I have not written anything on my blog for a very long time because I have been out camping, jet-skiing and generally trying to be outside as much as possible. Alas, the inevitable pull of the “Blog” is difficult to fend off for too long and so I surrender to the feeling tonight with another guest author. I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing a fellow horror author, Mark Parker.
MT: Welcome, Mark! It has taken a while to finally get together and complete this interview, but here we are. I am camping at Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas and you are in Northeast, but through the miracle of the internet, the distance barriers are broken.
MT: Where are you from?
MP: I currently reside in New England.
MT: I have always wanted to visit New England. Maybe after I retire, I’ll be able to explore that part of the country…in the summer, of course.
MT: Tell us a little about you.
MP: I live in Boston with family. My hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, movies, theater, concerts, and drawing, and, of course, meeting new people. (People-watching, too!)
MT: My step-daughter is in a currently running production of Les Miserable and I watched it for the first time last week. It it a great story! I share a lot of the same hobbies.
MT: Why and when did you start writing?
MP: I started writing pretty young. I would say around 13 or 14. I saw my first Stephen King book at the age of 12, and it was love at first sight. I’ve never looked back. My first story was a horror piece titled THE ICE CREAM MAN. Still want to see that one finished.
MT: Yep, Stephen King did it for me also.
MT: Who has had the biggest influence on your writing and why?
MP: Biggest influence? I know it sounds trite (or at least somewhat of a common answer), but I would have to say Stephen King. I have personally never encountered a writer/author I’ve ever wanted to emulate more. Not only is he a tremendous writer, both from a creative and professional standpoint, but he’s also a wonderful human being. If I can be both those things, I will have done what I feel I was created to do.
MT: It doesn’t sound trite at all, he has been my biggest influence also and I would dare to say that is the case for thousands of authors.
MT: How do you get your ideas for your books?
MP: For me, ideas come from a multitude of places. I am pretty much a ‘concept’ guy. Oftentimes a concept for a story will come to me; the age-old ‘what if’ scenario, I guess. Other times, I get a title or an opening line. I can literally be sitting anywhere, see something, a title will come, and I’m off. I was sitting in a colleague’s office recently; saw a light switch that had a sticker on it that read Circuit 33. I wrote that down and have every confidence it will be a story at some point. That sort of thing.
MT: I hear you; inspiration can come from unexpected and often mundane circumstances.
MT: Do you have any books in the works? How many?
MP: That’s a difficult question. At any one time, I have literally dozens of stories, novellas, novels kicking around in my head; most of which are at some point in the ‘process’ of being written. I would say I actively have about six projects going at the moment. I am currently working on a short story for self-publication; a novella for submission; and about four novel-length projects.
MT: That’s great. It seems a story always begs to be told and it is often difficult to finish one before the next one comes along and wants out.
MT: Tell us a little about your work.
MP: My novella WAY OF THE WITCH is a coming-of-age story with a twist. Two lifelong friends encounter an old raggedy woman they believe to be a witch. What transpires after a single childish prank exacted against the old woman, will have all three lives bound in dark and terrible ways far into the future.
MP: My short story BIOLOGY OF BLOOD is a ‘quiet little vampire story’ with a scientific edge to it. While originally intended to be a short story for submission into an anthology, has turned into what is fondly referred to as ‘chapter one’ of either a series of inter-related stories, or a longer work all packaged together. We’ll see.
MP: And I have a second short story out right now titled LUCKY YOU. I have described it as a ‘psychosexual thriller’ short. This was mainly intended to be a story that looked at what might happen if someone accidentally killed another person during a night of exuberant sex, only to find he enjoyed it. It’s an exploration into an ‘accidentally-made’ serial killer. Due to its graphic nature, it’s admittedly not for everyone. It has, however, garnered some very favorable reviews on Amazon, where it is currently a Kindle Exclusive.
MT: They all sound great! I have recently downloaded Way of the Witch and Biology of Blood and I intend to read and review as soon as I have the time. I have a few promised reviews to finish before I can delve into your work, but from the little I have read, I am sure I will enjoy them very much. Mark, thank you for sharing your time and life with us, I know you are a busy man and it is much appreciated. Folks, you can click on the book covers to order your copies of Mark’s works. Now, *cracks whip* get back to writing, those stories will not write themselves!