Author Interview: Mark G. McLaughlin / Throne of Darius



JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Mark. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

MGM-I live in Peterborough, New Hampshire – quite literally “Our Town” (yes, where Thornton Wilder wrote and set the most boring play you were ever forced to read in high school – I even live right near the “Our Town Inn.”)  We moved here on the eve of the 199th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo.   That should give you a hint as to what I do for fun:  I paint and play war games with miniature soldiers.  I also design wargames (my 26th just shipped this month).

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

MGM-So many favorites.  The Ancient era (where my current batch of novels are set), followed closely by the Napoleonic era (where five of my games are set) with the Civil War close behind (three game designs and a novel-in-progress).    I like each era for different reasons, but what all have in common is the pagentry, splendour and drama of their times.   Then again, sigh, if I could live in any period, it would be as a King's Musketeer in 17th century France (I used to fence, and I am a Dumas junkie).

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

MGM- George Washington. (Yeah, I know, he is not in any of the periods above, but he is my hero.)  I really do not have any question for him: I would just like to listen to him speak, tell me his story in his own words and have the opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude, for here is a man who could have been just another king – yet set aside his own ambitions and remained true to his core beliefs.

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical fiction?

MGM- First story I ever wrote was when I was 14:  “Muskets at Montmorency” about the British landing on the shores of the St. Lawrence during the Quebec campaign of 1759.  Heh, I grew up in upstate New York and spent a lot of time at Lake George, Fort William Henry and Fort Ticonderoga (where I was a uniformed tour guide one summer in college).   Instead of writing fiction I became a journalist, even wrote two non-fiction history books, but always longed to go back to fiction – which I finally did 40 years later.  I just wanted the characters in my head and heart to show up on a page.

JMR- You also create board games. How is the creation of a game similar/dissimilar to writing a work of fiction?

MGM-It is very similar in many regards.  Both require a lot of research.  Both req uire a lot of imagination.  Both involve constant rewritting.   Both also require the assistance of editors.  I would no more design a game or write a news story or a book without an editor than I would take the Enterprise on a five year mission without Scotty. 

JMR- Did you visit anyone of the places in your book? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

MGM-Someday I hope to visit some of the places in the Throne of Darius series – along with many other places where my books and games are set.  Fortunately I can visit them virtually and, of course, through books – modern and ancient.  I still get a chill just at the thought of Troy or ancient Athens, and can imagine myself manning the walls of the first and walking the streets of the second.

JMR- Mark, tell us about your new book, Alexander the Great: Friends and Foe.

MGM-While researching the Throne of Darius series (3 books so far, 4th in the works, 4 more planned) I came across some little bits of information that set my imagination on fire.  There was no way to put them in the novels, but I so wanted to share the story of Alexander's sister – the warrior princess Cynane – and that of a very special Persian postman – that I just had to write them!

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

MGM- I am on the 29th chapter of the fourth book in the Throne of Darius series (it will be called Son of Zeus-Ammon) and have rough outlines of the remaining four in that series.  I have 70 pages of a Civil War novel  (based on the Confederate blockade runners and raiders, whose story was the inspiration for one of my games: Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, which came out seven years ago).   I have two games in production with one publisher (Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East and Hannibal's Revenge), two more in development for that publisher (Ancient Civilizations of East Asia and Ancient Civilizations at War).  Two of my older titles are also being revised, updated and redone with much prettier art work – East Wind Rain (WW2 in the Pacific) and The Napoleonic Wars.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

MGM-I have a website/blog  and a facebook page:


JMR- Readers I have included a link to Mark's latest book, please check it out!


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