Author Interview: Marcus Lyndale

Author Marcus Lyndale Bio:

Born in Barnet, England, I now live in Scotland, a place that has always been dear to my heart.

I have been writing seriously for the past ten years or so but had been contemplating it for much longer. I now have five books published, 3 horror – the Light and the Dark, Eternal Knowledge and When The Sun Goes Down – and 2 crime stories – Diggers and Infection of the Mind.

When I write, I develop my characters before I even put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking in this day and age) and so, when I do write, I can tell the story from their point of view. By writing in this way, I let the characters lead the story where they may – I have no idea as to what the ending may be and am often surprised myself when I get there.

In my real life, I am a photographer, concentrating on producing portraits of people’s pets and I have a strong love of the natural world.

Having graduated from my education with a background in mathematics and economics (I never got on with languages, including English) I have ‘drifted’ from job to job, gaining a wide experience in any number of different fields, which I now find useful when creating characters for my books. I have 2 children from a previous marriage, who are now mid-teen and of whom I am extremely proud.

Marcus Lyndale Interview:


It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Marcus Lyndale: I would dearly love to spend to all my time writing but, as your question implies, life tends to get in the way; bills come through the letterbox that will not get paid by my saying ‘Hang on, I’m writing’.

I am currently developing a photographic business and (if there’s no word processor available) I love nothing more than to be behind a camera. I am concentrating at the moment on taking portraits of people’s pets.

Prior to this, my working life had been pretty varied. After completing a 1 year diploma in accountancy, I became a zoo keeper (I knew several ways to calculate that all the wolves were present and correct in wolf-wood!). I’ve served time as a residential sales negotiator, a blood donor assistant, an insurance salesman, a milkman, a mobile phone tester, a library bookseller and in various positions in various warehouses.

What compelled you to write your first book?

Marcus Lyndale: My first book, the Light and the Dark had been brewing away in my mind for over twenty years before I found the means, and perhaps the discipline, to actually write it. Mentally, I was on a bit of a downer at the time that I wrote it and was questioning everything, including the reason for my own existence. The Light and the Dark was actually written in three stages, with the second part being written first. My joy at putting down the last word on the last page was immediately superceded by the question ‘But what happened before that?’ So I wrote the first part and then had to balance the book by answering ‘What followed?’

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Marcus Lyndale: I’ve always wanted to write books. For as long as I can remember, the notion of writing a novel has always been in my mind. Back in the good old days (prior to word processors) I used to try to hammer out stories on a portable typewriter that my parents bought for me. Somehow the very act of throwing page after page away, and having to retype them when ever I made a spelling mistake, put a damper on proceedings and it wasn’t until good old Amstrad brought out a word processor I could afford, that my writing showed itself to be more than a tenuous dream.

Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:

Marcus Lyndale: My first book, the Light and the Dark, is basically a story of good versus evil which hopefully makes the reader question the world we have created for ourselves. From the birth of a baby the story’s general premise, although largely unstated, is that God has had his chance with mankind by causing his son to be born into the world now it is Satan’s turn.

Diggers is a murder story written against the backdrop of the illegal world of badger diggers. The cruelty that we, as a species, inflict on the other denizens of the planet is contrasted with the cruelty that we inflict upon ourselves.

Eternal Knowledge is a pure horror story set on the Isle of Mull off Scotland’s west coast. The reader is invited to question and explore the very reason for our existence.

Infection of the Mind is a crime novel written as a non-fiction piece. Kaye Solomon, a journalist, follows the case of a man who becomes infatuated by a girl he sees by chance on a London underground train and who carries that infatuation beyond anything reasonably acceptable.

When The Sun Goes Down is a vampire-like tale. Set on a Hebridean island, the opening of a new shop brings the expected degree of curiosity for the islanders. In the new owner, the good and kind Francine Duval, the islanders get more than a new shop proprietor; they get a whole new way of life. The story follows the struggle of a young girl as she fights to survive the changes that are taking part around her.

Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

Marcus Lyndale: I have four further books that I am currently working on and ideas for another thirty or so – I am lucky in that the ideas keep coming thick and fast. The one that looks (at the moment at least) to be progressing towards completion, is as yet untitled but is a psychological thriller involving a touch of fantasy as the main character’s mind jumps into another (imagined?) world. As I said, I also have three other books ‘on the go’ and it really depends on where my mind is, as to which one progresses on any given day. One is my first attempt at a ghost story, one is a sequel to Infection of the Mind and the third is psychological horror involving internet chat rooms.

Have you ever won any writing awards? If so, what?

Marcus Lyndale: I have never won anything for any of my writing but (optimistically) that could be because I have never been entered for anything.

How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

Marcus Lyndale: I was completely overwhelmed when I held a copy of one of my books for the first time. It felt better than passing my driving test, and second only to being at the birth of my two children. I wanted to scream from the rooftops that I had done it, become a published author, and now the world would realize what I could do! It was the stuff of dreams, but as we all know, dreams quickly fade. I am not, and never will be, any good at promoting myself or my work and I still have several copies of my first print run sitting on my study shelf. However, I believe in my work and know that someday I will make the right connection and get my books out in front of the buying public.

What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?

Marcus Lyndale: In general I work in silence, it just works better for me that way.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?

Marcus Lyndale: This is a tough question to answer. On some days I just feel like writing and on others I don’t and I can’t really put my finger on why some days should be different from others.

What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

Marcus Lyndale: My children. Now in their mid-teens they are my pride and joy. I don’t think that anyone can really appreciate just what emotions are, until you have children of your own.

What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

Marcus Lyndale: I am married to the most wonderful woman, Mary, who encourages me every step of the way in my writing endeavors. She gives me the time and space in which to work and is so supportive of me. I have two children by a previous marriage and they are both wonderful people but still a little young to understand the majority of what I write. My brother found one of my books ‘thought provoking’ but, in general, my family are not bookish people!

The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

Marcus Lyndale: I would have to say that there must be at least a little of me in all of my characters, I created them and therefore there has to be. As I thrash out my characters before writing the first word of a story, I know them as well as I know anyone and trust them to lead my stories where they may. By thoroughly knowing them, I am able to climb inside them and write my tales from their perspectives.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?

Marcus Lyndale: I believe that only people who have never read a book in their life can truly claim not to have been influenced by another writer. I grew up on a diet of Stephen King and James Herbert and these two in particular encouraged me to do what I do.

When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

Marcus Lyndale: In the early days, Enid Blyton got me reading. Secret Seven, Famous Five etc. How I wanted to be like her characters. At school I read Gerald Durrell’s My family and other Animals and George Orwell’s Animal Farm, both of these I have read many times over the years.

What about now: who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?

Marcus Lyndale: I’m still addicted to Stephen King, and yes, I probably would read his shopping list if he published it. I am intrigued by the variety of topics that he covers and the depth of knowledge he seems to have in each of the areas of which he writes.

Hey, let’s get morbid. When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your book/s and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

Marcus Lyndale: I’d like to think that they will take a closer look at my work and realize that perhaps I did have something to say after all! With regards to myself, I hope they say ‘he wasn’t such a bad chap when all is said and done’.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now – city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?

Marcus Lyndale: I was born in a small leafy village in Hertfordshire, England. My parents had a good sized house on a third of an acre plot and backing onto woodland. The back lawn was an ocean filled with pirate ships, a football pitch, a go-kart track or anything else my brother and sister and I wanted it to be. After I left home, my father bought a chunk of the woodland behind his house in which he played out a childhood of his own, building a ruined castle there for his grandchildren and others to play in. We scattered his ashes amongst the trees when he died and I hope he’s still playing there.

Having fallen in love with Scotland many years ago, I now live in Lanarkshire and now am within easy reach of the mountains and lochs that I love.

Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them.

Marcus Lyndale: I love animals but, apart from five goldfish who I hope have survived the winter in the pond that Mary and I dug out last year, I am living in a pet-free zone. After many years of walking dogs and feeding cats I must admit that it is a joy not to be vacuuming up hairs every day. My daughter has a horse to whom she is absolutely devoted.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?

Marcus Lyndale: I write on a laptop that sits on my father’s old leather topped desk in our study. I have reference books on shelves in front of me and a library lamp which creates a good atmosphere for when I am writing.

Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?

Marcus Lyndale: I really do not like television. I won’t pretend that I don’t watch it but I do consider it to be a killer of family conversation. I very rarely turn it on but I do enjoy various documentaries. I don’t think that I let anything on television influence my writing although it is impossible for me to say that with any certainty.

What about movies? Same as above.

Marcus Lyndale: I do enjoy a good movie, although what defines a good movie is not easy to assess. It needs to be something that provokes thought, ideally it should open up a train of thought that I haven’t come across before. I often find that I dislike movies of books that I have enjoyed as, all too often, the characterizations are never as I imagined them to be.

Focusing on your most recent (or first) book, tell our readers what genre your book is and what popular author you think your writing style in this book is most like.

Marcus Lyndale: My most recent book, When The Sun Goes Down, is a horror, vampire-like tale. It tells of the struggle a young girl has in surviving the changes that are happening around her, whilst the small island she lives on is cut off from the rest of the world by the areas worst storm in living memory.

How long did it take you to write your most recent (or first) book? When you started writing, did you think it would take that long (or short)?

Marcus Lyndale: When The Sun Goes Down took fourteen months to write from start to finish. This was slightly hindered by both the death of my father and my divorce from my first wife. The final editing took some time on top of this. On a good day I was able to churn out about three thousand words, which was a good day’s writing for me. I never impose timescales on myself, I don’t think I’d be able to be so creative if I knew I had to finish it by Thursday, and therefore a book will take as long as it takes.

Is there anyone you’d like to specifically acknowledge who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?

Marcus Lyndale: My wife provides the greatest support that anyone could ever wish for. She eagerly awaits my output and is extremely constructive with her criticisms and her eye for continuity. When I was working on my first book, the Light and the Dark, I have to thank the people with whom I shared many fun night shifts and who gave me every encouragement to continue with my writing.

Tell us more about who you are and anything you want your readers to know.

Marcus Lyndale: I have my own website at: www.marcuslyndale.com where I detail my books and provide links to sites where my books can be purchased.

I also have a presence on MySpace: www.myspace.com/marcuslyndale where I talk about my methods of writing and try to answer questions that other authors may have. I write a monthly diary detailing the amount of progress I am making with my new work.

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