Ten Questions: Mark Terry

by Rob Gregory Browne

I’m at the RT Booklovers Convention in Ohio this week, so it’s time for an author interview!

I met Mark Terry a few years back (boy, time flies) when his novel, THE DEVIL’S PITCHFORK, was released. He hung out at my blog a lot and was kind enough to read and review KISS HER GOODBYE on his own blog.

Well, Mark is now out doing the rounds for his latest book and I thought this would be a good time for the folks at Murderati to get to know him a bit — and, of course, run out and buy his new book.

Okay, Mark. Why don’t we start with what I think are probably the most pressing questions an author can possibly be asked:

Is there intelligent life in outer space?

I’m not convinced there’s intelligent life on Earth, let alone in outer space.

Oooookay.  Let’s try something else.  How do you feel about cannibalism?

Depends. Are they juicy or tough? Fried or baked? What are the side dishes? Do they come with dessert?

You’re starting to scare me.  Why don’t we move on to writing? What’s your new book, THE FALLEN, about?

I’ll do that “high concept” thing and describe it as “Die Hard” at the G8 Summit. Basically, it features my series character, Dr. Derek Stillwater, who is a troubleshooter for Homeland Security and an expert on biological and chemical terrorism.

He’s undercover at the resort where the G8 Summit is being held in Colorado when a terrorist group calling itself The Fallen Angels takes over the Summit and threatens to kill a world leader every hour unless their demands are met. Derek’s trapped inside the resort picking off terrorists one by one.

I can smell a movie deal already.  Do you do a lot of research for your books?

You mean, do I go to the Middle East and spend two weeks at an Al Qaeda training camp learning how to kill innocent people? Uh, no.

But I do read a lot about terrorism and the history of biological and chemical warfare, keep track of what’s going on in the current Global War on Terror, or whatever it’s currently being called, and I research the cities Derek’s stories take place in and talk to experts as needed. Google and I are on a first-name basis.

What’s your writing routine like?

Well, I’m a fulltime freelance writer, editor and novelist, so I treat it pretty much as a regular job. The schedule varies a bit depending on my kids’ school schedule, but I’m typically at my desk around 8:00 AM, work until 10:30 or so, head off to the gym, grab lunch, then work for a couple more hours, pick up my kids, work for a couple more hours.

Depending on workload and deadlines for various projects, I’ll work in the evenings and weekends.

Which do you prefer writing? Sex scenes or murder scenes?

Murder scenes. I don’t know if it’s just me, and no, I don’t want you to ask my wife, but I can think of a lot more ways to kill people than I can ways to hook up. Perhaps it’s as the old line goes, “What do I know about sex, I’m married.” [Rimshot]

What’s the name of your muse?

Tommy the Terse, but I’m hoping to replace him with Larry the Loquacious.

My muse is female.  She looks a lot like Sharon Stone (obscure Albert Brooks movie reference). When you’re not writing, what do you do?

Hang with my family, read, go to the gym, run, bike, kayak, study karate, and I’m the secretary of the local school system’s band boosters (my wife is the president) so we’re always involved in various fundraisers and events. I also play guitar. God, how do I ever find time to write?

Pick three famous people. Which one would you like to sleep with, which one would you like to marry, and which one would you like to use as a victim in one of your books?

Wow, really bizarre. Penelope Cruz, Sandra Bullock, and Dick Cheney. I’ll let you guess which ones are which. 

Okay, I guess it’s time to get serious again. What’s next for Derek?

After THE FALLEN, the fourth Derek Stillwater novel is written and scheduled for September 2011. I’m currently working on the fifth and I have a Stillwater novella I want to write and will either make it available on my website or as a Kindle e-book. Of course, I have to write it first.

Okay, that about does it.  Thanks for playing, Mark.

And for our studio audience, feel free to ask Mark any questions you might have, but also answer the same one poor Mark was subjected to:

Pick three famous people — real or fictional. Which one would you like to sleep with, which one would you like to marry, and which one would you like to use (or see used) as a victim in a book?

See you in the comments.

19 thoughts on “Ten Questions: Mark Terry

  1. Jude Hardin

    Joking, Brett!

    Question for Mark: I know you were previously hesitant to set your next Derek Stillwater novel in Russia, fearing a lack of familiarity and therefore a subsequent lack of authenticity. What made you decide to go for it?

  2. Alafair Burke

    This conversation’s feeling way too male. Jack Reacher, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (aka Win), Speidi

  3. Jake Nantz

    1 – My wife

    2 – My wife

    3 – Dude, I’m a high school teacher AND a coach…I need a minimum of 6 for this question to even be fair. I just can’t whittle the list down any lower.

  4. kit

    1) Dwayne Johnson or Kevin Sorbo
    2) Sam Eliot
    3) the dude that came up with *reality tv*…it would slooooow…… completely brainless, maybe see if I could get a tv deal out of it….

  5. Allison Brennan

    Wonderful interview Mark! (And Rob–but Mark was funnier.) Love the premise of the book (agree with Rob re: movie! I can already visualize it.)

    1) I can’t pick just one. But since my new fave show is JUSTIFIED, I’ll saw Timothy Olyphant.

    2) If I’m ever not married, I doubt I’d want to get married again.

    3) Decline to answer on the grounds of if this person ends up dead, I don’t want to go to prison! 😉

  6. Natasha Fondren

    1. Viggo Mortenson
    2. Ben Affleck (I wouldn’t want to steal him away from Jennifer Garner. Since this is a fictional question, I suppose I’m imagining a fictional and single Ben Affleck.)
    3. Yeah, again, the whole superstition thing. I don’t think I could do it, LOL!

  7. BCB

    Ooooh, Reacher. And yes, Olyphant. And Roarke. And . . . wait, was there more than one question?

    Hmmm, been there and done that with #2. Not really feeling the need to do it again.

    And given the week I’m having at work, it’s best we just leave #3 unanswered. Really.

    Mark, I’m too tired to be coherent, but I wanted to let you know I LOVED your Joanna Dancing novel. Are you planning to write more of that character? Terrific writing and great action scenes — you must have had your wife help write them. 😉 (Obscure Toni McGee Causey reference.) Will definitely check out your other books, including this new one. Good luck with it!

    And Rob, you’re at RT? This confuses me. Well, I guess it’s true that there are only so many places a guy can wear his sparkly fairy wings in public . . .

    Have fun!

  8. Mark Terry

    Thanks for the kind words re. Dancing In The Dark. No plans at the moment, although if enough people say things like that to me (a few have) and sales pick up, I would. I’ve got some ideas for her and I liked the character a lot.


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