Meet Samuel Marquis: Best-Selling Author & Supporter of Indie Authors!
A little bio information. . .
A Colorado native, I am a professional hydrogeologist and scientific expert witness who has recently stumbled upon becoming a #1 Denver Post bestselling, award-winning historical fiction author. My most recent books include my pirate novel Blackbeard: The Birth of America, my World War Two Series (Bodyguard of Deception, Altar of Resistance, and Spies of the Midnight Sun coming in June 2018), and the Nick Lassiter-Skyler International Espionage Series (The Devil’s Brigade, The Coalition, and The Fourth Pularchek). I work by day as a VP-Principal Hydrogeologist with an environmental consulting firm in Boulder, CO, and by night as a spinner of historical suspense yarns. My thrillers have been Award Winners for the Foreword Book of the Year Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards, and Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and Award-Winning Finalists for the American Book Fest Best Book Awards, USA Best Book Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards, and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I am an avid downhill skier and lacrosse player (I played in the 2014 Lacrosse World Games), and I enjoy literary and commercial fiction as well as non-fiction books on the Golden Age of Piracy (the swashbuckler Captain Kidd is my ancestor), Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the current War on Terror. These historical subjects inevitably find their way into my suspense novels.
Best of luck to all Indies! May the Force be with us all!
His latest release. . .
The Interview. . .
1. Blackbeard: The Birth of America is your first pirate novel. What inspired you to write a pirate novel?
Years ago, my literary agent wanted me to do a book on Blackbeard, but my WWII and international espionage books swallowed up my time and I was never able to get around to it. But I continued to read up on the legendary privateer-turned-pirate for several years and knew how I wanted to write the book. In August 2017, I returned to Ocracoke, NC, for a summer vacation—the place where Blackbeard died in one of the most epic battles of the Golden Age of Piracy three hundred years ago in 1718—and looking out onto Pamlico Sound, where he fought for his life against the British Royal Navy, I decided then and there to write the novel that had been in my head for years.
2. How does your book on the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death uniquely portray his story, and what was his real name?
What makes Blackbeard: The Birth of America unique is its historical accuracy, which comes from the fact that it is a detailed synthesis of the latest research on the notorious sea rover, whose real name was Edward Thache. My depiction is based upon reliable historical records and the research findings from the last two decades from eminently qualified Blackbeard and pirate experts David Moore of the Queen Anne’s Revenge project, Arne Bialuschewski, Kevin Duffus, Angus Konstam, Colin Woodard, Baylus Brooks, David Cordingly, Marcus Rediker, Mark Hanna, Benerson Little, and others. The book was reconstructed scene-by-scene from not only from deed, marriage, and death records, court transcripts, and first- and second-hand accounts in British, French, Jamaican, and North and South American archives, but from a synthesis of the most plausible arguments put forward regarding the character and motivations of Blackbeard by this new generation of historical experts. As Colin Woodard, author of The Republic of Pirates states: “In recent years, researchers have dug up new evidence, buried in the archives of England, France and the Americas, or beneath the sands of the American coast, allowing them to piece together a fuller and extremely compelling picture of Blackbeard and his cohorts, one that shows him to have been a canny strategist, a master of improvisation, a showman, a natural leader and an extraordinary risk taker.” My novel is the story of that Blackbeard, a story that has been lost to us in a “fog of legend, myth and propaganda” for three hundred years.
3. It’s fascinating that you’re the ninth great-grandson of Captain Kidd. How has that relationship influenced your perspective and research on pirates?
Most of all, the ancestral connection to Captain Kidd has made me want to strive for historical accuracy because the Golden Age of Piracy and pirates like Kidd and Blackbeard have been inaccurately portrayed in books, movies, and television. Historians, authors, and filmmakers are going to have different interpretations of character and motivation, but they should never purposefully deviate from the established historical facts. In Blackbeard: The Birth of America, I have strived for historical accuracy and there is not a single character in the book that is not based on an actual historical figure (with the exception of a quartermaster to a secondary pirate captain, whose name is unknown). I owe it to my ancestor Captain Kidd to get pirate stories right.
4. Now that we’re 300 years away from Blackbeard’s death, what do you think the most commonly held misinformation is on his life?
That he was a violent, murderous cutthroat and villain. My book is dedicated to Blackbeard and the dedication says it best: “For the real Blackbeard—who has been maligned, co-opted, exploited, and misrepresented as a ruthless villain and sociopathic cutthroat in the name of propaganda and profit for three centuries now. May ye rest in peace.” The truth is that probably half of the things attributed to Blackbeard are completely wrong—and my book goes out of the way to correct these errors, or at least not include them. For instance, the image of Edward Thache as a cruel and ruthless villain was largely created by propagandist newspaper accounts in London and America, the British Board of Trade, colonial governors like Alexander Spotswood, and Captain Charles Johnson’s (Nathanial Mist’s) A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, first published in 1724 six years after Blackbeard’s death. In truth, Blackbeard never killed a single person until the day he was attacked by the British Royal Navy and was forced to cross swords with Lieutenant Maynard and his crew. Unlike my ancestor Captain Kidd, whom famous pirate writer-illustrator Howard Pyle said should be “relegated to the dull ranks of simply respectable people,” Blackbeard has attained a mythical status. Yet, he is perhaps the most misunderstood and historically misrepresented of all the sea captains who went on the account in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Blackbeard: The Birth of America aims to correct that.
5. How will readers of your other books connect with Blackbeard, your first pirate story?
All my books are historical fiction-suspense novels with multiple point of view characters from diverse backgrounds and a high degree of historical detail and authenticity—and Blackbeard: The Birth of America is no different. Readers who enjoy my books will like this book, maybe even more since it is pure history. I believe they will also enjoy the book because it tells the story of the birth of America and one of the first American revolutionaries in the War of Independence against the British Crown.
6. Who are your greatest literary influences?
In terms of literature and literary fiction, I am a great admirer of Hawthorne, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Steinbeck, A.B. Guthrie, Jr., Michael Shaara, Larry McMurtry, E.L. Doctorow, and Charles Frazier. For non-fiction my roster of greats includes Erik Larson, Robert Utley, Stephen Ambrose, Kevin Duffus, Shelby Foote, Ben Macintyre, S.C. Gwynne, and Hampton Sides. My favorite commercial fiction writers are Frederick Forsyth, Gore Vidal, James Clavell, Dennis Lehane, Barry Eisler, Daniel Silva, Preston and Child, Ken Follett, Stephen Hunter, and Richard North Patterson. I tend to gravitate towards authors who tell stories in the same way I do and to subject matter dealing with my areas of research interest in the Golden Age of Piracy, WWII, and modern-day espionage.