I have another great author for y’all to meet today! I gushed about his fiction debut last month (check it out here) and I’m super excited to have him here on Books and Beverages! Besides 4 Questions, I asked a few about the book, so enjoy! And be sure to enter to win a copy of Feast for Thieves!
Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional writer known internationally for his books and literary collaborations with high-profile public figures, humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military personnel. He has authored or coauthored more than 25 books.
Notable works include We Who Are Alive and Remain, a New York Times bestseller, A Company of Heroes, which ranked No. 1 in the country among World War II/ Western Front books, and the widely-acclaimed Shifty’s War. Marcus’ debut historical novel, Feast For Thieves, released on September 1, 2014.
Born in Canada in 1968, Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical education and journalism from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree in practical theology and writing from Talbot Seminary at Biola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with high honors. Marcus lives with his wife and children in Washington State.
You’ve written several non-fiction books set during WWII, what brought about the idea of not only fiction, but post-WWII as well?
I have a strong respect for nonfiction, and it continues to be my bread and butter today. But I think every writer dreams of writing the Great American Novel.
With FEAST FOR THIEVES, I had this idea for a book brewing inside my gut for about two years.
The main character was based off of a real life person named Skinny Sisk, an incorrigible paratrooper from WWII who later became a preacher.
I was fascinated with this idea: here’s a man used to solving his problems with his rifle or his fists—what kind of wild-hearted minister would this man make?
How different was writing Feast for Thieves than your other works?
With nonfiction, I’m always tied to a story as it happened—and that can be good if the story is strong to begin with.
With fiction, an author needs to create everything. The plot, the pacing, the dialogue, the action.
Fiction was this big blank canvas that let me be as absolutely free as I could be.
So what’s next? Please tell me there is more Rowdy!!! Please!! 🙂
I hope so too.
FEAST FOR THIEVES works as a standalone book—it’s satisfying as is. Yet there are also big opportunities to continue these characters and show how they progress through the next stage of life.
As is common with a debut novel, the publisher is waiting to see how sales do before giving the go-ahead with a sequel. So, we can all keep our fingers crossed.
What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
The amazing range of people I get to work with in my work as a journalist and collaborative writer.
I’ve worked with everybody from university chancellors and well-known pastors to professional athletes, military heroes, and fashion bloggers. Just a few weeks back, as part of a book project, I attended a closed, private practice for the Seattle Seahawks, last year’s Super Bowl champions.
That type of diversity builds a real richness into my life, I’d say. I’m very grateful for it.
What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
When I first started writing professionally, I was working for a newspaper, and I was a pretty decent writer who wanted to write a great novel back then, just like everybody else.
I figured that if I just sat down at the computer and started typing, then the next great novel would flow out of me.
I was quite wrong about that, and ended up scribbling down and then throwing away 3 and a half “learning” novels first over the next 14 years.
So, I wish I would have read all the “how to” books sooner, which I eventually did.
The “how to” books are incredibly helpful at teaching a good writer the specifics of the craft—how to start with a bang, how to create power and poignancy in all the write places, how to create a story over a three-act structure.
What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
My wife and I were driving back from dinner with friends recently, and our kids were in the minivan with us.
It was just sort of a basic moment in life, not thunderstruck at all, yet something pressed me about how perfect the moment was.
I thought, “Here I am in a city I enjoy, working at a job I feel purpose in, surrounded by my wife and children, the people I love the most. Life is good.”
What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
How our personal stories intersect a larger story. The larger story starts with a babe in a straw ox manager and reaches its pinnacle with three men crucified on jagged wooden crosses.
The man on the cross in the middle is innocent, and as he’s dying he offers a feast to the two thieves on either side of him, a feast of extravagant grace and blessing.
That same offering is spread out today like a banquet on a table. We’re invited to come and dine, the feast is all ours.
Thank you so much Marcus for taking the time to share! This is truly one of my favorite series to have here on the blog.
I hope you readers loved it as much as I did! And guess what? The lovely folks at Side Door Communications are partnering with me to give away his debut fiction novel, Feast for Thieves. Just enter below! (Contest for US or Canadian residents).