Interview with Mark All, Author of The Spellcaster's Grimoire
Mark All is the author of paranormal thrillers The Spellcaster’s Grimoire and Mystic Witch, published by ImaJinn Books in trade paperback and eBook formats. He has won two international writing awards and contributed to Computer Legends, Lies & Lore. Mystic Witch received a 5 Star review from the Paranormal Romance Guild, and 3½ stars (out of 4½ possible stars) from RT Book Reviews. Mark is a full-time author after 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. Mark presents writing workshops and taught his “Planning Your Novel” course at the Spruill Center for the Arts. He earned a Masters degree in computer-based education and a Bachelor of Music cum laude. You can visit Mark All’s website at www.MarkAllAuthor.com.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I write full-time after a career in computer-based software training. Before that I had some unusual jobs, from gravedigger to FM radio announcer to playing in a rock band for a living. I still play the guitar and record at home, but traveling was a rough lifestyle, I’ll leave that for the young!
When did you begin writing?
I began writing in middle school, a short story for an English class assignment. I discovered that writing was more fun than reading or watching movies, and got a positive response from my teachers and classmates. I tried writing again after I got off the road and quit music, but dropped it to return to grad school. Then after establishing a normal career, I began writing again, and haven’t stopped.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I write in the mornings, when I’m fresh.
What is this book about?
The Spellcaster’s Grimoire is about the author of bestselling witchcraft How To books who can’t actually work the spells herself. When a dying warlock entrusts an ancient spell book to her, she must actually master the craft to prevent a vengeful witch from using the grimoire to destroy the town coven.
What inspired you to write it?
The “ancient, eldritch tome” is a trope that always gave me chill bumps, and I wanted to write about a lost book of magic for years. I love stories about a hidden or forgotten artifact that holds mystic powers both great and terrible. It can be a metaphor for the power of the unconscious mind, or our latent potential, and engenders stories about personal growth, which seems like magic—because it really is.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
I am a member of a critique group at a local bookstore, and have been in critique groups for many years. Getting other readers’ and writers’ feedback on your work really helps you improve your craft. Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
The Spellcaster’s Grimoire is available from my publisher, ImaJinn Books, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.com, in both eBook and trade paperback:
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Write more books, and get feedback from a critique partner or group. It takes most writers several books before they produce a publishable manuscript. You get better with every book. But sometimes people get their first or second book published, so you never know!
What is up next for you?
My next novel, which I’m proofing now, is a darker supernatural thriller. There’s still some humor, but it’s more serious than my two Witches of Milton County books. It’s called Penumbra, and it’s about a washed-up musician whose songwriting partner returns from the dead to finish their final album—but the music turns listeners into homicidal maniacs.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I’d like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to visit with your readers!