Thanks to Mark for taking the time to answer Questions Five (and in retrospect, I so should have asked him to finish the story about Solaris).
The inclusion of ‘Charan’ in your professional name – a simple distinction from all the other Mark Newtons of the world, or more?
MCN: There are too many other Mark Newtons, some leading a far better lifestyle than me. One, I believe, is a photographer, another a roots acoustic singer. They're both more well-known than me, the bastards, so if I can't beat them in popularity, I should have a bigger name at least. Then again, I wanted to detract from the fact that no one can pronounce Villjamur - I'll throw them a curve ball and let my middle name confuse instead. (For those of you who are interested, it's Indian - and I'm half Indian). People mostly mispronounce it as Sharon, which conveniently is my Friday night name, where I can be seen in high-heels and lipstick as I sashay across a stage... Have I said too much? Next question, please!
If Nights of Villjamur were a fortune cookie, what would its fortune be?
MCN: It would have a Woody Allen quote: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying."
How would you interpret this fortune if it were your own?
MCN: There's irony there - I became morose at the fact of my dying - which is reflected in the novel to some extent. I often see writing as a way of continuing to linger around the planet once I'm gone - I mean, there would be books out there, still communicating my thoughts with people. I can cheat Death! So, I would interpret this fortunate as 'Yeah, right. Nice try.'
Nights of Villjamur already has a playlist, but what would its soundtrack be?
MCN: I'd let Death Cab For Cutie have free reign over this one. Or Radiohead. Or City and Colour... What about something more movie-like, by Hans Zimmer? The Dark Knight soundtrack was awesome. Look, I'm clearly never going to be able to settle on anything for this. Tell you what, you get someone to buy the film rights, and I'll let them decide as I recline in the luxury of some Greek Villa.
Why should Nights of Villjamur be the next thing that everyone reads?
MCN: Two words: Dying Earth. I mean, come on - how cool is that?
Failing that, because it's an epic fantasy with elements of SF, crime, horror. Failing that, because of its ability to cause a delightful, free-publicity shit-storm online. Failing that, because someone needs to take the fight to Joe Abercrombie, right? You can't let him have all the fun. See how he broods in Black and White? Exactly, I'm the right man for the job, buy it.