An ex-RPGer, old Goth, who likes living and laughing and telling stories. Many stories in many different worlds. That’s the curse of being a roleplayer (p&p) for 16 years. Now I’m writing and it’s a kind of methadone. Oh, of course, I wear black. It calms people around you – did I mention, that I am 1.89m tall?
Your latest novel, Righteous Fury, is published by Jo Fletcher Books. How would you introduce the novel to a potential reader? Is it part of a series? Is it connected to your previous novels?
When I started the Dwarves, I knew that my evil elves – called the Älfar – must have their own series. The idea of changing the perspective was very seductive for me. And, like the Emperor in Star Wars, I wanted to say to readers: come to the Dark Side. Look, we even have art and paintings and culture. Okay, we use bones and blood and other parts of our enemies, but, well, art is art. Playing the devil’s advocate was the challenge.
What inspired you to write the novel? And where do you draw your inspiration from in general?
I can’t stop writing, it’s the greatest thing for me. And black tea, because without black tea, the writing would happen more slowly. So, I find inspiration in almost everything – the trick is: be aware. Most people don’t think the same, or they have lost the special kind of view that most young children have. Creativity. Imagination.
I read lots of fairy tales, classic legends and stories like this. And I liked the old movies of the 30’s to the 50’s about classic heros, from Robin Hood to Sinbad, Errol Flynn, Maureen O’Hara, you name it. It was SO fantastic and a little bit too much. But I liked it. After reading many books, I found The Hobbit in the village library, and I saw that there is much more than fairy tales. And I started reading Conan, Elric, and the other classics.
How do you like being a writer and working within the publishing industry?
Before I could concentrate on writing novels, I was a jounalist for ten years in my small homecity. Writing again, you see? I like to be creative. I did some projects with other musicians, I did the libretto for a musical – I am addicted to it. And being a writer is the best thing. My publishing houses in Germany let me do whatever I want (hooray, huzzah, and thank you!), and some readers in other countries like what I write. Some people call this the jackpot. I would agree.
Do you have any specific working, writing, researching practices?
Black tea. I eliminate two litres a day of this magic brew, the hard stuff from Assam, with milk and sugar. Sometimes I make a chai (on my own, with all the spices) or an Earl Grey (like Capt. Picard, the most British French I’ve ever ever seen). And I need some music, mostly soundtracks, scores and classic songs without lyrics. And then: I write. Five pages a day keeps the deadline away. Oh, look, I made a wise rhyme. Research? Well, once I studied history, and THIS made me learn how to crawl through libraries and search for old books. In combination with the internet, it’s quite good.
I started at the age of 14 and wanted immediately to become an author. But when you get older, you realise that you need someone, who pays for your books. But… if not? You will die poor or have to sell some organs. So, I studied to become a teacher (no joke), but changed to a masters-degree. Because it’s cool to officially be a “master”. I worked as a journalist during the day, wrote my first books in my free-time. My first book was part one of The Dark Age, a fantasy setting in a tsarist world. It was published in 2002, in Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain. It had fans, too. I still like it very much.
What’s your opinion of the genre today, and where do you see your work fitting into it?
Don’t wait for the next trend – do your own thing and become the trend. If not, stay true to being a writer. Sure, I wrote about a very classic folk: the dwarves. But I started with a totally different world, wrote fantastic novels in the 20’s with dragons, old-school vampires, thrillers, were-beings, people who can talk to Death and many, many other subjects. Writing is freedom. I want to show the readers as many worlds I can. Some of them look familiar, some of them are completely new.
Are you kidding? After one novel is the before for a new novel or a project. At the moment, I’m writing Exkarnation 2, a novel, which will come out in Germany in August 2015. Then I start the work on the third novel about the 20’s and Dragons, after this I start work on a brand new fantasy world, to be released in fall 2016. And: in July 2015, I’m starting a small eBook-serial in a completely new world. Yes, I can’t help myself.
What are you reading at the moment (fiction, non-fiction)?
Nothing. Poor, I know, but I have to write!
What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?
That I can cook and am a dervish in the kitchen, but I hate do-it-yourself-work. This is true evil. Like popcorn and nachos in the theater while watching a film: Dolby Surround, yes, please, but not crunch ‘n’ munch. I mean: “I *crunch* am *crunch* your *munch-munch* fath- *crunchcrunch*” – this is hell! I would sign a petition for non-noisy-snacks in theatres. On the other hand, eat some nachos in the opera, and they will kill you. But I get wander from the point. Pardon me…
What are you most looking forward to in the next twelve months?
How the readers will react to the eBook serial. I guess there’s a new thing in it that will surprise most people. At least, I hope so.
Markus Heitz‘s Righteous Fury is published in the UK and US by Jo Fletcher Books (who organized this interview and provided a copy for review – coming soon). The novel is published in Heitz’s native Germany as Die Legenden der Albae: Gerechter Zorn by Piper Verlag, who publish many of his other books. The German cover is to the right.
Here’s the English-language synopsis:
The elves, dwarves and humans all know the älfar to be dark, relentless warriors. This is their time.
In Dson Faïmon, the realm of the älfar, the warriors are planning a military campaign. Caphalor and Sinthoras are looking to enlist a powerful demon to strengthen their army – but the two älfar have very different goals. While Caphalor is determined to defend the borders of their empire and no more, the ambitious Sinthoras is intent on invasion: and he has the kingdoms of dwarves, elves and men firmly in his sights.