JQM PRESENTS A BLOG POST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Mark Stallings
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
I’ve been a hard core reader since I found my first Sci-Fi book in the school library in the 2nd grade. I started playing video games early and got my first grow-up job directly due to Wing Commander. Because of that, I have a crazy technology background having founded several tech companies centering around human-machine interfaces before I discovered a passion for writing. I thought I would leverage my love of Fantasy and martial arts with my interests in Asian culture and started writing Wuxia (woo sha) to blend them all together. That was how The Silver Coin Saga was born. When I’m not slinging the ink and trying to get paid to fabricate tales that entertain, I like to shoot competitively, drink craft beer, ride motorcycles, and play games with friends.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
When I was young, I had several dark periods in my life and books got me through them. I’ve always been creative and had a desire to tell stories. Specifically, stories that might help others escape their problems for a time.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? WHY?
David Eddings – he had an amazing ability to take characters with diverse cultures and weave them into a story with rich history leaving characters you can care about. Tom Clancy – I love techno-thrillers and Clancy could deliver true escapism. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle – their ideas really made me think. not just about what they had going on but the societal impacts. Plus I love how in Footfall, the Sci-Fi writers save the world. Robert Jordan – he created a bold diverse world with the Wheel of Time. Sadly he was unable to complete it himself. Michael Anderle – his Kutherian Gambit series was wild and irreverent mind-candy that kept me begging for more by blending fun characters with Vampires and Space opera.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS? WHY?
Pawn of Prophecy – David Eddings, I came into this series from my brother who gave me the first three books just as I traveled cross country, leaving friends and family in preparation of our move to Colorado. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein, he tapped into a desire that everyone has for belonging and understanding their role in the universe. As a teenager, that really resonated with me. Red Storm Rising – Tom Clancy, he grabbed world politics at the time through a series of separate but ultimately woven together stories, I especially liked the Iceland segment.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTERS? WHY?
Wow, there are so many. Jack Ryan (Tom Clancy) he is the boy scout patriot with a moral compass. Garion (David Eddings) as we get to see his life journey and growing up trials that I could empathize with. Pug (Raymond Feist) the quintessential rags-to-worse rags-to-riches star of Magician. Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher) who tried to do the right thing and most of the time it works. John Carter (Edgar Rice Burroughs) who’s philosophy of ‘While I live, there is hope.’ really helped me in life. Honor Harrington (David Weber) because you don’t have to take crap off anyone. And, The Stainless Steel Rat (Harry Harrison) with ‘Never commit the same crime twice’
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW AUTHORS AND/OR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
I have two things: First, Everyone has advice and their way of doing things. You need to figure out YOUR methodology to get stories out into the world. My way is one way and it isn’t better than any other method. Second, be laser focused on the genre you want to write in. If you want to make money, make sure you understand the tropes of your genre and read the top 5 selling books in your genre. They are the top selling books in that genre for a reason. Figure out the why, and you will have the how for being successful.
IMAGINE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS IS ABOUT TO BECOME A FILM OR TV SHOW. WHO IS YOUR “DREAM CAST?” AND WHO DO YOU ASK TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK?
Wow. That is tough. It would really depend on when the series was being made into a movie/TV show. A young Ki Hong Lee would make a great Xan. For the soundtrack, Danny Elfman of course
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS?
I want to craft a fun ride and through Royal Road and Patreon, I give fans avenues to participate early in the adventure. This isn’t just a one-way street. I read comments and feedback and adjust the story if you find a flaw. Writing is a solo task, Authoring is a team sport and I want you on my team.
WHERE CAN WE GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR LITERARY WORKS?
You can find me:
– on Facebook at facebook.com/markwstallings
– on the web at www.markstallings.com
– on Patreon at patreon.com/markstallings
– on Amazon at www.amazon.com/Mark–Stallings/e/B089C4YLQ5