Hello and welcome to another author interview!! This month I am pleased to introduce you to Mark 🙂
Hello Mark! Thankyou for taking some time to chat with us! Tell us a bit about your book?
“The Time Detective – Discovery” is actually the second book I wrote but the first published. I’ve always enjoyed crime thrillers and sci-fi books so to put the two together was quite a bit of fun.
It follows the times of Marshall Bellows in 2016 and his alter-ego Allan Besley in 1956 (after the discovery of a wormhole that allowed him to travel back 60 years during the chase for a serial killer). Discovery is book #1 and I am currently writing #2 which will be titled “The Time Detective – Between Two Worlds”
What would say is the genre for your book?
Definitely more of a thriller genre with a sci-fi twist
Where did the inspiration come from?
I think I was watching either an episode of Criminal Minds or CSI and I thought…..What if a body was found that the DNA proved was of a particular missing person but the condition and appearance was totally wrong. Time travel solved all that
How did you come up with the title for your book?
It just seemed so obvious to me. The title was already in my mind before I started on the story.
How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?
From memory I believe it took only a few weeks from start to finish. It is only a shortish book at just over 44K words.
The editing only required a few changes, mainly grammatical and took a few months because of a time constraints. Me being in Australia and my publisher, Austin Macauley being in the UK.
Are there any characters in the book based on people you know?
None whatsoever. All characters are from my imagination.
How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?
No party. Just a few quiet sips with the family.
Would you care to give us an extract?
He approached the table where the last body had been placed and, without looking at Marshall, he said, “You were pretty much on the money with this one, though if I were a betting man, of which I most certainly am not, I would say closer to 60 years this unfortunate lass has been in the ground.”
“You said lass … this is the body of a female?”
“Yes … see here … the pelvic area has a larger subpubic angle, it’s greater than 90 degrees. Also, the bone sizes are quite different. Decomp is total here, though I still might be able to get some DNA from any marrow.
“What’s that around the neck? … It looks like some sort of necklace … can you get that first, please Doc, and I’ll have it examined against what we know about any victims, though after this length of time, it’s going to be nigh on impossible.”
“You’re right there, Marshall, though I should be able to get a cast of the teeth, they seem to be in pretty good condition. Maybe that will assist you as well, in determining who this poor girl was.”
“Any indication of age?” asked Marshall.
“I would say late teens, she hasn’t given birth and the fillings are … wait a minute, I would have assumed that these fillings here and here,” Dr. Hall said, pointing to the two filings in question, “these would have been silver amalgam or silver mercury, we rarely use them anymore. But these, it’s got me stumped, they appear to be composite resin which is fairly new – not what I would have expected to see here.”
It took Dr. Hall a few minutes to clean up the neck area and when finished he dropped the necklace into the evidence bag that Marshall held open. As he did so, Marshall saw it and his brow creased, as if deep in thought. He mumbled a few words of thanks and left quickly.
On arrival back at his headquarters, Marshall went straight to the file for Abby Holmes. He flicked open the pages and found the photo and description that had jogged his memory. The photo, gotten from Abby’s mother, showed a necklace with a forget-me-not blue flower inside a circular ring with the words FORGET ME NOT inscribed at the bottom. It was an exact match to the necklace that the Coroner had cleaned and placed in the evidence bag.
Marshall was stunned. He rang the Coroner and said that he wanted a DNA as soon as possible, if not sooner. And he wanted the dental x-rays from the body emailed immediately. The fillings shown to him by Dr. Hall were of the left upper and lower second pre-molar. Marshall slowly removed the dental x-rays they had in the file for Abby. They showed that Abby had recently had two white composite resin fillings performed on her, in the exact same position as the body in the morgue.
Marshall slumped in his chair. He couldn’t fathom how the body, supposedly of Abby Holmes, taken from this earth barely six days ago, was now on the morgue’s table as a body that had been in the ground for close on 60 years. It wasn’t possible, but he was faced with the fact that the two were one and the same.
His laptop dinged, notifying him that he had received an email. He opened it and stared in disbelief at the dental x-rays he had just received from Dr. Hall, and those in the file of Abby Holmes. They were identical.
He picked up the phone and dialled the coroner’s office directly and waited for Dr. Hall to pick up.
“Sorry doc, but we have confirmation now that the body in front of you is of that young girl Abby Holmes who disappeared six days ago. How is it possible that, to all intents and purposes, she has been in the ground for nigh on 60 years? I’ll wait for the DNA results until I tell the mother, but for God’s sake, doc, it isn’t bloody possible, is it?”
“No Marshall, it’s not, I can’t even begin to figure out how it is possible, and there is no way that the condition of the body could be like what we have here after just six days. To tell the truth, I’m as flummoxed as you are.”
How do you beat writers block? Any tips?
Everyone is different when it comes to writers block. I don’t have that much of it but I must admit to having a bourbon shot, only occasionally I might add, to get the juices flowing and the fingers typing.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?
I can’t get away from books. Without them I would be lost so when I’m not writing then I’ll be reading.
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely not a plotter. I let my fingers do the talking. When I sit down in front of my laptop the words seem to flow.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Never, ever give up your passion and dream to write. Not being published is NOT a failure.
If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters?
I can see Matt Damon or Ben Affleck being my Marshall Bellows.
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?
I am currently writing Book #2 of the Time Detective series titled “Between Two Worlds”. Hopefully finished this year.
My first written book, ‘The Omega Chronicles” is to be released in three days and is an end-of-the-world scenario.
Also writing two children’s series. I like to keep my mind alert and active.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?
Website : carnelleymark59.wixsite.com/markcarnelleyauthor
Twitter : @mark_carnelley
Mark is nearly 59-year-old, first-time author and retired in December 2014 after starting a 15 year IT career in 1976 and finishing off 12 1/2 years working in security. Married for nearly 35 years and has five children and one grandchild. Retirement has given him the time to pursue his long-time dream of writing and becoming a published author.
Thanks so much- interested in what the children books are about! Good luck with the release of “The Omega Chronicles”
Great idea about writers block 😀