Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Interview: Marc. E. Hopkins

Marc Hopkins has two e-books currently published: What killed Jonathon Harnish?(Amazon, B&N, Smashwords) was his first creation followed by Perspective: The Portrayal of Esther Joy White (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords). Follow him on Twitter or like his Facebook Page. What killed Jonathon Harnish? is a suspence thriller novel that has recieved 7 five star reviews on Amazon.Perspective: The Portrayal of Esther Joy White is a womans fiction novel that has also recieved high-rated reviews on Amazon. 

Now, the interview...

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
Marc: First and foremost, I am the father of three children, a twenty something son Garrett, and two teenage daughters, Gabby, and Gretchen. I am also the Scout Master of Troop 170 in Decatur, MI. serving since 2000. I am very proud to say that thirteen scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout since I took over.

Me: Your books are certainly unique. What inspired you to write them?
Marc: Thank you.
I lost my job of nineteen years at the end of 2008 and went back to a local community college to take some classes. I met author Michael Collins (http://www.michaelcollinsauthor.com), showed him some of my poetry and took every class he was teaching. He made it clear that he was willing to help anyone who wanted to write fiction. I went home and hammered out about forty pages of ‘What Killed Jonathon Harnish?’ and gave it to him. He read it, then; told me to go home and finish my novel. A month later it was done.
About a year after Harnish, I began writing a dark mystery set in a fictional town in Montana. I knew writing something as dark and unnerving as a book like ‘What Killed Jonathon Harnish?’ that I could easily be dismissed as ‘that writer’ the one that writes novels only about psychosis.  So I set that project a side and went to work on, what in time became “Perspective: The Portrayal of Esther Joy White.”
I could not have asked for better luck meeting Michael Collins and having him as a mentor in this business.

Me: Which of your two books were the hardest to write? And why?
Marc: I’m not sure I would use the word hard, but ‘Perspective…’ was certainly more challenging. Being male, and narrating a novel in a first person female voice making it believable for readers, is what I knew I needed to do in order to put the book out. It took some serious prep work to learn the little differences in how men and women speak. Then it was a matter of making sure as I wrote that my characters didn’t fall back into that voice that makes them sound as if they were written by a male.
I took it one step further when I made Shelly (Esther’s girlfriend) British. I wanted her to have a certain flare and I couldn’t achieve that with her being from the states.

Me: Have you always wanted to write? When did it start?
Marc: I’m not sure that I would use the word “always” but looking back I have always been a scribbler. I have notebook with me almost everywhere I go, just incase I need to jot something down to write about later.
It’s been about twelve years since I began writing and ten years since I muttered the words “I want to write a book.” It started with poetry and I was surprised as anyone when I began writing it. For almost two years poetry was all I wrote and loved to write it.

Me: Both of your novels are only in Kindle ebook format. Any plans on going paperback?
Marc: Absolutely, Yes!
Here’s why they are only ebooks for now, I did what I was suppose to with “What Killed Jonathon Harnish?”, I wrote and polished a query letter then spent a year emailing and sending it out to agents. I pitched the novel to nearly two hundred twenty-five agents and publishers. I will do the same with Perspective.
The thing that has changed in the last half decade is the revolution of the ebook. It allows writer’s access to readers, (which can get them a following) in a fashion that they never had before. But I will definitely be pitching “Perspective” to agents after the first of the year.
That being said however; via Smashword.com they are available in every format not just Kindle:
Online Reading (HTML, JavaScript), Kindle (.mobi), Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks), Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo (and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing), RTF (readable on most word processors), LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub), Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices), Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)

Me: Are you planning on releasing anything new in the year ahead?
Marc: I have two more novels planned for release in 2012. I am working now on finishing my Montana mystery and have also just begun another twisted ‘who done it?’ set in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Me: Got some advice for fellow writers?
Marc: Yes. Write! Advice is great but it is just that. It is someone else’s idea about what you should be doing.
Here’s my two cents 
  •   If you are not writing you should be reading. No one can perfect their craft without becoming an expert in the field they are trying to find success in. Writing is an art. Getting a book or anything published is a fulltime job. The work begins as soon as you type your first word. From revising, to editing, perfecting queries and pitching your project, one needs to learn everything they can about how to be a successful author. It is all work and it doesn’t pay off until every aspect of the job is done. If you don’t accept that, and don’t have a thick skin and the ability to accept rejection and ridicule of your work, maybe becoming published isn’t what you should be doing.
  • Social networking while ultimately important (for reasons I have yet to grasp) will not make you a great writer and, may in fact; keep you from becoming one.
  • Finally, I’m a big in believing that not all stories have to have a ‘moral’, I do think that subplot is as important to a story as the plot. If you are going to weave a message into a story, the good ones never sound preachy.

Quick-fire questions:

Me: Fork or Spoon?
Marc: In a perfect world would have to be the ‘Spork’. In my humble opinion it is the invention of the century. If the Spork is not available then I’ll take a fork. The spoon is a waste of time. In almost any situation you can always drink straight out of the bowl.
Me: Dinner or Dessert?
Marc: Both always both
Me: Summer or Winter?
Marc: Summer
Me: Vampire or Werewolf? 
Marc: Lycans! Vampires are a sucker’s bet.
Me: Fast food or home-cooked meals?
Marc: Fast food is for people that don’t know what real food is I despise it. I do, occasionally enjoy a Whopper though. As a Classically Trained Chef I put out a pretty mean spread and I do ‘rock it’ on the grill, so definitely home-cooked meals.


  1. Great interview! I happen to know Marc personally and he is a very interesting guy. I am amazed at how different his two novels are. Once I started reading the first one, I was hooked. Then when his second one came out, I was caught up from the beginning. If I didn't know better I would have thought it was written by a female. I look forward to reading anything written by Marc, it is bound to be a great read!
    Thank you, Marc, for the great entertainment! I recommend his books to all!

  2. Thanks! Marc is an interesting person and a good writer, it's nice that you know him personally. :-)


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