Urban fantasy author Tim Marquitz joins us this week to talk about writing his Demon Squad series, and what it means to him to write in a genre alongside authors like Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, and more. Tim has a Kickstarter campaign going for his book Initiative, the tenth book in his popular series. There are backer rewards that include all ten ebooks of the series, so new fans can get in on the action. Welcome, Tim!
I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
Back in middle school I used to read these cheesy action novels about spies and secret agents and I loved the idea of creating my own, my thoughts swirling after each and every novel ended. And I did, sitting down and writing a three-page story, all guns, guts, and pure, snarky bravado. I was so proud of it, too.
Of course it sucked but I didn’t know that then. It was all telling, the details weak, the plot sketchy, and the writing was typical 4-5th grade drivel, buoyed only by my weird efforts at reading the dictionary to learn big words. And that really didn’t help much. But when I look back on it–and, believe it or not, I still have the story, saved in a page protector–it reminds me just how exciting crafting a story can be.
I still get that feeling today when I sit down to write my Demon Squad novels. It doesn’t matter that I have over twenty-five published novels/novellas and a bunch of short stories floating around out there, I still get a kick out of sitting down and watching my creations take shape, flowing from my brain to my fingertips and onto the page. There’s something primal about creating something from a spark of an idea and nothing more, crafting a world full of characters and places that seem to live and breathe, that readers want to experience over and over. It’s surreal, too, and it’s something I never would have pictured being able to do for a living even just a few years back.
The first of the Demon Squad books, Armageddon Bound, was released in late 2009 and I was ecstatic. It didn’t matter that the press that put it out sucked, that the editing sucked, that the cover was simplistic, and that I knew a whole bunch of nothing about the business. It was still one of the greatest moments of my life.
I was published.
Amusingly enough, I still feel like that each and every time. Not only do I get to write and create but I’ve been lucky enough to have landed in books alongside other authors whose writing has influenced or entertained me, whose books I see on the shelves of every library and bookstore. People such as Jim Butcher, Terry Brooks, Mark Lawrence, Carol Berg, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Joe Abercrombie, and more. It’s like giving a kid the keys to the candy store.
And that’s the feeling I get when I enter into the tenth Demon Squad novel, Institutionalized. I had two chapters written the first day I sat down with it, that’s how excited I was to be working on it. It’s like all my influences wrapped up in a single concept: action, adventure, mystery, snark, angst, out of this world craziness, and more. And I get to sit down and create a story with them all, weaving a world that I would have loved to have read when I was a kid, that I love to read now and can never get enough of.
And that, I think, is what so motivates me to geek out on writing. I get to create exactly what I want to experience in a book. Just like Ryan Reynolds found his niche with Deadpool, I’ve found mine with the Demon Squad. It’s not work to write in this world, it’s an experience, my own form of entertainment and relaxation and adventure all wrapped up into a single concept. It’s who I am.
Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, the Blood War Trilogy, co-author of the Dead West series, as well as several standalone books, and numerous anthology appearances including Triumph Over Tragedy, Corrupts Absolutely?, That Hoodoo Voodoo that You Do, Widowmakers, At Hell’s Gates 1&3, Neverland’s Library, Blackguards, and the forthcoming SNAFU Survival of the Fittest (Cohesion Press), In the Shadow of the Towers (Night Shade), and Unbound (Grim Oak Press). Tim also collaborated on Memoirs of a MACHINE, the story of MMA pioneer John Machine Lober.
Tim is co-owner and Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications.