Hello dear readers, it’s Rosanne Catalano here, the publisher of ‘Literary Voices Magazine.’ I am sorry to inform you that after much thought, I decided NOT to publish Literary Voices Magazine but rather to concentrate on only showcasing other authors and writers on this platform (which was once the blog for my former magazine, ‘The Cat’s Meow for Writers & Readers’).
I am bringing you Author MARK ALAN SHAFFER’S INTERVIEW (below) since my former collaborator DIANE MORASCO has vanished into the Universe of the unknown.
I know more than anyone that life goes on despite a collaborator vanishing and/or going off-grid. Rather than DIANE MORASCO interviewing the three previous authors she did for ‘Literary Voices Magazine’s’ Book Conversations Page (January 2021 – May 2022 issues of LV), I now present to you an excellent writer and science fiction author MARK A. SHAFFER…
ROSANNE: Hello Mark, thank you for granting this interview so that our readers can get to know the author behind your book(s) and stories. Can you tell us what inspired you to write? And have you always wanted to become a published author?
MARK: Hello Rosanne, yes I can tell you that I have always enjoyed reading science fiction so, with my active imagination, I decided to try writing a science fiction story too. I am inspired by different locations, pictures, people, and music. I am especially inspired by Al Stewart. The song “Running Man” helped me to work on my new upcoming books “Mystery by the Bay” and “Megastar.”
ROSANNE: Which of your books would you like to talk about here?
MARK: Crimson Enigma, the First Book of the Enigma Series.
ROSANNE: What inspired you to write this series of books?
MARK: My first book, ‘Transference,’ was a short story originally, which I was inspired to write by my grandfather, who was an Inventor, and my father, who was a B17 Pilot. The second book Crimson Enigma is a much longer book with sketches in it to help explain the story. The inspiration for it came more from people and music from the 70s.
ROSANNE: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
MARK: No. I think the story stands well by itself.
ROSANNE: What part of Crimson Enigma did you have the most fun writing?
MARK: Actually, I had fun writing the whole book. Especially the beginning, when Agent Dan Shelby and Agent Christine Walters were outside the Freedom III Station, and the surprise at the end of the novel.
ROSANNE: Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?
MARK: Mitch Hawkins. He knows he has made mistakes in his life but he is working hard to get his life back together and on track, after he loses someone very precious to him.
ROSANNE: What was the hardest scene to write, and why?
MARK: When Jasmine gets hurt, and Mitch thinks she might have died. I recall feeling for both of them.
ROSANNE: What perspectives or beliefs have been challenged with this work?
MARK: That if you have enough faith in the Universe, anything can happen.
ROSANNE: When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
MARK: I play the music that some may think is a little sad. I also remember the good times I had with my grandpa and my dad growing up.
ROSANNE: What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
MARK: I wrote Crimson Enigma like I write most of my books. It started out as a lot of short stories, then I put them all together in one novel.
ROSANNE: Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?
MARK: Yes. I have actually written and published two (2) books. The first book was a science fiction short story, titled “Transference.” It is now out of print but I am re-writing this story and will have it published again. With Crimson Enigma, the actual First Book of the Enigma Series, it was a great feeling to know that I could write an actual book (rather than just short stories) and have it published, to know that people are reading my words and enjoying them.
Even though some said I was wasting my time writing. I know now I can do it. Never let anyone steal your dreams!
ROSANNE: Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How did you get over it?
MARK: Yes I have. To get over it, I go for long walks and listen to music. Just do anything besides write.
ROSANNE: Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it?
MARK: It was created by a Canadian artist friend of mine named Angele Gougeon. She did all the artwork for Crimson Enigma and Megastar.
ROSANNE: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
MARK: I enjoy photography and making models of my story ideas. It makes it easier to write when I can actually see what I am writing about. As soon as I get more room to work, I am getting back into the model-building aspect of my writing.
ROSANNE: Now for a couple of quick “get-to-know-you” questions. First, do you write in the daytime or at nighttime?
MARK: Nighttime is the best time for me to write.
ROSANNE: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? And where did you grow up?
MARK: Believe it or not, I wanted to be an Astronaut. Since becoming an Astronaut required proficiency in Mathematics, and I truly stunk in Math, I changed my career choice to become a published Author.
I grew up in a little town in Northeastern Ohio; near Akron/Canton. Although I lived in different cities in Ohio, I always came back to my hometown; where I currently reside.
ROSANNE: Are any future projects in the works?
MARK: Yes, I am rewriting “Transference” to make it longer and add artwork to it as well. Also working on two other books in the Enigma Series- “Mystery by the Bay” and “Megastar.”
ROSANNE: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
MARK: Crimson Enigma is available through Lulu.com, Amazon.com, or contact me at: Markus31155@gmail.com
ROSANNE: Where can they find out more about your book (webpage, blog, buy link, etc.)?
MARK: On Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/MarksBookshelf
ROSANNE: Thank you, Mark Shaffer, for being the first author I’ve spoken with for my “Book Conversations Page” (which originated from my collaboration in “Literary Voices Magazine” with my NOW-MISSING collaborator DIANE MORASCO).
Thank you for coming here, our dear readers. Don’t forget to get your copy of Mark’s mysterious science fiction book, “Crimson Enigma,” on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and/or Lulu.com.
Crimson Enigma’s direct link for Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Crimson-Enigma-Book-1-ebook/dp/B005V2RHP8
Crimson Enigma’s direct link for Lulu Press: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/mark-alan-shaffer/crimson-enigma/paperback/product-14p24ed.html?page=1+pagesize=4
Stay tuned for the next author or writer I interview; I will let you know beforehand the author’s name!