Interview with Mark Adrian Torrington
Author of Silverskin
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How would you describe Silverskin to a new reader?
- It's a supernatural horror fantasy thriller romance story, built around a relationship where the girl's subconscious is sabotaging their love.
What was the inspiration behind Silverskin?
- One of my past relationships, or an amalgamation of all of them. Especially one though, where she was super-sweet on the surface, but had an evil side festering underneath. The story is about how the subconscious can sabotage a relationship.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- King, Tolkien, Robert J. Sawyer, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. My main takeaway for my style over time has evolved into just trying to keep the action going, using an economy of words and avoiding all cliches even down to the less obvious ones.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in the book?
- It mainly takes place in French's Forest, where the main character Seven grew up as a boy. It's a haunted, magical wood full of every walk of the imagination, including Faye, who continues to haunt him even into his adulthood, even after he has moved far away from that place. The story picks up when he brings his girlfriend Eva back to that forest to visit with his strange, fanged family for the first time.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? How would you advise a new author about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
- I would advise do not worry about publishing until after you have written the book you want to write for yourself. Then the trick is to switch hats, from an artist to a promoter. This is tricky, because it's not in our nature as writers. We would prefer just to write and be picked up by a publishing house like in the old days. Today it's up to us to do everything ourselves. Amazon & Smashwords make it easy to self-publish in paperback and e-book, but the hurdle is in getting exposure/traction.
What's your writing process?
- Once I start, then I do not stop until I'm done. Once I'm done, I set it aside and forget about it, and writing in general, long enough to clean the slate. Sometimes I go back and read books years later I do not remember writing. One trick I do do on every single book is I write every chapter title before beginning the book. These can change later, of course, but it gives you a structure to keep the story moving. Sometimes I will write a three-point plot for each chapter, but usually not. This allows you to still go with the flow, without being too restricted, but still have some kind of outline to prompt you back on track once you get lost in the weeds, or begin to lose sight of the trees from French's Forest.
Which character in Silverskin has had the greatest impact on readers?
- Old One, which is a bit of a bit player, although woven into the fabric of the overall lore of the forest. He's a 'were-jaguar', that only appears significantly in a fight scene toward the end.
If Silverskin were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
- I had no one in mind when I wrote Seven, but later came to settle on Sam Rockwell.
How have readers responded to Silverskin?
- Pretty well, in the beginning I handed out paperbacks to select 'readers' in the 3D world. One of them said it was the best book he had ever read. All it takes is one comment like that to carry you on to the next book.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I'm not sure. I have 5 books total in the can in the horror/fantasy/romance/sci-fi genres, and there is still much work to do to make sure they are all marketed properly. But once I put the writing hat back on, I have other genres to consider, including a biography of the late internationally famous acclaimed artist Philip Aziz whom I knew. Time becomes of the essence, however, and I do have another book in the fantasy genre in mind, so it's all still up in the air at the moment.
Not long after they moved in together, Eva’s black-outs got so bad that her relationship with Seven became strained-as his thoughts started drifting back to his ex Faye, who was all but a ghost to him now. So when she insisted that he take her to French’s Forest, to visit with his reclusive family for the first time, the horror of introducing her to his strange fanged kin was only secondary in concern, next to his mounting fear that Faye would grow dangerously jealous of Eva-and try to take back what She felt was rightfully Hers.