Thursday, March 20, 2014

Interview with sci-fi author Mark Speed

Today’s guest is science fiction author Mark Speed to tell us a bit about his novel, Doctor How and the Illegal Aliens.

During his tour, Mark will be awarding one randomly chosen commenter a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too. 

Mark Speed has been writing novels since he was fifteen. His comedy writing has appeared in newspapers as diverse as the London Evening Standard and The Sun, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. He performed his solo comedy, The End of the World Show, at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and 2012. He is currently working on the five-volume Doctor How series.

Amongst other postgraduate and professional qualifications, he has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from City University, London. In 1995 a chiropractor told him he’d never run again. Sensibly, he gave up chiropractors, runs every day and has completed several marathons and a couple of Olympic-length triathlons.

NLP founder Dr. Richard Bandler called him a ‘polarity responder.’

Book blurb:
Doctor How’s famous megalomaniac brother Doctor Who sold his fictional life story to the BBC half a century ago, painting himself as a lone hero. Disillusioned, their four cousins dropped out. For fifty years, Doctor How has held the line against the forces of darkness and stupidity. And he’s not that happy, since you ask.

Illegal aliens try to hack How’s Spectrel (TARDIS is a very rude word where he comes from), just as he suspects his estranged cousin Where has been compromised. When reports come in of mysterious attacks by alien creatures, Doctor How has to rely on his new companion Kevin, a petty criminal from south London, and Trinity, a morphing super-predator, as he counters this threat to humanity’s existence. Bungling agents from MI16, long desperate to capture the Time Keeper’s technology, hamper How’s efforts to combat the alien menace. Can Doctor How keep ahead of MI16, save Where and combat the alien threat?

There was a red telephone box on the pavement outside. The light inside was bright – so bright that Kevin couldn’t see in – and yet the light didn’t illuminate the area immediately around it. Even the black letters of the backlit TELEPHONE sign were indistinct due to the brightness of the light behind them. The obtrusiveness of the light made it difficult to see what was beyond it. As he walked slowly past Where’s black cab, he noticed that the telephone box was not reflected in its windows or polished paintwork. Thoughts of vampires crept through his imagination.

“Doctor?” he called.

“What now? Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“Well, no.”

Once he’d skirted around the phone box, Kevin could see that the Doctor was somewhat stretched. He was standing on the bonnet of the cab, with the tip of one finger on its badge and the other touching the crown symbol above the TELEPHONE sign, which was at the very limit of his reach.

“It’d be a lot easier and faster if I could put my whole hand on both of them,” he said.

“What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing, lad?”

“Um. Is it kinda like when you have to jump-start a car with another one?”

“Yes, it’s kinda like that,” the Doctor panted. “And before you point it out in your own wonderfully literal way, yes: I’m kinda like a time-travelling breakdown recovery service.” He paused to catch his breath again, and winced. “And I can tell you it’s not particularly pleasant being the wiring. Thankfully, Where’s Spectrel should shortly recover enough to be able to take a transdimensional feed off mine. Ouch!”

Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?
I’d never wish to be Who. However, I don’t wish I were How either – and especially not Where. Being Prince William wouldn’t be bad, but I’m happy being me.

What did you do on your last birthday?
Meditated and did a slightly longer run than usual. I wrote 1,500 words of chapter five of Doctor How and the Illegal Aliens. My then-girlfriend came over with a birthday cake, and I had my cake and ate it…

Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
Some people look great with the right tattoo but I have freckles.

What are you working on right now?
Working on book two of the Doctor How series, as yet untitled.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
Two years ago I was preparing for three-week run of my comedy solo The End of the World Show, and preparing the spin-off book Apocalypse Later for publication. Doing a show consumes time and energy in a very different way to writing novels, and is ephemeral.

Ways to connect:

Thank you, Mark. Readers, don't forget to use the form below if you'd like a chance at the giveaway!


Mark Speed said...

Hi Everyone, thanks so much to Lisa for hosting me today, and to Goddess Fish for promoting. I look forward to answering your questions.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Great excerpt; this sounds like such a fun, quirky read!

Anonymous said...

I'm just afraid of needles, but the freckle excuse is a good way to avoid tattoos, too!


MomJane said...

Great excerpt. What a visual description this is. Loved it.

Sandy said...

Congratulations Mark.

Wonderful excerpt and mini-interview.

And Amazon GC please-thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

pharmx_2(at)hotmail (dot) com

Mark Speed said...

Hi Everyone, thanks to Lisa for hosting me today, and to Goddess Fish for having arranged it all. Bedtime here in London, so must depart to the Land of Nod.

Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt, I enjoyed it.


Karen H said...

This book sounds like great fun to read.

kareninnc at gmail dot com