Raised on a diet of Heavy Metal and bad intentions, Tim Marquitz has always been interested in writing, but it wasn't until about 1995 that the urge became a compulsion. A former grave digger, bouncer, and dedicated metalhead, Tim is a huge fan of Mixed Martial Arts, and fighting in general. Writing a mix of the dark perverse, the horrific, and the tragic, tinged with sarcasm and biting humor, he looks to leave a gaping wound in the minds of his readers like his inspirations: Clive Barker, Jim Butcher, and Stephen King.
Here on FBR we have had the chance to read three books from Marquitz this year:
After the recent release of his new novel Dawn of War, Tim kindly found the time to answer some questions with FBR reviewer Ryan Lawler
Welcome to FBR Tim, can you tell me a little about yourself.
I’m pretty boring these days. I work full time for a local school district and go to school full time in an effort to finish my sociology degree. I’ve a beautiful wife and daughter who keep me on my toes, and I spend the majority of my time writing or editing in an effort to forge a career in publishing.
I’m largely obsessed with writing these days. I think after so many years of not knowing what I really wanted to do, realizing I truly wanted to write was life changing, as clichéd as that sounds. While I’ll likely teach to pay the bills, I’m dedicated and focused on the idea of becoming an author that can live off my writing. It’s a dream, but I love chasing it.
So what is it about writing that appeals to you so much?
There’s something very satisfying about the process of creation. Being able to sit down and create a world, characters, and a story from fragments of ideas and imagery, and see the process through to the end where it becomes something real, is an amazing feeling. That feeling is further validated when people read my books and enjoy them.
Ultimately, when I look at all the things I could be doing in my life, job-wise, I can’t really see anything but writing making me truly happy.
Making a living out of writing is often seen as a difficult process. Was it difficult for you to get published? Also how did you find Damnation Books?
Actually, getting published the way I did was actually easy. I’d started the process of querying agents too early and really wasn’t ready for it. My writing had issues I hadn’t yet addressed so I received a lot of rejections, but I knew the problems were on my end.
I got in with a writing group, of which Kim Richards (CEO/Owner of DB) was a member, and they helped me clean up my writing a bunch. At the point when Armageddon Bound had been written, Kim was looking into picking up an ePub. When she went through with it and was looking for material for the first release, it seemed a natural conclusion to what we’d been doing with the group.
So for me, getting published was easy, but because of the way it came about, I work even harder to try to show I’m worthy of the honor.
Your books have some very dark and horror themes, where do you get your inspiration?
I’ve always been interested in dark subjects. I played a lot of role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and have listened to heavy metal music since I was young. The whole atmosphere of 80’s burgeoning metal scene was really dark and horror influenced and that just all felt so natural.
As for the specifics of writing horror/dark fiction, I owe all the credit to Clive Barker. While he and I write differently, his imagination and amazing prose drives me to get better with every book. I look back on his books and just marvel at how seamless they are, even after I’ve read them dozens of times each. There’s a magic in his words that inspires me to follow in his footsteps.
Along the same lines as the previous question, where do you find the inspiration for your characters? You have Frank the very sexual demon and you have Jacob the abused and neglected teenager, are these characters inspired by parts of your own personality?
Yes and no. Frank is essentially me times a thousand. He’s who I’d be if there were no consequences for my actions. He’s the demon unleashed, if you’ll pardon the pun. I’m not very PC, or very concerned with the opinions of people, but I know I can’t really live like that without consequence. Frank, however, can. He’s my escape, my scapegoat and mouthpiece who allows me to step outside of conventional society and live beyond the boundaries.
As for Jacob, there is some small piece of reality to his story, as there is to all of them, but Jacob’s more a product of the world I see around me. There’s some historical reference there, but working at a high school, I see all sorts of Jacobs and they all become a part of my writing.
Dawn of War is your first attempt at the sprawling epic fantasy set in another world, and the first time you have used multiple viewpoints. How challenging was it to start writing in a new genre?
While Dawn of War is my first epic, it’s not actually my first use of multiple points of view. My first four books, of which none will probably ever see the light of day, all had multiple viewpoints.
The writing of it was fairly easy, as far as point of view went, but I think I was a little too caught up in the George RR Martin aspect of the epic early on. There’s a bit of information overload that I think sets the stage for the story, but should have been eased in a little more circumspectly. I think finding the balance of backstory and action was the hardest part of DoW and I hope to avoid those mistakes in part two.
I had stepped away from my natural inclinations for brevity and dove into the idea of the epic, and I think that part was a challenge. I’m not much for the grand scale of things or the big picture, preferring to take things in smaller bites, but this story demanded I look beyond the individual book and set up the entire trilogy in my mind. That was probably the hardest part of it.
For my own interest as well as the interest of the site, what are your three favorite fantasy releases?
This is kind of a tough one for me that really changes based on the frame of my life. I don’t think I can pick just three.
I’d say A Great and Secret Show by Barker would have to be among them. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files would be there as well, but I don’t think I can pick one out of the bunch. Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series also had a bunch of great books that helped bring my focus to fantasy/sci-fi.
I know this is the copout answer, but to only choose three books out of all the ones I’ve read would be sacrilege. Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey, Jim Butcher, Brian Keene, would all have books that fit the profile depending on what day you asked me.
Finally, what’s next for Tim Marquitz? Can you tell us about any new projects on the horizon?
I’m always writing, or at least plotting something new. I’m working on the plot for the fourth Demon Squad book and I’m in the process of writing more of a thriller/suspense type book, though with my standard dark flair. I’ve also begun brainstorming a different kind of urban fantasy story based on the idea of old gods and a kind of superhuman feel, but it’s still fairly early in the planning stage. And there are the final sections of Sepulchral Earth, which are already plotted, that I need to get done, as well.
I’m currently querying agents for my fantasy book, more of a sword and sorcery story, Witch Bane, about a world ruled by witches. The story is largely a revenge tale, a warlock out to slay the witches who killed his mother, who was one of their own.
I’m also looking into releasing the third Demon Squad book around December, though I’ve made no real commitments to do so. That time frame just seems to make sense given how long between the release of Armageddon Bound and Resurrection. I want to keep Frank out there.
Thanks for answering these questions Tim, I look forward to reading more about Frank and your other characters in the not to distant future.
You can read more about Tim and his work at his website: http://www.tmarquitz.com/
Collateral Damage by Tim Marquitz is the eighth book in the Demon Squad series, and in my opinion is the best to date. After a small dip with books five and six, book seven saw Marquitz get Demon Squad back on track and Collateral Damage sees Marquitz at the top of his game. If you are a long-time fan of this series I should warn you that Marquitz has called this book Collateral Damage for a reason, so you might want to prepare yourself for some tough moments.Collateral Damage takes place about six months after the events of Best of Enemies, with protagonist Frank Trigg elbow deep in [...]
A revolt in Heaven, angels fighting angels. Who better to mediate a peaceful resolution than the Devil's nephew, Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg?Don't answer that.When Scarlett arrives at his door, beaten to within an inch of her life, Frank finds himself in the middle of a war as the Nephilim arrive to finish the job. With only Eden still standing, the battle for Heaven spills over and ravages the Earth with deadly storms. Amidst the chaos, Frank must find a way to end the war before the battling hordes of half-breed angels, vampires, and lycanthropes reach Eden [...]
Frank's woman kidnapped, a frantic chase across worlds, an inter-dimensional uprising, and all with the surly father-in-law to be in tow. What could be worse? How about being drafted by the Almighty? Trapped on a strange and hostile planet, forced to deal with an alien insurrection, Frank and Longinus scramble to save Karra from the clutches of a rebel overlord bent on revenge. All in a day's work for the Devil inherent.Beyond The Veil by Tim Marquitz is the fifth book in his Demon Squad series, and is equal with the third book - At The Gates - as my favourite of the Demon Sq [...]
Aftermath by Tim Marquitz is the ninth book in the Demon Squad series, one that sees the main character Frank reach his nadir before slowly climbing out of the pits of a drug and alcohol fuelled depression. It's amazing to think that after nine books the Demon Squad series feels as fresh as ever, and with the events of Aftermath busting the Demon Squad universe wide open, the possibilities for future stories seems almost endless. Nine books into this series and I feel like we have only scratched the surface of the Tim Marquitz Master Plan."Like GI Jesus I spread my arms out [...]
Exit Wounds by Tim Marquitz is the seventh book in the Demon Squad series. If you have made it this far, you are probably a fan and will pick up this book regardless of what I say. If you had the same issues that I had with Book 6, then I can tell you that I think Marquitz did a great job of fixing them in this book. If you haven't read a Demon Squad book before, this is not a good place to start because Book 6 finished on a big cliff-hanger and many of the events that take place in this book require prior knowledge to add context. Oh and by the way, the next paragraph has a few spoiler [...]
Armageddon averted, the world returns to business as usual. Unfortunately for Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg, business as usual sucks.His night out interrupted by a horde of kidnapping zombies, what could possibly be worse? The resurrection of the Anti-Christ, that's what. Caught in the middle of a supernatural pissing match between the Devil's wife, a legion of undead, and an overachieving necromancer, Frank must survive long enough to stop Hell from being unleashed upon humanity; Again.Synopsis sourced from the authors website (http://www.tmarquitz.com/Res.htm [...]
Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Not when you're the Devil's nephew.An unexpected message gives Frank the answer he's sought for years - where did God and Lucifer go? - but the knowledge brings its own dilemma as inter-dimensional war looms, threatening to engulf the Earth. Tasked with the planet's defence, Frank scrounges for a plan and finds a piece of his past better left behind. If the aliens don't kill him, what he learns just might.***SPOILER WARNING***This review talks about some big events from the first three books, and I would recommend [...]
I'm not a big Weird Western reader. I'm not a big zombie reader. But Those Poor Poor Bastards, the first book in the Dead West series by Tim Marquitz, J. M. Martin, and Kenny Soward, is better than just another Weird Western or just another zombie book. The writing is very visceral, raw in a style similar to Chuck Wendig, with some gooey depictions of bodies being torn apart and decaying in a very fluid way. It is at times high impact, so if you are somewhat squeamish at the thought of a body being emptied of all its fluids, you might want to check out the sample first. If not, get [...]
From Hell by Tim Marquitz is a novella set in his Demon Squad universe - a standalone prequel that can be read independently from the main series. It is from the perspective of main series protagonist Frank 'Triggaltheron' Trigg, but set in London during the late 1800's rather than modern day. Given that this is a standalone prequel I'll try not to spoil any of the main storyline, but I'm sure I'll make a few references here and there.From Hell follows the half demon Frank, and his angelic cousin Scarlett, as they attempt to hunt down Jack the Ripper. It goes [...]
Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters started life as a Kickstarter campaign that ended up being very successful, surpassing the funding target and hitting all of the stretch goals. It boasts big names like Larry Correia, James Swallow, and Peter Clines, just to name a few. It has interior art for every single story, created by high profile artists like Bob Eggleton. And it's an anthology about a variety of kaiju destroying cities around the world - how cool is that! This review will briefly discuss each story.Big Ben and the End of the Pier Show by James Lovegrove - Great start to the a [...]
War God Rising by Tim Marquitz is a stand-alone comedic heroic fantasy that takes all of those long standing heroic fantasy tropes we know and love, like farm boys and prophecies, embraces them, and then pokes fun at them. If you have had your fill of heavy / serious / dark fantasy, you should look to War God Rising as an opportunity to read something light-hearted, fun and just a little juvenile. I've always thought the one thing missing from heroic fantasy was a well formed fart joke with a nice heady aroma.The story follows two con-artists, Bess and Kaede, as they look to secu [...]
Let's be honest, all writers want to be epic fantasy writers. The best romance writers, the best horror writers, even the best literature writers all wish they were writing epic fantasy right now. Ok well maybe not all writers want to write epic fantasy, but for horror writer Tim Marquitz, writing epic fantasy is becoming a reality. A reality it seems he is very good at. Embers of an Age is Marquitz's second attempt at epic fantasy, the second book in his Blood War trilogy, and a clear demonstration that he is willing to learn from previous mistakes to produce the best book he possi [...]
The Best of Enemies by Tim Marquitz is the sixth book in the Demon Squad series. This series has come a long way since we first met the demon Frank, and Marquitz continues to up the ante with each adventure. I don't think this book is the best in the series, but it was still a great read and the tease at the end has me craving the next book.The story follows on a few weeks after the events of fifth book, with a very bored Frank sitting in Hell making his minions sing, dance and perform for him. When the boredom gets the better of him, Frank makes a trip to Earth to visit his old [...]
The true enemy of Ahreele has been revealed.Caught in a storm of war, Arrin learns just how little hope remains as he's forced to make a choice between his family and the world that so desperately needs him.Requiem is conclusion to the Blood War Trilogy, an exciting book that has all the blood, gore and action that made me like the first two books. Marquitz goes all out with Requiem, putting his characters through the grinder one last time, and presenting victory / hope to characters at a very high cost. The big question is, are the group of heroes willing to pay that cost [...]
Eyes Deep by Tim Marquitz is a novella length story aimed at introducing readers to his forthcoming Clandestine Daze series. While this may be an introduction to a new series, the story itself is self-contained and complete, with a satisfying ending that has me looking forward to what Marquitz might do in this new world.The story follows a man named Theodor Crane, except we aren't really following Theo, we are following the doppelganger who has killed poor Theo and assumed his entire life. Who the doppelganger is, what he can do, and who he works for is shrouded in mystery after [...]
Inheritance: Heir to the Blood Throne is the first book in a new YA series by Tim Marquitz. Full of supernatural creatures in a Victorian London setting, Inheritance is an attempt to bring some horror elements to a younger audience in a more accessible fashion.“A fellow creature of the night, how fortuitous is this?” The man’s smile widened. “We have crossed paths at a most opportune time.”The story follows Rupert, a shy 13 year old orphan who is often victimized by the older bullies at the orphanage. Having resigned himself to daily beatings for [...]
Half-devil and miles from anything resembling heroic, perpetual underdog Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg is the last man standing against Armageddon.As the favorite nephew of the Devil, Frank has led a troubled life, but he'd always had his uncle's influence to fall back on. Now, with God and Lucifer coming to terms and leaving existence to fend for itself, his once exalted status of Anti-Christ-to-be does little to endear him to the hordes of angels and demons running amok in the Godless world.With help from the members of DRAC, an organization of wizards, psych [...]
Life held little interest for Jacob until he found death.Abused and neglected, Jacobs only solace comes when he is alone in the woods or in the arms of his new girlfriend. But when he stumbles across a hidden bunker filled with human skulls, he learns what true suffering is. Drawn to examine the skulls, he finds there is more than just empty blackness behind their lifeless stares. Through their eyes he watches them die.With every glance, he witnesses another murder, the memories of the dead playing out inside his mind until reality becomes a blur. A primal cruelty awakening, J [...]
For hundreds of years, the bestial Grol have clawed at the walls of Lathah without success. Now armed with O'hra, mystical weapons of great power, they have returned, to conquer.Witness to the Grol advance, Arrin can abide his exile no longer. He returns to Lathah, in defiance of death, with hopes to save his beloved princess and the child born of their illicit affair. He finds her unwilling to abandon her people. At her behest, Arrin searches for a sanctuary for them only to be confronted by the Sha'ree, a powerful race long thought gone from the world. Through them, he lear [...]