Thursday, April 18, 2013

In The Dog House: Author Mark Love

Mark Love has not lead a dog's life.

He's a Michigan native, who up until recently lived in the Metro Detroit area, where crime and corruption always seems to be at the top of the news. This gave him lots of opportunities to hear story ideas to jump start his imagination. Although he has worked in many different industries over the years, he worked as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers writing features and hard news that helped hone his writing talents.  Still, he has always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers and has now fulfilled that dream.

Welcome Mark to my blog.

CINDY:  Is Devious your first book?
MARK:   No, I have two other books available, Fade Away and Desperate Measures.

CINDY:  What inspired you to write your very first full-length book? What kept you going to the very end?  How did you feel when you completed it? 
MARK:   I took a creative writing class in college and the instructor kept encouraging me to write a novel. It was an interesting process and I was intrigued by the fact that although I hadn’t planned it, the action and ending kept changing as the characters were developed. It’s always a great sense of accomplishment for me to complete a story and to see what kind of reactions I get from readers.

CINDY: What genre is Devious?  Tell us a little about it.
MARK:  Devious falls into two genres, mystery and romance. When I originally started writing this, the romantic aspect was really secondary. But several friends who read the earlier drafts kept encouraging me to add more romance.  The main character is Jamie Richmond, a former reporter who is writing mystery novels. She’s an independent woman, with a stubborn streak and the determination to follow her ideas wherever they may take her. In order to gain some realism for a character in her next book, Jamie is riding along with a state trooper during an evening patrol. Near the end of his shift, she witnesses him being shot. Although the wound is not fatal, Jamie becomes haunted by the event. The police are stymied in their investigation. Jamie is determined to figure it out. Along the way she meets Malone, another police officer. They begin to date and as the chemistry builds, Jamie begins to wonder if there may be more to Malone than meets the eye.

CINDY: Wow! Sounds great. I'm excited to read it. What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?  What part do you dislike?
MARK:   I enjoy starting out with a basic idea and a couple of well developed characters and letting things go from there. I can’t work with an outline. It’s more enjoyable to let the characters interact and let them help steer the story.  The editing part is a necessary evil. But it’s something every writer must do.

CINDY: What motivated you to write Devious?
MARK:   I wanted to try and write a story from a woman’s perspective and see if I could make it believable. It was a challenge to keep the story moving and remain true to the character. I really had to learn what makes Jamie tick, what her fears and dreams are. She has her own set of insecurities along with her own strengths.

CINDY:  A lot of authors listen to music while they write.  Do you?  Do you have any rituals you do before, after or during writing?
MARK:   Yes, music is crucial to writing. I have difficulty working in silence. I will often use Pandora to set the mood, shuffling between classic rock, pop, guitar and piano instrumentals, jazz and Motown. I try to pick time when I won’t be interrupted, even if it’s just an hour, so I can focus on the story.

CINDY: If you could write yourself into one of your books what kind of character would you be? (e.g. the heroine, the best friend, the antagonist, strong, funny, supportive, etc.)
MARK:  I’d probably be the supportive wise guy, someone the protagonist would feel comfortable brainstorming with, or getting together for a diversion and a good drink.

CINDY:  How much research do you do for one of your books?  How much of your book is fact, and how much is fiction?
MARK:   I tend to do a lot of research. For Devious I did an evening patrol with a state trooper and actually witnessed some of the events that ended up in the book. I also interviewed several other police officers and a friend who worked in a forensic lab. In the sequel, which is called Vanishing Act, I interviewed an aerobics instructor, a firefighter, another police officer, the owner of a spy store and a technology guru. I also had a friend provide me with certain passages in Italian, which I used to heighten the romance between two characters. I try to weave a lot of facts into my fiction. Also, I use real restaurants, theaters and stores, so the reader may identify with the locations.

CINDY: What has writing a book taught you about yourself?
MARK:   Patience and perseverance. Sometimes I want to rush through a story and get to the end, but I don’t want to cheat my audience, my characters or myself. So I have to be diligent and see it all the way through, giving the right amount of background to keep the story moving.

CINDY: What do you want your readers to gain from reading one of your books?
MARK:   I’d like them to find the stories entertaining and enjoyable. Hopefully they may see something of themselves in the characters and their escapades. And they come back to read another one.

CINDY:  Do you have any plans for another book?  Can you give us any details?
MARK:  Vanishing Act is the sequel to Devious and is due to be out in May with Sweet Cravings. In this book, Jamie’s best friend, Linda makes her first appearance. She becomes swept up in a whirlwind romance. At the same time, she attracts the attention of someone else. On a cold, snowy Saturday, she disappears. Jamie can’t believe she would leave and is determined to find her.

CINDY:  Vanishing Act sounds awesome too! How can readers find out more about you and your books? Do you have a website?  Where can they buy your books?
MARK:   My books are available on Amazon. I don’t have a website yet, but here are my buy links: 
Desperate Measures on Amazon:
Fade Away on Amazon:
Sweet Cravings Publishing:

It has been a real pleasure having you on my blog.  I wish you much success and prosperity.  If you get the chance, stop by and answer questions and tell us your favorite dog breed.  Thanks again.

As always, feel free to leave comments or questions for Mark.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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  1. Devious sounds like a fascinating read and has been added to my wish list. Best wishes with sales.

  2. I love romantic suspense. Best of luck on your new release


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