Thursday, April 07, 2011
Mystery/Suspense. After twenty three years in law enforcement, I just can’t seem to escape that life.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
There are several. The day I got married, and the birth of all three of my children. When I was younger, I never imagined the fulfillment and joy that a family could bring. They make everyday fun and new.
I agree with you there. How has being published changed your life?
Not as much as I thought it would. First off, Oprah has yet to call. I’m a little disappointed with that. The rest of my life is pretty much the same as it was before I was published. I’m still writing every day, still battling insecurity and all the little mental health disorders of being a writer. (I was hoping that would end when my first book released. Not so.) I do enjoy seeing my books at stores and hearing from people who appreciate the stories, but getting published wasn’t the earth shaking event I dreamed it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I am very blessed to be in this position, but I do try to keep it in perspective.
If you don't, you'll have plenty of people willing to help you do that. What are you reading right now?
I’m reading the galleys for Gayle Roper’s new book, Shadow on the Sand, and Jerry Jenkins’s latest The Brotherhood. I’m enjoying both of them.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on a sequel to The Corruptible, with Ray Quinn back in the saddle. I’m in the early stages, so we’ll see how it goes.
What would be your dream vacation?
Israel. It’s where Jesus walked, and the whole world seems to be watching it right now. I’d also like to go to Australia. Not nearly for the spiritual reasons of Israel, but it just seems like it would be a fun place.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I like using locations in Florida because I know the area well and it seems that very strange things tend to happen here. It makes for a nice setting. My first series, The Truth Chasers, was set in Brevard County where I grew up. I moved the Ray Quinn series to Orlando for a fresh feel.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Natan Sharansky. He was a Jewish dissident in Soviet Russia in the 80’s. I’ve read two of his books—Fear No Evil, and The Case for Democracy. Fear No Evil was a memoir of his dissident days when he and others stood up the KGB and the highest echelons of the Soviet Union with only their convictions. He spent many years in prison for his beliefs. A very powerful story from an incredibly brave man. Now he’s in Israel, working for the government there.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I really enjoy martial arts training. I’ve been involved in one style of martial art or another since I was ten. My three kids and I all train together now. My wife’s not really into it, so she doesn’t go with us. But she is gracious enough to give me the time for my hobby. It helps to keep me sane and focused, too.
When I was growing up, writing was the worst thing imaginable to me. I loathed putting words to paper. I’m Dyslexic and the very reason (I believe) that God invented spell check. But soon after I became a Christian, I felt the Lord leading me to write. It didn’t make much sense to me and seemed impossible. I shared with my wife what I thought God was doing, and she encouraged me to go to school and learn the skills I needed to write.
So, it took about ten years of classes, writing, and more classes. Then I started attending writer’s conferences, where I met my agent. A couple of years later, I signed my first book contract. It’s been a long road, but worth every second.
Sounds like an interesting journey. We all have one. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Stick with it! Many a great manuscript or talented writer will never be discovered because the author didn’t show the fortitude to stick it out through the tough times—and there will be tough times. If you’re called to be a writer, write. Learn your craft, read books about writing, go to conferences, and write, write, write. Don’t let negative voices around you derail the dream God has planted.
There's a contemporary Christian song titled, "The Voice of Truth." I've often clung to the words in that song to dispell the negative voices. Tell us about the featured book.
The Corruptible is the sequel to The Night Watchman, in which Ray Quinn, the protagonist, owns his own private investigations company. He’s hired to find an old acquaintance who is suspected of stealing corporate secrets. But when that friend is found dead, Ray’s case gets ramped up into a full-scale murder investigation.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Dying on the toilet was not how I envisioned leaving this world.
“Ray Quinn, you’re a dead man!” the behemoth’s rumblings reverberated off the bathroom walls like a fully-throttled Harley Davidson.
I locked the stall door and shuffled back against the wall, my good leg using the toilet to keep me righted. My balance was still suspect from the shooting that destroyed my hip and pelvis eighteen months before. I pulled out my phone and typed a hurried text message to my partner Crevis.
“Trapped in bathroom w/maniac. Get here now!”
“Where are you, you gumshoe rat?” The goon kicked the stall door three down from me. Keith Wagner, my large and socially challenged pursuer, didn’t possess much of a sense of humor. His wife suspected he was being unfaithful and hired me to follow him. It wasn’t a difficult job, as he possessed a predilection for the young ladies and excessive amounts of booze. Easy money, I thought. Now it seemed that Keith was going to extract from my body every dollar his wife paid me.
The lovely and gracious Mrs. Wagner didn’t think it important to inform me that she confronted Keith, blamed everything on me until after she went to the gym and met with some friends for a brunch date.
I got her flippant warning call as Keith followed me into the restaurant where I was to meet Crevis for lunch, so he was now on a quest to separate my head from my body. I ducked into the bathroom to avoid him. Not the smartest move I’d made in a while, because now I was cornered. And in my hobbled condition, I couldn’t outrun anyone anywhere. I hoped Crevis got my message, or he would be looking for another employer soon.
“So you wanna ruin other people’s marriages, do ya?” Another stall door fell victim to Keith’s raging foot. Pointing out that it was his serial adultery and boorish behavior that led to his personal problems probably wouldn’t help the situation, so I remained quiet.
“You wanna stick your face into other people’s business?” The walls rocked again as the stall next to mine endured his assault. I aimed the weighty hawk-billed brass handle of my cane towards the door that would soon be opening on me. Whatever he wanted to do to me would come at great cost.
I can hardly wait to start the book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.copwriter.com/ or markmynheir.com. Either will get you there. I’m also on Facebook.
Thank you, Mark, for visiting with me today.
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