FEATURED AUTHOR: SIMON MAREE
ABOUT THE BOOKHe’s just a soul whose intentions are good . . . Oh Lord, please don’t let him be misunderstood . . .
Joe has a problem. He is falling in love with his new housemate. Nothing unusual there, except for Joe is a poltergeist and this sort of thing just shouldn’t happen. Joe is suffering an existential crisis of no small proportion.
The object of his misguided affections - a feisty and self-assured teenager named Harriet. Will he be able to save her from something much darker than himself that lurks in the shadows of the Brighton house they share? Will she be able to help him on his newfound quest for redemption?
Title: The Mischief Maker
Author: Simon Maree
Publisher: The Famous Seamus (February 1, 2017)
Page count: 217 pages
INTERVIEW WITH SIMON MAREE
Simon, where’s home for you?
Hove in East Sussex, UK.
Where did you grow up?
I spent half my childhood trying to be a punk in South Africa (which was a tad scary under the apartheid regime) and the other half succeeding at being a punk in London. It wasn’t that difficult once I got the hang of it and had a few local role models.
What’s your favorite memory?
The day I met my wife. It was a baking hot summer’s day, and we met on the south bank of the Thames. She was almost an hour late, and her punctuality hasn’t improved one jot.
If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
DVDs probably. I love cinema and have a frighteningly large collection specializing in classic horror. I also buy new releases that look promising, but more in hope than expectation. Most commercial modern horror leaves me cold. There’s some great indie stuff out there, especially from Scandinavia, France and the far east, but you really have to hunt them down.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
Not to be a self serving, oblivious, hedonistic tosspot. It took me long enough.
Who would you pick to write your biography?
It might be a bit tricky logistically speaking, but Oscar Wilde.
What do you love about where you live?
Pretty much everything. I love being able to see the ocean from my front room window, and I love the free, Bohemian atmosphere down here. I think that, for the first time in my life, I might actually have a sense of community. Now if only we could get rid of all the damn hipsters.
Have you been in any natural disasters?
I once saw Bucks Fizz live. Does that count?
Hmm, not sure, but it may be the answer to this next question. Or maybe the next . . . What is the most daring thing you've done?
I’m a witch and a healer, and sometimes I have to deal with some pretty gnarly energies. I don’t know if counts as ‘daring’ as such, but it’s not easy to keep your shit together sometimes.
What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Most of it.
What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
That I was one very good looking teenager. Actually no, that would just have made me even more of an arrogant little prick than I was.
What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
The ones where people got hurt. I’ve never been a malicious person, but I’ve been selfish and thoughtless about the consequences of my actions on others more times than I care to remember.
What makes you happy?
My wife. True friends. Finding a really good film I’ve never seen before (the last one was The Transfiguration. I was expecting cheese and I got a gourmet four course cinematic feast).
What makes you scared?
Nothing I can’t breathe my way through.
Who are you?
A better person than I was five years ago, and isn’t that really all that matters?
Absolutely. What are your most cherished mementoes?
After my misspent youth; my fully functioning internal organs. I know many who’ve not been so lucky.
What brings you sheer delight?
Laughing and making others laugh.
Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
How about a misanthropic hack? Can I be one of those? Oops, too late.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“When you’re going through hell; keep going” –Winston Churchill. I’m not a huge fan of the guy (Hitler bashing aside), but that’s one awesome f#*king quote.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
What would you like people to say about you after you die?
I’d like to be remembered fondly on the whole, but I do hope there are rumours and scandals too. Just enough to keep ‘em talking for a while.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“Death played the empty chord” from Soul Music by Terry Pratchett.
How did you create the plot for this book?
There are so many books and movies about hauntings where everything is ultra OTT and incredible, whereas most real poltergeist cases are mundane, banal and really pretty pointless. I wanted to write something about a ‘smaller’ case, if you will. My eureka moment was deciding to make the actual entity both protagonist and narrator, and then giving him his own spiritual quest, as well as a sense of humour. That’s what made the book. Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost, Clive Barker’s The Yattering of Jack and C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters are all also partially to blame.
Is your book based on real events?
There are several references to historic poltergeist hauntings and possessions that Joe (my beasty) seems to have a suspicious level of knowledge on, and Harriet (the object of Joe’s dubious affections) is pretty much a composite of everything you’d want in a real life DIY poltergeist attracting kit.
Are you like any of your characters?
Joe is, to an extent, my id. Thankfully, I don’t share his obsession with teenage girls, but hey, he’s a poltergeist. Cut the guy some slack. He’s just doing his job.
One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Strangely enough, that’s one thing poltergeists struggle to do. Despite immense shows of strength and power, you could count the number of historical cases that have resulted in fatalities on your fingers (unless you were Jaime Lannister).
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde, Terry Pratchett, James Elroy, James Lee Burke, Henry Rider Haggard, H.G. Wells, Clive Barker, Herman Charles Bosman. Oh God, I could go on all day here.
What book are you currently reading and in what format ?
I’m actually listening to an audiobook of The Hunger Games, and I’d forgotten how good it was. The films sanitized the books completely. So much great social satire ignored at the expense of special effects and Jennifer Lawrence pouting a lot.
And the balls it took to write in the present tense! She pulled it off really well, made is very visceral.
What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
I’m a fast paced writer, so I don’t have a lot of time for long, flowery descriptions and overuse of adjectives. That Lovecraft features as one of my favourite writers is, I’ll admit, anomalous.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I write whenever my chain smoking harridan of a muse decides to pop by. I write in bed. In fact, my wife has started calling the bed ‘my desk’.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
The speech I made at my father’s funeral.
You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
What are you working on now?
I have anthology of paranormal short stories (They Also Serve) coming out for Halloween, and they’re not quite ready yet. I think one of them in particular might just be the best thing I’ve ever written though. It’s called ‘Silver Alice’ and it’s about a witch hunt. I’m very excited about it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
He is a veteran of the punk rock wars and still has flash backs. You weren’t there man; you can’t understand.
In his time, he has been a care worker, a DJ, a security guard, and a record dealer, but he has ALWAYS been a writer.
He writes predominantly paranormal fiction. He tries to write horror. but he always ends up falling for his monsters, so he is basically constantly rewriting ‘Frankenstein’. Either that or his sense of humour takes over and it turns into a full-blown comedy.
Maree’s previous work, The Music the Machines Make is a steampunk parody set in an alternative reality (largely so that he wouldn’t have to do any research and could easily answer awkward questions). Simon new novel The Mischief Maker is a ghost story with a difference. Its protagonist and narrator is a witty, urbane and misunderstood poltergeist, who is falling hard for his latest focus.
Simon Maree does not enjoy talking about himself in the third person.
Connect with Simon:
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