04 September 2010

Author Interview: Mark Edward Hall

Mark Edward Hall (a fellow Damnation Books author) is joining us today. Wasps, his first published story, appeared in Raven’s Tale Magazine in 1995. His latest book is a novella entitled The Haunting of Sam Cabot, which was published by Damnation Books in September of 2009. His next book, The Lost Village is available from Damnation in September of 2010.

  • When and why did you begin writing?
I used to make up all sorts of horror stories when I was a kid and tell them to my friends. It actually became somewhat of an event when we’d get together. People I haven’t seen in years will come up to me and ask if I’m still telling those spooky tales. I tell them yeah, but now I write them down. I guess I’ve always had the writing bug. In high school I began writing poetry and songs. I’ve always been a song writer and have performed them live for years.
  • Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I like to surprise the reader with something new and startling instead of recycling the same old mythos. So yes, coming up with something new and refreshing every time is a challenge.
  • What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like playing in my band. It’s just part time now because I simply don’t have the time for anything more. But I still love doing it. I like hanging with my wife Sheila. We’re soul mates. She’s my number one fan, by the way, and I’m hers. She’s a very talented person in her own right. We enjoy antique shows and flea markets, hunting for rare treasures. We go to camp and hang out at the lake, garden together. Normal, non-horror stuff. Just like everyone else.
  • How many books have you written?
Actually about six novels with two or three more in different stages of completion. I’ve also written and published two collections of short stories and have been published in magazines such as The Book of Dark Wisdom and anthologies such as the recent Masters of Horror anthology edited by Lee Pletzers.
  • How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
My love for fiction and especially my love of anything to do with the macabre came from my grandmother Luella who lived with us during my formative years. She was a psychic, a medium and a great story teller. I sat mesmerized for hours on end while she told tales–most of which she professed were true–of the supernatural. She influenced me greatly. She’s why I began telling my own stories.
  • What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Thoughtful sentence structure. I hate clumsy sentences. Good plotting, meaning keeping a coherent structure throughout the writing. Using the right word in the right context.
  • What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A dictionary, a thesaurus, a word processor, The elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer and The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Oh yeah, and a good imagination.
  • What scares you?
Heart attacks, cancer, auto accidents, plane crashes. Ordinary stuff. It’s why I write horror. It’s a way of dealing with fear. Some people go to church or psychiatrists. I write horror. In a way horror is a rehearsal for death.
  • What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.

  • Why should fans of horror movies read horror books?
 Because books are better than movies. They take you into the heart of a story like no movie ever could. But we live in a fast food society and I realize that a lot of people would rather spend two hours watching a movie than eight or ten hours with a book. It’s the nature of our world. Sad but true.
  • What one stereotype about horror writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
 What’s wrong is that we’re all somehow deranged. What’s dead on is that we’re all somehow deranged. You see where I’m going with this? It’s a double edged sword.

  • What are your current projects?
  A supernatural thriller entitled Soul Thief that I’m publishing on my website as a free serial novel, one chapter at a time. We are now up to chapter eighteen. Those who follow along and comment will receive a free signed copy when it’s published. For those interested go to http://www.markedwardhall.com. Plus I’m Just finishing up a new psychological thriller entitled Cross my Heart and Hope to Die, and a post apocalyptic novel entitled On the Night Wind, an epic science fiction thriller entitled Angel Island, plus, my novelette The Fear is being read as an audio book. There will be a worldwide podcast premier sometime in October. For those who are interested in tuning in I’ll give details on my website and my facebook page when I know more.

  • Can you share a little of your current work with us?
  Sure, The Lost Village is an epic supernatural thriller. The majority of the story takes place in a small town that has somehow gone adrift from the rest of the world. It’s about a man, a woman and a special little girl who join forces with some of the town citizens in an effort to save themselves and possibly all of humanity from a dark fate.
Read more about the book here: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615721856
  • Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The book is filled with messages of love, hate, good, evil, questions of faith and hope, despair and redemption. It’s up to the readers to choose which ones are right for them.

  •  If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
 I wouldn’t change a thing.

  •  Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?
I hope you enjoy The Lost Village. My heart and soul went into that book, and my life is all the richer for writing it. I would like to think that, in some small way, it might enrich the lives of others.

Mark, thank you for visiting and good luck with your latest release.
You can find Mark Edward Hall online here: