Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Blog Tour l Author Interview: Marty Roppelt, Author of Mortal Foe @martyroppelt #blogtour

Marty Roppelt was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His original profession was acting on stage, in local commercials and training films and in film. This means that he has experienced life through a wide variety of day and night jobs, from barista to waiter and bartender to security guard, amongst many others. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Becky, and their eccentric cat, Fritz. Mortal Foe is his debut novel.



Author: Marty Roppelt
Publisher: Dragon Breath Press
Pages: 213
Genre: Supernatural Thriller

A picture is worth a thousand words… But what if that image can only be seen through the lens of one camera? What is the snapshot can only be seen by a select few? What if the photo has its origins in the pit of Hell? What is that face belongs to an enemy bent on destruction? This is Buddy Cullen's fate when he first dreams of his grandfather's death and then inherits his grandfather's antique camera and captures an image that haunts him and seeks his death. Can Buddy survive the curse that he sarcastically dubs "Popcorn"—a curse that no one wants to believe exists and stalks the city of Cleveland, beginning with its baseball team—a mortal foe?



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing? 
Thank you for having me! I would probably be at my day job working as a Starbucks barista. If not working or writing, I'm either catching some crime show with my wife Becky, or creating something for my mailing list. I may be researching something for any number of projects in the works or on the Bible. Or, I'll be following news and highlights of the Cleveland Indians or the Cleveland Browns.

When did you start writing?
The first short story I remember writing was in grade school, a little something about a guy who gets chased by criminals and evades them on the Eiffel Tower by jumping in a dumpster. I think I got a B. But I didn't start again until the 1990's. I had moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Atlanta with my first wife. I wrote creative letters and short stories and sent them back to close friends of mine, John and Laura Thomas, in Cleveland. They urged me to write more, and to get serious about it.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
I'd say there were two crucial points. One was a couple of courses I took through the Long Ridge Writers Group. Author Anne Underwood Grant was my mentor, and I learned a lot about starting a writing project, then polishing and editing the work. The other point was posting my novel Mortal Foe, one chapter at a time, on The Next Big Writer. I met my editor and publisher Janet Taylor-Perry there. She read the whole thing, and remembered it when she started her Dragon Breath Press in 2017.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?
I would either stay right where I am, in small-town Wauconda, Illinois—in my living room, at the Honey Hill Coffee shop, or at our awesome library—or in Cleveland. I've lived in New York City and Atlanta too, but was not as comfortable in either city. I've spent time with family in Germany, too. Germany might be another place I could write.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?
I would like to work on my current project, but would most likely end up spending it on marketing Mortal Foe. I'm new to this end of the business, and the learning curve seems awfully steep.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
I'm planning a story set in Transylvania. There actually is such a place, for folks who don't know. My family comes from there. The story takes place in a remote village at the start of the First World War. No vampires, but it is another paranormal novel.

Back to your present book, Mortal Foe, how did you publish it?
It was a bit of a journey. Foe began as a short story for Long Ridge, called Popcorn, about a man and his son running across a paranormal entity at a baseball game. Anne Grant suggested I turn it into a novel. I did, but was a bit half-hearted in submitting it to agents and publishers. Got the usual rejections. Then I posted it on The Next Big Writer, and got good editing notes from Janet Taylor-Perry. But I didn't submit again until Janet opened her publishing company. I submitted Foe to her, and she remembered it from TNBW. She told me she wanted to publish Foe, and here we are.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?
I didn't need to. It's set in Cleveland, where I grew up. But my wife and I visit family there once a year at Thanksgiving. I made it a point to drive through the areas where the action takes place, took pictures and videos, just to make sure I got details right.

Why was writing Mortal Foe so important to you?
Good question. I don't think it was necessarily a cathartic experience. I love my home town despite not living there any more. Foe is in part a kind of tribute to Cleveland, the new glitz, the old grit and everything in between.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?
Any inspiration and the gifts to turn them into something come from God. We're made in His image, and He's the Creator… which makes us creative as well. I get all kinds of ideas from what surrounds me. The actions and words of people I work with and serve, the modest buildings of my little town and the cramped streets of nearby Chicago… I try to be ready to take notes wherever I am because I never know what will spark a story.

Any final words?
Love one another. We're called to do that to shine light into this dark world.

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