Writer vs. Writer Interview: G.C. McKay

Today we have G. C. Mckay, one of the new writers of transgressive literature, psychological horror, and philosophical novels which explore the dark and disturbing recesses of the human psyche. I got to know about him on his Youtube Channel in which he interviews other authors in the genre, reviews transgressive books, or chitchat with his fellows who they call themselves, "the bastards". Well, I guess it's easy to understand he became one of my favorite writers and authortubers at the moment. Let's see what this witty, sarcastic, and fearless author has to say.


1.Hi there McKay. First thing first, tell us when did you decide to become a writer in the Transgressive Genre.


In truth, it was never really a conscious decision but more of a blatant inevitability, knowing what got my juices flowing throughout the years that led to my writing endeavors. I do remember wondering, whilst penning my earliest pieces, ‘just what kind of genre is this, realism?’ Then, after some research, I stumbled across Transgressive Fiction and thought, ‘ah, shit. Yeah, that’s me. Fuck.’

2.That was my immediate reaction too. What is it about the Transgressive Genre that attracts you?


I think my fellow bastard from the podcast, Cody Sexton, summed it up fairly recently actually, describing it as “the only genre out there with any balls left.” I couldn’t have put it better.


3.Couldn't agree more. But I'm curious. What do you think makes a good story?


Anything that assaults your psyche whilst writing it, potentially re-wiring your brain’s chemical makeup. Now, that sounds wank, but I do believe literature should challenge the reader’s perception rather than just simply entertain. If it can do both, then great, but there’s enough mindless entertainment out there as it is, so I’d favour attacking the reader over simply distracting them in between scrolling through their goddamn phones.


4.Exactly. Many people write for the pleasure of a mass who do not have any desire to think. Transgressive Fiction and art are not for the mass. May I know when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And as a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?


After training to be an actor and becoming disillusioned with its career prospects and the majority of plays out there. Around 90% of them kind of repulsed me, whilst the dangerous, remaining 10% got me thinking that I’d like to try my hand at producing something even better. I naturally fell into literature as I became more reclusive, since I preferred the individual responsibility of the art. When working in film, for instance, you’re let down by people a lot. With writing, you’re the only one who can make it happen.

As a kid, I fell into fantasies of all sorts, usually based off movies I adored. All of them seemed to involve pretending (acting) so I presumed that was what I wanted to pursue. As time progressed, I realised it was more narrative and storytelling that really buzzed me, so here I am, mythologising my life away.


5.Fantastic. For each of your books, how long did it take you to write?

The more I write the more I realise that each book comes with its own demands. I believe it takes a minimum of five years to become any good at it, or at least find your voice and style. Fubar took me close to 4 years, whilst Heather took 7 months. Since the former was my first novel, and is over double the length of the latter, I believe that’s where I learnt the most about what I was trying to accomplish with my writing. Nowadays, I don’t pay too much attention to time, since I generally write the first few drafts and then leave a piece alone for weeks or months at a time. Sometimes longer. I’ve found this to be the best way of becoming truly indifferent to your own work, where you can look at a story with a stranger’s eye, so to speak, then really ‘see’ what kind of story is on the page. In essence, I let the story tell me what it wants to say, rather than the other way round. It’s a little schizophrenic, I must say. I also read my stuff aloud, a lot, and discuss it with myself whilst doing so. Just in case you needed further proof, ha.


6.Then do you have any writing routines?

Again, it depends on the piece, but with Heather, I did set myself a deadline for release and stuck to a very strict routine of at least 3-4 hours a day. At the beginning of any new work, I just write, look over outlines and re-write them, write more, then let the story reflect what it wants to say back to me, as mentioned. If something feels off, like when you hit the final third and seem to be stuck, that’s when I’d go back to the beginning and look over its progression and hunt for why I’m getting stuck. That’s probably where I’m at my most insane, since it can drive you a bit barmy at that delicate stage. So, to be clear, I write the first two-to-three drafts without too much revision, then go at it with a butcher’s knife for relevance, redundancy, themes, atmosphere, lexical style, correlation, mood, and connecting dots.


7.2-3 times drafting without revision? I can't do that. So normally, where do you get your information or ideas for your books?


Life and all its bitter disappointments.


8.Haha, exactly. That could be my answer as well. Which author inspires you the most and why?


I think any author with the guts to go places most wouldn’t. The list would go on a bit, but Bret Easton Ellis and his magnum opus, American Psycho, was the first book that got me thinking, ‘holy fuck, I can just say whatever the fuck I want?’ The liberating quality of that notion certainly got the better of me in the end.


9.I guess that's how all of us transgressive writers feel. "Freeeedooome'... May I know what does your family think of your writing?


All families are psychotic. Never let them read your work. Some of them will though. My cousin’s review went, and I quote, “it’s utter filth.” My mother appreciates the satirical element but has implored me to “tone it down a notch or two.” Since then though, I think my work has only gotten worse in that regard.


10. Have the same experience with my husband saying 'that makes no sense! Why do you write about these things?' What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?


That I’m probably far more mentally ill than I’ll likely come to truly realise. Though writing itself is a fairly absurd thing to pursue, so that’s probably not all that surprising. Seeing the patterns of your thought processes is rather alarming though. Your mental apparatus seems far more scripted than you ever really realised before writing.

11.Apart from books, you’re active on YouTube as well. Tell us a bit about it.


“You need a platform” is something you hear a lot as a writer these days. Publishers apparently won’t touch you unless you’ve already got a following. That dilemma aside, I started a podcast of my own a few years back, just narrating short stories to begin with. That seemed to gather some clout on youtube, so I gradually moved on to reviewing books and trying to grow an audience from there. At the moment, I’m looking to improve my film editing and taking certain elements in a different direction, but literature will always find itself interweaved throughout my efforts somewhere. I’ll go back to reviewing books in a similar fashion soon enough, since the new videos take just as much editing as a novel would, but I think the quality of them will speak for themselves.


12.How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?


Three. Two novels, Heather and Fubar, and a short stories collection, Sauced up. The latter was my first release and the former my latest. Picking a fav is difficult. Whilst I think Heather demonstrates my skillset as a writer the most, Fubar and I will always remain on intimate terms, whether I like it or not. If somebody wanted to check out my work, I’d recommend Heather in most cases.

13.Do you have any suggestions to help others to become better writers? If so, what are they?


Though I’m tentative to mention King, I think he summed it up in accordance with myself when he said, “read a lot, write a lot.” That’s fundamental, sage advice. Just fucking write and fucking read. Period. My other tips would include letting the story tell you what it wants to say (obviously after the first few drafts), look at what you’re putting your protagonists through then make it worse, accepting your limitations and seeing them as a good thing, and lastly, just leaving WIPs for weeks or sometimes months at a time, which I’m repeating here for emphasis.


14.Last question. What creature defines you best? Get creative.

At the risk of sounding wank again, probably a lone wolf. There’s a lot of misconceptions regarding this notion though. Usually, a wolf would only break away from the pack with the idea of forming his own. After failing, he would go back to his original tribe, only to be shunned for abandoning them in the first place, hence his fate of a becoming a lone wolf. For some reason, that’s always resonated with me. As an artist of the dark side, as it were, and especially in this day and age, if you go against the grain of an increasingly ridiculous society, you’ll find yourself continually shunned by it. It’s like a voluntary form of exile, I guess. I’m not sure what that says about my psyche, nor would I want to know either, but it sits well with me for the time being.


That's very inspiring. I can see the lone Wolfe in you. Self-reliant, courageous, and eccentric. Hope we can collaborate more in the near future.


If you want to get in touch with McKay and know him better please check the following links:


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GCMcKay

Website: https://www.gcmckay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/g.c.mckay/