Thursday, April 21, 2011

Check it Out: Tim Marquiz

Hi everyone! I'm here to give you lucky readers your second dose of authors to check out for the day!

In this post I'm happy to introduce you (or re-introduce you, as the case may be) to Tim Marquitz, author of Skulls. Tim has a pretty interesting past. Not only has he worked as a grave digger, but he's also been LARPing since he was 15! (Live action role playing, if you're not familiar. It's the ultimate in RPGing.)

Tim has agreed to answer my round of questions, so here we go!

What made you decide to write? Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or was there an “aha!” moment in your life where you suddenly knew that this was what you wanted to do?

TM: I’ve always loved to write, but I don’t think I knew what I wanted to be until just recently. A buddy showed me a novel he’d written and it sparked something in me that made me want to try my hand at it. As I learned more about the process it just made me more interested.

What inspires you? Do you have a muse that you tap into each time you write or does your imagination respond to different things, like seeing an apple & suddenly deciding to write a story about an apple farmer?

TM: I’ve always been inspired by the darker side of life. Since I was young, I’ve listened to heavy metal and watched horror movies, and that’s stuck with me. As I grew older, I sought out darker themes and have experienced aspects in life that have fed into my writing.

As for a muse, I don’t really have one. I have all these ideas spinning around inside my head and whichever one screams the loudest, comes through the clearest is the one I go with. I’m actually pretty reactive when it comes to the world around me so I try to avoid letting that seep into my work too much.

How do you come up with the titles for your books? These can often be amongst the hardest things for authors to settle on, so how & when in the process do you start coming up with titles?

TM: Titles are the worst for me. Most times, I have a title in mind before I even have a story. Those books end up being the easiest to write because I have a better connection to the idea. If I don’t have a title early, I struggle, both in the writing and the naming.

Are any of the experiences in the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Obviously the more fantastical aspects come from your imagination, but have you ever drawn on anything that you’ve seen or done (or anyone you’ve known) in real life & used it in part of your story?

TM: I draw from my life a lot, but it’s like looking at my experiences through a distorted mirror; nothing is quite the way it really is. For me, my writing has to be grounded in reality, in my life, to create a strong story. If I can’t relate to the characters, can’t know some small part of what they’re supposed to be feeling, I can’t write them as fully as they need to be.

In some instances, I’ve taken pieces of people I know and made characters from that template. With others, people that have inspired me in some way are included in my stories.

Do you have any latest news I can dish for you?

TM: Certainly. My latest book, a young adult horror story entitled Skulls, was released April 1, by Damnation Books. Also, the second book in my dark/urban fantasy series Demon Squad comes out June 1, 2011, also from Damnation Books.

You can check out the amazing covers by Jessy Lucero, and get more information on my books at my web site:

Who are some of your favorite authors? Have they helped inspire your writing by reaffirming your decision to write or by indirectly giving you ideas for various stories?

TM: First and foremost, Clive Barker. While there are more obvious influences, such as Jim Butcher and Stephen King, Clive’s level of ability is the goal I’m reaching for every day. I want to write my own, Great and Secret Show or Imagica. I certainly don’t want to imitate Clive, but I would love for my prose to flow as smoothly as his, as brilliantly. (Reviewer's note: Clive Barker is the awesomeness! Now if only I could move time forward so I can read the newest Abarat!)

Do you have any advice for new writers?

TM: Sure. Stick to it and don’t get discouraged. Writing is a hard business to get into, especially if you’re looking to be published beyond the vanity, small indie, or self-pub route. You’re going to get rejected a ton, even when it’s clear to the blindest monkey on the street that your work is better than some of what’s being signed to million dollar deals.

Perseverance is the key. Practice, practice, practice, until your fingers bleed, and don’t let anyone take your dream away.

What is the hardest thing about writing for you? Everyone’s got that one part of writing that seems to stick with them.

TM: For me, it’s making the next book even better than the last. I set a standard with each story I write, but it’s never good enough. I need my next story to be darker, grander, better written, better plotted, simply better at everything.

I’m pretty comfortable with my story writing and confident in my ideas at this point, so for me it’s all about stretching my abilities to the next level.

In the light of recent infamous responses to negative reviews, how would you recommend responding to negative reviewers?

TM: Ignore them publicly, and take what you can from them privately. With writing, you’re putting yourself out there and risking ridicule each and every time. It’s part of the deal. There’s always going to be someone who hates what you’ve written, but you can’t take it to heart. You can’t please everyone so don’t try. Write your stories to the best of your ability; that’s a writer’s only job.

What do you like on your pizza? (Not book related but everyone’s got a favorite topping!)

TM: This is a tough one, because I’m easy. I’d probably say jalapenos, being the southwest. ☺ A little bit of spice makes the pizza taste much better.


I don't know about you guys, but I'm having a blast posting all of this for you! If you guys are curious about Tim's work then make sure to enter the ebook giveaway for a free ebook copy of Skulls! The giveaway ends on the 25th, so make sure to enter!

If you can't wait that long or you're curious about Tim's work, you can buy these books via amazon, Barnes & Nobles, as well as through Damnation Book's website & any other major book retailer! You can also keep up to date on Tim's work via his website as well as through twitter!

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