Mark Carver, the author of the new Speculative Christian novel The Age of Apollyon joins me today for an interview.
The Age of Apollyon was actually the first novel I have read in this genre. I enjoyed it greatly, and I am happy to have Mark join us today!
Thanks for joining us today Mark! Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm an American currently
living in China with my wife and son. I teach English classes at a Chinese
university. My interests include art, tattoos, heavy metal, cathedrals, a cold
beer, and of course, reading and writing.
Speculative Christian is a unique genre to me. What genre(s) do you specialize in?
writing stories of all kinds since I was a little kid, but I've always been
drawn to sci-fi, action/adventure, and horror. I like to infuse all the elements
that I enjoy reading into my own writing. I'm a sucker for intense dramatic
atmosphere and melodrama, and I try to make my writing moody and engrossing. I
also enjoying writing about characters that are unlikable though not disgusting
(such as a serial killer or mad scientist). I see it as a challenge: to make
readers loathe a character but still feel compelled to read about
Who inspires you in your writing Mark? Do you have any favorite authors? I pretty much only read classics. I rarely pick
up a book that is less than one hundred years old, though I do enjoy some modern
authors. Anything from the Gothic, American Romantic, and Victorian eras suit me
just fine, but I also enjoy intense psychological stories, regardless of genre
or era. Lord of the Flies by William Golding is my favorite book.
I love Lord of the Flies! I think I once counted up that it had been required reading for 6 or 7 of the classes that I took from high school through college...everything from Literature to Sociology! What inspires you to
write your stories Mark?
I like writing what I would want to read. I get
most of my inspiration from music and movies. I am a very visual writer and I
try to replicate what I see in my mind through words. I listen to a lot of
bombastic music like death and doom metal, and this helps put me in the mood to
write. I love action movies that are explosive and over-the-top, so I seek to
combine rip-roaring action with atmospheric creepiness. This is the direction
that my writing is going now, but I'm sure my inspiration will change when I
branch out into other genres.
Do you have any rituals or habits that contribute to your writing process?
The time of day doesn't matter, but I have to be alone, either at
home or in my office. I usually listen to heavy metal music, and I like to drink
beer or green tea. I find my best bursts of creativity happen after I've watched
a TV program or movie.
Awesome! Drinking beer when writing? I should try that! What's on the horizon for Mark Carver? Any other books in the works?
The Age of Apollyon just came
out last month, but I'm already 75% finished with the sequel, Black Sun. There will be a total
of three books in this series, and I expect to finish Black Sun early next year. I
have a few ideas in my head that are just waiting to pop out, and I'm pretty
good about keeping a steady writing rhythm, so I hope to crank out at least one
book a year. You'll just have to wait and see.
Where can we find
you and your books?
The Age of
Apollyon on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Age-of-Apollyon-ebook/dp/B009LU10ZY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351055365&sr=8-2&keywords=the+age+of+apollyon The Age of Apollyon on Barnes
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-age-of-apollyon-mark-carver/1112037360 Official website: http://theageofapollyon.blogspot.com Facebook:
can add me as a friend on Facebook too!
Thanks for joining us today Mark! Good Luck!
I have known K.R. (River) for a number of years now, and I have to say that there is one thing that always intrigued me about her writing style...
Her ability to create new and amazing worlds!
Riftglade is but the latest example of her abilities. As I write my stories, I am constantly trying to weave mystery and adventure into our everyday world. Even with my few forays into sci-fi, the universe I am dealing with will basically be a different version of our own.
I am humbled at the thought of creating a completely different universe...and yet K.R. Jordan seems to do it effortlessly, while making her characters both believable and very REAL!
Here's a synopsis of the story!
The beautiful fairy,
Princess Yaliza, is forced to leave her beloved kingdom to find her true
destiny. Flying above an Overland rift forest, she is gravely
wounded, falling unconscious to the ground and into Riftglade where her
Although this is her first solo offering, Riftglade is far from K.R.'s first published story
Her story Leela has been included in the Vamptasy Publishing's anthology Red Wine with much acclaim: (Orphaned at a young age, Leela is raised by Halo, her father's best-friend and
trained as a warrior to fight against the evil Sifters.)
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly's (CHBB's) anthology Dark Light, also contains her story Alba: (After graduation, young Alba moves to Maryland to go to college where she
discovers the devious machinations of a power hungry young man.)
She has also contributed to Blue Fire Heat by Scott Prussing as a co-author with her story Sweet Enchantment : (Rave and Leesa have been in love forever but cannot express that love like
normal teenagers would. Tonight, while she dreams, they will consummate their
Links to these stories below
K.R. Jordan grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas and spent most of her youth in, on or
near the water.
Her father was a fisherman that always had a Louis L'amour paperback in his back pocket, while her mother would read anything and everything
she could get her hands on. K.R.'s own personal love of reading and writing
began at a very young age. She would spend hours at the local library checking out
as many books as they would allow.
She writes under the names K.R. Jordan or
River Jordan. Writing mostly fiction, she is also obsessed with writing a personal
history of her family.
Still living on the Gulf Coast of Texas with her family, she enjoys writing, reading, fishing and the great
I have asked K.R. to include a small narrative about her story...
The sky is absolute black, thick clouds obscuring any
starlight. Other than the occasional
whomp of snow laden branches releasing their heavy tenants, the midnight is
On a clear night, the iced countryside of Overland shimmers
in deep dark purples as it absorbs the light from the stars overhead. But this
night, everything is dark as onyx; the occasional gloomy twinkle playing
peek-a-boo with the eventide.
The currents of the atmosphere sense a disturbance, shifting
and shivering as if in expectation of some cyclopean storm. Intruding in the peaceful song of the frozen
ebony sleep comes a sweet, but perplexing hum.
At once it is as if the things of nature recognize the color
of the exciting hum. The snow covered
hills begin to glow warmly, a rhapsody of inner light coating the frozen
tundra. In moments the air snaps to
attention, exuding the scent of ancient virgin forests untouched by fae. A mix of pine, cedar and oak, fighting to
dominate, release their heady perfume into the ozone.
An obscurity of bright and colorful streaks stream from over
the mountains miles away. Red blending
into purple; purple blending into indigo; indigo into pink evinces a
masterpiece of surrealism.
If you stopped time in that instant before the ancient one
was impelled by the Realm of Clouds to reach out and taste fate, you would see
an amazing sight. If you hovered in the
face of the masterpiece of light and color, you would behold the sorrowful
expression of an exquisite fairy. Long
red hair flowed out behind her as she flies.
Drawing your attention would be the reddest lips and the most beautiful
blue eyes. Rimming those eyes, which are
at once clear and open but deep and dark as well, were the darkest lashes. The whisper of a crystalline tear hovered at
the edges of those nymph eyes; the tears stretching out with the speed at which
This paragon of beauty is Princess Yaliza, daughter of Vodianyk, High King of All You See.
Come and join
Princess Yaliza on her adventure in Riftglade by K.R. Jordan.*
As an author, I have written a couple of spooky stories, mostly for Halloween.* My folktales are written with an eye toward recreating some of the classics of folklore, stories that have a life of their own and live on in the hearts of the people living in an area or in those that have absorbed them from a book.
Stories such as the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and others that we have grown up with elicit a homey yet frightening appeal to our soul. We feel the familiarity of the scene as we equate it to something of our own just down the road...a cemetery... a lonely bridge. And in the back of our minds, we secretly believe that it very well could be true...that it is possible! I certainly want to believe that we aren't done either creating, or even living these legends!
Until then...here is a classic that I dug up for your enjoyment. Happy Halloween everybody!
Something was going on. Jason felt it in his bones. Polly was too happy, too cheerful. No woman could be that upbeat and still be faithful to her husband. Jason sat down to a delicious, warm meal every night, and Polly sang to herself as she washed up. What kind of woman could be cheerful doing dishes? Try as he might, Jason never heard anything that hinted of a secret romance. It drove him crazy. Life was not this perfect.
Maybe Polly was seeing the milkman, or the grocer. Jason started getting up early in order to see who it was that delivered the milk. Much to his disappointment, the fellow looked as if he’d been born several centuries ago. Then Jason started doing the food shopping, and checked out every single male employee in the local grocery store. They were either antediluvian relicts—like the milkman—or still in diapers.
Later that month Jason was over at his father-in-law’s house working in the garage when he over heard his father-in-law call to Hank…Polly’s high-school boyfriend. Now he knew! He knew why Polly was so happy all the time. Her parents must have told her that Hank was coming home, and she was planning on running off with him.
Enraged with jealousy, Jason was waiting in the kitchen when Polly got back from church. He was beyond reason. He snatched up a newly sharpened steak knife, howling: “You’ve cut out my heart, now I’ll cut out yours!” Jason leapt around the table and ripped Polly’s still-beating heart out of her chest. Blood streaming everywhere, he sailed out the back door into the dark night and flung her heart, still thumping, over the side of the bridge that spanned the creek next to their home.
Jason cleaned up the blood-stained house with extreme care and buried Polly’s body deep in the woods outside of town. Then he wrote several letters, carefully mimicking Polly’s handwriting, and mailed them to himself and her parents. Within a few days, everyone in town believed that Polly had been secretly seeing a man from the next town and that they had run away together.
Late one evening, he went out to the bridge to gloat in triumph over his unfaithful wife. Polly had gotten what she deserved, he thought. As he stood staring down at the water, he became aware of a vibration under his feet. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. It floated softly through the air, a simple rhythmic thudding. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. Jason’s hands began to tingle as he recognized the soft thudding sound. It was the same beat he had felt when he held Polly’s bleeding heart in his hands. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.
The heartbeat rang in his ears, thundering so loud that he was afraid it would wake the neighbors.Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. Jason clapped his hands over his ears and ran back to the house. But he could not escape the terrible sound: Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. Even the floorboards seemed to vibrate to the slow, steady rhythm. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. It sounded like a heart-beat. Polly’s heartbeat. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.
Jason screamed in terror and flung himself out of the house, running toward the bridge as the heartbeat grew louder and louder in his ears. Jason leaned over the railing.
“Curse you, Polly!” he shouted.
Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.
With a wild shriek, Jason flung himself headfirst off the bridge like a diver, and was smashed to death on the rocks below.
Underfoot on the bridge, the pavement still vibrates to the beat of a dead heart. For now and always.
Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.
Author's Note: Heartbeat Bridge is located in Ellicot City, MD. This folktale is told by people living in the area to explain why a heartbeat can be felt through the pavement by people standing on the bridge.
Check out the newest Pepper and Longstreet Mystery...
The Legend of Ol Red Eyes
Just in time for Halloween!
Everybody was all smiles when they entered the old
cemetery…little knowing the horror that awaited them just up the hill.
Ol Red Eyes is the scariest legend to come around
since the Headless Horseman. Check out this haunted tale, and then enjoy some
fun Halloween recipes
Here's a little sneak preview!
the hell was Longstreet?
Gulping back her fear, she swung
the iron at the apparition before it was fully formed, the red eyes having not
A howl of pain erupted from the
demon as it disappeared in a poof of
“Longstreet!” she cried as she
turned and ran for all she was worth down the hill. Within seconds however, she
heard the sound of pursuit behind her, accompanied by a fierce growl.
Grabbing the iron tool in her right
hand, she swung it blindly behind her, apparently connecting with her pursuer
as another angry, painful wail ensued.
“Longstreet! This isn't funny
Longstreet,” she cried out again as she once more heard the sound behind her.
Just as she could see the low fence spreading out in front of her…she tripped!
Dropping the fireplace poker in her
fall, Pepper immediately rolled onto her back, her arms frantically searching
for the iron tool as Ol’ Red Eyes rose
above her to the full of his seven foot stature, the glowing red eyes now
blazing. Raising the head of the giant double-headed ax above his head, he let
out a howl of satisfaction as Pepper closed her eyes for the last time.
Check out this special Halloween story! The newest story on an age-old legend!