Sunday 8 March 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post - Kingdom Come by Mark Collington

Kingdom Come
Author: Mark Collington
Genre: Science Fiction/Noir Suspense
Length: 540 pages
Release Date: November 21, 2014

Book Description:
In the distant future, the world has been reconstructed into the Realms, controlled by a mysterious unseen entity called Kingdom. Jasper Montague-Smythe, a private detective in the 1930s L.A. Realm, is struggling with a stack of clients and a growing caseload. As he juggles disappearances, blackmail, kidnapping, and murder, he also finds himself custodian of a woman who doesn’t belong in his Realm. Drugged and confused, she needs his help. Can he afford to take the time? Can he really afford not to? Yet an even larger problem looms: Kingdom’s Enforcers have started disappearing. Now it’s fallen to Jasper to find the cause and stop it before it’s too late.

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Kingdom Come – Origins

People like to ask me how long it took me to write Kingdom Come, and I’m never sure how to answer. If you mean time when I was sat working at the first draft properly, then it would be about six months. But that was in two sets of three months spread out over eight or nine months while I was doing work for my BA as well. After that came revisions, edits, and additions that I had to find room for in my schedule of university work, and then working with my Ravenswood editor took even longer. From the first time I sat down to write the novel that became Kingdom Come (it originally had a different title) to the time it was accepted by Ravenswood, it was about two and a half years.

But when I sat down to write Kingdom Come wasn’t the first time I’d thought about it, or even, in fact, the first time I’d written about Jasper. Back in high school I was asked to write something for a class, and the result was a short story which contained a very early version of Jasper as a classic P.I. Since then he has been refined into a more sophisticated and mature being, but that’s where he was really born.

A friend recently asked me whether Jasper was based on someone I knew, or if I’d merely invented him. It’s hard to remember exactly where a character comes from—at this point Jasper has taken on a life of his own: in my mind he’s Jasper, and does things that Jasper would do. Owing to the world that he lives in he’s been influenced by classic conceptions of the private investigator, such as Chandler’s Philip Marlowe or Hammett’s Continental Operative, but those are self-conscious influences that he is aware of. After that, he has elements of myself to him, and perhaps has a trait or two from people that I’ve met along the way, but largely he’s his own character that I’m learning more about the more I write about him. The same is true for a lot of my characters: I largely can’t place where they came from, they just walked into Jasper’s life one day, carrying with them as much backstory as they cared to. A few of the characters in Kingdom Come appear only for a short while, or seem to have a story to tell that we don’t see here—that’s intentional, their stories will hopefully be told in another novel (I’m already at work on a sequel with many of the original cast returning).

The idea for the Realms, the Enforcers, and the Discrepancies similarly just wandered into my mind one day. I’m sure a psychologist could tell me where they came from after a few sessions, but I’m happy enough not knowing and just letting them be. Kingdom Come is the start of the story, and (sales permitting) I have plans for many more stories set in the Realms, exploring the world further as we see more Realms and get to know more about characters, both old and new. 

About the Author 
Mark Collington was born in the south-east of England in the early 90s. At the age of ten he moved to Mid-Wales, and started writing a novel for the first time at 14. He graduated from Bangor University with a Bachelors degree in English with Creative Writing. He is currently studying for an MA at SUNY at Albany in upstate New York.

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