Friday, 10 August 2012

First guest author feature - Mark Underwood

Welcome to the first guest author feature. I'm aiming to introduce a new author every week to see what they're up to and to showcase their latest work.

So first up is one of the talented writers from the Eurogamer forums - Mark Underwood

Who are you and what made you start writing?

My name is Mark Underwood, and I always had an itch to write from a very young age. Unfortunately my tendency to think creatively often got me in trouble at school as I would diverge from the set assignment and go off on some flight of fancy. Eventually I started writing and illustrating a tremendously silly book aimed at young children while I was supposed to be training to be an accountant. Soon after my father became ill and I had to start working as a full-time carer for him. This gave me the time and freedom to write seriously and resulted in my debut novel - 'The Lives of Nobody Important.'

Eurogamer is a gaming community, what is your favourite game?

I find it hard to pin down one favourite game, having played so many fantastic ones. How about the one I'm most looking forward to this year? That's Darksiders II, and I really can't wait!

Games are a relatively new form of story telling, do you think they are an effective way to tell a story? Is there a standout example?

I think when the time and effort is put in to telling a really good story, games can be tremendously effective. A standout example was released recently, Spec Ops: The Line. Whilst the gameplay is only average the story really pulled me through and I am so glad I saw it through. The final choice in the game - that blew me away. It was tremendously brave of Take-2 to actually release this game.

Who is your favourite author & why?

My favourite author has to be Chuck Palahniuk - writer of Fight Club amongst many others. I find his view of the world, expressed through the characters, to be tremendously fascinating. I only got into him after watching the movie, but now I have all of his novels as well as his non-fiction work and I can't get enough of him! He also has a site with a number of essays on writing (although you have to pay to join) and these have helped tremendously with my own work.

Tell us about your latest work.

'The Lives of Nobody Important' could best be described as a dark revenge thriller, with a supernatural twist. The unnamed protagonist dies early on, and comes back to life in a different body for reasons unknown. He takes this chance to wreak havoc on those that wronged him, and try to bring down a gang of drug traffickers. Does he succeed? Well, you'll have to read it to find out!

What are you working on next?

I'm working on another thriller tentatively titled 'The Chaos Room', although there's a very large chance that may change. It's centered on the idea of memory manipulation, and has an ensemble cast who are drawn together. I'm currently about half-way through writing the first draft, although it has taken me a lot longer than 'Lives' did. Keeping track of so many characters and their interactions is certainly challenging, and the narrative is non-linear, but I hope by the time it's finished everything will fit together nicely.

Website: markunderwoodwrites.com
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFGATvaxReE
Paperback: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lives-Nobody-Important-Mark-Underwood/dp/1478335874
Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lives-Nobody-Important-ebook/dp/B008IP5IVK/
Tumblr: http://markunderwood.tumblr.com
Blog of one of the novel's characters: http://islandofsecrets.tumblr.com

So thanks to Mark for joining us. If you'd like to feature as a guest author then leave a comment below and I'll get in touch.

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