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An Interview with Author Markus McDowell

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Markus McDowell is a multigenre author, editor, and ghostwriter of both fiction and nonfiction. He enjoys exploring the chaos that life often throws at us, and all the ways humans respond. Markus holds a PhD and a law degree, in addition to three master’s degrees, and has lectured and taught courses at universities in the US and Europe. He lives on a boat and travels extensively, having a serious case of wanderlust.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

There is much suffering in the world (physical, mental, emotional) and we are all, in many ways, the walking wounded. I was struck by Victor Frankl’s comment that the worst suffering is that which seems pointless. That is, suffering which seems to have no lesson, no reason behind it other than pure evil, and we cannot grow from it. I wanted to write s novel about a man’s life that was filled with unjust suffering, and how he would navigate it.

Tell us the story of your book’s current title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I think Hemingway was on to something when he said that the best titles come from the Bible. This came from the book of Job (which explores the meaning of suffering!). It did not take me long to find it once I began looking.

What books are you reading (for research or comfort) as you continue the writing process?

When I am not reading books for paid reviews, I read as many of the nominees for the Pulitzer Prize novel, Hugo Awards, and Nebula Awards. I also read books on writing. Currently, I am reading Babel by R.F. Kuang (SF), My Father’s Ghost (historical fantasy (paid)) by A.C. Wilson, and Seven Drafts by Alison K. Williams (on writing).

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I was a professional musician for many years, running a recording studio and playing studio and live sessions as a keyboardist.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

When I was young, I loved reading. An elementary school teacher introduced me to science fiction and fantasy, which I loved. But it was the Lord of the Rings trilogy that made me want to be a writer. I

Where is your favorite place to write?

I like to change up my writing and editing. I write on my boat, at a cafe, or, when traveling I write in hotel lobbies and bars. I write on my MacBook, my iPad, and sometimes even on my iPhone. I find that changing up my location and tools increases my inspiration and enthusiasm, and keeps me from getting bored.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope they are entertained, but that they also learn something about being human, and perhaps do not feel so alone in their thoughts, experiences, traumas, or suffering.

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