Mark Parker is an amazing man. He is not only an author but also the one man responsible for everything that happens at his publishing house Scarlet Galleon. To say that he is smart, dedicated, talented, funny and driven is quite the understatement. How he manages to accomplish everything he does and make it so amazing is beyond me but he does and from the covers to the stories it is all incredible. I have mad respect for him and everything he does. The books he writes are awesome. They will leave you wanting more and turning pages and holding your breath. Personally I would compare his writing to the likes of Dean Koontz as they are full of suspense and mystery. I read one of his books and well you know me, I had to meet the man behind the talent. So very glad that I did. If you haven’t read anything by Mark I highly recommend it immediately. Make sure you leave him a review and introduce yourself he is a great man.
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
MP: I was eleven or twelve. I wrote a horror short story titled “The Ice Cream Man”. Which, of course, my mother loved.
2. How many books have you written?
MP: Currently, I haven’t written any books, per se. I have a handful of digital shorts I self-published on Amazon—including “Biology of Blood,” “Lucky You,” “Way of the Witch,” “The Darkest Night of the Year,” “Banshee’s Cry,” “Hell’s Half Acre,” and “The Troll Diner”—and my work has appeared in four horror anthologies to date. My first pro-sale “The Scarlet Galleon” appeared in a vampire anthology from Sekhmet Press titled Wrapped in Red: 13 Tales of Vampiric Horror. I also wrote two holiday-themed stories, which appeared in anthologies for charity, benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, published by Grinning Skull Press. The two stories, respectively, were titled “Killing Christmas” (Return to ‘Deathlehem) and “Last Minute Shopper,” (‘Deathlehem Revisited), and I also had a short story published in the anthology KIDS (Vol. I) by Dark Chapter Press, titled “Born Bad.”
3. Anything you won’t write about?
MP: A big one for me is cruelty to animals. I touched the subject in my short story “Born Bad,” where a cat gets eviscerated, but I did it in service of the story—and begrudgingly.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
MP: I just turned 54 (ugh…). I am not married. I have never had children. And, currently, I don’t have a job outside of writing (whenever my schedule permits) and running my small-press publishing company, Scarlet Galleon Publications, which currently has 6 publications in-process.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
MP: That’s a difficult question to answer, because I like everything I’ve written, but for very different reasons. I really try to write stories that are in some way personal to me, whether it be tone, setting, characters, etc. I love them all.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
MP: I have been asked this question before, and the answer is always the same. Who inspired me to write? Stephen King, undoubtedly. What inspired me to write? His first published novel CARRIE. I remember using my allowance to purchase the book for a family friend, who said she liked ‘scary’ stories. I later saw the book at her house, and it was dog-eared from having been read. I remember that making me feel great; to note that a story (or, in this case, a long story in the form of a novel) could bring someone such pleasure. Even though I was in my early teens at the time, I distinctively remember thinking I want to do that someday…create a world with words.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
MP: I enjoy travelling, cooking, visiting with friends, reading, writing, binge watching my favorite TV shows—and sleeping!
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
MP: I haven’t noticed anything I do special when finishing a project. I suppose when I write my first novel, I will have to celebrate it in some way—perhaps by treating myself to something by way of reward. I’ll have to create a tradition. Mostly now, because I’m so busy, I just smile and move on to the next project requiring my attention.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
MP: The only place I write now is in my home office…well, my bedroom which doubles as an office. I tend to prefer total quiet when reading or writing. For me, that helps me concentrate more, and delve deeper into the story itself. I find that I see the story in my head—like watching a movie play out inside my mind. And for that reason, the quieter the better. I can really immerse myself in a story or writing project by falling headfirst into it. And the only way I can do that is by being in a quiet environment (although there have been times when I’ve had instrumental music on in the background.)
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
MP: Doing more of it. With Scarlet Galleon Publications growing bigger every day, my own writing has been forced to take a backseat for the moment, so I really look forward to the time when I can devote a bit more time to actually getting stories completed and published. I very much want to write a full-length novel, as well as a collection of short stories.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
MP: Well, of course my chief dream would be to become a well-known, widely read published author. Beyond that, when I dream it usually takes me to foreign lands. So, traveling would be cool. I love meeting new people, being immersed in new cultures, and—above all—experience new things that will infuse and inform my writing. I would also love to own a piece of land, perhaps near a mountain stream, where I could build a house and live quietly and comfortably.
12. Where do you live?
MP: I currently reside in the northeast United States.
MP: Yes. I have four cats. I would have more if I could, or definitely take on some dogs, but living in the city isn’t as conducive to that as living in the country. One day I want a huge barn, where we can all hang out together—me, more cats, some dogs, and definitely some horses. And sheep and lambs. They are both adorable when they’re first born. And maybe a baby pig.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
MP: Creating worlds with words. Entertaining people. Discovering more and more about myself through my writing—especially when the stories are gleaned from personal lived experience. In that way, they can be revelatory and even cathartic.
Mark and Scarlet Galleon have a few projects coming up:
Dark Hallows II: Tales from the Witching Hour (Oct. 2016)
Darkness Whispers (a novella) by Richard Chizmar and Brian James Freeman (Dec. 2016)
Fearful Fathoms: Tales of Aquatic Terror (Vols. I&II) (spring/summer 2017)
Dark Hallows III: Blood Moon (Oct. 2017)
Stalking Stuffers: Holiday Tales of Murder and Mayhem) (Dec. 2017 or 2018 – TBD)
You can connect with Mark here:
As always, thank you so much for letting us get to know you better! I wish you much success and loads of happiness!