Saturday, June 1, 2013

Interview with TJ Marshall

Five lucky ducks won an interview during my cover reveal party for A Ranger's Tale. If you missed it, I'm sorry for you. We had a blast!

Now, let's be nosy and discover more about the winners. My second victim interviewee is TJ Marshall, who's been here enough to know the ropes!

Welcome, TJ! Tell us about where you live and what you do there.

First of all, thank you Mysti for another great opportunity.  I love that you do these interviews. 

I’m a career Soldier, currently stationed in FT Hood, TX.  However, that’s about to all change since I am retiring next year. I plan to stay in Texas, but it’s going to be interesting to see what I end up doing. On my off time, I do a lot of writing and also make custom-designed dream catchers.

I see from THIS Facebook page, that you've got a an exciting fantasy book coming out soon! For those inquiring readers out there, tell us a little about it and when we can expect to see it in print.
One of TJ Marshall's Dreamcatchers

That would be Finder’s Tome.  It’s the story of Jacob “Feather” Moore, a turnip farmer’s son, who comes across a magical book only he can read.  Because of this, he is forced to leave his home in search of an artifact called Mandrake’s Key.  Pursued by knights, elves and an evil wizard, Feather must close the Deadly Gates before the equinox  and the arrival of the deadly Army of Trolls. 

Since you began writing, has anything surprised you about the process?

This being my first novel, I think the biggest surprises came when characters seemed to just pop out of the woodwork, demanding their fifteen words of fame. One character in particular, Gerald Moore, Jacob’s father, was originally only to have a bit part during the beginning of the story. However, through the process of working out plots and subplots, Gerald became a major character who is integral to the story.

What are some of your favorite books?

My all-time favorite book is The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.  It was the first full-sized novel I read and has been a big influence on my writing.  I also enjoy Stephen King, Douglas Adams, Dan Brown and James Patterson among many others. 

Are there any books you hated so much you could use as kindling?

Ha! I think the only book I have ever started reading that I couldn’t finish was Twilight.  I live in a household consisting of all girls and they just love the series.  I picked up the first book, read maybe three chapters before I had to put it away.

If you could be any character in any book, who would it be?

That’s a really hard question because there are so many great characters out there.  I did used to fantasize about being Gandalf as a child because of his magical abilities. But as an adult, I really liked the idea of Robert Ludlam’s Jason Borne.  

Quick: Grab the nearest book, give us the Title/Author/Opening Line!

Um, ok. Hold on… Here we go.  It’s Crow’s Hill by LM Fields. “I had never noticed the seasons before.”

Random Question! Would you rather...have an ordinary home in an extraordinary place OR have an extraordinary home in an ordinary place?

Yeah, that is random.  Um, I would have to say an ordinary home in an extraordinary place.  I’ve never put a whole lot on having a large or unique home. But if I lived in an extraordinary place… just think of the inspiration that could come from just observing it.

I have to agree with that answer! Stick me in a one-room shack on a Hawaiian beach, and I'll be a happy gal. Thanks for being such a trooper, TJ, and I wish you a ton of success!


  1. Hi TJ, nice interview. I agree, characters do take on a life of their own. I guess that's what writing is all about.

    Finder's Tome is a good book. Lots of luck with it.


    1. Thanks Leo. I doubt I would have stuck with it as long had you not been there cheering me on. Thanks again.

  2. Hi TJ, fabulous intern of mine,

    I read snippets of your novel during the creation stage so I know some of the characters and the basic plot, but the details you shared today intrigue the heck out of me. A lot has changed in a year, making me even more excited to read the final version.

    Whatever you decide to do next year, I know you'll do it with passion, openness, and diligence. :)

    1. Hi Von, my magnificent mentor.

      I'm happy your intrigued by my book. Hopefully it will be published soon and I can share it with everyone. Wouldn't that be a cool?

  3. Hi TJ,

    I loved the answers to Mysti's questions. James Patterson is also a fav of mine. Characters rule the story. You plan for one to be a minor and like you said the character ends up being planted as a main focus. Wishes for great success.

    1. Hey Julie,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Some of my characters really have loud mouths that just can't be ignored. Thanks for the wishes.

  4. Thanks Mysti for this great opportunity. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully next time I'm on here, it will be to announce my book's actually published. See ya later!

  5. wonderful interview, TJ - and I am now officially intrigued about your forthcoming book!
    - judy

    1. Judy!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting. I can't wait to get this project done so everyone can read it. See ya later!

  6. What an awesome interview, and what an honor that my book was right there by your side! I am so excited for you and just finished reading five of your chapters today! So glad to be part of this with you. Cograts TJ! You deserve so much. Loved your last answer by the way and I too am right there with you. With an extraordinary surrounding, you can build a new home anyway and may an extraordinary home... something truly out of this world. Creativity was never meant to be put in a box. Til later!

    Hugs from Linda (LM Fields)

    1. Thanks a lot Linda,

      Your comments mean a lot to me. You've had a big hand in giving my story life and I can never thank you enough. Talk to you later!

  7. TJ, thanks for giving us more of an insight into that dark little mind of yours!! ;)

    Thanks for picking TJ's brain and giving us the opportunity to get to know him even better.

    I wish you both the very best in anything and everything in life.

    1. Jess!

      Dark little mind? Hmm, maybe so. But my innermost secrets will never be revealed Mwuahaha!! :) Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

  8. Joyce Hertzoff/MumJune 2, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    TJ, I'm so glad you made Gerald a major character in your book! And I love that dreamcatcher.

    Great interview, Mysti and TJ.



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