Meet the Author… Mark Fowler

I chatted with Mark Fowler the other day. Read up on how he became a writer, what he has written, what motivates him, and what he has in store for us.

I know Mark Fowler from the One Stop Fiction Authors’ Resource Facebook site. We’ve been acquainted for two years now. Mark has been so lucky as to have his books published by Bloodhound Books and is doing pretty well, promoting his fourth book, Red Is The Colour, at the moment. I had the pleasure to chat with him yesterday evening through an author chat organized by Caroline Maston.

Mark L. Fowler

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What made you become a writer?

Possibly because I wasn’t any good at most other things in life! I love telling stories, making things up, indulging my imagination but in a way that communicates a truth to my readers. When I feel I have something to say, I write fiction, and I try to get to the heart of things the best way I can. 

Tell us a little about your work.

So far, I have published four novels: Coffin Maker (which took nearly twenty years to write!), The Man Upstairs, Silver, and Red Is The Colour. My books are all very different, and Coffin Maker, for example, does not clearly fit into any single genre, though it contains strong elements of gothic fiction and very dark humour. Red Is The Colour, on the other hand, is clearly a detective mystery thriller. The Man Upstairs is also a detective mystery, but with a twist of the very strange. While Silver can be read as a psychological thriller or as a gothic thriller. It is also very satirical regarding the publishing trade. 

Why do you write crime?

Crime is only part of it for me. There is crime at the heart of my books, though I would like to think that I’m also trying to explore what makes people tick, why people behave in certain ways in certain situations. I love the psychology of human behaviour. And the darkest crimes-murder for example-raise so many questions. We want to know what forms the heart of a monster or why an ordinary man or woman could carry out the most seemingly depraved acts on another human being. I also enjoy reading crime, of course, and many of my favourite authors write in the crime genres. 

What sparked your interest in the supernatural/gothic horror?

I’ve loved horror since the seventies when I used to stay up late Fridays to watch Hammer House of Horror. having said that, there are very few horror novels/films that I really love, whereas there are countless crime and mystery books and films. For me, many of the finest horror writers go beyond genre and are not constrained by it, for example, Ray Bradbury.

What do you find the easiest and hardest parts of writing a book?

For me, it’s starting a book that is the hardest part. Going off in the right direction, beginning at the right place. Once I get the opening right and the momentum starts to develop, I’m okay. I’m learning to plot a little before I set off as I always fear I may run up a dead end. Easier on the nerves having a basic plan, though to over plot from the beginning would kill the book off for me before it got started.

How much research goes into your novels?

I confess to not really being much of a researcher. Coffin Maker and The Man Upstairs were perfect for me, as I could make absolutely everything up. With Red Is The Colour, I gave myself a break by using a local setting, an area that I know extremely well and could write about confidently. However, there was the matter of police procedure, of course. I don’t particularly enjoy reading dense procedurals, and so I steered clear of getting too bogged down, but I did ask a police officer I know to help me with some of the details and to ensure that I wasn’t making any glaring errors. She was very helpful. 

What do you do in between writing books?

Read books! And listen to music and watch films, mainly.

What have you got lined up for us?

I have a follow up to Red Is The Colour written and two psychological thrillers also completed, not to mention three YA books that I would dearly love to find a suitable publisher for. I can’t stop writing them! I’m taking some time though to consider my options before moving forward with my next publication and will keep you posted.

I wish Mark success in the promotion of Red Is The Colour. Mark’s book Silver is on sale for £0.99 at the moment, so why not grab that one as well while it’s hot!

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Mark L. Fowler’s books can be found on Amazon and Bloodhound Books.

 

10 Reviews for Succedaneum – Living Like A Vampire on Amazon.com!

10 Reviews for my first book!

Hooray! I have ten reviews for my first book, Succedaneum – Living Like A Vampire, on Amazon.com! Slowly but surely we’re getting there. I also have three on Amazon.au, three on Amazon.co.uk and two on Amazon.nl., so I have eighteen in total. A bit to go yet before I can get on a promotional website, but it’s only been five months since it was released.

Most reviews are for four or five stars, which is a great boost as I was wondering whether I should write at all. But people seem to like what I have written. I only have one three-star review, which was a very honest review telling me I still have a long way to go to become a good writer (hey, I’m still wearing writer diapers here!). I also received a one star review, which appears to be a mistake as the person in question mentioned that they downloaded the sequel and wanted to read more in the series. It gave me a bit of a freight when I saw it first as it did take my overall rating in the UK down to three stars, but if people read the review they will realise what happened.

Mind you, I have only sold thirteen books. The most recent reviews were given by other authors after I gave them an ARC. It is great to get reviews from other authors as it gives you an idea of where you’re at. They could have said it was rubbish. But they didn’t. Phew!

If you haven’t read my book yet, you can get it by clicking on the top image of it in the left sidebar. It’s very entertaining, a good six hours read, and well worth the (little amount of) money! And tomorrow the price will go up, so get your copy now!

As I have promised so many other authors to read their books and give my honest opinion (I’ll be reading well into the new year by now) I can’t accept all requests. So I promised one author to put the blurb of his book on my blog, so here it is:

The Man Upstairs

– by Mark Fowler –

Frank Miller, hero of the best-selling mystery novels written by The Man Upstairs, works the weird streets of Chapeltown as a private detective. During the legendary case of the Black Widow everything changed when Frank became aware of his fictional existence. Proclaimed at the time as a work of genius, Frank wonders if it was the first sign that The Man Upstairs was sick.

This latest case, involving the death of a care worker, and coinciding with the appointment of Chapeltown’s first elected mayor, has Frank baffled. The Man Upstairs appears to be losing the plot, giving the womanising Frank a steady girlfriend, Marge, who warns him that to survive he must change from the tired cliché that he has become.

As the case darkens Frank recognises the depth of his creator’s sickness. His days are numbered as clearly as the pages in the books in which he features. The looming battle with the Mayor of Chapeltown is nothing less than the battle to save himself, Marge, the series – and the mind of The Man Upstairs.

The Man Upstairs is plotting to kill Frank Miller and take Chapeltown to hell.

If this has sparked your interest, it’s available here.