Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mark Everett Stone Shares Some Things to Do In Denver When You're Undead

Gladiator's Pen welcomes Mark Everett Stone to the Ludus. He's here for a chat and to celebrate the release of Things to Do in Denver When You're Undead. So refill your cuppa and enjoy our visit.

What do you think makes a good story?
I don’t believe it’s just one or two things. It’s a combination of all the elements…plot, pacing, dialogue, character development, efficient use of metaphors and similes, etc, etc.  It’s like cooking a great stew, if all the ingredients are there…wow, you’ve had a memorable meal. If one or two ingredients are off, no big deal, you still have a satisfying meal, but if you screw up or miss too many of the important ingredients, well…you have a mess.

Tell us about Things to Do in Denver When You’re Undead
It’s the story of Kal Hakala, a Finnish-American agent with the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, an ultra-secret government organization that combats Supernatural creatures. The book delves into his past, his obsessions and his hatred, things that make him a great agent, but a very damaged human being. I like damaged people, they’re more…real to me somehow.

How did this story idea come to you?
I was lying in bed trying go to sleep when I began to think about a movie I’d just seen, Things to do in Denver when you’re dead, starring Andy Garcia. Now, I do like a good zombie book, so I idly added the ‘un’ to the ‘dead’ and, viola, the seed was planted. It was all gravy after that. I added the Finnish element to the story because I’m a Finnish-American, and decided on a dark, sarcastic tale.

Tell us about three things on your writing desk
1) The remote control to the tv. I find that the background noise of semi-quality television helps me write and provides inspiration when I need it. Not that I steal from what I’m listening to, even commercials can help jog the creative processes. Well, they do for me, but I’m a little twisted, so there you go.
2) A Christmas pic of my family. I know it sounds cheesy and contrived, but they’re my real inspiration. If I’m feeling down, or blocked, all I have to do is look at my wife and kids and wham! baby, I’m back.
3) My kindle. I read when I need to decompress. I wish I could read more, but I have a very busy life with 2 kids driving me to distraction.

Do you have a writing routine? Do you think it is important to have one?
Damn skippy I have a routine. I think it helps me maintain discipline when writing and discipline is very important for me or I’d never get anything written.

What made you choose writing for a career or did it choose you?
Writing snuck up on me, clubbed me over the head, hog-tied me and has never let me go. Hmmm…there’s an S&M joke in there somewhere.

What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
Vote a straight Republican ticket. Then, after I finished the Bar, I’d shoot myself in shame.

Do you have anything new you’re working on? Can you tell us about it?
Sure, I love talking about myself, it’s my favorite subject! The sequel for Things to do in Denver when you’re undead is almost finished. It’s called What happens in Vegas, dies in Vegas. Vegas is more action-oriented than Denver because I have no need for a lot of plot exposition, I can just dive on in and have fun. That was the one thing I wanted when writing the sequel was to have as much fun as possible, really sink my teeth into creating an enjoyable book.

What is the one thing you want readers to get out of reading Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead?
Hey, if the book can make someone forget the outside world for a few hours, be entertaining and fun, then I’ve done my job. I don’t expect it to appeal to everyone, that’s foolish, but I hope there are people who put it down with a smile on their faces.

Where can we find you and your books?
Camel Press,, B&, Smashwords, etc. Hopefully it will catch on enough that it will go mainstream and hit stores across the U.S. I know that’s kind of out there, but a man can dream, right?

Thank you so much Mark for joining us. Looking forward to reading Things to Do in Denver When You're Undead. For more about Mark Everett Stone and his books check out his blog at Mark's Blog  

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