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Petrolheads, unite!

by on June 23, 2014

KBarthanCoverMontageHi, it’s nice to see you here on my blog. It gets lonely sometimes, and I like the company… It’s a bit like speed dating, isn’t it? Not that I’d know anything about that, of course. Not me. But go on, tell me a little about yourself.

Right, well, my name is M T McGuire and I grew up – or at least, got bigger – on a windy down in Sussex. I enjoy the Real World but I wouldn’t want to live here full time. That’s why I write books. My home as a youngster was the first location choice for Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter films, so maybe it’s not so strange that I’ve ended up writing spec-fic. Perhaps there’s something in the water up there, apart from chalk. I now live in Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, with a McOther, a McMini, a McCat and a selection of very silly cars. I haven’t found a way to make any of the cars fly, and none of them is fitted with ordnance, but my team of evil scientists and I are working on that.

Despite being 46 now, and supposedly, an adult, I check all unfamiliar wardrobes for a gateway to Narnia. I haven’t found one so far but I live in hope.


And as you are here, I presume you have a book out? Actually, I know you have because I’ve already got a copy. I couldn’t wait…

Mmm… I do indeed; two. My books are like badly scheduled bus services, nothing for a whole year and then you get a brace at once. They are the last two in a series; The K’Barthan Trilogy.

What genre would you say they are?

Tricky. They are contemporary urban science fiction fantasy adventures with a dash of romance – no squelchy bits but people do fall in love and there’s a bit of kissing in books 2 and 4.

You have other books in the series, don’t you?

For best enjoyment the series really needs to be read in order – otherwise the character development will be… odd. So, the first book, Few Are Chosen, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 1 is out already – and free in e-book format. The second book, The Wrong Stuff, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 2 has also been out since April 2012. One Man: No Plan, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 3 came out just under a week ago (June 2014) and the last book, Looking For Trouble, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 4 is out on 12th July, 2014.

OK, some of your readers might have spotted the number four in conjunction with the word ‘trilogy’. The moral here is that a person who counts like Baldrick off Blackadder should never decide how many books they’re going to write in advance. You can guarantee that if I’d gone with ‘series’ there’d have been three books, right as pie. As it is the last one was enormous: and since it had a natural stopping point half way through, I thought it best to split it into slightly more manageable chunks.

Come on, tell us a bit more about them, please…

I’ll give you the blurb for the whole lot… it just seems easier.

Desperate man seeks quiet, danger-fee existence. Destiny refuses.
All The Pan of Hamgee wants is a quiet life, but he has an unfortunate tendency to complicate things for himself; he falls for a woman living in a different version reality to his, for starters. He also has a knack of getting himself noticed by the wrong people. As a result, his efforts to exist humbly and unobtrusively, and to woo his love, merely get him into deeper and deeper trouble, dragging both her, and his friends, along with him.

As Government forces close in on him, The Pan does what comes naturally to his cowardly nature; he takes to his heels. But the time comes when there is nowhere left to run. He must stand up for his beliefs, face his demons and rectify the chaos he has caused, or die trying.

There are bad jokes, silly names, an unspeakable baddie, flying cars, flying car chases, fights and a smattering of romance. There might even be the odd universal truth buried in here somewhere but if there is, it’s only by mistake.

If you’re interested, the best place to find out more is probably my Amazon author page, as all my books are listed there, or if you use other devices and/or vendors the books page on my website has purchase links to a whole host of places you can get it from.

Oh and my blog is at and my twitter handle is @MTMcGuireAuthor

Now we get to the more interesting bit, where MTM talks a bit about herself. And without artificial aids, or alcohol too!
What made you start writing?

It’s not so much a case of starting, more that I can’t stop. I am a complete authorholic. I have always written stuff. If I don’t I get quite ratty. Indeed, I recognise patterns in my own behaviour that are traditionally associated with substance abusers. I have elderly parents who need keeping an eye on, a kitten, a six year old and I’m at the age when the people I know who are going to die young are… well… dying (and we all know there’s nothing like a death to knock you off your stride). In short, Real Life is far too complicated to do anything else. It’s like having my brain stirred with a huge wooden spoon on a good day. Consequently, it’s real struggle to write and I would definitely not be doing so if I had a choice. It’s a need. Like breathing; and nothing touches the buzz I get when it’s going well or the slough of despond when it isn’t.

What was your inspiration for this book/series?

Do you know I’m not sure. There are themes in it, things I care about, that matter to me. There is a certain rites of passage aspect, which reflects my feelings about mine. There are also ideas, I love to start with a grain of scientific truth and build a whole sandcastle of daftness. Obliquely, it ponders what truth is and the power of belief. It seems to me that most of our financial institutions are founded on concepts and ideas that don’t really exist. Sub-prime, currency fluctuations, all of them are based on someone, somewhere’s idea of how things are. Once in a while that someone loses confidence in a concept and we have a recession. Like with sub-prime, currency fluctuations in the one before, the dot com bubble, the sudden realisation that many nations could never pay back their national debts if required (’twas ever thus but suddenly, after the sub-prime/banks, it mattered). In short, the supposed Real World is often flimsier and more imagined than the ones we build in our heads. And have you noticed how, before there’s a recession, the financial press starts going “oooooh no this can’t go on… it’s all going to go tits up, no really it is…” until they finally convince everyone and it does. Belief is powerful stuff.

Writing: are you a plotter or a pantser?

Very much a pantser. I’m hoping to change that a little though. I had to bin a whopping 70,000 words of the last book; at least. I would be very happy not to have to do that again. Then again, I won’t be writing another series for a while. They get too sodding complicated.

How did you meet your characters?

Well… there are all sorts of people knocking about in my head at any given time. These ones were just the people who stepped up to be in this book. Except for The Pan of Hamgee who arrived as a bit part to make a prison scene more interesting and became the central character. I’m not sure how he did that.

We all have a favourite line in our books: what is your favourite line in this book?

“Perhaps you do not realise who I am,” said the voice frostily.
“I’m afraid not, so if you’ve forgotten, you’re in trouble,” said The Pan.

If you had to be Lost on a desert island, who would be your dream companion?

My husband and son. I think we’d need to take the cat, too, so we could play cat pinball – anyone who has watched a kitten chasing a ping-pong ball backwards and forwards across a corridor will know what cat pinball is.

My real thanks for that Mary. And as the Lotus accelerates over the horizon, leaving me in a haze of exhaust fumes, there’s just time for me to exhort you to go and check out her work. I love her books, and so will you.


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  1. Carry on, McGuire! Interesting profile. Thank you.

  2. Very nice interview, Will and MT.

  3. Enjoyed reading this and hearing more about your writing. Thank you Will for bringing Mary into the light!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Words With A Fellow Petrolhead | M T McGuire Authorholic
  2. Words With A Fellow Petrolhead | Hamgee University Press
  3. Petrolheads, unite! | willmacmillanjones |

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