I chatted with Michael McBride recently on a number of different topics. We decided that a question/answer interview format would be the way to go. You be the judge.
1) With all the research you’ve done what is the one thing you’d like to learn more about?
My research has led me down a lot of really dark rabbit holes. If I were to narrow it to one linear subject, I would have to say eugenics. The concept of one group of people identifying the most desirable human traits and setting into motion a plan to eradicate those who don’t fit their mold is both terrifying and fascinating. With the global population expected to exceed what experts believe the planet can support, I believe it’s going to be a central focus of many policies and debates in the not-so-distant future.
2) If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?
I would love to live during any one of the various ages of exploration. Imagine traveling with Darwin to the Galapagos Islands or crossing the American frontier amid herds of bison. Sailing off the edge of the map only to find a lush land populated by natives and fantastic creatures. The idea of being the first to discover an element of the world no one ever even imagined is exhilarating.
3) Do you write every day? Would you still write if you didn’t need to make money?
I write every day I don’t have to work at the day job, and put in somewhere in the neighborhood of forty hours a week. Considering how many years I wrote without making any money at all, I can’t believe there’d be some magical dollar threshold that would be enough to tempt me to stop. It’s just what I do, part of who I am.
4) Where did you get the inspiration for Ancient Enemy?
I’d be lying if I said I knew. I initially started writing with the intention of exploring the historical mystery of the disappearance of the Anasazi, while simultaneously integrating some sort of cryptozoological element, but the characters took over right from the start and the story became more about them and their circumstances than whatever threatened their livestock. At its core, Ancient Enemy’s a coming-of-age story about a boy finding his way in a world from which he feels totally detached.
5) Spicy food or mild?
It depends on the kind of spice. I’m not a big fan of the kind of peppers they use in Mexican and Cajun food, but I absolutely love Chinese, the spicier the better.
6) What’s your go to snack?
I could eat potato chips day and night, especially Lay’s Deli Style, which is why we no longer keep them around. I eat a lot of fruit and yogurt now instead.
7) Do you like to shop for clothes or do you ask your wife to pick things up while she’s out?
I don’t like to shop for clothes, but I’m not completely inept, either. I pretty much buy the necessities online. Jeans, shorts, sundries, what not. The majority of my wardrobe is largely jerseys and team apparel. One of the bonuses of the aging process is that you reach a point where you no longer have to worry about what anyone else thinks of how you’re dressed.
8) Who would you like to co-author a book with?
Jim Marrs. He has a fascinating worldview. I’d love to pick his brain and explore the resulting tangents.
9) Have you considered woodworking as a hobby?
Is whittling a form of woodworking? I wouldn’t mind doing a little whittling. I kind of like the idea of just sitting out on the porch in a rocking chair with a sharp knife. I imagine we’d get fewer solicitors. And suitors for my teenage daughter.
10) How do you want the world to remember you?
I don’t care if the world remembers me or not. My hope is that my children will one day look back and be able to say that I gave them every advantage they needed to succeed. I want them to grow up to be happy and productive adults, who learned enough from my parenting—the good and the bad—that they’ll be even better parents to their children, and in doing so will help improve a small part of the world. And I’d like to leave a little piece of me in my work, so that I’ll always be there for them when the need me.