About the Book:
A man, lost and naked, on the streets of Manhattan, pleading in an unknown tongue. The retired linguist who realizes it’s an archaic Greek, unspoken for three thousand years. And the young woman who befriends them both, just in time for an unlikely quest. From New York to LA, Nebraska to Delphi, Fleet travels a labyrinth, with a mystery as old as mankind lying at its very heart.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
As for who I am, it’s just plain me. What matters is what I say.
All writers start out as readers. And all readers are looking for the magical experience of getting lost in a book. But only those of us brave enough— or stupid enough— to try writing one discover that this same joy is ten times greater when you’re shaping, and not just following, the story. Or at least when it’s going well. We won’t talk about when it isn’t.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
Early morning. It’s dark outside. No one else in the house is stirring. And if you’re really lucky, there’s a steady patter of raindrops falling off the eaves. A cup of tea, steaming away. Your face bathed in the monitor’s glow. This is when the magic happens. This is the moment you live for.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
From cradle to grave, we’re awash in stories, some great, some good, some awful. And I think all of us, no matter how imaginative or groundbreaking we appear, are just taking the same old puzzle pieces and putting them back together. The key is finding a way of doing so that makes your story feel fresh, alive and inviting.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
Yes, I need an outline, and the few times I’ve tried writing without one, I’ve fallen flat on my face. If you’ve got the general arc in place, and know what each chapter needs to say, in then frees your mind to make all the thousands of tiny choices that frame a scene, choose a metaphor, define that thing called Your Voice.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
Defining yourself within a genre might be a smart marketing move, but it can also limit you as a writer. Every genre has its own conventions and expectations, and these can allow you to become lazy, to perform only up to the level demanded by the field. That said, I’ve dabbled in fantasy, mystery and mainstream literary fiction.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
For Fleet, we’d need three primary leads. Tom Hiddleston would make a great Noman, with his lean build and piercing gaze, even if he is a bit old for the part. For Simon, we’d want someone frumpy and British. One of those great character actors you recognize right off the bat, even if you don’t know his name. And Sarah, our waif with a backbone of steel, might well be Natalie Portman, even though she also might technically be “too old”.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
Yes, I’ve always got a book at hand. How could you live without one? As for favorite authors, it’s pretty much all over the map. For concision, Hemingway. For language, Lawrence Durrell. For a good yarn well-told, John D. MacDonald. Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, William Gibson for genre work. And why aren’t any women coming to mind? I must be a sexist pig.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
A lot of time lately has been spent reading work by fellow indies or members of my writer’s group, which has been a mixed blessing. And the fact that I’m a poor starving artist means I can’t just rush out and buy whatever book everyone’s raving about. So you take your chances. Read the jacket. Sift through the reviews. Find a fair amount of dross, along with the occasional gem.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know this sounds incredibly trite, but what else can I say? How many authors can usurp the gods, and create a world of their own? Tell a tale so inherently right it carries the weight of myth? And yes, there’s a million ways to pick it apart, and point out all the things it isn’t, but I still can’t imagine a better gift to pass on to a hungry young mind.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
Beware. There be dragons here. If you stick to your craft, and write what you love, you’ll find endless hours of pleasure. And if you set out to be a success, to find fame or that pot of gold, chances are you’ll be disappointed. Writing is writing, the act of creation, of finding out what you have to say. Everything that follows, good or bad, is completely beyond your control.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
Because everyone says a writer needs a website, I finally cobbled together one of my own, http://www.missppelled.com . In it I indulge in various rambles on writing and self-publication, plus there’s the exciting adventures of Doug Walker, Dog Walker. As for everything else, Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter, it pretty much drives me crazy, even though the connected author is now expected to spend more time hyping their work than sitting down and writing.
About the Author:
Raised by a band of feral authors hidden in the deep north woods, Brian Marshall was no ordinary child. Proper syntax flowed through his veins. Semi-colons were his crib mates. And as he grew older, he came to realize these unique gifts were meant to serve good, not evil.
Abandoning his wayward clan, he set out in search of a sensei, the fabled Tan Line, Master of Men, and high priest of punctuation. Under his rigid tutelage, the boy’s talents found full flower, till the fateful day had finally arrived when the pupil outpaced his master. Would he now rise to take that mantle? Assail the bestsellers list?
Alas, no. For along with great power, he had found something else. A rare prize called humility. From that day forward he would toil away in deepest obscurity. Not for him the accolades, or the tawdry lure of fame, but instead the pursuit of merest spark, to be Kindled to full flame.
For is it not written that to win the world, a wise man begins with one reader.