Today we're welcoming author Mark Rinker to the blog on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for his debut novel, a YA horror called "Evil Ambulance".
Mark is giving away a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow his tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!
Mark was kind enough to answer my many questions. Thanks, Mark!
Well, my first draft of this novel was not written as a YA book. I wrote the initial version and wasn't happy with it. The story didn't, honestly, make a lot of sense, and was kind of all over the place--but I liked the basic idea and setup, and so came back to it a year or so later. At the time I was re-reading some YA books I'd enjoyed as a kid, specifically the Friday the 13th YA series by Eric Morse, and also checking out some recent YA fiction like the Twilight series and the Hunger Games, and I started considering whether Evil Ambulance might not work as a YA novel. The entire thing changed very much between that original version and the (much better) version that I ended up with. I made the character eighteen instead of twenty-nine, and re-started from there.
I've always loved reading and watching movies, and am a lifelong fan of horror; from my first viewings of Jaws and Halloween when I was very young, to reading Stephen King's masterpiece The Shining at age ten, I've been hooked on the genre.
Where did the idea for this story come from?
I think there's a big shortage of vehicular horror stories out there! Actually, I came up with it while driving. It's not that all that interesting; I saw an ambulance in my rear view mirror and came up with the idea of a demonic, or possessed, ambulance driving around town stirring things up.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I've been writing stories since I was a little kid, but didn't realize that's what I wanted to do until after college. I studied film and video production and found, about two years into my schooling, that I had very little talent as concerned cameras or computers, and got most of my enjoyment out of writing screenplays. I did a few of those, before concluding that I'd be more satisfied writing short stories and novels, rather than screenplays that likely would never be filmed.
Any odd/fun quirks you'd like to share with us?
I don't think there's anything TOO odd! I don't like watching TV without the volume cranked up, and I'm unable to watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High without moving my lips along with each line of dialogue.
What's one thing about you we might never guess?
I'm very interested in animals, particularly smaller ones: chinchillas, hamsters, small dogs. I've loved animals since I was a kid, and have been a vegetarian for about ten years. My chinchilla, Gizmo Giraffe, sits in his cage and watches me while I write.
Are you working on anything new?
I started work on a novel (not YA, or in the horror genre) during the period between the original draft and the revised draft of Evil Ambulance. That one is, at least for the moment, titled The King of Wolves, and is about religion, neuroses, and revenge, and is a pretty dark story. I hope to have a good draft of that completed early in the year. I also have some ideas for Evil Ambulance 2, which I'll likely start on in the next few months.
What's the book about?
Eighteen-year-old Eric Donnelly moves to a small town in Pennsylvania, to live with his uncle, Dan, while his parents finalize their divorce. Dan has recently purchased an old house which sits atop a three-mile hill overlooking the town of Riverwood; a house which is host to the decades-old presence of Victor Devlin, a homicidal ambulance driver responsible for a series of brutal murders years before. Eric soon finds himself alone, as the spirit of the ambulance driver begins to inhabit his uncle’s body, and each night Devlin’s ambulance appears in the driveway, eerily glowing, calling to Eric.
Tell us about you and where we can find you on the 'net.
Mark R. Rinker was born in California, but has spent most of his life in eastern Pennsylvania. His short story, “Dog Mask” was published earlier this year by Dark Gothic Resurrected magazine, and Evil Ambulance is his first novel.