Author Interview: Cully Mack

Cully Mack

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I’m currently writing the first draft of book five in my Voice that Thunders epic fantasy series.

  1. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

I write epic/high fantasy and my book series is called Voice that Thunders. To date, I have published four books and a prequel (Sojin). A Voice That Thunders is the first followed by A Scream That Shatters, A Fire That Whispers and A Vow That Clashes.

My series features siblings, Mirah and Gabe, who become central characters along with a band of rebels fighting against immortals conquering their realm. It’s a pre-civilised world filled with monsters and magic influenced by Mesopotamian mythology. In some ways it’s similar to S J Maas because it has multiple character arcs with romantic subplots, but it doesn’t have fae (that is another project simmering in my mind).

Think epic battles with Immortals and beasts of all kinds, throw in some elemental magic, huge plot twists, portals and unique worlds, intense romance and an ever-growing number of characters trying to save their world. If you like character-driven fantasy, you’ll love my books. I warn you now; I don’t go easy on them…

  1. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

During editing, I find there comes a point when I’ve read the same lines over and over and they no longer make sense. It’s frustrating having to put down the manuscript and wait a while.

  1. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

Those lines that appear on the page and you read it and think, did I write that? When inspiration comes, it’s awesome.

  1. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

I love the way Patrick Rothfuss uses language. It’s so seamless and filled with fresh imagery.

  1. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

Funny you should ask! One of my characters would kidnap me right now. He is fuming because the woman he loves left him behind to save their friends. (the immortal helping her reach their friends could only carry one person). He’s stuck on another continent and trying to find a way to reach her. I can see him forcing a quill into my hand and demanding I rewrite the plot.

  1. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

Mirah and Gabe wouldn’t stand a chance, but Ammo would win for sure! He’s an Acquisitioner from my series. A man used to getting his own way, a player who loves risks and taking chances. He’d be playing against Cassian from A Court of Silver Flames by S J Maas. I think Cas is a bit preoccupied with his love life right now. As for myself, I’d just sit back and watch the show, mesmerised.

  1. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

I’ve recently been judging fantasy books in an Indie competition along with development editing for fiction authors. These are some common traps I have found.

Fatal wounds not killing the person.

Blow by blow (right hand did this, left hand did that) accounts of battle/fight sequences are boring. Show the reader the emotion.

Plot holes explained away in unsatisfying ways. Characters existing only for the purpose of the plot.

Make sure your story has conflict! Without conflict, there is no story.

Overuse of adverbs, and filler words like ‘that’, ‘some’, etc.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

If you like character driven epic fantasy, with amazing world building, multiple pov characters, plot twists, myths, magic and monsters, and subplot romance arcs, check out the Voice that Thunders series.

I hope to release book five in the Autumn.


Amazon link: