“The Emperor thrust out a hand and one of his men pulled him to his feet.

‘Cut his throat and bury him in the bog.’ He clenched his fists. ‘Then find

his belongings. Find them, or I’ll order you buried with him.’”

–From The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson

Mark H. Jackson is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of the Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.

The Atlantis Deception

Book Description:

A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

Interview:

Welcome, Mark! Your new adventure/thriller, The Atlantis Deception, sounds thrilling! Can you tell us how you came up with the idea?

Mark: Thank you, and thank you for having me here today. The idea for what has evolved into my novel, The Atlantis Deception, arrived in stages. I studied Archaeology and Ancient History at university and although I didn’t deviate too far from mainstream ideas, I secretly loved the more alternative versions of our past. I read authors such as Graham Hancock, Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath and my fascination with the unexplained developed, particularly around the idea of Atlantis and Earth’s lost civilisations. Many other authors have used the idea of Atlantis and the focus tends to be on finding the lost continent. I wanted to tread a different route and instead fixated on what happened to the population in the wake of their apocalypse. It was great fun to research and write, and I hope my enthusiasm for the topic comes through.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters?

Mark: If I’m honest with myself, my main protagonist, Dr John Hunter, is a parody of what I wanted to be and do in my adult life. He’s not perfect by any means, and best described as a flawed individual, struggling through life while trying to rid himself of the scars and demons of his past. His back-story certainly dictates how he elects to deal with the situations thrown at him throughout the novel. As much fun as Hunter was to write, the villains of the piece are still my favourite characters. I found it quite cathartic transposing traits of the less likable figures I’ve encountered through my life onto my villains. None are based on any one person so hopefully no lawsuits are going to follow. Bizarrely, the easiest to write was the infamous Nazi, Heinrich Himmler. Bringing him back to life was an interesting experience and the research phase, although harrowing in parts, certainly held my interest.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Mark: I try to write all of my chapters in such a way that my readers should always want to continue. That said, there are a number of significant and pivotal points scattered throughout the novel. My favourite is probably the point at which it becomes apparent Hunter’s benefactor is not all that he seems and his origin story unfolds.

 

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

Mark: I do proof and edit myself, but I have been lucky enough to be published by the publishing house, Unbound. They professionally edited and proofed the book for me, which was great. It was sometimes tough hearing all the criticism thrown my way (and consequently being forced to delete sections that took hours to create!) but I believe the novel is all the stronger for it and my skin is certainly thicker.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Mark: A book cover is of paramount importance to the sales figures of a novel, and particularly for new authors such as myself. Established names such as Dan Brown or Stephen King probably do not have to worry so much, since their name alone will sell anything they publish. However for a debutant, standing out from the crowd is all-important. A poor cover will, without question lose sales. If a cover doesn’t stand out in the bookstore or online, why would anyone click or pluck it from the shelf?

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

Mark: Indiana Jones – which I think says it all! Writing about a similar character has been the next best thing.

Do your novels carry a message?

Mark: I’m not going to pretend the main goal of my work is anything more than to create a credible piece of escapist entertainment, but if I can achieve that whilst educating and creating a situation whereby my readers can question the rhetoric of the establishment, all the better. I’m not saying we should all be looking for conspiracies under every rock, only that it is sometimes worth enquiring as to why certain rocks are harder to lift…

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

Mark: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to interact with my readers and potential readers. I am always available and willing to discuss my work or wider questions in general. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via the following mediums and thank you again for taking an interest in my work.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mhj873/?hl=en

Website: www.markhjackson.com

 

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