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Mark Onspaugh

answers the Usual Questions

photo, Mark Onspaugh with Orion, courtesy of the author;

Mark Onspaugh and Orion

American author Mark Onspaugh writes horror, science fiction and comedy, in novels, short fiction, and in screenplays.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I've had a couple of nice letters and that's very encouraging... People these days seem far more prone to complain than compliment anything, so it's great to receive something positive - you feel the person was really moved by your work, and that is very gratifying.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

One young woman mentioned a specific incident in my book - it really resonated with her and seemed like something she might remember for a long time.

As someone who was inspired by other writers, I remember books or scenes that have always stayed with me, and hoped one day I might write like that. But to actually experience a fan having a deep response is more gratifying than I might have anticipated. It's one of the true rewards of being a writer.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?I have many writers that continue to inspire me. My father was an aeronautical engineer and a writer of thrillers and science fiction. Reading his work put the notion in my head that I might one day be a writer. In science fiction, my first literary "hero" was Ray Bradbury, whom I had the pleasure of meeting several times. Such a brilliant writer. After Bradbury I discovered Robert Sheckley, who has been called the Jonathan Swift of science fiction. I combed used book stores, looking for every Sheckley book I could find - such an amazing imagination, and such biting satire. My own SF is greatly influenced by Sheckley's. He's another hero I was lucky enough to meet. For horror, it begins and ends with Stephen King - no other writer I've read in the genre builds such wonderful characters, coupled with such horror and dread. All that said, one other book I always remember is City, by Clifford D. Simak. A wonderful, wonderful book.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

My wife... really. But runners-up would include Jon Stewart, Stephen King and (if they could be resurrected and not zombified) Laurel & Hardy and Ray Bradbury.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Dick Cheney or Karl Rove, most of the W. administration, most of Fox News, anyone bigoted or cruel.

book cover, The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh; 140x186

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Coffee and Diet Coke are my vices - also I'm always a sucker for a good cheeseburger or steak. I'd like to take our cats, Callisto and Orion - they already have cool space names!

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I'd like to write stories or novels that are compelling and memorable. Awards would be great, but I'd love to write something that someone will claim as their all-time favorite book.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I love to create worlds and characters. When it all comes together, when you feel moved and pleased by something you invented, there is no finer feeling.

submitted by Mark Onspaugh

26 August 2014

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Just the facts:
Born: Burbank, CA
Resides: Morro Bay, CA
The Faceless One (novel)
The Thetis Plague (novel)
3 collections: Christmas Ghost Stories, Dark Valentines and Tales from Tomorrow

Web site:
Facebook author page


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