The ideas for Mark and the Chronicles series came from watching Lorainne Kelly on TV. She was doing a celebrity walk across a desert and all she did was moan about the heat and sand-in a desert, what a shocking discovery-at no time did she think to thank her camera crew for heaving heavy cameras and mikes around, so her fans at home fans at home can enjoy her struggle. My only thought was "What a bitch!" and from there the idea for a series began. The original idea was for about four of five short stories but my friends enjoyed them so much I ended up writing over thirty.
Before you ask, yes, Mark and I do share the contempt for these people-which is probably why the stories were liked such a lot-I could put myself in his shoes. Another aspect of Mark which is like me is his love of nature and real photography. The series was as much dedicated to the real photographers like Mike Herr, Philip Caputo and to the real journalists such as the late Marie Colvin-whose biography "On the front line" I hope to read soon-and Kate Adie.
These people are the heart and soul of photojournalism, not your paparazzi or celebrity interviewers sitting in a comfortable chair sipping coffees and chatting about the next film or boy/girlfriend. In the words of the great man-"You don't get the good shots sat on your ass in the bad weather, go out and chase the shots!" In case you are wondering-yes-I used to do that part too, I loved being out in the storms, especially when I was on a coast and you can see and hear the waves crashing like thunder on the rocks.
On the subject of celebrities-for the final time-what is it about their biographies that people find so interesting? What can you possibly read new about somebody whose life has been written about many times in the gossip magazines?
I used this theme for the opening of the book, but the story isn't told until the beginning of book 2, when Annette asks Mark's friend Phil about Mark's sudden disappearance from the celebrity scene; even though the stars clamoured for him to shoot their photos, a theme which recurred at the end of book 2 too.
The dramatic ending to book 1 leads to an enticing start to book 2 and the key book in the series. Book 2 helps the readers understand Mark and his lover Annette's relationship more as I delve into how they met and his persona and then...
Half way through, the book takes a weird turn as she betrays him and he goes hell bent for revenge, delving into areas of his persona to which his friends are worried he will never return from, of if he does he'll be so badly mentally scarred that he won't recognise the old Mark. The writing for book 2 came from a very dark personal place and scared my friends to the extent they were worried about my mental state of health and would Mark be killed off. I warn readers this book was described by my editor as a realistic account of a person going through a mental collapse. Many of the ideas in the book are total fiction, such as the green night vision Mark gains in his trip to the darkness of his soul-however, green light goggles are in use by many special forces for night fighting.
This cover in not only to get your attention, it is relevant to the story as Mark learns the only way to rid himself of Annette's presence is to totally eradicate any remaining psychic links, including the house he had lived in for many years. But, he knows ridding himself of her presence in this domain is only the start of the battle and he must kill her in her domain to be totally free from her evils and this is the part his friends are worried about as P.A. Canellla learns more about her powers, Mark's friends realise he may not survive the battle, but they know he needs to go across the mental divide to try to conquer Annette or be plagued by her presence for all time-can they friends help him? You will have to wait and see if the book comes out.
And so begins the second half of book 3, as Mark travels to the Deep South and the land of zombies and voodoo to fight Annette on her terms and in her domain, but will he succeed in his quest? The idea for this section came from a music video about a river of life combined with the scenes from Apocalypse Now where the boat travels up river and you see the jungles closing in.
At this point I went a little off the beaten track and decided to write a crossover with Patti Canella to spice the story and possibly entice a few sales for her books, the book was to be called "Vortex."
The other ending was a far more favourable end to this section as he wins and goes on a romantic break with Rachel-after giving the interview mentioned in book 2-to a remote beach and out of touch with everybody for a week or two, only to discover a new mystery. The idea of the break came from the picture below and the out of the way house idea was from my blog background image.
That was the plan, but all has been scrapped as there was a total lack of interest other than my editor, Julia, and one or two friends, from here I am not sure what will happen other than they will probably be the only ones to read the story from book 3 onward.