Kindle Author Interview: Travis W. Marsh

Travis W. Marsh, author of Timekill, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Timekill?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: Timekill is a fast paced science-fiction action/adventure. It is designed to be a quick, but engaging read. A convergence of different themes, it has everything from action and mystery, to moral and ethical dilemmas. It centers around Derend Brackson and his counterpart Fritz, both whom work under an experimental, government-controlled project. Believing they are helping make the world a better place, the two carry out the missions assigned to them by the project. But with their latest mission assignment deviating from the norm, Derend and Fritz find themselves in the crossfire of a malicious plot.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: I try to take both cliché personality types, and real-world personality types, and fuse them into believable, memorable, likable characters. Derend, for example, is the strong, silent type, while his counterpart Fritz is more upbeat and socially polished. I try to populate both ends of the personality spectrum to create a well balanced scope of characters. Once I have decided who gets what traits, along with a loose back story, I imagine myself with the characters as the story unfolds, paying close attention to how they act and how they speak.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: I imagine my ideal reader being anyone who is imaginative and enjoys any combination of action/adventures, mysteries and thrillers. Timekill falls into the science fiction category, but I have had various readers tell me they enjoyed Timekill, despite the fact that they are not necessarily science fiction fans. I take that as a huge compliment, as that is a testament to the story and I definitely want my stories to appeal to everyone, regardless of genre.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: I have always enjoyed being a story teller, but my mediums have changed over the years. When I was young it started with drawing comic books. Getting older I became involved in video and film production. The more I immersed myself in video and film production, the more I found myself writing scripts and project treatments. While I knew I undoubtedly loved video and film, it was late one night while working on a script that I realized I was attracted to the actual writing process even more. With the odd realization slowly overtaking me, I closed the script, opened a word document, and started writing my first novel. And, I became addicted, and have been writing ever since.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: Everyone has a different process, and the majority of my process takes place in my head. I don’t write a whole lot down. I have tried, but my brain is not wired to operate that way. I am paperless when it comes to keeping track of storylines and plot points. I visualize my stories like a movie, playing in my mind’s eye. When I’m not writing, they are on pause. If I am suddenly struck with a new idea, I may write it down in summary form, but that is pretty much the extent of it—I’ll read the summary once, maybe twice, and the story starts to play itself out in my head along with the others.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: I have always loved Jules Verne. I think this started as a result of watching Walt Disney’s 1954 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when I was really young. After seeing that movie (more times than I can count), I eventually read the book and I have been a lifelong Jules Verne fan ever since.

In terms of present day, I find inspiration in authors like Stephen King, Kevin J. Anderson, Amanda Hocking.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: Forbidden Planet novelization.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: Twitter, Facebook, blogging, the basics when it comes to today’s world of social-media. It is certainly one thing you have to jump into when you’re an ebook author, but I don’t mind wearing different hats and have had fun with the process. Timekill is my first ebook, but I will be releasing another one soon—and with each release I hope to get more and more momentum behind the promotion and marketing.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: The ease of Kindle’s publishing process is infinitely attractive, and it was the perfect vessel to get Timekill in front of readers. If not for Kindle, Timekill would not be getting read right now, and there is a lot of power behind that statement. You have complete control over cover art, marketing, promotion—everything. You can treat it as casual or as serious as you want. You are your own publisher, agent and boss. The Kindle platform is a game changer, and once you’ve experienced what it can do for you first hand, it’s impossible not to recognize its raw potential. I look forward to using the technology for my full length novels, which I hope to be releasing soon.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

TRAVIS W. MARSH: First I would say weigh the options of traditional publishing vs. ebook publishing—both are different vessels with difference experiences and potentially different outcomes. Needless to say, I have become a big believer in ebook publishing and adore Kindle for what is has done and continues to do for aspiring authors. For publishing via Kindle, the best advice I can give is to edit, edit, edit, edit some more, and then edit again. Then, find someone else to repeat the process for you (preferably a professional). Once the ebook is live, be prepared to promote and market yourself and your book. And between the multiple hat wearing, don’t forget to write!

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Travis W. Marsh is a Maine native with a background in art, graphic design, photography, video/film production and broadcasting. His ebook Timekill is available on the Amazon Kindle store.

Read his blog and folow him on twitter.

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