Tim Marquitz is a name you’ve probably heard before. I’d mostly heard it in connection with his small press Ragnarok Press, but he’s also a well-respected author. In honour of the publication of his latest book Dirge, today Tim visits A Fantastical Librarian for an Author Query in which I learn that sleep is an optional thing to Tim and more about what sets Dirge apart from the rest of his books.
Let’s start with the basics. Who is Tim Marquitz?
Howdy. I’m all sorts of things, most of which folks would shy away from saying in polite company. Beyond those things, I’m an author, editor, and publisher who wants nothing more than to keep living the dream I’m living now, and that’s to make a career out of publishing all while doing it my way.
How would you introduce people to the world of Dirge?
Dirge is a dark fantasy tale that perverts the usual zombie story line. It focuses on a young woman who has lost everything early on in life but is given a second chance to rise above and conquer the demons that have destroyed her world. And did I mention she was a sociopath who likes to kill?
For people familiar with your previous books and short stories, how does this book fit into your writing? Is it more along the traditional fantasy lines or is there still an urban fantasy flavour to the novel?
Dirge is closer in style to my novel Witch Bane, in that it’s more sword and sorcery than anything, though magic plays a small role in the book. That said, it’s very much like my other works where the pace is fast and there’s plenty of action and adventure and chaos. On top of all that, I tried for a more stylistic approach to the writing. Whereas my urban fantasy writing is often gritty and blunt, there is some attempt at poetic imagery and thought in Dirge. Whether I succeeded in that will be up to the reader.
Will there be more stories in this world or is Dirge a standalone novel?
Dirge was intended to be a standalone, but I’m not entirely sure if it will stay that way. There is plenty of opportunity within the story line to expand it, so we’ll just have to see how things turn out and whether I manage to get back to the world.
In addition to your writing you’re also running Ragnarok Press. When do you sleep?!
Sleep? I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking me. ☺
Fortunately, while there is a ton of work to be done, I’m surrounded by great people who kick a lot of butt. There’s always something to do, but I can count on other folks to keep me from drowning. The press has slowed my writing down a good bit but I’m fortunate to do this stuff full time. As such, I have all day to squeeze in whatever needs to be done. Some days are harder than others, but I wouldn’t trade my job for anything.
More seriously, what made you decide to start your own small press?
Insanity mostly. Outside of that, I’ve learned to kind of diversify my focus in publishing to increase my longevity in it. It’s like a stock portfolio. While you can certainly succeed in a singular aspect, there are a lot more benefits to be had by focusing your efforts more widely, spreading out your efforts so that if one takes a hit, you still have more to lean on. I’ve done well as an author but if it hadn’t been for being an editor I wouldn’t have met and made friends with the people who have made my existence so much richer. Same goes for publishing. Each aspect brings something to the table I feel I wouldn’t have had by focusing on a single job.
How hard is it to switch your writer and editor hats? Will you do both in the course of a day or do you have a set schedule for what you do when?
It’s pretty easy for me to shift focus at this point. I do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. That said, my brain generally prefers mornings when I write, but that’s more because I’m the most awake and aware then. The one time that it’s hard to shut off the editor brain is when I’m reading for pleasure. That little punk is running along deleting words and plug in commas like a madman.
What’s next for you? Any appearances or conventions planned?
Good question. My partner, Joe Martin, and I have discussed some upcoming conventions but we haven’t settled on anything. We want to get Ragnarok out there further and put the brand in people’s faces a bit. I imagine you’ll see us at one of the bigger fantasy conventions near the middle or end of 2015.
Is there something else you’re passionate about other than writing and books?
I’ve a very narrow focus in my life. It’s just how I’m designed. Hard for me to deal with too many things at once because I’m kind of obsessive about them. As such, outside of writing and publishing, my only real passions, outside of my family, are listening to music and watching mixed martial arts.
As a book reviewer, I’m all about the book enabling; I can’t help but want to make people read all the good books out there. But I can always use help. What are your top recommendations of books we should look out for in the coming months?
Argh, there are so many. Let me see: outside of all the Ragnarok authors, I’ve been enjoying the Bob the Vampire series by Rick Gualtieri. It reminds me very much of my Demon Squad series, the protagonist a sexed up underdog out of his league. Also been enjoying Six Gun Tarot and Shotgun Arcana by R.S. Belcher, as well as the Miles Franco series by Chris Strange. Those are the most recent and stick out the most right now.
Finally, I have to stay true to my roots and ask a librarian question to finish off with: Do you shelve your books alphabetically, by genre or do you have an ingenious system?
As likely as I am to offend your librarian sensitivities, I’ve fallen deep into the eBook well. I still have a ton of books on the shelves, but they’re mostly organized by how they fit as opposed to anything else. They don’t get anywhere near as much love as they used to, I’m afraid to say.
Bio: 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?, Demonic Dolls, Neverland’s Library, and the forthcoming No Place Like Home and Blackguards.
The Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications, Tim most recently compiled and edited the Angelic Knight Press anthologies, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous and Manifesto: UF, as well as Ragnarok Publications’ Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters.