I would like to introduce my friend, Mark Allan Gunnells, author of Tales from the Midnight Shift, The Summer of Winters, Asylum, among others which can be found via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Allan-Gunnells/e/B005C18L7Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1  .  Mark lives with his partner, Craig Metcalf, in Greer, SC.

For a sample short story, click on this link: http://sideshowpressonline.com/?p=104

For more about Mark and his work, please visit his blog, at http://markgunnells.livejournal.com/

1. How would you characterize your fiction? Are you writing to/for a particular audience or audiences?

 I tend to work mostly in the horror and fantasy genres.  I do branch out from those from time to time, but I keep coming back to horror and fantasy.  For whatever reason, those are the genres that call to me.  As for the audience I’m writing to/for, hokey as it may sound, I think that would be me.  I want my stories to be read and enjoyed by others, but when I’m actually in the process of creating a tale, I’m writing for myself.  I’m writing the stories I’d want to read, stories that entertain and interest me. TALES

 2. What writers have been major influences in your work and why?

I think Stephen King is a master storyteller, creating believable characters you get invested in and grounding his tales, no matter how fantastical, in a realism that makes suspension of disbelief a snap.  Joe R. Lansdale is another storyteller I admire greatly; he writes some of the most natural, authentic sounding dialogue around.  I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker’s short story work.  He creates tales that are bold and original, and as someone who loves the short form, I have to give props to any writer that initially came to prominence through short stories.  Lastly, I’ll mention Robert McCammon, because I respect his choice to step away from Big House publishing and turn to the small press in order to keep true to the stories he wanted to tell.

3. You have had some/or have some forthcoming work.  Tell us about those and what your readers can expect.  Continuing stories? New territories?

I have two new books on the horizon for 2014.  A short story collection titled Welcome to the Graveyard with Evil Jester Press that will offer 21 pieces of short fiction.  I tried to choose tales that would show a range of tone, subject, and even genre.  Also, I’ll have a novel out in the summer from JournalStone called Outcast.  It will be part of their Double Down series, my novel and a novella from author John R. Little in one volume.  We did something interesting here, we both started with an identical prologue, then without discussing it we both came up with stories based off that prologue.  I’m also toying with self-publishing two previously published novellas, Whisonant and Creatures of the Light, in a digital edition.

4.  What advice do you have for new and aspiring writers?

Just write, and write what you love.  Don’t try to write like someone else, don’t try to write what is popular at the moment.  In fact, for me personally, I find it’s best not to even think about publication during the creating process.  That’s for later, after the work is done.  Just find a story that excites you and tell it.  That way, whether you publish or not, you will always have the joy of creating the tale, and that can’t be taken from you.

5. Is there a question you wish you would be asked and if so, what is the question and what might your answer?

 I guess I wouldn’t mind being asked what my current writing projects might be.  Why, I’m glad you asked. Ha ha.  Right now I’m collaborating with James Newman on a coming-of-age horror novella titled Dog Days O’ Summer.  I’m having a lot of fun with this one, and working with James is a pleasure.  I admire him as a writer, and our minds seem to run along the same wavelength.  Once that is complete I’m planning to do a zombie novella called Fort.  It will be a semi-sequel to my earlier zombie novella Asylum and will be set at my alma mater, Limestone College, where I seem to set a lot of my stories.  Call it my own Castle Rock.

6. Anything else you would like to say or comment on?

 I just want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me, and I want to thank anyone out there who takes a shot on my work.

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