Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Congratulations to The Wizard's Cauldron - Happy First Year

Congratulations to Wiz Green, aka Mark Barry, and The Wizard’s Cauldron, upon celebrating its first blogging year.   Your exceptional interviews have raised the bar in the industry....the quality and diversity of the posts are over the top, which supports the degree of excellence your fan base craves.  All the best for every success as you begin your second year.


Ultra Violence by Mark Barry - top 15 in Amazon UK rankings - Hooliganism continues to plague sporting events

Review by Mary Ann Bernal
Mr. Barry delves the reader into the bygone days of British football where team followers of Notts County clash with the myriad of opposing fans, resulting in violent clashes on game day.
 The story revolves around a middle-aged man whose life is in turmoil - a failed marriage, a disinterested son and a career on the line.  He suddenly finds himself reunited with friends from his youthful past, and while nostalgic memories are forefront, replicating events from an earlier era becomes a reality.
I enjoyed this story and recommend it to both men and women.
Forty. Receding pate. Failing marriage. Delinquent, uncaring son. Psycho boss parachuted in to cut the big earners. A few lost marbles? It wasn?t always like this. He used to be a face. A player. A terrace celebrity. Now hes just another faceless nobody on the brink of despair in a world he no longer recognises. One freezing winter?s day, a chance meeting with a face from the old days at Notts County changes everything. Especially when there?s an intriguing proposition on the table. One he may find difficult to refuse. Ultra Violence is the thrilling, humourous, nihilistic and sometimes moving story, told partially in flashback, of one mans journey from idealistic young fan to major football hooligan set against the shadow of a grim and soulless middle age in the bustling English city of Nottingham.

Gladiator's Pen: YouTube Marketing

Gladiator's Pen: YouTube Marketing: Everyone knows what YouTube is. Home of the hottest music videos and silliest cat videos, however it is also a great marketing tool for au...

The Phil Naessens Show 4-30-2013 Fantasy Baseball Tuesday Stick A Fork in Adam He’s Dunn


On the Fantasy Tuesday edition of The Phil Naessens Show Rotowire Fantasy Baseball Writer/Expert Nick Falk joins Phil to discuss catchers and corner infielders…..including whether or not its time for Fantasy Baseball owners to forget all about Adam Dunn

History Trivia - Edmund de la Pole executed

April 30

311 Emperor Galerius legal recognition of Christians in the Roman Empire.

313 Roman emperor Licinius unified the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule.

1006 Supernova was observed in Europe, China, Japan, and Egypt.

1513  Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, was executed on the orders of Henry VIII.

1527 Henry VIII of England and King Francis of France signed the treaty of Westminster.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Stream: Emprise - Kindle Edition - free through May 1st, 2013

Emprise for Kindle is free through this Wednesday, May 1, 2013
 In small-town Virginia, sixteen-year-old Charlie Patterson is hunting creatures that have escaped from the dream world, the Stream. With his partner, Robin LeBeaux, he discovers that something is tearing apart the gateway that separates dreams from reality, and even life from death. Now, he and Robin must find the source of the invasion from the dream world and stop it, before the entire universe turns to chaos.

There is, however, a complication -- Robin has begun to realize that she may be falling in love with her best friend, just when he no longer seems interested. First invading creatures from a nightmare realm threaten the fabric of reality, and now she has to fight off rivals for Charlie’s affection. Both teens' worlds are about to get very complicated.

Powerful, imaginative, poignant, funny and romantic, this exciting installment of The Stream features characters from the prior books, but with a story that stands on its own. It promises to please lovers of fantasy, adventure, and romance everywhere.

The Phil Naessens Show 4-29-2013 Week Five Major League Baseball Preview


History Trivia - Joan of Arc victorious over the English at Orleans

April 29

711 Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad land at Gibraltar to began their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).

1109 Hugh of Cluny died. Hugh was the driving force in bringing the monastery of Cluny to preeminence in medieval France.

1347 Catherine of Siena was born. Catherine, the patron saint of Italy, played a significant role in returning the Papacy from Avignon to Rome. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

1429 Joan of Arc led French forces to victory over English at Orleans.

Home Wrecker by Brenda Perlin - Release Party April 29, 2013 -TODAY 4 pm PST Behind the Scenes and More tantalizing tidbits

Cover Photo
You don’t have to be Home Wrecker to enjoy the book!
Please join me and my friends here on Facebook for my Home Wrecker book release party on Monday, April 29th at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Pacific Standard Time

Brenda Perlin 12:38am Apr 29

A Heroine Finds Her True Match

Ladera Ranch, April 29th, 2013: Home Wrecker, a contemporary fiction novel, is set to captivate readers across the globe with its re-release.

Home Wrecker is an exquisitely written coming-of-age story revolving around the main character, Brooklyn. This new novel is inspired by the true-to-life experiences of Brenda, although the names, places, and dates have been changed to protect identities. Through the novel, the author conveys the harsh realities faced by a woman conflicted between her heart and her conscience. When she reaches the painful realization that her yearning for a deep connection is not being fulfilled by the relationship with her husband, she finds herself inadvertently drawn into a passionate, soul-searching, struggle from the emptiness... and, in the process, becomes accused of being a Home Wrecker.

“From the moment I started reading this book I knew I was going to like it. Little did I know by the end of the book I would fall in love with it,”
–Natalie(Amazon Review)

Home Wrecker will be available through Master Koda Select Publishing, via Amazon, as a Kindle ebook and paperback April 29th, 2013.

Master Koda Select Publishing is a small, but high quality, publisher of ebooks and paperbacks. The company takes pride in its authors by implementing aggressive marketing initiatives. Master Koda Select Publishing selects only a few authors per year to ensure they are receiving the attention they deserve.

For further inquiries about Home Wrecker, please contact:

Kim Mutch Emerson


Home Wrecker:
"At the party, I remember a lot of drinking, dancing and people passing around a thin cigarette that didn't smell like my dad’s Marlboros. I didn’t really understand that they were using drugs because I had never witnessed it before. I was pretty sheltered and naïve about such things."
Home Wrecker:
"At the party, I remember a lot of drinking, dancing and people passing around a thin cigarette that didn't smell like my dad’s Marlboros. I didn’t really understand that they were using drugs because I had never witnessed it before. I was pretty sheltered and naïve about such things."

Home Wrecker
"He carried around an innocence that I no longer possessed; he was not jaded like me. So much bad stuff had happened and there were times when my hope was gone. He, on the other hand, still looked for the bright side. If only I could let go of some of the darker side that seemed to have haunted me throughout my life. I realized it was time to let go of the pessimism. I wanted to learn to look at things through his eyes."


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gladiator's Pen: Villains Are Valuable to Verse

Gladiator's Pen: Villains Are Valuable to Verse: Villains are essential for a story. They give our heroes and heroines purpose. Baddies help the good guys see how important the good thi...

The Ritual by Mark Barry - behind the scenes

The Ritual by Mark Barry

The Ritual, at 130,000 words, is Green Wizard’s longest piece of continuous work. It is horror, but like all Green Wizard books, it is written with a difference.

But first, a digression.
In 1982, at eighteen, as a student, I started work on a horror novel based on the magnificent cover of the first Black Sabbath album. 

I bought a secondhand typewriter and wrote most of it in a bedsit, where I lived with my then girlfriend, Julie.  (The rent was eleven pounds a week and it didn't change for three years). 

I wrote it in a huge bay window and I wrote most of it with the curtains open as I watched the people of Plymouth walk and drive by. 

Proper work

Writing with a typewriter is proper work. You have to really push the keys and you can’t write 2.5 k per day without causing serious repetitive strain injury before long. That’s why many of the books in the decade after the typewriter were much shorter and faster. Health reasons. You had to replace the ribbons (which was quite an expensive exercise ) and there was just the one choice of font. You crossed out mistakes and then, when you’d finished, you went back and rewrote the manuscript, eliminating the mistakes. 

If you wanted a copy for yourself, you inlaid the sheet of paper on which you were writing with royal blue carbon paper. 

After a while, you got used to it and some of the original manuscripts are works of art. The ones that survive from the golden era of writing in the fifties are worth money – the basis of my book “Hollywood Shakedown”. 

Writing on a word processor is fantastic – and, as I wrote the other other day – has democratised writing and created an explosion of creative talent  and desire the world over. But writing a complete manuscript on a typewriter it something else. 

(Any of you do it? I’m toying with the idea of doing so for Christmas to see what it’s like, whether I'm remembering something through rose tinted spectacles).

This is what my books are like, btw. Massive digressions.

A setback

So I wrote the manuscript and handed it to my friend Phil Hill to read. Excitedly, I awaited his response.

“I much prefer your assessed essays,’ he said, looking quite guilty.

So discouraged was I, I didn’t write a complete manuscript again for twenty three years.

The manuscript was thrown in with my diaries, cards and love letters from my then girlfriend Julie (whom I was going to marry, who I loved with rare enthusiasm, until she shagged a soldier (or a sailor) on a student bingo one night on Union Street, transforming a naïve young lad from Nottingham into the elephant-skinned cynic he is today), into a suitcase and stored in my dad’s loft. 

I tried to look for it a while back, but it had gone. Probably for the best.


The Ritual, which was written from January to March 2012, is the son and daughter of that manuscript. At the time, in the eighties, I was reading King, Herbert, Sharman, Hawkey, the amazing Peter Straub, the last embers of the New English Library literati, and anything I could get my hands on. 

I must have read every single modern horror paperback printed between 1980 and 1985. Then I stopped. Just like that. I was no longer interested in horror fiction. The desire just left me behind.

So why The Ritual? 

I guess it was something from my unconscious, a debt to be paid to all those authors who taught to me to read and write more than any English teacher did at the rather brutal school I was forced to attend as a child. 

But mainly, I wrote it because I realised that no one writes long books any more.

Almost every book I read in those years, (the late seventies to the middle eighties), was a long read, a shoebox, a doorstop sandwich. 

Something which could last at least a week of a fortnight’s beach holiday in Benidorm. A book you couldn’t slide into a jacket pocket. And all this with size ten Times New Roman. Big books. 

A big, memorable read.

After a standard sized opener (Carrie), shockmeister Stephen King wrote three long classics in a row: The Shining, which is a monster of a book and possibly the greatest horror book ever written, Salem’s Lot, which is a long, long book about vampires which still has the capacity to curdle milk, and most colossal of all, The Stand.

Not particularly horror, but very, very long and scary in parts. King memorably described the latter as his Vietnam War and it nearly drove him mad.

His friend and confidante Peter Straub seemed incapable of writing a short book at the time and wrote three increasingly scary novels - a loose horror trilogy, Shadowland, the brilliant Ghost Story, and the book that most inspired The Ritual, the unbelievable Floating Dragon.

(Straub turned to horror after his serious literature novels sold in the tens and then returned to serious literature without ever replicating the success of this trilogy – by some way the best written horror novels in history).

Other authors followed suit with the big long books: There’s the magnificent Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon (which will knock your head off) and Judgement Day by Nick Sharman. Long long books. You can still find these books now in second hand shops and online.

The reincarnation of the blockbuster

Then, as soon as I disappeared from the world of horror fiction, it appeared that so did the long novel. 

When I started writing, I was surprised to see that Amazon classed 50,000 words as a Novel and 80,000 words as moving into Epic territory. I had to laugh. I wouldn’t buy a book as short as 50k. I’d only just be getting into it and I would feel cheated. It seems that not only music, films and TV had descended into dumbed down status.

So, bearing all this in mind, I decided to write a horror novel. A big, epic horror blockbuster.

My favourite genre in horror is the Resurrect Lucifer genre. 

Satan Worshippers. You can keep vampires and zombies and all that – they don’t exist and thus, I am uninterested in reading about them, 

But near me, is a coven of witches. 

Near where I live, in a small village near Mansfield, there is rumoured to be a sect of wife swapping devil worshippers from all over the East Midlands who sacrifice goats, and black chickens and white cockerels on certain nights of the year.

Walpurgisnacht. April 30th/May 1st. The night the witches dance.

Near me, are Druids.

Real people. Messing about with the occult. Some of them are trying to resurrect Satan.

Love it!

The Ritual: Contents

Original Pre July Cover designed by
Igor and Oleg Designs of Carpathia

The motif for Green Wizard is Ordinary People. Extraordinary Situations. The Ritual fits it like a glove.

So The Ritual is about a satanic cult of American devil worshippers who follow a mother and a daughter from Ohio to the prosperous town of Wheatley Fields

It’s not clear why they do so. Mum (the MILFY, Lindsay Wagner look-a-like, Phillippa) and Daughter (the angry, outlandish, England-hating Emo, Jennifer), are unaware of the stalking until strange things start to happen in their lives. 
And the strangeness transfers to the posh, insular people who live in the town which begins to erupt. 

People die horribly. Unexplained deaths. Missing people. Strange animals. An infestation of  ravens. Worms consuming gardens. Ephemeral shadows everywhere just under the level of perception. A terrifying spider visiting each house. An uncatchable spider, unnaturally fast, the size of a saucer.

The church is taken over by the handsome and popular American, The Reverend Starkweather. Shops are bought for amazing prices and before you know it, the Americans are coming in force. Soon. You cannot get a hotel room anywhere. There is an event coming to Wheatley Fields. A once in a lifetime event.

Oblivious, Phillippa and Jennifer try to get on with their lives – until one day, it’s too late.

It’s wacky, intense, bloody, sexy, fast paced, cheeky, gory, political, has a core of social comment and a skin of bleak 2012 reality, and it ends in a Crank-style climatic bloodbath I haven't seen in years.

Chapter's 36 and 41 are well over the top, as are the Uppity Box chapters. The characters are engaging and likeable, even when they are no supposed to be. There are references to over fifty Hammer Horror films. 

There are historical references, there is psychic phenomena; there are gorgeous lipstick lesbians, massive explosions, disappearing things, horrible animal infestations, doppelgangers, evil American villains, nasty English snobs getting their just desserts - and some mint jokes.  

(NB: "mint" is British English for "great")

And there three twists which none of my proofreaders spotted. 

Talking about myself? I generally hate  my own work and I absolutely detest having to market my work on FB, Goodreads and worst of all - the absolute worst of all - Twitter. 

But I can read this book over and over again.  It has everything I want to read in a book.

Gosh, that was a long and self indulgent article!! Enjoy. Love, Wiz xx

Oh. The original title for The Ritual was The Daughter of Satan

TDOS cover
Igor and Oleg Designs 2012

Visit Mark Barry's author page at Amazon for a complete selection of his work.


History Trivia - Conrad of Montferrat assassinated

April 28

32 Emperor Otho (second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors) was born.  His reign lasted three months - January 15 - April 16, 69.

357 Emperor Constantius II, after dealing with the Franks, visited Rome before moving his army north to campaign against the Sarmatians, Suevi and the Quadi along the Danube. Constantius spent most of his reign quelling uprisings throughout the Roman Empire, succumbing to a fever in the winter of 361 at Mopsucrene (central Turkey).

585 War between Lydia (modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir) and Media (modern northwest Iran) ended by solar eclipse.

1192 Assassination of Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), King of Jerusalem, in Tyre, two days after his title to the throne was confirmed by election.

1442 King Edward IV of England was born. The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to this throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Night I Danced With Rommel - Book Review

Review by Mary Ann Bernal
The Night I Danced with Rommel is about the life of a young German woman, Hilde, who survived World War II.  The author brings to life the time period, accurately describing the events, which shaped Hilde’s life.  The reader is drawn into a war-torn country where civilians are not privy to the truth of Hitler’s regime, where speculation and fear dominate daily life.  Hilde’s courage is evident as she tries to maintain a degree of normalcy with her young children while her husband is deployed, which is severely tested during the bombing raids.  The gamut of emotions is evident, no matter the nationality of the political arena.  A great read and highly recommended.



Home Wrecker by Brenda Perlin - Release Party April 29, 2013 - More tantalizing tidbits

You don’t have to be Home Wrecker to enjoy the book!
Please join me and my friends here on Facebook for my Home Wrecker book release party on Monday, April 29th at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Pacific Standard Time

Cover Photo

Brooklyn is a Southern California girl that married the wrong man--only it took her over fifteen years to realize it.

Why? Because the heroine of this recently completed novel, Home Wrecker thought by looking for a different kind of man would lead her to the man she should have been looking for all along.

Set in California in the 1960’s through current day, this first person character driven narrative is a 70,000 word true life romance story. Names, places, dates and the circumstances of the characters in this memoir have been changed to protect their identities.

An interview with writer Mark Barry, founder of Green Wizard Publishing

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Indie Goldfish Bowl - Ngaire Elder meets writer Mark Barry

Hello Wizardwatchers. Ngaire here. Lovely to see you all. 

Well, the other day, I was minding my own business when the phone rang. Answering, I was asked by a friend to pet-sit their children’s goldfish.  They were only going away for a week, and so I agreed. Goldie (not his real name, changed for obvious reasons) was to get a pinch of fish food every day and that was it. Simple as! Day 4 came and went without a hitch. This is easy-peasy I thought,  then  Day 5 arrived and it all went horribly wrong!

There was Goldie floating at the top. 
The horror and dread of telling my friend’s children of Goldie’s fate. I could imagine their painful sobs. 
Then I had a brainwave. Buy another Goldie. And that was what I did. I wrapped the dead goldfish in kitchen roll. Popped him in a freezer bag and made my way to the pet shop. The shopkeeper was very helpful and we managed to find an almost identical Goldie-replacement. Goldie Mark II was a tiny bit smaller but ‘no one will notice that’ assured the shopkeeper.
Proud as punch and very much relieved I popped Goldie Mark II in his new fish bowl and never said a word. To this day my friend knows nothing and that is how it shall remain.
I wonder if her children knew that it wasn’t the ‘real’ Goldie …?

Mark Barry
Anyway, enough fishy tales and on with this show. 

Today's guest is Mark ("The Ritual", "Ultra Violence") Barry who is really busy right now and has come in to discuss what's happening in Wizardworld. 

Here he is - and he's shaking his bendy wand at me!


Hi Mark, how are you.

Hiya Ngaire...I'm fine thanks. Happy to be on the show!

Delighted to have you! So, Mark you are a man of mystery, a man with no face on the cyber cat-walk:  Tell us Wizardwatchers a little about yourself.
I’m a writer, first and foremost, Ngaire. I live in the Midlands of the UK, in the middle of Sherwood Forest. I love horse racing, Notts County FC, heavy metal and my family. I have a sixteen year old son, Matt. I’ve written six books. When I grow up, I want to be a pub singer called Mike Champagne.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Definitely not when I was a kid! I was a reader then and didn’t even write a diary. Too busy playing out. I wrote my first novel when I was twenty, to see whether I could do it - only for it to be totally panned by a friend of mine, so with the exception of several porn stories I sold to “Knave” magazine in 1986, I didn’t write again for another twenty three years. 

Bodie and Doyle - TV's "Professionals" - take a sneaky gander at
"Hot For Teacher", Mark's first published story. Probably.
In 2003, I was a player on a US online forum and used to write skits and little sketches. Lots of people liked my stuff and I’ve been writing ever since. 

In all, including the Green Wizard novels, half written manuscripts, folders full of utter rubbish, bad ideas, jokes and journals, I must have written a million words in the past decade.

Mark, you have a number of novels published, but today I want you to chat about The Ritual, your thriller, which I am reading and enjoying very much. Thanks for the nightmares by the way! What made you choose to write in the thriller genre and where did the ideas come from for The Ritual?
Massive horror novel fan when I was young.  Wheatley, King, Straub, Herbert (RIP), Sharman, Campbell Tryon all those great writers monopolised my reading time. Then, I stopped, roughly about the time of Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood”. I read one of those and thought, nah, this is bollocks (I’m not a Barker fan at all), and stopped reading the genre. 

I wrote The Ritual in a fit of nostalgia during the writing binge, which fuelled Green Wizard.  I guess I was laying the ghosts of that first critically panned novel to rest, if we’re getting Jungian about things! I even included one of the characters from that first novel in The Ritual.

Did certain parts of The Ritual make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?

Only the sex, Ngaire. There’s one chapter in there, which is positively filthy and I won’t be buying my mum a copy for Christmas. Nah, the horror is fine. Looking forward to seeing the remake of the Evil Dead soon. Can’t have enough screaming demons, gushing blood and fiery death, can one? 

To complete your question, I’m just not comfortable writing erotica, like your earlier guest Keith Nichols. I can do it – I wrote one book, “The Illustrated Woman” which is just non stop bonking – and I think I’m pretty good at it, but I always feel guilty afterwards. It's the Catholic in me! The Ritual wouldn’t work without that chapter though, so it wasn’t gratuitous.

A wee question, I have a niggle. Regarding The Ritual, specifically book 3 chapter 9: Phillipa and Carmel go on a mad shopping spree in Nottingham. Your description of women’s clothes was incredibly knowledgeable; you knew more than me! Can you explain how that is possible?
Haha. I let my animus loose! Kelly Sherwood and I worked closely on The Ritual – she did all my reading in the old days - and she will tell you that I followed the route I describe exactly and I spoke to her on the mobile phone asking her questions. 

There was an awful lot of leopard skin prints about in 2011 and also a brief spurt of Mad Men fashions – early fifties stuff.  They all made it into the book. 
In Hollywood Shakedown, Monique – my favourite female character – goes shopping in a genuine LA mall and that’s similar. There is a two-page homage to shoes*. I love women’s shoes – all my books feature high heeled women’s shoes somewhere about.  

With regards to The Ritual, did you work with an outline, or just write?

Unless you count my 24-hour internal plot meetings (I become obsessed with a book), I’m the ultimate pantser. Never written a plot outline in my life. I also write things out of order, which some writers don’t understand.  The Ritual, whose ending has pissed off many people, is based on a famous old horror film and that came first: I knew the ending before I knew the beginning.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of The Ritual or getting it published that you would change?
I’d rewrite Chapters 7-13. My top pal Clive La Court couldn’t get past them. I thought the book was too short at a 100,000 words, so I added bits at the beginning.  Because of that, I’m just not happy with the flow. However, from 14-43, I consider the work to be up there with my best. 

Your company, Green Wizard Publishing, is in the process of publishing an anthology. Care to divulge more?

Reality Bites is twelve authors strutting their stuff on the subject of Hope from Despair.  The writing is top notch and there are twelve top short stories. Death, recovery from domestic abuse, rape, grieving, child abuse and horrific food addiction are just some of the topics.  

Quite a few of the authors have been interviewed here on the Cauldron including Emma Edwards, Rae Gee and Suzanne Van Rooyen – well-known names in Indie Circles – and there are a couple of new faces (to me) on board, including Christy L Foster who is organising the books release event next week. I like it and it’s a big divergence for the company. If it does well, I’ll commission more short stuff.

Cover by Dark Dawn Designs

Was it difficult to decide which Indie Authors would appear in Reality Bites; there is so much talent out there?

Loads of people expressed an interest, but the list sorted itself out. It’s like that old cliche – everyone has a book in them. Well, yes they have, but the hard part is getting it out.  

Short stories are hard work.  To be honest, the whole process was a nightmare. I had one girl drop out the night before the deadline. One friend of mine, who I had known for seven years, spat his dummy into the stratosphere, because I wasn’t communicating with him enough about his submission, and we no longer speak. Another potential author became very ill and pulled out.  (I understand that, by the way). Another wouldn’t return my mails.  It was much harder than writing novels!
If you had to sum Reality Bites up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

Reality writing – fiction, “faction” and life representation – of the highest order written by some of the most talented independently published authors operating today.
Oh, when is Reality Bites due to be published, Mark?
Saturday 13th April. About five weeks late haha  But Miss, I have an excuse – or twenty. 
Finally, I have heard you are due to appear on Mackenzie Knight’s paranormal radio show, Unearthly Encounters. What are you going to chat about and tell us when and how we can tune into the live show?

Mackenzie has become a great friend of mine. One of the top paranormal DJ’s in the States, my appearance on there is one of the great achievements of the Green Wizard year. Ngaire, I cannot wait. I’m going to talk about The Ritual, plus weekend devil worship and sex rituals involving the British middle class; a kind of upmarket dogging scene, but with sinister undertones and surprising manifestations.  
We’ll be talking horror, ghosts (I’ve seen several), aliens and loads of mad things. I hope we talk about The State of Indie and I hope we talk about writing.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Just how unoriginal many people are in Independent Literature.  I thought I would be surrounded by brilliant writers, but that’s not the case. Everyone does the same thing. No one seems to have any confidence in their work and no one innovates.  

First thing publishers look for – Is This Stuff New and Fresh.  Every time.  I thought Indie would be as experimental as anything out there, but mainstream publishers are killing us for innovation.  

What an opportunity we have too! Yet, as a group, we just write the same novel and publish it ten thousand times under ten thousand different author names.  What Steampunk maestro Rae Gee calls Novel Writing 101

Show, not tell. 
Lots of dialogue. 
Minimal description. 
Plot, plot, plot. 

In other words: Films on paper. Novels are novels!

Sites like Awesome Indies don’t help. Their review criteria include the debatable “show” rather than “tell” guideline.  Nonsense! A brilliant book like House of Meetings by Martin Amis wouldn’t get past that criteria. Neither would anything by Garcia Marquez. Or Henry Miller. My two-page homage - totally irrelevant and deliberately digressive - to Monique’s hypnotic shoes in Hollywood Shakedown wouldn’t pass either - but a hundred books full of an identical blandness will.  Same old, same old. Dot to Dot Novel Writing.

Indie is the most conformist market in the world because there is a prevailing reluctance to try anything new - because while the guardians of the slush pile at Faber and Faber are fearsome, no one is as damaging to one’s ego as a peer. This is the thing that has surprised me most, Ngaire.

Strong opinions!

I am available for children's parties...

Hahahahaha. So, if you could spend a day as someone else, who would it be and why?

A sailor on a Greenpeace anti-whaling vessel in the Pacific getting in the way of Japanese whale murderships. (*spits*)
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Martin Amis “Money”.  The best book written in this country, this century. Flawless and an inspiration.

Tell us one of your favourite quotes …

I'll show you, Ngaire.

And finally, where can fans of Mark Barry find out more?


Twitter Handle: @greenwizard62

Green Wizard Blog Business:  http://greenwizardcarla.blogspot.co.uk/

Mark, thanks for coming on the show...

You're welcome. When is your last show for the Cauldron, Ngaire? Your run has proved incredibly popular.

Well, I am concluding next week with an interview with Kim Scott. Then, vampire writer and big Cauldron friend Emma Edwards takes the reins - that will be fun - and I'm sure there's a certain Wizard on his way back from holidays to take over. I'm coming back though, once a month as it stands.

That's brilliant. I hear over three thousand people have seen your shows. That's significant ratings for a once weekly author interview blog. I'm sure Wiz will be glad to have you



"Death.  Domestic abuse. Ritual exploitation. The passing of a loved one. Child battery. Horrifying food addiction. Brutal bullying.  Friendship gone bad.  Drugs.  Family collapse. Loss. Despair.  

These are the bricks in the walls of Hell. 

That would be real hell. Not the imaginary hell of the biblical scribe, the epic fantasist, the horrorphile, the metaphorist, the allegory peddler or the unreliable narrator. 

This is the real Hell.

But no matter how bleak things become in that impenetrable abyss, no matter how bleak, no matter how pitch black, there is always the bottom rung of a threadbare rope ladder dangling from the precipice – and the message is:  the rung is in reach.

This is Reality Bites. 

Twelve fictional stories by twelve superb independent authors, each of whom is a card-carrying survivor of the abyss.  And these are their tales."