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Interview with Maz Marik

What genre do you write and why?

Horror and Fantasy. As a child growing up, I would always try to find movies which were way above my age range. I remember on my 8th birthday I watched 'Psycho', and 'The Exorcist' with the babysitter, and after that, very quickly got into authors such as Laymon and Koontz. I wanted to join in the fun, so tried writing for myself. Usually I would write sequels to movies I had seen, like Alien 8, or Jaws 7, completely random stories, but full of death and gore. This lead to me writing my own material.

Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book, released a few weeks ago is called 'Earthed'. It follows a young family stalked by darkness, where their only hope is an old man who knows what they are up against. As the events unfold, the terror begins to reveal itself, and staying in the light becomes the only way they are going to survive the night.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
The usual. Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and lots of book forums. The best tool is word of mouth. A lot of people enjoyed my first book, 'End Storm', and so they have spread the news as well, which is a big help.
What formats is the book available in?
It is available on all ebook readers. Paperback copies I am looking at doing, and hopefully will have something to update you on before Christmas.
Who are your favourite authors?
I love Laymon, Koontz and Tolkien. All for different reasons, but all have their own ability to move the story along at a perfect pace. And the detail in the story Tolkien creates is unbelievable.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Not to give in. Not to be obsessed over sales and profit. And to expect a good few slaps around the face.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
'If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot.' - King.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
Being able to create a universe and every character in it. And then letting people in to your universe.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I have a website, www.mazmarik.weebly.com, and a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hobomarik.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

In 'Earthed', I like 'Ian Sayers'. He is old, and eccentric, and has a witty sense of humour. On top of all that, he is also very courageous. The opposite of me really!

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

It goes along at breakneck speed, and the characters are likeable. If you like Horror, you will like this.

How long did it take you to write your book?

It is different for each book. Sometimes I can complete the first draft in a couple of months, but sometimes, the best part of a year.

Who designed the cover?

My good friend, and editor, Ish Ferris.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?

Every time. My editor is as harsh as can be! I would like to think my writing standard is always improving, and you learn more from your mistakes than you do with praise.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Any key word 'Maz Marik', on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple etc will bring me up. Although all links are on the website.
                                                     
What are you doing to market the book? 

I try not to spend any money on marketing. I like the idea of word of mouth, even if it sometimes seems to be a slow method. I also had a trailer done, which went on the website and YouTube channel. I try to get it reviewed by different forum groups, and then use Facebook and Goodreads to market it further.

Who inspires you?

I think two people. Christopher Reeve for battling on with his paralysis. After years of being known as Superman, his legacy will be being a beacon of hope for thousands of other people who suffer similar injuries. His strength and mentaility was just amazing.

The other is Arnold Schwarzenegger. The drive and motivation that guy has is insane! He wants to be a bodybuilder, ends up as Mr Universe, then he wants to try acting, and ends up the most famous actor of all time, and then decides he wants to try politics, and goes as high up in the US political system as is allowed for a non American. Determination, determination, determination!

How do you research your books?

I read a lot of mythology and supernatural creatures. Local legends and mysterious events usually get me interested, and then from there, it is about plotting a story that is both true, and loyal to the myth I was influenced by.

I try to go to the location I am setting it in beforehand, so I get a feel for the environment and the local people.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

There are two. One is 'The Absent', which is the story of three teenagers who look after a man with dementia, but find themselves entering his world as the night progresses.
There will be more on 'The Absent' on my website as it progresses in the coming months.
The other book is called 'Hamelin', and is a take on the tale of the Pied Piper. It follows a man with his two boys who seek shelter for the night, only to find when they get there that all the children have gone. They help the local people search for the missing children, which leads to a terrifying and gruesome outcome.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

Well, I am Self Published. I think it gives everyone a chance, but also has allowed the market to get flooded with bog standard trash. Traditional Publishing is often more difficult to get involved in, but usually has greater rewards. I think both are useful. It is all about knowing, or getting to know the 'right people'.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

Reading books and watching movies and thinking 'I can do better than that'. So often the ending, or a character in a movie or book makes me groan with frustration. I try to make all my stories as frustration-free as I can.

And then there is Stephen King, who I am not super fan of, although cannot deny his brilliance, but he threw his first book in the bin, and then was convinced to keep trying to get it published. He agreed, and now earns $40m a year.....

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?

Yes, they do. A few have read the book, but mostly they leave me alone. I prefer it that way!

What are you currently reading?

Nothing! I have just finished 'Unnatural Selection', by Thomas Pryce, which was excellent.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. And then David Gemmell who also wrote Fanstasy. The worlds they created were just amazing. To jump into their minds for just a minute would be the most incredible thing ever!

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I like to walk, climb trees and anything outdoor really. Just sitting at the beach throwing stones into the waves. That kind of stuff.
Movies and the cinema is always appealing. Seeing friends and family.
Hobbies are scuba diving and football, although I barely get to play any sport anymore.
Also love poetry. Reading it, writing it, listening to it. Can spend all day doing that!

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