Interview with E.M. Markoff
1) Tell us a little bit about the conception of The Deadbringer and this fantastic world you have created.
The Deadbringer is
an amalgamation of reading, visual media, and culture. It’s a
Frankenstein’s Monster of the literary genres I love (epic fantasy and
classic fiction), the movies I grew up watching as a child (Hammer
Horror, Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films, anime, David Lynch films),
and of what I experienced growing up in a first-generation Latina
household. My mother, who was born in 1933, had some very tall tales to
tell filled with magic and surrealism. It made for some great stories.
2) What inspired you to delve into this dark fantasy realm over other genres?
mom was a huge fan of older horror films. As such, I grew up watching
Dracula (Christopher Lee) chase Van Helsing (Peter Cushing); Dr. Phibes
(Vincent Price) avenge his lost wife by committing pernicious acts, yet
still be the hero; Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan) become a messiah who
would lead the people. Not being strict in what I read, I picked up
Stephen King, Carlos Fuentes’ Aura, and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. All of this, consciously and subconsciously, helped shape my love of ‘dark’ things. To me, the dark is beautiful. It had much to offer and so much more to show you.
3) Which character do you think you can identify with most, and why?
hate to sound cliche, but there is a little of me in each character.
But, if I had to pick only one, I would say E’sinea. The fact that I am
reluctant to say why I relate to him is probably the reason I do relate to him.
Do you think readers should view this as a clear cut good versus evil
kind of story, or do you like to look at it as more of a story that
resides in shades of grey, morality-wise?
The Deadbringer is
very much a story told in shades of gray with respect to its
moral ambiguity and how the characters’ actions have consequences. Some
of the characters in the book have unique abilities that historically
are associated with evil (necromancy, shadow affinity, the literal
ability to rot flesh) but it does not mean that they are evil, and yet
they are persecuted as such. So, the book is very much written in shades
of gray in the sense that it demonstrates how the classic trope (or
natural human tendency) to categorize people into good or bad is
directly responsible for the misfortunes of the characters. As the
author, this this how I feel, but I believe that readers should feel
free to interpret the book how they wish. It’s part of the joy of
reading, after all.
5) What authors have inspired you as a writer?
Oh, that’s a long list! Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, as I mentioned before, Clive Barker, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Moore, Paulo Coelho…really, the list is never-ending!
If you could meet any of your characters in person and have a
conversation with them, who would it be and what would you ask them?
E’sinea, and I would ask him if he wanted to play a game.
When it comes to the marketing side of publishing your book, which
social media platform has been the most beneficial as far as reaching
audience is concerned and why?
which is a community of booklovers within Instagram, has been
fundamental to my career as a writer. I am grateful to this community
not only for their love and support, but also because I have made some
wonderful friends through this social media platform.
8) When developing your story, which is your favorite part: developing plot or character development?
been told by my editor that I am obsessed with ‘playing house’ with my
characters, so I’d have to say character development.
Since you have developed a lot of fictional towns and cities in this
epic story, where would you live in The Deadbringer and why?
because its just far away enough from the governing powers that be and
no gods have come around to fuck things up! It’s still very much a free
10) What are your future plans for this series? Any other books on the horizon?
plans include the second book in the Ellderet Series which is
tentatively scheduled for late next year. From there, only the Twin God
knows what the future holds. With any luck, Fortune, and not Travail,
will be on my side. As for other books, I’ve been working on a fantasy
novella that takes place in the world of the Ellderet Series and is a
sort of standalone prequel to The Deadbringer. My goal is to get
that out before the second book, but I don’t want to curse myself, so I
best leave it at that! What I will say is that I hope my readers will
enjoy the novella as much as I am <3