Welcome to my blog Mark, it is a pleasure to have you popping by. You wonderful novel The Gift Maker is a corker. Please check out Mark’s Q&A below.
About The Book
Gifts ought to be free, but they never are. They tie you to the wishes of others. To your own sad expectations. To the penitentiary of your dreams.’ Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to his friend Liselotte Hauptmann. These ‘gifts’ will change their lives forever. In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed at the Sheol Theatre. Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas and Liselotte, together with their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard’s seductive web, as Daumen, the gift maker, must decide who his master really is. The Gift Maker is a story about identity, about fulfilling your dreams and becoming the person you always were … at whatever cost.
Purchase your copy here ~ AMAZON UK
Before becoming a writer, Mark trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He subsequently worked in theatre and television for several years, both in the UK and abroad. He has worked variously as a cleaner, care-worker and carer, salesman, barman, medical transcriptionist, warehouse worker, and administrator.
Mark has published numerous stories and poems in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Eire, and Italy, and in particular, has had several stories published in (or accepted for) the celebrated Unthology series (Unthank Books). His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. He has been shortlisted for literary prizes, including the prestigious Bridport Prize.
In 2009, Mark graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in English (Creative Writing and Critical Practice) from Ruskin College, Oxford. Currently living in South Wales, Mark is also a musician and songwriter, and some of his songs may be found here: https://soundcloud.com/pumpstreetsongs
Among his favourite writers are Jean Rhys, Franz Kafka, Anton Chekhov, and Christopher Priest.
My Q&A with Mark
Describe yourself using three words?
Reader ~ Writer ~ Cogitator.
What inspired you to write your first novel?
I didn’t know it was going to be a novel until it grew too long for a short story, then too long for a novella. I followed where the story led me, where the characters led me.
What time of day do you like to write?
Different times over the years, but latterly, late at night, as I’m having trouble sleeping.
What is your favourite book and why?
‘Good Morning Midnight’ by Jean Rhys. Why? It’s my favourite writer. The toughest, most honest, most astonishing writer I’ve come across. The final scene of this novel is astounding.
How did you pick the title of your book?
It was a good fit in a literal sense, but also echoes other themes of the story. A question that might be posed by the reader, I hope, is: ‘Who is the gift maker?’ and perhaps, ‘What is the gift?’
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
No, none of them are. It is solely a work of the imagination.
What’s your favourite word?
If you were a colour what would it be?
Blue – like the butterfly on the cover of The Gift Maker.
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
With this novel, I went totally with the flow up to a point where certain decisions had to be made, or it might have gone on forever, or else lost all tension. The decision concerned itself with where the characters were headed, physically and spiritually – the need to establish a focal point for their various journeys to come together. My dearest friend gave me some good advice at that point of decision – and I followed it.
Who is your favourite Author?
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
Great question. Frankenstein’s “creature” – while he is not a villain, per se, he ends up abandoning his original innocence, and becomes highly destructive, having been rejected and spurned by all, especially his maker.
Are you working on a new project?
I am working on some short stories, some poems, and songs. I have a longer project on the simmer, but it’s early days for it.
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