Monday 18th November - Mark Kodama
Sixteen Questions for Sixteen Authors
Contributor spotlight : Mark Kodama, author of “Elysian Fields”
We interview Mark Kodama, the author of the short story “Elysian Fields” which appears in the “Dragon Bone Soup” anthology (published in December 2019). He submitted a paranormal short story which masterfully weaves themes of war, sacrifice, bullying, love, forgiveness and … learning to play baseball, all packed into 3,300 atmospheric words.
What is your real name and what name do you write under (if they are different)?
My name is Mark Kodama which is the name I write under.
Where do you hail from?
I live in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
The greatest thing about where I live is that it is near Washington, D.C where all local news in national news and oftentimes international news.
When and why did you start writing?
I started writing for the university and local newspapers in college.
What sparked your initial interest - or, how did writing find you?
My interest in writing was sparked when I took a history of journalism class in college. Professor Michael Emery, a former news wire service reporter, spoke about covering the 1968 Chicago Democratic Presidential Convention for UPI where pandemonium broke out on the convention floor when Mayor Richard Daley unleashed his police force on convention delegates.
What defines you?
I am defined by a life-long pursuit of trying to understand things.
What excites you right now (writing or otherwise)?
What excites me now is trying to develop my craft.
Who are a few of your favourite authors (books &/or poetry)?
My favorite authors include Homer, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger, Richard Wright, John Steinbeck, Jack London, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Erich Maria Remarque, Carl Sagan, Plato, Plutarch, Herodotus, Thucydides, Arrian, Jonathan Swift, Al Stump, Viktor Frankl, Kurt Vonnegut, Euripides, William Prescott, Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal and Barbara Tuchman.
My favorite works include Iliad, Odyssey, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth, Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Native Son, Black Boy, Grapes of Wrath, To Build a Fire, the Stranger, the Plague, the Trial, Crime and Punishment, All Quiet on the Western Front, Cosmos, The Last Days of Socrates, Histories, Parallel Lives, History of the Peloponnesian War, Campaigns of Alexander, Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal,. Man’s Search for Meaning, Cobb: A Biography, Slaughterhouse Five, Medea, Bacchae, The History of the Conquest of Mexico, Night, the Sunflower, and Guns of August.
How has writing changed you as a person?
Reading had made me a seeker of experiences.
Is there a time when you think you might stop writing? And if so, why?
I will stop writing when my heart stops beating.
What genre(s) do you write in? What genre(s) do you find challenging?
I write contemporary literary fiction, political satires, historical fiction, science and speculative fiction, crime fiction. I think the genre is less important than the story. The story is the vehicle that allows you to say something important.
How did you come up with the premise for your story?
I came up with the idea of the story through my research about my father’s experience as a young boy in an American concentration during World War II.
Which character was your favourite to write?
My favorite character was the ghost Bobby because he was as I imagined my father was as a boy.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a short story called “Fathers and Sons.”
What are your plans for the future?
I want to start a novel next year.
How can readers find you online and on social media?
These are listed in Sixteen Questions for Sixteen Authors.
About “Dragon Bone Soup”
“Dragon Bone Soup” is an anthology of Fantasy and light Science Fiction short stories, showcasing the very best in Indie writing talent from across the world. Published in December 2019, it is edited by P.C. Darkcliff and DW Brownlaw.
About the editors
For more information about the editorial team, click on the following links...