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Skye MacKinnon

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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a Scottish romance author who was raised by elves in the mystical Highlands and calls the Loch Ness monster her friend. Her bestselling books weave together romance with action, suspense and whimsical humour, creating page-turners filled with strong heroines, alpha heroes and loveable monsters.

Whether she’s writing about aliens in kilts, hunky Vikings or cat shifter assassins, Skye likes to put a new spin on familiar tropes. Some of her heroines don’t have to choose, some fall in love with other women, and others get abducted by clueless aliens.

Skye lives with her bossy cat on the west coast of Scotland and uses the dramatic views from her office as an inspiration no matter whether she writes fantasy, paranormal or science fiction romance. Until she gets abducted by aliens, that is.

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Interview

I’m Skye, I live in a cute little town in the West of Scotland, and I write books full of mythology, romance and unique characters. I published my first book in July 2017, when I was still working full-time in the media department of a university. I liked my job, but when my first few books were successful, I first halved my hours and then quit my job altogether about a year ago.

I now work in my own home office (which I share with my two bunnies) with a view of the sea, and surrounded by hills, books and friendly people. Things couldn’t be better, really.

In theory, yes. I’ve always loved writing stories, even when I barely knew the alphabet. I got a few stories published in anthologies as a teenager, which encouraged me to write more, but I was always told though that ‘normal’ people don’t become authors, that you can’t make a living from writing books, so I became a journalist instead. I never quite stopped writing fiction though, and after a couple of years of working in various creative jobs, I decided to try publishing after all. I mostly got the confidence to do so by chatting to other indie authors on social media and realising that they were all just like me.

I have a local café I like to go to a couple of time a week. The waitresses there know me well; one of them has even turned into a character (but I won’t tell you which one). There have been occasions when I started crying because the scene I was writing was so sad, and they usually bring me some free hot chocolate when that happens. I’ve told them never to give me the wifi code so that I don’t get distracted.

If I need some motivation, I bribe myself with food. Write a thousand words, get a hot chocolate. Write another thousand words, get that piece of cake I’ve been staring at for an hour. And so on… not good for my waistline, very good for productivity.

When I’m at home, I write in silence, music distracts me, but I don’t mind the sounds of a busy café for some reason. Sometimes I just sit there and secretly listen to the conversations around me – great inspiration.

I’d like to continue writing the stories I love, spending time with my characters and immersing myself in their world. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do this full-time, so I hope it stays that way. I’m going on my first international signing next year (Ballgowns and Books in Sydney), and I hope this is only the beginning of regular trips abroad to meet fellow authors and of course readers.

I’ve recently started writing children’s books (as Isla Wynter) and I love doing that, so I hope that in future I will be able to do things like giving writing workshops to children, visiting schools and libraries, encouraging young people to be creative.

It might all seem scary at first, but don’t forget that all authors started where you are now (and they’re all human too). Don’t be scared to ask for advice, do a lot of research, read a lot of books in the genre you’re writing in, and never forget to have fun.

One thing that’s important is to find your own style and writing technique. When I started, I was told that I should plot my books, so I tried that, and then kept getting frustrated when my characters didn’t do what they were supposed to. It made me feel like I was failing and almost made me stop writing. Then, at some point, I simply decided to screw the plot I’d come up with and let the story flow – and that worked, the book came alive, writing was fun again. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to advice, but sometimes there are several opinions or ways of doing things, and you need to discover for yourself what works for you.

I wish I knew! I have new ideas all the time, sometimes just out of nowhere, sometimes because of what I see on the news, or films, or just random images I find online. For example, my Claiming Her Bears series came into being because I read a scientific study about how rising sea levels would affect Scotland’s geography – which then made me set an entire series in a post-apocalyptic Scotland where the sea levels have indeed risen and have turned the country into islands.

Finding the time. I have so many ideas and projects I’m working on, but there’s always so much else to do. A lot of my time is spent on admin, editing, promotion, so writing is actually only one part of what I do as an author.

I’m addicted to dried mango, it actually makes me slightly hyper. And I need tea, lots of it. I’ve got an entire cupboard full of tea at home so I can choose depending on the book (e.g. chai tea for a book set in winter or fruit tea for a summery book).

Thank you for reading my books and supporting me with your friendship, reviews and messages, basically. An author wouldn’t be able to exist without readers, so I value every single person who reads my books. I love hearing from you and I try to respond to every message I receive (although admittedly that is getting harder the more books I write).
Also: Never stop dreaming and never, ever stop believing in unicorns.

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