Sunday, 21 October 2012

Author and book Spotlight - Distant Shores by Mark Iles

Distant Shores

Tales from magical tattoos to a time when mankind has been decimated by aliens and the world is run by Androids. From where monsters roam our skies, a little girl waits patiently for Santa one cold Christmas Eve to a world haunted by the ghosts of the slaughtered inhabitants.

Interview with the Author - 

Mark Iles

Hi Mark! Welcome to the Blog!
Thanks for inviting me and a big hello to all your readers

When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. But I started more seriously in 1982, when I was on HMS Invincible during the Falklands War. Things like that make you look at yourself, to reconsider your hopes and aspirations. 

Can you tell us a bit about ‘Distant Shores’ and your Inspiration for it?
Distant Shores is a collection of my SF, fantasy and horror short stories. I write in a wide variety of fields but these are the genres that I’m really drawn to. I love the ‘what if’ concepts, and looking at both today’s society and the past. Nothing has really changed in what we do, we’re the same people we were centuries ago. Life, love and death are just echoes from the past - so I look to the future and wonder how scenarios such as we are going through now will affect people then. It can be a ghost story, a war, a lover’s tiff, terrorism, a disaster - anything at all. The concept just fascinates me. I also write about my dreams, they can be quite an inspiration.

What three words would you use to best describe ‘Distant Shores’?
Tales that twist

Are you working on anything else right now?
I’ve just finished a Diploma in Copywriting and I’m about to start another in Proofreading. You can never stop learning about writing and I firmly believe that you need to invest in yourself, to improve your ability. I have my first SF novel, ‘A Pride of Lions’ trying to find a home – it’s with an agent at the moment, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My Key Character is actually a feisty female, someone who grew in my mind and kept nudging me until I gave in and wrote it all down. I wrote part of it for my MA in Professional Writing, which I finished in February, and I’m now working on the follow-on, ‘A Roar of Lions’ and have a third book planned. I’m writing for several non-fiction markets, the charity CALM and the magazine Martial Arts Illustrated. I love to keep busy!
I have a website:,  a blog: (where I post updates on my work, book and film reviews) and I’m also on twitter

Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
I love John Wyndham’s work, from ‘The Day of the Triffids’,  to ‘The Kraken Awakes’ and ‘The Chrysalids’. I also like Aldis, Asimov, King, Brian Lumley – plus Simon Scarrow’s novels about Ancient Rome and I’m a fan of Anne McCaffrey. I’ve read Orson Scott Card’s ‘Ender’s Game’ countless times and must have bought so many copies I should be on commission – I keep giving them to my friends… One writer I admire is Geoff Nelder, who’s just released his Aria trilogy. He’s been compared to Wyndham, (whether he’ll agree with that I don’t know) so maybe that’s why I’m drawn to his work. Geoff’s also a really nice guy, who’s very giving to new writers.

Random Questions –
-          what’s your favourite treat? Stilton Cheese, with crackers and grapes or olives – with a glass of chilled white wine.
-          What’s your Favourite place to read/write: On my bed, laptop or book in hand. Preferably looking out of the window, at the rain or even a storm.
-          If you won the lottery what would you most look forward to spending money on? I’d buy a house close to the beach but in the countryside, so that I could give my dog a good walk and where my children could visit and play in the woods.
-          If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ideally it would be Greece. I love it. Greece is a fantastic country and the people are so lovely.

 You can find Mark here: 



  1. Great interview! Distant Shores sounds good, I do enjoy this genre.

  2. Hi Naida,

    Thanks, I hope that you read and enjoy it. Great blog by the way and I love your website, in particular the rope scarf!



  3. Sarah, great website and I want to say how much I admire Mark's writing and Distant Shores is definitely worth reading. So kind of Mark to mention my book too, what a pal!
    hah, I see he'd like to live in Greece. Mark must be envious as it was only last month while on a writers' retreat in Metahana, Greece that I cycled up a volcano! Keep up the good work, Sarah, and Mark.

  4. Geoff,

    I'm still the colour of olives...