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Friday, June 28, 2013

Author Interview – Mark LaFlamme

6:30 AM Posted by James Noel , No comments

What is your favorite food? Probably pizza, and do you know why? Because pizza is humble. It doesn’t demand that you use a fork or a spoon or even a plate. You pick it up, take a bite, chew and swallow. It’s good steaming hot and it’s good cold. Pizza is there when you’re ready to eat. You don’t have to make a big production of getting to the table, arranging your silverware just so and all of that. Eating kind of annoys me in general because it’s such a time sucker. Two or three times a day, you have to drop everything and get your starving body to a food source. I mean, yeesh. I thought someone would have invented food in pill form by now. In the meantime, there’s pizza.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Los Angeles, California. I didn’t even have to pause to think about that one. I love LA, just like the song says. It’s warm, it’s charismatic and it’s storied. I love the beaches of LA, but I also love the shabby streets where the characters are always out in force. It’s my ardent dream to end up in Los Angeles, and the sooner the better. If any of your readers have spare rooms, pull out sofas or even just a humble tool shed, have them call me ASAP.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My early days were not always happy and often, I retreated into writing. Sometimes I read some of my early stuff – wild stories and even bits of verse written when I was 11 or 12 – and it’s like some psychological profile. There’s a lot of dark stuff in there. I think most writers have some well of darkness they dip into once in a while. That’s probably why some of us drink like fish.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? When I was 6 or 7, I found myself staring out my bedroom window and into the cold dark of Maine winter. There were several feet of pristine snow out there but I saw a set of footprints zigging and zagging across the back lawn. Very mysterious. It suddenly occurred to me that I should write a story about those tracks, and I did. I don’t know what happened to that story (I think I gave it a real spiffy title like “FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW!”) but it felt good to write and it became a regular habit. The very next story I wrote was about a little boy who discovered a severed head beneath his bed – a head that talked to him and one which no one else could see. Come to think of it, I probably could have used therapy.

When and why did you begin writing? I was 6 or 7 and the whole world seemed strange. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be a story waiting to be told. When I had bad dreams (I had a lot of those) I struggled to describe them verbally, so I took to putting them down on paper. I loved similes as a means of describing things. Some days, I did nothing more than think of new similes to unleash into my next work. Some of them were truly horrible: “Slippery as a dog swimming in Ovaltine,” or “hot as pizza cheese stuck to your chin.” If I’d had an editor back then, he or she would have swatted my nose with a rolled up newspaper.

Jack Carnegie has developed a head for numbers – a true savant who was just an average teenager a day before. Jack Deacon builds things, from self-propelled drones to goggles that can see through walls.

Jack Van Slyke awakes with an ability to speak a half dozen languages.Jack Gordon discovers he is a master of the martial arts, just when he needs it most.

All over the country, young men are finding that they have special skills, areas of expertise that appeared out of nowhere. They’re confused. Baffled. Maybe even dangerous.

And they’re all named Jack.

After experiencing adventures on their own, the Jacks will come together in the deserts of Arizona. There, they will set out on the quest to find out what has happened, becoming a multi-talented task force with not a single clue why.

But answers are coming – chilling revelations about their own minds and about new terrors that imperil the world. Together the Jacks will have to make a decision: drift apart and return to being careless teenagers? Or band together and fight a rising evil that threatens not just the Jacks, but the world.

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Genre – YA / Thriller

Rating – PG

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