Thursday, 4 December 2008

Five Quick Questions with Grant McKenzie

Grant McKenzie's debut thriller, Switch, has been highly praised by the likes of Lee Child, Ken Bruen and David Hagberg (to name a few).

How far would you go to save the ones you love?

Would you commit murder?

Sam White is a failed actor turned night security guard who walks the empty corridors of a local mall, dreaming of a life he never achieved. But when he arrives home one morning to find his house a burnt-out shell with the bodies of his wife and daughter inside, he knows he would do anything just to have his old life back. His prayers are answered when he receives a phone call from a man who claims that the bodies removed from the fire don’t belong to his family. His wife and child are alive and Sam can still save them. But first, he must complete a few 'simple' tasks.

Pursued by the police, Sam joins forces with Zack Parker a plastic surgeon whose life has been ripped apart by the same sadistic kidnapper. As they race to save Sam's family, they are plunged into the labyrinthine underworld of Portland, Oregon, and the dark smuggling tunnels that run beneath the city.

But time is running out. To save his family, Sam must consider whether he is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice ...

Grant has kindly agreed to join us and answer five quick questions.

What's one thing we may not know about Grant McKenzie?

In between novels, I like to create one new painting. I find the process of delving into the visual/design part of my brain helps to refresh my imagination palate for the next book. Although most of the paintings are simply intended to hang on my own walls, I have at times paid more bills through selling my artwork than with my writing. Although, being a debut novelist, you can understand how easily this was accomplished.

What television show would you like to make a guest appearance on?

I would actually love to appear on Coronation Street. Having been born in Scotland, I grew up on this long-time British soap. When I moved to Canada in my teens, I lost track of it for a time, but rediscovered it when working the late-night, dead-body shift at my first newspaper job. Now my wife, daughter and I are regular Corrie addicts. I even have a plot for my guest appearance. You see, it’s the return of Curly Watts. Curly has written a thriller about his time as a FreshCo Store Manager when his obsessed ex-girlfriend tried to kill him (remember that?). He returns to Corrie as part of a book tour and I get to be the other author he’s touring with. Then, and here’s the fun part, Claire falls for me and we begin an affair, but Ashley (her butcher husband) finds out. One night, I get tricked into meeting Ashley at his butcher shop. I never walk out. The meat pies never tasted so good ;-)

What's your greatest sporting moment?

At a curling bonspiel, it came down to the wire. The two worst teams were pitted against each other. I was the skipper and it was the final end. My team had left me with two scoring rocks against the competition’s one. I knew there was no trophy for second worst. I took a deep breath, grabbed my last rock, and went into a controlled slide. The rock was fast and true. I slammed into both our scoring rocks, clearing the target of everything but the competition’s lone rock. And with a mighty roar we held our trophy high. The skunk award for worst curling team. I still have it somewhere, although I think the skunk broke off.

What's your ideal holiday destination?

Somewhere warm and sunny with a sandy beach and a shade umbrella, but more importantly, money in the bank and the bills paid so I can actually relax and enjoy the moment.

How many comments to this blog post would I need to have you read and comment on my first thriller, The Interrogator?

Absolutely none. I would be honored.

Thanks, Grant. Please check Grant's website for all of the details of Switch.


If you enjoyed this interview, why not have a look at my other interviews with Will Lavender, Kelly Curtis, Lisa Unger, JA Konrath, Laura Benedict, Ed Lynskey, Luke Devenish, Karen Dionne and Michelle Gagnon.


L.J. Sellers said...

The story sounds great. And the fact that it's set in Portland, Oregon intrigues me. Is Grant a Portland resident now?

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Good on ya, Grant! They actually give out skunk trophies for the loser? That's harsh.

Congratulations on selling artwork. It's no easier way to make a living than writing. I don't think my artwork ever got farther than the refrigerator...

JT Ellison said...

Congratulations on your release, Grant!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Congrats on your new release! It sounds like an amazing read.

Grant said...

Thanks for the comments and interest everyone. To know there are real copies of my book in real brick-and-mortar bookstores makes me feel like a real published author. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

L.J.: I actually live a few hours north of Portland, across the border and a short ferry ride to Canada's Sunshine Coast.


Kay Thomas said...

Congratulations on your debut, Grant. That's very cool about your artwork! Do you ever paint when you are stuck in your writing or plotting?

Jeremy said...

Congratulations, Grant - Switch sounds great, and I can't wait to read it.

Grant said...

Thanks, Kay.
After I finish banging my head repeatedly against the wall, I have been known to pick up a brush in the hopes of distracting my conscious mind and letting my subconscious solve the riddle. It is funny how creativity breeds creativity.

Thanks, Jeremy, ditto on your upcoming spy thriller!

kate Forsyth said...

Hey JJ - just wondering if you've been given any good comments about your books and what you're going to do with them? Will they be endorsements in the published book, or on the website ... and when do we get to read them?

all my best


JJ Cooper said...

Hi Kate,

Just waiting on the advance copies. Then I'll be sending them for comment to those interested. Finished editing well ahead of schedule so I'm hoping to have some blurbs ready for the final print. I'll be sure to add them all to my site. Thanks for dropping by. Much appreciated.