Lee was excited when he told me he had a story from Mark Edward Hall. When he forwarded Markís story, The Fear, to me to read, I ended up reading it in bed. It is the first time in a long time that I had a nightmare after reading. It was that good! So we wanted to know more about Mark and his writing...
Where did you come up with your anthology idea?
THE FEAR was a story idea that came from my novel, THE LOST VILLAGE. I donít know about other writers but when Iím working on a novel I have all sorts of ideas that donít get used in the book. Theyíre like lost children, stuff I write and later decide it wasnít right for the book. Instead of deleting these gems I save them. Later on I turn some of them into stories. The Fear is one of those lost children. Sounds a little creepy when you consider the story.
How long did it take for you to put together your story?
Probably a couple of weeks.
Why did you submit your MoH story Ė was it one you have had for a while or one that you put together especially for the Anthology?
I submitted it because Lee was calling for submissions. I read that he was starting a new publishing company and thought he might like it. The story seemed to fit his guidelines. It was just hanging out in my hard drive collecting cyber dust. I hadnít done anything with it so I said why not.
What research / preparation did you do for your story?
An entire novel's worth.
Whoís story are you most looking forward to reading? Why?
All of them. Because they all sound good.
Why do you write horror? What is the fascination in it for you?
I write horror because I donít really have a choice. It is where my mind goes nearly every time I sit down to write, which, of course, is every day. I think horror tells us a lot more about the human condition than most genres because it strips everything away, gets down to the bare bones, to the very heart of the matter, which is our inevitable demise. People read horror for a variety of reasons. Some people like to be scared. To some itís purely entertainment. Most people are fascinated by death and its myriad complexities. I donít think I know anyone who wonít slow down at a traffic accident and try to get a look at the shape under the sheet. We look, we see, and then we exclaim in horror. But we still look, as if we are aching to see beneath death to what awaits us on the other side. To some extent horror is a rehearsal for the end, which we must all face sooner or later.
How long have you been writing?
My first short story was published in 1995. Before that I wrote songs and poetry. My first novel was published in 2003. So the answer is a long time.
Is writing your full time thing, or do you have a day job? What is it?
Writing is an almost a full time job for me. In my spare time I play in a rock Ďn roll band. It helps me keep my perspective. Maybe even my sanity.
Why do you write?
The same reason I write horror. I donít feel that I have a choice. Iím driven by something I donít have a clear understanding of.
What are you currently working on?
Iím just finishing up two new novels, a supernatural thriller called SOUL THIEF and a psychological thriller called CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE. Iím also doing edits on my 2003 novel, THE LOST VILLAGE, which has been picked up by Damnation Books and will be out in September.
I write every day. I think itís important to do so even if itís only a few chapters or even paragraphs. Writers write. Thereís not much else to say. I live in Maine with my wife Sheila. We have a good life. I canít imagine doing anything else.