Samuel Marquis YouTube Book Trailers and TV Appearances (Altar of Resistance, Bodyguard of Deception, Blind Thrust, The Coalition, and The Devil’s Brigade): http://ow.ly/2Skn30cmSQI
2. Are there any people you feel need a shout out for supporting you?
Great question, Ann. And the answer is I’m starting with you. As stunning as it may sound, you were the very first reviewer I ever had. By fate or happenstance, you reviewed my debut novel, The Devil’s Brigade, based on a Goodreads Giveaway. Though you only gave me four stars out of five, thanks to your tough love the novel ended up being a #1 Denver Post bestselling novel, beating out The Martian, which came in #2. My other shoutouts go to my professional book editor, Christine Bilello, who also happens to be my wife, my two former literary agents (Cherry Weiner and James Fitzgerald Literary Agencies), who thoroughly vetted and edited my novels, and my outstanding team of reviewers led by Colorado Governor Roy Romer, Fred Taylor, Billy Eberhart, Mo Shafroth, Peter Frautschi, John Welch, Toni Conte Augusta Francis, Dawn Ezzo Roseman, and Peter Brooke. They have all been instrumental in supporting my books.
3. What made you decide to become an author?
I have always been an author. I wrote my first novel in high school (don’t ask), published my Master’s Thesis in the American Association of Petroleum Geologist Bulletin in my mid-twenties (believe me, that actually means something for us nerdy geologists), and have published more than 25 professional papers on esoteric scientific subjects that would put you and three-quarters of the denizens of the planet asleep in less than five minutes. And now I have several bestsellers, and yet I will probably never be able to quit my day job. Thanks a lot, Ann. If only you had given me a five-star review.
4. If you could bring any character to life in the real world, which one would it be and why?
Jay Gatsby. Because Fitzgerald didn’t flesh the heroic, misunderstood character out enough, and I want to have a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne with him and get to know him better.
5. What do you think your strengths are as a writer? What is it about your books that will draw your audience in?
My individuality, passion for American and world history, and meticulous attention to detail. My novels can only be written by me, and are not dumbed-down for readers. I don’t write to make money, or please my agent or publisher. I write to tell great stories and leave something behind. Like the cave paintings of Lascaux. I may not succeed all the time, but the bottom line is I do it for only one reason: to tell a memorable story.
6. What is your favorite genre to write?
Historical suspense. I like my World War Two thrillers the best, though my fans seem to like my modern-day suspense books just as much.
9. Did any of your previous research into WWII for your novels appear in The Fourth Pularchek?
The book draws heavily from the history of the German Occupation of Rome in 1943-1944 during the Italian Campaign, which was the setting of Altar of Resistance, Book 2 of my WWII Series. Without giving away the plot, several real-life figures that played small to large roles in Altar of Resistance are central to the buried secrets from Europe’s WWII past fleshed out in The Fourth Pularchek. These characters include Polizeiführer Karl Wolff: Head of the SS in Italy during WWII, and the grandfather of Angela Wolff in The Fourth Pularchek, who is a senior officer with the German Intelligence Service (BND); SS-Colonel Eugen Dollmann, Wolff’s clever subordinate; Pope Pius XII; Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a key figure in Vatican Escape Line for Allied POWs and refugees; and Father Pankratius Pfeiffer, an important Vatican liaison with German authorities during the war.
10. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far during your ambitious and successful publishing journey?
There is only one reason to be a suspense writer, and that’s to write great stories that resonate and will stand the test of time. Unless you’re a mega-bestselling author, there is certainly no reason to do it for the money. Telling compelling stories, then, is the sole justifiable reason to write novels that meets every litmus test. If you’re doing it for any other reason, you’re in the wrong business. It’s about the art of great storytelling and nothing else.
11. You mentioned that you are especially interested in military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the War on Terror. What is it about those subjects that fascinate you, and does that fascination influence your work?
The short answer is that I’ve always loved history, especially the underdogs and iconoclasts of American history. I grew up watching classic WWII movies and Westerns with my dad like The Great Escape, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, Where Eagles Dare, and Patton. These movies had a profound impact on me and the stories I have come to tell. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that my books have been compared to Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War, The Great Escape, Public Enemies, The Day of the Jackal, old-time Westerns, and the spy novels of John le Carré, Daniel Silva, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, and Alan Furst.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you now?
A Colorado native, I am a professional hydrogeologist and #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 and Expert Witness with an environmental consulting firm in Boulder, CO, and by night as a spinner of historical suspense yarns. 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 (I am the ninth great-grandson of the privateer-turned-pirate Captain Kidd), Plains Indian Wars, and World War II. These subjects inevitably find their way into my suspense novels.
My novels have been #1 Denver Post bestsellers, received multiple national book awards (Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, American Book Fest Best Book, USA Best Book, Beverly Hills, Next Generation Indie, Colorado Book Awards), and garnered glowing reviews from #1 bestseller James Patterson, Kirkus, and Foreword Reviews (5 Stars). Bodyguard of Deception, Book 1 of my WWII Series, was a winner of the Foreword Reviews Indie Book of the Year and an award-winning finalist of the USA Best Book Awards. Altar of Resistance, Book 2 of the WWII Series, was an award-winning finalist of the American Book Fest Best Book and Beverly Hills Book Awards. Critics and book reviewers have compared Bodyguard of Deception and Altar of Resistance to the epic historical novels of Tom Clancy, John le Carré, Ken Follett, Herman Wouk, Daniel Silva, and Alan Furst.
I wish all Indies the best of luck in getting their works out to the world and contact me at my email address below for advice on Indie publishing. I will be more than happy to help. For those interested, my website is samuelmarquisbooks.com and for publicity inquiries, please contact Sydney Mathieu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. How did you decide to combine The Devil’s Brigade, The Coalition, and The Fourth Pularchek into a single International Espionage Series?
Initially, I wrote my political assassination thriller The Coalition as a standalone novel and The Devil’s Brigade (formerly The Slush Pile Brigade) as the first book of the Nick Lassiter Series. However, since both books are in the same genre of modern intelligence-political thrillers à la Tom Clancy and Daniel Silva, I decided to combine them into a single series. My fans enjoyed Skyler, the beautiful Italian assassin in The Coalition, and wanted to see her as a recurring character, so I decided to integrate her and Nick Lassiter, the protagonist of The Devil’s Brigade, into an international spy series that features Lassiter as a strong male hero and Skyler as a powerful female anti-hero.
8. One of the major themes of The Fourth Pularchek is adoption and the roles of biological and adoptive parents in a child’s life. Did you draw on personal experience in this regard in creating the novel?
Yes, absolutely. I am an adopted child, and the underlying theme of The Fourth Pularchek is the debate over nature versus nurture and the roles of biological and adoptive parents in the lives of their children. One out of every twenty-five U.S. families with children has an adopted child (4% of families). Thus, under natural environmental conditions, the children of these families have four parents, not two. On my adoptive father’s side, I claim an ancestry that includes such legendary figures as Captain William Kidd, Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Marquis James, and the Cheyenne-Indian and Custer historian and medical doctor Thomas B. Marquis. These figures are very much a fabric of my author’s DNA as they are central to my historical interests and professional writing career. In contrast, my birth parents are a mystery to me as I have not yet sought to track them down (not that they want me too). So, until that time comes, I have created Stanislaw Pularchek—Lassiter’s biological father and a Polish billionaire-assassin who runs an intelligence outfit that takes out Nazi profiteers, jihadist financiers, and ruthless Russian oligarchs—as a paean to my own, as yet unknown, birth father. The central question of the book is whether Lassiter, his adoptive father Benjamin Brewbaker of the CIA, and his newly discovered biological father Pularchek can work together as a team to solve a case involving buried secrets from Europe’s WWII past.
12. 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 Plains Indian Wars, WWII, the War on Terror, and modern science with a geological, biological, or paleontological component.
13. What is the number one thing you want readers to take away from The Fourth Pularchek?
I want them to feel the first-hand emotions of an adopted child, to feel what it’s like to have biological and adoptive parents, and to wonder deeply about their family history. I created a larger-than-life fictional character—let’s face it, a Polish billionaire-assassin who operates his own fiefdom beholden to no one is definitely larger-than-life—as a surrogate for my own birth father. I want people to ponder, “What if one day I met my real biological father and he turned out to be a world-famous European business tycoon and assassin who ran a private intelligence organization that took out the world’s bad guys? What would I do? Would I be recoil in horror or perhaps join him in his crusade to rid the world of evil?” The Fourth Pularchek is my answer to those very questions.