Marion G. Harmon, a former financial advisor in Las Vegas with advanced degrees in Literature and History started self publishing in 2011. Marion has gone on to create an exciting canon of superheroes with his Wearing the Cape series.
I was wondering where you get your story ideas?
All over, mostly from a lifetime of reading fantasy, sci-fi, and comics, and having the stories percolating in my head. Because I try and tie background to the real world, some of it is from contemporary events. Superhuman terrorists as supervillains, for example.
What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am mostly a pantser, or as I like to say, a “discovery writer.” I usually have some idea how I want a story to end and shoot in the general direction, refining as I go.
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
My muse points me in the direction she wants me to go, but I do find myself doing a fair bit of research as I write and I learn what details I’ll need to fill in.
What is your daily writing time like?
It’s all over the place, and something I really struggle with.
Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision? If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
I am a full time writer, and the factor that led to my decision was losing my job in stock-market crash of ’08. I decided to take a year off, work part-time, and write the book I always wanted to write. Then I self-published it and started on the next one.
Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or your self-publishing experiences?)
I can only tell you three things about self-publishing: a.) Make sure your story is polished and well-edited, b.) get a good cover and c.) Start selling your baby at $.99 per download on Amazon. When a lot of people have reviewed your baby and given it a good Amazon ranking, then you can start raising your rates. Four things: finish your second book, and your third, and your fourth. You’ll never go full-time on a single book or even two.
What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
My current titles are books 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Wearing the Cape Series: Wearing the Cape, Villains Inc., and Young Sentinels, and a side-story, Bite Me: Big Easy Nights, and the new Small Town Heroes. The books chronicle the life and adventures of young Hope Corrigan, aka Astra, a new superhero and member of the Chicago Sentinels.
Can you tell us about some of your other writing (fiction or nonfiction) and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
No other writing so far, and the only appearances and signings I do are at my tables at book festivals and comic cons so far.
As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
You’re going to suck until you get good, and you’re going to linger in obscurity until you get that first contract (or self-publish) and probably long after. So don’t plan on writing as a career; write until you’ve built a career.
Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?
Too many to name, but for everyone who asks that question I say: Barry Hughart and his masterpiece Bridge of Birds. Almost nobody knows about him, and everyone should.