I recently read and loved McAvoy’s novel Swords & Sails: The Legacy of the Red Lion and have been looking forward to picking his brain since. I hope you guys enjoy the interview, which by the way, I think is amazing. Check out my review for his novel by clicking HERE and if your still curious to see what all the rave is about click HERE to read the first chapter on Amazon. Also be sure to click HERE to add it to your TBR shelf on Goodreads.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: Well, let’s see. I’m 26, a former law student, and I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas with my partner, Roby, and our “kids”-a great dane, a siamese cat, and a corn snake.
In trying something new, lets do Fav 5’s
1. What is your favorite pastime?
I love spending my time outside and in nature, but I don’t get to do that as much as I used to these days. Reading and writing are of course right up there with that.
2. Favorite film?
This is always a hard one for me to answer because I feel like I change my favorites every day. To me, Schindler’s List is probably the greatest film ever made. Then again, I also like things that are just meant to be fun, like a Batman movie or a Japanese monster flick.
3. Favorite novel?
Anything by Charles Dickens, particularly Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. I’m also a huge fan of Anne Rice novels, namely Queen of the Damned.
4. Favorite author?
As I said above, I’m a fan of Anne Rice. Her books were what first inspired me to want to write when I was in high school and I think I’ll always have a special regard for her because of that.
5. Favorite pirate?
Well, if you mean historically, I’ve loved the stories of all the women who took to piracy. They’re extremely interesting people and it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. If you mean fictionally, I’d have to go with the characters from One Piece. (I’m curious as to how many of your readers are as nerdy as I am and will know what that is without looking it up.) If you mean from Legacy, my favorite character is Captain Wolfang. He was a real treat to write.
Q: Where did the idea for Swords & Sails come from?
A: I really don’t know-the genesis for the story just kind of walked into my head one night and wouldn’t leave me alone. Eventually I found myself toying with the idea and expanding the story and characters and I began to think that there was a niche for it out there as, let’s face it, how many pirate novels are there? Last year was really hard for me-law school didn’t pan out for me, my grandmother passed away, and while I was dealing with all that I just kind of threw myself into writing Legacy of the Red Lion. Edward Reynolds and the rest of the crew were really helpful to me in that time, and I’ll always be thankful for them.
Q: What is your vision for Swords & Sails as a series?
A: I plan for Swords & Sails to be a series with a fair number of books to come chronicling the adventures of Edward and the crew of the Cerberus. It’s going to be a long, fun journey, and I hope you and other readers will enjoy the trip.
Q: I described Edward, the protagonist, as ‘a strong character. He is honest and headstrong and fights for what he believes in.’ How much of yourself did you put into his character?
A: Well I’m really glad you like Edward as he is meant to be a fundamentally decent, good, and likeable character. I didn’t set out to put any part of myself into him or anyone else in the story though. That’s probably for the best too. I’d doubt I’d have what it takes to be a pirate. 😛
Q: In my review, I said that Swords and Sails reminded me a bit of Harry Potter. With that being said did you have any movie, book, story or idea that you drew inspiration from for this novel?
A: Multiple sources but all in small doses if that makes sense. The story itself is meant to be original and keeping it fresh and unique was hard with all the pirate lore Disney has incorporated in the POTC series, but here and there I did pick up inspiration for different elements in it and some of it came from surprising places. For example, one of the characters in the story (and one who will be important in future stories) is the Crimson Pirate. I wanted her to be the greatest pirate in the S&S universe and as I was working out what she would look like the image that kept popping into my head was a character from my childhood, Carmen Sandiego, and so when I wrote the description of the character in Legacy I based her red clothes and raven hair on Carmen’s look.
Q: What has been your most treasured memory after having finished this novel?
A: The reactions I get from kids make this worth while. I had a mom tell me that her kids were now incorporating Edward and the rest into their pretend play. That really got to me. I had another mom send me a book report her daughter did on the story. That’s now my most treasured review. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really hoping this is a successful series, but if it’s not I will still be happy that it may have inspired those kids in some way.
Q: Do you have any works in progress?
A: Yes. I’m currently working on the sequel to Legacy. Let’s call it Swords&Sails II for the time being. It will pick up where the first story left off following Edward in the aftermath of the events of the first novel into an entirely new adventure. More details are going to be released a little later this year so keep an eye out.