De Castrique has two adult mystery series under his belt which are set in North Carolina. Combining the concepts that appealed to him to share in a narrative story and in locales he likes, the first series features a funeral director named Barry Clayton (Mark's father was a funeral director). It is set in a fictional mountain town, resembling his childhood hometown. Adding built-in personal conflicts for Barry to confront (such as self-sacrifice) along with murder investigations--a mystery series was created. The second series features an Iraq veteran Sam Blackman set in Asheville.
Some other points de Castrique shared included:
|Mark de Castrique (photo by blogger)|
- likes to connect people and stories from the past to a present day story with interesting characters
- had worked from outlines to develop stories in earlier novels but works mostly from following the characters' stories now
- likes to include irony in stories
- when writing, he likes to pose the "what if" question
- hopes to write another Barry Clayton novel in the future
- works to be careful that too much research shared in a book doesn't turn it boring
- looks to a book editor to help shape a novel about when it should start and when it should stop
- "I'm a big believer everyone reads a different book" by the nature of experiences one brings to the story
|de Castrique (photo by blogger)|
And de Castrique is careful to check facts in his writing as he shared this little story: in a pivotal scene for his newest novel, he wanted to re-examine a scene for accuracy so he took a day trip from North Carolina to Washington to settle the matter. After arriving in the capitol, within an half hour the goal was accomplished to de Castrique's satisfaction. Then he was free to visit family in the area--a second reward of the trip.