Today I am fortunate to have Mark Edward Hall stop in and answer a few questions. I urge you to check him out and the best place I can think of to start is the Mark Edward Hall Amazon page. Without further delay...
What is your proudest achievement as a writer and how does it compare to your proudest non-writing moment?
I suppose my proudest achievement as a writer was the day I sold my first short story back in 1995. I’ve had other moments, of course, (the publication of my first novel and its subsequent Stoker recommendations) but that one stands out as a triumph. It told me that I was finally on my way to achieving my dream and I’ve never looked back. My proudest non-writing moment was the day my two daughters were born.
You seem to be embracing the audio format. What are some of the dos and don’ts that you can tell individuals unfamiliar with that territory if they are considering it?
I’m new to the audio book world so I’m probably not qualified yet to give a list of do’s and don’ts. I will say that it’s totally different than traditional publishing and a little bit daunting. There’s a lot more to it--finding the right narrator, dealing with rights and pricing. I’m still getting my feet wet so stay tuned.
The social media is…
Social media has its place, but I find that too many writers are using it too often to spam about their books. I’ve become desensitized to it and I think most folks are tuning those posts out. If you really want to get attention then take an interest in your friends and fellow tweeters. If you don’t do that then you’ll be ignored. That’s my two cents.
Share some information about your books with us:
Well, I have a bunch of stuff out there, three traditionally published books and fifteen or so independent titles. I like genre hopping. Most of my titles are horror but I also have an Egyptian adventure, (The Breath of Life) a light hearted ghost story (The Hero of Elm Street) and my latest novel, Apocalypse Island, is a flat out balls-to-the-wall thriller.
What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you write and are published?
This is probably the most common question asked of writers and I get it a lot. (Where do you get your ideas?) It’s as if ideas come from some secret place only writers can tap into. Of course ideas come from a variety of places. I don’t think any writer can adequately answer that question.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
I take them for what they are and move on. Every writer gets them. Not all readers have the same tastes, so you’re bound to get them. Some honestly don’t like a work, others are jealous of an author’s success and hope their two cents might help to derail it, and some do it just to be mean or nasty. It takes all kinds. I take comfort in the fact that the overwhelming majority of the reviews I get are positive.
What is the least enjoyable aspect of writing? And the most?
The least enjoyable aspect of writing is keeping my ass in the seat for eight hours a day. The most enjoyable is creating and exploring new worlds and possibilities.
What do gain from reviews?
I think you gain a certain amount of legitimacy. It says your work is worth dissecting and discussing.
How much reading do you get in, and can a writer excel at his or her craft if they do not read?
I read a lot in a variety of genres. I get in at least two hours a day sometimes more. I love to read. No, a writer cannot excel if they do not read. I do not believe you can be a writer if you are not a reader. Period!
Define “Indie Writer” and defend or attack their position in the book market.
Indie writers used to be called self-published writers. The indie movement has given anyone the chance to get read, no matter how good or bad the writing is. I think that’s the way it should be. Let the reader be the gatekeeper. They’ll tell you in no uncertain terms if your writing is crap. Traditional publishers have their own benchmarks, based on lots of criteria, the number one being: does this book have the potential to be a blockbuster? They’re not good at nurturing writers. Midlist writers never have gotten a fair deal from publishers. Their books are in the store for maybe a few weeks before being replaced by the next flavour of the week. And the rights are usually tied up for years. E-books are forever. I say let the readers sort it out.
What new projects are you currently working on?
Three new novels: Soul Thief, an epic supernatural thriller will be out sometime this year. On The Night Wind is coming along nicely. It’s a post apocalyptic thriller about an alien virus that wreaks havoc. And Haunting Ellie, which is a sequel to The Haunting of Sam Cabot. Plus there are many other projects in the pipeline. My short story, Room Number 9 will be out this fall in Dark Discoveries Magazine. I’m very optimistic about the future.
What is one thing about you that would surprise the readers who do not know you personally?
I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan and I front a Floyd tribute band called Comfortably Numb.
How would you handle one of the books you publish becoming a “runaway” hit?
I don’t think it would change my life significantly. I’m in a comfortable place now and don’t see any point in altering that. I’d continue doing what I love: writing fiction.
Is there anyone you’d like to give a mention?
My wife and partner, Sheila, who keeps me grounded.
My friend Cyrus Wraith Walker who takes care of my public image.
Stephen King and Clive Barker. You guys have helped me more than you know.
Any last words for the readers?
We’re living in a time of renaissance, where anything is possible.