What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. He is the holder of the Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
* Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.
Today Mark Spivak will be answering a few questions.
Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
* I don’t have tattoos or piercings, nor do I wear jewelry. I guess I’m a purist in that respect. While I can and do appreciate tattoo art at its best, I think it detracts from the body’s natural beauty---rather than adding to it.
Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
* Very similar, actually. The biggest difference in my life would be between now and five years ago, when I left my day job to focus 100% on freelance writing. That decision freed me up and gave me a tremendous burst of creative energy.
How long have you been writing?
* I started when I was 11 years old and have been writing ever since. It took me a long time to master the craft, assuming that I’ve actually mastered it.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
* Write every day. Focus on the process rather than the end goal. Remember that almost everyone will criticize you, and many will do it for their own selfish or insecure reasons. Focus on your craft with the intensity of a laser, and don’t allow anyone to stand in your way.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
* My first novel, Friend of the Devil, is really a meditation on the darker sides of spirituality. Believe it or not, a great deal is based on personal experience. While it’s set in Palm Beach, the story is based on a chef I worked with many years ago in another city. Did he or did he not make a pact with his own personal forces of darkness? I still don’t know.
* Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.
* “Here you go, baby.” Willy stopped a few hundred yards from the intersection and turned to face Joseph. “You on your own. Can’t take you closer than this.”
* “Where are you headed?”
* “As far away as I can git,” he laughed, “as fast as I can git there.”
* “Thank you. I appreciate your help.”
* “Well, this wasn’t no charity. You know that.”
* “Even so.”
* “You got some questions?”
* “What do I do? Just walk up there and wait?”
* “You won’t be waitin’ long,” said Willy. “The man’ll be along shortly. You don’t need no business card, neither. Trust me on that.”
* “You’ll be fine.” Willy studied him carefully. “Shoot, you look like you don’t got a care in the world.”
* “I wouldn’t go that far. But I’m here for a reason, of my own free will.”
* “I understand.” He patted Joseph on the arm. “You look me up when you open your restaurant, hear?”
* “I will.” He watched Willy head back for the woods. “I definitely will.”
* “I’ll be here,” Willy called over his shoulder.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Mark Spivak is giving away a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway