Morning all. I’ve got 2 posts for you today. First up, I’m on the blog tour for In the Beast’s Cage and am delighted to bring you a Q&A with author, Mac Altgelt. Enjoy!
about in the beast’s cage
Title: In the Beast’s Cage
Author: Mac Altgelt
Genre: NA / Adult Literary Fiction – Paranormal, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy
Estimated page count: 250
Formats available: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd (28 Jun. 2021)
Tour organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
Harbouring a dark secret from his past, immortal Lord Blake from medieval England arrives mysteriously in a sleepy coastal town in Georgia, USA. There he meets Hugo Wegener, an ex-doctor who is burdened with his own dark secret, and life-long resident Ginny Harrison, who is involved in her aging father’s absurd dream of refurbishing and reopening the town’s long-defunct zoo. As Blake’s relationship with Ginny blooms, he finds himself involved in the insane zoo project and, when Bruce Kelly, an exotic game smuggler from South Africa, arrives in town on the eve of the grand reopening with a plan to rid the zoo of its valuable animal species, it is up to Blake, Hugo, and the old man to stop him, without revealing the terrible secrets of their pasts.
Q&A with Mac altgelt
Literary Fiction – Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Adventure
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Mac Altgelt is a risk management executive and investor in Texas. He is also a writer, short-film maker, musician, composer, and world traveller. In music, he’s released two full-length albums and two EPs. He is the author of one humour book entitled, 101 Tips and Revelations from a Modern Day Cynic (Black Rose Writing, 2017). This is his debut novel. Altgelt is married to his wife (and muse), Alejandra, and has two children, Sophia (3) and Otto (1).
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always done it since before I can remember, so I am unsure as to when and how the initial spark was lit. However, I know that I have always loved poetry, it was certainly my first love, and so I can only assume that it was to that that all other writing ambition within me owes its origin. As a child, I was a poet, then as I grew there was an organic transition into music and song-writing (which I still do today). It wasn’t until my early 30s that I started to write fiction with any degree of seriousness.
How many books have you written and published?
I have published two books and am currently writing a third. My first published book was a cartoon book, and In the Beast’s Cage is my debut novel.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
It would have to be In the Beast’s Cage. Not only because it is my first novel, and that which is set to come out on June 28th, but because I truly believe in its quality. It also showed me that I had the ability to write a novel at all, which is an extremely daunting task in and of itself, and that I had the fortitude to see it through to publication. All aspiring and successful writers understand just how discouraging and difficult the road to publication is, and it is our debut novels that teach us those valuable lessons.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I base them on common names as they relate to certain regions, cultures, or time periods which my characters occupy. In some works, I use anagrams, amalgamations, or homonyms that can be interpreted by the clever reader to reveal secrets about the characters themselves that are not explicitly stated in the text.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
My main character, Ainsley Blake, would be the obvious choice. As an immortal possessing astonishing, inhuman abilities, he would be far more useful than would any normal person. He could lend his immense strength to the task of survival, and utilizing his centuries of wisdom perhaps even devise a means of escape from the island entirely. If all else fails, his innate goodness and extraordinary knowledge of all things would make him an ideal companion with whom to simply pass the time until I, a mere mortal, succumb to dehydration or exposure and am freed from the island in that less-than-ideal way.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
It would have to be Dickens. This is not because he penned my favourite book of all time, certainly not, but because he has penned more of the books that I love than any other writer. This is owing to his enormous body of work, and the quality present throughout the whole of it that is never lacking. Many authors can write a single great book, but it takes a true master to write many great books. Dickens was a unique success in this, and so he must be allowed the title my favourite author. Of his work, my choice for the best would be Great Expectations.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
My earliest memories of writing coincide with my earliest memories of life. I had a little black notebook that I carried around that was filled with poems I wrote. Later, I converted these poems to songs and recorded them with a spoken rhythm (I was too small still to play any instruments). The recordings were more in line with spoken word poetry, but I always called them songs. And later, accompanied by music, they would become real songs indeed.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I am presently a Risk Management executive and investor here in Texas. Writing, at least at my fledgling stage, does not pay the bills. I think it is certainly the ambition of every writer to do so professionally. Unfortunately, it is not so easily achieved in reality.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I would go forward about 10-20 years. This way I could ascertain the actual dangers of today’s perceived threats to our world, and return with the knowledge necessary to affect immediate action wherever required. This is all assuming of course that knowledge of my trip was widely known and accepted as true, and would therefore not be regarded as the ravings of a lunatic upon my return. The world seems in a precarious position to me at present, and I feel duty-bound, therefore, given such a chance, to use it in service of humanity. Of course, more selfishly, I could also check in on the stock market, since I’m already there, and tweak my portfolio accordingly to maximize my investments!
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Leonardo Da Vinci. The original polymath. His sprawling genius in art, engineering, and science, combined with his ability to think beyond the spiritualism of his time that was taken broadly as fact, makes me desperate to pick his brain. He moved the needle so far on behalf of the civilised world that, at the very least, I would like to express my gratitude.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love to write/record music, make short-films, write poetry, blogs, essays, and fiction (obviously, here we are). My wife and I love to travel, eat great food, drink good wine. We love the theatre, musicals and plays alike, and cinema. We have two small children and a dog, as well, so we also enjoy our domestic lives immensely. My wife is a dual-citizen of Mexico and Spain, so I am also perfecting my Spanish. As an American, I am handicapped with regard to languages outside of English, and I am trying to remedy that.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Well, I have countless entertaining stories, largely stemming from my university years, but I think they are better suited to cocktail hour than here. To that end, I’ll stick with the “strange” prerequisite and explain something very simple that happened years ago, and that I have never been able to adequately explain in all the time since. It torments me to this day. I had purchased a CD Audiobook of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as so many of my peers before me, and listened to it in its entirety, from start to finish. I enjoyed it immensely, Jim Dale’s performance was outstanding, and so I listened to it through a second time without issue. I should note here that this was a legitimate purchase, not some pirated copy on unlabelled, rewritable CDs. These were publisher issued, non-editable, factory copies. Anyway, fast forward a year and I decide to listen to it through yet again, for a third time. Only this time, about mid-way through, Jim Dale’s lovely narration suddenly ceased and was replaced with an unpalatable, soft, instrumental, elevator music for the entire remainder of the disc. Baffled, I checked the CDs, and they were indeed those that had come from the publisher, and that I had already listened to twice through! Somehow their original content had been inexplicably replaced. I invite any theories you readers may have as to what might have caused this. On one hand, the CDs were not rewritable, on the other, they had never left my possession. It is simply impossible that this could have happened, and I carry the burden of this unexplained happening with me at all times. I beg you to free me from its bondage, and give me an explanation! I challenge you!
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Nothing. Everything I’ve learned is owing to the fact that I had no choice but to find out. To remove that obstacle in any way would have been to handicap myself going forward. The journey is an important part of the process that helps ultimately to shape the author. The experience is invaluable.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My first love in fiction, and a book I have reread more than any other.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My debut novel, In the Beast’s Cage, was born from a dream I had in 2016, the complexity and vividity of which still astonishes me today. In order not to lose it back to the realm of sleep from whence it had come, I jotted down its essence before going back to sleep. A few years later, I would begin work, and in 2018, my first draft would be complete. Below is a brief synopsis:
Because I live in the United States, I typically refer people to the Book Depository to order the book, as they offer free international shipping. Link as follows: https://www.bookdepository.com/Beasts-Cage-Mac-Altgelt/9781913551926?ref=grid-view&qid=1622767890763&sr=1-1
follow the tour
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Mac for chatting with us!
I’ll be back later today so keep your eyes peeled.
Have a great day