Robert Marquiss, author of Kingdoms of Magic, was one of our winners of StarkLight Press’ Short Story Contest this spring.
We are honored to be able to include Mr. Marquiss amongst our contest winners- a longtime producer and director in California, he is a font of amazing creative ideas and energy.
Included here is Virginia Stark’s interview with Robert Marquiss about his winning piece, his work and his views on writing.
Do you have any sources of inspiration for your world?
R.M: Seeing the creations of others in all the aspects of the arts and sciences. From American Indian jewelry and head-dress makers, to sculptors and painters in Italy; bone carvers in Alaska to aborigine stone painting in Australia. Every country has unique art forms that can make your mind dance with wonder and excitement if you would only look. There are those who don’t see the flower. Some will see it but don’t pay attention to it. But there are those who see it and all the wondrous things that surround it, the rain drops playing on its petals in a storm, the bees’ infatuation with it, the sparkle of the morning dew on it. These things give me inspiration.
What do you love most about writing?
R.M: Sitting down and creating worlds that others can enjoy and relate to and taking their minds to other worlds they have not experienced before. Making things come alive where there was noting there before. Watching a person read my work and come away having enjoyed something they had never experienced before. I like seeing people laugh, seeing someone come through hardship, someone winning against all odds.
Who are your favorite writers? Why are they your favorites?
R.M: Now that’s hard to say. There are so many works from different writers that I like.
The first on that comes to mind is Ray Bradbury. I spent some time with him at his home. Now there is a very creative soul and a very generous and compassionate person. (Did you know he wrote the script of the classic film Moby Dick?) I was invited to one of his plays in Pasadena: It was fantastic. I had the honor of sitting next to Ray Harryhausen (Clash of the Titans and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger) and we got a chance to talk about film making and special effects. It was great being with both of them.
What is the most unique aspect of your universe?
R.M: It’s still here. LOL.
To delve into many aspects of art and science and have people enjoy what I create.
What is your favorite part of your universe?
R.M: Writing, film making, drawing, painting, designing houses, (have built 2 in LA) sculpting, model-making, music, special effects, editing, sound effects, mechanical drawing, technical illustrating and prop making.
What do you think people will most enjoy about your universe?
R.M: That my work is so diverse and that there is something there for almost anyone. When you leave it you leave it feeling better and/or happy.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
R.M: I’m creative, mild mannered, easy going. But when I’m working, sometimes I go non- stop. I am a very “A to B” kind of person. I also I really like to make people laugh. There’s a line from a film that explains me, “When I’m good I’m really good and when I’m bad I’m very, very bad.”
Any words of advice for struggling writers?
R.M: Yes. Go by your own knowingness, and if you make a mistake, so what? I have not met anyone yet who can point a finger and that finger doesn’t have some stink on it. Be your own advisor and keep your own counsel and just write. And yes there is hating that goes along with any subject, but you choose what you want. I read an article from one writer who said, [sorry, can’t quote it exactly, but you’ll get the idea], “It’s all been done before, just rehashing.” Now there’s one writer who can’t freely create on his own.
For more information on Robert Marquiss, his works and his C.V- click this link to his visually stunning website: