Exclusive Interview with

Mark Rutherford

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

When did you start writing?

I've enjoyed writing ever since I learned how to. For most of my life I have only written for enjoyment, short and often witty or satirical pieces, for a limited audience. I started writing as a post retirement profession for both fun and to see if I could write a major work.

What makes writing your passion?

I love the creative process and the fun of actually writing. It is a very liberating thing to start putting pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard and letting what is in your mind flow out into text. I constantly amaze myself that I could write what comes out and am eager to do it again.

How long have you been writing?

As a profession, about two years.

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

A lot of pride and satisfaction but also a sense of relief that the dream was now reality.

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

The novel is an allegory of our times so my main characters, though entirely fictional, may resemble real and recent political figures.

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

The publishing world. It seems pretentious and over caters for interest groups. There is a degree of arrogance when it comes to new authors. The attitude is that they may be interested but only on their terms. The arrogance of accepting a submission but telling the author they "might" get back to him or her and it could be months - or never - is an example.

How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I don't really have a problem. In fact I am keen to start writing because I know that what ends up being written is generally better than what I was thinking about.

We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

I am perhaps fortunate that I don't need to write for a living. I'd like to make some income as validation of my efforts, but I don't need to. I keep going because I want to, because it challenges me, I get validation from those who read my work, even if the numbers are small.

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

So far I have not had a bad one. I have had constructive verbal feedback which has been very valuable.

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Pride. Pleasure.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes. In Volcanic Winter the VP is attending the Superbowl and is invited to do the kick off. He declines for fear of kicking the wrong way. I saw this happen with a politician at a rugby game.

Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

None

What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

No, but it is a vital part of marketing.

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I am more than happy to engage with them. In a Covid world it is difficult to do so.

How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Pride. Pleasure

Who is your favorite author? Why?

I probably have a number. Nicholas Monserrat wrote great sea going novels decades ago, Ken Follet's immense sagas are great and there are numerous "classic" authors now long gone that I love to read.

What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

I don't have that aspiration.

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

No. I prefer to write the next one and make it the best I can.

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

I don't want to do that.

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Fortunately I have no experience. Anyone who gets pleasure out of such negativity is, in my opinion, suffering from some mental deficit and is not worthy of engagement.

What would you say to your readers?

Tell your friends to buy my books.

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I live in Sydney Australia. Before pandemics I spent about half the year in USA where my daughter, son-in-law and three children live and where mu wife and I are in the middle of a 7000 mile boating odyssey. In Australia we have our son, his wife and two children.

What is your day job if you have one?

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I am a sailor of both sail boats and power boats. As well as a writer I am a reader which is my preferred relaxation. My wife and I like to travel and used to do it a lot until the world got locked down. Now we enjoy discovering things locally and walk or kayak to new places.

Did you have a happy childhood?

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

Less screen time and more physical activity.

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

What is your favorite music?

Share a secret with us 🙂

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!