On the 20th of April, Caroline Maston organized an online interview with Mark Tilbury who just released a new book of his, The Key to Death’s Door. I was lucky to have time to attend. I didn’t know Mark’s book had a paranormal twist and now I can’t wait to have the time to read his books!
Can you remember the first book you ever read (or was read to you)?
I can’t actually remember, but it would have had to have been Enid Blyton or a Noddy story.
What did you read yourself as a child?
The Famous Five, and then Agatha Christie as I got older.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
From the Corner of Eye by Dean Koontz. There’s a really evil antagonist who made me laugh out loud. You could say it inspires my bad guys!
What did you do before you became an author?
Computer repair! Glad to get out of it!
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve tried on and off my whole life and had a little interest, but it wasn’t until Kindle/Amazon made it possible to self-publish that I really decided to go for it.
Are you a full-time writer?
Yes, I’m very lucky that it is.
Do you have a writing routine?
I generally tend to write in the afternoons as I don’t seem able to write at any other time of day.
What are your main writing ambitions?
To write a story of the caliber of The Green Mile by Stephen King.
Tell us something about your work.
I’d describe my books as dark thrillers with a supernatural twist. Usually, there’s a protagonist against the most evil antagonist I can think up and ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
The editing! The writing itself I get lost in, but the editing has to polish out all the mistakes.
Where do you get your ideas from and do you ever find yourself worrying about what goes on inside your head?
Yep. My head is a very worrying place to live at times! The starting point of my stories is normally with an antagonist speaking to me. King from The Liar’s Promise said ‘what doesn’t kill you will make you wish it had’ and that was interesting enough for my head to develop it. As for the stories, it’s normally a case of ‘what if’, e.g. in The Liar’s Promise what if a child remembered being murdered in a past life and the murderer being alive in this one.
How do you come up with the paranormal aspects of your book?
My imagination generally gets the better of me! I think of a ‘straight’ story and then it gets taken over by my strange imagination! I do have a very open mind on the supernatural due to things I’ve experienced, so maybe they’ve influenced me too.
Would you write in other genres?
Yes. I do intend to write some straight psychological thrillers soon, without the supernatural element.
How much research goes into one of your books?
I research as I go, but I always make sure I get my facts straight.
Have you ever killed off someone you don’t like in real life in one of your books?
No. Thankfully I’ve not known anyone in real life I’d like to kill, but there are a large number of politicians I wouldn’t mind getting rid of fictionally.
Do you watch horror and thriller movies and TV shows or is it only written work for you?
I’ve got all of the Stephen King adaptations on DVD, and I also enjoy things like Trial and Retribution, Cracker and Prime Suspect (I have the box sets!).
If you could write with any other author living or dead, who would you choose?
Mark Edwards. I’ve just finished reading The Magpies and was blown away by it. It’s an amazing read, and kind of where I’d like my books to go in the future.
How important is social media to you as an author?
Very! It enables me to talk to people who both have read, and who may read my books. I love the interaction with everyone online and all the various ways I can keep in touch with everyone.
Do your daughters read your books?
Yes, they both read them. The Liar’s Promise scared the bejeezus out of Danielle, my youngest one (21yrs old). I sometimes what they think of me when they read them!
With what book should new readers start if they’re interested in your work?
The Abattoir of Dreams. It does contain scenes of abuse so not for everyone, but is ultimately about good overcoming evil, friendship, and trust.
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
By watching things that make me laugh.
It was very nice to chat with Mark and find out he is a very nice, normal person (who just thinks up twisted stories 😀 )!