MY INTERVIEW WITH JOHN E. MARRIOTT
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is John E. Marriott and my books are wildlife- and nature-related, photographic coffee table books and storybooks.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Tall Tales, Long Lenses is a book about my first twenty years as a professional wildlife photographer visiting some of Canada’s most spectacular environs to photograph the incredible variety of wild animals found here. The book chronicles many of my favourite stories and encounters, from my one-day love affair with a pine marten to my eighteen-month relationship with a black wolf named Delinda and my lifelong infatuation with giant, male grizzly bears like Frank the Tank.
The book’s genesis was a trip to the Yukon in 2002. During the trip I wrote emails to my friends back home describing my adventures on a daily basis. When I got home to Alberta, two of my friends told me I had to start writing a book about all of these crazy wildlife encounters and I blurted out, “I’ll call it Tall Tales, Long Lenses.” Fifteen years later, the idea finally came to fruition on the 20th anniversary of my first sale as a professional photographer.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I have always been fascinated by natural history and in particular, by big, wild animals, be they bears, wolves or other charismatic mega fauna we’re lucky enough to have here in North America.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
The next book will follow in this Tall Tales mould, though it will likely be called Tall Tales, Wild Wolves. It’s will be a gorgeous coffee table photography book full of stories about a wolf family in British Columbia that I followed for a five year project that concluded in 2017.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The so-called “characters” in my books are all real animals that lived in the wild. Some were named by me, some by researchers and biologists. The names tend to provide my fans with a more emotional connection to the different wolves and bears featured in my books.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I’m a photographer first and foremost, so writing does not necessarily come naturally to me. I have to force out my stories and write them down as I would tell them to people face-to-face. This provides for great storytelling, but not always the most grammatically correct writing!
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My first coffee table book, Banff & Lake Louise: Images of Banff National Park, has sold more than 18,000 copies and is an international bestseller. That year my small, self-publishing company won Alberta’s top award as the Best New Publisher in the province.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Being able to make a difference in people’s lives. I get emails or notes from fans that truly appreciate my books and my stories and that means everything to me.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ve got six books to date and I see another four or five in the next 10 years, including a secret big carnivore project that I’m starting this winter.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes and no. I love writing my stories down and conveying messages, but I don’t always love the actual writing process, especially when I get bogged down in an idea.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I definitely do read my reviews and fortunately I haven’t had to deal with many bad ones yet. I hope that luck continues!
What are you working on now?
Nothing at the moment, but in January I start work on a book on a wolf pack that I followed in British Columbia, Canada from 2012-2017.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve always been fascinated by certain types of books. As a kid, it was anything to do with nature and that morphed into interest in westerns like Louis L’Amour’s when I was in my early teens. The first book I truly fell in love with was Watership Down by Richard Adams. Nowadays I mostly read non-fiction with a historical bent.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
People can find me online at:
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️