Shells Chats with author Mark Taylor

What's your background with writing?

I only started writing about fifteen months ago; I’m a late bloomer I guess. I’ve always wanted to write, I just never got around to it, but now, you can’t stop me. I started with short fiction and flash, but am now working on a mixture of shorts and novellas, whilst still banging my head on a novel.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

Growing up I was always a fan of King – like most kids – and then moved towards less mainstream authors, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Clive Barker’s shorts. I’m also a massive fan of horror cinema, so it looks like that may have been something to do with my genre of choice now.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a writer?

Seeing your own work in print is a massive accomplishment in itself, but having a positive response from fellow authors is always way up the list. I suppose that biggest accomplishment was finding out that other people thought I was good enough at it to publish me.

What genre do you feel the most comfortable writing in?

Without a doubt, horror. After the books that I’ve read and the films that I’ve seen and the way that they make me feel – that shiver down the spine. I want that to happen to those reading my work.

You have written many short stories, which is your favorite and where can we find some of them?

My favorite? That’s a tough one. I did enjoy writing “Time Protects the Innocent” which was published in the anthology “Cedar Chest” by Static Movement. You can find my work in many a press’ anthology, but predominantly Wicked East Press, Pill Hill Press and Static Movement. All of my work to date is listed on my blog, including links to Amazon and the likes.

You have conducted some interviews yourself, do you feel that has helped your writing in any regards?

It’s always great to see into the minds of other authors. It can be such a solitary business – writing – that sometimes you forget that there are other people out there, doing the same as you; and of course, when they highlight their struggles, it always helps me with mine.

Can you tell us a little bit about "Redemption?"

“Redemption” is a novella collection that I have written with Charles Day. We got together a few months ago and decided to create a different experience for the reader. Most novella collections have an underlying theme to hold them together, whether it is zombies, holocausts or whatever. Ours is story of a single event that occurs to two people, a road traffic accident, and the fallout of their actions after the event, making the two stories flow more like a novel.

Who did the artwork for "Redemption?"

*laughs* I did. I shopped it together whilst the collection was still in its embryonic state. I doubt that the artwork will still look like that after publication.

How was it to work with Charles Day?

Charles is not only a great author, he’s also eager, hardworking and fun, and I’ve learned a lot from the experience. It was difficult at first, as I’m in the U.K. and he’s in N.Y. so the time delay on our conversations was sometimes limiting, but after we crossed the hurdle, it was a rewarding experience.

When will "Redemption" be available?

It’s currently under consideration with a publisher, so fingers crossed, but we hope that it’ll be out next year some time.

What do you find the most challenging when working with another author on a combined project?

Keeping up with each other’s progress was tough, but honestly, we really didn’t have too many problems. I guess we’re both old enough to organize ourselves properly.

Based on previous experiences, would you work with another author on a book?

Most definitely. The ability to bounce ideas about and to have someone ‘on the same page’ as you’re working is amazing.

How do you or have handled marketing your own work and what suggestions would you have for others for marketing their work?

Marketing’s tough, especially for anthologies of shorts. Even setting up an Amazon Authors page is difficult for anthology work.

Get about on the forums and blogs. Get your name known, even if it’s only by other authors to start with. Get a website or blog – and remember to update it!

The more your peers know you, the easier it is.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

I’m just finishing off a couple of things at the moment – things I’ve already committed myself to do and then it’s back to plowing through a novel, and maybe some shorts. I’ve already broached the subject of working with Charles again, and possibly a second author as well, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Any events planned for the future?

Not at the moment, but as soon as we get the go ahead on “Redemption” I’m sure that things will hot up.

Any advice you would like to give to new writers who may not know how to approach the publishing world?

I found that starting with the smaller presses is the easiest way to get started. Some have well populated forums, full of likeminded authors who are more than happy to take five minutes to give you some help and advice.

Where can people know more about you?

I can usually be found trawling the forums under the inventive username “mark”, but you’ll always find me and my ponderings at my blog:

1 comment :

  1. How come I missed this? Maybe my head is in to many projects. However, I'm glad to see this. Mark you are a very talented writer and a good writer friend. I look forward to future writing endeavors with you.
    @Shells, great interview. I'll be sure to read some more!!