Today I’d like to welcome Mark Henry, author of the terrifically snarktastic Parks & Wreck (reviewed here). I’ve had loads of people recommend that I absolutely HAD to read something of his, and they were right!
How Far is Too Far
by Mark Henry
When my acquiring editor approached me with the idea of writing a romance for Entangled’s new Covet line, I fumbled for a response. Romance seemed like the kind of concept a writer like me would need a grappling hook to latch onto. You see, I have a history. I wrote a series of urban fantasy books that were most notable for their vulgarity and an irreverent, blisteringly abrasive humor. My protagonist was a zombie. She ate people! Unapolagetically! Those books were also a satire about the current social state, the growing apathy to homelessness, a throwaway culture.
Our conversation went like this…
Me: You say humorous paranormal romance?
Editor: Absolutely. We absolutely love your humor.
Me: My humor? You’re not mistaking me for someone else?
Editor: Oh no. It’s you.
Me: If we were looking at a continuum, you realize I’m on the side with a snarky mean girls, right?
It was settled. Now, I knew when I pitched Parts & Wreck, a novel about a self-taught surgeon who takes on a (possibly) schizophrenic assistant and falls in love with her amidst a hunt for demon-infected transplant organs, that the premise was pretty out there. Also, I had these “ideas” for scenes that I knew had never been in a romance before, at least not in anything commercial.
I’d tell people that. Other romance writers and they’d roll their eyes and say things like, “I’m sure it’s perfectly fine. Nothing to worry about.” The scene in question did not make it into the final cut of Parts & Wreck. I knew it wouldn’t. I told people it’d be a miracle if it did. And so…I unveil the details of the “Too Far Scene.”
Oddly enough, it’s only peripherally sexual in nature. In fact, it was the big set piece of comedy in the whole book, so losing it was a dagger (not really, I had a back up plan, because I knew. I KNEW). Are you ready?
In this scene, the hero takes the stage of a strip club to perform an awkward strip tease which culminates in an homage to prom scene in the Stephen King classic, Carrie. No big deal, right? Oh wait, replace the pig’s blood with urine.
Now, why-oh-why, you ask, did I bother to try to push that through when, like I said, I KNEW it wasn’t going to make the final cut? Please see paragraph one. My humor and thought process is such that I’m driven to the irreverent, to the “blisteringly abrasive.” I’m lucky to have people who’ll help to reel that in. That hasn’t always been the case.
So what can I tell you about Parts & Wreck that you might not know? It most definitely does not have a bucket of pee in it. No. Not anymore.
Mark Henry traded a career as a counselor to scar minds with his fiction. In stories clogged with sentient zombies, impotent sex demons, transsexual werewolves and ghostly goth girls, he irreverently processes traumatic issues brought on by premature exposure to horror movies, an unwholesome fetish for polyester and/or witnessing adult cocktail parties in the swingin’ 70s. A developmental history further muddied by surviving earthquakes, typhoons, and two volcanic eruptions. He somehow continues to live and breathe in the oft maligned, yet not nearly as soggy as you’d think, Pacific Northwest, with his wife and four furry monsters that think they’re children and have a complete disregard for carpet.To learn more about Mark, visit his website and blog or follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or YouTube or sign up for his newsletter.
Mark is giving away several copies of his books. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below: