2 Sept 2010

Author Interview – Mark Damaroyd

I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful new writer, Mark Damaroyd. His first novel 'Pursuit to Paradise' is out now (links at the bottom of this interview for all who are interested to purchase your own copy.....).

Cover art by Dara England

In the worldwide recession of 2009, Ben Lofthouse plans to rebuild his life on Koh Pimaan, a paradise island in Thailand. Desperate to escape the increasing hostility of the locals who blame him for his failing businesses, and determined to find the beautiful but mysterious Nataya who has disappeared, Ben is plunged into an adventure which may prove fatal.

Surrounded by beautiful women, but relentlessly pursued by a former girlfriend, and stalked by a notorious London gangster, an unexpected romance develops. A new friendship catapults Ben into both increasingly sensual and dangerous situations. With a bevy of beauties at his side, he finds himself drawn into erotic moviemaking at Casa Blanca, a spectacular hillside villa.

Ben's dreams seem destined to become reality. But an amazing piece of news he has received could change his life forever, or bring it to an untimely end...

To read more, do check out these links -  http://www.thailandstories.com/article/book-previews/pursuit-to-paradise.html  Or http://ping.fm/33yjp (other links at the bottom of this intervi

    • You moved from England to Thailand, that must have been quite a life changing decision. How did you come to make that decision and how much has it changed your perspective on life?

Firstly, Debs, thanks so much for inviting me along to your interesting English website. I'm very happy to be here.
After holidaying in Thailand a few times, then going to work there, I discovered the lifestyle and laidback attitude suited me fine. I've lived in Thailand for some years, including on islands similar to the imaginary Koh Pimaan, in Pursuit to Paradise, which I had to dream up because of the naughty goings-on there. I never came across such amazing antics elsewhere. I've endeavoured to convey something of the unique atmosphere, and sights to be found in The Land of Smiles. I hope readers will be able to easily relate, bouncing along happily with characters as they plunge into action. The people of Thailand always smile, in good and bad times they smile even at me and the many thousands of westerners who've settled there. It seemed a good idea to tell my story with lots of humour. Before relocating to Thailand, I spent long periods in quaint English villages, similar to those featured in the story. Dramatic differences in climate, lifestyles and attitude provide contrast, changing from scene to scene as a subplot unfolds.


  • If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
I'd love to be able to turn the clock back to Ian Fleming's days. His James Bond, created way back in nineteen-fifty-three, had such style!

  • What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I don't need wakeup calls in my northern Thailand village. Cocks, ducks and yapping dogs dependably announce the dawn. My wonderful Thai wife turns on my computer, makes the first of endless coffees, and prepares breakfast while I stir, fall out of bed and check to see what's going on in the big wide world. Depending on my mood and the weather, I sometimes stroll along the quiet lane to the local temple, walk briskly around the beautiful grounds and along the river bank. Chanting monks and clanging gongs never fail to remind me how lucky I am to be in that part of Southeast Asia. Then I attempt to buckle down and knock out a few more pages of the next book. Most days bring distractions – elephants strolling past my house, herds of buffalo munching foliage in the front garden – little things that cause you to look up from the keypad. Bedtime usually comes early, after a stiff drink or two.

  • What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting the style of English spoken by the characters correct. In, Pursuit to Paradise, There's a mixture of Thai, American, English, Scandinavian, Indonesian, Australian and others. The heroine – or is she? – from Thailand, mysteriously speaks perfect English – much better than me. Other Thais in the book struggle with it. Then I spent ages researching acceptable English spelling for the few Thai words dotted here and there. Capturing the American, Australian and East London tone proved a challenge too. I hope it comes across okay. The other hard part was deciding how much detailed sex needed to be included. The outrageous, quirky romance and humorous adventure is sensual, but graphic sex wasn't required. I feel sometimes leaving a bit to the readers' imagination whets the appetite. It slots into heat level 2 category. I'm deeply indebted to my publishers, Decadent Publishing. They helped tremendously in getting it all together.

  • When and why did you first start writing?
I travelled overland from England to India many years ago, and responded to requests from publishers of periodicals and magazines to cover the journey. On returning home two years later, I wrote several short stories before abandoning the pen to take up a career in sales and marketing, once again travelling around the world. I recently retired and now have plenty of time to write.

  •  How did you come up with the idea for the book 'Pursuit to Paradise'?

    Encounters and relationships involving western men and Thai women have been published in many different guises around the world. I've attempted to throw new light on the subject, at the same time highlighting different lifestyles, such as people struggling for financial survival in the remote rice growing regions, to how different city life can be. Then there's how tourists perceive Thailand when they visit the luxurious mainland resorts and spectacular paradise islands to the south. The well-known slogans, 'Amazing Thailand' and 'Land of Smiles' are certainly justified.

  • Your character Ben Lofthouse in your book 'Pursuit to Paradise' is an English man who travels to Thailand, how much of the character is based on you and your experiences?
Ben's outlook on life makes me smile. When he finds himself in a bit of a predicament, his snap reaction hurtles him into an adventure beggaring belief. I certainly don't agree with him all the time. However, there are some similarities. I've travelled the world extensively for work and pleasure. It's hard to accept routine when so much of your life is spent on the move. Itchy feet and all that.

  • Your character Ben Lofthouse is a native of a fictional village called 'Bramblegate'. How much of this village is taken from places where you lived?
Bramblegate is very much like the quaint North Devon village where I spent many happy years. I still miss the thatched pubs and cottages – along with pasties, pies and roast dinners enjoyed in magical scenery. Your county, Suffolk, is also one of my favourites.

  • Is there a message in your book 'Pursuit to Paradise' that you want your readers to grasp?
Primarily, I hope it entertains. Life in Thailand varies so much, so my story is just an example of escapades to be found there – but I've used a lot of imagination to convey this particular yarn.


  • Do you have any favourite authors/books?
Ian Fleming's James Bond series. Jack Higgings' Night of the Fox, The Eagle Has Landed and many others. Jilly Cooper's Riders and Solo. Then there's Dick Francis, Wilbur Smith...


  •  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Sadly, when you write, and spend countless hours marketing, precious little time remains to read. But I'm attempting Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers.


  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Keep believing in yourself and in what you write. Get it down on 'paper' from beginning to end. Step back for a while – take a holiday or something – before revising it, trying to see what others are looking for.


  • What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
This was asked recently, but I love it: What would you say is the biggest misconception about being an author?
Getting rich quick, becoming famous overnight, and a glamorous lifestyle.

If only!

Debs, once again my grateful thanks. I've thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you – and thanks for paying for my return ticket to Thailand! 


Mark's book 'Pursuit to Paradise' is out now and available, please see links below for more info and to grab your copy of this fantastic new book:

Direct link to book: http://tinyurl.com/26e7qx3

Mark's Publisher : Decadent Publishing
Mark's webpage: http://markdamaroyd.blogspot.com

Recommended read: Quackers and Tease

Interview: Babbling About Books and More

Interview: Fallen Angel Reviews

On Amazon (US): Amazon US Link to Buy Mark's Book

On Amazon (UK): Amazon UK Link to buy Mark's Book here
Other online stores: All Romance Books - Buy Mark's Book Here

Other online stores: 1 Romance Books - Buy Mark's Book here


Gerry Skoyles said...

Debs, you've made a great job of this. Thank's so much - especially for all the links. I'll spread news of Debra's Book Cafe far and wide.

Greetings to all back home.


Samantha Gail said...


Hello from Alaska and thank you for doing this wonderful interview with Mark!

deannawadsworth@blogspot.com said...

I love the Thiland setting! I cant wait to check out the story and learn a bit more about such an exotic locale. The little excerpts have me peaked. Its on my Kindle list!

Anonymous said...

I like this interview, it was different and kept my interest. I loved the blurb at the beginning.Mark is going places :)

Debra's Book Cafe said...

Hey guys! Thanks for your comments... This is definately a book that is worth a read.....

Debra's Book Cafe said...

Hey guys! Thanks for your comments... This is definately a book that is worth a read.....