Australian writer, Ken MacKenzie is the author of five crime-fiction paperbacks -- with a sixth release launching soon.
His crime books regularly have an erotic element to them.
Publicity about MacKenzie’s work has appeared in People Magazine and at SEXPO.
Recently I spoke to Ken about his upcoming book release and his writing journey thus far…
Hi Ken. You've worked in the security industry for over thirty years in pubs and clubs on Sydney's northern beaches. You currently drive armoured vehicles around metro and regional areas of New South Wales. How much has your day job influenced your voice as a writer? How much has your personal life influenced the characters in your books?
Working in the security industry has definitely had the biggest influence on my writing voice and style due to the many people that come from such diverse backgrounds -- both culturally and nationally.
As a security guard, one is always interacting with people from complex backgrounds where language and people’s ideas differ so much. This causes many situations to arise where you have to think on your feet and make decisions to keep yourself out of trouble.
My personal life has been overlapped with my work life and it’s become one and the same. For the past twenty seven years I’ve worked with a great number of the same people.
Some are work associates (and that’s all they’ll ever be) but a few have entered my life and we remain socially close. This has had a big influence on many of my characters.
You’re the author of 6 fictional crime novels. What was it that inspired you to write your first novel? Have you always written?
Without sounding too much like a psychopath...
As a young boy, I often found things in magazines that were advertised worldwide, though not readily available in Australia. I wanted to know more about these things -- such as war figurines and military weapons.
I realized the only way to obtain more information, was to write to advertised dealers and it worked. I became so good at it that I would often receive free colour catalogues and brochures in the mail.
I mean this was the mid-seventies and there was no internet. The people I was writing to obviously thought I was a lot older than I was and keen to separate me from my money.
It became an interest to make my letters a work of art. It was like fiction really, writing to someone and convincing them that I was somebody I wasn’t.
This began to stir more interest in reading and hence becoming a writer.
You write with a lot of Aussie vernacular, which I love. Erotic scenes also present themselves often in your books. Do you think it’s harder for a male writer to write erotica? Without being mistaken for a misogynistic prick?
In the early nineties I wrote a story for Australian Woman’s Forum magazine. It was titled “Taken For A Ride” and won the monthly contest which was the WET SPOT OF THE MONTH.
I submitted it under my wife’s name, because I thought an erotic story wouldn’t get anywhere being written by a man for a Woman’s Magazine.
Nobody has written anything derogatory about me writing erotica.
Many people think men write porn books, whereas I've personally read wilder books written by women.
How long does it take you to write your books? Do you have a standard writing process? Does your writing process include alcohol like mine? :-)
I usually rough a book out in six months, then kick back for another six months and build the characters and detail.
The first book I ever wrote (which was never published) took me four years.
It was before home computers and I wrote it by hand. I then typed it out on an old Olivetti. With a laptop, even a Neanderthal like me can pump out a story pretty quick.
I don’t mind doing a bit of drunken writing, I find I can write quality, but not quantity. Mostly I write sober and at any time of the day.