My interview this week is with Author Mark Anthony Waters.
I learned that eating tacos might be a talent. And while I’m not sure if avoiding potholes is a superstition, it is sound advice. You should see the ones on my road!
Thank you, Mark, for being my interview guest this week.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
In the 7th grade. I started a sci-fi book titled, “Destination Venus.” I think I wrote it to impress my English teacher… I had quite the crush on her.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
Tom Clancy and John Grisham.
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?
My favorite is creating a story in my head, then putting it on paper and let it evolve. The least favorite… editing.
5. Where do your ideas come from?
The three currently published, are bits and pieces of my life, and things I’ve experienced.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
Besides eating tacos, I believe I’m a good communicator, but more important, a good listener.
7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
Tom Clancy’s “Hunt for Red October.”
8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
All of my characters represent a piece of people I know, or have known.
9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
Really only one. One of the characters in my book. Suicide by Death. The main characters therapist, Glenn, was accidently cast in the book, and in real life, he reminded me of a therapist I knew. We actually went to HS together.
10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
A story circulates through my mind, then I try and match the best title that is relatable. The toughest one, and most mysterious is my title, “Suicide by Death,” and I explain in the book how I came up with it. My writer colleagues were split in the title, but my readers loved it.
11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
My first stab at comedy, and titled, “The Linguini Massacre.” It’s the story of a failed writer who has a dinner party for his publisher, editor, and a few others associated with his books. The main course was clam linguini, and over the next few days, all the guests died except for the hosts.
12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
I suppose my biggest reward was an impressive review from Kirkus.
A Little More Personal
13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
I think maybe skydiving.
14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
Probably when I created The Linguini Massacre in my head. My wife and I were visiting my son and his wife in Houston after the birth of their child. I’m a pretty good cook and wanted to surprise them with a nice meal; clam linguini. I know the rules when cooking clams, but a few were undercooked and shells still closed on a few, but we ate them anyway. The next morning, my wife and I were sitting outside, and she said, “I hope we didn’t make anyone sick,” and I replied, “Sick? I hope I didn’t kill anyone!”
15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
Really only one. I was at a friend’s house I barely knew. She sat across the room, and after a couple of drinks, she said she felt a presence. My eyesight is not the best, and she sat across the room, and a man’s image appeared on her face, and I told her. She asked me to describe him. I went into as much detail as I could, then she said I described her deceased father. I also had had a few drinks.
16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?
Yes. Try to avoid potholes.
17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
We visited Hilton Head a couple of years ago, and toured the whole area, including Savanna, Georgia. The history and architecture were amazing.
19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?
That’s a toughie. I come from a split home at age six and raised my two younger siblings. I suppose going fishing with my mother very early in the morning is a fond memory.
20. What makes you happy?
To see my kids excel and achieve.
21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
We were at the epicenter of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and for the past nearly two years, we have been putting our house back together, and working in the community helping piece it back together.
22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
A few, mostly politicians. We were family acquaintances of the Bush’s, (George and Barbara)
Mark’s Amazon Link