Markham Turner is a native New Zealander and has written 3 novels, to date, all published as ebooks via Moulin Publications. The books are available through a number of different distributors in several different formats. Markham writes for the fiction genre and two of his books come under the action-adventure category. He has also written one science fiction novel which will leave you in the mind of Blakes 7 or something of a similar ilk. I have read and enjoyed all three of his novels and couldn’t really differentiate which one I would put ahead of the others. I really liked all three and would happy to recommend them all to anyone looking for a book that is a little different from the norm and perhaps a little bit quirky.
To get an understanding of where this rare species of New Zealand authors gets his quirky style of writing, I decided to ask him a few questions designed to give his readers a little bit of an insight into the man himself. Following is the latest, author spotlight, interview of Markham Turner:
Interviewing an Author from New Zealand
Q) You have written three books now and have more in the pipeline. What is it that gives you the motivation to continue writing?
A) I’ve always wanted to write; having started, I now feel uncomfortable if I can’t type at least few paragraphs a day; some weird sort of psychiatric compulsion I suppose?
Q) Do you think a person has to be a little masochistic to become a writer of novels?
A) Masochism must be part of it; a willingness to endure endless rejection and disinterest.
Q) Do you draw on your own personal experiences to write your books or do you rely entirely on research and imagination. I am thinking of your book ‘The Mobius Twist’ when I ask that question, which as you know is your only
excursion (so far) into science fiction.
A) My characters and situations are interpreted from life experiences; my excursion into SciFi reflects a long interest in writers like Clark, Asimov and Heinlein, (probably stemming from childhood addictions to Jules Verne and E Rice-Burrows,) I suspect that anything that humans are able to imagine is possible; quantum physics: printing machines that can duplicate fire-arms? “The Mobius Twist” was my first attempt at writing about a place that I have never visited; it likely reflects a history of youthful moon-gazing; a visit to the actual site may have been helpful? (From a southern perspective, a full moon very much resembles a smiling face.)
Q) I notice some of your writing touches on big moral questions and about how badly humans can treat one another. Do you sometimes despair that the human race doesn’t seem to learn from past mistakes?
A) I have started to suspect that not only do we, as a species, fail to learn from past mistakes, but have at no time had things right! Centuries after Attila, generations after formal suppression of slavery, decades after Belsen, people are still being tortured, slaughtered in the name of (GOD?) raped, and sold into situations worse than Torquemada would have imagined.
Now, I wish for anything that will end needless suffering; and believe that this might best be served by selective culling before our genes belong only to the barbarians!
Q) Do you have any heroes or mentors, people you look to as role models and if so have any of them made it into your books as characters?
A) Much of my child-hood occurred during WW2. Once I could have said the US Marines, (who had a large presence here) Winston Churchill, Douglas Macarthur, or Bernard Montgomery. Now I think that my real hero is my father. A small man, he broke horses, surveyed for roads and bridges and sometimes worked as labourer. After a broken marriage he raised his three remaining children (my older sister carried a huge load) and died in `1963; a gentle man, his life really ended, I believe, when he was wounded at Gallipoli during WW; regretfully I am unlikely to have an opportunity include him in a book.
Q) Does living in New Zealand give you a specific outlook on life or do you think your perspectives would be the same no matter where you lived?
A) I recognize that enormous social changes here affect my outlook. Having been raised in a country under governments with strong moral codes; I find myself cringing as TV character and financial fraudsters are treated as celebrities; real people are all around us but cheats and scoundrels receive accolades. Born as a Protestant, I now lean towards Buddha and Hinduism.I do not believe that any religion has the final answer; certainly not World Corporatism and worship of wealth.
Q) Have you ever received a negative comment about one of your books which made you question whether you wanted to continue writing?
A) Fortunately no! What little feed-beck I have had, has been kind; people are probably too polite to provide helpful criticism.
Q) What about the other side of the coin, have you had such a positive comment or response that it made all the hard work of writing novels worthwhile?
A) All praise is welcome; constructive criticism is more valuable!
Q) Do you write for yourself, your readers or both?
A) I write to satisfy a need in myself; I hope that my efforts will be read, enjoyed, and even influence someone; if not there is little that I can do about it!
Q) Who is your favourite character from your books and which is your favourite book?
A) My favourite characters are Lee Mei-ling and and Dawn (Dorum) “Cages of Smoke,”and Kuini “Mobius Twist.” I seem to have a liking for feisty women; after all, I’m married to one! My own personal favourite book of the three I have written so far is Cages of Smoke
Q) From the perspective of writing, is there a single aspect that might cause you to climb to the top of a mountain and stand there in complete isolation so you can scream with the frustration of it?
A) Madness may arise from the lack of a pencil, or a functioning ballpoint when I have an Idea; or my PC, which at times, becomes haunted by a malignant entity bent on murder by frustration!
Q) Is there a question you would like to be asked and if so what is it and what is the answer?
(My Question) Is there some cosmic purpose to justify our cluttering up the universe?
(A) someone must know the answer; unfortunately it’s not me; nor is it anyone called: Trump, Cameron, Keys, Putin, or Bush. Perhaps Jesus and Buddha came close; it is probably a guy holding a Petri-dish and wondering what to do with it
Many thanks to Markham for taking part in this interview and if you want to find out more about Markham and his books you can visit his Author Page or access his books in multiple formats from his book posts:
- The Voice of the Tiger – A War Romance from the Malayan Emergency
- The Mobius Twist – Alien Abduction and Judgement of the Human Race
- Cages of Smoke – A Soldier’s Story of Expat Living