Interview with dark fiction author Mark Kirkbride

Novelist Mark Kirkbride joins me today to chat
about his post-apocalyptic horror novel, Game Changers of the Apocalypse.
Kirkbride lives in Shepperton, England. He is the author of two novels, Game Changers of the Apocalypse and Satan’s Fan Club, published by Omnium
Gatherum. His short stories can be found in Under
the Bed
, Sci Phi Journal, Disclaimer Magazine and Flash Fiction Magazine. His poetry has
appeared in the Big Issue, the Morning Star, the Mirror and Horror Writers Association chapbooks.
Welcome, Mark. Please tell us about your
current release.
My latest novel,
just out in Kindle and print, is Game
Changers of the Apocalypse
. It’s a post-apocalyptic horror novel. The main
characters, Greg and Polly, have survived the apocalypse, yet shouldn’t have. So
the universe is about to be reset to correct for the anomaly that they
represent. But Greg and Polly gain access to a printer that prints drafts of
the future and have a brief window to try and sidestep their fates before a new
draft is completed.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had the
idea one night at university – a while ago now. I wanted to write a last-man-alive
novel but updated to last man and woman. It’s very much about the main characters’
relationship. The whole fate of the human race rests on them getting their
relationship to work. Unfortunately, they split up the day before the world
ended, and there’s an outside entity acting against them. No pressure then!
Excerpt from Game Changers of the Apocalypse:
Standing on paper, he leaned into the printer’s
invisible heat-field. The world’s ended
and I’m still coming to work…
But his hunch paid off. Another manuscript filled the tray.
snatched it up, Draft 3.
flicked through its warm pages. Come on,
come on, come on…
Polly going off had rendered Draft 2 obsolete. Where is she? Radical action on their
part could nudge fate in a different direction. Tell me. While unstable over time, short term the manuscripts’
predictions proved accurate. A clue.
Something. Anything…
With the right information, he could use Draft 3
against itself.
Yes. It worked. He found out
where she’d gone.
Oh, God, not there.
Not now…
a moment he could see himself from the outside, clasping the manuscript – the
story of their lives, written.
his grip, he noticed he’d smudged the cover page.
His thumb came
away with a black mark on it. The ink’s
still wet.
He left the manuscript on the side. There’s still time to change things, if I hurry.
What exciting story are you working on
At the moment
I’m working on a novella about a man who goes to confront God after the death
of his wife. The Devil exploits his grief and he gets caught up in the eternal
war between heaven and hell.
When did you first consider yourself a
I think it
creeps up on you gradually. A poem here, a short story there. Probably the big
milestone was getting my first novel published. But I think I’ve always been a
writer by temperament.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your
work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time
to write?
Sadly I don’t
write full-time. I also work as a Subtitle Editor in London and do other little
bits of freelance/commissioned work that crops up such as narrative design for a
video game developer or writing quiz questions for an app developer. Everything
tends to take priority over writing fiction but a lot of the best ideas arrive AFK
in any case and I think I’m always writing in my head.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I’m not sure
how quirky this is but I can’t write anything unless I have a title to begin
with – even if I end up changing it.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
For a long
time I wanted to be a pilot. I did end up doing some flying and did enough to
go solo but not enough to get a license. I sometimes think that writing is a
little like flying. You take off at full throttle and try and land on the shortest
runway possible.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I haven’t mentioned
this in public before but my grandmother died during the course of writing the
book (she was 102) and, partly to stick two fingers up to death, I brought her
back as a little girl at the end of it. Obviously I didn’t know her as a youngster
but l like to think the character embodies a little of her spirt.
Thank you for
Thank you for
being here today!

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