Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview With Urban Fantasy Author Mark Henry!

I'm thrill to have an interview with an amazing author with a wonderful sense of humor.  Will you all help me welcome, Mark Henry!

M:  Hi Mark!  Thank you for joining me here on the blog today. 

M:  Okay, for anyone who may not know who you are (and I can’t see that being true, they should all know who you are, hint, hint), can you tell us just a little of Amanda Feral and this great series of the dead.

MH:  I find that the vast majority of urban fantasy readers have no clue about the series, really. I hear it a lot. It wasn’t pushed by the publisher beyond the first book and most of the marketing happened here on the internet, guest blogs and such. You guys are really invaluable to promotion. But back to the series. I’ll nutshell it for those who don’t know. Amanda and her friends are some snarky ass bitches, and they eat people, and they don’t care. The books are mostly about friendship and what happens to burnouts who only survive through cocktails and mockery. Sound dark? Yeah, it is. But there’s lots to root for, as Amanda goes from an absolutely wretched human being to a halfway decent zombie.

M:  I'd like to thank you from all bloggers for making us feel important with these little blogs. :)

M:  I have to mention the unique point of view writing style you used to tell Amanda’s story in Happy Hour of the Damned.  I really enjoyed this.  It felt from time to time as she was sitting right beside me telling me the story.  Did the story just come out this way?  Amanda just took over the pen and started writing?

MH:  I’ve mentioned before, just recently, how sometimes writing can be a fugue state. Not in the sense that I sit down at the computer and hand myself over to another personality, but rather I merely lose track of time. It’s like method acting, particularly when you write a book in the first person. You take on the role of the character and just go. I definitely wanted the book to read as a very personal experience. The footnotes were these dirty whispers you’d hear, as though Amanda were right there. It had to be like that, because everything is made fun of in such a dark and twisted way, the reader needs a confidante to deal with the shame they feel at laughing. It’s manipulative, in that sense.

M:  What got you into writing Urban Fantasy?

MH:  Like so many who started writing this kind of stuff when it was just beginning its surge into the market, I had no clue what Urban Fantasy even was. I just knew I was writing about creatures that typically showed up in horror, but in a sometimes sympathetic way. I really liked the idea of populating a world with supernatural creatures and really leaving the human characters paper thin. They’re a foil for my satire about poverty and social issues and nothing more.

M:  I will admit, I’m not a zombie kinda person.  I see them as brain eating, skin decaying, mindless blobs.  But I have to say you really took something with a bad rap and made it human and fun.  So how did you come to doing this with of all creatures, zombies?

MH:  I’ve always loved zombies, since I was in the single digits. 9, I think. Night of the Living Dead was my first exposure and their was just so much more to the walking dead than the other monsters I’d been exposed to up until that point. They’re this horrifying mirror of us and to dismiss them as just these gross things that eat people is to really take a simplified look. Of all the fictional creatures, zombies are the most likely to be ripe with metaphor and satire. So, when I was deciding to leave the field of social services and take up writing, zombies were a great fit to take some jabs at the systems I was leaving behind. If you look at Amanda’s victims and her internal dialogue about them, you’ll get a pretty clear picture of what was going on in my state in terms of poverty and how the poor are dealt with…and still are, probably worse.

M:  You mentioned not so long ago that Book 2, Road Trip of the Living Dead, is coming out in Mass Market Paperback in February?

MH:  Yep. It’s out right now. And the cover looks way better in this format, glossy and attractive as the lip gloss they use on corpses right before the funeral.

M:  And I believe there was news of Amanda going Graphic.  And no, not the kind of graphic your dirty little minds are thinking.  Graphic Novel that is.  Can you give a little information on it?  When will it be out?

MH:  Oh no. I do very much intend to test the limits of the medium in the Road Trip of the Living Dead comic books and graphic novel. So plan on seeing gore, vulgarity and as much kinky sex as they’ll let me get away with. The Dabel Brothers are looking at a Summer 2012 release, last time I checked.

M:  I think the sounds so cool! I'm definitely going to have to remember to get this. :)

M:  There where a lot of great lines in Happy Hour of the Damned from many of the characters.  Do you have a favorite one?  That one that might have stuck with you and you just enjoyed writing it in.

MH:  At this point, I barely remember specifics about the book. You have to remember, I wrote it five years ago!

M:  Will we hear more from our pale friend Amanda Feral?

MH:  Definitely. In fact, I’ve taken on her persona as my pseudonym for my erotica. The first book, Stocking Full of Coal, is out now from Ellora’s Cave, a super dark and really fun tale of a bruise fetishist. As for more Amanda, Wendy and Gil. They’ll likely show up in some short stories and novellas. Fans can keep a lookout on my website for news about the ghoulie gang.

M:  If you had a chance to ‘hang out’ with any of the characters from the book, which one would you pick first?

MH:  Please. I do hang out with them. The way Amanda and her friends talk is nearly identical to my chosen social group. Muahhaha!

M:  Mark, are there any questions out there that you always wanted to be asked and just never got asked?  Would you like to answer it today?

MH:  Nope.

M:  And one question I like to ask on my interviews… If you could travel any where in the world, where would you like to visit?

MH:  I really need to get to India. Like tomorrow!

M:  Thank you for the great interview Mark!  I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me.

If you would like to visit Mark and learn more of his Amanda Feral series, and what's going on you can visit with Mark in many places:
   Mark Henry's Site which has the link to his blog, but you can go directly to Mark's Blog, HERE.
   Mark is also on Twitter as @mark_henry, HERE.
   And Mark is on Facebook as well!  HERE.
   Mark is also part of a group of authors at The League of Reluctant Adults, HERE is their site.


  1. Great interview - I always enjoy Mark's posts and vlogs.

  2. Barbara E. - Thank you for stopping by to check out the interview. :) And so glad you liked it. I've really enjoyed reading the first book of Amanda and will be getting into book two here in about a month. :)

  3. Love the interview!!

    Can't wait to read the next book :).

  4. Great interview. I definitely need to move this series further up on my TBR list!

  5. Great article. I have to confess to having Happy Hour of the Damned on my radar for a while but you've persuaded me to push to the top of must get list...bank manager premitting! :-)

  6. Robyn - Hey! Thank you. :) So glad you enjoyed the interview and can't wait to get into Road Trip. :)

    April - Thank you so much! Oh, I do hope you enjoy this when you get to it. :)

    Mel - Thank you! So glad you enjoyed the interview. :) And hope you enjoy the trip with Amanda when you get it. :)


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