Thursday, 3 July 2014

Mark Lingane, Author of "Telsa"

Today I'd like welcome Mark Lingane, author of  "Telsa" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

Mark was first published at the ripe old age of eight, when a local newspaper published his review of Disney on Ice. The next time his name was in print was a life time later at the age of fifteen, when a national magazine ran his review of the Commodore 64. It was downhill from there, picking up a weekly column in the Sunday Times which funded a rather noncommittal path through university, studying a wide range of topics from Robotics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Computer Science, Psychology. In fact so many subjects were studied he was eligible for graduation at the end of his second year, based purely on attendance. He finally left and joined the corporate world before realizing work isn't that much fun, and going back to study. Further writing followed with regular columns for various technology magazines and newspapers around the country. Then as the reality of permanent food and shelter began to bare its teeth, another attempt at the corporate world beckoned as a technical writer, which turned out okay. Shifting from technology companies to resource companies provided the opportunity to travel and live in some desolate and exotic locations where the locals don't like you much.

OK - HERE WE GO !!  

No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?

The law, like rules of writing, are fairly arbitrary and cover a wide set of circumstances. I would speed to the hospital. I would split an infinitive, and possibly improperly use a hyphen. That’s the kind of rebellious person I am.

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Tax minimization! Okay, maybe not. But we all crave freedom. We search for ways that allow us to do what we want and live a life of exploration and excitement. It’s a big world. When we are out experiencing it we are living.

No.3 What motivates you to write?

It is better than breaking the law. Partly because it is my job and it pays the mortgage, partly because it is something I’ve always done. I’m not sure I wanted to do it, but that’s the way the cards have fallen. I think I wanted to be a programmer, but obviously something has gone horribly wrong. 

No.4 Why do humans want children?

To inflict laws on them. And to avoid those age-inducing smile lines. Do we want or do we need? On the ‘want’ side, I guess it is all part of the id. We want because it is part of our DNA. The desires we share might not drive on evolution but they certainly drive survival. 

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book Tesla?

Writing for a younger audience. The whole style has to change along with narrative structure and outcome. But you also need to balance the child’s sense of humour with the more sophisticated one of an adult just in case they read it. Blending the two is tough. 

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?

Don’t ‘go’ to do something. ‘Go Hard’ to do it! If you try something, give it 100%. Do things for the right reasons and support others who also are striving for the same goal. Surround yourself with quality and excellence, because it rubs off. 

No.7 How did you come up with the title "Tesla" ?

I wanted it to be symbolic of the science used within the book. I wrote about magnetism. The unit of measurement is a tesla, and the hero has the power to control magnetic waves. There are a handful of others who can also do this, but not as well. He is destined to be the first mega-tesla. 

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?

I’m fine with it these days. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Often some of the harshest comments are the most rewarding. You can either be a victim, or you can embrace it as part of the experience. Everything helps us to become better. 

No.9 Why should people read your book?

It’s funny. It’s quirky and exciting. It explains how the impossible can happen through quantum physics. It’s cheap! It was my fifth book so, hopefully, I’m getting better. Although it is a fun romp it has plenty of depth. There are many discussion points, and hidden references to dig out. I think it also has heart to it. 

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?

Surely there are both? Without one we cannot have the other. The eternal verities of existence decay from the state of something to nothing. Specifically why is there something? Easy: Excess energy. And possibly water. We have energy, therefore we have creation.

Thanks Mark for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book! 

Check out his new book "Tesla" on

Cyberpunk vs Steampunk: the battle is on. One thousand years in the future, nuclear war has wiped out much of civilization in the northern hemisphere. The planet has slowly been getting hotter and water is becoming a rare resource. Out of the ruins of a civilization that has collapsed in on itself, have arisen a new breed of people - those with the power to control magnetism. Sebastian, a young orphan boy from a quiet rural town, is being hunted by strange part-machine, part-human people. His only hope is Melanie, an angry, dying teenage girl who is dragged into the adventure and sets out to deliver him to the Steam Academy, even if it’s just to stop him talking. Sebastian must confront an unknown past and fight against everything he believed in. And occasionally wash his hair. Aimed at a teen audience.

When writing this, I wanted to produce something that would compete against the "console" generation, where plot is delivered by cut scenes. The question was how do you write for an Assassin's Creed fan? My list became: Short, sharp, constantly evolving, ridiculous amounts of action where no one important ever seems to get hurt, and make fun of current pop culture, social media, adults and technology.

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