Stephen Mackisoc is an emerging Indie writer from Chestermere, Alberta. With a degree in Civil Engineering Technology and a master’s certificate in leadership and management, he mainly works in the Oil and Gas industry; specifically in management and sales. Stephen has taken advantage of the recent downturn in the industry, and has used it as an opportunity to pursue his lifelong passion for writing by taking a more professional step into the literary world. As I considered these two contrasting aspects of Stephen’s life, I became curious about the relationship between them, and how they influence and affect each other.
How have the major events or decisions you’ve made, both in your career and your life influenced your personal writing style?
They really have had no effect on my writing style, it is what it is. Although I always preferred to read non-fiction I got interested in action and mystery writers way back in the sixth grade. I was far ahead of my peers in reading and comprehension so was always able to choose whatever I wanted to read. Joseph Wambaugh, and more recently writers like Patterson and others always piqued my interest. I suppose my non-fiction interest is what gave me the idea to insert actual news and current events into my fiction writing. I also weave in back stories for characters based on people in my life and my time living in Southern California.
How has your writing style changed throughout the course of your career?
I expected my first book was going to be a business one but once I started writing ABBADON, the words flowed like water. I really had no chance of writing quickly enough to keep up with my thoughts.
I have calmed down somewhat, employing a proofing while I am writing concept. I also use that proofing phase to build out characters and situations around the main plot. I use a storyboard to design my plot line and create character stories. Character development has typically come about as I write. I have a high level view of what I want but often the second and third level character development draws on my personal experiences and knowledge from nonfiction.
What would you say is your main goal, specifically in your writing career?
I am enthralled with the idea that I can write a story that holds people’s interest and entertains them. I have always been a joke teller and never shied away from being the center of attention but this is a very rewarding experience.
What do you hope to gain from your membership in the Writers Guild of Alberta, both as a new writer and as an individual?
I hope that I might be able to draw on the experiences of others and even get guidance on writing. As a neophyte author I am trying to limit the mistakes I make.
If I am somehow lucky enough to be considered for an award, it would be an off the charts honour for me.
During my communication with Stephen, I found it interesting how he is able to create a separation between his career in the oil industry and his writing career. Rather than combining his involvement both fields and writing about something related to his career, Stephen’s responses made it clear that his writing is done solely for the purpose of being creative and providing entertainment to others. Through our conversations, I understood that this separation has contributed positively to his writing by eliminating creative boundaries and enhancing personal connection to his writing.