Interview with Ernest Marlin

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. Although I have to say that I have had several false starts over the years. The stories that I have written so far have been in my mind many years. They have surfaced occasionally and I have put pen to paper but then for one reason or another given up and laid the pen aside, sometimes for many years.

I first felt motivated to write about 25 years ago and I remember sitting at a rickety wooden table on the edge of a small beach on a Greek island under the shade of an olive tree scribbling happily away whilst my then young children played in the sea and my wife sunbathed. Although I didn't finish the story it is a very happy memory.
What is your writing process?
Before I begin writing I have in mind the point in the story that I have reached.

I then simply pick up the pen and start writing and allow the story to tell itself. I pause from time to time to make sure that what I am writing is in accordance with what I have already written in terms of characters and plot but otherwise I try to let the tale emerge.

I find that I can normally write about 2,000 - 3,000 words before I reach a kind of natural break.

I then simply put the pen down. I read again the last few lines so I know where I've got to and then I let my subconscious do the rest until I pick up the pen again and continue with the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read was William The Detective, a present given to me by my grandparents when I was 10 years old. I still have the book and I still enjoy reading it and then after that I read Coral Island by William Ballantyne, an adventure story about shipwrecked mariners set in the 18th century. Although very different both stories engaged my imagination and drew me in irresistibly and from that time on I became an avid reader.
Describe your desk
I do not have any particular desk at which I write. I will write on the kitchen table or on any level surface that is at hand but I do enjoy writing at a small desk I have in a bedroom at our home. The desk faces the window and looks out across the countryside and is full of light and sunshine from very early on since it faces East.

Probably the desk, if such it can be called, that I remember with most affection is the rickety table on the Greek island under the olive tree.
When did you first start writing?
I first started trying to write about 25 years ago but it is only during the last 2 years or so that I have really got started to the extent that now I have managed to write 5 stories and there are two in my mind in the queue which also have the vague shapes of others behind them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest story I have written is a Novello which is about the adventures of a 10th century Viking written in a light hearted manner and which has not yet been published since I have entered it for a competition and one of the terms of the competition was that the story entered must not be one that has already been published in any shape or form. I should have the result of the competition fairly soon and will then be free to publish the story online.

I have already started my next story which is intended to be an adventure story but also a love story and more of that later.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords I hope will contribute to more people reading my stories because that is my prime object. I enjoy writing the stories but my main aim is that as many people as possible should read them and I hope enjoy them.
Who are your favorite authors?
This is a really difficult one to answer since I admire so many writers and enjoy so much of the written word.

As a child I particularly enjoyed Richmal Crompton who wrote the William series but in addition I enjoyed historical fiction, including Henry Treece who wrote Vikings Dawn, The Road to Miklagard and Vikings Sunset as a trilogy. I enjoyed also Rosemary Sutcliffe's wonderful stories about a bronze age boy in Britain, called Warrior Scarlet and another story she wrote about the Norse settlers of the Lake District called "The Shield Ring". I enjoy Baroness Orkzy and The Scarlet Pimpernel as well as the classics such as Treasure Island by Stevenson and stories by Jack London like Call of the Wild and many many others. As it will be seen I had a very strong interest in history and adventure.

These days my reading is quite diverse and I enjoy everything from Kate Fox Looking at the English as a social anthropologist through to work by foreign authors.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually the need to go to the loo. I don't particularly enjoy getting up but I do like to get up early because I think that is the nicest part of the day. Having emerged from the pit I am then very happy to have a cup of tea in the kitchen, pick up my pen and just write for 1/2 an hour or so which I find helps to clear my mind.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I still work full time so that takes up a great deal of time but I also very much enjoy being outside. I look after various animals including my wife and daughter's horses and I enjoy gardening.
How do you discover the books you read?
I come across books largely by chance although also on recommendation from friends.
Published 2014-05-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Vikings Dawn
Series: Sons of Death, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 54,130. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
“In the end each clan on the outlying coasts beyond the whale-road had to yield to him and begin to pay tribute.” Beowulf 10 The whale-road, sail road, whale’s way, swan-road, the kennings, Viking words for the sea. A man known as Tommy Atkins, born not long after the second world war in a 1920s-built north London council house was born into a world of poverty, ignorance and an absent father.
A Hero of Our Times
Price: Free! Words: 74,050. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
In 1970s England, Dai has prospered, is spent mostly preparing wills, and as he has become more successful, he has become more and more restless, with only two passions in life to occupy him – women and polo. Can Dai preserve his career, place at the polo club, keep the happy family façade intact and still enjoy one his greatest pleasures in life?
Just To Help Him Out and To Help Him On His Way
Price: Free! Words: 42,260. Language: English. Published: April 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Courtroom
Jim Hunt is Derek and Doreen Spencer’s solicitor. Caught between the two since he introduced them, Jim has witnessed the decay of the marriage, Derek’s sobriety and the failing business. Soon Jim finds not only himself but all those that surround Derek are dragged down by the selfish ambition and obsession with killing himself. Can any of them survive Derek’s obsession with ending his life?
The Retainer
Price: Free! Words: 87,330. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
The Retainer is an intriguing tale of betrayal, blackmail and lust set in 1970s London when life was more innocent - or was it?