On when and why he began writing…

I started to take writing seriously in early 2011. I’d just ended a ten-year career as a session/touring musician and I was drifting a little, not sure of where to go next. There was definitely still a creative itch to scratch and when I started reading short stories for a night class I was taking, suddenly it came to me. That I could do this.

On why he chose to write speculative fiction…

I like speculative fiction because to me it’s the most imaginative of all the genres out there. Fiction that makes you tilt your head and go “what?” Whether it be alternate history, sci-fi, fantasy, horror or whatever – these are the genres/sub-genres that really let the imagination run wild.

What he’s written so far…

Since I started on the indie route in late 2015, I’ve published FAB, an alternate history novella which asks “What if John Lennon Had Lived?” I’ve also published a collection of short stories called The Outsider Tales, which looks at yep – outsiders in everyday life. Most recently, in May 2016, I published L-2011, an alternate history novel about the 2011 London riots, in which the riots don’t stop and well – the city goes bonkers.

Marketing mistakes he would avoid making in the future…

When I released FAB in December 2015, I had some bookmarks specially made with the cover design, release/purchase details, website info, and all that printed on the front and back. Then on launch day, I wandered all over Melbourne, putting them in bookshops and cafés and things like that. Honestly though, I feel that it was a complete waste of time. It didn’t really do anything except wear my legs out.

On indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing…

I thought long and hard about how I was going to pursue my own publishing goals, but eventually indie won by a clear mile.

I’m a huge supporter of indie publishing.

Traditional publishing leaves aspiring writers in such a passive state – submit your work, wait for months if not years, and then more than likely get rejected – and not necessarily because your book is bad. Indie publishing offers writers the opportunity to be pro-active and to actually go directly after what they want.

When he has free time to read…

I love reading speculative fiction, just as much as I love writing it. I love horror, apocalyptic, and alternate histories in particular. But to be honest, I like any story that grabs me regardless of genre. It’s the story – if it hooks me then I’m in.

What’s his next project?

Next up is the second book in the FAB trilogy, in which the action moves on a decade from the 1980s to the 1990s. John Lennon is still alive and well of course. And I’m also outlining the second book in the London series, set nine years after the riots.

Some day jobs he’s held…

I’ve worked in a DIY store, I’ve been a professional musician, and I’ve also been a bouncer.


Mark Gillespie book cover.jpg

How can you discover more about Mark and his work?

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page |

Book Links:

FAB | L-2011 | The Outsider Tales

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