How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?
I write because I want people to read what I write, the more the better. While I don't write something my heart isn't in, I endeavour to write stories I would like to read when, say, relaxing on a train journey rather than something I would like to write. But I've never been one for the deep, dark, painful stuff (a bit odd, I know, hailing from Scandinavia), so there usually isn't a conflict.
What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.
My chosen genres of thrillers and sci-fi provide plenty of opportunities for action, and yet, I'm not much of an all-out action person in my tastes of films and books. I'm more interested in exploring the limits of individual human ability and endurance. With a few exceptions, my characters are what you could call normal people, who are hurled into abnormal situations they have to get out of, not only for themselves but mankind to survive.
Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?
I do write things like that down, but apart from ideas for future stories, I don't have any systematic way of storing such information, though I probably ought to.
How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed like...er...bunnies)?
I don't think I have many of those, or rather, I don't recognise them as such at the time. Even though I'm better at planning than I used to be, my stories keep going off the rails and into cul-de-sacs. It's infuriating and part of the reason they take so long to write. On the positive side, it's a way of exploring possibilities I otherwise wouldn't have thought of, but in a manner resembling the trial-and-error tree of evolution rather than a deliberate, systematic approach.
How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?
There isn't a lot of me, or anyone else I know, in my main characters, though I sometimes use a real person as a template for a minor character. I wouldn't mind spending some time with Sid, the contract killer turned saviour from 15000 Feet Below. She seems fun to be with, as long as you are not on her hit list. And I kind of fell in love with her as I wrote the story.
Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?
Better not go there.
What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?
I read quite widely, including the genres I write in. I like literary fiction, too, even though I've never felt compelled to write a literary novel.
What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?
The cover and blurb are the first things prospective readers see, so that's where I put in the effort. I have yet to hear of anyone buying a book because the writer told them it was great. It has to come from readers. But the best way to promote a book is probably to write another.
How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?
Unless there are a lot, I don't feel much. I just correct them. I've stopped wondering why I can't get every word right. I just accept it.
What do you like most about visiting KUF/GR/forums?
The sense of community, sharing the joy and suffering of writing and reading.
What is on your near horizon?
The second book in a trilogy as yet without a name. It follows the characters from Echoes of The Kin in their bid to escape from the serfs. And who knows, perhaps they aren't the only humans left on Earth after all.
Where can we find you for more information?
On my website, madssorensen.com, though I have been neglecting it a bit lately. I plan an overhaul of the site when I get some time early in the new year.