(I know – it sounds like your cup of tea. Mine, too.)
Plus, Mark’s got a free story for you to download at the end of this article.
Lake: Thanks for joining us. Tell us a little about Nightmares and what influenced you to write it.
Mark: Lake, to be totally honest – shear laziness. These are all short stories that have been published in other anthologies over the years. I thought rather than have readers spend a small fortune buying the various anthologies these stories appear in, I could collect them all in a single anthology available for less than a skinny tall latte. I’ve been busy writing a novel and screenplays, so it’s been a while since I’ve published anything new. An anthology made sense in terms of letting people know I’m still breathing.
Lake: You’ve been publishing long enough to have a good backlist. Do you have a favorite among the work that’s out now?
Mark: A couple, actually. One is “Cupid’s Maze,” the short story that started it all for me. It was my first published story. Part of it is sentimental, but I reread it recently all these years later and it still holds up and makes me proud. The other (I’m cheating here, because it’s not out yet) is the novel I’m currently working on, “Zombie-saurus Rex,” which I plan to release later this year. It’s about a teenage zombie just trying to get along and get his high school diploma. I’ve kind of fallen in love with the character. It’s going to be hard letting him go.
Lake: Last Question – what scares you?
Mark: First let me say that I’ve suffered a great number of injuries in my life. What that has taught me is that pain can be dealt with. Real fear is anticipation, and anticipation is usually far worse than reality. To me, anticipation is gasoline that fuels horror. It’s one of the reasons I don’t write a lot of gore. Fear is psychological, it’s in the mind. Fear is being put in a horrible situation and imagining what will happen. On a personal level, what scares me most isn’t what might happen to me, it’s the terrifying things might happen to those I love.