Good morning everyone. Laura and I are here in Central Park today to talk with Mark Rosendorf, author of The Rasner Rffect.
Debbie: I just love Central Park. Especially this time of year. Fall and Spring are the best! (bites into her soft pretzel)
Laura: I’ve never been to Central Park before. This is nice. And check this out—real New York style coffee! Mmm.
Debbie: (rolls eyes) New York Style coffee? Isn’t coffee, coffee? Now the hot dogs around here…that’s what I’m talkin’ bout. After we’re done, we should take one of those carriage rides. Ohh, and Pizza, can’t forget a slice of NY pizza.
Laura: Pretzels and Coffee. Mmm, yummy. And speaking of hot dogs…Look, Over there! A Frisbee dog. Wow, that pup can jump. (reaches into mega-sized tote bag) And I just happen to have a Frisbee right here. Run, Debbie! Go Long!
Debbie: One of these days, Laura, one of these days. Oh, here comes our guest.
DEBBIE: Thank you very much for meeting us this morning, Mark.
MARK ROSENDORF: Thanks so much for the opportunity; I’m looking forward to the interview.
LAURA: Okay…where to start?
MARK ROSENDORF: Up to you. Ask anything, I have no secrets to hide.
LAURA: (elbows Deb and whispers) Um, when someone says they have no secrets to hide, doesn’t that mean they DO have secrets to hide? Kind of a reverse psychology type thing?
DEBBIE: Ya know, I think so. Hmm. We’ll have to keep that in mind. (turns to guest) Sooo, Mark, sounds like you’ve had several careers. The Hotel industry, a magician and now a Masters and you are a licensed guidance counselor for special education. Wow! Did one lead to the next? How did you end up with the guidance counselor gig?
MARK ROSENDORF: To be honest, it all happened unexpectedly. While the hotel industry was good to me right out of college, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do the rest of my life (mainly due to the hours, you’re working while everyone else is playing). I was considering various masters programs and none really attracted me. One of my father’s friends was trying to redefine his life and become a school guidance counselor. He told my father about the masters program at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. While my dad wasn’t interested in a career change at that point, psychology always attracted me. I looked into the program and then took one class, just to see if I would like it. I loved it. I finished the two year program in a year in a half and followed my father’s friend into NYC department of education’s special education district.
I’m now entering my twelfth year as a guidance counselor for students with special needs. While I love the job, it has certainly presented challenges. For example, my second day as a guidance counselor was on September 11, 2001. You want to talk about trial by fire, I hadn’t even moved into the guidance office and I was already dealing with an international tragedy with students who weren’t sure if their families were okay. I suddenly found myself wondering if I had gotten myself into a position far above my ability to handle.
DEBBIE: Wow, extremely impressive.
LAURA: I can’t imagine dealing with 9/11 right there in the middle of it all. I bet you did wonderfully and helped a lot of people. So, when did wanting to be an author come in to the mix?
MARK ROSENDORF: Writing has always been in my blood. I remember as a pre-teen, I used to write my own endings to books, movies and television shows. My creative writing also helped me a great deal throughout school. I remember in the seventh grade when my essay on World War II impressed the teacher so much, he gave it an “A” despite the paper not containing a single fact. I aced every writing assignment I ever had, but on the flip side, math was my kryptonite. My math grades always offset my English grades which gave me an average report card. In my heart though, I knew that my unusual imagination would someday create a book that would be published.
LAURA: I think you hit the nail on the head, Mark. You have a wonderfully unusual imagination.
DEBBIE: How did you learn to be a magician?
LAURA: Cool! My brother-in-law is a magician. So yes, do tell! J
MARK ROSENDORF: As a child, I was pretty shy and hated public speaking. Imagine my distress in my senior year of high school where I was required to take a public speaking class. One of those speech topics was to present a hobby or talent. Youch, what in the world did I have to present that would have impressed the class?
I found a magic shop a few blocks away from my grandparents’ house. I went in there and explained to one of the magicians working there my situation. The man taught me some basic stage tricks which I could do as part of my presentation. The class loved it. I immediately went back to him for more. He enjoyed my enthusiasm and took me under his wing. The more he taught me, the more I wanted to learn. Over the year, I developed a style and pattern. Once in college, I was performing at campus nightclubs and was hired for table magic at parties.
Although I don’t perform much today, I do train my students and have them put on school magic shows as part of our performing arts program. It does a lot to build their character, motivation and self-esteem.
LAURA: (Holds up hand and jumps up and down) Oo! Pick me! Pick me! I would so love to learn magic.
DEBBIE: Good Lord, yes. Please pick her, turn her into a coffee cup.
LAURA: (points at Deb) Turn her into a hot dog! Lol
DEBBIE: Ooo, yeah, Wrap me up in a toasty bun and slather me with condiments, sounds like more fun than a hunk of ceramic. HAHAHAHA!
LAURA: Hahaha! Nut! So Mark, working with special needs children, while commendable, has to be mentally taxing. What do you do to distress?
MARK ROSENDORF: Any job out there has its stress, but the more you enjoy your job, the less stressful it is. I love being a guidance counselor and I enjoy working with my students. Of course, there are those moments that can cause homicidal thoughts, and usually, they come from dealing with the adults, ha ha. (Note: if any of my colleagues are reading this, I mean the others, not you) My mental relaxation usually consists of reading, writing, watching movies, playing video games and spending time with my girlfriend. I also enjoy bike riding and swimming as my forms of exercise.
LAURA: I home school my three boys (all under ten). Yeah, I hear you about stress. They are very, um…much like little boys. Lol High energy, into everything, but happy. As far as distressing…mine pretty much match yours. Well, except for the girlfriend part. I hang with my DH. Lol We all loooove swimming, and the youngest is already learning to ride bikes. We’ll be back mountain biking soon – so, look out!
DEBBIE: I love going to the movies. I walk a lot as well. Right now is the perfect weather in Vermont.
LAURA: Oh, I would love to be up in Vermont with you, Deb! I bet it’s gorgeous. So, Mark, I have an aunt who used to work in the hotel industry. Somehow, she always manages to get these super-low rates. Hmm…any secrets about the hotel industry you want to share?
MARK ROSENDORF: Hmm…I guess the biggest secret about the hotel industry is that it’s not as glamorous on the other side. It is hard work, lots of hours (mostly on weekends and holidays), lots of standing on your feet and smiling as guests scream at you for happenings beyond your control. It’s also an interesting industry in that you meet all kinds of people from all over the world. Some are friendly, some are glamorous and some are escapees from mental institutions.
LAURA: Oh, I was wondering where Debbie disappeared to that weekend.
DEBBIE: HAHAHA! Aren’t you the funny one today?
LAURA: Hmm. (jabs elbow into Deb’s ribs) What led you to become an author, Mark?
MARK ROSENDORF: Truth be told, I don’t remember this, but I’ve heard it many times throughout my life. When I was eight years old, my mother—a college computer teacher— had her first textbook published. Both my parents were excited when the box arrived in the mail with the first copies of the book. My mother put one in my hand. I stared at the cover and said, “Someday I’m going to write a book, too,” Twenty-six years later, that prophecy came true with The Rasner Effect.
LAURA: Oh my gosh! My oldest boy said the same thing. LOL
DEBBIE: LOL, I hope it’s a tell-all.
LAURA: HAHAHA Sadly, it would be pretty boring. There’d be little to tell. “Mom brewed another cup of coffee today. She wore out her Keurig and I thought I might have to dial 911. Then I remembered the jar of instant she keeps in the cabinet. Her wild-eyed shaking has subsided.”
DEBBIE: They probably all keep a stash of the instant hidden under their mattresses just in case of emergencies.
LAURA: (whispers) No, but I do. Shh. (turning to Mark) Debbie and I love writing twisty, high-action stories—murder and mayhem are a plus. The Rasner Effect sounds pretty darn intense. Where does your inspiration come from?
MARK ROSENDORF: It’s a combination of my work experience and my imagination running wild at around three a.m. when I can’t sleep. Early in my counseling career, I dealt with a cruel and bullying principal. She treated both the staff and students like criminals who needed to cower before her or suffer her wrath. It was difficult not only having to deal with her constant verbal onslaughts, but also watching the horrors she put these poor kids through.
At night, I fantasized about murdering this woman as penance for all the damage she intentionally caused. Of course, I wouldn’t act on these thoughts because I just couldn’t picture myself doing well in prison. My way of handling those frustrated sleepless nights was to create a fantasy which involved turning the tables on this evil witch and putting a bullet in her head.
Quickly, characters started to form, the setting changed into a teenage residential facility and I found myself up at night writing the premise for a novel which anyone with a boss who deserved to die would enjoy. The story ended up taking a life of its own and before I knew it, I had 90,000 words which brought together an evil director of a teenage residential facility, a government cover-up focused on a new employee at this facility and the group of ruthless mercenaries that are searching for him.
LAURA: WOOT! Awesome!
DEBBIE: I know all about the sleepless nights. Never contemplated murder, lol, but various type of torture may have been entertained. Our stories tend to take on a life of their own as well.
LAURA: Hmm…now I’m concerned…. None of these torture fantasies involved me, right?
DEBBIE: HAHAHA! Nope, you’re safe…for now. J
LAURA: Whew! (sighs) Okay, Mark…so, now I’m so intrigued. How about let’s tease our readers? What are the first seven sentences of the book? (Yep, just seven - LOL)
MARK ROSENDORF: Okay, first seven sentences (or so) of The Rasner Effect:
"Chaos" was the only word Jake Scarberry could think of to describe his situation. The panicked screams of civilians running for their lives echoed all along the expressway. A bit further away, the symphony of screams melded with the honking of unsuspecting commuters stuck in a logjam of traffic. Jake stood alone on the bridge, the heat already seeping through his thin-soled boots. Black smoke, trapped beneath low-hanging clouds, filled his lungs and nostrils. It was five p.m., but today everything seemed darker than normal.
Despite the explosion, the bridge connecting the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx remained standing and Jake was glad about that. He certainly had no interest in experiencing the long drop into the East River if the bridge were to collapse. He couldn't remember the name of the bridge, but that was the least of his concerns at the moment. The important thing was surviving a battle that obviously wasn't over yet, not with the pair of determined and psychotic dark blue eyes staring at him through the haze.
The man, smaller and years younger, inched his way forward, sidestepping abandoned cars with a single-minded focus. At one juncture he disappeared in a cloud of smoke. When it cleared, he gripped a tire iron like a spear in his right hand. In his left, he still held the small black detonator box.
"If I'm going down," the man shouted, "then so are you. This is not over!"
Hmm, I seem to have gone beyond seven sentences…I hope that’s okay. J
DEBBIE: Absolutely, lol. This was great!
LAURA: I’ll let ya slide this time…only cause it was so wonderful. <wg>
DEBBIE: Tell us three things about Rick Rasner that aren’t in the books.
MARK ROSENDORF: Here are two facts about Rick Rasner that aren’t well known, but are actually mentioned at some point in the three books, either directly or indirectly:
1) Rick is left-handed.
2) Rick was abused and bullied as a child, which is why he becomes protective of Clara. Her hopeless situation triggers an emotional response from Rick’s amnesiac brain.
And, one unknown fact about The Rasner Effect itself:
3) The Rasner Effect’s original title was “Permanent Solutions.” I changed it because whenever I discussed it, people thought I was trying to sell them a hair product.
LAURA: Hahaha! Oh yes, I can see that! The title you settled on is great.
LAURA: So, since we’re on this weird numbers thingy…let’s keep going. Hey, I like weird. Use three words to describe Rick Rasner.
MARK ROSENDORF: Intense, determined, and focused. Wait…are we counting the “and,” in which case, it’s four words?
LAURA: Well, technically it’s four…but let me check with the judges. (turns) Debbie? Wait, what the…? (looks around then cups hands around mouth and yells down the street) Hey! Get away from that hot dog vendor and get back here! We’re in the middle of an interview, woman! Mark doesn’t have all day, you know!
DEBBIE: I was getting dogs for all of us, sheesh. Don’t you know anything about hosting?
LAURA: Suuuure you were. I saw that gleam in your eye from here.
DEBBIE: Ummm, yeah, do you see what’s going on right next to the vendor? That’s right, male models shooting an underwear commercial. Sheesh, do I have to point out everything to you?
LAURA: There was a tour bus blocking them. But now…mmm, yeah. Yummy. Ahem…okay, we can gawk, ogle, and drool later – not to be confused with stop, drop, and roll. Back to our interview.
DEBBIE: Without giving anything away, tell us about Clara Blue.
MARK ROSENDORF: Clara Blue may be the unluckiest character in fictional history. She was born into the wrong family, always picked the wrong friends and pissed off the wrong people. Circumstances landed her into the state’s custody and placed in the Brookhill Childrens’ psychiatric residence. On her first day, she ended up on the wrong side of the bullying and power-tripping director, Katherine Miller. When the patients were divided into four classes, Clara ended up with Mr. Royal, a teacher who wants to molest her and punishes her for resisting. Clara finally makes a friend in the new therapist, Rick Rasner, but since he’s also on Miller’s bad side, his help only makes things worse.
All Clara wants is a normal life where she’s not constantly getting beaten down. Finally, a group takes a liking to Clara and have the power to change her life…but it turns out they’re psychotic killers who believe she’d fit right in.
DEBBIE: Boy, sounds like you put Clara through the wringer. Laura and I love to do this with our characters. It builds…um…character.
LAURA: Yeah, poor Clara sounds very tortured. What was the hardest part about writing her story?
MARK ROSENDORF: Clara is an angry and desperate girl, which leads to violent mistakes. Yet, she’s one of the protagonists of the story. Readers realize she’s flawed, yet want to root for her anyway. The hardest part of writing for Clara is taking her to the edge of evil without going so far that she loses the compassion of her fans. It’s truly a fine line that was hard to walk but not cross.
LAURA: Debbie and I are currently penning a story with a tortured hero who we’ve plotted to toe that same line.
DEBBIE: Yes we are. He’s a profiler who tends to get in the heads of the psychopaths he’s hunting a bit to well.
LAURA: Yeah. I think it will be tough to write but creepy to read.
DEBBIE: What was the most difficult thing about writing Rasner’s Revenge?
MARK ROSENDORF: Going into Rasner’s Revenge, I knew it would close out the series, or at least this chapter of the characters’ lives. Throughout the first two books, reviewers and writers had called The Rasner Effect series unpredictable and “filled with twists and turns.” I knew the ending of the series couldn’t disappoint, it had to be the biggest twist of them all. I leave it to my readers to decide if I succeeded in that goal.
LAURA: Well, considering you started out lying awake at three a.m., fantasizing about revenge and ending up with three books, I have no doubt you delivered.
DEBBIE: This series sounds really good, and thought provoking.
LAURA: The characters you’ve described are intriguing for sure.
DEBBIE: So three books, did you have them all plotted out before you started the first?
MARK ROSENDORF: Much of the plots for Without Hesitation and Rasner’s Revenge came to me as I was writing The Rasner Effect. I didn’t set out to make it a series, but the characters kept whispering to me late at night, telling me that their stories weren’t done. When I sat down to write Without Hesitation, I had the entire book, and Rasner’s Revenge, in my head, ready to come out on paper.
LAURA: Ooo, voices in your head, too? I’m liking you more and more, Mark.
DEBBIE: LOL, yeah, Laura hears all kinds of voices, don’t ya, Laura?
LAURA: Some. But your yammering about my beverage preferences drowns ‘em out.
DEBBIE: HAHAHA! Yes!
LAURA: Mark, now that you’ve shared how you came up with the story and all those pesky voices murmuring in your head, I’m wondering if they shared the end of the series with you when you started, or did they make you wait till you got there?
MARK ROSENDORF: By the end of the first book, I knew how the final one would end. I just had to make sure all three stories led to that final scene, which would wrap up the adventure.
LAURA: Hmm…the voices shared. Nice!
DEBBIE: Well, what I want to know is, is there any romance in there?
MARK ROSENDORF: Yes, in Without Hesitation, mercenary Jake Scarberry falls in love. Their relationship convinces him to give up the violent life for a normal one. However, like everything else in The Rasner Effect series, nothing is ever what it seems. His love interest is a pacifist who abhors violence. She doesn’t know about Jake’s other life. What happens when she finds out?
Also, Duke Organization leader, Jennifer Duke, who has been called by one reviewer one of the most cold-hearted and evil villainesses she’d ever read has a romantic connection to a main character which displays a human and fallible side.
LAURA: I’m the world’s slowest writer. Just ask Debbie—
LAURA: Well, crap! You didn’t have to answer so fast. Sheesh.
DEBBIE: Hey, I’m all about honesty these days.
LAURA: LMFAO Really? Okay…are you going to buy me a hot dog when we’re done here?
DEBBIE: Honey, I will buy you all the hot dogs you want as long as that commercial is still shooting. As a matter of fact, I insist!
LAURA: Okay…So, Mark, how long did it take you to write all three stories?
MARK ROSENDORF: The Rasner Effect took me over two years, but much of that time was spent on editing and re-writes. It was really a “learn as you go” situation since I had no formal training on professional writing. I learned a lot afterward from my editor and my publisher at L&L Dreamspell, both of who gave me a college education on writing in a short amount of time. Each book since has taken me under a year to complete. Of course, they’d all have taken far less time if not for my video game habit. J
DEBBIE: Ah, yes. Distractions. Reading is a big one of mine.
LAURA: (snort) That and watching eye candy stroll by.
DEBBIE: Hey, you’re the married one, not me. So, Mark, tell us a little about your story in Cat in a Dreamspell.
MARK ROSENDORF: Cat in a Dreamspell is a short story that’s part humor and part Twilight Zone. Before they begin flight school, Mike and Joe get the chance to sit in the cockpit of a 747 and observe real pilots in action. Once in the air, a cat sneaks into the cockpit and the pilots disappear. Then things get really bizarre.
LAURA: Love it!
LAURA: Yes they are! Well, since you managed to snag another pretzel from who knows where…wait, is that cheese on there, too?
DEBBIE: Could be.
LAURA: (sigh) I’ll ask some Mark some quickie questions.
First thing you do when you wake up?
MARK ROSENDORF: First I stretch, then I use the bathroom. After that, I take a shower where ideas flow through my head like a steady stream. Pun intended, but seriously, I keep a notepad and pen hanging outside the shower.
Boxers or briefs?
MARK ROSENDORF: Definitely briefs.
Wine and candles or Beer and Neon?
MARK ROSENDORF: Being allergic to carbonation, I’ll have to pick the one without beer.
LAURA: Psst. Since Deb’s focused on her pretzel, I’ll let you have the wine and neon if that works for you.
DEBBIE: I can eat and hear at the same time. Multi-talented am I.
LAURA: All right, Yoda.
Suit and tie or jeans and t-shirt?
MARK ROSENDORF: Shorts and a t-shirt whenever possible. Jeans when it’s cold. Shirt and tie only when it’s absolutely necessary.
Any rituals or things you need/like to have while you write?
MARK ROSENDORF: I don’t have a set time when I write, it’s usually whenever the muse hits me. I quickly scribble my ideas down in a notebook, then I sit in front of my computer and type out the chapter with the notes in my lap. Sometimes I’ll play a game of online chess before I write, just to get my brain flowing.
LAURA: Ding, ding, ding. Okay, the Quickie Question section of the interview is complete. You did wonderfully…love the detailed responses, too. Since you have a story in Cat in a Dreamspell, I’m wondering if you have any pets?
MARK ROSENDORF: Unfortunately, not at this point, but in the past, I’ve had two dogs, two cats, three fish and a pet rock.
DEBBIE: Lemme guess, you had a pet rock.
LAURA: Well yeah. They’re solid pets, very loyal.
DEBBIE: Advice you would give an aspiring author?
MARK ROSENDORF: Be ready for a long haul. I received over 100 rejections for The Rasner Effect over a period of two years, most of which said “you have a good story but we’ve never heard of you. Get published, then call us back.” Getting that first book out there is time consuming and it’s frustrating. But, is it worth it? Definitely! Seeing your cover for the first time and holding the first copy of your book in your hands is the greatest feeling in the world.
DEBBIE: Great advice, and you’re right. Holding that first book in your hands is awesome!
LAURA: It really is. So, anything you’re working on now? If so, care to share a peek with our readers?
MARK ROSENDORF: I’m working on a science fiction novel titled “Status Quo,” which is primarily for the new adult audience, while having a cast of characters interesting enough to attract adult and young adult readers as well.
Status Quo tells the story of Alex Copeland, a twenty-five year old who is one of seven civilians of various ages selected for a secret mission that will see them travel through a wormhole to another galaxy. Their mission: represent humanity as they make first contact with the aliens that created the wormhole near Earth. At least, this is what they’ve been led to believe. Alex questions why he was chosen considering his only related experience is a six-month college internship in an astronomy lab.
Meeting his shipmates only adds to Alex’s suspicions. The crew includes a convicted murderer, a patient from a mental institution and two teens, one of whom is on the brink of suicide. None of the crewmembers have astronaut training or experience. When the real reason they were chosen becomes clear, the group finds themselves victims of sabotage and stranded in an alien solar system with a broken ship while hunted by the native species. Even if this group can survive, can they return to a home that sent them to die in the first place? The result is a climatic twist with thought-provoking repercussions.
LAURA: That sounds great!
You're in an office building dressed in a suit and tie on an assignment. You've just stolen top secret corporate documents which will incriminate drug kingpin Alfonzo the Butcher. But while you're riding the elevator to the lower parking deck (and grooving to the hip elevator music jamming over the speakers), the power goes out and you're stuck between floors.
Though no alarm sounds, your well-honed senses whisper that the power outage isn't a power grid failure.
Your cell vibrates. When you look, you see that not only is your battery almost dead, but the reception is one bar. You answer and hear a garbled message from your partner. "Trap...bomb...top of...-vator. Get out!" Deciding a to test your rock climbing skills, you open the access hatch above you, only to have hundreds of snakes fall into the compartment with you.
You look up through the hole and see Alfonzo's men have pried open the door to the floor above. In their hands, they have some nasty looking machetes...seems not only does Alfonzo want to keep your demise quiet, but he's also keeping to his namesake...um, the butcher.
One of Alfonzo's men calls down to you. "Say hello to our little friends." Your cell phone is dead. All you have is your briefcase filled with fake papers and a fountain pen.
WHAT DO YOU DO??
MARK ROSENDORF: First, let me say that I can tell this is a fictional scenario, just from the fact I’m wearing a suit and tie.
That said, when I do wear a suit and tie, they’re usually made of snake skin, just for occasions like this. I’d expect the snakes would see me as a friend, which would be helped by my years of practice in animal hypnotism (also learned for situations like this).
Now, with all the snakes under my control, I’d have them wrap around my body for protection and shoot out venom from their mouths at Alfonzo and his goons. For those out of reach, I’d have some of the snakes stiffen up so I could throw them as spears.
Once all of Alfonzo’s goons have either been terminated by my hundreds of new friends, or have run off, I’ll have the snakes form a rope, which I can use to climb out the elevator shaft.
After that, I’ll use the fountain pen to write about this adventure on the paper in the briefcase and turn it into a bestseller!
With that, I thank you once again for the interview. I also thank all of your readers for checking it out. I certainly hope everyone enjoyed it. If you all get the chance, check out The Rasner Effect’s official website at www.markrosendorf.com
DEBBIE: HAHAHA! Great answer! Thanks for joining us today, Mark! It was a pleasure getting to know you!
LAURA: Super creative! I’d say you survived it! Thanks for dropping by and letting us tortu— um, I mean, interview you. You’re welcome back anytime! Debbie, we should have some blurbs and book covers around here somewhere, right?
Debbie: Yup, coming right up. Awwww, look, they’re putting their clothes back on. Hmph, oh well, lets go for that buggy ride around the park.
Laura: Well, drat. Okay, carriage ride sounds like a plan. Oh, and what about that hot dog? Or did eating alllll those pretzels fill you up?
Debbie: Yes, I want a hot dog, with the works. And pizza, and cheesecake. Must have NY cheesecake. I’ll get the dogs, you go flag down the buggy.
Laura: Sounds good! (puts fingers in mouth and whistles) Hey Deb…here comes one now. Throw some mustard, ketchup, cheese and onions on my dog and come on!
Debbie: Yeah. Here’s your dog. (gets up in the seat) Wow. This is nice!
Laura: Yeah, it is. And mmm. This dog rocks! Thanks! (carriage starts rolling) Lets lean back and enjoy the sights.
Debbie: Umm, Laura? Notice anything familiar about our driver?
Laura: No. I tossed him a coin, so we’re good to go.
Debbie: Did you happen to take an actual look at him? Huh? Dammit Laura.
Laura:Oh my gosh! It’s the freaky hooded dude! I thought we lost him a few blogs back! JUMP!
Debbie: Jump? Hey, wait for me!
Debbie: I swear, the shit you get me into.
Laura: How was I supposed to know that guy from the river was still following us? Though, I did think it was a bit strange he was wearing a hoodie with these warm temperatures… But, hey, it’s not like I’m the fashion police or anything. Who am I to tell him that he’s a winter and all that black makes his sunken, red glowing eyes appear baggy?
Debbie: Really? NO MORE COFFEE!
Laura: I’ll make it up to you…which way to the cheesecake?
Bio: Mark Rosendorf is not mentally unbalanced or violently psychotic, despite what his writing may suggest (granted, according to a facebook app, he's only 78 percent sane. Most of his family and friends think that total is generously high). The characters he writes for, however, were created based on the personalities and experiences he has come across throughout his life, coupled with his own wild “if only I could do that” imagination.
Mark holds a Masters Degree from Long Island University’s Human Development and Leadership program. He is a licensed guidance counselor for the special education district of the New York City Department of Education. He began his counseling career in September, 2001. Mark has worked with special needs inner-city students of various age groups, many of whom show a lack of impulse control and exhibit anti-social tendencies. For some, their ability to keep their inhibitions in check is difficult without help and assistance.
Mark is also a professional magician. He uses magic and illusion to help focus his students on their behavior and scholastics in the school environment.
Prior to this, Mark worked in the hotel industry in guest services. During this time, he has worked with and serviced a clientele that included many mentally unbalanced and violently psychotic people from every area of the world.
He was born and still lives in Queens, New York.
The Rasner Effect: Pulled from the debris of a New York City bridge explosion caused by a group of killers called The Duke Organization, Rick Rasner becomes an unwitting participant in a top-secret military experiment. Years later, and devoid of his memories, Rick puts a new life together as a therapist in the Brookhill Children’s Psychiatric Residence, a facility for troubled urban teens.
Both Rick and 15 year old patient, Clara Blue, are targets of the facility’s head director, Katherine Miller, who bullies patients and staff alike. Rick’s meek personality leaves him incapable of handling Miller’s relentless attacks.
When The Duke Organization arrives at the residence, a bloody hostage situation ensues. The lives of both Rick and Clara will change due to their arrival. But for better or worse?
The actions of The Duke Organization will force disgraced mercenary, Jake Scarberry, out of the witness protection program and back into action. An unpredictable chain of events ensues between Jake, Rick and The Duke Organization. It is a conflict where the outcome could fall in the hands of a conflicted and highly volatile Clara Blue.
The Rasner Effect is a psychological thriller that will leave you you questioning who exactly to root for.
((Note: The original title for The Rasner Effect was "Permanent Solutions." I changed it when everyone thought I was talking about a hair product. Many of my co-workers at the school who read The Rasner Effect have never looked at me the same again. "How could these violent characters come out of YOUR mind, they all ask?" I just say it's the quiet ones you have to look out for. Now, they rarely trouble me with frivolous nonsense.))
Without Hesitation: Clara is back in the Brookhill residence after Rick Rasner and the Duke Organization laid waste to the facility and liberated her as one of their own. She went willingly, seeing this rogue mercenary group as the accepting family she'd sought after her entire young life. The dream came to an abrupt end, however, when rival mercenary, Jake Scarberry, attacked the Duke Organization's headquarters. The battle's climax left Rick for dead, the group in ruins, and saw Clara sent back to the Brookhill facility. Now, consumed with regaining her freedom, her constant escape attempts and delusional hallucinations keep Clara distracted and ostracized by the new staff and patients alike.
As the Brookhill residence recovers, Rick's co-leader, Jennifer Duke, arrives under the guise of a therapist. With her presence, Clara is sure rescue is imminent. But Jen is there for another reason as well, one that scares Clara. Only Jake Scarberry has a chance of halting Jen's nefarious plans, IF he can be coaxed out of the solace of civilian life.
((Note: Without Hesitation didn't exactly have a great start...the book launch was scheduled two months in advance. That day ended up having the biggest snowstorm in New York's history.))
Rasner's Revenge: Rick is trapped in an asylum with a delusional roommate and guards who want to kill him. His one goal: escape and inflict vengeance on the man who put him there, presidential hopeful, General William P. Straker. Unfortunately, no one knows Rick is alive, except for one fifteen-year-old old girl.
Clara Blue is a recent escapee from the Brookhill Children's Psychiatric residence. She is also now the reluctant leader of an aspiring mercenary group made up of fellow escapees. Clara's only interest is in freeing her anointed dad from that asylum, if only she had the know-how, or her new allies were willing to help in this task.
Clara's plan: hire the only other mercenary she knows, Jake Scarberry, the man who spent years as Rick's mortal enemy. Even if Clara can convince Jake to help, and they succeed, will Rick prove to be the parental figure she envisions? And what happens should he find out the ultimate betrayal Clara committed when she escaped Brookhill?
((Note: The most common comment to come from reviewers was "I never expected it to end that way, a series with unexpected twists ends with the most unexpected twist of them all."))