Monday, November 16, 2015

*FEATURED AUTHOR* Mark Billingham -- Part 2

*FEATURED AUTHOR* for this month is best selling crime author Mark Billingham. Here is the second part of his Q&A interview by Susan Lobban.

See Part 1 here:

Mark's books: UK link/ USA link 

 10. What are you reading right now?

As always, there are several things on the go. I’m re-reading the new Elvis Costello memoir in preparation for an on-stage conversation with him as well as several titles that we are discussing on the Crime Vault Live podcast. I’ve just finished the new Jo Nesbo and am about to get stuck in to the latest Ian Rankin.

11. Which do you prefer kindle or paper books?

I don’t own a kindle and have never read anything on one. Always paper books for me. Nothing against Kindles – people can read in any way they choose, of course – but by the time they came along I was already far too set in my ways. God, how old do I sound?

12. Did you ever consider self publishing?

Do you think this a good or bad thing for the future of books.
Again, it wasn’t really around when I started so I never considered anything other than traditional publishing and I’m very glad of it. I understand the various reasons why writers go down the self-publishing route but I’m happy as I am. I’m a writer. I’m not a marketer or a publicist or a designer. Admittedly, I’ve been very lucky, notably in that I can write full time, so the traditional publishing model works very well for me. For others, self-publishing is the way to go. I DO worry about the value of books being diminished by the sheer volume of free or cheap material that’s now available, but that’s a HUGE discussion...

13. For someone who has not read your books before, how would you describe your writing style?

I think that’s really hard and is probably a question for readers of the books. I know that there are certain things I’m better at than others and I’m a firm believer in playing to your strengths. So, there isn’t too much in the way of landscape whereas I do believe in revealing as much as possible through dialogue. The books have certainly got darker in terms of tone, but at the same time they are much less violent than they were to begin with. There are still jokes though. A few, anyway.

14. Which was your favourite book to write?
The first book is usually the easiest because that’s the one you’re writing for yourself. Once you get a book deal there are commercial pressures. So, I suppose Sleepyhead is one I will always have a soft spot for. Having said that, I hope there have been far better books since then. I hope I’m a better writer than I was back then.

15. Do you have any new books in the pipeline?
I have just finished a novel called Die Of Shame which will be published next year. It’s a standalone novel about a murder among a group of recovering addicts and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. A certain north London detective makes his obligatory cameo appearance. I’m now starting to think about the Thorne book that will come next and it will feature at least one character that appears for the first time in Die Of Shame.

16. Where is the best place for readers to find out more about you?

Probably my website.

17. Surprise us with something we don't know about you?

I’m also something of a frustrated country singer and have been living out this fantasy as part of a show called The Other Half. It’s a collaboration with a brilliant Americana duo called My Darling Clementine. I wrote a new story based around some of their songs and now we have an album and a touring production which is on the road right now and will be coming back next February. I tell the story live and the band play these incredible songs. You can find out all about it at

18. and very importantly..... which do you prefer tea or coffee?

Tea. Bog-standard tea.

To see all of Mark's books:  UK link/ USA link  


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