January 14, 2019

#Inteview with Marc Watson

Welcome to a new week. This week we have a great interview with author Marc Watson! 

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is Marc Watson. I was born in Brampton, Ontario, and in 1998 fresh out of high school I moved to Calgary, Alberta where I’ve lived ever since.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I did and I didn’t, in a way. I always loved writing, however becoming a writer never seemed like a viable option for me so it wasn’t even a consideration. Even now, I don’t consider myself a writer, because I don’t want to do this for a living. I’m just a guy who writes.
As to what I wanted to do, when I was younger I wanted to be involved in the outdoors. I’m an avid camper and hiker, and I wanted that in my life, professionally. It ended up become a decade-long life working in camping stores and outfitters, which I didn’t get out of until my first kid came along and retail no longer served my lifestyle anymore. If I won the lottery or became independently wealthy somehow, I’d be back peddling tents and sleeping bags in an instant.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

This is a bit of a twisting answer, but no. The way my publication history worked out, I had a book picked up (Catching Hell Part 1), then dropped after the publisher went under, and then picked up again months later, so that was a months-long process and the time to publication after that was about 18 months. However, at that same time, my next work (Death Dresses Poorly) was picked up very quickly by another publisher, and the whole process from submission to contract was just a matter of weeks, and it was out a few months later. A very fast process.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

My latest book is Catching Hell Part 2: Destination, the second part of my epic fantasy duology. The summary: Two friends seek revenge against a robotic army. One travels to the world of magic, and the other into technology.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish?

My first book was published by Fluky Fiction, a small publisher out of Maine who has just been amazing to work with. Both Catching Hells were published by Double Dragon Press out of Ontario, who has also been wonderful and incredibly flexible with helping me get both parts out.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?

Different books have different experiences. Catching Hell, from concept and first words written to the time I chose to just put my editing pen down and walk away from it was ten years. Death Dresses Poorly, for that same total process, was six weeks.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I really started writing in high school, when I had the idea for the overarching world that Catching Hell takes place in called ‘Ryuujin’. I wrote three (terrible) books by hand with pen and paper during grade 11 and 12.
I started focusing seriously on writing on February 29th, 2016. That was the day I decided I wanted to put Catching Hell out there, find a publisher, and announce to the world that Marc Watson was a thing worth paying attention to.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

Every one of them. Reviews don’t scare me at all. No one can be a bigger critic of my own work that I am, and there’s great advice and ideas that come from what people think of my work.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

Three books, with three different stories as far as cover design. Death Dresses Poorly was designed by the team at Fluky Fiction. They floated some ideas to me, I added some thoughts and input, but it was almost all their idea and I love it. It really pops.
Catching Hell Part 1 was my idea, brought to life by Double Dragon. I told them what I was hoping for (which I’d had as a napkin sketch from years ago) and they nailed it.
Catching Hell Part 2 was a rush, and Double Dragon didn’t have a timeslot to help out. Although I had an idea, I ended up going with a pre-design from Covermint. It’s thematically very different from Part 1, but I still love what came out of it.
As for titles, I just come up with them as I go. Naming things (places, characters, books, etc.) comes very naturally to me.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?

Writing is it. Writing is my hobby. Lord knows I never want to do this full-time. Other than that, video games have always been a big part of my life. A childhood phase I never grew out of. 22 game systems are in my house, and I love them all.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Only in Death dresses Poorly. I’d never written such a dialogue-heavy piece before, and the only way I could do it is to give the two main characters my voice. It’s me at 20 vs what I think will be me at 55. Those two are me, just filtered through the history of the characters.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

Undoubtedly it’s The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. It was a book we read in high school, and although it’s way outside my wheelhouse as far as genre, the way she writes the characters and the settings are just out of this world in detail and realism. It’s next-level stuff, which makes sense because it won the Pulitzer for writing the year it came out. I try to read it every few years just to remind myself what that high-water mark is.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve never read any Tolkien. Strange for an epic fantasy author I know, but I have no desire to read those. I’m more interested in what came after.
The only book I ever, ever walked away from was Inferno by Dan Brown. I just… I just couldn’t do it. It was so cliché and boring to me. I had the whole plot mapped out in the first twenty pages. However, I fully respect that his audience is a lot bigger than mine and there is a lot of people out there looking for his style of storytelling.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Always go at your own pace! Don’t’ worry about writing challenges like NaNoWriMo or daily goal prompts. Stories, really good stories, come about naturally. If you need motivation and word count goals to finish a story, is it a story really worth telling? Write 3000 words, or write 3 words. Just make sure those words count. Unless you’re more interested in being prolific than you are at being good.

Which do you prefer? . . . . .

Paperback/Hardback or E-book? 
Ebook. The importance of the ability to hold thousands of books in your hand at once cannot be understated.
Read a book once/Reread books more than once?
Either way. Some books need to be read multiple times to be appreciated. Others stand on their own after the first pass though.
Books or Movies?
Movies. If it’s well done and I’m into it, a movie does everything a book does for me in only a few hours’ time.
Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance?
Mix them all! Never be defined by a single genre.
Library or New books from a bookstore?
New books. A library’s importance can’t be understated, but I want to see where I’ve been, reading-wise. The ones that don’t matter to me get donated.
Morning or Evening?
Morning. In the evenings I’m toast. I’m a dead man walking. Morning I’m caffeinated and ready to go!
Early Nights or Late Nights?
No wrong answer. In the last week I’ve been to bed at 9:45, and stayed up playing Zelda until 2am.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee. Tea is ok, but I’m a pure-blood coffee man.
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
Autumn. The sights and smells of the season have always been my happy place. The sweet rot in the air and the bite of the wind are so fulfilling to me.
Favorite Book Snack?
Gummy. Any gummy. Bears. Worms. Colas. Whatever. Gimmie that gummy.
Dogs or Cats?
Cats. Dogs are glorious, but I prefer my animals to not give a damn if I exist or not, and are willing to eat me instead of starve if I drop dead in their presence.

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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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