Friday, September 23, 2011

Interview with Mark Lawrence - September 23, 2011

Please welcome Mark Lawrence to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Mark's debut, Prince of Thorns, was published by Ace in August 2011.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Mark:  I’ve got to have a quirk _and_ it’s got to be interesting? Damn. Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong... Ahem. My biggest writing quirk is that if you read anything I write backwards, it’s the devil speaking.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Mark:  Fantasy-wise my favourite recent authors have been George RR Martin and Robin Hobb, and I’ve also enjoyed Peter Brett’s work quite a bit. More generally John Irving, William Golding, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn . . . Dickens . . . I cast a wide net. I’m not sure any of them have had a direct influence. I guess GRRM influenced me to try to write more literary fantasy, and Anthony Burgess influenced my choice of character with his work in ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mark:  I make it up as I go along. More fun that way.

TQ:  Describe Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire 1) in 140 characters or less.

Mark:  Brutal literate fantasy with many layers that can be appreciated as a bloody romp.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Prince of Thorns?

Mark:  Hmmm. Well as I said above the character was inspired by Burgess’ work, but as to what inspired me to write the book . . . I’m not sure anything did. I just enjoy writing and I kept writing the book because I kept enjoying it. It’s quite cathartic to vent emotion and imagery onto a page.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create The Broken Empire world?

Mark:  Almost none. I may have typed the occasional thing into Google. Generally though when I’m making stuff up ... I make stuff up.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Prince of Thorns?

Mark:  I enjoy both of Jorg’s home-coming scenes. He always works well with an audience.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Mark:  Prince Jorg was the easiest, it’s always easier to write a character from the inside and the book is written in the first person. Also his tendency toward excess means I get to create a lot of mayhem. Prince Jorg was also the hardest character to write. It takes a light touch to deliver one story with what a character says and to deliver between those lines another story at odds with the first.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Mark:  Three.

TQ:  What's next?

Mark:  Who knows? Pantser, remember?

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mark:  And thank you.

About Prince of Thorns

Prince of Thorns
The Broken Empire 1
Ace, August 2, 2011

A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

About Mark

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say 'this isn't rocket science ... oh wait, it actually is'.



  1. I saw this book the other day and was immediately drawn to its cover. After reading the blurb, I placed it in my shopping cart.

    Tracey D

  2. I think this sounds like a great read and I will be checking it out further:)