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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Interview: Witches of Wildwood by Mark W. Curran @MarkWesleyCurr1

Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?  

Mark W. Curran: Be happy to! I am an Los Angeles-based filmmaker and writer as well as a musician. I've been a horror fan all my life. I grew up reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, just to name a few. Horror is in my wheelhouse, so to speak!

I've made a few short horror films, and, in 2015, I wrote produced and directed a full length movie. It's a horror-suspense thriller called 'Abandoned Dead.' It won a few small film festival awards and since then it's run on quite a few cable systems and was just released in Europe on DVD.

I shot it very low budget using my credit cards in locations donated by family and friends. I like to say it was my film school trial by fire! I never went to film school – making films is how I've learned to do it.

But, related to the book I am publishing... It's a collection of ten short stories and a novella. The novella is the cornerstone of the collection and the title of the book. It's called The Witches of Wildwood,' about a witch-hunting preacher hell-bent on killing four teenage sisters determined to destroy the world from their Wildwood boarding house.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers? 

Mark W. Curran: Back in the mid-eighties I lived in Wildwood New Jersey in Cape May County. It's a very historic place, lots of Victorian buildings and a rich history of ghost sightings and hauntings. Since then, I've been conceptualizing stories that take place in this most unique time period and place. Wildwood was a party town with a rich past and a carnival like atmosphere. I thought it would be a perfect setting for contemporary horror stories that take place in the mid-eighties, so I finally wrote 10 of them and put them in this collection for publication.

What do you do when you are not writing? 

Mark W. Curran: I am a musician as well as a writer, so sometimes I work on writing and recording original music. I'm also a big fan of horror movies so I try to keep up with all the releases I can on DVD.

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write? 

Mark W. Curran: I think outlining is very important, at least for a novel. I didn't outline any of the short stories, I usually just start with a concept and figure out where I want it to go and it sort of unfolds as I write.

Do you have a formula for developing characters? 

Mark W. Curran: Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write? - I try to create a background for each of my characters, although a lot of the time I keep it in my head. Every character should be just like a real person, with a history and psychological and sociological reasons for doing what they do.

The hardest thing is to keep them on track. Characters tend to take on a life of their own and the fact they are in the story to begin with means they are uncommonly motivated to act. That makes them rather stubborn. They will try to take over the story if you let them.

The main thing is to give each of your characters a driving goal and then put obstacles in their way. The problem is the characters want to do the things they want to do, not necessarily what they should be doing.

Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult? 

Mark W. Curran: I was greatly influenced by Stephen King, and loved reading him in high school and college. He's really the master in my opinion. Also the classic storytellers like Dickens and Poe. I'm also a big Harlan Ellison fan.

How do you market your book(s)? 

Mark W. Curran: This is my first book so I am just feeling my way in the marketing area. I think it's important to use social media and develop mailing lists and all that sort of thing. But I also think it's very difficult I the marketplace nowadays with so much content out there. On the other hand, it's never been an easy road getting one's creative art out in to the marketplace.

Where can we purchase this book? 

Mark W. Curran: It will be on Amazon quite soon, and on my website. It makes a great stocking stuffer! 

Are you working on anything at the moment? 

Mark W. Curran: I am actually working on a film project but I can't disclose the details just yet!

Do you think you may ever go into another genre? 

Mark W. Curran: Yes, I can write in different genres but the one I feel I'm best at is horror-suspense.

Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore 

A Collection of Contemporary Horror Fiction

Mark W. Curran 

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction

Publisher: NMD Books

Date of Publication: Sept 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-936828-51-7

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 83,365

Cover Artist:  Robert Gonzales

Book Description:

Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran.

Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.


There was no doubt among the sisters that the murders were increasing their power. Each felt the surge of energy that coursed through them with each kill.
“I feel so alive!” Zoey exclaimed on the morning after they’d tied Harlan Clemmons to a chair and stabbed him multiple times through the heart, “like I’m 
plugged into some bitchin’ electrical source!” she marveled.

The other girls felt it too. Both Jaz and Ali would lay awake at night and feel it running through them - bringing them even more vitality and strength than even their young ages provided. 

About the Author:

Mark Wesley Curran is a writer of contemporary fiction, specializing in the horror and suspense genre. Born and raised in Suburban Philadelphia, he spent many summers living and working in Wildwood, New Jersey during its heyday. He now resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys creative pursuits as a writer, filmmaker and musician.   


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