With the blog tour for COFFIN MAKER starting tomorrow, Susan Hunter conducted an Author Q & A to ask author Mark Fowler questions about his writing! Check out her interview!
*GUEST POST by SUSAN HUNTER*
Over in the Facebook Crime Fiction Addict Group, admin Susan Hunter conducted an Author Interview with Mark Fowler, author of Coffin Maker, The Man Upstairs, Silver (published by Bloodhound Books) and the soon to be published (also by Bloodhound Books) crime thriller Red is the Colour. Bits about Books has read and reviewed all the books by Mark Fowler – and is eagerly awaiting Red is the Colour!
As the Blog Tour for COFFIN MAKER kicks off tomorrow May 29th, this is the perfect time to ask Mark Fowler some questions! Susan Hunter – over to you!
Q At school, were you good at English?
At school, English was the only subject I was any good at. Having said that, the way it was sometimes taught – it could be incredibly dull and boring, which is such a shame.
Q What have you written to date?
I’ve written over a dozen novels to date, with plans to write many more. I have written in a number of genres, and occasionally I will mix, or blend, genres. I love stories that exist on the borderlands. My published work so far consists of three novels, with a fourth book due out very soon. Coffin Maker and The Man Upstairs were self-published, Silver was published by Bloodhound Books last year, with Red Is The Colour also to be published by Bloodhound in July 2017.
Q Do you write every day?
I try to write every day. I find that maintaining a momentum works creatively for me. Writing fuels my ideas. I hate staring at a blank sheet of A4, or a blank computer screen, trying to think something up. That never works for me.
Q Where do your ideas come from?
I usually start with something very small. A seed, if you like. It can be anything: a title, an opening line, a character, an initial situation that looks interesting, a location, a piece of speculative dialogue, possibly a theme. My favourite is probably an interesting what-if? scenario. One thing always seems to lead to another.
Q Do you work to a plot or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
I never work to a tightly written plot. I have to see a new book as a voyage of discovery, or else I find that I’ve killed it before I’ve even started. Occasionally I will have some idea of how a book may develop, with possibly one or two major plot points along the way.
Q How long does it take you to write a book?
very good question, though not an easy answer. I prefer to write a first draft as quickly as I can, keeping it fresh and alive, wanting to see how it might develop. The quickest first draft was six weeks, and I would rarely go beyond a few months. But I am a big re-drafter. I tend to re-write a book, put it to one side, write something else, come back to the earlier book, and so on. So it can sometimes be difficult to say exactly how long I have spent on a book. I returned to Coffin Maker endless times over many years, and by the time it was finally published, when I was finally able to stop messing with it and let it go, I had written almost a dozen books.
Q How do you select the names of your characters?
Often my main characters come to me very quickly, and I know if the name is right straight away. I need those names in place early on, and find it virtually impossible to write a main character without knowing their name. With some of the supporting characters, I really agonise. Some names will clash, and I have to find a balance. Many times I have changed the names of minor characters after the first draft has been completed, and many times I have found that a name change has slightly altered the way I view that character, and possibly brought into the book a new angle or idea.
Q Is Coffin Maker a stand-alone book or part of a series?
Coffin Maker is a stand alone. I never imagined writing a sequel as I always believed that the book has a strong and definitive ending. However. As the years pass, I occasionally find myself wondering. We shall see.
Mark Fowler, thank you for answering the questions and giving us, the readers, insight into the writing process. Susan Hunter, thank you for this guest post, you have conducted a great interview and I love the questions!
About the Author
Mark Fowler is a graduate in philosophy from Leicester University, who lives in Staffordshire, and is currently writing a follow-up to Red Is The Colour. When he isn’t writing he enjoys time with family and friends, watching TV and films, playing guitar/piano and going for long walks. ‘Coffin Maker’ is the author’s 2014 debut, in which his interest for psychological thrillers, crime fiction and horror is combined. His other works are: ‘The Man Upstairs‘ (2015 – “my review) and ‘Silver’ (Bloodhound Books, 2016 – my review). Soon to be published with Bloodhound Books: Red is the Colour (July 2017).