I continue to chug away at The Vampire of Rome, heck I managed to get 1,213 words typed the other day. Take that you fast typists (sobs quietly in the corner). Sooo setting aside my typing speed being roughly the equivalent of an African Elephant, but way faster than a three-toed sloth, let me introduce you to Mark Taylor, British horror writer extraordinaire and his latest novel Witches Tea Party-
Mark Taylor’s debut novel, Shutter Speed, crash landed on planet earth in 2013. Its dark brooding style benchmarked his writing and has led to further releases of novel and short story collection alike.
While most of Mark’s work is macabre, occasion has it that he will write about kittens and daisies. Just not very often.
Some say he is a product of his environment, others, a product of his own imagination.
Whichever it is he works happily, portraying dark existences on this planet and others. He relays his fears and doubts on his characters, so always has a smile. If Mark is real, as some say he is, you might find him in England.
In Salem, 1692, Marie-Anne witnessed the death of her friend and confidant, Sarah Good. Charged with being a witch, Sarah goes to the gallows to protect Marie-Anne, a true witch.
Three hundred years later, Marie-Anne, under the name Mary Anson, vows to put things right.
With a new coven - Dina, Excalibur, and Lady - Mary puts in motion the steps to right what went wrong...and what followers is a chase across the country, a chase against time, pursued by monsters and darkness...
...will Mary put things right?
...or will she die trying?
Excalibur laughed. “Menu? Does this look like a restaurant? I hope you like cheeseburgers. They’ll bring them over in five.”
Mary did like them—but would have preferred a choice. She took a gulp of the water. At first, she assumed that the burning sensation in her mouth was due to dehydration, and then when she swallowed, she realized. Almost choking the words out, she said, “This isn’t water…”
Excalibur laughed again, “When I said drink…I meant drink. Vodka.”
Mary looked at it. It had to be close to a coffee cup full. Of vodka. Joy. She looked around the bar, two or three bikers (she could tell because of their leather vests over inked skin and bandannas emblazoned with the flag) were arguing over the pool table, some others were playing cards at one of the tables and looking shiftily at each other and others were just wandering around. The dance floor was empty and stools at the bar, full. Occasionally scantily dressed waitresses scurried around the collected men, wearily bypassing the drunken advances and harassment suits waiting to happen. Not that they would happen—not in a hole like this.
Sipping her vodka, Mary tried to examine Excalibur without her seeing. She watched her over the rim of her glass. Excalibur held a certain grace to her, she was pale skinned and her eyes darted from left to right constantly. She was ever vigilant…almost vampiric. Of course, they had died out in the dark ages. She was stunningly attractive, but Mary knew she already knew that.
“What?” Excalibur’s piercing eyes flitted directly into Mary’s.
Mary looked away, “Sorry.” She glanced casually around the bar, then back. “So, how old are you?”
“That’s a bit personal.” Excalibur drained the rest of her drink. “Why?”
“I just wondered. It’s just that…It’s just that you seem very comfortable. As if you grew up, well, now.”
Excalibur smiled. “I’m older than you, trust me.”
Whilst they were distracted, two of the bar’s drunker patrons had shuffled over to the table. Each of them was a colossus of a man, draped in denim, leather, heavily bearded and cowboy hatted. As Mary looked up, the first leaned down and rested his two giant paws on the table, and looked straight at Excalibur. “Hey girl, now you is a fine looking female, and my partner and me was just wondering if we could join you and your friend here for what might be a fine evening. Hell, when the two of you walked in, my night got a whole lot better.” He breathed a mixture of unpleasant smells out over the table.
Excalibur looked at him with a slight smile, and Mary couldn’t tell if she was amused, or about to pounce. “I don’t think so, gentlemen.”
The man seemed surprised, as if this tactic of consuming as much alcohol and food as possible was a sure fire winner with the ladies. “Now hold on missy…” he lifted his hand from the table and gripped Excalibur’s arm. “I don’t like that tone in my girls.”
From the look on Excalibur’s face—if only for an instant—he was gripping her hard enough to hurt.
Mary closed her eyes, concentrated on what Dina had said, and pictured what she wanted in her mind.
The man grunted and tried to stand, gripped at his own groin—releasing Excalibur—and staggered slightly, only to be supported by his equally abhorrent, quieter, friend.
Mary opened her eyes and watched him stagger away; the air around the table cleared of his stench and was filled by a new air of his expletives. She looked at Excalibur, who in turn was looking at Mary’s own hand resting on the table, clenched like she was squashing a tennis ball.
“Thanks, but you didn’t need to,” Excalibur shot her a small smile.
“I wanted to…I need the practice.”
Main Character's motivations?
Mary is driven by a desire to put right a mistake that cost a life many years ago. While learning to master her powers as a witch in Salem, 1692, her friend was taken to the gallows for a crime Mary committed.
What is their secret strengths/ weaknesses?
Mary is determined to fix the problem. It has driven her for hundreds of years, broken her inside. She finally comes to the realization that she cannot fix the problem alone, which is when she approaches the devil for help...
Any philosophical issues in this story?
This one doesn't have a deep philosophical journey for the protagonist. It's about working together to defeat the common evil. I suppose there is a journey of self-discovery hidden among the action, but that should be prominent in the next book in the series.
Any offbeat, obscure, or 80s references?
1680's? Why yes, the witch trials are historically accurate!
When did you start to write this one and why?
This one started off at a call for submissions about five? years ago. The book never happened, and so after I got the rights back, it got heavily re-drafted, got longer, and became the beginning of a series.
What's next in this series or in your next book?
For this series, there are a further two novellas planned, both in ebook, and then a paperback release of the trilogy. But that doesn't come until after I have finished my currently WIP, for which the title has yet to be released...it's a hard science fiction, horror, bizarro comedy, with dystopian elements. Coming later this year. And I have to finish the last part of the Devil's Hand. Book 4 - Countdown. And then that needs to be released in a compendium paperback. Ouch. I've got work to do.
Preview of your next book?
Okay, here's the worlds first, smallest, snippet of 'Un-Released Title' in early draft:
And that was how Leander came to be sitting as his desk, his supervisor standing in front of him, awaiting security to pack his few belongings into a box, and escort him from the premises.
For breaking the rules.
He mulled the words without employ around in his head. You were nothing without employ. He wouldn’t have a home now, even.
The security guards—three—muscled up to Leander’s ex-desk and one of them started lifting things up and showing them to his supervisor who would respond with either a nod, and the item got tossed into a small plastic box, or a shake of the head and the item returned to the desk carefully. The other two stood one on each shoulder of Leander to, he surmised, ensure he didn’t leap up in a fit of anger and hurl himself in a psychotic rage at anyone.
Leander wasn’t that big.
The smallest of the three security guards—the one ‘sorting’ his belongings—could have snapped him in half with both his hands tied behind his back.
When will it be available?
We're aiming at last quarter 2016!!
Now that does look interesting, and I do know a thing or two about witches and revenge. Speaking of witches, after reading Witches Tea Party, how about trying -
Junior Inquisitor Book One
Amazon - http://goo.gl/D6KrbX
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8
Soulless Monk Book Two
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/NXw3Gr
Amazon - http://goo.gl/p9fBn0
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/5lCyaX
The Witch’s Lair Book Three
Amazon - http://goo.gl/ZRO6Jw
Smashwords - https://goo.gl/MokJnC
Inquisitor Series - http://goo.gl/mJtTf8