Monday, December 7, 2009

Mark Coggins

Heather Paye interviewed Mark Coggins, the award-winning author of The Immortal Game, Vulture Capital, Candy from Strangers, Runoff, and The Big Wake-Up, his new August Riordan novel. Part of their Q & A:

Heather: How do you invent your characters?

Mark: I’m often inspired traits or personalities of real people I meet or know—but usually draw one “seed” characteristic from real individuals and embellish from there. None of my characters are meant to be full portrayals of real folks.

Heather: I know a few authors who keep records (almost like police records) of height, weight, background, etc. of their characters, do you keep tabs on your characters, and if so, what do you usually make note of?

Mark: I know writers who do that as well, but I’ve never felt the need to go quite that deep in documenting the fictional back stories of the people that populate my books. Occasionally, I do need to double-check facts about my series characters from other novels to make sure I stay consistent. I’m afraid I’m not organized enough to keep the information in notes, though. I always end up thumbing through the old books to pull the details.

Heather: Some authors say that they feel as though his or her characters are real, do you feel this way, and what do you think about this?

Mark: I certainly try to..[read on]
Read an excerpt from The Big Wake-Up, and learn more about the book and author at Coggins' website and blog.

Check out the post over at The Rap Sheet on the story behind the story of The Big Wake-Up.

Read the results of the Page 69 Test for Mark Coggins' Candy from Strangers, and see who he -- and some Hollywood-types -- would cast in an adaptation of Candy from Strangers.

The Page 69 Test: The Big Wake-Up.

--Marshal Zeringue