HOT OFF THE PRESS!
The Friday Focus
Today, author Mark Taylor is here with his 'just released and still hot off the press' dark fantasy novella
The Devil's Hand
One is a killer. One is the right hand of the Devil. Which is worse?
Angela Mitchell hates her life. When debonair stranger, Marcel, turns up in her library one night things look to be on the up. But neither of them saw Darin in the shadows.
Angela certainly never saw Hell coming to earth.
When Marcel and Darin clash, Angela is dragged through the sulfur stench of Hades, has to fight for her life, and drinks wine. Lots of wine.
Crossing Guard is part one of The Devil’s Hand series of novellas.
Dark Fantasy with a dash of humor and a spattering of inter-dimensional romance.
Mark Taylor is a writer from the South East of England. He has had dozens of flash titles, short stories and novellas published in presses, large and small.
For the most part his publications are horror. He writes twisted material in unsettling ways. Every now and again he strays from the path, and you never know what you are going to get...
His explorations of the mind have taken him from flash to novel and back again. He writes, edits and proofs.
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Angela loved the faint musty scents of old paper and parchment.
She walked across the bare floor to the closest book shelf and slipped the Journals on the end, inhaled again, and turned to leave.
Through the door, descending the stairs was a shadow. It startled her briefly. “Peter?” she called, “What did you forget this time?”
He didn’t reply.
Angela shook her head and returned to the door, her heels clacking loudly on the oak floor boards. She looked down the stairs to the floor below, “Peter?” she called again, this time with more urgency, “Answer me.”
He still didn’t reply.
Angela looked around quickly for something—a weapon?—to, if nothing else, make her feel better. She picked up a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. A book weighty enough to be a weapon, and if nothing else she could bore the assailant to death.
She descended as quietly as she could, which wasn’t quiet in heels. Damn shoes.
As she moved from the last step, a slender young woman in expensive garb, wielding a book of over a thousand pages like a wood axe, she noted that the front door was latched. She lowered the book.
A trick of the light, perhaps?
Hi Mark and thanks for joining us today
Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m just a regular guy. Got a good day job I like (which probably makes me intensely irregular), and I just started writing. I’ve always been creative, musical, artistic, and eventually, literary.
I find writing a release. Bad day at work? Kill someone. Works every time.
How long have you been writing?
Hm. About five or six years, I suppose.
Are there any other genres you’ve written?
I started in horror, big time. It was the only thing I wrote for a long time. The only thing I thought I could write, I suppose. These days I’ll turn my hand to anything I fancy taking my chances with. I’ve had a swing at romance, comedy, sci fi... even a little erotica.
Are you working on anything new right now?
Aah! Too much. My major projects at the moment are my second solo novel (Untitled: The Novel) which is, um, about vampires... but not a horror, and a collaboration with Charles Day. A real squicky novel.
What motivates and inspires you to write?
The writing. Nothing else. I love it.
And I get to kill people.
Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?
Never give up. Listen to everyone. Ignore most of it. Do it your own way. Learn the rules. Break the rules. Make new rules.
Can you us who your favourite indie author is?
It depends what I’m in the mood for. Dale Eldon does a wicked gore-fest. Chills abound with him. For fantasy, something more Eden Royce is always good. She’s got a way with the dark arts... and of course Rebecca Besser mixes it up nicely. You never really know what you’re going to get... except that it’ll be good.
What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?
I’ve just finished Cabal by Clive Barker. ‘Nuff said.
Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?
Book first. Always book first. I have way too much difficulty in finding the right title.
When working on your current novel, were there any moments when you thought:- OMG what am I doing?
With this one, no. I learned so much from writing the first one that I was much more confident and aware of what I was doing this time around. The first – Shutter Speed – was a whole different ball game. I spent pretty much everything from 30K up banging my head against the desk.
What is your favourite genre to read at the moment?
I’m reading a comedy at the moment – a parody. Not sure how I’m finding it. Usually you’ll find me with my nose in a horror/dark fantasy.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Neither. I like my bed too much.
What’s your least favourite part of the writing process?
Cover letters, back cover copy, and synopses.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Kinda lovin’ America at the moment. The South. The Carolina’s. Awesome.
Tell us one thing that no-one else knows about you – your darkest secret if you dare!
I have no secrets. I’m an open book.
If there was an apocalypse, would you want to go up in the middle of it, or be a post-apocalypse survivor and live without the creature comforts that we are so used too?
I've always liked campfires. Campfires and killing post apocalyptical mutants. Like Mad Max meets the Toxic Avenger.
What is the one book you can’t live without?
Once again: Many thanks to Mark for joining us, and just so you know, I've already got my copy of his novella downloaded to my kindle! It's going to be super scorchio here this weekend, so guess what I'm reading under cover of my parasol in my super comfy deckchair?
Don't forget to join me again tomorrow for my regular weekend feature: The Saturday Showcase
Keep Calm and read a dark fantasy novella