- A reader, writer, and dreamer who conjures up worlds of epic fantasy.
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Mark Timmony was born in Sydney, Australia. Never much of a sporty child, Mark had a keen interest in reading and was an enthusiastic member of the book club at school. But he didn’t discover fantasy fiction until he found “The Dragons of Autumn Twilight” by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in the school library.
As an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, Mark worked for a number of years as a genre specialist bookseller in Sydney. During this time he met many Australian fantasy authors – Karen Miller, Tony Shillitoe, and Jennifer Fallon, to name a few – and he even had the honour of being a beta-reader for a number of them. This unique position offered him a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ of novel writing and went a long way in giving him hands-on experience in story structure, character development, and worldbuilding, as well as offering insights into the business side – publishing and retail – of writing.
When Mark isn’t reading, or writing, he’s likely working at Australia’s local bookstore (or playing World of Warcraft).
Mark, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Honestly, it would have to be a cat. I find dogs to be way too needy… although now I think of it, maybe a dire wolf. That’d be cool.
But yeah, a cat. Cats are my go-to.
There’s a reason they’re a classic!
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write epic fantasy and some sci-fi. I discovered fantasy fiction around eleven years of age when I entered the library of a new school and saw the novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. A whole new world opened up for me. It was as though someone had taken all the daydreams out of my head and put them onto the page. I was enthralled and read every fantasy book I could get my hands on. I haven’t stopped. This passion led to a desire to write stories like the ones I was reading, and I started drawing my own maps and worldbuilding while I was in my final years of high school.
What a great starting point!
What do you like to read?
I may have mentioned it already but I quite like reading epic fantasy novels. They aren’t all that I read, but they do make up the main thrust of my reading. From Dragon Lance, I progressed to From there, Mark embarked on to the works of Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert, and of course, Robert Jordan. I also read science fiction and contemporary fiction – some non-fiction historical books. But mostly epic fantasy.
It’s good to know what you like!
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
I tend not to follow writing advice. I remember being told that I have to write consistently, to set aside hours of time to immerse myself in the process. But I found early on – when I started making headway on my first draft – that I write best in bursts, or sprints, that last for 30 minutes at a time. As long as I can get 5 pages done a day using this method, I am happy.
Ummmm, targeting pages instead of a time frame and writing 5 pages a day still counts as writing consistently!
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
Create first, edit later.
Actually, this is a piece of advice that I do follow – or try to – and that is, your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s easier to edit a bad page than it is to edit a blank one!
The other piece of advice I cling to comes from Sir Terry Pratchett, and that is that the first draft is the writer telling themself the story. I think that’s a really important idea to get your head around when you embark on this crazy profession.
As a NaNoWriMo regular, you know I’m on board with this one.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Two brothers. One prophecy. A world on the edge of destruction… or salvation.
Living in the dangerous Borderland Wilds, Kaiel and Darien have supported each other and looked after their fragile mother for as long as they can remember. Honing his skills to protect his home, Kaiel has trained to become a Daemon Hunter while Darien has immersed himself in the study of Asai, learning to wield the energies of creation.
But the broken continent of Athmay still bears the scars of the war between the Summoners some three thousand years ago, and an unexpected battle with a daemon – a remnant of that ancient war – reveals the brothers’ connection to a forbidden bloodline. Soon Kaiel and Darien find themselves on the run from people they have known all their lives who now want them dead. For prophecy tells that when the Daemon Queen returns a Summoner will rise to face her and destroy the world anew.
With daemonic hordes in pursuit and half the world against them, the brothers and their friends need to find a way to escape the bonds of prophecy without losing themselves, and the world, in the process.
The Eye of Eternity series is an epic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time or Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives.