Featured Author – Mark Combs

4854_1175106300983_6411029_nToday the featured author is a man that has proven he has things to say we all like to read. Let’s welcome Mark Combs.

Hi Mark, thanks for taking the time to drop by and take the time to answer my questions. I’d like to start with a few personal questions, if that’s okay with you?

Absolutely.

Great! Thanks, brace yourself because here we go. 🙂 Given the choice, would you drive around in a car, or take a bike ride?

Depends. If I need to run a quick errand, I’ll drive. However, I love the freedom that being on my bicycle brings, so if I am looking to unwind or clear my head, I’ll hop on my bike and go. Twenty or thirty miles is usually enough for me to get my head straight. I recently got a new Trek road bike, but haven’t been on it much because of cold, windy, shitty Indiana weather.

What came first? The love for crime thrillers or the degree?

The degree came first. I was a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in Biology. Well, calculus, a requirement for my major, kicked my ass not once, but twice. I decided that it was time for a major change, so, at the urging of my friend Mike, I changed to Criminal Justice. That turned out to be a whole lot easier.

I started reading a lot of true crime books when I lived in the Chicago area in the early 1990s. Back then, it was mostly stuff about the mafia. I really developed a taste for crime thrillers in 2003, when I started commuting an hour and a half each way to and from work. I started listening to a lot of audiobooks, and soon “discovered” two authors who are among my favorites today: John Sandford and James Lee Burke. Sandford is a great writer of dialogue and a great storey teller. Burke takes crime fiction into the realm of literary fiction.

If you could ask Stephen King a question, what would that be? About grammar, or fiction?

In his memoir On Writing, King says that stories are found things, like fossils waiting to be uncovered. I would ask him to sell me on this theory, because I’m not sure I buy it. Maybe I just haven’t expanded my mind to the point where I am able to discover stories in my head that have always been there.

Your dog, the Damn Dog (if the readers want to know where that comes from they can ask you in a comment, will that work for you?), is he a house companion, or do you like to take him for long walks?

Damn Dog is my wife’s name for our dog, a BIG Siberian Husky. He’s a year old, so he’s still got a lot of puppy left in him. He spends a lot of time running around in the back yard, but also spends a lot of time in the house. He’s really good-natured, but is still very clumsy. He knocks a lot of stuff over, including our granddaughter, much to my wife’s chagrin. He also tends to chew on things he shouldn’t. We take him for walks (or rather, he takes us for walks). My youngest daughter Riley likes to let him pull her around the block on her Ripstik, which is basically a skateboard with only two wheels.

What would be a good reason to take a long walk?

To clear my head.

There, that wasn’t too painful, was it? But it’s not why you are here, you are here to talk about your work, aren’t you?

Let’s not waste anymore time but tell me what the title of the book is you would like to talk about?

I am currently working on expanding one of my unpublished short stories into a novel. The title of the novel will be Lyrical. I won’t say what the title of the short story is because it would give too much away. The book centers on a series of killings that seem to be based on lyrics from classic rock songs.

Sounds intriguing! Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not at all, though I hated giving up the original title of the short story.

What will you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to books?

I don’t have any books or stories published yet, but I do have a blog casualmisanthrope.wordpress.com, and I have been able to generate some momentum on Facebook and Twitter. Initially, I plan to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, so social media will continue to play a prominent role in promoting my work.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

I could eat pizza every day. My wife can’t. Therefore, we only have pizza maybe once a month.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I have a world-class chocolate chip cookie recipe. Can’t share the recipe because my wife and daughters plan to open a bakery in a few years, but I’d love to send you some cookies.

Oh! Double chocolate-chip, perhaps? Nom! 

Gif found on Chickennuggetgirl’s blog

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

There are days I don’t write, particularly if we are doing some sort of family outing, but generally, I put something on the page every day.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

My life is really pretty boring, but here are a couple of tidbits you may find amusing:

  • I have a bit of a crush on Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady. There’s something about her that really turns my dials!
  • I cry every time I watch Forrest Gump, when Jenny dies.
  • I have an intense dislike for country music, but I could listen to Willie Nelson all day.
  • I once got bitten on the finger by a salmon. It took 3 weeks’ worth of antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
  • My wife was 17 and I was 23 when we started dating. We’ve been married for 21 years.
  • In 1999, my employer made me take a tact and diplomacy training. 

Thanks for sharing all this with us Mark. Do remember to come back when you have a release to celebrate and for now, off you go, back to your writing and reviewing cave!

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