Please welcome Mark Adair for this week's Unread Interview! Mark is the author of The Father's Child.
Unread Interview is a series where I feature authors whose books I couldn't accept for review because of time or logistics issues.
From Amazon: John Truman, a bright, introverted, college student belongs to the New Dawn...he just doesn't know it yet. The plans of the 300-year-old, Oxford-based, secret society revolve around him, the final piece in their puzzle. He struggles with almost everything - the girl he loves, the extroverted uber-social best friend, his estranged father, and the recurring visions that compromise his ability to interact with others. All John wants is to get through today; all they want is to rule the world.Suspense, intrigue, mystery, and romance all woven together into one thrilling tapestry. Enter a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted. Are you ready?
1. Tell us a bit about your book.
First of all, May, let me just say thank you for the interview - thank You! I'm a fan of yours and I appreciate all that you do on your blog and elsewhere.
The Father's Child tells the story of a bright, socially-challenged genius named John Truman. He struggles with almost everything - the girl he loves, the extroverted uber-social best friend, his estranged father, and the recurring visions that compromise his ability to interact with others. Unfortunately for John, the plans of a 300 year-old secret society known as The New Dawn revolve around and depend upon him and his friends. All John wants is to get through today; all they want is to rule the world. Suspense, intrigue, mystery, and romance all woven together into one thrilling tapestry. Enter a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.
2. Have you ever wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing "seriously"?
Yes May, I've written fiction on and off for many years - short stories, etc. I didn't entertain the thought of pursuing it more seriously until technology turned into a vampire and started sucking the life out of me. At that point, almost ten years ago, I reevaluated my...everything, and took a long, hard look at my passions. During that self interview I decided that I would stop giving lip service to writing and commit to making it my priority. The Father's Child was birthed during those days.
3. Do you read much? What kind of books do you usually read?
I'm a bit anal about reading. One novel at a time is my limit. I can toss in a non-fiction book or two but I like to jump into a novel and swim around in its rivers and oceans. I read all sorts of books - suspense, thriller, mystery, romance, fantasy. And I like to mix it up. Recently I finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. A little too dense in places for me but a well crafted story with interesting characters.
4. What are your favorite or least favorite scenes to write?
Hmmm...I like dialog and I think it's one of my strong points. I love to watch characters interact or spar verbally. It can reveal or hide almost anything that I care to reveal or hide. So heavy dialog scenes interlaced with action are my favorite. On the other hand I find writing dense, detailed descriptive passages much more difficult. Sort of like painting a picture with a thousand words. I'd rather paint it with 100 words, mix in some intense conversation, and have someone's life hanging in the balance.
5. Do you relate more to any of your characters? Why?
It's been said that writers steal everything from one person or another but mostly from themselves. Actually, I just sort of made that up but you get the gist. I'm not sure that's completely accurate but I will say that I find parts of me in every character I write - good and bad. John Truman is a bright, introspective guy who struggles in any social setting. His buddy Paul smiles his way through everything, holding all things loosely and enjoying himself in almost every circumstance. The love of John's life, Susan, has deep spiritual underpinnings - a very solid, kind, selfless, loving person.
So I relate to John in that I'm relatively bright and introspective. If I didn't work at it I'd probably be introverted. I can over analyze things. But also, like Paul, I enjoy life and in general, I enjoy being around people. Like Susan I have spiritual underpinnings but I question mine relentlessly. It's a combination - characteristics that I have in common with them and characteristics that I wish I had in common with them.
6. Which genre do you feel it would be a challenge to write?
Erotica? I enjoy sex and writing of sex as much as the next person (maybe more) but keeping that sexual focus and tension throughout a book would definitely challenge me. Probably need quite a few breaks. :)
7. What inspires you? And how's your writing environment - music, place, etc.?
Sales! Just kidding...well, not completely. There's something affirming and encouraging about having a good sales day or week. Sort of like a high that lifts me up to a place where writing comes easy. The opposite can be true as well. However, my real inspiration comes from people and their interactions. People fascinate me. They can be brilliant and ridiculous in the same few minutes. Beautiful, loving, and cruel in the same conversation. And every single person has a unique vantage point, sense of humor, turn ons and offs, etc. Music inspires me as well...puts me in a mood and flavors my writing. In everything I've penned music plays an important role. It's very prominent in The Father's Child.
I write just about anywhere and anytime. Primarily in my study but I'm comfortable churning out story in a pub or coffee shop. I take plenty of music with me on my mobile in case the public areas overwhelm my senses. Often I will connect with a mood or experience in someone else's life and the words just start flowing out. I would say I'm a pretty emotional writer.
8. What would you say about the book - your words, no blurbs! - to convince someone to read your book?
I'm swiping some of this from my On the Way blog but I think it best sums up the answer to your question: I believe my suspense/thriller to be entertaining, thought-provoking, emotionally powerful, and on a very basic level beneficial for anyone who takes the journey. And others have confirmed that. The main character, John Truman, struggles with pretty much everything, but in the deep places of his heart he yearns to know one thing: who is he and why is he.
So I truly think you should read it. Not because it's the greatest novel of all time (that's purely subjective anyway) but because underneath the suspenseful and thrilling ride it gives the reader permission to look inside and ask questions about fundamental issues in their lives...questions that need to be asked and explored.
The Father's Child is different from anything you've read before - fresh, outside the box. I'm not guaranteeing you'll like it but I am guaranteeing that you've never read anything quite like it. It's a bit of a mind bender with pieces of thriller, suspense, mystery, romance, and even spiritual elements all worked together into one intriguing puzzle.
9. What are your plans for the future, writing-wise? New books, sequels, publishing deals, etc.
I have plans. Unfortunately I have more plans than actual time to accomplish them all at once. Right now I'm a fifth of the way through the sequel to The Father's Child. I'm also a fifth of the way through a romantic suspense entitled ZAP. And a fifth of the way through another suspense novel, unrelated to either of those. Not to mention the other 4 or 5 ideas running around my brain. My current plan is to give The Father's Child another few months of love and attention before deciding with novel to jump into and finish up.
During this past month, sales have more than tripled so I'm keeping a close eye on that. If it continues to gain momentum over the next few months in all likelihood I will try to get the sequel up and running. Otherwise I might take on something unrelated and pick up the sequel later on.
Thank you so very much, May, for the interview. Always a pleasure to spend time with you.
And thank YOU Mark for your time - good luck with, well, your book, sales and all that ;)