In the very first of my author interviews, I speak to Marcus Lee — the author of the epic fantasy trilogy, The Gifted and The Cursed.
I read the first book in Marcus Lee’s trilogy, Kings and Daemons, almost a year ago now, when he reached out to me on Twitter. In my review, I described this book as “a fantastic read and is an incredible accomplishment for a first book.” (Read my review of Kings and Daemons here.)
Kings and Daemons is Marcus’s first novel, written during lockdown. The land has been corrupted by Daleth the Witch-King, who has ruled the kingdom for the last 50 years. He gains his magic and immortality from the suffering of others (something I haven’t come across in fantasy before!). Maya has the power to heal the world (and others), although this also takes a toll on her. Magic is banned, and so when Maya’s power is discovered, she is taken to see the Witch-King himself. On this journey, she meets Taran, a soldier who is hiding powers of his own.
I loved the series, and Marcus was one of the first people I reached out to about an interview — so I was very excited when he agreed! Read my interview with Marcus below.
Tell me about yourself — where do you live, your home life, your career, and your writing!
Have you always wanted to be an author? Did you write many books/stories before your first book was published?
Where do your ideas and inspiration come from?
The inspiration to complete this work came from a discussion with my son. We were talking about my late father who he had never met. The conversation covered legacies, and how there was so little passed on from generation to generation, and how soon everyone is forgotten. So, we came up with a plan for me to write a book for my son, for him to write one for his children, and so on, a tradition for every generation to follow. Then, in years to come, there’d be a bookshelf groaning with dozens of family written novels.
Which character in The Gifted and The Cursed series was your favourite to write?
I don’t honestly believe I had one favourite, which made the series so enjoyable to write. All the main characters gave something different, had a unique arc, and thus I was always excited to move on to the next POV. Throughout the tale the characters evolved, so in my eyes, they never got stale. Maya, for example, starts off as an innocent, easily manipulated peasant, to a badass, strong-willed heroine. Rakan evolves from evil incarnate and finds his way to the light. Kalas constantly strives to conquer his inner daemons (literally) and walks both paths of good and evil. I loved every single character regardless.
And what was the hardest part of the series to write?
What is your writing desk like? (if you have one!)
Do you have a writing routine? How do you plan and structure your books?
Have COVID and lockdowns changed your writing goals? I know that COVID inspired your writing career so I’d love to hear about that — it’s great to hear some positives to come out of the pandemic!
Why did you decide to go self-published? What was the process like?
What have people’s reactions been when you tell them that you are an author?
What is your favourite thing about being an author? What have been your favourite or most proud moments?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? (Either about writing or just life in general!)
Who are some of your favourite authors and bloggers?
As for bloggers, there are so many who have a place close to my heart. Honestly, if I started to write one, I’d have to have a list of at least 20. Maybe it is easier to simply say, everyone who joined Justine’s Whispers and Wonder book tour of Kings and Daemons was amazing.
Can you share one of your favourite quotes from one of your books?
I never said I could beat you, I said I could kill you, and they’re two entirely different things.
And finally, do you have further books planned – is there anything you can tell me about those?
I am 95% finished on the first book of my new trilogy. I decided to challenge myself and write in the first person, and in some ways I regret it, the transition was SO hard. Yet now I’m very happy I persevered and didn’t give up. It is once again a dark fantasy, bordering on grimdark. A tale of an assassin… yes it sounds familiar…. but I can assure you, this is very different and the story evolves in a way you really won’t see coming. It will have elements of High Fantasy that wasn’t really present in The Gifted and The Cursed. As you can see, I’m being somewhat vague… I haven’t even decided on a title for the trilogy yet, let alone the first book.
About the author, Marcus Lee
Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.
As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.
Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.
So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.
However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.
Who knows, now these creative juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.
Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and The Illiad as a seven-year-old. Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others.
You can learn more about Marcus on his website, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads to keep up with his latest news and releases. The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited (this is an affiliate link).
The Amazon links used here are affiliate links — I will receive a small commission from Amazon for any purchases you make. Thank you for supporting my website!