The hardest part of being an author is coming to terms with three people reading your story, and two liking it and one loathing it. You need to have a thick skin, keep criticism in perspective and realise that everyone has their preferences. There is a little of the author in everything he writes, but only the author knows which part is him which is not.
Can you give us a short synopsis of One Hundred Days?
By late 1917 the Allies were close to defeat. The failed campaign at Ypres in Belgium had cost 250,000 casualties on top of the 400,000 casualties from the failed campaign on the Somme the year before. The French army was in mutiny while Britain was running out of men. Then an Australian general had a plan to take a village in France, and that plan was so successful that it was expanded for a major campaign to push Germany out of northern France and southern Belgium. Near-defeat was turned into victory in less than 100 days, and this is the story of how that was done.
What inspired you to write this book?
Australia's day of war remembrance is April 25, which is the anniversary of the landing of the Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. That campaign was a failure, but even if it had been a success it would not have changed the outcome of the Great War. After the Australian Imperial Force was evacuated from Gallipoli they went to the Western Front, where they achieved victories completely out of proportion to the small size of the force. And yet with a fascination bordering on obsession about the campaign at Gallipoli, the subsequent tragedies and triumphs in France and Belgium are unknown by most Australians. My grandfather was a casualty of the battle of Passchendaele in 1917, and in his memory I wanted to tell the story of the Australians on the Western Front.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I write stories in different places and at different times, so first I must do my research which can take many months. Once I have my plot outline and my research to support my story, I can commence writing. Typically I write for 3 to 5 hours a day at this stage, but I don't set myself a target. If I'm feeling stale it's usually better to put my story aside for a day and do something else, and then come back to it feeling refreshed.
Name your top five favourite books
Anything by Paulo Coelho.
What are you working on now?
I have a story on Achille Varzi who was a motor racing champion in the 1930s before he had a tragic relationship with the wife of his team mate and became addicted to morphine. It's an amazing story and it's completed and waiting for me to spend the time to promote it. After Varzi died in 1948, European motor sport became more British-focussed with many British cars and drivers dominating racing in the 1950s. The first British Formula One World Champion, Mike Hawthorn, experienced tragedies almost beyond comprehension. At the same time he was a deeply flawed man with some strengths and many weaknesses, and only when he overcame some of those weaknesses did he achieve what he was capable of. I would like to write something focussed on Mike Hawthorn because that would be challenging, but if done well it could make for an interesting story. Mike Hawthorn would be a kind of sequel to Achille Varzi from the 1930s and 1940s.
Title: One Hundred Days
Author: Mark Morey
Genre: Historical Fiction
In 1917, the mud of Flanders soaked up the blood of a quarter of a million men. If the war continued like that, the Allies would lose. One battle turned that around and was the beginning of a hundred days of advances to victory. This is a story about how that was done.
Two Australian soldiers experience the last two years of the Great War. Martin Ward is a lieutenant working alongside Major-General John Monash, and he sees the transition from slaughter at Passchendaele to breaching the Hindenburg Line. Alec Morey is a gunner severely injured in Flanders, and he returns to Australia to watch on in amazement as the Australian Imperial Force plays the major role in victory.
This is a fictional account of a story not well known; using real events, fictional characters and real-life characters to tell the tale of how the Great War was won.
I am part-time in the workforce and a part-time author, and writing technical documentation and advertising material formed a large part of my career for many decades. Writing a novel didn’t cross my mind until relatively recently, where the combination of too many years writing dry, technical documents and a visit to the local library where I couldn’t find a book that interested me led me consider a new pastime. Write a book. That book may never be published, but I felt my follow-up cross-cultural crime with romance hybrid set in Russia had more potential. So much so that I wrote a sequel that took those characters on a journey to a very dark place.
Once those books were published by Club Lighthouse and garnered good reviews I wrote in a very different place and time. My two novels set in Victorian Britain were published by Wings ePress in July and August of 2014. These have been followed by my story set against the background of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front. Australia’s contribution to the battles on the Western Front and to ultimate victory was well out of proportion to the size of the nation and the size of their force. Once you read this story you will appreciate the great things that our nation achieved.
Mark Morey: http://markmorey.blogspot.com.au/
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Days-Mark-Morey-ebook/dp/B014GNCLZS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1442618757&sr=1-1
Createspace estore: https://www.createspace.com/5727185