Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)
Quote of the day:
"It’s always worth taking the
trouble to praise people."
Mark Abernethy - Guest Author
It's a pleasure today to introduce Mark Abernethy, my guest author. Mark is an accomplished author with a few books under his belt. He is a proud Australian and I'm happy to freely promote his work. This is his story:
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND
YOUR WRITING JOURNEY?
My first attempt at writing was song-writing in my early teens, when I was growing up in New Zealand. When I first went to uni to study law I didn’t enjoy my studies but I realised I liked writing the essays in my history and English lit classes. From mucking around on the campus newspaper to doing a journalism diploma seemed like a normal step and after 18, 19 years of journalism, and ghost writing business books, I tried writing a novel: Golden Serpent.
2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
After years of being a journalist, I had this idea that there were no Aussie versions of Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsythe etc. In mind-2006 I wrote six chapters of my idea and showed them to an agent. He showed them to Allen & Unwin and Golden Serpent was published in 2007.
3. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I like being able to work from home, I like to be my own boss, wear whatever
footwear I choose and not be trapped in too many meetings. What I like most about being a writer is creating characters and getting them into trouble.
4. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Although I don’t mind my own company, the solitude of the profession can be hard. You have to talk to other writers, go for a drink, go to the writers festivals etc.
5. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I have done many things: farm hand, insurance salesman, journalist and editor.
6. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT? Writing my first novel, Golden Serpent. I didn’t really know what I was doing – I hadn’t been to writing classes or anything like that and so I just wrote it the way I would like to read it.
7. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m just about to proof my sixth novel which should publish December/January and then I’ll be ghost writing a business book. I’m currently making notes for novel #7.
8. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
That thrill you get when you pick up a book you really like and allow yourself to be transported away into a world partly made by someone’s words, and partly made by your own mind. If I can do that for just one person, I’m happy.
9. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
My Alan McQueen novels are spy thrillers, and my latest novels – written as Mark Aitken – are more military thrillers, focusing on the world of private
10. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
I have many but the best ones are not to get too bogged down in a writing guru’s rules; don’t write what you know – write what you love; be able to tell your story in one sentence; don’t ever set out to write something important.
11. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Only in small doses. Sometimes it’s more productive to shut down the laptop and leave the thing alone for a week.
12. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
My preferred schedule is 9am – 12; 1pm – 4; 8pm – 11. That’s my preferred but when you have young kids, it doesn’t often work like that.
13. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I write anywhere: the kitchen table of my fiancée’s farm house in Ontario was a favourite; the desk at my old apartment in Newtown that looked out over the RPAH car park.
14. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Getting a chapter right: making the set-up bounce along and then giving the reader a big shake up at the end.
15. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Ian Fleming would have to be up there. I first read Dr No when I was 9 and I was hooked on Bond and whole genre after that. I also love Annie Proulx because she makes rural folks come alive, and I like Pete Dexter and Elmore Leonard because of their ear for dialogue and their clear portrayals of American men.
16. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
Someone wrote me an email saying that she preferred my character Alan McQueen to Jack Reacher. I didn’t believe her, but I loved that email.
17. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
It was something like, ‘I thought Arctic Floor was a Matthew Reilly book – can I get my money back?’
18. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
19. HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
Ten, with one ready to go.
20. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love skiing, surfing, horse riding and hanging out at the beach in Coolangatta.
21. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY
EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes. The Allen & Unwin system is very good and you can learn a lot from how a professional edits you.
22. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
First draft is finished, a royalty cheque is in the letter box and I’m off to the airport to go to a writers festival with a good mate.
23. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Keep writing stories, probably for TV and film as well as novels. Keep Aussie characters alive in fiction, focus on entertaining the readers.
Mark's Website: http://alanmcqueen.com.au/
Recent book reviews for Mark Abernethy
‘Golden Serpent is the most accomplished commercial spy thriller we’ve seen locally, a discerning read full of action and a kind of knowing wit. Abernethy conjures echoes of Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy and the Jack Reacher novels of Lee Child.’
Graeme Blundell, Weekend Australian
“The spy thriller has traditionally not been much of a presence in Australian popular fiction. We have been dominated by the British and American product. Abernethy’s first novel follows the Tom Clancy model, but with an irreverent, distinctly Australian twist… Abernethy writes of a world where Maori mercenaries meet hi-tech shipping and the most inventive ways of killing people… For those who like thrillers, this is satisfying fare.”
‘Reminiscent of a Tom Clancy thriller only with a strong Australian flavour to it.’
‘I have had the pleasure in recent years of discovering several Aussie authors – Matthew Reilly, James Phelan and David Rollins – capable of taking on the world’s best in the ‘techno-thriller’ stakes. Now add Mark Abernethy to the list.’
Sunshine Coast Daily
Mark, thanks for dropping by. Love ya work! - CT
Don't be shy ... check out Mark's website, send me an email or leave a comment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for listening.
I'm Clancy Tucker.
Horst Faas (c)