We’d like to welcome Mark Everett Stone, an amazing new fiction writer from Camel Press and author of Things to Do in Denver When You’re Un-Dead; he can be contacted at markeverettstone.camelpress.com.
Things to Do in Denver When You’re Un-Dead is a disastrously sarcastic take on the fight against things that go bump in the night. As Kal Hakala, the senior agent from the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations, battles ghouls, magicians, and Green Peas—trust me, they’re not exactly made of pleasant—his need to avenge his sister’s death brings him to a shocking confrontation with the biggest baddy of all. And did we mention he’s slightly insane?
Just, you know, slightly.
Nicole: When did you start writing? Has writing always been a big part of your life? Will it continue to be?
Mark: I started writing when I was very young, before my teens and continued into college, but when I realized Journalism didn’t pay well, I branched out into my second love, the bar business. Slinging drinks and managing bars served me well for many years, but it’s not something you can do when you marry and expect kids. As of a year ago, I became a full-time writer and that’s all I want to be until the sun sets on my life.
N: What inspired you to begin writing?
M: Reading such works as the Odyssey, the Iliad and Beowulf. They were my first literary inspirations.
N: Name your favorite book. What is it about it you like?
M: Ringworld by Larry Niven is my all time fave book. The sheer imagination and scope was unlike anything I’d ever read.
N: Tell us about your favorite (of your characters). What are his/her motives? Why is s/he your favorite?
M: My favorite character has to be Odysseus, from Living Legend, which I’m hoping will be optioned soon. His motives are simple: Love of family, love of his people. Although he is complex and soul hurt, his passion for his wife rings a chord with me. It’s how I feel about my wife.
N: Tell us about your least favorite (of your characters). What are his/her motives? Why is s/he your least favorite?
M: Least favorite? Wow…tough one. I would have to say Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae from Living Legend. His motives are also very simple: Greed, ambition and revenge. He’s a man who would sacrifice anything/anyone to achieve his ends and I consider him rather soulless.
N: What genre is your favorite to read? To write? Why?
M: Sci/Fi, Fantasy to both questions because it requires you to use your imagination in ways that commercial literature doesn’t. It provides me with a real challenge
N: If you could become one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do differently in your story?
M: Odysseus, no ifs ands or buts. I wrote him to be the type of man I want to be, even with his flaws. And he’s deviously clever, which I enjoy. I wouldn’t do anything differently because when I wrote his actions, they were actions I wanted to take.
N: How do you write? Do you have a special place, do you listen to music, how much do you write a day, etc.?
M: I can’t tell you how I write because I don’t know, I just sit down and write. If pressed, I would say that I obsess about a story until I have most of it fleshed out in my mind then fire up Microsoft Word. I do, however, jot down notes one a couple of sheets of laminated 3x2 paper with a dry-erase marker. Those sheets are stapled to wall in my den. I guess I write anywhere from 1500-3000 words a day, give or take.
N: What has been your great success in writing? How did you feel?
M: My first published book, of course. Oh, man, when Catherine Treadgold from Camel Press informed me that she loved my book, I was over the moon in two seconds flat. There’s nothing like being appreciated for your hard work to soothe the heart, especially after receiving so many rejections from agents. It was the best drink of water I’d ever had after such a long drought.
N: If you could go back five (or ten or twenty) years in time, what writing advice would you give yourself?
M: Good one….hmm…I would say, if given the TARDIS, I would tell my old self to develop and hone my selfp-discipline, because I believe that technically good writing comes from discipline. And I would tell the younger, more foolish, me to write and re-write and then re-write some more until I felt I had a worthwhile product. AND don’t fear rejection. You need to have a thick skin in this business.
Things to Do in Denver When You’re Un-Dead will be released on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, etc. on July 15, 2011. You’d better catch it before the Bureau does. =P