Mick Scully

Mick Scully

Mick Scully lives and works in Birmingham: a city whose underworld inspires his fiction. In June 2007 Tindal Street Press published his darkly witty and erotic collection, Little Moscow. The first story in his Little Moscow series was published in the Tindal Street anthology Birmingham Noir.

Please tell us something about your background and how you started writing.
I’ve done many jobs: advertising, factory work, housing charities, property management, bars and clubs, porn, teaching, conducting non-religious funeral ceremonies. I’ve been an acupuncturist for over 10 years and was a lecturer in oriental medicine for 7 years. I started writing seriously 5 or 6 years ago. Living in Amsterdam I wanted to write about that city, possibly to intensify the feeling of being part of it.

Which experiences have had most influence on your writing?
Being afraid. Whenever I have travelled to places like the States, Asia, Australia, behind the Iron Curtain in the sixties and Glasgow, I have usually been alone – and scared.

For you, does plot dictate character, or character dictate plot?
A bit of both – a character in an environment or situation is usually the starting point. I suppose it is the interaction between character and situation that interests me.

Which writer has been an inspiration for you – as a person or as an artist?
Jack Kerouac, but reading Dostoyevsky and Kafka have always been important.

What is the most challenging aspect of your writer’s life?
Getting published.

What is your favourite book/author? And why?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac. The first book that was more than a story for me, and the first I re-read immediately and then read again. It made me go out on the road as a teenager, something that seemed to require a lot of courage. It was the first time since The Swiss Family Robinson that I’d wanted to be a character in a book. Mainly Sal Paradise, but I wouldn’t have minded being Dean Moriarty. Still wouldn’t. Hiroshimam Joe by Martin Booth comes a close second.

Do you ever get writer’s block and if so how do you deal with it?
I don’t get blocked for ideas, sometimes I wish I did. They seem to come all the time and get in the way of other things I should be dealing with. I get blocked at specific points in trying to turn what I know should happen into language. Sometimes alcohol, dope and nicotine help, but not always. Beecham’s powders added to any or all of them can be useful too.

Related Books

  1. Birmingham Noir
  2. Dreams Never End

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