Featured Interview With Michael Hunter McVay
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi in the 1960’s. It was a different time and a different world. I moved around in the south for a while with my family, graduating from high school in Sulphur, Louisiana, before returning to Mississippi to attend University. I became an art teacher and an illustrator, with a few odd-jobs in between. Now that I have “mostly” retired, I live in southern California with my partner, Christopher and his dog, Luke, a blind terrier mix. We spend our time traveling, exploring, walking and cooking.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
It seems that I was looking at books long before I could read them. I couldn’t wait to learn to read. By the time I was six or seven, I had read many of the books in my grandparents’ house. I was fascinated by encyclopedias, the bible, novels, comic books, and I wanted to know about everything. I found new worlds to discover through reading. I think the first actual novel I ever read in my grandparents’ house, was Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor. I found it while snooping around in the basement. I became wrapped up in the lives I found in books. There were already stories in my head just waiting to be written, long before I got the time to finally start. As a teacher, I had been so preoccupied with my career that there was too little time to work on anything else. Now, writing has become as much a passion for me as reading.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I take on books as an adventure. I like to fully immerse myself in what I am reading, often loosing track of time. I love historical non-fiction, memoirs, LGBTQIA+ stories of real life situations, psychological thrillers, and old classics with subtleties that you must decipher on your own. My own writing is based on my own life experiences, so to state that I am inspired by one author or one genre would be impossible. I enjoy reading about an impossible futuristic fantasy lives as much as an accurate portrayal of historic lives. To give real emotion to my characters, I must have actually experienced at least some portion of what I write in my own life.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Currently I have three books out, in this quarter, based mostly on my own life and the insanity that surrounded me throughout. I wrote a memoir as part of my therapy, having survived decades of torture and abuse at the hands of my maniacal stepfather. To desensitize myself to my own pain and to unlock compartmentalized, blocked memories, I took the task on full strength. I wrote, “Michael, Little Boy Black & Blue: Surviving the Effects of a Poisonous Child Abuser,” to help me accept and heal myself. I received overwhelming positive responses to this first book, so I soon followed it up with deeper, darker events that I was not brave enough to reveal in the first book. So, there is now a companion second book, “Michael, Little Boy Blacker & Bluer: Surviving the Effects of a Poisonous Child Abuser II.”
In all of my books I write about love, lust, betrayal, abuse, agony, pleasure, and pain with an added tinge of humor to keep it from going too deep and dark, plus inspiration from the heart. My books are geared to any adult audience, but they cover topics varying from torturous abuse, aids, LGBTQIA issues, discrimination, family-life, social awareness, alcoholics, to complex PTSD, BDD, and other mental health concerns. All of which can be just part of any one given life. I strive to inspire and to focus on making the most unbearable situations seem tolerable and something that comes to pass with a brighter life beyond what holds us back.
I believe we are all so very complex and having lived with a brutal abuser who had a different personality for everyone he knew, I was able to see so many different sides to each person and I love to explore them in my writing. As I write, I think and I learn from the experiences of others involved and from my own take of what was happening. My books can be a thrilling, wild ride on a complex PTSD slide, but humorous enough to keep you from putting the book down. For the villainous people, I lash out on occasion with sarcasm, saying now, what I was thinking then. We can only do that in writing. Welcome to my world!
My zaniest book is, “The Repulsive Tales of Wayward Fern.” Another mostly true story, with a few minor name and time changes. I listed it as fiction, but even I play a part in it. This one takes you through the gamut and leaves you wanting to know more about every character. Can the most repulsive person still be lovable? Let’s find out together!
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