1. Hi Mark,

    I’m just itching to read this now. I’m trying to wait till I finish two of my writing projects!

    I’m glad you stepped out and did something different. And the rewards are yours and the readers to pursue. I’m stepping out with my first fantasy right now and it’s pretty scary. I’m nervous readers will think I’m an idiot and they won’t like the story. Plus, I write romances so what am I doing trying to hang with speculative fiction big dawgs? But, taking a chance is the best part of writing…and life. Getting out of our comfort zones often lead us to a play we’d never imagine we’d be.

  2. Jess Hanna says:

    Hi Mark,

    Great article! Your lack of oil drilling knowledge certainly did not translate into Beast. it all felt very real, and that is a testament to how you blended your research into a compelling adventure.

    While I haven’t yet explored fantasy or straight up science fiction, I may very well do so one day. Fantasy may be easier because everything can be imagined while science fiction fans expect a certain level of realism. The most I can relate to this concept is moving my stories away from trying to convince the reader that monsters are real to assuming they already believe in them. That freedom cannot be taken for granted. Nothing is off limits if we have the drive and determination to stretch our imaginations.

    • Mark Carver says:

      I think I may have opened a can of worms for myself. The book I’m working on now has also been a stretch (medieval history) though not as much as Beast, and the book I have planned after that will be set in the world of mixed martial arts (!). I don’t know why my brain hates me.

  3. Kessie says:

    The more I hear about your book, the more I want to read it! Initially I thought it was one more book about the end times. 🙂

    I started writing a paranormal romance trilogy set in the California almond orchards. Since one of the story McGuffins was a strain of bees that collect magic and store it in their honey, it made sense to write about the single biggest gathering of bees in America–the February pilgrimage of thousands of beekeepers to California’s Central Valley. I got to research colony collapse, and how almonds are farmed, and how as bees die, the almond farmers are getting more and more desperate. Throw in vampires and liches, and by golly, it’s a darned good story.

  4. Lisa says:

    As I live in a town in Alberta where the majority of people depend on the oil industry for work, I see a lot of those consequences first-hand, especially the “oil wives” who are left at home for weeks at time, raising children and dealing with life while their husbands are away. I’m intrigued by your book, and looking forward to reading it!

    My book took me to 7th century Northumbria (642 AD to be exact) and I have learned a whole lot of fascinating things about that era and the people who lived there, some of whom appear in my book. Along with the Fey, I mean, they kinda sneaked in (as they often do) so what can you do but set off on another round of research on the legends and stories surrounding them?

    • Mark Carver says:

      That toll on those still on shore is a key element in the book, and my coauthor has lived through those experiences for years. That makes their work even more admirable in my opinion.

      One thing about delving into a new world is you have to familiarize yourself with all aspects, not just the big things, in order for the story to be believable. Ken Follett does this very well, and his attention to historical details sets him apart from other period writers.

      • I haven’t read Ken Follett in a while but I blown away by the Pillars of the Earth book. I read that in high school and I was like, “Whoa!” You would have thought he was there.

        Not to get TOO off topic but I do noticed the approach of some authors to ‘modernize’ historical fiction and I don’t like that. I think the writers who nail the language, mannerisms, and the like can effectively draw a reader into the world. And if reading is all about escapism for some people, then that attention to detail makes all the difference.

What do you think?