Name: Mark Anthony Waters
Where are you from: Fort Worth, Texas
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
Married for nearly 40 years, three adult boys and a grandchild on the way. College and High School with continuing education in counselling.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?:
Have done many book signings and more scheduled. Doing a Q & A at a spiritual and guidance center in February.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?:
I wrote my first book, “Destination Venus” in the 7th grade as a school extra credit project. About 10 years ago started writing a book about a fictitious town, Port Summerville. We vacationed in a small coastal town in South Texas and is lightly based on our many years of travel to it. We eventually moved there.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?:
After my first one was published.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?:
Like I said, it was based on a small coastal town and began to write and write, and write some more. Before I knew it, the thing was nearly ninety-thousand words long! It’s finished but unpublished, it doesn’t seem like the right time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?:
I’m all over the place! I don’t have one particular genre that I stick too. Most of what I have written, or writing, are either based on experience or have some of my experiences woven into them, but mostly fiction. My latest, Three Days in Heaven as my editor was quoted, “It’s a parable styled novel,” whatever that means.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?:
For Three Days in Heaven, after my heart surgery, I thought of an idea and let it go. A few years later, I thought I was having a heart-attack and went to the ER. It was a false alarm, but a light went off and some of the “what ifs” went through my head, so a wrote a book based on a man’s three day journey to Heaven, catching up with God, a few other characters and played a lot of golf, all the while learning about the meaning of “faith”.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Three Days in Heaven, it gives a chance for one to study their own faith in something bigger than themselves. It is not a religious read, but is written about a faith in God that I understand. Many non-religious people have read my book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?:
The first part of it are the things I went through up to including emergence double by-pass surgery, the rest of the story the main character told it.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?:
Three Days in Heaven is a bit about me, and my next project, Suicide by Death is based mostly on others in my life and little to do with me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?:
Almost anything by John Grisham, (the main character in Three Days in Heaven is a lawyer) the same goes for Tom Clancey.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?:
To busy with my own stuff to read, but my last one was John Grisham’s, The Summons.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?:
There are several, but Jack and Cyndi who you interviewed are the ones to watch, hopefully me too.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Suicide by Death and Right Heart, Wrong Love. Suicide by Death will be the next one published.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members:
There is a Facebook group that I belong to, Where Writers and Authors Meet. They have been great teachers and encouraged me through both books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?:
I have too or my wife will make me get a job!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?:
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?:
I believe it was my interest in good science fiction, though I’ll never write one, the only attempt was the one I mentioned from the 7th grade.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?:
It is about a mans adventure to Heaven after an apparent sudden heart-attack then “dies” in the ER. Though he has no heart rate, respiration or brain activity, his wife and best friend, the hospital admin, are not convinced that he is really gone. To further complicate things, his wife and friend receive Heavenly “text messages” from the main character, Tony.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?:
I get a case of writers block now and then, but I make myself start writing, that’s the best cure. You can edit later.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have to go back to Clancey. The way his mind works and how he creates characters and events is like listening to a well orchestrated symphony. The research that he must have done really gets my respect. Some of that stuff you can’t Google.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have traveled some, mostly in the area. I was invited to an arts and literary festival in South Carolina and got as far as DFW Airport for a connecting flight. Everything was canceled due to weather and was stuck there for three days missing the event.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Amazon’s, CreateSpace helped design the first one. I have an idea for my second and will use a professional to finish it.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?:
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?:
To have a faithful, fruitful, happy life, because it could be over in the literal blink of an eye.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?:
Write what you know about or have experienced and hire a great editor. It is so easy in today’s environment to be a “published author”, all you need is a computer and a few hundred bucks, then wah lah , you’re an author, and quite honestly I believe that most of it is garbage. I’m paraphrasing, but a writer once said, “If you are going to be a writer, be a great one. There are better ways to go broke.” You also must have a good book cover. A book cover is our “billboard” and like a highway billboard, you only have seconds to make an impression. There could be gold in those pages that might never get read because the cover was crap.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?:
Buy my book.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?:
A short story about Benjamin Franklin
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?:
Good comedy makes me laugh. The death of a loved one or a pet makes me cry. I have cried during a couple of movies. Both of my parents are dead and two movies I saw reminded me of both. For dad, it was the Big Fish and mom it was Guarding Tess. Both moments toward the end made me cry like a baby.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?:
My sister, Camille. She committed suicide without warning. I’d just like to spend an afternoon with her.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?:
He was a good husband and a great father
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?:
Golf and tennis and bad at both. I don’t know why I even bother.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?:
MASH was my all time favorite, everything else is a distant second. The original The Day the Earth Stood Still was and is my favorite movie of all time.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
I think my favorite food is Asian, followed by authentic Mexican. Favorite color is blue and not sure why. As far as music goes, like my writing, I’m all over the place. Classical, some opera, definitely classic rock and anything from Lady Gaga.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?:
Criminal defence lawyer
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? Blog. www.MarkAnthonyWaters.com