MVY: A great love of reading, first and foremost. But, later… okay, in grade five, technically, we were allowed to write stories once a week on any topic and two people would be chosen to read theirs in front of the class. There were some weeks when I wrote brilliant, funny stuff of which I was so proud that I practically jumped out of my chair trying to be picked. Other people were chosen those weeks. Then there were weeks when I wrote terrible, humiliating crap. Those were the weeks I was chosen to read out loud. I knew I could do better. So I kept on trying and just never lost the love for it.
MVY: I was at a friend’s bachelor party years ago, figuring out what paint ball is all about while trying to keep my gun from jamming and not get shot, when I saw a big troop from a local office marching by for a team-building exercise. It seemed weirdly appropriate that they were relying on an inherently war-like activity to better prepare themselves for their inherently ruthless and combative roles in the corporate world. The entire concept of the novel came to me in that instant, right down to the Shakespearean framework and the theme of business as metaphor for war. It is impossible to miss the parallels between the language (“chain of command,” “front lines,” and “rising through the ranks,” etc.), the attitudes and the hierarchies of both war and business, and I had fun with this throughout.
BBB: Tell us about your main character?
MVY: Hal Mercer had an easy life until his father got cancer. Then he went from playing golf every day to working in the family business, to taking over the role of CEO after his father’s death. If Hal fails, Mercer Inc. is doomed and all his employees will lose their jobs. He can't let that happen, but Hal isn’t used to having everyone counting on him like this. To complicate matters, the takeover target that would solve all his problems is owned by the family of the only woman he’s ever loved. And just maybe this complication is deliberate and he secretly wants to win her back. He really needs to work on his approach.
MVY: I have a mystery/suspense novel called “Risk” and a short story collection which I will be bringing out within the next six months. I currently have one WIP and another I’m about to start. The former is a collection of linked historical fiction short stories and the latter will be more in the realm of the fantastic. It will be a real departure for me, so I’m both scared of and looking forward to it.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
MVY: My website will always have details of upcoming releases or news. I’d also love to connect with readers or fellow writers via the social media links there or they can subscribe by e-mail to receive updates that way. http://markvictoryoung.com/.