches like this.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

Up to this point I have written numerous short stories.  My next hurdle is the novel.

How long does it take you to write a story?

That depends.  I have torn through some in a couple days, then there are some that are like pulling teeth. Each is different; free time, attitude and inspiration all play critical parts.

Tell us about your latest news…

I’m working on two tales now that will hopefully complete my collection of short stories. I want to get this out and published before embarking on the next endeavor.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

One is called ICU, where the main character works in a hospital. It’s a play on words because he sees a serial killer torturing his victims.

Is there any message there you want readers to grasp?

Crime is bad, M’KAY?

Where did you get the idea?

I just thought the play on words would work well for this type of tale. Maybe I see you too. Creepy, huh? I mean, who are these people that take care of us when we are at our weakest?

What was your favorite part & why?

When I’m writing, my favorite part is always the beginning. It sets the atmosphere for the story. I hope to grab the reader within the first few lines, just daring them to put the book down.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite horror book and why?

Blatty’s The Exorcist was a piece of true horror. I read this without my parents knowing when I was about twelve. It was a wake-up call to raw, unedited horror on my made for T.V. mind.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

Well, my shyness is about the thing close to a phobia I have. I think my stories are basically the product of too many hours driving alone on dark roads at night. I’m serious. I get my best ideas by turning off the radio, listening to the hum of the engine and thinking.

What draws people to horror novels? Why do we, as readers, like to be scared?

 I think it is quite beneficial to read fictional horror where we can control how it affects us, either setting it to the side or immersing ourselves totally in the author’s forte’. It’s up to us. I compare it to a roller coaster. All the thrills and chills, but the knowledge of the fiction of the danger.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

I’d have to go with Star Trek. Weekly, they would grace our homes with their adventures. Star Wars was a two-hour movie. Pfftt! Hardly compares!

If you were a character from Star Trek, who would you be & why?

Kirk, of course! He oozed machismo. But I’d have to draw the line at the green chick.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Goofy, Awesome, Dreamer

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Super editing skills just like Lori Lopez!

Thank you again, Jerry, for taking the time to answer my questions!! You can check out more of Jerry on Facebook, Amazon, Smashwords & Goodreads….


6 thoughts on “Twenty Questions: An Interview With Author, Jerry McKinney

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