Bookworm’s Nook: “I love the darker side of fiction and the human mind … to delve deeply into both.”

Bookworm’s Nook

a writer’s perspective

Me

Hello & Welcome, Author Marc Horn!

Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

I’m an ex-soldier with an overactive imagination! I’ve written three psychological thrillers. The Mortal Religion and Persona are available now on Amazon, and Cuffed should be out before summer.

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When did you fall in love with reading?

I think it must have been Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five. I remember these books being read to me as a child and I loved the suspense and adventures.

When did you fall in love with writing?

I think it was when I first won a prize for writing. I was about twelve, and the whole year at school had to write a fictional short story. Somehow I just knew I was going to win. My story was about a witch who was burned to death, and then came back to life to terrorise everyone who crossed her. Sounds very ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, doesn’t it? Maybe I’d sneakily watched a bit of that… Anyway, I won a £5 book or record voucher. I chose a book voucher. I always remember that the

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teacher who read my story didn’t particularly like me – I used to make fun of his accent; despite that, he was very fair and professional, and gave me a glowing review, mentioning that I should seriously consider creative writing as a career! I think the fact that I bugged him meant his review was more meaningful to me.

In which genre do you write? Do you enjoy writing in more than one genre, or do you prefer to stick to one?

It’s always psychological thrillers for me.  I love the darker side of fiction and the human mind, and this genre enables me to delve deeply into both.  I’ve worked in places where you need to have what’s described as a ‘sick sense of humour’, and I think this is evident in the black humour in my writing. I don’t like to be held back in describing what’s happening in my fiction, be it sex or violence, and I like to focus on topics people are aware of but generally don’t feel comfortable discussing.

If you could introduce two characters from two different books you have written, who would they be and why?

Well, this is easy for The Mortal Religion, as there are only two main characters – Chalk and Elizabeth! The kidnapper and the kidnapped. These characters will always be close to me. I really got into Chalk’s mind when I was writing, and it was a disturbing and desperately sad place. I really felt for him, although I know a lot of readers don’t sympathise with him. I did try hard to nurture sympathy, but I knew that kidnapping a girl would make it extremely difficult. I tried to sell it as a form of self-defence after all the abuse he’d taken.

Elizabeth’s part was kind of easy to write, because you only see things from Chalk’s point of view. The Mortal Religion has been compared to John Fowles’ The Collector, and I read that novel, afterwards, with interest. I certainly did not sympathise with his kidnapper, Clegg, but perhaps this was not least because Fowles does give us access to the girl’s thoughts, and you see her agonizing despair.

With Persona, I’d have to say Zen and Andre. Zen is the bad guy who wants to psychologically destroy an ex, and Andre is the hit man who’s hired to kill him. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the more complex, deeper emotions and just focus on a good old duel to the death! Both these killers are at the top of their games, so some convincing background was needed to set the scene, and up the stakes!

My favourite scene in the novel is when they both end up on the same commercial flight, and have no choice but to temporarily abandon their missions and talk civilly to each other. I remember when I watched the film Heat; the best scene for me was when DeNiro and Pacino were having coffee; two enemies having a controlled discussion – the calm before the storm. Really raises the tension! It’s the anticipation of a climax that is more satisfying to me than the climax itself.

Do you have any recurring themes in your novels/characters?

I’m sure people would laugh about this, due to the extreme nature of my books, but all my novels are love stories. Honestly! Twisted and disturbing, but love stories nonetheless. Often, one of my character will try to resist it, but will succumb in the end.

When do you feel that you are at your most creative?

I get most of my writing done in the mornings. In the afternoons, I tend to get distracted. But if I have a free day, I can usually knock out 2,500 – 3,000 words.

What song/songs do you have on repeat, lately?

I only ever listen to the radio, and I generally switch between 80s and 60s music. The sixties is my favourite decade for music by far. So much soul and imagination. I actually feel that I’m well behind with music technology. Programs like Spotify sound tailor-made for me – for instance, I love Springsteen’s music, but I’ve only heard what’s played on the radio i.e his singles. If I had Spotify, it would ‘learn’ my tastes and play me his album tracks too, which are probably brilliant. £10 a month seems too expensive to me, though, for the amount I’d use it. I’d do it if it was a fiver a month.

Do you have an excerpt you wouldn’t mind sharing? (From either a work in progress or a book that is currently available?)

I’ve sold my soul to Amazon, so I can’t share a thing! Although when my forthcoming novel Cuffed is ready, I can share a chapter or two then.

Gotcha!

What is your biggest inspiration?

My mother. Strongest, most positive person I know.

What’s one of your favorite quotes? (Or, if you have written one, would you mind sharing?)

Well, someone was reading my Amazon bio the other day and learned that I was an airborne soldier. He muttered, ‘Airborne germ, more like…’ Really amused me that.

 Haha! Nice … Thanks so much, Marc for stopping by Bookworm’s Nook! Stop by, again, and bring that Cuffed excerpt!

 And where can we find you online?

My website: www.marchornwriter.com

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marc-Horn/e/B009YUWWHG

My YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcHornwriter/videos

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