Mark is an old friend of mine. We worked a particular renaissance faire together for a few years before life sent us in different directions, but in recent years we reconnected via Facebook. Mark recently released his debut novel, Dex Territory, and he’s here to tell you about it (and you can click on the image to jump over to Amazon and buy it for the Kindle, or jump to the publisher link below, if it sounds like your kind of book).
Time to introduce yourself to readers. Who are you?
My name is Mark Aberdeen, I’m originally from Connecticut, but have kicked around the planet a fair bit. I currently live in Georgia with my wife and a couple of rescue dogs. I work in telecommunications, but have had a long and varied employment in everything from retail clerk to submarine mechanic to cook to highly unpaid renaissance faire actor. I took up writing as a sideline and frankly as an escape from the technical field. It was nice to exercise the creative field. When you do this an engineer, things can go horribly wrong.
Your book is Dex Territory. What’s it about?
Dex Territory is the first of what I hope is going to be a long series. It exists as a standalone, but there are a lot of threads I can pull. The story centers on a police detective, Rick O’Shea, and he tracking a serial killer in a world where super powers exist. While during the investigation, a full on street battle occurs in the city, a robbery gone wrong. Rick and his partner notice that the supers, called Dexes (short for spandex), have significantly grown in number and something is strange with the known Dexes. This leads to a web of lies and betrayal and Rick is tasked to find who, or what, is behind the violence, what they hope to gain and not get killed while do so.
Who is your target audience? Who do you think would like this story?
I hope this book appeals to people who like urban fantasy, science fiction genre. The story also contains mysteries with hard-boiled characters that have difficulties with relationships. I wrote it because I wondered how a normal police detective would be able to live in such a world where anything is possible. It’s a very adult book with sex and violence and it’s a crazy over-the-top world, but it feels grounded.
Where did this idea come from?
The idea spawned from a gaming session back in early 90’s. My gaming group got into playing GURPS and we took a break from fantasy and did a campaign with supers. It was the most fun any of us had ever had gaming. We used our home as the backdrop and that idea stuck. The characters are different, the world is different, but the seed of everything came from a handful of weekends, alcohol, great friends and too much time.
And what about the title? What’s the story behind that?
Dex is short for spandex, a slang term used in the book for people with superpowers. Dex Territory refers to a website used in the book for an online game similar to a fantasy football league using Dexes.
What was behind your decision to go with a small press? Did you consider trying to find a larger publisher or self-publishing?
I started writing the book in 2004 and finished it in 2008. From ’08 until ’12 I’d been rejected by every mainstream publisher who dealt with any kind of genre fiction. The stack of rejection letters props up a table. I considered self-publishing, but honestly, I wanted validation. I wanted someone to tell me this was good enough. I gave it up. I wrote a little for a magazine and I was going on with my life. A friend mentioned me to an editor at a small press. He was looking for new talent. I got in touch with Terry Wright and pitched him my story and he invited me to submit it. He had a contract in my hands a week later. Terry got a hold of it and tore it apart. A lot of excessive exposition, clunky parts, some inconsistencies and we trimmed the hell out of it and turned a hundred thousand words into sixty five thousand and had a really solid story. I reworked a few things and I’m very proud of it.
What’s your next project?
I’ve started the sequel. I hope to put several of these out. I have some good strong characters and as long as the voices speak to me I’ll continue to write what they say.
Where can readers buy your book?
Readers can find my book at www.TWBPress.com. They can find me on Amazon in both e-book and trade paperback. I also offer signed copies on my blog at http://markaberdeen.blogspot.com I have instructions and a checkout button on the blog. It’s the slowest way to put a copy in a reader’s hands, I warn.
Where can readers find you online?
Drop by say hello. Facebook is my social media of choice. Friend me.