This week on the Indie Author Spotlight we have a suspenseful and exciting detective novel. Would you like to be interviewed for the blog? Join in the fun here.
Mark Victor Young
Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
They’re the most unlikely detectives…
Martin is a 38-year-old virgin marked for greatness by the insurance gods. In his professional life, he is paid to assess risk, but in his personal life he plays it safe. Experience has shown him that lonely is better than brokenhearted.
George is a wannabe architect with white man’s dreadlocks. He risks his neck on the streets of Toronto every day as a bike courier, but his job is unchallenging and he chooses apathy over the risk of failure at what he really wants to do.
When George tags along with Martin to investigate the scene of his latest claim, they stumble upon a burglary in process. Now they are being hunted by an unknown adversary who will stop at nothing to get what he’s after, forcing Martin and George into a dangerous game of cat and mouse in which they must risk everything.
What was the inspiration for this story?
The main character was inspired by a description of one of my Father’s co-workers from years ago. I had just begun this new project and had two good chapters under my belt when I heard about a “First Novel Contest” which only required you to send the first two chapters as your initial entry. I thought, what the heck, sent in my entry and kept on writing.
A few weeks later I received a notice congratulating me on being selected as a semi-finalist and asking me to send in the complete manuscript by such and such a date. Sorry, complete what now? At this point, I was about halfway through chapter four. So I had to choose: would I throw in the towel, or take some time off work and write this thing in the ten days I had left until the deadline?
I went for it. Every day for about a week, I wrote a chapter between breakfast and lunch, one between lunch and dinner and one before I crawled into bed. My wife would have a look at what I’d written each day and help me proofread it, but I barely had time to fix the typos before I had to move on. On day ten, I had a finished manuscript and I printed it off, mailed it in to the contest and went to bed and slept for twelve hours.
Of course, I didn’t win or anything. What I had sent them amounted to a first draft and a mostly unpolished one at that. But on the plus side, I had a first draft of my first novel! After much substantive editing, rewriting, and four drafts, I was finally ready to share it with the world.
Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
I get up at 6:00am and write for an hour every day before I do anything else. My goal is 500 words per day. If I can achieve this level of output, I can expect to finish a first draft of a novel in 3 to 4 months, which I’m happy with. I do my editing and rewriting at night.
What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby
Serpent of Venice, by Christopher Moore
Whatever book comes next by John Irving.
How important do you think a book’s cover is?
Very. It is the “way in” to your book for all potential readers and they will turn away from you if they don’t like the look of the entryway. I think people form an immediate impression within a split second of viewing a cover and act on that from there forward. Are they hooked? Are they turned off? Are they interested enough to find out more and then make a decision? And everything in between. Your cover does that.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?
John Irving. Don’t know what he’d make of me, though. 🙂