2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Michael has read 1 book toward his goal of 50 books.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Author Interview - Mark Whiteway

This week I won't be doing the Author Spotlight, because I have something even greater and better. So Favorite Author - Number 1 will be revealed next week! Although you should already know who it is. Mwuahahaha. This week I'll be giving you guys my first ever Author Interview! I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this great, debut author's novel and getting the chance to ask him some questions.

So before I present you guys the interview, I just have to say that this man is an extremely talented writer. He wrote Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms which was an amazing read. You HAVE to go buy his book because it is amazing! So yea, tomorrow you guys will see my review on it and then a surprise. =D Here we go!

The Author

Who exactly is Mark Whiteway?
An ordinary guy? A fellow traveller on the rocky road of life? A dreamer? All of the above, I guess. I am fortunate to live with my wife here in a beautiful and historic part of West Sussex, England, that provides inspiration for my stories.

What inspired you to start writing?

The Lodestone Series sprang from an idea that I had had for a little while. Einstein's relativity theory predicts the existence of negative matter. Although we have never found any, we know it would have some pretty weird properties, like negative inertia and negative gravity. I started to think, what would happen to a society where this stuff existed?

The idea of two female leads also appealed to me - characters who were opposed to each other, but who had to come together to save their world. It's their conflict that really drives the story forward in Book One.

Who do you write for?
Anyone that enjoys an enthralling tale! I really enjoy it when someone tells me how much they love my work, or that they got lost in the characters or the world I created. If I can entertain people and lift their spirits, then it makes all of the effort worthwhile!

If you could write about anything else, aside from your recent work, what would you write about?

I have a growing file of ideas for short stories that I haven't had time to write. For example, one, entitled "A Picnic in the Crystal Forest" has to do with quantum entanglement. A family, experiencing a planet-wide natural disaster in complete safety through their shadowy quantum alter-egos are suddenly thrust into the midst of the destruction and are forced to fight for their lives with dire consequences to themselves and their view of life.

Another has a world with subterranean layers, each of which is a separate world in itself. A kind of "Alice in Wonderland meets Journey to the Centre of the Earth." Some of these could become full fledged novels in time. My ideas always come faster than my writing. There's never enough time to do justice to them all!

What are some of your favorite authors and have you kept any in mind while writing?

Wells, Verne, Asimov and Heinlein were my childhhood friends. In later life, I have grown to love Stephen Donaldson and Stephen Baxter. I guess it's as if all of them are standing over my shoulder when I write, if that doesn't sound too corny!

I am currently waiting for the third installment of Paul Kearney's "Sea Beggars" trilogy. He is not the most consistent writer, but when he's good, he's absolutely brilliant.

Where do your ideas come from?
Life's experiences. Plus I love to read science journals like "New Scientist" to keep up to date with what we are learning about ourselves and the universe around us. Humanity is really no more than a little child, looking out over an immense playground. We have no idea what's out there. To me, the most exciting words in the English language are "What if...?"

Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms

How hard was it to think of your first novel and what it would be about?

As I said before, I had had the basic idea for Lodestone for some considerable time. When I started, I read several books on the craft of writing. I started to plot everything out on cards like you're supposed to. What I found was that that technique was a bit of a straightjacket. I, as author wanted my characters to do one thing, but they wanted to do another. And the funny thing was that the character was invariably right!

Now I just have a few "line notes" giving the general direction of the story and I let my characters "live" and tell me how they're going to cope with the various situations that come up. For example, in a scene in the third book, the party is deciding who is going to go on a particular mission. As I was writing it, one of the female characters I hadn't considered put up her hand and said "I'll go." When I thought about it, she was absolutely right! She needed to go along because the story would be much stronger as a result!

Some will say that doing it that way gives you problems in plot and development, but I found that dealing with those "problems" actually produces some of the best results. In the first book for example, Keris has to enter the Fortress of Gort to do a number of important tasks. But I had teamed her up with Boxx, so that left the problem of what to do with the Chandara? She couldn't take it with her as it would detract from what she was doing, but she couldn't leave it out in the desert either. That led to the scene where Boxx is attacked by youths and the whole concept of the Chandara risking everything to help the Kelanni, yet still being on the receiving end of Kelanni prejudice. It's an especially poignant moment when Boxx reflects Keris' own words back to her - "Kelanni Fear What They Do Not Understand."

What do you honestly think of your finished novel?
You know Mike, there are times when I am writing the Third instalment when I need to refer back to the first or second book. I will look up the passage and start reading and then suddenly realise that half an hour has gone by. I have gotten caught up in my own story all over again! I think that says it all.

What was the first thing that popped into your head when you finished writing the novel?
Getting into the second instalment! In the first book, I deliberately left a lot of loose ends. Who is the Prophet? What is the "Key"? I was told by some people that that wasn't the traditional way to write a series, but I wanted to create a strong hook into the second volume. By the time I reached the end of the first book, I couldn't wait to get started on the next phase of the story!

How many ideas did you scratch away before you came up with the one today? Could you name one or two?
Honestly, it didn't work that way. I didn't think, "I want to be a writer, what shall I write...? Hmmm. Star Trek? Star Wars? No, it's been done before. What then...?" I had the idea for the story already. The only question then was, did I have the ability to tell my story in a way that people would enjoy? I wrote a novella when I was in middle school that received high praise (I still have it - hand-written in a huge ledger), but I hadn't written anything since. After doing two weeks of research, getting the main ideas worked out in my head, I finally got down to writing.

Are you happy with how the novel turned out in the end?
I remember my editor and author friend Linda, after she had read the part where one of the major characters is dragged down to the depths by the Kharthrun Serpent, storming up to me and saying "I never saw that coming! How could you do that to me?" I think when you get that kind of a strong reaction from your readers, then you know you've "got it right".

Future Novels

So Book Two is about to be published. What are your thoughts on that?
I hope others get as much pleasure from reading it as I had in writing it!

Are you also happy with the way it turned out in the end?

I think when you finish a book and put it "out there", there is always a feeling of trepidation. You feel you have done the best work you can, but there is no way to be certain how others will recieve it. When I put the book out for pre-publication reviews, I was anxious to see what the reaction would be. Last week, I received the first of those reviews:-

“Once again, Whiteway creates a whole new world for us to revel in. The author hits his stride in terms of plot development and continuous action. In Book Two, Whiteway takes the time, (and wonderfully), to give each of the major characters a distinct personality, and develops intricate relationships and conflicts between them all.

I can honestly say that Book Two is better than the first, and that is quite an accomplishment. This is an absolute must read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” Gregg J. Haugland, Allbooks Reviews

How many books do you plan on writing about the Kelanni world? Any other worlds you plan to create?

The main story arc for the Lodestone series will be completed by the end of the third book. However, Book Three will end with a hook into a possible fourth - a mystery surrounding Annata's last message from the past. I am already playing out scenes from the fourth book in my imagination. However, whether the fourth book gets written or not will depend on the reaction to the series as a whole. The fourth book would take place in the Lodestone universe, but would strike out in a whole new direction.

On the other hand, I have been thinking a lot about my multi-layered world. The main characters would be younger I think - nothing sees wonder quite like the eyes of a child. However, the science behind it would need some work to make it believable, not to mention the purpose behind those who built it. A lot of my ideas are like that. They swim around like fish just beneath the surface of a pond. Occassionally they break the surface, and I get to see them for what they really are.

Before we finish this awesome interview and let these readers rush out to buy your novel, for they must, any advice or last words to readers of your novels and future authors?
"First you jump off the cliff; then you build wings on the way down."
Ray Bradbury

I would say that those were the perfect words for readers and future authors. First off I would like to thank Mr. Mark Whiteway again for taking some of his time to answer my questions and for giving me the opportunity to read his novel! Tomorrow I will put up the review of the novel, mention the second, and a surprise. Again thank you so much and guys, go check this author's novel out now. So I really can't wait for tomorrow! I'll post up details of the book up too instead of in this post. See ya =D


Leonor said...

So I was SUPER excited because I knew you were going to put this up and I was DYING to read it. And I have to say, I loved it, well done. I liked the questions and the author really got to me. I think I'm going to go out and get this book :D

whiteraven001 said...


Hope you enjoy the book. Drop me a line and tell me what you thought of it!


Mark Whiteway

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