Thanks to Mark for taking the time to answers Questions Five.
If I were going on holiday through the Midlands and I could only visit once pub, which pub do you recommend and why?
MC: I would certainly recommend going to The Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham - you not only get good beer and food and good company, you also get great atmosphere and an unforgettable history lesson. The Trip is the oldest pub in Britain. You can tell that the moment you stoop through the tiny medieval doors into a maze of small rooms where you could lose yourself for quite a while. The rear part of the pub is actually carved out of the rock and there is a tunnel leading to an underground labyrinth that links vast sandstone caves running beneath Nottingham. Right overhead, Nottingham Castle towers. The Trip was founded in 1189, when King Richard the Lionheart announced the crusade against the Saracens in the Holy Land - hence the pub name. If you're looking for ghosts, there are supposed to be several here. But watch out for the locals - they may try to entice you into one of the medieval pub games, particularly swinging a small hoop on a rope on to a horn fixed to the wall. It looks simple, but is fiendishly hard - and the locals ensure a constant supply of free beer betting against unwitting visitors. It's also one of the favourite watering holes of Britain's fantasy authors, and when the annual Fantasycon is in town (usually September) you can find many of them propping up the bar. You can find out more here: http://www.triptojerusalem.com/
If World’s End were a fortune cookie, what would its fortune be?
MC: 'Do not trust what you see. Nothing is as it seems'.
If this were your own fortune, how would you interpret it?
MC: That the world appears to be one way, but it's only an illusion, a collection of rules established by other people for their own benefit. If you spend your life conforming to other people's rules, you will never find good fortune. You make your own rules. Then you build a base in an extinct volcano, hire a private army and plot to impose those rules on everyone else.
Please describe one reason World’s End would inspire a reader to strip naked and run screaming into the forest?
Why should World’s End be the next book that everyone reads?
MC: Because if you don't read it, the powers that secretly rule our world will win. It might seem to be a fantasy story about the ancient Celtic gods returning, but it's really about the here and now and what's going on around us. Or if 'they' are listening, it's a fast-paced, high adventure with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll...or Frank Sinatra, at least. It's a quest for meaning in a secular world. It's a tour around the mystical and prehistoric sites of Britain. It's a codebook of magic. It's a quest for meaning in a secular world. It's a commentary on the abiding influence of the ancient Celts. It's not for jaded people - it's a celebration of that time in life when emotion is acutely felt: love, friendship, betrayal, fear, yearning. It's fun. Really. (But if you do read it, you'll know who really controls the world, and why, and you'll be able to beat them. Even without a secret base and a private army.)