Monday, March 31, 2014

Marshall Best Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you

My wife, Tracey, and I have six great children ages 5-17. I live in Fishers, Indiana. I have learned to play piano, marimba and bagpipes, love airplanes, target shoot, fish and write. Mostly writing.
I am the grandson of the founder of Best Lock Corporation and served there as VP of Manufacturing. The Best family is no longer involved and I now own my own business, Marshall Best Security Corporation, which competes against the old company. I have a great Best Lock memorabilia collection and occasionally speak at lock collectors meetings. It is a great heritage. If you cut me, I bleed locks.
I love history. My usual fare is autobiographies of WW I and WW II pilots, snipers, tankers. I also like all the Tom Clancy type novels.

I have read a boatload of ancient writers such as Diodorus Siculus, Pliny the Younger, and the Geography of Strabo from the Loeb Classical Library. As I read those, I made a note whenever something interesting was brought up, and I’ve made great use of these notes in writing this series.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books? The Guiamo Chronicles are a blend of Historical Fiction and Fantasy. Beginning in 60 B.C. Gaul, they follow young Guiamo from his abandonment on a dirt road at the age of ten to his days of glory battling men, gods and creatures in ancient England and Ireland.
The story line brings such wonderful legends into a historic setting. It gives people a chance to see how the legends we know today might have sprung up from actual ancient events. Legends often come from real life that is distorted in the telling over long periods of time.
I don’t always follow exactly the original stories, they are too convoluted, but I do try to portray key aspects of the mythical accounts in a way that it makes sense that what survives to us today could have been derived from what I describe.

When did you start writing? 

 Six years ago.

Why do you write and what inspired you to pursue writing? Like many other authors, I began writing fiction stories to entertain my children. My first stories were The Princess Meredith Bedtime Tales written for my then six year old daughter. They are available as an e-book collection. I then began a story for my son William. I think the question and answer from a previous interview explain it best.

If you could have any 1 person read your work who would it be and why? That would have to be my son William. He is the model for Guiamo, and if only he ever read the stories, I would be content because I wrote them simply to please him.

What would be your choice for a superpower?I’d be Tax Reduction Man flying through the stratosphere spreading prosperity across America.

Who is your favorite author? That’s a tough one. Tolkien has to be at the top, though I do like Bernard Cornwell very much. He speaks to the barbarian in me. I also enjoy the Frank Herbert Dune series.
The depth of Tolkien’s Middle Earth is astounding. He was a borrower of real and obscure history to flesh out details of his stories. For instance, I read somewhere that the dwarves Durin and Dwalin came from actual people named Durin and Dvalin. In like fashion, I found the names of two brothers, Fili and Kili , in an old leather-bound set of history books I own entitled “History of the Anglo-Saxons” by Sharon Turner (24 September 1768 – 13 February 1847), so I imagine Tolkien surely had a copy of this on his own shelf.

What are you reading now? Massacre at Tobruk, the British assault on Rommel, 1942 by Peter C Smith.

Who is your favorite character to write? Guiamo himself, of course. He’s not perfect, but he does his best to do right, he’s generous by nature, he hates to see wrong win out in the end and he’s not afraid to confront it boldly.

Do you have a writing process? Sit down to lunch, begin writing, eat, continue writing. Repeat at all social events, all available time.
On a more serious note, Guiamo began as “go with the flow”, but as the books developed, it has become more structured, though not to the point of formal outlines. I do know there will be nine books. I’m now in book 5 and I have pages and pages of notes of points to cover, genealogies, calendars to lay out key events and the like. What drives me nuts is that I can’t keep everything in my head, but what author can? When I write something that reflects on previous text, I have to go back and research the details. Oh bother. However, I know where I need to go in the plots of the remaining books.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Write a story that interests you and you can be passionate about. As it’s been said, if you’re not excited about your story, no one else will be either.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? Sci-fi, action/adventure. I saw Star Wars 21 times when it first came out - it showed for 56 weeks in Indianapolis.

What are your current projects? I’m half way through book five in The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo. My oldest son says it’s the best of them all, and he loves them intensely. It’s possible I may write a few short stories in the near future for my two youngest. They would be Prince Cedric and Princess Emiline Tales.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Rush right out in a buying frenzy.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Hamsters
Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate
Favorite food? Ribeye Steak medium rare
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without?
My keys (I’m a lock guy), My Guiamo notebook, kisses from my family
Laptop or desktop? Desktop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee
TV or Movies? Movies


All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

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