Interview with Mark Onspaugh, author of Deadlight Jack
04 Jan 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Deadlight Jack?
It is a follow-up to my novel The Faceless One, but it can be read as a standalone. My character George Watters learns a great deal about his past and his heritage when his grandson is kidnapped by a supernatural creature who lives in the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana. The creature calls himself Professor Foxfire – but the locals know him as Deadlight Jack. My mother grew up in Georgia, and Southern Gothic informs some of my work – the South is rich in folklore and mystery.
What’s your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
City by Clifford D. Simak
The Stand by Stephen King
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley
Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
What or who inspired you to become an author?
My father was both a writer and a great storyteller, and my mother used to read to me when I was little. I had a teacher in grade school who read us The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and it was the first “big kid” book I bought with my allowance. After that, RayBradbury, Robert Sheckley and Stephen King all inspired me to write.
BAM. You’re a superhero. What’s your superpower?
Flight – absolutely– I always wanted to be able to fly… Of course, invulnerability in case of accidents, and super-speed so I don’t take forever to fly to Paris for lunch…Basically, I’d like the whole Superman package.
What is the one movie you can quote the most?
Superman the Motion Picture (also Animal House, Back to the Future and The Impostors)
What advise would you give your teenage self?
Become a pro writer right away! Study writing in college, don’t be afraid to take studio internships, write more and eat less junk.
What scene in Deadlight Jack was your favorite to write?
I always love writing the banter between Jimmy and George. The scene where George gets his dog (and the return of that dog) and the visit with the Swamp Witch were all so much fun to write.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
It takes very little effort to be kind – even the smallest act can change the course of a day in someone’s life – and perhaps save their life. Beyond that, I am so thankful for the diversity of our population – it would be a sad world if we were all alike.
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