I’m beyond pleased to have Marcos on my blog today. He’s been a good friend of mine for a few years now, and I was blown away the first time I read his work. His writing is deep, powerful, sultry, sexy, ethereal…*takes a deep breath* He’s amazing. Just trust me on this. Not just his writing, but his personality as well. He’s intelligent too…and you know what they say about intelligence. It’s HOT! Meet Marcos, and add him to your reading list. You won’t regret it!
BIO: Marcos London was born in Massachusetts but has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English, he has worked as a projectionist, a bookseller, a technical writer, a substitute teacher, an internal auditor, trainer, and editor. Although a creative dabbler who has been telling stories since he learned to clutch a crayon, it was not until 2011 that he began selling fiction.
He lives in Central Texas.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your books.
Well, I’m a writer, and have been practically since I could clutch a crayon in my chubby hand when I was a toddler. I’ve held a variety of jobs, including projectionist at a movie theater, an internal auditor, and editor. But really, a writer is all I’ve ever wanted to be. As for my books, well, they’re relationship stories.
2. What genre(s) do you write?
Under another name I write science fiction, book and movie reviews, and also write a monthly column. If I’m known at all, though, it seems to be for my contemporary erotic romance. I basically tell people I write romantic comedies. With explicit sex.
3. What was it like to see your first book published?
Actually, this is a reprint from 2011, though even as a reprint, it’s a pretty breathless experience. It never gets old, seeing the cover art, learning that the editors really enjoyed your tale, and suddenly discovering readers who also enjoy it.
4. How dear to your heart is writing? Do you think you’ll continue to write for the rest of your life?
I don’t know that I have a choice but to write until I drop dead. I’ve been writing practically all my life, it seems, and I don’t think I could shut it off even if I tried.
5. Do you ever lock up? Have those moments where you just stare at your screen and think, “Yeah…I got nothing”?
I was “locked up” for about twenty years, unable to write a single word. There were a lot of factors: depression and anxiety was one. A fear of success was another. A relationship that did not allow me a creative outlet was another. It took a long time for me to actually finish things and allow me some confidence in my own work.
I used to believe in writer’s block. I used to believe that the creative well from which all writers drink can run dry, and that a writer can suddenly not be able to create without quenching his or her thirst. But it’s silly. Writing is a job of work. Some days are good, and you’ll write hot the whole time. Some days it’s drudgery, and you have to force yourself to sit at your laptop and produce. Since I’ve written and published, I basically have never had “nothing,” but occasionally I’ll have a bad day and produce work that I find substandard. All I need in those cases is to take a break and come back with fresh eyes the next day.
6. How difficult is it for you to come up with ideas for your books?
The common myth is that ideas are the hardest thing to come by. It’s why so many writers are approached by non-writers with what the non-writer believes is an irresistible deal: I have this great idea for a story or book; I’ll give it to you, you write it, and we’ll split whatever you make off of it. What the writer doesn’t understand is that ideas are easy; that idea he just had is the only idea he or she will ever have, and consequently believe that writers—who engage in more creative daydreaming in a given hour than the non-writer will manage in ten years—operate the same way. The problem is that writers can fill idea notebooks within a couple of days, and simply don’t have enough time in one lifetime to address them all.
So to answer your question: it’s not at all difficult for me to come up with ideas for my work. Where I get hung up is figuring out which idea I want to work on next.
7. What about characters? Are the names and personalities difficult to develop?
Not really. After a while you begin to learn what names will work for a character and what names will not. Usually I’ll begin looking at phone books and choose names at random. And personalities are fairly easy to address as well, since elements of my characters spring from people I know or hear about. That’s not to say that they are people I know, but I may take the daring of one person, and the fierce intelligence of another, when developing a single person.
8. Do you ever find yourself struggling as a writer?
Sometimes. I began selling fiction a couple of years ago, and the biggest challenge seems to be maintaining a certain level of discipline in order to work.
9. About how long does it take for you to complete a book, from concept to completion?
That can depend. It took about two weeks to finish “Academia Heat,” but about three months to complete “Fresh Meat.” It’s all a bit different. I had one idea for a story that sprang almost fully formed, but took almost a year to write because of research.
10. Do you have a ritual before, during and after finishing a book?
Not really. I’m simply not a person who falls into rituals or develops superstitions. Actually, I tend to go out of my way to break behavior that could lead to superstition. Probably the most I’ll do is let the lovely G know I’ve finished it. That’s about as ritualistic as I get.
11. Do you have a special time or place to write?
I have an office in our 1929 bungalow, but I tend to write wherever I can. One of the benefits of writing today is that you can bring a laptop or tablet practically anywhere and work. Location and time become less important.
12. Any funny experiences or quirks you’d like to share with your readers?
I wouldn’t call this the funniest, but I will tell you about one of the oddest. First, background: I began writing erotic romance a couple of years ago, and set up my accounts, what have you, to promote my work. Most of the literary friends I have knew about this creative endeavor, and wished me well, knowing that I was writing under an assumed name. I always felt it was an open secret. I never thought that I’d develop a readership that would suddenly e-mail me and say that somebody was using my identity. Or that I’d work on one thing under one name, and have another pen name bleed into that work. It has created an odd kind of schizophrenia.
13. How do you find the time to balance your writing and family life?
It’s not easy. The balance means clear communication. I schedule everything I do and try to keep to that schedule.
14. How much down-time do you take between books? Or do you just jump right into the next?
That can depend. For most of my fiction, it may not seem like I jump into the next book because I begin doing research or brainstorming through a newly formed idea. Those periods often look like down time, but in reality I’m fleshing out plot, creating characters, learning what my characters know, discovering the world they inhabit.
15. Do you have any interesting hobbies that you enjoy?
Most of the usual things. Movies. A little television. Reading way too much. Art galleries. I love travel, and need to do more of it. Photography. Conversation. And so on.
16. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
I’ve never been to Japan, and would love to see it at some point. I’d also love to go Eastern Europe, specifically Moscow, and would enjoy a tour of Europe.
17. What’s next on your agenda? Any new books in the works?
There always seem to be new books in the works. Some days I feel like the well will run dry at some point, and then three or four new ideas will leap at me. Mostly the challenge is finding the time to write them.
18. What advice would you give to others who want to make writing their career?
Honestly, don’t quit your dayjob. The odds are against you doing this full time—remember there are only four hundred professional writers in the United States. However, if you want to write, then do so. And keep at it. Perseverance will get you much farther than talent.
19. What authors inspire you?
Far too many to list, really, and I wouldn’t want to offer names because I’m afraid I’d leave somebody out.
20. What’s something unique about you that not many people might know?
I never learned to hold a pen or pencil properly.
21. Is there anything you would like to share about your writing and publishing experience that might inspire and support new and struggling writers?
If I were to offer any of my own experience, it would be simply this: keep every option open. Publishing has changed drastically in the last five years. When I began writing erotic romance, I never thought of e-publishing as a viable mode; today I know many who do it primarily. When I began writing, I had a good deal of reluctance at self-publishing your work; the barriers to that seem to have fallen. And I feel like promotion is necessary; I don’t think I’d sell anything at all if I didn’t learn some basic marketing techniques, from blogging to interviews. Try as many avenues as you can.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us here today! Now, inquiring minds need to know…where can your readers stalk you?