Howdy there friends.
It’s time to kick back and enjoy a little bit of Monday entertainment, so grab your favourite hot or cold beverage, take a load off and let’s get stuck in.
Just a quick note/Public Service Announcement before we get under way properly. I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉
For tonight’s Author Interview, I have had the pleasure of chatting with author Marc Watson about his debut novel release, as he shares with us his writing endeavours.
Enjoy the show, happy reading and also happy quaffing of your tasty beverages folks 😉
Hi there Marc, a sincere pleasure having you over here to talk about your debut novel release and writing experiences.
Hello, and thank you for speaking with me! It’s a pleasure to have this chance.
Let’s start with your novel itself – “Death Dresses Poorly”, a dark comedy/urban fantasy story that you just published towards the end of last year – congratulations! Please tell us more about the nature of this book and its fantasy elements, along with what kind of self-redemption journey the protagonist Ethan is going to face across the course of his adventures.
So yes, my first novel “Death Dresses Poorly” was released in December after a whirlwind 13 months since it was first started. 2017 was terribly busy for me, having never been through this process before.
The story itself is a very modern, perhaps even painfully so, urban fantasy. It was my unabashed attempt to write a dialogue-heavy, honest, Gaiman-style fantasy story. A story we could all relate to, even as the more fantastical elements kick in. The black comedy side comes from the subject matter: death, loss, abandonment, and how someone who has seen what Ethan has seen would realistically deal with it: through being an ass.
Ethan’s journey is an extremely personal one. One that asks him to question the nature of who is his and why. He’s a broken young man with loads of baggage and no real direction, who is tasked by Death itself to take over the role of the Grim Reaper, who in reality acts more like an interdimensional custodian than an entity that actually kills anyone. Death brings Ethan to a variety of far out places to help broaden his world view a bit and help him understand his place in the universe, but as anyone who has ever been in a fight with a petulant teenager/millennial could tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
Wonderful question, and one that really depends on what I’m working on. When I’m writing an epic fantasy it’s easily a housecat: lazy, methodical, sporadic periods of excitement. For one like “DDP”, it’s much faster, like a squirrel or overactive hamster. A go-go-go feeling that’s just as likely to dart in front of a car as it is to settle down. I can’t say I am just one thing, but when I choose a hat, I wear it to the end.
If your novel was to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
Every author’s dream question, because lie as they might, we’ve all thought about it while our works have come into focus.
Death was a simple one, though perhaps not as marketable as Hollywood would like. I modelled him very much after Peter Stormare’s ‘Lucifer’ character from the Keanu Reeves comic movie “Constantine”, which I still argue is better than most believe it to be, despite casting off the more British elements of the “Hellblazer” comic that made it unique. His limited screen time was wonderful, and his movements and voice had the menacing playfulness that I was striving for. I’ve also thought Hugh Laurie could also fit the bill, but then, Hugh Laurie can play just about anything.
As for Ethan, I’ve had the general idea of his face in my head for ages, and although I never specifically say anything about his looks beyond his age in order to allow the reader to inhabit him as much as possible, it was always a young Zac Efron or Harry Styles or Dylan O’Brian to me, which all honestly come from a part of the entertainment world I know nothing about (nor really care to, frankly). Young, punchable faces, for lack of a term with any subtlety. Tom Holland could likely smash the role out of the park as well. It’s not a role you could age-up for the big screen. Being a true millennial is key.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
Not yet? I mean, I suppose I could say I like to write protagonists that you don’t really cheer for, or at least you question if you should be cheering for. Not anti-heroes per-se, but heroes that live in the grey area where real life is, and not common fiction tropes. I’ve written a comedic dark urban fantasy, an epic fantasy, a supernatural thriller, and an inter-personal character study…with demons. There’s not much that can cross over yet, stylistically.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Finding the time is always the most difficult for me, by far. With two young boys and a wonderful wife I love to spend time with, a full-time job I enjoy very much, and other interests and pursuits I take part in, I have about an hour a day to actually sit and write (provided I didn’t choose to do something else with that time). It’s usually my lunch hour at work. I’ve said to others in the past that the Cloud is great because I can jot ideas down and continue work on any device from just about anywhere, but time is still a factor I’ll likely never overcome.
The easiest for me is getting started on something that inspires me. Once I get an idea and I let my fingers fly, there’s no stopping me. ‘DDP’ was written in six weeks just because I was enjoying myself so much. When I really want to finish something, I will. That and naming things. I’ve spoken to many authors who hate naming things like people, places, magic spells, or even book titles. For me it’s the simplest thing in the world.
Who are some of the authors, musicians, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?
My simple answer is David Bowie. I like to say that Cary Elwes is my favourite actor and Mathew Sweet is my favourite singer, but Bowie will always be my favourite everything!
Since we’re talking about writing though, I need to go back to a Canadian YA author named Gordon Korman. He comes from the same part of Canada that I grew up in, and wasn’t much older than me so he wrote about things I could relate to. He wrote his first book at the age of 12, and hasn’t looked back since. As a child I remember reading his funny, entertaining stories and keeping it in the back of my head that someone not much older than me at that time wrote what I was holding and put it out into the world. It took me a lot longer to get my first work on the shelf, but his story always drove me to get to that point.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
Very little! One of the great things about being a fantasy author is that you can basically make your own rules. In my more realistic works, it’s primarily looking into things like proper place names, locations, distances, and other things that will help ground the story. I remember reading a book years ago that took place in southern Ontario describing a character waking up in one place and meeting a friend for lunch in another, but the realist in me is like “Hey, those places are six hours apart! There’s no way they could have made it in time!” and it removed me from the story. If I’m writing about a real place, I like to get my facts straight, or at least straight enough, because someone from that place is going to catch me.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
The why is simple: I want to get the stories in my head and put them into yours. Lord knows I’m not in it for the money! I think I have interesting stories to share, and I have the ability to do it, so why not!
The what is a bit more complicated, and I mean that in a terribly boring way: I have no idea. It seemed like a good idea at the time? It’s a cheeky answer, but there was no single moment. No inspiring locker room pep talk from a friend or loved one. No one dared me to. I just enjoy it, so I do it. Others enjoy music or reading or dancing, and those are all great things, but I like putting stories down on paper. I suppose the real answer is I enjoy the reactions, good or bad, that I get from people from reading my work. My brain and hands created a reaction in another human. That’s an amazing thing to accomplish in this life.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I’ll let you know when it happens. I’m not being fresh again. Honest! The curious benefit of having so little actual writing time in a day is that when the moment to write comes, there is no shortage of ideas whatsoever. My work-in-progress list is terrifyingly large. I made peace with the fact that I’ll die with a dozen half-finished manuscripts buried in my computer.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop getting punched in the head so much! CTE is a real thing, even if we didn’t know it existed in the 80’s and 90’s! I was an active boy. Martial arts. American football. Good ‘ol roughhousing and foolishness. After a car accident when I was 18 wiped out two weeks of memories like they were deleted from a hard drive, I knew it was time to pay attention. I live in fear of the fact that one day I may not be able to write the greatest story in the world just because when I was a kid I wanted that next coloured belt more than I should have, damn the consequences.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Being a dad, mostly. My wife works evenings, so when I get home from work, it’s go-time. Hockey and friends and all kinds of activities to get them to, not to mention just spending time with them. When they go to bed, and if my wife is still working, you’ll likely find me playing ‘Destiny’ or ‘Mario’, which I’d like to point out doesn’t eat into my writing time, because I cannot and will not write at night. That’s when my brain likes to vomit nonsense on a page. It’s horrible.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I’d love to. “Death Dresses Poorly” is slowly trickling out to bookstores in Alberta and western Canada, and southern Maine in the US, which is home of my fantastic publisher Fluky Fiction, so I’m helping coordinate that. Otherwise it’s on Amazon all over the world.
In March the first part of my epic fantasy series “Catching Hell” will be released to all ebook distributors everywhere. The second part is currently in the editing stage and will likely be my next big project, and then I hope to get that out to the world in a reasonable amount of time.
Also, I’m proudly working as a writer with the great crew at Hardmode Games on an upcoming IP that I’m extremely excited for, but can’t actually say much about yet. I hope people will get a taste of what we’re cooking up in the latter half of 2018.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
First and foremost is the same thing I tell my kids: Be a hero. Whatever that means to you, whatever that says to you personally. For me it’s being a better person when I go to bed than I was when I woke up that day. I usually fail, but I have a goal, and young, impressionable eyes watching me all the time.
Second, and far less ‘inspirational poster’ is that if it’s an hour, a minute, or a few seconds, don’t be afraid to write because you don’t believe you have enough time. “Catching Hell” was written during busy lunch hours over the course of a year, and it still ended up being 250k words. It was so large I had to make it a duology, edit out 40k words, and cut out an entire main character.
One thing I WON’T tell those same writers is to force yourself to write. Many people love writing prompts or challenges to stimulate themselves or their stories. I say forget that. If a story is in there, it will come out. If you force it then you need to really question if it’s worth writing right now, or if it’s something you may need to put aside and revisit at another time.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for all of the useful advice Marc and sharing your writing experiences with us, we can’t wait to check out your book 🙂
Fantastic! Thank you again so much for having me. It was wonderful! Cheers!
Bio:- (in his own words)
This is a picture of my favorite hat.
“Hello, I’m Marc Watson, and I write stuff. I’m an author of genre fiction (primarily Fantasy and Science Fiction of all lengths). I began writing at the age of 15 with a pen and paper, and I’ve never really stopped, even though until recently it was more of a background to me than my defining trait. I have been published on flash fiction site www.101words.org, as well as comedy site www.thecorrectness.com. I’ve been a student of the excellent writing classes at Athabasca University for a number of years.
I live in Calgary, Alberta, and was spawned out of the depths of Southern Ontario. I’m a husband, proud father of two, and can be sometimes found at an actual job. I’m an avid outdoorsman, martial artist of some high repute, baseball player of very little repute, and lover of all Mexican foods. One day ‘World Famous Poutine Aficionado’ will be on my business cards.”
You can connect with Marc via the following Social Media channels:-
You can buy Marc’s books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, as writers we want our readers to sympathize with our characters and their plights and that’s exactly what Marc does with his protagonist Ethan as he struggles to find his place in the world, just like we all do from time to time. For more articles on the theme of ‘Sympathize’ then check out the links from my fellow bloggers below:-
1. February’s word jumble – Unoriginal (love) noteS
2. Daily Post Writing Prompt: February 2018 – Allison’s Written Words
3. sarishboo – Hard Times Will Always Reveal True Friends
4. Life interrupted – Easy Reading
5. plateful of hate – In The Shadow Of Birch
6. Pen Stroke – An Amateur’s Maturity
7. It’s a Sad Time by Penny Chavers – The Pen Cushion
8. copypower – Do Not Sympathize
9. All By Myself – Girl Writing
10. Empathy vs sympathy… – Mum’s the Word Blog
11. Holding On While Trying to Let Go – corazon181
12. Sympathize – wordsareallihavesite
13. Bewildered Hearts, Fiery Trials – Word Filled Woman
14. I Was Stripped By Police In Front of My Daughter – The Male Factor
15. Besotted – Musings
16. I Learnt These 10 Lessons From Suicide of A Techie – The Male Factor
17. Wind Whipped – Debbie Gravett
18. Two is Company – The Dreaming Lady
19. 3 CONCEPTS OF DOMESTICATION – That Indian Girl in Sweden
20. Daily Prompt: Sympathize – Homeless People – It’s DD’s World
21. second place sadness – other
22. An Ode to My Doublemint Matties – The Harper Chronicles
23. Sympathized State of Mind – LFLOP * LiveFree & LoveOnPurpose
24. Life (11) – This is Nobody’s blog
25. So, I’ll Just Jump Right In… – I Am Linda’s Daughter
26. no sympathy for the lazy – deep breath, close your eyes
27. Daily Prompt: Sympathize – Bonkers Away!
28. Reality Strikes…… – Keep On Moving
29. The Difference Between Being Nice and Being Kind – Jen’s Life
30. Important warning… – Cyranny’s Cove
31. Putin, Putin, Putin… a limerick – A lot from Lydia
32. It’s been a long weekend 😦 – Welcome to my world.
33. Mumma!!! I just killed a Cactus… – Uma’s life and thoughts
34. As the chips turn – Quaint Revival
35. Expression – The Chaos Within
36. Sympathize – Revolving Around Life
37. I Am Not A Morning Person – Organising Life
38. Difficult travellers – The Grey Traveller
39. You know it! – Zorbas and the spin-offs
40. Popular welfare – Stranger to fiction
41. Process – Wings Of Poetry
42. Love Coach Laura Harju – Lesson in self-esteem
43. Balance – Random Thoughts
44. EMPATHY – PERSPECTIVE BILONG ME
45. Sympathize – aroused
46. vicious sympathy cycle. – penninglife
47. Need To Know – Leigha Robbins
48. Daily Prompt – Dancing Books – Family is what you make it
49. Sympathize – awesomeloopy
50. Treasure Your Treasure – LFLOP * LiveFree & LoveOnPurpose
51. Letter from a Friend – Nes Felicio Photography
52. Feeling Powerless? – Keep On Moving
53. Notes to Women – The Heart Speaks
54. My Connection to Fictional Characters – Books, Movies, and More
55. Finding Hope Ness – Never trust anyone who cheats at golf
56. Sympathy in children – Empathetically Speaking
57. Silly Questions – authoranonblog
58. Somewhere Someday Waits – Sympathy’s Kind Futility
59. y – we wish for that card
60. Don’t be a loser – Musings from Melbourne
61. Sad Clown – Basic AF
62. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Life In The Box
63. Naughty Scrabble – Tales of a Family
64. Now..for something completely different! – HorseAddict
65. Awareness And Awakening – Sunken Thought
66. Shoulders – I am a paradox.
67. Voice on the Phone – Addison’s Writing
68. No sympathy for a Runner – Running vs Me
69. Trustees of A Mundane Heart – Dream Desire Achieve
70. The Necessary Decision – My Imperfect Life
71. Life On The Skinny Branches – Coin Incidence
72. No Buzz on Buzz? You have my sympathies, Jeff. – Curious Steph
73. The Day Project – Not very funny
74. Sympathise? – Mistyroads
75. Low Carb diet: my perspective – peace of life today
76. TRUE SYMPATHY: FEELING AND ACTION – LINK
77. Do you sympathize? – Sisters of Christ
78. Organizing the family for the slopes – I Am Writing
79. Let us never forget – SaskGenweb
80. My Garden ~ a Kiwi’s take on life – I Sympathise
81. sympathy – Seventeen Syllable Poetry
82. Edgledge’s Ramblings – Sympathise
83. Haircut! – stoneronarollercoaster
84. Scott Andrew Bailey – Sympathise
85. The Funeral. – MyWorldView721.Wordpess.Com
86. hopeforheather – Daily Prompt [Sympathize]
87. Green – moment teller
88. CARNIVAL – Full Frame Images
89. In the Hot Zone – The Gray Mountaineer
90. Humanity Star IX – Word Play … Poetry in Progress
91. The game!!!! – The aspiring, we
92. God’s Love: – Storysite
93. like2read – read poems and lyrics to famous songs
94. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – The Starving Village And The Questionable Provider
95. Dinky Dinocorn – Daily Doodle #011 SYMPATHIZE
96. sympathize – a wondering soul’s blog
97. Sympathize – Q’s place
98. Na’ama Yehuda – Unsympathetic
99. “I’m not surprised, I sympathize… I can’t deny, Your Appetite” #95 – ScrapBook
100. Separated by a common beverage – Bilocalalia
101. Night Owl Poetry – Sympathize ~ #poetry
102. Twenty Four – sympathize
103. Jeers for Fake Tears – Author Flawed to Perfection
104. I love Amsterdam – Theo Herbots Love, Joy And Happiness
105. Always There – Matt Seeley Poetry
106. Sympathize – Covert Novelist
107. Hasty Pudding – Dangerspouse
108. Sympathize – The Bag Lady
109. Sympathise – thehouseofbailey
110. Quilt top finished – now for the border – Melony Patch
111. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin – Sympathize.
112. Sympathy – techshe
113. juantetcts – Daily Post/Sympathize
114. Don’t confuse social media with your diary – Wells Baum
115. Where’s Your Dream Travel Destination? – Success Strategies
116. Backup – Vignettes from a Writer’s Den
117. Wolff Poetry & Writing Resources – Seeds in the Wind
118. Let’s Sympathize, Not Criticize – Ms Teri Blogger’s Awesome, Wonderful, Marvelous, Fantastic, Or At Least Pretty Good Blog
119. A Sympathy for Love. – DatOneLady
120. fresh poetry – mourning
121. Sympathize with a Black Hat; NEVER! – Sharing With Others – Est. 11-15-2017
122. The Doodler of Dimashq – Book Review – Curious Cat
123. (No) Symphony of Sympathy? – Word Play … Poetry in Progress
124. The Unhappy Catherine de Braganza – The Mysterious Mr. Ebenezer Pope
125. Fake sympathies – Well! It’s all Mine……
126. B_ live – He and She
127. Frank Prem – Mister Frank – simply the best
128. Terminated by Stigma – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
129. Frank Prem – mourning oma
130. Sugar Addict – Bipolar Barb
131. They Can’t Hear My Cries – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
132. I failed to sympathize… – Silly Shruti
133. Good Relation ships – The Journey
134. Shine and Rise Life Coaching Blog – We Keep Going
135. Luminous inside-out – Oh, border!
136. Sympathize – Megha’s World
137. Survival – Sgeoil
138. Viennese Coffee Culture – A Way of Life – Journeys of Len
139. New Jersey Artist – Jacki Kellum
140. Symphony – Some epiphanies
141. Timeandreflections – Change
142. SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL – SERENDIPITY
143. SAIL-ing – True Christian Bible Study
144. Hell to Pay – Writer’s block
145. Means To A Generation – Kuma House
146. Musings of a Random Mind – The Lady on the Train
147. Misifusa’s Blog – We Are Here To Serve
148. Blase’ – (Life is indifferent, the way it goes on.)
149. how a hospital can be worse than a prison – Karyn’s Domain
150. Talking to Flowers? – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
151. A Short Story #shortstory – Don’t Sympathize With My Predicament
152. passerine – Love Alchemy
153. Karen Lynne Beads – Sympathize
154. More bypassed prompts………. – suziland too or obsolete childhood
155. Sympathize – Untamed
156. Word Play Gone Astray – This, That, and The Other
157. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Sympathy
158. Book review â€œBlameâ€ Jeff Abbott – raynotbradbury
159. The Consulting Writer – A Cat That TAKES AWAY Years Of My Life
160. Walk with God – How Could I?
161. Dependency – Sgeoil
162. The Committee of Lissome Legs – my fashion verse
163. LadyLebz – Dear Millennial, Get Your Sh*t Together
164. Duty of birth…#daily post# sympathize /Suzhalgal
165. Sympathize – mindescapes.net
166. PASSING JUDGEMENT – lovenlosses
167. It Is What It Is – Wind Kisses
168. Syntax – 25more
169. Heart Dance – Family Matters
170. Symphony of empathy – Love your life
171. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Sympathy is OK, but does it solve the problems?
172. Six-word story: Sympathize – writingiswonderful
173. Squirrels Understand – What if We all Cared?
174. A tweet that raised the Boring Company stakes – sheetalbravon
175. Mirror Image……. Nodded!!! – emotionsoflife2016
176. Stay in touch – Megha’s World
177. CONNECTED – Sympathize
178. Live life; make meaning. – Thin Skin
179. Saturday Morning – KerDoodle Village
180. In a Sentimental Mood – Philoniusthunk
181. bogpan – Bird
182. AlexJamesWise – Sympathise
183. Project Me 1st – Girl power!~Sympathize
184. Success Inspirers World – Deep pain
185. Sweet Dog Handled ‘Roughly’; Groomer Gets Fired – Knewsy Fighting Boredom
186. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Hard Transit
187. Narutomath96 – Found the voice
188. Magic touch – Ripples N Reflections
189. Night Sky – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
190. This is our Society – Ink Soaked Soul – Megha Bhartiya
191. Special – This Girl’s Got Curves
192. Sympathize – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
193. Break Up Story – Jajabor, The Nomad
194. redemption – like2read
195. sonja benskin mesher – . angela .
196. Dis·so·nance – O.D.
197. Be everyone’s sympathizer but yours own..!! – Manu Complicated
198. Wallie’s Wentletrap – The Onyx Stone
199. War. Fear. Pain. – Zeckrombryan
200. Sympathize – LIFE
201. mylocalweb – the glittering prize
202. Muse of the Day – Everyday Strange
203. Why Me? – From My Lofty Hill
204. Artful Saturdays – Oil on Canvas – My weird, crazy and mundane life Journal
205. Survival – The Psalmist
206. Piper’s Adventures – Sympathize: Ode to a Bug
207. Iris Reticulata, The Bold And The Bedraggled – Susan Rushton
208. paeansunpluggedblog – Sympathize
209. The Holly Tree Tales – Introducing a Voluntary Financial Donation Facility to The Holly Tree Tales And Why
210. INTROSPECTIVE – Sympathize
211. Dronstad – Soft spot (Reuploaded)
212. Sympathize – constant VARIABLE
213. Morning silence – Ta An Speaks
214. Just a Gentle Reminder – Dominica Bolden
215. SoCS; Why Me? – sixty, single and surviving
216. Echoes – Ta An Speaks
217. Don’t ask – Ta An Speaks
218. Shy-mpathize – The Happy and the Lucky
219. Poem: Mr. Pain – Museless Thoughts