Interview Questions for David McCaffrey

First off, congratulations on Hellbound. It’s a fantastic read and am happy I got the chance to review it.

1) Tell us a bit about what your inspiration for Hellbound was.Honestly, there were two inspirations. The first of them was the quantum theory of Schrödinger’s cat.
Having read the story you might identify with it; it demonstrated the
conflict between nature and behaviour and what we observe to be true on a
macroscopic level. The experiment consisted of him placing a cat in a
steel chamber with a small amount of hydrocyanic acid. If a single atom
of the substance decayed, it would trigger a relay mechanism which would
trip a hammer and in turn break the vial and kill the cat.

cannot know without popping the box whether the substance has decayed,
the vial broken and the cat subsequently killed. It therefore, according
to quantum law, exists in a superposition of states which means it is
both alive and dead simultaneously until you open the box and discover
which it is.

was a tale of deciding which scenarios the antagonist, Obadiah Stark,
could be existing in. Only at the end do you discover which of those it
actually is.

second inspiration was Kung Fu Panda! No kidding!! A tale of the most
unlikely evil overcoming the most despicable of evils. Hellbound is an R
rated version of Kung Fu Panda if you really squint!!

2) What kind of research went into the creation of this story?I
have a big thing about research. I will spend weeks gathering as much
material as I can and reading around a subject so that when I begin to
write about it, it feels, smells and sounds real. My writing coach,
Steve  Alten taught me that. Make it believable or else you cheat the
reader and will lose them. So I spend an awful amount of time reading
around the death penalty, executions and the morality that goes hand in
hand with such an emotive subject. It was important to the story that I
do not give my opinion, only the facts and allow the reader to decide
for themselves.

3) Was there a particular case or person that inspired Obadiah Stark’s character arc? Obadiah
Stark is like the love child of all the most evil serial killers in
history! Tapping back into the research element, I read around Ted
Bundy, Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy to name a few
and took characteristics form all of them and remoulded them into
something familiar but hopefully at the same time, new. Most
importantly, he needed to be sympathetic which I know sounds bizarre but
for the story to work the reader had to potentially be able to
sympathise with him despite all his crimes. Again, I don’t know if it
works for all the readers, but that was my aim. I saw him as Wentworth
Miller in my mind for an actor to play him!! I became quite fond of
Obadiah  actually!!!

How much inspiration for the story’s setting did you take from your own
life? The descriptions of the various settings were so well written I felt like I was there.Thank
you! I love Ireland and wanted to set it somewhere different than
normal. Ireland has such history and is so beautiful, so it seemed
ideal. I have family from there and have visited many times so I drew on
those experiences and that knowledge and looked at a lot of maps to get
the locations correct! I tried to have the setting influence elements
of the story and lend them a sense of depth. I hope I succeeded…I
certainly enjoyed writing about the country and the various locations.

5) What author or book most inspired you to become an author?Steve
Alten, without a shadow of a doubt! I owe everything to him and
Hellbound wouldn’t exist if not for his patience, mentorship and
coaching. He took me on as a writing coach client and showed me how to
create a beat sheet, how to draft and edit chapters, how to develop
characters and how to weave a narrative. I thank him in every book and
will always do so. He is an amazing author from adventure thrillers
about giant, prehistoric sharks to political dramas concerning 9/11.
Absolute genius and genuine, humble man. I think more than anything I
wanted to make him proud as I had never really had that in my life where
someone was proud. So, yes, Steve Alten!!!

Is the mystery thriller/horror genre something you are the most
passionate about, or would you consider working in various different
genres?I love
psychological thrillers, however I have so many extremely talented
author friends who write in genres I could never do; comedy, apocalyptic
fiction, love stories, fantasy. If I was to go outside my comfort zone
then I think I would write a love story (or try to!). Though I do have
gangland thriller in the works which I am writing with a friend who has
the most amazing story to tell and I have a infection outbreak thriller
all drafted and ready to go!!! I do think there are ore original tales
that can be told in the thinner genre. That’s what I am aiming for, to
create stories that are just a little different. In the words of Shane
Ward, ‘That’s My Goal’!

7) What do you enjoy developing more: your characters or your plot?I
think I would have to say both! I certainly enjoyed trying to develop a
good plat that can keep the reader guessing and taking them on an
exciting journey. that said, it is nothing without some good characters
to breath life into the scenarios and worlds you create, so to me they
are mutually exclusive. I loved developing the character of Obadiah
Stark for Hellbound. I wanted him to make readers anxious and resentful
towards him for his evil nature, but wanted him to be personable.
Personable evil was my mindset when creating Obadiah…an engaging

8) If you could talk to your character, Obadiah Stark, and ask him one question, what would it be and why?Ooo,
good question. Hmmm, I think I would have to ask him “What does it feel
like to feel?” the why would be because after his experience, I think
it would be interesting to know whether a remorseless person is capable
of feeling remorse.  Though I might ask him “Who would win in a
fight…Batman or Superman?” Everyone wants to know that!!

9) How important has social media been to the development of your author brand and readership?
media has been vital in allowing me to reach new people who might like
to enter the world I have created. I have met so many fantastic authors
and bloggers who have become good friends; Louise Hunter, all the girls
at Crime Book Club, Tracy Fenton and all at The Book Club, Noelle
Holten, Shell Baker, Maxine Groves, Gordon McGhie, Sarah Hardy, Gigi
Gus, Jane Wignall,  Llainy Swanson, Emma Tasker, Jane Andrukiewicz,
Donna Marie McCarthy, Ryan Mark, Rob Enright, Tim Adler, Andy Males,
Bekki Pate, Paul Ferns, Leigh Russell, Karen Long, Paddy Magrane,
Charlotte Teece…I could go on forever!!! The bottom line is that every
single person I have mentioned and all of those didn;t have the space
for have helped me become a better author and helped share Hellbound to a
wider audience. Whether a review or a mention, I wouldn’t have any of
these opportunities without them, or people like your good self…none
of us writers would. I am only tiny in a huge literary world but it is
ridiculously exciting and I owe it all to the social media sites such as
Twitter and Facebook and the people I have met there that anyone knows
about Hellbound at all.

10) What are your plans for future writing projects? I
have the gangland thriller I mentioned in progress alongside a follow
up to Hellbound and In Extremis titled Nameless; not a direct sequel but
set in the same universe (a little like Marvel. All the films are
connected but not about the same characters). Both will be out in
October time. I also have the infection outbreak thriller I mentioned
all beat out and ready to start and some ideas for a few other
novellas…enough to keep me out of trouble!!!

you for your time David. I look forward to reading more of your work
and appreciate you taking the time to do this interview.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to chat to you Anthony.  It was a pleasure!

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