Interview with Marcus Unred

When did you first start writing?
When I got to school. Well, not immediately, but I do remember writing my name in pencil not long after I started school.
What's the story behind your forthcoming book?
Funny thing to ask, that: the story behind the story. The story was one I told to my children at bedtime. As with all my bedtime stories, I told it in installments, because they would fall asleep, so I'd have to stop. (I recall falling asleep myself, one time, but my son woke me to keep going.) Most ideas for my bedtime stories came out of my imagination, which of course incorporates memories. I remember imagining, as a lad, what it would be like to be able to walk through mirrors and do the sort of things that Chelsea does in this book. That's the story behind the story. The story behind the title is another thing.
Okay, I'll bite: What's the story behind the title?
I called it "Mirror, Mirror", for obvious reasons (at least when you've read it). But while it sat doing nothing, a movie came out by that name. I felt duly punished for not getting my book out first, but I suppose that wouldn't have changed anything. It's not as if Hollywood would've chosen another movie title because of my book! I've since found out that there have been a few books and movies by that name. Not surprising, really. Anyway, when I got around to publishing this, I had to decide whether to stick with the original title, which really isn't that original, or come up with another. You can see what I chose.

Other possibilities were: "Chelsea 1 - Liverpool 0"; "The Third Time the Tyre Took a Turn"; and "Pejorative Names for Penguins"
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I think the enjoyment my children got out of this story (and others) made me think there would be others out there who would enjoy it, too. I gave it to a young reader I knew, who loved it, so I figured my own children truly liked the story for its own sake, and not just because their father had told it to them. I found that publishing companies weren't interested in my stuff - at least the publishers I contacted - so going "indie" was the only option, if I wanted to get my stories into the hands and hearts of young readers.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing about the enjoyment of the readers.
What is your writing process?
I have the memory of a 1990 computer, so when it came to writing down the stories that I had told my children in the dark, I needed their help. I started by typing what I could remember. Then I got them to remind me of the things I had missed. Of course, none of us could remember exactly how I'd said most things, so then I had to set about writing the narrative. I gave them the finished first draft, and I think for this one they gave me some negative feedback about the finish...or that might have been when I first told it to them. You know how people like a "they lived happily ever after" type ending; this certainly wasn't one of them. So I changed it so that the monsters didn't come and eat the dog and cat, and jump on the trampoline until it broke. That made my critics much happier.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, but I imagine it wasn't a significant impact.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science journals.
What do your fans mean to you?
Since I don't have any, nothing. Actually, I suppose the ones who first heard my stories were fans, and they mean the world to me.
Marcus Unred. That's not your real name, is it?
No. I get asked that question when I use my regular name, so I figured I might as well use a name that, when I'm asked what you just asked me, I can give an honest answer which people will believe. Plus, as an obscure author, I think it's an appropriate pen name.
So what's your real name?
You wouldn't believe me if I told you.
I see your book has been withdrawn. Why is that?
It mainly had to do with IRS paperwork I would have to fill out, because I live outside the USA. But also I felt the cover needed improving. I've done some work on that, but I don't think I can bother with the IRS paperwork! When I have time, I'll look at making it available again.
Published 2017-10-07.
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