Mark A. King
There are 24 hours in the day. Why did you choose this hour for your story?
I didn’t choose the hour. I was called to help fill a gap at the last minute. Indeed, I wrote the story very quickly, only to discover the time had also been given to someone else, so I had to revise it again.
What is your story about?
It’s the dark soul of online exploitation. A criminal uses the world time-zones to bribe and extort money from victims in different countries, in numerous ways. He is the hunter, he is the watchman, but perhaps someone (or something) watches him.
Who are your darkest influences?
Stephen King is an obvious choice, I also love the work of Dean Koontz. More locally I rather enjoy the work of David Shakes, Steph Ellis and Marie MacKay.
How would you encourage a non-horror fan to read your story?
There is enough horror in the world that is real that I shouldn’t have to encourage anyone to enjoy a piece of fiction where the stakes are not as high. Come and read, escape the horrors on TV, radio, print and social media.
Do you write in other genres?
I spend most of my time in Speculative Fiction, which covers a wide spectrum of genres.
I enjoy stories that are set in worlds we recognise yet have hints of the unreal or supernatural about them.
What is your favourite time of day?
This very much depends on what day it is.
Monday – Friday, it’s either the minute I walk into my home, or the moment my aging head hits the pillow.
At weekends, it’s a Saturday or Sunday morning coffee in bed. Bliss.
Do you have any other publications or work you would like to tell us about?
My debut novel, Metropolitan Dreams was released recently, it’s a story about two sides to the same city. It’s about criminals, the vulnerable, the unseen, and angels or entities older than time. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=B01N6T3TO8
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel, Metropolitan Fear, set in New York City.
Where can we find you online?
6 Who do you think are the 6 most evil humans in history?
Well, I’m be surprised if Hitler didn’t make every list, so he’s got to go on mine. While he wasn’t alone and there were probably others that were loyal to him that were worse, he started the process and inspired them.
This one will be controversial, but hey. Henry VIII. For a large number of reasons. Killing several wives for his own failure to produce a male heir. Spreading scandalous and fabricated stories so he could dispose of his marriage and engage in another. His destruction of the countries assets, the hundreds of years of murder, torture and persecution that followed his rather selfish needs (have I convinced you yet?)
Vlad III. Yes, the guy that impaled his own people (in the most horrifying and truly painful way possible). The same guy that inspired Dracula. I watched a documentary on it once and it was more terrifying than any horror film I have watched.
Pol Pot. Where do I start? Horrific. Genocide on a truly brutal and unfathomable scale.
Nero. Genocide. Persecution. Parricide. Barbarism beyond belief. Evil, for sure.
Stalin. Few people have killed as many or been as responsible for the atrocities that he has.
6 Who do you regard as the 6 most evil villains in literature or film?
Arby and Lee, from Utopia. Arby is about as scary a psycho as I’ve seen in anything. The scene in the school was almost unwatchable. Lee, who wasn’t in it long, for one of the worst scenes I can remember. I couldn’t choose between them.
Corky Laputa, from Dean Koontz’s The Face. A villain who gives LSD to school kids. An anarchist of the highest and most deluded order. A man that keeps another man rotting in a room, referring to him only as Stinky Cheese Man, because of the decay.
Amy, from Gone Girl. Holy Moly, truly scary in a way that made me look at every smiling and ‘nice’ person in a whole new way.
The Joker, as played by Heath Ledger. “Some people just want to watch the world burn.”
Patrick Bateman, American Psycho, as played by Christian Bale. Rather interesting that I’ve picked ‘Batman’ and ‘Joker’.
6 What do you think are the 6 most disgusting meals or food products ever created?
Curry – I know I’m going to offend a lot of people. It’s one of the most popular and beloved meals in the world, but I’ve never liked the smell or flavour.
Anything overtly spicy. I think I’m what’s known as a ‘super-taster’ which means that I can detect even the tiniest amount of ground pepper in a meal. Some food labels say ‘mild’ yet I find them too hot to eat.
Hershey's chocolate. At first I thought it was just me. Then we went trick or treating in the local town, which has many American air force houses. All the chocolates in our house and others were gone over the next few months, years later the Hershey’s were still in the cupboard. I’d also dispute that it’s to do with UK tastes as many American friends much prefer Cadbury. I watched a documentary recently that said the taste of Hershey’s was similar to vomit for many people. Personally, I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s not nice.
Celery. Yuk. It’s got a horrible taste that makes me shudder just thinking about it. It’s also got a stringy texture that adds to the experience.
Olives. I just don’t ‘get’ them. Someone I know said that if you eat anything six times you’ll start to enjoy the taste. But why would you do that to yourself? Once, or twice was enough to tell me not to go back again.
Guinness. Yes, I know it’s not a meal, but it tastes like one. Strangely, my Irish blood can’t stand the taste or smell of it. I’ve only once managed an entire pint of it and it took ages. It looks amazing and I wished I could drink it, but no, like the olives, I’ve tried too many times for my liking already.
Tick, tock, time’s up