This week, Paul’s Fantasy Writings has the honour of an interview with author Mark Torres, who has written the crime and mystery novels, A Stirring in the North Fork and Adeline. Recently, Mark and I got speaking on Instagram and he agreed to answer the following questions.
Where do you live and has this place, or anywhere else you’ve lived, influenced your writings?
I live on Long Island (New York) and it has absolutely influenced my writings. In fact, my first book – A Stirring in the North Fork – was entirely inspired by and located on Long Island. Plus, the lead character (Savoy Graves) of this book and Adeline has settled there with his wife Lola. I have also lived in Queens and that, too, has lent inspiration for my work.
Your latest novel, Adeline, is in the crime and murder mystery genre. What made you decide to write in this genre?
This is a genre I have always enjoyed reading and watching. Thus, it was only natural that I would choose this genre.
What was the spark or inspiration for the story of Adeline, and what message do you want readers to take from it?
I have always been moved by stories that scream for justice, and that is the prime motivation for my stories. Adeline is the sequel to A Stirring in the North Fork. Like the first book, it is an emotionally charged story, filled with suspense and emotion. Also, it raises awareness about mental illness and the mental treatment facilities throughout New York State during much of the 20th-century.
This blogger: Your messages are good ones. The desire for justice is a great motive for stories, as it is highly emotive. Generally-speaking, readers want to see justice done. Suspense, thrill and emotion always makes for good reading. And that you’ve added in the mental health element, and in particular, the mental health institutions of 20th-century New York State gives your book something different. Good on you, Mark!
Have your family and friends read Adeline? If so, what do they think of it and how do you feel when they talk about it with you?
Yes, and I have received very favorable reviews for the book.
This blogger: That’s amazing! It sounds like you have highly supportive family and set of friends.
Have any of the characters in your stories been influenced by people you know, or historical or fictional (including TV or movie) figures?
The protagonist Savoy Graves is somewhat autobiographical, while his wife Lola was created with my wife in mind. As a writer, I write what I know, and I am blessed to have enough life experience to draw many characters from.
If you had to recommend three books, films or TV shows from the crime and murder mystery genre for people who know nothing about the genre, which ones would you choose?
Mindhunter on Netflix and True Detective on HBO. Moreover, I have always enjoyed books by James Patterson, Dean Koontz and John Sanford.
This blogger: I am embarrassed to say that I have not seen either of those shows, and have only heard of True Detective. I have heard of those authors, but have only read one of James Patterson’s novels. Suffice to say, I need to read and watch what you have recommended. (*Smiles.*)
I recently wrote a blog piece about the best way to introduce a villain to the story, whether it is introducing a villain early on in the narrative, like Scar from The Lion King, or later on, like Lord Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones. Which one have you preferred to use in your stories, and why?
It truly depends on the story. But with Adeline, it was ideal to introduce the villains (which come in waves) later on in the story.
If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?
Definitely to be more organized and when I am not writing, to keep researching.
This blogger: Good advice! Organisation and research are key to being able to write well in the chosen subject-matter.
How has writing changed you?
I believe that writing has completed me. I have always fancied myself as a storyteller above all else, and now I am able to do that through my work.
This blogger: It is wonderful to read that someone feels complete. Mark, simply keep writing!
What is your writing kryptonite?
I am a practicing attorney and this forces me to budget my time to write. Failure to properly budget my time is definitely my writing kryptonite.
Are you writing another novel at present? If so, could you please give us a sneak insight into the story?
Yes, I am currently working on a non-fiction historical story from Long Island.
This blogger: Oh that sounds interesting. I studied history at university and still regularly read history, including historical fiction. So, your next story has piqued my interest at the very least.
Lastly, what do you like to do when you are not writing?
I enjoy my practice as a Teamsters attorney, where I represent thousands of hard-working members and their families. Also, I enjoy spending time with my family.
End of Interview
Thus, our interview with author Mark Torres comes to an end. I would like to thank Mark for his time, and to say that it has been a pleasure getting to know him. I wish him all the best in his future writings, in his law career, and with his family.
Otherwise, like Mark on Facebook; follow him on Instagram and Twitter; and visit his page on Goodreads. Then, you will be able to keep up to date with him and be the first to know when his historical fiction novel will be released.
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