#Author Interview ~ Mark Gilleo @markgilleo
Hello and thanks for stopping by and visiting with me and the bunnies. It is so nice to have [Mark Gilleo here. Readers I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Oh, hold on [Mark] every time someone new stops by the dogs and bunnies go crazy.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
There are a handful of writers that I particularly enjoyed though I’m not sure how their influence manifests in my writing, if at all. One of the first writers I remember reading was Stephen King. I read all of his early stuff and loved it. In the last couple of years I have read most of the books he covered since 2000. I loved John Grisham. He is a first rate storyteller. David Baldacci cranks out good book after good book. I had the good fortune of meeting him several years ago and he was a gracious individual, on top of being a great writer. I burned through the Nelson DeMille collection over the last few years, and Michael Connelly has some really good books on his resume. Next up for me is Daniel Silva.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your book or getting it published that you would change?
In hindsight, there are two things I would change about my previous two books. For Sweat, I would have kept the mystery unrevealed to the writer for a longer period of time. There is no true mystery in the novel, other than the mystery of how they are going to address the issue at hand. I think I compensate for the lack of a true mystery with some great characters. For my book, Love Thy Neighbor, I would cut out a few thousand words.
What book would you like to read again?
There are a couple of books that I have read several times, but not many. The Roads to Sata is one. All over but the Shoutin’ is another. I was thinking the other day that I would like to read Cannery Row one more time. I think I loaned out my only copy of that book so I will have to hunt it down first.
Do you buy a book by the cover?
I have never bought a book based on the cover design. It is the last thing I care about.
Do you write under a pen name?
I don’t write under a pen name, but sometimes I think I should. My last name is Gilleo and it is pronounced “Gill” as in what you find on fish, and the letter “E” and “O” as if you were reading them from the alphabet. Gill-E-O. But I get a million variations. Galileo. Jilleo. Galleo. The list goes on.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
I do sometimes write in my PJs, but not often. On those rare instances when I don’t have parental duties in the morning, I will write in my PJs. Or if I am awake in the middle of the night, obviously, which happens with little kids in the house.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Flying, without a doubt. No more traffic to deal with? No more security lines at the airport? No more anxiety over the marvel of how planes stay in the air despite their size? Forget about it.
One food you would never eat?
Living and traveling in Asia, I consumed a lot of things that most people probably would steer clear of. Crickets, snake, bear, whale, worm, raw horse, turtle, blood, camel, ostrich, raw chicken dipped in raw egg yolk, whole sparrows grilled on a stick. Live fish, live shrimp, live octopus. I can’t really recommend any of them, but I refuse to eat brains.
Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
I would really like to go to Kingdom of Bhutan. I think that is about as far off the beaten track as it gets.
Do you prefer coffee, tea, or hot cocoa?
Coffee. I probably drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day. I have green tea in the afternoon sometimes. I can appreciate a nice Cappuccino, but it is not a daily order for me.
Who is your favorite singer?
I listen to a lot of Dave Matthews when I write, but I have everything from AC/DC, Led Zeppilin and Guns N’ Roses to Kenny G and Sade on my computer.
What is your favorite thing to eat/snack on while writing?
I thought this was an interesting question, believe it or not. I don’t really eat/snack on anything while I write. I may have a cup of coffee nearby, but it often gets cold before I finish it. I usually take a break, woof down a sandwich, or some trail mix, or nuts, and then keep writing.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
The craziest thing I have ever done sober was snorkeling with sharks in the Caribbean while they were being fed.
Candles or spray air fresheners?
Do you have a green thumb for plants?
I do for the plastic variety.
Besides writing what other artistic talents, do you have?
Absolutely none. Zero. Zippy.
What types of books do you write?
I write thrillers/mystery novels. Each of my books has been slightly different with regard to the subject. My first book, Love Thy Neighbor, is about a terrorist cell that is activated in the suburbs of DC. The book was inspired by real events. If you haven’t read the Author’s Note for Love Thy Neighbor, you should check it out. My second book, Sweat, is a political thriller about a Senator who gets involved with a sweatshop seamstress. My most recent book, Favors and Lies, is about a highly-skilled private detective who solves problems for a living. It is completely unique and it has a long cast of characters the protagonist engages to solve two murders.
What do you think of this term- Writer`s Block? How do you overcome it?
Knock on wood, I have never had Writer’s Block. But what I have had many times is “Write yourself out of a corner Block.” Typically, I don’t write with an outline, which for me is part of the excitement of writing. Unfortunately, on occasion, you can find yourself trapped by your own creation and you have to make changes or come up with a plausible scenario to free yourself and your story. That process can take a couple of days.
Are you self published or traditionally published?
Traditionally published through an independent fiction publisher, The Story Plant. Their books are available via Perseus and Ingram.
What`s the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The 75,000-80,000 word mark. For some reason, at about 75,000 words, I lose traction in the story and it becomes an exercise of grinding it out. It usually passes by the time I hit 90,000 words, but for a few weeks it is harder to produce meaningful work, for whatever reason.
When writing do you prefer typing or long hand with pen and paper?
There would be nothing more counter-productive for me than writing a manuscript with pen and paper. I would still be on chapter three of my first novel.
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
Sitting on the beach at the Outer Banks reading the first draft of my first manuscript. When I finished I thought to myself, “Hey, it didn’t make me want to puke.”
Any last words?
Read Favors and Lies. You will not be bored.
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Mark. It’s been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
Favors and Lies by Mark Gilleo
Publication Date: July 01, 2014
Number of Pages: 368
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | IndieBound | Wal-Mart
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
4.7 (7 reviews)
Awards: Finalist – National Indie Excellence Awards | Finalist – International Book Awards | Runner-Up – San Francisco Book Festival | Runner-Up – New York Book Festival | Winner – Beach Book Festival | 5 Star Recipient – Readers’ Favorite
Dan Lord is a forty-year-old private detective with a law degree working the blurred line between right and wrong in the Nation’s Capital. As a self-employed solutions broker and legal consultant, he works for a very select clientele. He doesn’t advertise and only takes cases on referral. But when two people close to him are murdered, Dan’s work becomes very personal.
With the assistance of a newly hired female intern, extracting clues from a ladder of acquaintances, Dan bounds through both the underbelly and elite of society, each step bringing more questions and yet ultimately taking him closer to the answer he seeks. A bail bondsman, a recluse hacker, a court clerk, a university student, an old-school barber, a high-class madam, an intelligence officer, a medical doctor, and a police detective are among the list of people Dan must cajole for help. His quest will lead him to discover things he never wanted to know, and put him in the position to reveal things that important people would prefer remain unrevealed.
Tense, ingenious, and filled with the unforgettable characters that have become a Mark Gilleo trademark, FAVORS AND LIES is the most thrilling novel yet from one of the great new voices in suspense fiction.
About the author:
Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, hiking and biking. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His two most recent novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wisdom creative writing competition.