I’ve met Mark DeBryan twice now. Once at WV Shockacon and once at the WV Book Festival. For such a prolific writer with a masterful story-style and superb readability, you’d expect his nose to be buried in a tiny laptop, tapping away and shooing off questions and photo-ops.
Quite different is the real Mark DeBryan, who not only greets you with his mischievous, knowing grin and a hearty handshake, but is the life of the booth party at the con. Every WV author I’ve met has an infectious, inspiring attitude and Mark DeBryan is tops when it comes to that.
Also, he’s a big-bang of a storyteller in the zombie, virus, end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it department. I’m currently reading his debut novel ‘Family Reunion’ – what a blast! Log off your Netflix and Hulu and binge on this! “When the apocalypse happens, only one thing matters… FAMILY!”
He graced me with an interview – here it is:
MD: First Josh, I want to thank you for having me here today.
JK: Tell us how you got started writing.
MD: I entered a writing contest and had my short story In for a Dollar, In for a Dime published by an established author. I then turned that short story into a full length novel that became Family Reunion book one.
JK: What do you think the Appalachian or WV experience brings to your stories?
MD: I have lived in West Virginia 27 years. I was raised in California but found I loved the laid back pace and the people of West Virginia and put down my roots here. We just went through a record flood in our area and the way people came together is a good example of community and how much people care for each other here. I try to infuse that idea into my writing.
JK: What are you reading right now?
MD: I just finished Bobby Akhart’s post apocalyptic novel 36 hours. It is an intense look at perils faced by our country, and how most people would not be prepared to survive a grid down situation. I love the eye opening type of fiction that serves a purpose beyond entertainment.
JK: What’s your current or next project?
MD: I am currently working on the third book in the Apocalypse Family series. It will pick up where book one Family Reunion left off. Book two Family Reunion “J” actually parallels book one and follows Ryan’s (the main character from book one) wife and kids back in West Virginia. It also answers many questions about the virus and vaccine that are not cover in the original story.
JK: Anything else or advice for aspiring storytellers?
MD: If you are an aspiring writer I have some simple advice. WRITE! Pay for a good edit, and invest in a good cover.
About the Author
Mark has always been a bit of a vagabond. Born in Washington, raised in California, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard after high school. During his Coast Guard career, he was an admiral’s driver in San Francisco, a deckhand on a cutter in the Bering Sea, and an aviation electrician in North Carolina, Texas, and Florida. After he left the Coast Guard he worked security, first guarding MX nuclear missiles, then at a nuclear power plant in California. Eventually he went to college in Wisconsin, only to drop out after meeting his future wife. He went on to finish college at age 36 and owned a Miracle Ear franchise for a while. He went into publishing for a short time before becoming an information systems specialist. Mark currently splits his time between West (by God) Virginia and Surfside Beach, South Carolina.
JK: Mark, thanks so much for the interview – keep those novels coming!