Tell us who you are, a little about your work and what you enjoy other than writing.
Hey, I’m Mark- 45 years old. I only started writing about 12 months ago, and I’m having a
thoroughly enjoyable time. It was always a dream of mine to become a writer, but after
graduating University with a degree of mathematics, somehow ended up in the soul-sucking
career of sales. I recently took a part-time role so I could follow the dream and have not looked back since. Some people think I am crazy—well, most people, but when you get beyond 40, you stop caring. It’s awesome. I enjoy wine, movies with sharp dialogue (i.e. nothing Hollywood churns out) and laughing.
What is your story about in On loss (don’t give us any spoilers)!
My story ‘Our Place’ is fundamentally about grief and finding the strength to move on after losing someone close. There are many reasons why people are taken away from us, but how do we learn to let go and rebuild? What choice do we have—to not love, to not share—to not build memories that can later haunt?
Where did you learn of the On Loss anthology. Did you have a story in mind or write your story specifically for the anthology?
I must be honest and say that I am struggling to recall—I think it might have been Facebook. I just so happened to write an entirely different sort of story from my usual genre of dark fiction. My wife asked me to write something that made her worry less about my mental state of health. So, I came up with this tale that had beyond death elements, but one that also provided an underlying theme of love and hope.
What else have you written or are you most proud of?
Recently, I have just had another story called ‘Secret beach’ put forward into production on The No Sleep Podcast (my favourite podcast). ‘A Sense of Dread’ can be found in Season 12 also. I am incredibly proud of stories such as ‘She’s Dead’ for instance—a punchy bit of micro-fiction (available through several sites including Raconteur and Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight). Hugh’s Friend was the first story I got paid for, and readers can access that through several sites also (including Books ‘N Pieces and Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight. There are lots of good things happening this year, Monica Thompson is being published in the ‘Shadows and Teeth’ anthology from Darkwater Syndicate. There is an excellent story called ‘Happy Returns’ soon to be published in Hellfire Crossroads (from Midnight Street Press). I also have work selected to appear on the Centropic Oracle podcast (The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – taken from Face The Music) and my story Disconnect will appear on The Grey Rooms podcast later this year. Some of my earlier work can be found on Page & Spine, Montreal Writes, The Horror Zine, Weird Darkness, Antipodean SF, Gallows Hill, Alban Lake, and Tales of Terror.
I am incredibly excited about my first collection of horror stories entitled ‘Face the Music’ to be published by All Things That Matter Press. I also have two new stories ready to send out— ‘The Seaside Lolly Shop’ and ‘A Real Work of Art’—both have been fantastic to work on, and I firmly believe a representation of my best work yet.
Please follow me on :-
What is your current work in progress?
Currently, I am 45,000 words into a follow up to ‘Face the Music’. I am incredibly excited to be able to maintain the level of originality for this follow-up, and I am in love with all the stories I have selected to date. I cannot wait to get this next volume out there and very confident it will be a big hit with anyone that likes King, Koontz, Hitchcock, etc.
What’s your specialty: short stories, novels, poetry?
Short stories. One day I will write a novel, but I have far too many ideas for short stories. As a kid, I used to love reading collections—jumping to the shortest ones first and then moving to the longer ones. It was a bit like getting a variety pack of cereals.
Do you self-publish, traditionally publish or both?
What’s your favorite genre of books to read
It sounds bizarre, but I have not read a book for twelve months. I am having too much fun writing my own. Before that my favourite genres were horror and comedy. Dark humour is up there, but it is hard to do well. Saying that, look out for my story ‘The Paperboy’ available on the Gallows Hill site and ‘Happy Returns’ coming soon in Hellfire Crossroads.
What advice would you offer new writers
Just go for it. Write, and then send it out. Write another, and then send it out. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It is just a process. You will never be great to start with—the ideas will flow, but the technical part is just something you must keep refining. I look back at some of the work I did last year and cringe. It is a journey. A great one, though!
Leave us with a favorite quote!
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people -Victor Borge.