Sunday Surprise

Another Heroika author! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Mark Finn!

HEROIKA1 New banner heroika_TChirezpromoWhere do you live and write from?

A small town in North Texas called Vernon. It’s the hometown of Jack Teagarden and Roy Orbison.

Why do you write?

I’ve always been an entertainer and I love to tell stories. I like the intimacy of using my words to put pictures in people’s heads.

bandt thumbWhen did you start writing?

I wrote my first short story for a class assignment when I was 12. I started writing for myself when I was 15.

What genre(s) do you write?

I try not to chase that elusive beast, “genre,” because I don’t read that way, either. That said, I mostly write fantasy, horror and mystery.

What does your writing routine consist of?

For novels, I focus on writing a chapter a day. I like to break the larger story down into manageable chunks. Also, I can’t write dialogue unless my shoes are off. It’s weird, but it’s true.

Sharkey thumbWhat do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I get compliments on my muscular prose, but I think my biggest strength is my “voice,” which reads like how I speak. Also, I am good with action, a skill set I picked up from reading and re-reading Robert E. Howard over the years.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Heh, inspiration. I’ve got a handful of notebooks full of little thoughts and ideas I will never get around to writing. I get a lot of inspiration from real world events, strange factoids I come across, and history.
As for putting myself in my stories…yes and no. I don’t consciously insert myself into the hero, a la Tom Clancy. But I would be lying if there wasn’t pieces and parts of me in every character I develop. How can there not be?

TOLK thumbOutliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

For short stories, I wing it. For novels, I outline. Either way, I’d say I’m a fast writer. I used to be much faster…

Tell us about your latest book

I just had a comic book story published over at Vertigo—a short story for their anthology series, “Strange Sports Stories.” I worked with my longtime friend and collaborator John Lucas and we had a ball with it. As for books, the third and final novel in my “Con-Dorks Saga” is about to drop. It’s called “One in a Million” and it’s a contemporary fantasy with a lot of irreverent humor.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I like Indie publishing, because I think the niche marketing idea works better for me and what I write. That said, I wouldn’t object to a big contract, but I am not going to chase it.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’ve got short stories in two other forthcoming anthologies, “Barbarian Crowns” and “Asian Pulp.” Also, I’m about to start writing the second novel in my mystery series about a Hollywood stuntman who gets paid to dress up as the gorilla in movies. It’ll take place in Mexico and it’s called “Viva Gorilla.”

mark finn headshot 1What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I am writing what I want to write, in a way that makes me happy, and people are responding to it favorably. That’s the best. I’d like to get my mystery series published, and so I am seeking an agent to help me with that. But getting to write the stories that interest me is the best part of doing what I do. I don’t chase market trends or try to shoehorn ideas into fad genres. I am my own compass.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

“Step One: put your butt in the chair.” Best advice I ever got.


@finnswake on Twitter and Tumblr

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