Tricia: Hi Mark. It’s great to have you on my blog. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Mark: Yes, my name really is Mark Love. I live in Michigan with my wife, Kim. We recently moved to the western side of the state and are enjoying discovering many things about this new area, particularly the large number of wineries.
Tricia: When did you begin writing?
Mark: I began seriously writing in college while taking a creative writing class. The instructor was very encouraging.
Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?
Mark: My latest book is “Desperate Measures”. It’s the story of Nicholas Burr, a ghostwriter who is determined to publish a bestseller under his own name. After his latest rejection, Burr comes up with a book that he figures no one can put down. A ‘how to kill your wife and get away with it’ book. Three days after he sends it to his publisher for consideration, his wife disappears.
Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?
Mark: I’ve often wondered how far someone would be willing to go to get their book published.
Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?
Mark: Trying to keep the pace fast and enough conflict to keep the reader interested.
Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Mark: My favorite is Malone, who appears in two novels “Devious” and “Vanishing Act”, which will be released by Secret Cravings Publishing in March and May, respectively. He’s a bit mysterious, but very comfortable in his own skin. He knows what he wants and how to get it.
Tricia: Which character was the most challenging to write?
Mark: Jamie Richmond, who is the female protagonist in both “Devious” and “Vanishing Act”. The stories are told from her point of view, so it was a challenge to capture the thoughts and emotions of a woman throughout the stories.
Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?
Mark: John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, James Rollins and Greg Iles.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Mark: I’m working on a mystery about a serial killer whose victims are found in room 319 of motel rooms and a screenplay about vampires.
Tricia: If your book was ever made into a movie, which actors and actresses would you cast?
Mark: For “Desperate Measures” I would cast Michael C Hall as Nicholas Burr and Julia Stiles as Karen. For “Devious” I would cast Hilarie Burton as Jamie and T J Thyne as Malone.
Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?
Mark: I try and look at them objectively and see if there are any salient points that I can improve upon.
Tricia: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have five books with you, which books would you choose?
Mark: “The Stand” by Stephen King, “Get Shorty” by Elmore Leonard, “Map of Bones” by James Rollins, “Hold Tight” by Harlan Coben and “Dead Sleep” by Greg Iles.
Tricia: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?
Mark: Diana Krall, James Taylor, Earl Klugh and a lot of old Motown classics.
Tricia: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities?
Mark: I worked as a freelance reporter for several years, which enhanced my writing. I do a lot of writing in my regular job in business, so it’s a way to keep honing my efforts. Cooking is a hobby of mine and I usually weave that into the stories I write.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Mark: Keep writing. If you can find a writer’s group in your area where you can workshop with other writers, share feedback and insights into markets and publishers, that can be a great help. If you can’t find one, check with your local library and see about starting one up. Be open to feedback and constructive criticism.
For more information about Mark Love, please visit his BLOG
Nicky limped slowly down the block, trying not to think about his wife. It was no use. She had every reason to be disappointed. He entered O’Brien’s bar and took a stool at the far end of the counter. Reed O’Brien slid a mug of beer before him without waiting for Nicky to speak.
“Somebody steal your dog?” Reed asked.
“Worse. I got some bad news and Camille isn’t taking it too well.”
Reed lit a cigarette and blew a cloud of smoke at the ceiling fan. He watched it rotate for a minute before commenting. “Who died?”
Nicky smiled in spite of himself. “I did. Actually, my book did.”
Reed raised an eyebrow. “One of the Skipper books? My kids will be pissed.”
Nicky shook his head. “This was something else. I call it Double Cross. It was an adult book.”
A smile split Reed’s face. “You wrote a dirty book with lots of sex and wild parties?”
Nicky couldn’t help but laugh at him. “Not pornography you idiot, this was for a more mature audience than Skipper. It was a murder mystery.”
“Camille was counting on this to be the one, huh?”
Nicky nodded. “We met in college. She was struggling in an English class, and I tutored her. Camille was attempting to earn her business degree, and I was going to set the literary world on its ear.”
“How long has it been?”
“Almost ten years.”
Reed put out his cigarette while Nicky drank his beer. “She been carrying you?”
“I had to drop out of school before I got my degree. No money and no chance for a student loan. I was going to enter the army, but I didn’t pass the physical.” Nicky pointed at his bad leg and shrugged. “Only work I can find is minimum wage stuff.”
Reed shook his head sympathetically. “What kind of work does she do?”
Nicky took another sip. “Account manager at McKay Products. She started out as a secretary and worked her way up the ladder.”
Nicky nodded. “There’s a little travel involved and she spends a lot of time visiting clients. The hours can get a bit long, but she’s good at it. They pay her well.”
“But you haven’t been holding up your end of the bargain?” Reed waved over a waitress for a cup of coffee.
“The Skipper series is nice, but the money’s not much. I always dreamed of having my own books in print. That may never happen if I can’t break through the publishers’ slush piles.”
“So what are you going to do? Give up? Start buying lottery tickets?” Reed lit another cigarette.
Nicky grimaced and waved away the smoke. “I’m going to write a book people will fight over. And Camille’s going to help me. She just doesn’t know it yet.”
Reed noticed the sudden intensity in his friend’s eyes. He had been about to make a wisecrack, but something in Nicky’s manner suggested this wasn’t a good idea. Instead, Reed raised his mug of coffee in a salute. “Good luck.”
* * *
Camille was in her office when Nicky showed up. Camille’s new secretary discreetly knocked on her door.
“Nicky! Whatever are you doing here?”
“I thought I’d take you out for dinner. We need to talk.” He looked terrible. A week’s worth of stubble adorned his cheeks and chin. His clothes were rumpled. Camille wondered when the last time was that he had gotten any sleep.
“I have to work late. It’s the end of the quarter and I need to make sure everything is up to date on my accounts.” His sudden arrival and his appearance were unnerving.
“I finished it, Camille.”
“I finished the book. It’s on its way right now, express delivery to Pete Corrigan. He’ll get it first thing in the morning.”
“I know, Camille, I know. It’s an extra expense to send it that way, rather than just emailing him, but Pete will go crazy when he reads it. Let’s go celebrate.”
“Now isn’t a good time, Nicky. I can’t just drop everything to go with you.” She lowered her eyes to her desk, hoping he’d take the hint and leave.
“There aren’t any good times anymore, are there, Camille? No good times left for you and me.” He limped toward her, slowly dragging his leg. His disability had gotten progressively worse in the last few months.
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Don’t bullshit me, Camille. You haven’t been coming home before midnight. And don’t lie and say you’re working late. I’ve called. You weren’t at work.” His voice became louder. Camille could see other employees lingering outside her door. She was unaccustomed to so much attention.
“Lower your voice, Nicholas,” she said sternly.
“Admit it,” he yelled. “Or are you going to lie about having an affair?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Bullshit! We both know you weren’t here.”
Camille’s voice was barely audible. “I was working.”
He pretended not to hear. “What about your clothes? The torn pantyhose, the soiled panties and the pair practically ripped in two? What about them?”
“You searched through my clothes?”
Nicholas Burr swept the papers off her blotter and leaned across it, his hands clutching the edges of the desk. “I examined what was left of them. He must be some kinky bastard. Does that get you off, Camille?”
“Get out,” she hissed.
“What does he do? Tie you up with your own pantyhose for a round of slap and tickle?”
“I want you out of here right now!”
He pushed away from the desk. In the doorway, a dozen people had gathered. He glanced at them then turned back to Camille.
“It’s not over.”
Camille struggled to her feet. “Yes it is. I want a divorce, Nicky. I should have done it a long time ago.”
Two men who had been watching the confrontation from the doorway finally came to Camille’s assistance. Together they dragged him away.
“You’ll never get a divorce, Camille. I’ll kill you before I agree to one.”