MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MARCUS BROWN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Marcus Brown and my considered genre would be Horror/Supernatural/Crime.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
‘Army of Angels’ is my brand-new release. It is the sequel to my very first novel, ‘Promised Land Lane’, which was released in January 2017.
The story for ‘Promised Land Lane’ came from my brothers attempts to frighten me as a child. He used to tell me about a doll with human eyes. I asked myself why she would have human eyes and who they once belonged to?
Maisie Whitmore–the little girl who lives down the lane… she was conceived from that scary story my brother used to tell.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
To be honest, I don’t know how I got the idea as anything horror related terrifies me. I will never watch or read horror. I was always fascinated in witches and the supernatural, which is how The Crockworthy Sisters came out. A reviewer once said it was ‘Charmed meets Prime Suspect’ and I was thrilled by the comparison.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I will always have a soft spot for ‘Promised Land Lane’ as it was my first release. I’m very proud of the story and the characters I created. Validation came when many people messaged me to say how much they loved the book, and that they could relate to the characters.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Promised Land Lane was always meant to be a standalone novel, despite the cryptic ending.
I had no intention of writing a sequel, but after the release of the first book, people were messaging me asking when the sequel was being released.
I started writing it a few days after the requests poured in. I wanted to see where the story took me, although, the story people will read on release day is nothing like the first written draft.
Characters I didn’t intend to bring back crept their way into the story. I was totally surprised, but it was another case of the characters dictating the story.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I write in my office at home. It is my own private space, but I am often interrupted by my partner or the dogs.
I have no set writing hours or a daily goal, but some days I can write 10,000 words, and some days, none.
I try not to force my writing as I get easily bored, which is why I write multiple WiP’s at the same time.
If I get bored of one, I switch to another, then go back when I am ready to.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I have many new titles in the works right now.
Part Four of The Crockworthy Sisters’ saga is nearly finished. That will be released in 2019.
I am also working on a co-write with a successful female author, but I can’t give any other information apart from that right now.
There might also be a prequel to ‘Promised Land Lane’, but that is a long way off yet. Nobody is more surprised than me–the standalone book might end up as a trilogy!
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
They are very important to me. The name has to be the right fit for the character.
On occasion, I have incorrectly named a character, but it hindered the progress of the story, so I had to put my thinking cap on and decide who he or she really was before I could continue.
There are characters in my books that have been named because they remind me of somebody special in my life. For example, Tamara from ‘The Crockworthy Sisters’ is so named because she reminds me of my sister, Tammy.
Where do your ideas come from?
From the part of my brain that is terrified of anything horror. I get asked this question a lot… I think I write what would genuinely horrify or scare me in real life.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
There is a book that is written called ‘To Where You Are’, which is as far removed from my usual genre as it could possibly be.
I am not sure what genre you could place it in as it is mainly fact based, with fiction. It is definitely not horror, but there is an element of the supernatural, but that is only from the wishful thinking part of my brain.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
That my Mum is not here to see my accomplishments. She died before I published my first novel. That hurts me a lot.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer, or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I do have a trailer for Promised Land Lane, but I’m not convinced they are effective outside of my fan base.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
It’s nothing to do with the book world. Caring for my Mum and making sure she was comfortable when she was poorly will always be my best accomplishment.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Meeting new people and realising how much joy my words and stories bring to people’s lives.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing but living by the beach in Goa. That is the ultimate dream.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, I have always been creative, and English was always my favourite subject at school.
I could read and write by the time I went to school, so I think writing was always in my blood.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
If you self-publish, NEVER edit your own work. It’s a fatal mistake many authors make, and I believe it’s the reason Indie Authors have such a bad reputation. There is so much poorly written and edited work out there, it makes me shudder.
Also. Remember the outer package (cover) is just as important as what’s inside.
If your cover is poorly designed and executed, it gives the wrong impression from the outset.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would go back to my previous job as an Operations Director.
I always enjoyed my job, but writing seemed to take up so much of my time, I decide to leave and try my hand at being a full-time author.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read them, yes. I think it is important to know what my readers are saying.
I like to read the lower rated reviews to see why the reader disliked the book and use it as a learning tool.
I will always say thank you to reviewers, regardless of a positive or negative opinion.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Waiting for release date is a killer. I’m not the most patient of people.
Everything else about the writing process I love, even down to the editing.
My editor used to get nervous, thinking she would upset me, but now it isn’t even an issue. I want to release the best work I possibly can and value other people’s opinions, even if I don’t always agree with them.
What are you working on now?
More from ‘The Crockworthy Sisters’ and the secret co-write I can’t say anything about.
I also run a multi-genre publishing company alongside Netta Newbound. She is also a successful crime writer.
Our company is called Junction Publishing and has kept us busy for a few years now.
Recently, we opened an imprint called Happy Ever After Publishing, which solely publishes authors in the Erotica & Romance genres.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Sorry! I can’t give anything away. My life wouldn’t be worth living.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I didn’t make an informed decision to write in my current genre. It just kind of happened. I was more surprised than anybody. But, even though the subject matter would scare me in real life, I love to write it.
Where did your love of books come from?
I have always loved reading from a young age, but have to admit, I don’t get half the enjoyment from reading as I once did. I read with a more critical eye these days. The story almost becomes secondary and I’m left wondering what I would have done differently with the story.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
The last series of books I devoured were the ‘All Souls Trilogy’ by Deborah Harkness. I’ve been waiting for the TV adaptation to start for the longest time. I just hope it does the trilogy justice.
I can highly recommend these books.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
My favourite is probably Talia Crockworthy from ‘The Crockworthy Sisters’.
She is a powerful witch with the most sarcastic sense of humour. Beautiful and haughty, Talia is never afraid to speak her mind. She also has the most bizarre fashion sense and makes no apology for it.
Out of all the characters I’ve created, she is the most fun to write.
I can really push the boundaries with her, and she will get worse, the older the she gets. As an immortal, there is no such thing as growing old gracefully.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I feel energized when I write, even if I’m still awake at 4am working on a novel.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I always listen to music when writing and get so lost in the music, I have to remind myself to focus on the story and not the song that’s playing.
Trying to write without music is impossible for me as it’s something I have become accustomed to.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I almost never give my readers what they want. I have a specific story to tell, so I tell it. I think the readers would tell you how frustrated they can get with me for killing off beloved characters. At times, I have redeemed myself because I kill a character off knowing full well in the world they inhabit, they can come back from the dead.
There are characters in ‘Army of Angels’ that came back simply because people loved them. I tried not to include them, but as I said above, they crept into the story.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
‘To Where You Are’.
I haven’t released it yet because it’s too raw and personal.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I think you have most of them covered – Thank you!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Chiller Thrillers (Fan Group) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1709398169362827/
Writer Page – https://www.facebook.com/MarcusBrownWriter/
Twitter – @Marcus_BrownPLL
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️