Meet Malcolm Hemmings, MultiAd’s application developer and recent first-time author for this month’s Spotlight! Malcolm enjoys spending his time reading, writing and applying himself creatively. When it comes to working at MultiAd, he fears no challenge! Read on to learn more about Malcolm, his many ambitious hobbies, his latest board game project and his newly published book Twisted Cogs!
How long have you been working at MultiAd?
I’ve been working at MultiAd for four and a half years now (five in November). In many ways it feels like I just started working here last week, but in others it feels like I’ve always been here!
What do your daily tasks include?
I’m an application developer, so there’s a wide array of projects I get to work on. Sometimes that means programming a tool to help our admins, and sometimes I get to work directly with clients to serve their needs. My most recent project as been coding import programs to help Procter and Gamble send MultiAd their data and images…it’s a pretty huge project, but I’m always up for a challenge!
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part of the job has got to be the variety of tasks that I get to do. It’s never boring working for MultiAd; one day I might be writing code to help us track usage statistics internally, and the next I could be importing images for Coca-Cola Canada’s custom solutions site!
How would you describe yourself?
Why, rougishly charming and ruggedly handsome, of course! Of course, others might describe me as a big ol’ smart-alec. I like to launch myself into the things I do, whether that be programming at work, cooking at home, or writing stories in my free time.
Tell us about your family.
I have a pretty giant immediate family: I’m the eldest of eight children! My saint of a mother and father homeschooled every one of us, from Preschool to High School, and I really don’t know how they kept sane throughout it.
Even though my amazing wife and I now live in Illinois, far away from the Hemmings crew in Washington state, we’re still very close knit and exchange letters every month.
Malcolm and his wife on their honeymoon in Door County.
You’ve recently published a book on Amazon called Twisted Cogs, what is it about?
It’s a fictional story about a 16th century Italian Renaissance that has been unexpectedly struck with magic. During a time when the world was experiencing a cultural rebirth of art and science, the addition of magic turns this fictional Italy into a powder-keg of invention and sorcery.
What inspired you to write it?
It was the support of my wonderful wife that got me writing in the first place. I had always had a love of writing, but she gave me the little push that I needed to get over my shyness and actually start.
Malcolm’s Book Twisted Cogs, Image from: amazon.com
As far as why I wrote this book in particular, it was the fact that I haven’t really found a story like this, and I wanted to read one! I’ve always enjoyed reading geeky fantasy books about quests and dragons, but I noticed that most of them seemed to be set in an alternate medieval Europe. I thought it would be fun to see what that kind of story would look like set in a time period that was a little less common to write about.
Do you have any other published works? If not, do you plan on writing more?
This is my very first published novel, but it certainly won’t be my last! I’ve just recently finished up writing the draft of Twisted Cogs’ sequel, and now starts the long and laborious process of editing and reworking that draft into something readable. I’m also working on yet another book called Tales From Deltharon, a companion story to the board game I and fellow MultiAd employee Ryan Dickinson are working on.
Since we’re on the topic of books, do you have any favorites?
I am such a voracious reader that this is a very hard question to answer! I probably lose a little nerd-cred by not saying The Lord of the Rings, but…there are so many books to choose from! One of the great things about working with fellow book-lovers like me is that I get so many suggestions from co-workers. If I absolutely have to pick, I think my favorite books are the Magicians series by Lev Grossman. His beautiful prose and amazing world-building catch me every time I re-read.
What activities do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
I have so many hobbies that it’s hard to find time for all of them! Of course reading and writing are some of my favorites, but I also enjoy programming in my free time, doodling, and woodcarving, to name a few.
Recently a lot of my free time has been dedicated to developing the aforementioned Deltharon board game with Ryan Dickinson. There’s a lot more delicate balancing and testing involved in game development than a lot of people might think, so it’s been incredibly challenging…but rewarding nonetheless.
What’s the funniest joke that anyone has ever told you?
It’s always hard to think of one on-the-spot, but here goes:
Sam goes into his boss’ office, and it’s pretty clear he’s about to ask a favor.
“Boss, I’m afraid I have to ask for the day off tomorrow,” he says, “we’re doing some major house cleaning, and my wife has asked me to help out. We’ve got to clean out the garage and the attic, and there are a ton of boxes that I need to move and haul around.”
“Sam, I’m really sorry but we’re short staffed,” his boss replies, “I just can’t give you the day off.”
“Thanks, boss,” says Sam, “I knew I could count on you!”
What’s one guaranteed way to cheer you up?
I am an absolute caffiene addict, so I’m always a sucker for a cup of coffee. It doesn’t matter if I’ve already had two that morning, any time I get a chance to have an extra one it’ll put a smile on my face.
Be sure to check out Malcolm’s eBook Twisted Cogs on Amazon!