The only thing that I would like to to say is read this... Thanks Marcus for taking the time out of your hectic jet- setting life to do this Q&A, you are an inspiration to us all!
Who is Marcus Alexander?
Me. Big, bald and ugly but hopefully making up for my shortcomings with a passion for life, adventure and adrenaline.
Tell us about the Keeper of the Realms series?
KOTR is a fantasy adventure that follows the dark path of Charlie Keeper as she struggles to survive the attacks of her foes and the betrayals of those she foolishly presumed to be close to her. And even though she doesn’t stand a chance against all that confronts her she continues to use her will and common sense to claw her way forwards.
Bellania is a realm of dragons, twisted giants, greedy daemons, blind mercenaries and assassins spun from shadow. (Heh. What kind of fantasy series would this be without these?)
If you could have superpowers, what would they be?
Don’t smack me for this but I’d have to go with…immortality! The idea of extending my life so I could really go out there and chase everything, try everything, be everything sounds amazing. (I know our lifespans offer a lot of opportunity but I’m a greedy boy when it comes to living life.)
If you could change one aspect about the world, what would it be?
Balance. There should be more balance or at least a little less greed and a more awareness of consequences.
How much influence does art/travel have on your writing?
Travel has everything to do with my writing! When I was a young teenager I used to devour books. For real I used to read a book a day then get upset with bookstores when I had consumed everything on their fantasy and sci-fi shelves. But it was reading all the adventures of these heroes and heroines that inspired me to go off and seek my own. I started travelling the UK at 14, Europe at 16, then off to the rest of the world at 18.
Sandboarding in the Sahara, fighting in the Golden Triangle, climbing across frozen waterfalls in the Khumbu Glacier…and now that I’ve had all these manic adventures, now that I’ve chased my fears and lived for adrenaline these in turn have inspired me to turn full circle and start writing my own stories.
(And for my young peeps out there who have not yet thought to start travelling remember that if you stay at home your mind will reflect the small environment that you’re in. If you want to grow, to really expand knock down all the boundaries that stand in your way and travel the world like you only live once…)
If you could own one item, that you don't already own now, what would it be?
A tour bus so I could take my crew snowboarding and chase fresh powder all season long. Yum*
Or if realism and budget was truly no option…a spaceship! (For some truly epic travelling and adventure. No doubt said spaceship would come with a truly momentous soundtrack, oh-so-fine intergalactic uniforms and 1970s inspired control centre.)
What would you say that would encourage more children to read?
Too many adults offer nice solutions and reasons to read but such an approach doesn’t always work. So when I talk to young students about reading I offer reality and the repercussions of what they can expect if they don’t get to grips with their books.
Sure, if you don’t read you might be able to go out there and carve yourself a slice of life but it’ll always be a small slice and you’ll never maximise your potential.
You’ll never be all that you could be.
If you don’t read you’ll never make as much money as you could.
If you don’t read you’ll never have as many options as you should.
If you don’t read you’ll never earn as much respect as you desire.
If you don’t read you’ll never build that ability to think outside the box or develop the brightest of imaginations.
I’m a big believer in dreams and it’s one of the themes that I always push the most during author events. Dreams could and should be fulfilled. But dreams never come easy, dreams have to be earned. And for me, as soon as I can illustrate this point to students, as soon as I can get them to see that their dreams will only come to light through hard work and diligence that I can then get them to see books and reading as a building block for their ambitions.
‘Read more, play more, do more and chase life with a furious appetite.’
If you were to meet the infamous Banksy, what would the topic of conversation be?
If we could shoot the breeze for a couple of minutes I’d love to know how many times he’s been busted? And I’d be fascinated to know what tips and tricks he has to avoid detection?
What gives you an adrenaline rush?
Fear! Being on that razor edge between control and total wipeout really does it for me.
What makes your school events the 'talk of the town'?
I’m a breaker of stereotypes, a shatterer of preconceptions and a believer in dreams. I show students that they can take what they love and on the provision that they work hard, that they rely on common sense to overcome obstacles and always pick themselves up when they fall then they can achieve all that they desire.
How cool is cool? How cool are you?
Man, I can’t answer that! In fact if you find anyone fool enough to big themselves up for being über cool give me a shout and I’ll come over there and shake my head woefully in their general direction.
Have you ever been mistaken for somebody else? If so, who?
Nope. Too bald, too ugly.
Is there anything that you would like to share with us?
Books rockthaspot but every once in a while you’ve got to put them down, get out there and take whatever inspired you between those pages and make it happen. Forget living a little.
Live a lot.
Librarian Problems? Not any more! Videos for Reluctant Readers, Young Writer's Tips & a huge collection of literacy inspired posters to pimp your library with! All available here: http://whoischarliekeeper.com/library-resources