Welcome to my stop on Mark Brend’s Undercliff blog tour with Love Groups Tours!
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Group for arranging the following interview with Mark Brend…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’m a writer and a musician based in Devon. I’ve written five non-fiction books and contributed to many more. As a songwriter/composer/recording artist I’ve released six albums under various artist names. I also work in charity communications and as a music journalist.
Undercliff is my first novel.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
There’s no single place. But I’m not a great believer in sitting around waiting for inspiration. I think you get more ideas the more you work. You make your own luck.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
How do you pick your characters’ names?
I just cast around until I find something that I think fits OK.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I’m not sure I call it a process. I plug away when I’ve got the time until I end up with something that I think is ready to publish. I don’t have any regular routines. I do a fair amount of rewriting, though I can’t say it it’s a normal amount or not.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
I’m not sure I can answer that. I’ve read thousands of books by hundred of authors, and enjoyed a very great proportion of them. It wouldn’t seem right to single out a top five. At the moment my favourite period is mid-20th century British fiction.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’m reading a George Simenon book right now. I’ve read maybe 40 of his books, which is barely scratching the surface. I’d ask him: how did you do it? How did you write so many books, and never falter on quality control? My hunch is he wouldn’t be able to answer – or at least, he wouldn’t be able to reveal a trick that enabled him to do it.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Not especially. Average, I guess.
When did you start to write?
Professionally, as a journalist, in 1996. My first book was published in 2001.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on another novel, which is set close to the location of Undercliff, but at a different time, so it isn’t a related book. I have a vague idea for a combined sequel/prequel to Undercliff aswell, but I think that’s a way off.
Tell us about your last release?
My most recent non-fiction book, The Sound of Tomorrow (Bloomsbury 2012), explores early commercial electronic music. I also researched and wrote an associated BBC Radio 4 documentary, A Sound British Adventure.
Do you have a new release due?
Not after Undercliff, no.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Mark 🙂
It’s the summer of 1972, and 30-something divorcee Martyn returns to London after some years away. He joins the Olive Grove, a religious community, where he forms a relationship with Amelia. Over time Martyn becomes suspicious of the Olive Grove’s leaders, a pair of apparently ordinary men who can speak in perfect unison, known as the Two. A sequence of ambiguous events might indicate that the Two have malign purposes, though Martyn cannot be sure. These suspicions come to a head when Amelia breaks off with Martyn and appears to vanish. He travels to Devon, where the Olive Grove has a retreat house, in search of Amelia and the truth about the organisation. There, events take several disturbing and unexpected turns.
Mark Brend is a writer and a musician based in Devon. He has written several books about music and has released six albums under various artist names. Undercliff is Mark’s first novel.
happy reading 🙂