Interview ~ Mark C. King, author of The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook

Hey guys !

First off, Happy Halloween everyone ! To celebrate this day, I give you an interview with Mark C. King, author of several self-published books (all available on Amazon, a link will be available at the end of the interview !). When I asked Mark for an interview, he was kind enough to agree to answer my long list of questions regarding both his latest book, The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook, that I recently reviewed here, and how life as an author is.

Since I’m a little dumb and have never done this before, I haven’t thought to ask Mark to introduce himself at the beginning of the interview. So before you read, here is a little bio to help you understand who Mark C. King is !



Mark King is an easy-going writer with a talent for finding enjoyment in most any situation. He’s a lifelong reader whose literary interests include science fiction, adventure, thriller, and mysteries.  He grew up in California, but now lives in upstate New York with his wife.  When not working or writing, he can be found watching movies, flying a drone, associating with friends, and of course reading. 


Hi Mark ! Thank you for agreeing to answer my questions ! First off, can you tell us how you came to write ?

Regarding how writing came into my life, I would say there were four things that really got me going. First, I love to read. Since a young age I always found enjoyment in books. Second, When I was around ten years old, I tried writing my first story. I only got a couple of pages in when I realized I didn’t know what I was doing. It was awful. But it planted a seed that never went away. Third, many years later, not having written anything since I was ten, one of my workmates published a book. It kind of struck me that he was a normal guy and did a very cool thing. I started to think, ‘If he could do it, then maybe I can too.’ Four, around that same time I read a book that was just awful and I wrote a poor review for it. I started thinking that I could have written a better book. Easy to say, harder to do. So I took on the challenge. I found that writing was very enjoyable and gave me a creative outlet that was missing in my life. Now, if I go very long without writing, I actually miss it!

You released your latest book “The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook” this year. Can you tell us a little about it ? What made you want to write this specific story ?

    The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook is a book I had wanted to write for several years. I lived in Kinderhook (a small village in upstate New York) for a little while and was confused by all of the Ichabod Crane and Headless Horseman references that kept coming up in the area – for the actual story takes place in Tarrytown (about 1 ½ south of Kinderhook). Turns out, Washington Irving wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow while in Kinderhook and based it on the people there. The main character, Ichabod Crane, is based on a really good friend of Irving’s named Jesse Merwin (You can visit Merwin lake today which is where they often fished together). That got me viewing the town from the perspective of the story – kinda creepy, full moons, barren trees in the late fall – and I knew I had to write my own story for that great little village.

The story of The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook takes place in 1826 – a few years after Irving’s story – and delves into a creature from Dutch Folklore (Kinderhook was settled  by the Dutch).  It has an interesting array of characters and, I believe, holds true to the macabre feeling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

It’s so incredible to have such folklore around your hometown! Do you think it might inspire you for other books?
Absolutely! I’ve had several people talk about a sequel to the Moss maiden book, so that is a very real possibility. Perhaps more interesting, since doing the research, I’ve come up with another story line that would be be located in Kinderhook. This is interesting to me as it would be my first contemporary novel, although it would have deep ties to the past. We’ll see where that goes.
Which character of The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook is closest to your heart/your favorite and why ?
The character that is closest to my heart is Marie Holland. I grew to appreciate what she tried to be despite so many obstacles. Writing the proper story for her was very difficult because, even though i wanted her to overcome tragedy and have a great life, such an accomplishment is not easy.
How long did you take to write the book ?
Writing a book takes me close to a year (I’ve never actually tracked a start date to an end date). The first draft is the longest part, but editing (reading the story over and over and trying to fix/improve things takes at least a month). Then I try to get some friends to read it over and give feedback prior to actually publishing it. It still surprises me that I can have a finished story (first draft) and still be several months away from being done.
A lot happens in The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook. What did you think was the most difficult part for you to write (without too many spoilers for the people who haven’t read it yet !)
The most difficult part to write will be very difficult to explain without giving away too much. But the climatic ending was the hardest part. All the main characters were effected by the events of the conclusion and it was extremely difficult to be satisfied with the fate of everyone.
Folklore is very present in the book. Do you think you’ll include more legends like the Moss Maiden in your next works ?
Will I include more legends in my books? I would definitely like to. Researching old legends was absolutely fascinating. My current work doesn’t lend itself to that, but I have some ideas for future stories that a good legend would be perfect!
You  are not a full-time author and self-publish your books, am I correct? Can you tell us how it works? Is it sustainable for young authors who want to start their careers?
 I have self-published all my books (although I worked with Snowy Wings Publishing for a couple books, all the members still self-published). there a few sites to use for someone to publish a book, but Amazon makes it really easy, so I use them. Ebooks are especially easy as you basically just need to upload your manuscript. Hard copy books are a little harder as there is some cumbersome formatting that needs to be done (but google showed me the way).
Amazon has a cover creator you can use, which is nice, but the end result is typically average. So a good cover (which is super important) could be a little difficult – probably need to pay someone for that.
The hardest part about self-publishing is advertising your books. I’ve not been terribly successful, so I don’t have too much advice on this. However, I am learning. Besides posting stuff on social  media, I’ve used Amazon ads and Facebook/Instagram ads to some success. To me, writing a book is easy compared to marketing it.
To conclude this interview , are there any books you would recommend people to read ?
I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Many have read his Sherlock Holmes stories, but I would highly recommend ‘The Lost World.’ I love Professor Challenger and just the whole premise of finding a strange land deep in the jungle is awesome.
Another book that I recommend is ‘The Hot Zone’ which is a true story about an Ebola outbreak in Reston, Virginia. It was really interesting learning about Ebola, and how medical facilities handle such scary viruses. It’s also super scary since it actually happened!
I want to thank Mark for taking the time to answer my (numerous) questions, and for being the nice person he is ! I can only recommend you try reading one of his books, especially if you’re a historical fiction fan, as it is Mark’s favourite genre to write. All his books are available on Amazon ! I strongly recommend you The Book Reapers, which is the book I got to know Mark with !
Thanks for reading !

See you soon,

Love, Jade ❤️

2 thoughts on “Interview ~ Mark C. King, author of The Moss Maiden of Kinderhook

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