In 2012, you won the Poet of the Year at the National Poetry Awards. This year, you released your debut novel, Curse of the Whiskey House. What part of writing this story did you enjoy most?
I’m known for poetry and spoken word; however, I was into creative writing before I ever wrote or performed any poetry. I enjoyed writing the intense action the most. I’m a high action writer and I took great pride and pleasure setting up the fast-paced scenes.
Who inspired you to write poetry? Your first novel?
My inspirations for writing poetry are my father, Walter Lacy, Maya Angelou, Edger Allan Poe, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Influential novelists would be Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and Nathan McCall.
You have expressed that Curse of the Whiskey House was written for the mature and open-minded reader (18 and above). This novel tackles sexual abuse within a small town where everyone has heard of the violations but no one dares to bring justice to the matter. What was the driving force behind creating a story line with such a taboo topic?
The driving force behind the storyline is my observation on society and our crying out about how the world is screwed up; yet society itself is the main force guarding the secrets and perpetuating the problems. When relatively unknown individuals speak out against injustice and violations of others, most often than not they’ll be admonished, but that reproach should not silence their voices. This is important in all cases of human violations whether, race, gender, class or otherwise.
Creatively speaking, how did you come up with your cast of characters? Brooklyn, a rebellious girl from a good background; Ace, Brock, Rev Jones, the Mayor? The story has a secret society, Unknown Fellowship. In such a small town, why did you incorporate the UF into the town’s evil doings?
The Curse of the Whiskey House was derived from flash fiction blogging I used to do on Facebook. I wrote high action and high drama snippets and people took a liking to the stories. They especially loved the heavy-flawed characters. These characters are so flawed that the mischief and mayhem with which they are associated is very believable. One of my goals with this series is to make sure that the doings of each character is not too far-fetched. Plus, considering the plot, all of the characters had to complement each other in order for the story to move quickly. Brooklyn was the bad girl; Ace was a villain who society basically created; Brock, choir boy; Rev Jones and Mayor Justice represented high power and immense corruption. The Unknown Fellowship was basically spawned from Rev Jones and the Mayors’ shenanigans. In order for things to appear official at the whiskey house, the UF protective veil had to be formed … yet unofficially. They were a true legion of doom that added to the novel’s suspense.
Did you find transitioning from prose to full out narrative, character development, plot setting challenging?
There were challenges transiting from prose to narrative; however, they were not impossible to overcome. After all, I wrote flash fiction long before I ever penned any metered verses. Character development and plot setting were not overly challenging because I did my research and took my time producing my characters and plot charts.
What is your environment when you sit and write – home, beach, coffee, cigarette, music playing?
When I do most of my writing, it’s usually in a place where the scent of freshly brewed coffee teases my nose while shelves of books flank me like people standing next to one another on an elevator. My shoes rest firmly on a hardwood floor as my writing device (pen/pad or laptop) sits atop a cherry oak surface just screaming for me to create paragraphs.
You self-published your first novel? What have you learned about publishing from your novel that you didn’t know about the book industry before?
I learned that when it comes to the readership, literary industry, and bookclubs, novels are a lot more “reader friendly” than poetry books.
How would you describe your writing style in three to five words?
Exhilarating, adventurous, edgy, and action-packed.
Will you return to poetry someday?
I’m currently in the studio working on another spoken word CD and I plan to continue performing spoken word to stay sharp.
What’s next for Marc Lacy on the novel writing side of your brand?
I am planning to complete The Whiskey House trilogy.
Marc Lacy is a graduate of Alabama A&M University and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Residing in Huntsville, Alabama, Lacy is an award winning poet and blogger for The Man-Ologist Blog. Visit www.marclacy.com.