Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Interview with Mungo Magennis, Author of Kings and Criminals

Mungo Magennis is the author of the new Kings and Criminals series. He's worked in technology for the past ten years, advising some of the world's biggest companies on digital strategy and transformation. His first book, Kings and Criminals, explores some of the themes that can be seen dominating current events around the globe: power, influence, corruption and ambition.

Born and raised on the Wirral Peninsula in the north-west of the UK, he moved to Leeds to attend university before heading to London to join one of the world's largest technology consultancies.

Instagram: mungomagennis
twitter @MungoMagennis

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised on the Wirral Peninsula in the north-west of the UK. This location became the setting for much of the first book in the Kings and Criminals series.

When did you begin writing?

I started writing Kings and Criminals four years ago but have been working in corporate communications for the last ten years. The idea for the book has been burning at the back of my mind since I was 15 but it was never really an idea for a book, more how I would try to ascend to a position of power within the British establishment.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Most of my writing takes place late at night. I work long hours in my job so I tried to be very disciplined in making at least three or four hours on a writing night. I find it takes me about 40 minutes to settle back into the ‘zone’ so I won’t write unless I have at least 2.5 hours to spend.

What is this book about?

The book follows sixteen-year-old Max as he has a brainwave whilst reading a History report to his class. He’s been researching groups and people who control power and influence around the world and he sees much greed and corruption that he wants to overcome.

He starts a secret group with the aim of putting each of its members into the most powerful and influential positions in the British establishment.

Along the way, the group realises that accomplishing the grand idea will be a lot harder than they initially thought. Although their long-term motives are altruistic, they have to make questionable decisions to ensure that the secrecy and safety of the members is protected.

What inspired you to write it?

The idea for Kings and Criminals was born out of a frustration with politics and the ever-widening disparity in wealth and power around the world. It made me wonder whether the people that we allow into power can really be trusted with it. The book was one approach that I saw to overcome this.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Writing the book was one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of my life. Getting to publication was much more difficult and involved learning many new skills that I hadn’t previously considered. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to work with lots of very experienced professionals who helped me get the book to where it is today. Their input was invaluable, and I learnt many lessons along the way.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

If I could go back and give myself advice at the start of the process, it would be this:

Reach out to people with experience as early as possible. Don’t wait until you have finished the manuscript. Contact a freelance editor after you have written the first few chapters. These guys know what they’re talking about and early contact with them will save you a lot of time further down the road as well as teaching you things you didn’t know about your writing.

Enjoy the journey! This is something that many people never get the chance to do. It’s thrilling, exciting, and at the end of it, you’ll have created something that will be truly yours.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Kings and Criminals is available from Amazon in paperback, Kindle and the free Kindle app. It’s also available on Kobo.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

After publishing Kings and Criminals, so many people have reached out to me to tell me they have an idea for a book but don’t know where to start.

My advice would be take some time to really think about what you’re looking to achieve, who your audience would be and what stands out about your story. Then get going! The first few chapters are where you’ll find your voice, learn about your writing style and start to plan out the rest of the book. Everyone has to start somewhere

What is up next for you?

Kings and Criminals will be a series of 6 or 7 books. I’ve just started on book 2 in the series and am looking forward to the next stage in the characters’ lives.

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