7 Questions With Author Kelly Mack McCoy

Kelly Mack McCoy is a semi (pun intended) retired truck driver turned author. He spent most of his career behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler traveling extensively through forty-eight states gathering a lifetime of material for his books.


Rough Way to the High Way is his first novel and the first in a series of novels about the adventures of trucker turned pastor turned trucker Mack McClain. Kelly Mack McCoy lives in Spring Branch, Texas with his lovely wife, Miss Emily and their two Yorkies, Dixie and Dolly.


In today’s interview Kelly Mack McCoy opens up about life as a writer and his process from writing to publishing.


For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re curious to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For more goodies, articles and giveaways, please consider subscribing to my Newsletter.



Esther Rabbit: Are you a plotter or a pantser?


One hundred percent pantser. It amazes me how someone can outline a novel before writing it. The closest thing I had to an outline for Rough Way to the High Way was that I knew how it would begin and to a lesser degree how it would end.


Once I had that I just started writing to see where the story took me. It was an amazing journey for me just like I hope it is for the reader. I’m getting some awesome feedback now, so I guess this approach worked.




Esther Rabbit: How does a day in your author life look?



I’m a firm believer in having balance in all areas of life, including my author life. The problem I have is I’ve never been able to pull it off.


Maybe I’m a pantser in my writing style because I’ve flown by the seat of my pants all my life. My main goal as a child was to survive until adulthood. I didn’t think much about the process or where I was headed. It was simply a matter of survival.




Esther Rabbit: Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?



Just sit down and write. Tell that inner critic to shut up long enough for you to get your writing done for the day. Had I done that long ago I would have several books out now. And when you’re done with that part don’t listen to the outer critics either.


You have to persevere and see your book through to publication. You also have to have a target audience for your writing in order to sell a significant number of books. Target that audience and never give up.




Esther Rabbit: There are a lot of experts behind the novel, editors, developmental editors, proofreaders, beta readers, etc. How did you find your perfect crew?



I’m so grateful for the people who have helped me along the way I sometimes have trouble referring to Rough Way to the High Way as my book. The story about how I found them could fill another book.


I’ll just mention a few. Brenda Blanchard, and the other writers at the Christian Writers Group of the Greater San Antonio Area Judy Watters and the other writers at the Hill Country Christian Writers Group The creator of the jump-off-the-shelf cover, Al Mendenhall.


Contact And my world-class editor, Ninfa Castaneda. My lovely wife, Miss Emily, has done an awesome job in helping to promote the book at the many book signings we’ve done.




Esther Rabbit: How do you deal with negative feedback or negative reviews?



In order to be a writer, you have to develop a pretty thick skin. It’s great to belong to a critique group to present your writing to in its early stages. Get a good group and you’ll have the encouragement you need as well as feedback from those who think they have a God-given gift of criticism.


I’ve learned to listen to and appreciate all critiques of my writing and I’m thankful to receive it. The devil is a liar, but he’ll mix in enough truth to hit you where it hurts. So, I just listen and think, Yeah, there’s probably some truth in that.




Esther Rabbit: What’s your definition of the first draft?



I don’t think anyone could put it more eloquently then Ernest Hemingway, who famously said, “The first draft of anything is ****.” If Ernest Hemingway thought that about his first draft. then there is hope for the rest of us.


My definition of a first draft is what you have when you think you have taken the stupid out of your writing only to discover you in fact have not when you present it to others.




Esther Rabbit: How long do you self-edit your manuscript before sending it to a proofreader/ beta reader / editor?



I keep editing until I’m convinced I might as well just admit I’m not a writer and give up in disgust before turning my work over to professionals.


I remember the story about a writer who finished his manuscript and then pushed it away in disgust because he felt it was the best he could do, but he sent it off to his editor anyway. The writer was John Steinbeck and his book was The Grapes of Wrath.


Find Kelly Mack McCoy here:


Author Website 



Are you in the Writing Industry?


Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!


And if you’re a fan of Paranormal Romance, check out Lost in Amber:


“A new Interplanetary Alliance ambassador on an earthbound mission.


A handful of genetically altered humans to be rescued.


Meeting her changed everything.