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CROOKED V.1 Author Spotlight: Mark Teppo

This week we’re featuring spotlight interviews with authors from CROOKED V.1!

Mark Teppo divides his time between Portland and Sumner, and he tends to navigate by local bookstore positioning. He writes historical fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, and has published more than a dozen novels. If he’s writing a mystery, he’s pretending to be Harry Bryant. He also runs Underland Press, an independent publishing house.

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Tell us about your story
I’ve been wrestling with Maisi for most of the year, actually. She started out as a secondary character in a larger ensemble, but I kept coming back to her story as being central to the narrative. Then, she decided that the role I had given her was too boring and that she wanted to be part of something more exciting. Wisely, I got out of the way . . .

What was the inspiration behind this story?
I was working on my weekly newsletter and realized that I hadn’t mentioned anything about writing in a few weeks. I decided it would be good to tell everyone that I was working on something, and so I found a cool piece of SF art and wrote part of the scene with Maisi and Nome in the car as a teaser.

The rest was a matter of figuring out why they were in the car and what was going to happen next.

If you could travel to any science fiction world, where would you go and what would you do?
When I stop and think about this, the first dozen or so that come to mind are either over-populated, thoroughly dystopian, or in the process of being devoured. That says something about what I’ve been reading.

I think I’d like to visit somewhere really weird. Something very un-earthlike. I’d like to see things that I couldn’t imagine. I remember taking my son to the Tacoma Zoo when he was very small. They had a white beluga whale, and I couldn’t get him to look at the magnificent whale. He was too busy being entranced by the pattern of light on the floor. I realized that he was seeing many things he had never seen before. It dawned on me that it had been years since I had had that sort of experience.

What are some of your favorite sci-fi crime books or stories?
Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs series are bloody, explody fun. Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun continues to astound me.

What authors have inspired your writing?
I get a lot of my inspiration these days from crime writers. John D. MacDonald and Richard Stark, to name two.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on the next part of a giant robot mega-corp future story where the only person standing against an imminent attack of the Old Ones is a spy who learned all his tradecraft from old pulp novels. It’s Moonraker meets Pacific Rim meets Out of Sight.



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