Mark Faricy Biography:
I live in St. Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland. I’ve been a soldier, a bartender, and a freelance journalist. I’ve sold designer cakes as well as owned a small painting and decorating company. On the off chance none of my paying jobs offend you, I also play the bagpipes in the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band.
All my books are stand alone, read them in whatever order you wish. I write about the sort of oddballs we’re curious about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. None of my characters will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. My characters inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society with one foot on either side of the law. They serve not as an example but as a warning. The circumstance of their lives are usually the result of bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting stories.
PrincessReviews, Mike Faricy
Hey before I begin let me start by wishing you a very happy anniversary. Everyone thinks it so easy doing this for a year but have them sit down and look at a blank screen and come up with something that’s interesting for your readers, time and time again. Okay so once and a while you goof up and get some dullard like me, but usually it works out. Only because of your hard work, so congratulations are in order. In honor of your anniversary, how about we say everyone who wants a free download of my fantastic, really entertaining, eBook, Russian Roulette, can have one just by contacting you to get the free coupon. As long as they have a Kindle, Sony reader, Nook, Ipad, what ever. If they don’t have an electronic reading device there is a free download at Amazon, called Kindle for the PC. Download that onto your PC and you are ready to go. Fire away.
When did you start writing?
I began writing actually when I was in high school. We had a school newspaper and I did some writing for that, worked on the yearbook No, I wasn’t a nerd, in case you were wondering, I wasn’t smart enough to be a nerd. But, I liked writing. I conspired with some pals to publish an underground paper in high school. I think we were thinking more in terms of girls would think that was really cool, we’d sort of be these dangerous rebels. Yeah, I know, I’m back to the line where I said I wasn’t smart enough. Anyway, everyone bailed out on me, I ended up writing it all by myself, of course by the time I was finished half of the articles were horribly out dated. But I did it. You know, now when I go to a reunion or run in to someone who was with me in school they bring it up. But, it’s usually something along the lines of remember that stupid newspaper you had. Another one of my idiot ideas that I somehow survived..
Coke or Pepsi?
You know, Coke although I like Dr. Pepper and I’ve reintroduced myself to Root beer. We have some locally made Root beers here that I really like.
What is your book, Russian Roulette, about?
Russian Roulette is my seventh book. It is the first book with a private investigator named Devlin Haskell. He’s a bit dysfunctional, okay, really dysfunctional, lazy, somewhat of a bum. Dev is the kind of guy who calls an old girlfriend and when he mentions who he is, her response is something like, “I told you to never ever call me again, ever!” He ends up in bed with his client, of course he’s met her in a bar. But he ends up in bed with her and the next thing you know he’s involved with the Russian mob. This puts him at odds with the local police and an FBI task force investigating human trafficking. Along the way he gets into some really grey areas and finds himself working both sides of the law. He’s shot, beaten, car bombed and used as a human shield all in the name of justice, at least as he sees it. It’s a tale of one night stands and rank ineptitude. Crime and intrigue with a bit of humor and the bizarre woven throughout.
If you weren’t an author what would you want to be instead?
I wouldn’t want to be someone famous, that looks like such a pain. No matter what you do people are watching and there is always someone who is not going to be happy with what you’re doing. I would like to be someone who helps people. Someone who is a nice guy. Yeah I know, boring, but just someone people respect, look up to, not because you’re bigger, tougher or meaner but because you’re a really decent person. My dad was an attorney and passed away twenty years ago, a long time, I still miss him. I still have people come up to me and say he did something nice for them. It happened just last Christmas, a guy I knew told me that my dad had helped his family with some stuff and times were hard and he never sent a bill. That was just the way he was, he was they type of person who genuinely cared about others. I want to be a guy like that. An average guy, in an average town, in the US, you’re way ahead of 95% of the rest of the world. I’m a big fan of always trying to improve, but don’t forget to take a look around and realize how really lucky we are.
Which character in Russian Roulette are you most like and why?
Well, unfortunately it would have to be Devlin Haskell. I’ve done some pretty goofy stuff along the way. Although, I’m pretty responsible, Dev isn’t. But he always sort of has girlfriend trouble, I was like that for a while. Then, he knows nothing about cars, that’s me. Most of the trouble he finds himself in is due to a bad decision that he made, of course, they say bad decisions make for an interesting story. That’s pretty much me to a T. I’ve always been one of those guys that people say, hey tell about the time…. I mean just dopey stuff. My first car I bought with four other guys, five bucks each, a twenty-five dollar car. We were twelve or thirteen. Parked it down by our church so no one would know, so we thought. Of course then we drove it around the neighborhood waving at girls, I was pretty cool until I got home and the phone had been ringing off the hook with reports. I’d never been on a plane as a kid, so the first five plane rides I had was in the Army, jump school. We took off and then jumped out with a parachute, so I tell people I took off my first five flights but never landed. I’ve been stuck on a mountain top in the alps, adrift in a raging river with a pal who split his head open. Chased by irate fathers. Threatened by teachers, and those are just the stories I can talk about, so I’m afraid I’m a bit like Dev Haskell.
What was your favorite subject in school?
History. I’ve always loved to read and I enjoyed the sense of being transported back to events and sort of living them as I read. Not the dull stuff in some schoolbooks, like Minnesota became a state in 1858. That’s not too exciting on the surface. But I’m fascinated to know that French was the language on the street here until almost that time. That my family was here five years before that, homesteading. I read a lot, fiction, history, biographies. I’ve read all the books Stephen E. Ambrose wrote, Band of Brothers is probably his most well known because of the TV series. He has a way of making it come alive for you. So much of it is just ordinary people trying to get by or randomly caught in some sort of situation. If you ever talk to the generations before us, parents and grand parents, once they get past saying ‘oh who cares about that…’ then if they really open up, you wonder how did they survive, the wars, the heart break, immigration, learning a new language. Can you imagine coming to this country and not being able to speak or read English? But people are doing it everyday, they’re our future and we’ll be well served, because you can’t be a quitter in that situation and survive. It’s the history of our nation, we’re a country made up of sons and daughters who didn’t inherit the farm or things were so bad they simply left. No one immigrated to this country because things were wonderful wherever they came from. All of that and more is why I love history, plus I had really excellent teachers, they were tough, but very good.
What is your opinion of Justin Bieber? Rebecca Black? Miley Cyrus?
I have to take them independently.
Justin Bieber; First I would have to say I probably don’t have Bieber fever. But, he came out of no where and who wouldn’t go for all you can get. I think, if I recall, the story is Scooter Braun ended up viewing one of Justin’s YouTube video’s by mistake and was intrigued. The next thing you know Justin and his mother are moved to Atlanta and he’s under contract at age 14. At 15 he’s singing for President and Michelle Obama at the White House for Christmas. At 16 he wins artist of the year at the 2010 American Music Awards, he’s been on CSI. That is a lot of fast and furious fame. Clearly he is very talented, he’s understandably a heart throb, I mean look at the guy. I think a lot of the criticism he gets is not because of him specifically, but because of what he is, famous. I mean the poor guy can’t go out of his hotel because he’ll cause a riot. How long can you stay cooped up in a hotel room? And he’s got the same thing the next night, and the next and the next. Is he too full of himself? Maybe. I think it would be really hard. He’ll never do a lot of the fun stuff that kids get to do, ever. I don’t know, but I would guess he has an entourage of dead weight, blood suckers who travel with him and that becomes his view of the world. This has all come so fast and furious you worry about him crashing and the next thing you know he’s on some worthless reality show seeing if he can be the last guy to live on the island or he’s featured on a Whatever Happened To Show. Fame is fleeting and there is a long list of stars much bigger than Justin who fell on very hard times. I wish him the best but the potential is there for a very sad tale, look at Kurt Cobain, Charlie Sheen, Sid Vicious, River Phoenix. He’s got a very tough road ahead of him. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with his movie, Never Say Never. There’s a part of me that thinks in a way he would like to just go out for a pizza with friends, and I don’t think he can ever do that.
Rebecca Black; Again, its almost instant, the fame, I mean the kid is what 14? And people are sending her death threats by phone and email, not to mention some of the comments left on YouTube. Get a life to those folks. Friday was a big deal, I don’t quite get it, but I don’t think Rebecca is losing any sleep over me not being a big fan. I loved the Steven Colbert, Jimmy Fallon version and is there a kid in school who doesn’t groan out a version of Friday. She struck a cord there, that’s for sure.
Miley Cyrus: Every little girl loves Hannah Montana. It had to be really tough for Miley to break out of the little girl sort of stuff. I’d say she’s done a pretty good job. I know she was named one of the sexiest women in the world for 2011. I think she also was named one of the hottest women in the world on Maxim’s Hot 100, for 2011, too. Her song, Can’t Be Tamed, did pretty well. I actually think that if she can put together some credible movie and music performances in the next two years she has a shot at real staying power. That’s a long way from her dad’s Achy, Breaky Heart hit in 1992.
How long did it take to write your first published story?
It took me about two years to write my first published story. Part of that was writing a story that is still kept under my bed. I mean, I guess I just had to purge my system of a lot of things, and I did that. Then I started writing the second book, got that published. One of the toughest things was telling people I was writing. They sort of look at you like ‘are you nuts?’ I led the league in rejections from publishers and agents. Publishers and agents don’t want to receive a manuscript, even from a genius like me. You have to write a query letter. The query letter format is one page, three paragraphs. The first two paragraphs are a synopsis of the book, the third is a sentence or two of biography. You have to enclose a self addressed stamped envelope. So it costs .44 to send the letter and .44 to get a response, I would send maybe a hundred letters so I paid close to fifty bucks for the privilege of hearing no. The classic rejection I got was from a large publishing house in New York. They returned my query letter, it was never opened. There was a purple red stamp across the front that read RETURN TO SENDER. Then, hand written on the back of the envelope was a note that read ‘this does not fit our needs at this time.’ They never even opened the envelope, there could have been a hundred dollar bill in there. Not from me, of course, but they didn’t know that. Now when I write I really work, no phone, no music, I’m tapping keys at seven thirty or eight in the morning, I take twenty minutes for lunch then work until about five. Each morning I read what I wrote the day before, out loud, make corrections, get in the flow and move on. When I finish a manuscript, I let it sit for a month, then do a complete re-edit, then have twenty different folks read it. I take about 85% of their suggestions, incorporate those, then give it to my editor. She cracks the whip, I make those corrections then off to Amazon etc. Of course, once it’s published I usually see something in the middle of the first page like I’ve spelled my name wrong or something else major. I’m always working on a book, always.
How many stories have you published and can you list them all, please?
Yes, I’ve written eight books, they all stand alone so you can read them in whatever order you wish. They’re all set in St. Paul, because I live here and know the town, know the cops, know some of the crooks and a lot of the characters. The places in my books are real so for example in Russian Roulette, Devlin Haskell sort of offices out of the Spot Bar. It’s just a neighborhood place in St. Paul, not fancy. The business there is drinking. But, I think it is the longest continually serving bar in the city, since something like 1867, including Prohibition, they were serving out of the basement. The books, in the order they were written are; Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Baby Grand, Chow for Now, Merlot, Finders Keepers, End Of The Line, Russian Roulette, and Mr. Softee. Mr. Softee will be released in early June, but it’s set to go so I’m counting that now, too.
If you could go back in time , where would you go, what time would you go to, and why?
I think I would like to travel back to medieval times, to England or France. With knights and princesses and castles. I’ve always found that period romantic, or at least thought about it as such. Of course, I’m thinking I would be some fantastic knight, date a couple of princesses, you know drink ale from a silver goblet and eat roasts with my hands. Yeah, I know, where’s the romance? The reality is, I would probably be a peasant, sleeping in some hut on the dirt floor, working long hours for absolutely no pay. And, if you read about it, those were extremely violent times. Not to mention just unhealthy, no bathing, lice, rats, walking barefoot and everyone has horses, you get the idea. Come to think of it I might like staying just where I am. I live in Ireland for half of every year and they are very casual about a lot of their ruins. It’s nothing to see walls of a castle, fortress or church n the middle of a field with cows or sheep hanging around. Just about three years ago some guy found this priceless 8th century gold chalice with a metal detector in a field. He was just an average guy out there looking for nails or an antique penny or something and he uncovers this thing, that’s pretty cool.
What is your book Merlot about?
Merlot, everyone thinks it’s about wine, of course I suppose it doesn’t help that I have a glass of Merlot on the cover. It’s about this guy who’s nickname is Merlot, he owns a bar. He’s borrowed money from this weird gangster character to completely redo the bar, only now the gangster wants to get paid, within the week, or he has to forfeit the bar. Merlot comes up with a plan to pay the guy off but in the process he falls in love with a girl who works at the bank. Of course some thugs sort of wash up on shore just in time to ruin his plans. There’s a cast of screwy characters drifting in and out along the way that make it a pretty funny tale.
How did you come up with the title Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick?
That’s a teaching technique for ball room dancing. Two longer, slow steps, followed by two shorter, quick steps. Slow, slow, quick, quick. If you’re just starting out learning how to ball room dance you’re constantly repeating it to yourself, of course all the while trying not to step on your partners shoes. The story is about these two guys, Hub and Val, who flee St. Paul because they’re basically broke and running on financial fumes. They head down to Florida to open a dance school with all the snow birds down there for the winter. They come up with some pretty unique and illegal ways to make some money. Wouldn’t you know, along the way they get involved with a weirdo out of Atlanta, a hit man with the New Jersey mob and a woman in the local sheriff’s department.
Do you have any pets? Children?
You know I don’t have any pets, I’m in Ireland six months out of the year, anywhere from a week to three or four months at a time and it would just be unfair to board them. If I brought them over with me they have to be quarantined for long periods before they’re allowed to enter the country, and the same thing would happen coming back to the states, it would really be unfair. As to children we have four, three daughters and a son. Isn’t it amazing, they are all perfect.
What is your favorite book you have written and why?
Actually my favorite book is whatever book I’m working on at the moment. I get really involved in the thing. I’ll be going for a walk with my wife and she asks me what I’m thinking about and I tell her I’ve got these guys tunneling into a bank vault or some pole dancer is running around in the woods getting eaten up by mosquito’s. She just looks at me like I’m nuts. There are certain aspects to every book that are fun and it becomes difficult for me to separate the truth from the fiction. I mentioned that I have a number of people read my books before they go to my editor, invariably the manuscripts come back with notes in the margin, something like; ‘good up to here but this is too far fetched.’ Usually, whatever they noted as far fetched is something that really happened and I incorporated it into the story. The stuff they found believable is actually the fiction. Let’s face it, I know some pretty strange dudes, and they are constantly doing something unbelievably crazy.
What inspires you?
A number of things. First, it’s my wife who doesn’t question my working long hard hours. She asks the occasional ‘how’s it going’ but she doesn’t complain. And, it can be a pain, because if I’m writing it’s a solo task, I can’t be listening to what happened in her office, or plans for the weekend, or you know, life. I’m just in my own little world. I’m working on book number nine right now, that’s an awful lot of solo time, she has never once complained. Figure a book at about 85-90,000 words. That doesn’t count rewrites, edits. Then, just stories and things in general inspire me. Sometimes it’s something a person has done, someone I know. Or a story I’ve heard or even just a line. I mentioned I live in Ireland six moths a year, Dublin actually. There’s an ice cream truck that drives through our neighborhood there, the kind of truck kids buy treats from. It’s pink and blue and it has Mr. Softee written on the sides of the truck. My wife was laughing about it one day and suddenly I’ve written a book with the title Mr. Softee, go figure.
Hey, thanks to all your readers for making it this far as I drone on, and on, and on. I think they deserve a free copy of Russian Roulette, God knows everyone has earned it. All the best and happy anniversary.
Thank you so much!! :)
Mike Faricy is kind enough to giveaway a free e-book copy of Russian Roulette!
All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your email and follow PrincessReviews!! There are no extra entries for this one, but I think the entering process is simple!
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