Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Interview with humorous sci-fi novelist Mark Speed

My author guest today is Mark Speed to chat about his humorous sci-fi novel, Doctor How and the Illegal Aliens.

Mark Speed's comedy writing has been broadcast on BBC Radio and appeared in numerous newspapers. He performed his solo comedy, The End of the World Show, at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and 2012. He's been writing novels since he was fourteen and has an MA in creative writing from City University, London. Since a chiropractor told him he’d never run again, he’s run several marathons.

Welcome, Mark. Please tell us about your current release.
Now that there are four books in the Doctor How series, I’m giving away book one for free! Pick it up on Amazon. You certainly don’t have to be a fan of Doctor Who to enjoy it.

What inspired you to write this book?
I got it into my head that Doctor Who always painted himself in a positive light, and that all the other Time Lords were always seen to be wrong. How could that possibly be true? And if you look at his screen incarnations, he seems to have some kind of multiple personality disorder. What’s the real truth?

I realized that there was a bigger story here – the world needed an alternative explanation of the ‘Whoniverse’, which not only explained why the BBC series is incorrect, but incorporated it into the story.

The BBC has a history of taking legal action against authors who they see as breaching their intellectual rights in the Doctor Who franchise, so I had to tread a very difficult path. I’ve been very flattered that some hardcore sci-fi or Who fans have said that it’s a great alternative, and isn’t a straightforward parody.

What’s been particularly interesting in the last year is that the Doctor Who scriptwriting team has actually followed me in regenerating the central character as a woman.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m now working on the fifth and final book in the series. It’s been a wonderfully satisfying journey, and I’m enjoying all the threads coming together.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I tried writing my first novel when I was six. I completed my first full-length novel at the age of fifteen.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I gave up my job in January 2016 to write full-time. It’s not paying the bills yet, and I’m living on savings, but I’m getting there. I still get up at 06.40 in the morning. I tend to do my best writing in the afternoon.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I suffer from a bit of OCD. I will often delete and rewrite a word or a punctuation mark. I know at least one other writer who does that.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Author and astronaut. I figure writing the occasional bit of sci-fi allows me to tick ‘astronaut’ off the list too.


Thanks for being here today, Mark. All the best with your writing! 

Readers, remember to pick up book 1 for ---free--- through Amazon!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I’ve enjoyed both your writing and your flying expertise. Your cooking, now that’s another story.