Â Today I am welcoming author Marcus Twyman to the blog, and as a special treat, he is offering up TWO copies of his novel, Khet Chronicles: Blood Ties, to a couple of lucky commenters on this post. Â (Thanks Marcus!)
A Little About Marcus
Marcus Twyman has lived most of his life in Montgomery County, Maryland. Since he was a child he’s enjoyed writing stories, songs, and poetry – using the power of words as a therapeutic release for his feelings and emotions.
Now living in New York City, Marcus has been slowly adapting to the bustling concrete jungle and is incorporating his new experiences into his writing.
You state in your author profile that you lived in Maryland the majority of your life and moved to NYC. How have you adapted?Â Which place do you prefer?
Marcus: It’s been an interesting adjustment to say the least. I am by no means a city guy. I love trees…and grass…and a variety of animals (not just rats and pigeons which is what you tend to see in the Big Apple). New York is okay, but Montgomery County, Maryland will always be where my heart is.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Marcus: This is a funny question because as a child I wanted to be a scientist. I could have sworn that I’d be the one to bring dinosaurs back to life…Stephen Spielberg beat me to it.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Marcus: Believe it or not, I read. I will literally pick up a book, read for hours, and then feel like I have no troubles in the world.
Marcus on Writing
You mentioned that the idea for your novel developed as early back as your childhood. Can you share more about that?
Marcus: When I was a child in the third grade, I moved to Florida to live with my mother. During those years I started to develop characters in my head that could do these amazing things. As I grew older, the characters seemed to grow with me, taking on more mature characteristics and personalities. The world of the Khet kept developing and changing, becoming a rich, complex, place. It got to the point that I would start telling everyone about “this story I have in my head”.
Are your characters based on people that you’ve known, or situations in your book things you’ve encountered in real life?
Marcus: The characters aren’t based on people I’ve known or know, but some of the situations have taken cues from my own life. I wanted my story to grab the reader emotionally, and to do that I tried to think about situations in my own life that caused me to feel happy, sad, depressed, angry, etc. When I read a story, I want to “feel” it. That’s why I chose to incorporate some of myself into the tale, so that I could be sure that the reader would get what the characters were going through.
What is it about writing that brings you back to the page for more?
Marcus: Writing to me is therapeutic. If I’m angry, sad, stressed, or even happy, writing allows me to release everything thats bottled up inside of me.
How did you come up with the title of your novel?
Marcus: I actually knew that I wanted to incorporate an Egyptian theme into parts of the story so I researched Egyptian words and their meanings. Nebu Khet literally means “Gold Fire”. Here’s an Egyptian description that I found intriguing: “Nebti; Khasekhemwy Nebu Khetsen (The Two Powerful Ones Have Risen, Their Bodies Being Of Gold)”. I thought, “Oh, wait. My characters are powerful, long-lived, beings. What would they have done throughout their long existence on this planet? How would they have influenced past civilizations?” That’s where the Nebu Khet come from, and since I plan on writing many books about them, I decided to make the story part of the Khet Chronicles.
What are your current projects?
Marcus: I am currently working on the sequel to Khet Chronicles: Blood Ties and I’ve started writing 3 other spinoffs from the series.Â I’m also putting together an anthology of short stories that I’ll release as an ebook sometime in the next month or so.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Marcus: The hardest part is getting how I feel to be reflected in the story. What I feel during each scene is what makes the story worth writing, so I try very hard not to lose that so that my readers can experience the story the way that I do.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Marcus: Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Too many people will criticize you and tell you that you can’t do something, but usually these people haven’t done anything themselves! There will always be people who want to see you fall, and if you allow them to influence your writing then you may never accomplish what you were meant to.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?Â
Marcus: Umm…I talk to myself. And I make facial expressions as I type…seriously.Â I wind up looking borderline insane.
Marcus’s Paranormal Perspectives
What’s your definition of the paranormal genre?
Marcus: Paranormal to me has to have a touch of reality and a large dose of weird. Oh…and a sparkly vampire or two can add some kick to the recipe, although I prefer my vampires a little less sparkly and a lot more Lestat-ish.Â If you’re out of vampires, you can always throw in whatever mythical being you have laying around in your pantry.
How do you feel about the boom of paranormal fiction lately?
Marcus: I honestly don’t mind it. I love the genre so I’m perfectly fine with it, although some of the stories are being churned out at crazy-fast speeds. I like the genre as long as it keeps bringing something to the literary table. Too much “fluff” can really deter the genre’s reader base though. If you’re going to write a story about a vampire or a werewolf, then make sure that you’re writing the story because you enjoy it and because you like werewolves and vampires. Don’t write a story just to release it as a book and hope to earn money. When this happens the story is generally poorly written and people lose faith in the genre. If you’re going to write, then write a story that you would want to read.
What scares you?
Marcus: What scares me? Roaches. Can’t stand those nasty little critters. Yuck!
What is your favorite paranormal book?
Marcus: The Queen of the Damned.
What is your favorite paranormal movie?
What do you think draws people to paranormal novels?
Marcus: I think that paranormal novels give people a release from reality. It’s like a mental break.
Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
Marcus: I do research real places and events to try and tie my stories into reality. Having some details that are loosely tied to the real world helps people connect to the characters and what they’re going through.
Don’t Forget There’s a Giveaway!!
For your chance to win your very own paperback copy of Marcus’s novel, Khet Chronicles: Blood Ties, simply leave a comment or question for Marcus below. Â (It’s THAT easy!) Â Two commenters will be randomly drawn on Friday, March 30th and notified by email (so don’t forget to leave it when you comment).
Connect with Marcus
Thank you for hanging out with us, Marcus!!