Short Stories. It’s time to write ’em and read ’em. Mark Fine Interview.

TWISTED TALES & AUTHORS – The Mark Fine interview

ON 24/05/2016

The amazing author of the Zebra Affaire, and an all-around creative machine of a man, visits my blog today. The man who has been mingling with amazing world famous artists all of his life certainly has a lot to write about. It is a privilege to have him over as a guest.

Twisted Tales short story collection featuring author Mark Fine
Karmic Odds by Mark Fine


STORY: “Karmic Odds”–from Twisted Tales short story collection

1. Why did you accept to write a short story for Twisted Tales?

Hello there, Anita. A belief in the value of short stories in our busy 21st Century lives. I like the idea that a reader can enjoy the full arc of a complete story during those in-between moments in life; waiting for a bus, lunch break at work, and all those other gaps in time that would otherwise turn to impatience.

2. What is your story about and what made you write it?

Though I’ve lived in America for three decades, I still have an accent from my native South Africa. It’s amusing how people respond to it. Some regard it exotic. They project on me a level of worldliness that’s not, to be honest, correct. In ‘Karmic Odds’ I riff on this stranger in strange land theme of an ‘exotic’ foreigner that finds himself a beautiful bride. Will they live happily ever after in domestic bliss, or is there a twist? It’s up to the reader to find out…

Mark Fine short story, Karmic Odds
Karmic Odds by Mark Fine. Featured in Twisted Tales short story collection

3. What is the biggest challenge for you in writing short stories?

Never attempted it before, so it was the challenge itself I found so motivating. Short stories demand efficient craftsmanship. The ability to wedge into a few thousand words the richness of character, time, place and plot really pushed me; and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4. What is your favourite famous traditional short story, or short story author and why?

Roald Dahl. A stunning story titled ‘A Fine Son’—I was drawn to it for egocentric reasons; the use of my name ‘Fine’ in the title. Wow! Not a typical surprise twist yarn but the revelation at the end is shocking. One heck of a fine story…just to let your readers know it was subsequently published under another title, ‘Genesis and Catastrophe’.

5. What did you like about writing for Readers Avenue Park?

Readers Avenue Park is international community of Readers, a kind of virtual book club…and that’s why I write; to be able to weave words into the minds of readers, everywhere. I appreciate the invitation from Readers Avenue Park to participate in this unique short story anthology.

6. What do you like most about the Twisted Tales?

The brief was liberal, as in not restrictive. As an author I was free to express myself freely, genuinely, without the constraints of some artificially imposed criteria. That’s rare in this exploitive, commercial environment.

7. Can you share a favourite quote from your TT story?

Sure, how about this one, ‘… the fragrance of her was breathtakingly real as it drifted toward me across the ocean breeze. And so there I stood with trousers rolled-up and damp, with my nude toes clawed in the sand, awaiting swift execution.’

8. Any message for TT readers or potential readers?

I must champion the short story format. For me they are like a hit single, rather than the full music album. As such they are easy to enjoy, especially in the context of our busy, busy lives.  Also, they provide a marvelous insight into the mechanics of an author’s mind. In other words short stories are the perfect ‘sampler’ when a reader is seeking out fresh author voices. By the way, download yourself a FREE copy HERE!


Mark Fine Author links

Book Trailer

Mimagey thanks to Anita Kovacevic for this interview originally posted on

Author: Mark Fine

Author Mark Fine was a record label chief for PolyGram. Variety magazine named him “Music Executive with 20/20 Vision”—good thing too as Fine is tone-deaf. His failed efforts to compose a song resulted in the critically acclaimed novel, “The Zebra Affaire.” As research for his writings (and opinions) Fine immigrated to America from South Africa, in an effort to better appreciate being a stranger in a strange land. Due to his African roots, he is a strong advocate for wildlife conservation and is an ardent #RhinoProtector. Readers may follow him at and

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