Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Today I’m very happy to welcome Mac Altgelt, author of ‘In the Beast’s Cage’ and thank him for allowing me to share his responses to my questions with you. Read on to discover more about his inspirational dream, his writing and his debut novel.
My debut novel, In the Beast’s Cage, was born from a dream I had in 2016, the complexity and vividity of which still astonishes me today. In order not to lose it back to the realm of sleep from whence it had come, I jotted down its essence before going back to sleep. A few years later, I would begin work on a short story, for I thought that is all that the dream warranted, however, it quickly became apparent that I was dealing with something a great deal more complex than I had anticipated. In 2018, much to my own surprise, I had completed the first draft of a full-length novel.
As a writer, I am what is often referred to as a “planter”. This basically means that very little is planned out beforehand. I typically do a short 1–2-page outline consisting of bullet points that serves as a general overview and direction for the story, as well as laying out where I ultimately want it to end up. Each bullet point typically lends itself to a full chapter in the text itself. How it gets from A to B, however, is ultimately as surprising to me as it would be to the reader.
As much as I am charmed by the idea of penning novels via pen and ink, I can’t say that is the case for me. Further, I think attempting it would only serve to permanently cripple my hand. I do sometimes jot down ideas while out and about using pen and paper, but those ideas are transformed into narrative on a computer.
There is a minor character in In the Beast’s Cage named Dub, and he has always been my favourite. I’m not exactly sure why, other than that he was very easy for me to picture, and I felt like I knew him more intimately than my other characters. He is old, grumpy, and gruff, but also exceedingly generous, fatherly, and slightly pained. He is a manifestation of countless similarly misunderstood people in reality. He just seems more authentic to me than some of my other characters, and I guess that is why I was I am so fond of him.
Hugo. He possesses all of the benefits of his abnormal condition, without any of the anxieties. He maintains his carefree joviality and clear conscious from his previous life. No easy task for a man in his position. He does not carry the burden that would seem due to him, and I think that could be viewed as an enviable position to be in.
I base them on common names as they relate to certain regions, cultures, or time periods which my characters occupy. In some works, I use anagrams, amalgamations, or homonyms that can be interpreted by the clever reader to reveal secrets about the characters themselves that are not explicitly stated in the text. No matter the character, there is a reason they are named what they are, and I will leave it to the reader to divine what that is from the text.
Well, now I’m intrigued and have learnt that I need to make note of any potentially inspirational dreams I have and to look for hidden clues when I read this book! Thank you so much for answering my questions!
Read on to find out more about In the Beast’s Cage and its author . . . .
Harbouring a dark secret from his past, immortal Lord Blake from medieval England arrives mysteriously in a sleepy coastal town in Georgia, USA. There he meets Hugo Wegener, an ex-doctor who is burdened with his own dark secret, and life-long resident Ginny Harrison, who is involved in her aging father’s absurd dream of refurbishing and reopening the town’s long-defunct zoo. As Blake’s relationship with Ginny blooms, he finds himself involved in the insane zoo project and, when Bruce Kelly, an exotic game smuggler from South Africa, arrives in town on the eve of the grand reopening with a plan to rid the zoo of its valuable animal species, it is up to Blake, Hugo, and the old man to stop him, without revealing the terrible secrets of their pasts.
I am a Risk Management executive and Investor in Texas but I moonlight as a writer, short-film maker, musician, composer and world traveller (or, I was a world traveller in the pre-COVID days). In music, I have released 2 full-length albums (one of which is still available) and 2 E.P.s. I have published one humor book entitled 101 TIPS AND REVELATIONS FROM A MODERN DAY CYNIC (Black Rose Writing, 2017). IN THE BEAST’S CAGE is my first novel, but I have a second already in progress and no plans of slowing down. I have also written countless blogs, poems, short stories, essays and movie scripts in addition to my more sprawling fiction projects. Because of my work in the Risk Management industry, I spend a great deal of time in London working closely with Lloyd’s and can be found in that country often as a result. I have a wife (Alejandra) and two children, a 3-year-old daughter (Sophia) and a 1-year-old son (Otto) who was born in the midst of this pandemic. My wife is a dual-citizen of Mexico and Spain and had been living in London for 2 years prior to us meeting.
Twitter / Instagram: @macaltgelt