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An interview with Tim Marquitz

FBR favourite Tim Marquitz is back, only this time it's to promote the anthology he edited called Fading Light. Tim was able to attract a number of high profile authors to anthology, and fantasy readers are likely to be familiar with names like Mark Lawrence, David Dalglish, and Gene O'Neill. Tim has also included a number of smaller unknown authors, and a story from FBR reviewer Ryan Lawler called Light Save Us.

In the lead up to the release of Fading Light by Angelic Knight Press, Ryan has talked to Tim about all the effort that goes on behind the scenes when putting together an anthology.

Ryan Lawler: Hi Tim, welcome back to Fantasy Book Review. Last time we chatted it was all about you us an author. This time it's all about you as the editor of an anthology. Can you tell us all about Fading Light and the stories we can expect to find in there?

Tim Marquitz: Thanks for having me.

Certainly. I really wanted to create something different, and I think the broad range of dark fiction in the anthology made that happen. While all of the stories fit under the umbrella of the overall premise, I didn't restrict people to a genre or direction. The stories I received were all over the place with regards to how they interpreted the anthology prompt, and that was great. There's aliens and monsters and atmospheric anomalies and all sorts of darkness abound, but there aren't any real typical stories to be found.

Ryan: So where did the inspiration for Fading Light come from? Was something you had been thinking about for a while or was it more of a light bulb moment?

TM: There were a couple trains of thought behind Fading Light. The first was going back and forth with Lincoln Crisler as he arranged and coordinated his anthology, Corrupts Absolutely? I saw what he was doing and it sounded interesting. I liked the idea of masterminding an anthology, being the guy to direct the final outcome without actually writing it.

As for the imagery, I love what the movie The Mist accomplished, and wanted to create a book that fed off that. Being able to orchestrate that from a position where I could see other peoples' perspective was what drove me to actually do it.

Ryan: You got a number of big names on board like Mark Lawrence and Gene O'Neill. How did you go about securing these guys for the anthology?

TM: I'm not sure, to be honest. I got lucky.

In most cases, I've interacted with the authors in one way or another, either at conventions or online, and I simply decided to take the chance and ask them. It worked out, much to my surprise.

 

Ryan: The anthology was open to submission from anyone for a few months. How many submissions did you get? Did you have to read them all?

TM: You're seriously going to make me do math? Anyway, I received hundreds. And yeah, I read them all. While some were obviously not at the same level as some of the others, I wanted to be sure to give each and every one the opportunity to impress me.

Ryan: How quickly did you know whether or not a story had a chance at being included? Did you have a process for sorting out the wheat from the chaff?

TM: You know pretty quickly when a story isn't going to hold up to your expectations. Read a few lines and you can just tell if there's something there. I did, however, read all the way through the ones that didn't draw me in immediately to see if there could be some editorial adjustment that corrected the problem I had with it.

In the end, I rejected the stories that didn't resonate with me and my vision of the anthology. There wasn't any special process but given how many great stories I received, it was easier to reject than accept, in a lot of cases.

Ryan: What was the worst submission you received?

TM: I obviously won't name names, but I did receive some rather interesting poetry. Not only was it outside my vision of the book, it was just too far outside of what I wanted connected to the book. I really don't know how to describe it without being rude. Picture hillbilly BBQ.

On the other hand, I received a lot of great stories that just didn't fit. I got a Kafka homage that was terrific, but I just couldn't bring myself to accept it because it was too close to Kafka stylistically.

Ryan: So what else does the editor of an anthology actually do?

TM: An editor's first job in an anthology is to determine the focus of a book. They set up the concept and orchestrate the submission guidelines and organize the whole process. They select the stories and make whatever changes needed to make the stories part of a cohesive whole. Ultimately, the editor oversees the whole project from start to finish, like placing pieces of a puzzle together.

Ryan: Aside from Light Save Us which I know is your favourite short story of all time, are there any stand out short stories in this anthology that you would like to mention?

TM: Is that one of the stories in there? Doesn't sound familiar.

Anyway, all of the stories in the anthology resonated with me or they wouldn't be there. I won't play favorites for a number of reasons, but I was able to be picky because of how many submissions I received. The quality of the submissions allowed me to hold the anthology to the standard of my vision.

Ryan: Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us Tim. It's great to get some insight into all the effort that goes on behind the scenes.

Our Tim Marquitz reviews

Collateral Damage by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.6/10

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At The Gates by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.5/10

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Beyond The Veil by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.5/10

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Aftermath by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.5/10

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Exit Wounds by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.3/10

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Resurrection by Tim Marquitz

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9.1/10

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Echoes of the Past by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.0/10

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Those Poor, Poor Bastards by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.0/10

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From Hell by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.0/10

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Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.0/10

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War God Rising by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

9.0/10

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Embers of an Age by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

8.9/10

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The Best of Enemies by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

8.9/10

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Requiem by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

8.5/10

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Eyes Deep by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

8.5/10

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Inheritance (Heir to the Blood Throne) by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

8.0/10

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Armageddon Bound by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

7.9/10

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Skulls by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

7.8/10

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Dawn of War by Tim Marquitz

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 [...]

7.5/10

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