Stamford, UK, 1986. It had to have been a dark and foggy night to give rise to one of the area's most mystic individuals. Fast forward to present day, and that individual, one Alexander Wilkinson, can be occasionally seen wandering the streets of York and Leeds like some creature of legend. With a Pepsi Max in one hand, a half-eaten cheese pretzel in the other, and an open bag of peanut M&Ms in his pocket, he lurks in the shadows of North Yorkshire like a nocturnal animal only paying the day a visit.
In the light hours, Mr. Wilkinson can be seen moonlighting as a nine-to-five office drone with a lighthearted composure and a traditional brain. But dusk is when his true self begins to emerge. Seeking to entertain the masses, he dips a virtual pen into a digital inkwell and composes unique prose that has been compared to that of James Joyce. Whether it's a smell, sound, or image that ignites the creative spark in Mr. Wilkinson's mind, it always turns into a blazing chemical fire incapable of being quenched.
Everything from anime and Quentin Tarantino to video games and old samurai films inspires him to create something. A peculiar and invigorating blend of sci-fi, Western, horror, fantasy, black comedy, and straight up attitude permeates the flagship work of his, the Mortis Chronicles.
His debut, Trials of Eden: Flesh Trade, ventures forth into uncharted waters. Demons, mutants, humans, and supernatural beings clash in a truly otherworldly plot that puts the entire universe at stake. It doesn't fall into overused archetypes but instead fuses the best parts of classic genres together to make what has been hailed as an instant classic. The flowing, erratic prose will command your attention and make you crave more.
Interview with Alexander Wilkinson:
Tell me about The Mortis Chronicles? What is it about?
Alexander Wilkinson: The Mortis Chronicles series is my first series of books, the first of which, was released early 2014.
The series is currently going through its first sub-series called ‘Trials of Eden’ in which I want to bring to the masses the story of my protagonist Mortis, the environment he operates in and what exactly he does ... Who he is … Why he is, who he is.
My first book, Trials of Eden – Flesh Trade, begins to paint the canvas by going into the story about what happened to Earth; after an event known as ‘The Reckoning.’ When demons, supernaturals and freaks fought back against the spread of humans into their territories. Having watched the humans over the centuries destroy their own lands, and now beginning to want their lands too.
I love old samurai films and those films where you have overwhelming odds against a one man / or woman army. Taking this into account, Mortis you could say, is a wandering Ronin style character who for the majority of the time, who operates alone … Wandering a plant named Eden … Bringing law to the lawless.
Operating as a ‘hunter,’ Mortis is a pawn in a greater scheme of things in which his modus operandi is to keep the peace … Enforce order
… And ensure the mass scale of destruction seen on Earth, does not repeat itself on Eden.
Why would someone be interested in reading The-Mortis-Chronicles: Flesh Trade?
What motivated you to write this particular book The-Mortis-Chronicles: Flesh Trade?
I love to play roleplaying games … Roleplay online … Xbox … Card games ... Board games ... The usual geek formats.
But doing this I always had sidequests I wanted to do, but were never optional. Characters you wanted killing off, that never died and thinks like that.
When I first started writing, it was simply to put digital pen to the digital page so that I could write my version of something. Build characters and a world of my own design. When I started I never had the intention of it been an e-book, but after a colleague read through it. He suggested giving it a try, after a little research on the net; I decided to go for it.
If you could compare your book to anything like a film or another book, what would you compare it to?
I would have to say that ‘The Book of Eli’ comes straight to mind when you ask me that. Lone wanderer … One man army … Yet simply trying to maintain an old religion and traditions for a new world. Even amongst the chaos, Mr Washington stands strong and faithful.
You describe this book having multiple genres from sci-fi, Western, horror, fantasy, and black comedy. Can you explain how this is even possible?
Alexander Wilkinson: Its perception and execution mainly.
The scene itself would be considered Sci-Fi, as would the technology, weaponry and means of transport. However, the supernaturals, freaks and demons I use would no doubt fall into the fantasy setting along with a little witchcraft and wizardry.
Mortis’ style is where the western comes in, from his appearance and apparel to the way he operates and even the type of ‘contracts’ he takes. For example, within the first few pages, we see Mortis been dispatched to find the cause of a mining town been raised to the ground. Something that you may have heard before, but then that’s where my twist and take of things will differ. For the comedy part, this was tough. I started writing, and I had feedback on the action and adventure aspects … The fights … The missions … But then someone mentioned to me character chemistry. With a little tweaking … Some rewording … Not only do you have a sort of low-level tension, teasing and flirting between two of the main characters. But you also have humour as the characters playing off one another. In my second book, this occurring in the middle of an epic last stand; one of the characters simply decides to get up and walk away as ‘he’s had enough’. Moving to the opposite end of the firing line.
Juvenile … Petty … But in the heat of battle, under a hail of rounds, hysterical when you read it.
Again, you’d need to read it to take it in full context, but I have had several beta readers in stitches with some of the lines.
What or who inspired you to become a writer?
It was a mix really, and I have two main people to thank for pushing me towards the final decision. Mr John Coyne; a family member who restored my interest in literature on a whole. And Professor Jon Timmis; who I had the pleasure of hearing speak at an award ceremony at York College. He spoke of how it is never too late to make changes to your career and future. But above all else, I think it would have to be my want to entertain. Just plain and simple as that, I want to be able to entertain the masses. And hope people will enjoy reading my works.
Do you plan on publishing your book as a print addition and doing a book signing tour?
Alexander Wilkinson: I do plan on releasing my book in print, however it’s all about the money.
One thing I learnt quite early on was you needed quite a bit of money to cover the proofreading, formatting and cover design. Not to mention the advertising, to get word of your work out.
I'm in the process of trying to improve sales on my e-book, so that I then have the financial stability, to go print.
As for a book signing tour, my one major hurdle is shyness. I operate under a nom de plume. And you'll be hard pressed to find a picture of me anywhere near my works. I suppose if interest was big enough I would, but not to sell copies. But to sign copies and meet the fans, who read my works. They do after all, inspire me to continue writing and fund the next book.
What in store for Alexander Wilkinson and what can fans of The-Mortis-Chronicles: Flesh Trade can expect in your next book? And, when does your next book get released?
Alexander Wilkinson: You love the curve balls, don't you?! ... I haven’t really thought that far ahead.
I have bits and pieces rattling around in my head, scribbled on the back of napkins and pads but to be honest I'm not too sure.
I guess, in regards to the next book, I have already released Trials of Eden – Hunters Creed on Amazon for $ 00.99 c; I’ve kept both books at low prices just to ensure if people wanted to buy them as a ‘taster’ been a new publisher / author, and all, they had the chance.
For the second book, the readers can expect the action and adventure to be kicked a notch up to a sector-wide scale. Not to mention my 'epic' last stand scene mentioned earlier.
The leprechauns, dwarves and satyr are all new species brought into the Mortis Chronicles universe, and we find out a little more about Mortis’ past back on Earth. If anything, from the beta readers, my proofreader and the first few reviews I have gotten in. Hunters Creed has been even more positively received than Flesh Trade.
Apart from that, I have several short stories in mind, and I am working on my third book 'Trials of Eden - Puppet Master.' Which is due out the back end of the year.
The short stories, I see as a base for going into Mortis’ past a little more, the past of his companions and even of his demonic katana Widow Maker. Powerful plot mechanisms throughout the first two books; that could almost be full-length novels themselves!
In regards to what is in store for me, well I guess working on my fear of the public! But in all seriousness, I am setting up a blog on Bloggers to try and offer helpful advice to new fellow indie authors as well as giving them a platform for book reviews. As well as to hopefully held educate people on the indie scene. Every time I'm asked, what an indie author is, I have to fight the urge to sing 'i did it my way.' … Before you ask, no, I can’t sing! … And my attempts usually end up making dogs bark.
After that it is working on my advertising, devoting every waking moment I can to my writing and hopefully shaking up the Sci-Fi / Fantasy, eBook scene.
My one main goal ... Something I aim to save hard for ... Is to eventually bring 'The Mortis Chronicles,' out as an animated film.
I know it sounds like a pipe dream at the moment, but I've found walking the indie path, that it helps you in make your dreams come true!
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