1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
I opted not to use a pen name, though I probably should have! Simon Markusson sounds quite cumbersome and mismatched, doesn’t it? Kinda like Todd Messerchmitt or something… No, that actually sounds cool. I should so have used Todd Messerschmitt!
I’m a complete publishing newbie so my online presence is pathetic. I really have to start working on that. Instagram @markussons and an old Twitter account @smarkusson That sounds like a Pokémon…
2. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
It contains a lot of reading! I also have some more physical interests like exercise and motorcycle riding. I’m a bit of a health nut. Oh, and of course I binge watch tv-shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things. It’s getting harder to stay in shape! I’m also a working journalist…but I guess that belongs to the world of writing as well.
3. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I’ve been writing since high school and have a lot of ideas and projects that have been maturing for a long time. Mostly fantasy and sci-fi.
4. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
I read David Eddings and Robert Jordan when I was a kid, and they’ve had a huge impact on me. I totally grew up with The Wheel of Time series! In high school I started reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (and yes, it was because of Robert Jordan’s blurb!). That really opened my eyes to a whole new world of grit, violence and intrigue (in a literary sense, don’t worry!). I’ve been hooked since.
5. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
Yes! I’ve just released the first book of my epic (and humorous) fantasy series The Queen Beyond. The first book is called The Unchosen, and the story follows a rather cynical farmhand, Nathelion, who is mistakenly identified as a hero foretold in prophecy. The thing is that he doesn’t believe in magic, ancient evils and all that mumbo jumbo, he’s just looking for a way to leave his life of drudgery behind. Unfortunately, his little white lie might just cause the end of the world.
The series is planned to be a trilogy. I’ve already written the other two books (first drafts), and plan to release them with maybe a year or so between each book.
6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I guess it all starts with an idea that won’t leave you alone! I certainly daydream a lot. In a way, that is to constantly be writing. The act of typing it down isn’t the hard part. I don’t systematically create outlines or character profiles, but they do live a life in my mind before I sit down to write it all down.
7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
My strength lies in evocative writing. My chief weakness is probably language-related. I’m Swedish so English is not my first language, but I still prefer to write in English (it’s much more versatile!). I definitely make sure to enlist the help of skilled editors!
8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
I’m new to this so it’s trial and error for me! I’m currently trying out Amazon’s advertisement services and I’m reaching out to potential ARC readers! (thank you ARC readers, you’re the best!)
9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Be ready to change your opinions about how to go about doing things!