Interview with Tim Marquitz
For today’s post I give you an interview with Tim Marquitz, author of the Demon Squad series and Witch Bane, a sword and sorcery novel.
F.I.: Hi Tim, welcome on Fantastical Imaginations. Let’s start this interview with the classic question. What was your first stray in the realm of fantasy as a reader?
Man, that was a long time ago. While my memory is faulty, I want to say that the Elric books were my first foray into legitimate fantasy. I used to read a lot of mystery and sci-fi books, as well as adventures; pretty much anything I could get my hands on.
F.I.: In which author’s shoes would you like to be standing for one day?
A lot of my inspirations come back to the same source: Clive Barker. I think I’d be happy to be in his shoes with regards to the level of success he’s attained. He has a solid following and a lot of respect. I would be honored to reach a similar level in my life.
F.I.: What is it that you like so much about Clive Barker?
There’s a sense of poetry, of beauty, to Clive’s work that both inspires and humbles me. While his subject matter is dark and twisted, he writes with a grace that keeps you reading no matter how disturbing the actual story line is. I like that he steps beyond the bounds of the safe and sane and yet is still able to drag you into it so deeply, so willingly.
F.I.: Let’s talk about today’s writers. Which of your fellow authors of today would you recommend to your readers?
This is a loaded question. There are so many. On the overlooked stage, I’d say my friends, Lincoln Crisler, Edward M Erdelac, and Malon Edwards are all impressive, creative authors who’ve yet to see success comparable to their ability.
Larger scale, I’d say Mark Lawrence, Jeff Salyards, Dan Wells, and Chuck Wendig (only to name a few) are all doing things different enough to stand out from the pack. It’s a fantastic time to be a reader.
F.I.: Is there a fantasy character of which you say “Damn, I wish that was a character of one of my books”?
Honestly? No, not anymore. Don’t get me wrong, growing up with the X-men and a horde of great comics, I dreamed of creating a character like Wolverine or Rogue and whatnot, but all those ideas faded when I realized I didn’t need to copy my influences to satisfy my need to create.
These days, I’m very disconnected from the “Wow Factor,” a side effect of nitpicking everything through the editing process. While I love what authors are doing, I don’t feel the need to do anything but go my own road. Whether that’s good or bad, I’m not sure yet.
F.I.: That’s a fascinating answer. About your own books: you have written about 14 books by now. Which of them are you most proud of?
I think I’m most proud of the last book I’ve written, and it’s a cycle. I feel each book is better, stronger than the last. That said, I temper my pride because it’s clear I have so much more to learn. None of my stories are perfect, and I never really expect them to be, so I’ll keep working.
F.I.: Tell us something of what we can expect of your latest book Witch Bane, which is now available as e-book and will be available as paperback within a few weeks.
Witch Bane is a sword and sorcery story I wrote a couple years back. It’s a revenge story, at its core, and fairly straight forward. There’s plenty of action and a little bit of intrigue, and a solid dose of darkness.
For me, Witch Bane is a low commitment fantasy tale. I don’t expect the reader to come away from the book contemplating deep philosophical thoughts. It’s more like an action movie; fun and entertaining, and that’s it.
F.I.: That’s something to look forward to. Will you be writing more books in the sword and sorcery genre like Witch Bane?
Absolutely. I’m halfway through a novel that’s similar in style but features an assassin and the undead. My other commitments have pushed that to the back burner a little, but I definitely intend to finish it. I’ve also written a Sword & Sorcery short story for hopeful inclusion in an anthology, but
that’s up in the air. Regardless, at some point, I’ll turn that story world into a novel because I had so much fun creating it.
F.I.: And after Witch Bane, what will be your next project?
I’ve been fluctuating back and forth on this question. I’ve a couple projects started, one pretty much halfway done, but I find myself emotionally coming back to the Demon Squad world. As such, I believe the next story I’ll tell will be Demon Squad 5: Beyond the Veil. I’m nearly finished plotting it, so writing should begin soon.
F.I.: How many books is the Demon Squad series going to be?
I’ve yet to decide that. I’m currently working on book five, and I think I’ll go until the series is no longer fun for me or the reader. I have such a fun time writing the DS books that I want it to continue forever, but I know better. When the books hit the point where I’m struggling to make them exciting and funny, then I’ll figure a way out and close shop. Until then, I’ll keep writing.
F.I.: Sounds great to me. Let’s end this interview with some more personal questions. What advice would you give if someone asked you how to become a writer?
Sit down and do it. The only way to become a writer is to write. Figure out what you want to do, learn how, and do it all the damn time.
F.I.: And your good intentions for 2013. What would you like to achieve this year?
Had you asked me this at the beginning of 2012, I would have told you I wanted to achieve a traditional deal: agent, big publisher, etc. Now, I’m not so sure that’s as high a priority as it was just a year ago. I’d still like to get my stories onto the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores, but my goals are evolving.
I’d like to build upon the meager success I’ve garnered so far and see what opportunities avail themselves this year. I hope to better my situation and move forward in publishing, but I believe my perspective has widened a good bit since early 2012, which is a good thing. Ultimately, my goal is to write for a living, and to be able to support my family doing so. I intend to stay flexible with my expectations and go from there.
F.I.: That’s a good attitude. One final question. Is your wife also a fantasy fan and how does she feels about your books?
She’s definitely a fantasy fan, but she has a love/hate relationship with my writing. Early on, she used to get it in bits and pieces, every chapter changing right after she read it because I was still figuring things out. It kind of jaded her to the process because, for years, she never got the complete book. Now she’s reluctant to dive into anything I haven’t published because she’s worried I’ll just change it.
Worse still, I tend to give away all my physical book copies so there’s only a couple of them at the house, at any one time. She doesn’t like to read those because I always manage to snatch them away while she’s right in the middle of reading them.
She’s very supportive of what I do, but I don’t think she’ll read all my books until after I’m dead.
F.I.: Thank you for all those wonderful answers, Tim. It was fun having you on the blog.
Tim’s bio (in his own words): I live in west Texas with my wife and daughter. I write horror and dark fantasy, and whatever else comes to mind. I don’t restrict my creativity to a single genre, pushing myself to branch out and get better every time I sit down to write. My goal is to write for a living, one day.