How did the idea for Sarah Killian come to you?
Mark: It’s actually kind of a boring (to me at least) story. I was working at a music licensing company doing data entry. It was extremely repetitive, even by normal data entry standards. Every day for several months on end I would be entering the exact same data. For whatever reason, Sarah McLachlan and Killian Wells always came up right next to each other on these reports, so seeing the name Sarah and Killian together, my mind put them together and thought, “Heh, that kinda sounds like serial killer.” Once I’d made that connection – and I’m going to have to paraphrase JK Rowling here, I apologize – the character just walked, fully-fledged, right into my mind.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing this book?
Mark: This was a very experimental work for me. Usually I am one of those people who has to have everything sketched out and planned before I start writing – but with Sarah, I decided to just write. That in itself made it a challenge to me, because I didn’t know where it was going, but it was also kind of fun to try. The other challenge was just the fact that Sarah’s mind is not a very pleasant place to live in for too long of a time, so I would have to write a few chapters here and there, and then take a break for a few weeks or even a month before I could go back and get into her sociopathic brain.
What’s your favorite scene from the book, and what part do you think readers will enjoy the most?
Mark: Probably my favorite would be the scene at the airport where she uses the family restroom to release her frustration with Bethany by tearing up a Disney princess doll, and then leaving the “carnage” behind for a family to find. That was a lot of fun to write, and I think that sort of dark humor side of Sarah is probably also what readers will enjoy about the book.
What made you write from the point of view of a female character?
Mark: Well, it goes back to the origin of the idea. It all started with the name Sarah Killian, so there wasn’t really any other choice in my mind but for her to be female.
What other projects are you currently working on?
Mark: I have the beginnings of a sci-fi/horror novel that I’m in the middle of sketching out ideas for – sort of a mashup of Lost, Aliens, and Doom (the computer game, of course). Still in the drafting phase for that. Also working on finding a home for my novella, The Motif, which is a thriller about a mysterious MP3 music file circulating social networking sites like a virus and driving people insane when they listen to it.