An Interview with Drama District’s Mark McCarty

Where are you from?
I was born in Paintsville, Kentucky – when I was about two years old my family moved to Ohio and I’d lived there most of my life – until my husband and I moved to Michigan last year.

Tell us your latest news? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on the sequel to “The Rainbow Cafe” – which should be released April 23rd. It’s another romantic adventure with Kris and Heath, but Chuck and Max’s love story is very much at the forefront of the story.

When and why did you begin writing?
I was operating a Bed & Breakfast in the mid-1990’s and had a lot of free time on my hands while I waited for guests to arrive – so I began writing poems and songs to pass the time and realized that I actually wasn’t half-bad at the craft.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Once I began writing an “online” soap opera blog story. I produced over one hundred episodes in a two-year timeframe a couple of years ago. At one point – I had over four-thousand followers – but – using “Live Journal” as a platform led to me becoming overwhelmed with that server’s tech issues and I eventually ended that saga and began working on the “Threedom” novels.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I loved writing the online soap so much – I found I couldn’t stop creating – so – “Threedom” was born.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really – it’s just something I developed myself. My use of the “dash” during a speel of dialogue causes some a bit of difficulty adjusting to – but – I find it follows a more normal speech pattern – people don’t always speak in full sentences and most discussions are broken-up with pauses and moments of silence.

How did you come up with the title?
“Threedom” – I think – sums up three men coming together to create a more perfect union – both for themselves and for their country.
“The Rainbow Cafe” is kinda’ self-explanatory.

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
I’ve always agreed with the idea that a family of choice is sometimes just as vital and important as the family a person is born into and that idea is prevalent throughout the “Threedom” saga.

How much of the book is realistic?
I admit that it’s hard to combine the melodrama of an old Joan Crawford movie with the heartfelt sentiments of an episode of “The Waltons” – but most of the time I keep at least one toe in the somewhat hateful pond of reality.

Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Of course – especially – with the saga of little Daniel Marshall Gallin Hailey in “Threedom” – I gave Danny three fathers to mend a bit of the difficulty I’ve had with my own. Danny is me – plain and simple.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Well- if I’m being honest – television writing influenced my work much more than literary titles. The prime-time soap opera “Dallas” is probably my favorite program of all time and the idea of “Easton” in “Threedom” is nothing but “Southfork” on steroids.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Again – I’d pick television writer/producers such as Gloria Monty of “General Hospital” fame or Agnes Nixon of “All My Children”.

What book are you reading now?
The last book I read was soap actress Jeanne Cooper’s life story. There is a lot of juicy dirt in THAT tale.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Picking new television drama’s as inspiration – I’d say Mike Kelly of “Revenge” on ABC is an amazing writer/producer and I’d love to have half that talent and style.

What are your current projects?
Working on the sequel to “The Rainbow Cafe” – it’s called “After Dark”.
I’m also thinking about my next series of novels and I’d really like to try something in the gay “superhero” vein or maybe a gay detective couple – like the old “Hart to Hart” series on ABC in the 1970’s.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. self-publishing platforms are fantastic and I could not have produced any of this work without that resource.

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes – the more successful I become – the more that dream becomes a reality.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I still worry that the proofing didn’t catch everything and I published something with a mistake that didn’t get fixed. I’ve had actual nightmares over that – waking up in the middle of the night – with this sick feeling that an entire paragraph was filled with mistakes – but – it was already out there for all to see.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
With my love of television soap opera’s – I always rewrote storylines – in my head – to make what I wanted to see happen.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Trying to write for myself and maintain what I want to see happen on the page – instead of worrying about what will “sell” or “please” the public or the readers. I’ve always admired the creator of the television series – “Lost” – who said that he wrote what he wanted to see happen and if others happened to watch it and like it – then – that was wonderful- but – he wrote the show for himself and to fulfill his creative need.

Who designed the covers/website?
I created all the designs and I found that picking the images and building the virtual world where my characters call their home is my absolute favorite part of the process – maybe – even more than the actual writing. Selecting the images of who is “playing” which part is a lot of fun and I believe I’ve done a good job of matching a face with the character – especially – with the Mark Marshall model and with the Dr. Heath Vanderglass and Dr. Chuck Ebert prototypes – as well.

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What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I believe writing is simply a labor of love and that nothing is really hard about it – I just sit down – get into the zone and let it flow.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Just that I do have something akin to talent and that I need to believe in that talent with every single thing I’ve got inside myself – otherwise known as confidence.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you want to see and say – then – hope for the best !!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for allowing my “worlds” to share a few moments with you – in your universe. I consider it a privilege that you did !!