My guest today is Mark H. Newhouse. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!
It’s such a pleasure to have you here.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release? When did it come out? Where can
we get it?
While I love writing for adults and children,
my latest book is a funny middle grade mystery, the first in a new series,
called WELCOME TO MONSTROVIA. It is an award-winning story of a teenage boy
who is sent to live with his very strange uncle and becomes involved in solving
a murder mystery while adjusting to life in a world of monsters and fantasy
folk. It just came out in October on Amazon, Kindle and wherever books are sold.
Is there anything that
prompted your book? Something that inspired you?
I always loved Sherlock Holmes and Perry Mason,
and Welcome to Monstrovia is a humorous combination of both. The fun part is children
get to solve a comical mystery with a teenager forced to work with his uncle on
a very difficult case. The idea first came to me when I wrote a play for my
sixth grade students. They loved it so much that I knew someday I would try and
write it as a novel. I was thrilled when an early draft won a prize in the
Florida Writers Association competition and am very excited that everyone who read the preview copies has loved this crazy idea.
It does sound interesting!
So, when did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?
Writing has always been my passion, but as a
child it was a way to solve problems. My parents were Holocaust survivors and
new immigrants, struggling to learn English and working very hard. I did not
have grandparents to talk to since they were killed in the war so I began to
write. I soon learned I could create stories that not only made me happy, but
made others happy too. As a teacher, I wrote stories and plays to make my
students laugh while they learned. That has always been my goal.
Do you have any favorite authors?
I absolutely loved Sherlock Holmes and Erle
Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason mysteries. My love of horror came from Edgar
Allen Poe and humor from my idol, Mark Twain. Steven King, John Grisham and
James Patterson are current favorites, but I’ve also loved James Michener and
James Clavelle, and wish I could do historic fiction with their authenticity. I
guess I like all authors.
Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?
I write whenever I get a spare moment, but my
favorite time is six thirty in the morning on my back porch which faces a
serene pond…well, we do get alligators once in a while.
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?
Write with passion and worry about being
published later. I love making children laugh so my goal is to create books
that kids can laugh at. Don’t do it alone. Join a good writing group and never
That's great advice!
you so much for stopping by to visit us today here at Writing in the
Modern Age, Mark. It was so nice having you! :)
Readers, here is the blurb forWelcome to Monstrovia.
In the first book of a middle-grade fantasy-comedy-mystery series,
Brodie Adkins is thrown into the wacky world of Monstrovia where he
encounters flying serpents, deadly giants and a monstrous murder mystery
that only he can solve! In Monstrovia, anything can and does happen!
Kids of all ages won’t be able to put it down until the hilarious
surprising ending. Join the adventure as related by award-winning author
Mark Newhouse from the diary of Brodie Adkins!
Here is an excerpt.
Nothing is normal in Monstrovia as Brodie, the
teenage nephew of the great Doofinch the Defender learns. In this scene he has
gotten himself into a bit of a jam by just trying to avoid a ride in a taxi
driven by a maniacal driver by the name of Silas Bumbernickle:
“Maybe I’ll call a cab today,” Uncle
Jasper says. “I should give old Horace a day of rest.”
He’s going to call Bumbernickle? I panic. “I like riding on Horace,” I lie
quickly, surprised at how good I’m getting at this.
do? I thought you were rather frightened of the poor thing?” He scratches his
no, Uncle, Horace and I are becoming great friends.” One lie leads to another.
well. Horace it will be. Anything for my wonderful assistant.”
really did it this time. No sooner does Horace come gallumphing out of the
garage than Uncle Jasper insists we become better acquainted. “Rub his nose,”
he coaxes as Horace gives me a suspicious look and a snort of purple green
have to go,” I say, not eager to trust my hand to those ‘meat-eater’ teeth.
“How about later?”
Jasper shakes his head. “You must overcome your fears, my nephew. Fear
paralyzes us, and is mostly born of prejudice against the unknown.”
Oh please, not a lecture? Not today. I take a deep breath, and
reach my hand up toward Horace’s massive bobbing head.
Interesting! I certainly want to find out more! And kind of apropos for Halloween, isn't it? :)
Comical monsters and
underdog heroes race through Mark's imagination and have won him many awards
for his books and stories, but his favorite reward is hearing children laugh at
his humorous adventures such as those in WELCOME TO MONSTROVIA, a new series.
Mark won the Teacher's Choice Award (Learning
Magazine) for THE ROCKHOUND SCIENCE MYSTERIES, where kids catch crazy crooks by
fun experiments like making ice pops. He won First Prize in the Florida
Writers' Association competition for his comical YA horror, THE MIDNIGHT DIET
CLUB, now also a great audio book. His upcoming picture books, SANTA'S SPEEDING
TICKET, and ALICE IN BATSYLVANIA are loaded with fantastic illustrations by Dan
Mark contributed stories and was editor-in-chief
for HOLIDAY HELPINGS, THE STORY SHOP, and CRITTER CAPERS, filled with funny
stories for children and families. His adult stories have won many honors and
appear in various collections including the Journeys Anthologies and the
Florida Writers' Association Collections.
Mark's award-winning adult series, ECTOS, THE
GHOST DOCTOR'S ASSISTANT and ECTOS 2: THE BURNING, is published by Solstice
Publishing and is the suspenseful story of a bright, courageous grad student
who must become an assistant in a university Parapsychology Department to free
herself of a mysterious ghost and a murderous stalker. ECTOS: NIGHTMARE has
been selected as one of only ten entries in Solstice's new anthology, NOW I LAY
ME DOWN TO SLEEP.
Mark thanks you for your support and a special
thank you for those kind enough to add their reviews. "A few years ago, I
got the greatest fan letter from a little boy thanking me for my ROCKHOUND
detective series and ending with: 'I know all authors are rich. Can I swim
in your pool?' If I had one, you'd all be invited."