Mark Everett Stone is the author of the interestingly (to say the least) named Things To Do In Denver When You’re Un-dead and What Happens in Vegas, Dies in Vegas. With titles like these, I know these are books I would snap up without needing to know anything else! Mark has been kind enough to share his thoughts on writing these books and writing about Kal, Denver and Vegas.
What sparked your love for the fantasy/paranormal genre?
I guess it would be reading Greek Mythology at age seven. I devoured The Odyssey and The Iliad and then moved to Norse Mythology. From there I went on to sci-fi, then Tolkien. Suckered in at an early age, ruined forever for mainstream literature.
From a writer’s perspective, what is it about the genre that you love diving into the most?
I love history, the back story on every character and event. History defines us, makes us who we are as a person and a people.
What inspired Kal?
I had an uncle named Kalevi who was a big man like the Kal in the book, a bit of a smart ass, but a good guy. He was the template I used for the character, but I added healthy doses of sarcasm, mixed in some serious angst, some self-recrimination, stuffed it in a blender and hit frappe.
Tell us about Kal’s Denver? And in your second book in the series (What Happens in Vegas, Dies in Vegas) Las Vegas? How do you approach world building?
Well, the cities are as they are in real life, I just added an undercurrent that the really real world doesn’t get to see. As for world building, I try to make my worlds somewhat logical. They have to have an underlying framework that can hold up to scrutiny. For things to happen just because they happen doesn’t work for me. There always has to be a reason.
How many books will there be in the series?
At least seven. Perhaps nine. Right now I am having fun and letting the books take me for a ride.
How would you describe Kal’s journey over the series?
Ancient Chinese Secret. I can’t tell you. What I will say is that even Kal can change over time, like we all do.
What has been the hardest thing to get used to as a writer?
Writer’s Block. Fucking sucks. I can’t stand it, it drives me crazy and I feel so friggin angry when I can’t resolve a literary issue in my mind! Patience isn’t my strong suit.
If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Get some sleep and stay away from carbs.
What else can fans look forward to from you in 2012/2013?
I have a stand-alone novel coming out on September 1st called The Judas Line and it has been receiving rave reviews so far. I am excited! In 2013 #3 of the BSI series will be coming out: I Left My Haunt In San Francisco. Followed by Chicago, the Windigo City and Omaha Stakes.
Is there one story/genre/creature/anything that you have always wanted to write, but haven’t had the chance to yet?
A vampire story…one from the vamp’s pov. I have a hard time with them because I think vampires are murderous cannibals who should be staked asap. I saw a t-shirt at Denver ComicCon: ‘And Then Buffy Staked Edward. The End.’ That pretty much sums it up for me.