Q&A

Questions and answers about Mark and his writing

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Q. We're here today to learn more about this relatively unknown author, Mark Terence Chapman. He has graciously consented to answer a few questions about himself and his writing.* Thank you for joining us, Mr. Chapman. May we call you Mark?

A. Thank you for having me. Of course you can call me Mark. I suppose you could call me Sue, but that might be confusing.

Q. Um, yes. I guess it would be. Okay, first question.

A. Wouldn't that be the second question? You already asked if you could call me Mark?

Q. Right. Okay. Second question. I see you live in North Carolina. Were you born there?

A. Nope. Manhattan. I've also lived in Toronto, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, St. Louis, Atlanta, and now the Raleigh/Durham area. I figure if I keep moving the feds won't catch me.

Q. Commendable. So you write science fiction primarily. Why not romance?

A. Simple, with aliens I don't have to worry about writing a book filled with sex scenes that I wouldn't want my mother (or daughters) to read. You see, aliens don't have sex. (At least, not in my books.)

Q. Speaking of daughters, I see that you have two of them.

A. That's not a question, but okay. Yes, I do have two, both teenagers. I also have two dogs, two cats, and two cars. I like the symmetry of two, so I also wanted two wives, but my Number 1 wife objected. She doesn't seem to understand that she's throwing off the symmetry of the entire universe this way. You can see that, can't you? Can't you???

Q. Um, yes, well, okay, sure--I think. So, tell us what your ultimate goal is as a writer.

A. Also not a question. More of a command, actually. You're not very good at this, are you? See? That's a question. It has a question mark at the end and everything.

Q. Yes, well....

A. Anyway, to answer your nonquestion, my ultimate goal as a writer is to outsell all other authors combined (like J.K. Rowling does) and be in a position to dictate terms to all publishers--like, say, drop all other authors and sell only my books. That's not too much to ask for, is it? (See? Another question! That's how you do it.) You don't have to be a mad scientist to be a megalomaniac. You can be a mad author and accomplish the same goal.

Q. Um, okay. Final question.

A. Is it really going to be a question this time, not a command disguised as a question?

Q. Yes, a real question. I promise.

A. Okay. Shoot. Remember, I'm grading you on this.

Q. Uh, okay. Here goes. Um...I forgot the question.

A. Bzzt! You fail. I guess you're going to have to make it up in summer school. Come back in a week and we'll try it again. Before you return, I want you to write 500 times, "I will not forget my interview questions in class." Got it?

Q. Uh, yessir! My apologies! I'll get it right next time!

A. Good. You do that. See you next week. Don't be late.

Q. Yes, sir! I mean no, sir. I mean, thank you, sir. I won't let you down!

* Interview as I would like to see it unfold. The answers are true; the questions were changed to protect the guilty.