Monday, January 19, 2015

#Mondayblogs: #interview,#giveaway & honoring our #veterans @Mark_aberdeen

Meet Mark! He wants to give you 5 signed books, a cool coffee mug, and a poster. What a sweetheart. Even sweeter, he's a veteran that cares about other veterans. So 50% of his online sales (from now until Memorial Day) will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. 

Keep reading to learn more about Mark and his new book, Dex Territory.

How did you come up with the idea for including the title? 
The original idea was born in gaming session with some friends back in the mid-90s. We'd been playing a fairly typical fantasy game using the GURPS role playing system and we decided to mix it up with superheroes. It was the most fun gaming we'd ever had. Ten years later I was sitting at a keyboard and I started writing those down, but the jokes were mostly in-jokes and the characters needed to be changed up for them to work properly, then some were scrapped, others added and I was still left with not much.

I added a point of view character, Rick O'Shea and made him a police detective attempting to solve crimes in world where anything was possible and that he was always going to be outclassed. That seemed fun to me. I figured out the one piece to make this story work; don’t tell a superhero story. Make a good mystery, action, thriller that happens to have people with superpowers.
I rewrote it and by the time I'd finished I'd rewritten it dozens of times, but I had something that I felt really good about.

Dex was short for Spandex and it becomes the slang word for supers in this world. The title was originally a play on the word Dexterity, but Dex Territory works on multiple levels in the story including the name of a website used in the book.

Is this a standalone book or will it be a series?
This book is a self-contained story, but there are a lot of threads to pull for more. I’m currently working on a sequel that ups the stakes and expands the world. I'm also making notes for an eventual book three, but I have enough story ideas to write these indefinitely. Whether it becomes a series, depends on how well it's received. Please give me a reason to write more, I've got some good stories to tell.

What is your favorite genre to read and do you have a favorite author?
I used to read a lot of fantasy, but I've really lost interest in the genre, I've wandered over the urban fantasy, I think Jim Butcher's Dresden Files are amazing. I'll read anything by Stephen King, but if I had to pick a favorite author it would be Neil Gaiman. One day a long time ago and a very influential age, I picked up a comic book called Sandman and I've been hooked ever since.

Is there any specific author that has impacted the type of writer that you are today?
I think there's a little of Harry Dresden DNA in Rick O'Shea. To say I wasn't influenced by the Dresden files, would be a lie. Rick is constantly outclassed and I heap pain on him in piles. If he know what I had in store for him he'd go weapons hot on me and he wouldn't finish until all his magazines were empty.

Are you working on any other projects that you would like to share with us?
Right now the Dex World has me pretty wrapped up, but a few years ago I wrote a story for Shallow Graves magazine and it was a straight up urban fantasy about a woman, Julia Hart who was born a child of an angel a demon while they possessed human form. She had pieces of both of them in her. She made her living as a relic hunter. I'd really like to revisit that as a series. I think that would be a lot of fun.

Who does your book covers?
TWBPress put the cover together, but when my editor showed it to me, I offered some suggestions and some artwork from my friend Paul Littlehale, who is very much a creative partner to me. I'd give him character descriptions and he'd produce artwork for me. It really fueled me. He was also a member of the original gaming group, so we'd work out scenes together and he'd offer up suggestions. He had concept art for Pink Panther and it seemed very fitting that she be on the cover.

What one thing that readers be surprised by if they knew about you?
I'm half human.

Who is your biggest supporter?
That would have to be my wife, Nadine. She's my cheerleader and she's still around even when I emerge from my office months later looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway and unable to look at direct sunlight, smelling of stale coffee and desperation with a few pages a dialog clutched in a grubby fist.

What advice would you give to new authors just starting out?
Park your butt in the chair and write. Talking about writing your book isn't the same as writing it. Don't worry that your first book is going to suck, and probably your second and your third. No one gets it right out of the gate. You learn it by doing it. It's also critically important to find a group, or editor, or someone that won't put up with your bullsh*t. You want your story torn apart; every piece questioned and defend your choices. You'll know if they're BS, or not. It does you absolutely no good if someone it telling you how great it is. You want to hear that after they purchase one, not before.

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?
Literally - so many use it wrong. I'm not a grammar Nazi, but I've become very aware of it.

Any words you hate?
The C-bomb. I love swearing, I think it's one of the great joys, I also believe in using them as sniper shots rather than suppression fire. A well-placed f-bomb can just make my day, but under no circumstance will you ever catch me using a C-Bomb. In fact, I'm making you say it in your head, so I don't have to. It really offends me that much and I'm not easily offended.

If you could have any (but only one) super power, what would it be?
It would be the ability to fly. I even explore it in my book. Rick is fascinated by it too.

If you could pick the brain of any writer/poet/artist from anywhere across space and time, who would it be and why?
I'm a history buff and it was something I studied a lot in college. I would love to sit down and talk with Thomas Jefferson. If I can take this question a step further, I'd love to add John Adams to that talk and at the point where the two has reconciled and become friends. It would be fascinating to talk with them about building a nation and the politics surrounding it.

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Being a writer is that profession. My day job is in telecommunications. This is one of my dreams come true.

What profession would you not like to do?
I used to build submarines for the Navy. While I worked with some of the best people I'd ever known, I'd like to never do that again.

If Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell existed, which circle would you be trapped in and why?
The 6th circle - Heresy. It seem appropriate to my life. I've never been okay with someone telling me what I had to believe.

Where can we find you and your work?

You can find Dex Territory on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, at (please show them some love, they're great folks and amazing authors). You can find me on Facebook mark.aberdeen or like my Dex Territory page and you won't have to see pictures of my dogs. I'm also on twitter @Mark_Aberdeen, but I use that to drive people toward Facebook. I'd rather get to know you and build relationships.

posters not included in picture

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