“A dark, comical acid trip with death as your guide.” An outstanding job on mixing everyday life with the unknown. An enjoyable read filled with humor and emotion. You will surely enjoy the trip. -My review of Death Dresses Poorly
Another outstanding author that has done me the gracious pleasure of answering my random questions about writing. Here is Marc Watson.
Why do you write?
The short, sexy writer answer is that I write to get the stories in my head into your hands so that we can go on this journey together. The more realistic answer is that I get bored easily and need to fill the time. The truth is somewhere in between.
What do you get out of it?
There is a certain satisfaction to having my written creation be something that someone else wants to willingly consume, which is a fantastic feeling.
I also enjoy showing my kids that their latent abilities, whatever they may be, can turn into something. I could always write, and as time went on I found a way to get those words out there. It didn’t have to be a passion that died on the vine when I was in high school or started out on my own.
Where do you see it going?
For now, likely no farther than it already has. I’m in what I consider a sweet spot right now. I can write in my own time, and I can write what I want, and maybe once a year I can have something published, and if I don’t then that’s fine too. I like going at my own pace and being beholden to no one, and it’s terribly freeing to say that. I always say that I never want this to be my career, and that remains true, but I also can’t speak for the future so who knows.
Is writing what you thought it would be?
Writing is. The writing WORLD isn’t. Writing comes pretty naturally to me. I don’t tend to suffer from writer’s block or go through bouts of non-creativity, but the beast I perceived the writing world to be is so much more complex, while also being so much easier and less intimidating. Things I thought would be hard turned out to be simple, and simple things became varied and different and more than I ever expected.
What have you found beneficial in writing?
When I first really started to get into it, I was working a labor job that, although it was great and I worked with wonderful people, it wasn’t terribly mentally stimulating. Writing was a great way to get lost for 45 minutes at lunch, and it was really refreshing.
As time has gone on, although I still have the love and passion for it, the “benefits” aren’t so much benefits now as they are simply just a part of my life. Writing is freeing, I’m learning more and more about the industry all the time, and my work has been quite well received so far. These are all great, but now it’s just a part of who I am, and that’s ok too.
What has been a deterrent in your writing experience?
The answer to this questions is always time. I’m a busy father of two, who enjoys a lot of things outside of the writing world. I have a wonderful wife I enjoy spending time with, and I have a full time job I enjoy. The actual amount of writing I can get done in a given week is disgustingly small, because I can really only do it at work during my lunch break.
That said, I’m not complaining, because it’s all by choice. If I wanted to try and write more, I possibly could but something I likely love more would suffer. I can’t write at home because if I’m at home, there’s three other people that deserve my time rather than sitting in front of a keyboard. Once the kids go to bed, I couldn’t write a coherent story if my life depended on it. I created this structure, so I’m not complaining about it, but by definition it is still a deterrent to writing.
Do you think writing as a career will continue to grow?
Only as much as I want it to. I set goals. I achieve them. Then I set more. It’s an ever-moving target. Naturally, everything I do moves the needle. Would it be nice to suddenly be a million-selling author? Sure, but it’s likely going to happen by chance since I won’t be striving for that goal. Growth is natural so long as we continue to pursue something. If the growth stops, even if it’s just a small amount, then it’s time to stop doing whatever it is that has stagnated. If you really, REALLY wanted to do it, you wouldn’t need a kick in the ass.
What was an unexpected surprise or experience you had while writing?
One time when I was writing Catching Hell I ate my first KFC Double-Down sandwich. I was shocked to discover that the fried chicken bun actually used the Colonel’s Original Recipe breading instead of the bland breading used for their Big Crunch, which was a welcome surprise.
Everything outside of that has pretty much gone to plan.
What was a disappointment or struggle during your writing career?
My biggest struggle (other than finding the time as mentioned above) has been discovering that sometimes I just don’t want to write something, or I feel that I can’t.
I have a WIP going that’s easily 2/3rds done, but I’ve just sat on it for years because in my heart of hearts I don’t think I’m good enough to write the proper ending. I’m at the point now where I’ve just accepted that it will come when it comes and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve written other stories and worked on other manuscripts and the words have flowed just fine, so I know it’s not my writing that’s suffering, just my confidence in that particular story. I won’t give up on it, but I never, ever force writing either. I guess we’ll all just see what happens.
What are you looking forward to going into the upcoming year?
Being able to actually see people and get out and participate in things again seems pretty tempting right now, that’s for sure.
I admittedly have been pretty militant about following our COVID protocols, sometimes to the dismay of friends and family. If an order goes out, I’ve followed it to the letter. Now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and restrictions are lifting. My kid’s extracurricular activities are starting again, and we’re planning on seeing family and friends again soon, as rules allow. Returning to that normalcy is basically all I want right now, because I know how much it means to those I love.
As for a writing answer to that question? Nothing. I just keep on keepin’ on.
Do you have any closing thoughts?
Only that I hope you and everyone out there is doing well, being smart, and keeping it together. These are strange and difficult times, so whatever it means to you: be a hero.
How was recording your first novel into an audio book?
Oh my god it was so much fun! Death Dresses Poorly is an incredibly personal story for me, not because I relate to it directly or anything, but the two main characters are very much looking-glass versions of me. To be able to stand there in front of a mic and really become Ethan and Death was just so magical and cathartic and satisfying.
Now, a part of me says the only reason I did this is because I get bored easily and I wanted to learn how, and another part of me said I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay someone more talented than me to do it, but in the end the biggest truth was that I didn’t completely trust this work to anyone else. These two jerks are just me, and I believed the only way to convey that was to get into my own studio (it’s a closet…), strap on those earphones, and swear into a microphone for hours. I may not be able to write at home, but this? This was easy as pie, and I really hope that love and passion I have for the story comes through. I can neither confirm nor deny that at some point tears were shed.