Interview with Mark Gummere

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Hollywood, California and later moved to the east side of L. A. I think the juxtaposition of the movie industry with the blue-collar ethic of the suburbs created a perspective for appreciating the people and places that cross economic, cultural, and racial lines and I try to incorporate that into my novels.
When did you first start writing?
I can remember writing a story about a kid playing baseball when I was around seven years old. I believe it was about eight pages long, written in pencil on lined notebook paper!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords provided not only the publlishing opportunity, but the inspiration and motivation to keep writing. I'll forever be thankful.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After numerous rejections from traditional agents and publishers my frustration led me to look into alternative methods. Fortunately, I came across a newspaper article about Smashwords. It was exciting to discover new opportunities. I saved the article and then started looking for more information about Smashwords on the Internet.
What is your writing process?
I wish I were more disciplined, but probably a lot of writers say that! I try to write everyday, and I am most successful in the morning, but of course work schedules sometimes make that impossible. Blocking out a minimum of 2-3 hours a day is always the goal. I try not to beat myself up if a few days slip by without writing, but even on those days I try find time to think about the writing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When an idea suddenly emerges seemingly out of nowhere, as if from some magical ether, and then becomes a well crafted sentence. Those moments, that process, is hard to beat.
Who are your favorite authors?
Like most writers, I have a lot of favorites and I read and re-read their works. I'm currently reading the James M. Cain novel that was discovered and released in 2012, Cocktail Waitress, while at the same time reading Joyce Carol Oates' book On Boxing. I'm looking forward to the new novel by Daniel Woodrell and I just finished re-reading the James Sallis novels Cripple Creek and Cyprus Grove.
What do your fans mean to you?
Readers are quite simply everything. I'm writing because I enjoy it, but an even greater pleasue comes from sharing the books. Receiving feedback and hearing stories from readers about their experiences with the books is just fantastic.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
In addition to writing I teach film in the Fine Arts Division of Diablo Valley College. I'm at the movies at least once a week (usually with my wife), love listening to and going to see music, and enjoy watching sports on television. And about every other year I travel to New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival. My wife goes yearly, but I space it out a bit.
How do you approach cover design?
I took the photograph used for the cover of Dragon Hand and the beach background shot on the cover of Nola's Future. The design and layout was done by Tatiana Villa, a wonderful artist whose name I found through Smashwords. She's easy to work with, talented, and quick. I plan on continuing to work with Tatiana.
What are you working on next?
It's been 11 months since the release of When the Past Comes Calling, but the 6th book in the Lucky Lucas series of crime fiction is finally underway! I'm about 30 pages into the first sketches of the novel with the working title: The Swimmer. The first scenes are set at Ocean Beach, in San Francisco, during a particularly nasty day of riptides and surf. While walking his dog, Lou the Dalmatian, Lucas comes across a young boy sitting alone on a towel and crying. The boy informs Lucas that his father went into the water to swim, but has not come back. An avid swimmer himself, Lucas recognizes the dangerous conditions, and when the boy's father cannot be seen, he calls 911. A search and rescue team soon arrives, but 36 hours later, with no sign of the boy's father, the Coast Guard and San Francisco Rescue Units call off their search. From this beginning, the novel will move into the world of computer tech, cyber-security, and some back alley crime. The familiar characters of Lucas' earlier novels will surely make their appearance and hopefully create a world of interest and intrigue for the reader. I'm looking forward to the unexpected surprises of writing this book.
Published 2016-05-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

When the Past Comes Calling
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,670. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Retired police officer and unlicensed private investigator Lucky Lucas comes to the aid of a friend, Mississippi transplant Danny Mosley, when Mosley becomes the prime suspect in the murder of an ex-lover. As the body count climbs, Lucky’s investigation extends beyond San Francisco to Mississippi, New Orleans and the world of organized crime. When the past comes calling, all bets are off.
Nola's Future - A Lucky Lucas Novel
Series: Lucky Lucas Novels, Book 4. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 62,430. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
When Nola, a young college college grad, looks to ex-cop Robert "Lucky" Lucas for help in ending an abusive relationship with an older man Lucky’s instincts and skills come out of retirement and a college campus is revealed as not only a place for education and discovery, but one where sexual exploitation, deceit, and murder have become part of the curriculum.
Dragon Hand
Series: Lucky Lucas Novels, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 54,260. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Ex-cop Robert “Lucky” Lucas' retirement is put on hold when his girlfriend Mona's 18 year old son is shot in San Francisco. The instincts of an angry and protective mother surface and Mona asks Lucky to “get the people who hurt my son". Lucas quickly finds himself in the middle of organized crime in Chinatown, where life can be cheap, and family secrets reach all the way back to mainland China.
The Damage
Series: Lucky Lucas Novels, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 45,190. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Diane Berger is missing from her wealthy parents' San Francisco home and Lucky Lucas goes hunting. In this rapid paced follow up to Scar Tissue, Lucas finds the girl in L.A., but also finds a corpse in the apartment where she’s been staying. What began as a favor for a friend spins out of control and has Lucas caught in a world damaged by corporate crime, marital infidelity,and murder.
Scar Tissue
Series: Lucky Lucas Novels, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 28,960. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Ex-con Ray Rhodes’ claim he was framed on weapons and drug charges is only the beginning when former cop Lucky Lucas is reluctantly dragged into an investigation as a family favor. Lucas quickly finds himself mixing with crooked cops, Chinese assassins, and a broken family with a disturbing and dangerous history that leads to blackmail and murder.