Thanks for this interview, Mark. Congratulations on your new book! Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing? Can you tell us about your journey?
Having produced movies and mini-series which is collaborative, I decided to do something where I am on my own. Hence write a book. Trying to balance starting a new company, my existing TV commitments, writing a book and moving country had me spinning more plates than a circus performer. I made the mistake of letting the book go out to some publishers too early but eventually closed a deal only to run into covid and no book tour. It’s been a hell of a ride but great fun! The one thing I learned is a publishing deal is only the beginning. I am now building a successful following from social media platforms as well as my blog www.andanotherthing.com.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
I love scuba diving. Here in Malta, there are a tremendous number of wrecks from the present to dating back 2,300 years. Cooking is another passion and I enjoy entertaining. I also love classic cars of the 1960’s. I race mine all over the world as well as act as a judge at Concours car events.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
It’s the first in a franchise of thrillers using the movies as a backdrop; much like Dick Francis used horse racing or John Grisham uses the law. With over 30 years involved in all aspects of Entertainment from owning a channel to producing movies and films, artist management for records and distribution, I am lucky enough to have been involved in nearly every aspect the industry.
Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
THE CAVE, PAGSANJAN, PHILIPPINES
Major Ito Okobudo reminded himself that when the time
came, he should put his fingers in his ears. It was not to
block out the screams of the dying men, which was a sound he
was well used to, but rather to protect his eardrums from the
staccato crack of machine-gun fire as it ricocheted and echoed
off the unforgiving stone walls. In such a confined space he was
pretty certain it would damage his hearing.
He looked disdainfully at the assembled crowd. All he had to
do was nod. The six guards behind him would snap back the
tarpaulin covering the tripod mounted machine gun and the
carnage would begin.
“Congratulations to you all,” the Major beamed,
immaculately attired in his formal dress uniform, his swagger
stick in his leather gloved hand, his close-cropped hair already
dripping with sweat.
Three hundred and seventy haggard faces gazed blankly
back at him; a labor force mainly drawn from Australian,
American and British prisoners of war. The majority did not
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
Books of the world! There are a number of locations all of which I know well. From Venice Beach and Hollywood through London and the Cannes Film Festival to Interlaken in the Swiss Alps; all ending in a cave in the Philippine jungle. I am very lucky as I have visited over 120 countries and have a huge reserve of memories to draw on!
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
The book has been optioned by a very well-known Oscar winning Producer.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
Goodness! Difficult. I always loved creativity but also action and at least a scent of danger. My career has covered everything from Kidnap and Ransom Insurance through entertainment to being an entrepreneur, as well as of course a published author. And I hope more adventures and experiences are still to come.
What’s next for you?
Another book for sure. My blog www.andanotherthing.com has been going for several years and is in 40 countries, so that will continue. One business I started is about to go public on the stock market, and I am looking at starting another. As my wife’s mother told her when we announced our engagement. “Darling, one thing is for sure. You will never be bored!”