BY PETER ALLEN
LEAP based science-fiction author Mark Ellis is set to release his 50th book – which, he says, has been influenced by his new home on the south coast of Ireland.
Best known for his popular Outlanders series, Mark writes many of his books and graphic novels under the pseudonym of James Axler.
Mark is a native of Rhode Island, but he settled permanently in West Cork in 2017. ‘My wife Melissa and I have dual Irish and American citizenship. We’ve visited many times over the last 20 plus years. In 1997, I wrote my third Outlanders novel, Savage Sun, in West Cork. We planned for years to move here permanently – when the time was right.’
The Leap region has influenced Mark’s fiction, incorporating West Cork’s ancient megalithic stone circle sites, such as the Drombeg circle in Glandore, into his fantasy universe. The couple enjoy the rural lifestyle of West Cork and like to ramble in the many local woods and along the stunning seashore in this part of the south coast. ‘There’s also the occasional pub visit to the Leap Inn, the Harbour Bar or the Paragon in Skibbereen,’ he joked.
Due to his Rhode Island origins, Mark is strongly influenced by the great existential-horror writer HP Lovecraft, who he describes as ‘the Edgar Allan Poe of New England.’
A special interest in The Irish RM author, Edith Somerville, saw Mark visit her homeplace of Drishane in Castletownshend several times, and Melissa plans to write a book detailing Somerville’s life.
Mark himself feels a powerful connection with his now 20-year-old fantasy series: ‘I spent a lot of years crafting it, expanding and fine-tuning it. I decided I’d put too much work into that universe and that there were too many readers wishing for more books, for me to abandon the series. Hence, Parallax Prime.’
Readers can expect that, like most of the prior 49 books, Mark Ellis’s 50th book will contain a lot of action, adventure, colorful settings and humour. The author’s plans include two, maybe three, Parallax Prime novels a year, and he also plans to collaborate with his wife on a mystery novel set in West Cork, which, he says mysteriously, will contain ‘supernatural’ elements.
• Parallax Prime is available on Amazon.