Mark All is the author of two paranormal thrillers, The Spellcaster’s Grimoire and Mystic Witch, both published by ImaJinn Books in trade paperback as well as in eBook formats. Mr. All’s novel Mystic Witch received a 5 Star review from the Paranormal Romance Guild, and 3½ stars (out of 4½ possible stars) from RT Book Reviews.
Mr. All has won two international writing awards and was a contributer to Computer Legends, Lies & Lore.
He is now a full-time author, following a career as an instructional systems designer at a Fortune 16 company. Prior to his work in computer-based training, he held jobs ranging from gravedigger to FM radio announcer to professional rock guitarist. In addition to writing, Mr. All presents writing workshops and taught his “Planning Your Novel” course at the Spruill Center for the Arts.
If you had to describe your book in two sentences, what would they be?
The Spellcaster’s Grimoire is a fast-paced supernatural thriller spiced with romance and humor. When a dying warlock entrusts an ancient spellbook to a bestselling witchcraft author, she has to actually master the magic to defeat a sinister witch who’s after the grimoire.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your current work?
As she flew through the hallway back the way she’d come, a scream came from somewhere in the house below.
She hadn’t thought she could be more frightened than she already was, but she’d been wrong. Judging by the terror in that scream, there was something in this house even worse than what she’d just faced.
What are five important things that you take into consideration while writing your story?
Most important is how the heroine grows as a person. The story events must force her to face a deep need that’s preventing her from living an authentic life, push her into a corner where she has to confront her flaw and overcome it in order to survive — and become the person she’s capable of being.
My next consideration is to move the story forward at a fast clip, drag the reader to the edge of her seat, and then push her off. The events must proceed logically, each action taken for a reason and producing a consequence that’s inevitable — but surprising. The heroine and hero are the main focus, but all the characters will complete their own inner journeys. I set the story in a realistic, everyday world familiar to the reader, to make the fantastical elements believable. It’s also important to avoid irrelevant diversions that contribute nothing to the story. And a bit of character-based humor gives the reader some relief from the harrowing events.
Why should readers pick up your book?
Readers should pick up my book for the supernatural thrills, satisfying romance, humorous dialogue, and escape to an exciting world you suspect might be lurking just beneath your own reality.
What was the turning point when you realized you wanted to write and share your voice with the world?
When I wrote a short story for a seventh-grade English class, I realized that creating my own scary adventure was even more exciting than reading books and watching movies. The next year’s class brought more writing assignments, and when the teacher — and the class — loved my stories, I knew I’d found my bliss.
What genres do you prefer to read? Which do you enjoy writing in?
I like books that are realistic but with a supernatural element, with a love story and humor. I also like very scary reads, as well as fast-paced action. I tend to read novels with a serious tone, but my voice is a bit lighter and funnier than what I read. I blame Gilmore Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer for this.
What five things would you have with you at all times if you had to be prepared to take a trip at the drop of a hat?
For a flash trip, I would want a laptop or even paper and pen to write with, my Kindle for limitless reading, my guitar and a small amplifier so I could practice and play, and my digital recorder to capture music I write.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
If I could have one superpower, it would be the ability to reach into mean people’s psyches and repair whatever troubles them to the point of having no empathy for others.
What footprint do you want to leave behind in this world?
I want to have entertained people and provided them an escape from the daily grind, dreariness, and sorrow that often plague us.