Today I'd like to welcome Marc Royston, author of 'Hecate’s Faun' to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Marc Royston was born in Atlantis but currently lives in California. He talks to himself a great deal and yells at his computer. As the author of numerous teleplays, screenplays, poetry and fiction, he began his writing career at the age of 6. His earliest drafts were composed in crayon on whatever surface he could find (whether paper, wall, floor, or sidewalk). A fantasist, Marc Royston spends much of his time exploring alternate universes which reflect our own. Through tales of magic and legend, he delves into the intricacies and foibles of human relations amidst the conundrums of modern society.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Yes, of course I would. I’d do so without hesitation. Wouldn’t any of us? Look, I’d lay down my life for those I love. A life in prison or execution would certainly not dissuade me.
Why? Love is the highest law. Everything we do is for love (whether of another, ourselves, or for an ideal). Without love, life has no meaning.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
It would be facile to say that truly living means to seize the moment, to pursue your dreams, to seek to engage every possibility, and to feel every emotion to its depth and every sensation to its height. And it would be glib to attest that alive means no more than to perform the same biological functions as an amoeba: to eat, to defecate, and to reproduce without any further purpose than survival and perpetuation of the species. I can’t say I yet understand what “truly living” means. I’m working on it. Perhaps “truly living” is the search to know “truly living”. I think I’d have to say that for a human being it means to actively approach understanding (who you are, who we are, the meaning of life, the Universe, God, Gods, the lack of God, Woman, Man, etc.)
No.3 What motivates you to write?
Writing is an intrinsic part of who I am. I really don’t require a lot of “motivation” per se to get me to write. I have written since I was 6 years old. In good times or bad, I write. I suppose the more precise question would be: “Why do you write?” I write to understand myself and the world me. I write to be heard. Have you ever been in conversation with someone and had something to say, but you were interrupted and prevented from speaking? I have that feeling ALL the time. When I write, people listen. Through writing, I can share my ideas, my concerns, my questions, and my observations, and my words are neither drowned nor ignored. I also get a kick out of involving my readers in the story, in my characters, and in the plot. I delight in provoking an emotional response. When you can take your reader on a journey, where they engage and feel as if they are there, that is truly satisfying.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
As a father, I can tell you that being a parent is the best part of life. There is little to prepare you for the adventure. There are sleepless nights. There is anxiety and sometimes fear. But the joy and the love are eternal. Our affection for our children is individual and indestructible. But before parenthood, I think the drive is as instinctual as it is spiritual, and the reasons for both are similar. The instinct is to propagate the species. But spiritually, we ARE our children. Our offspring ARE our legacy. Our descendants ARE our immortality. We live in our heirs.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Hecate’s Faun"?
For “Hecate’s Faun”, the greatest challenge was to enter the mind of a psychotic killer. That’s not an easy thing to do. Moreover, I had to inhabit a split personality and then express it from a first person perspective without showing any awareness of the division. That was not easy to do from both an emotional and technical standpoint.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
None of us succeed on our own. Appreciate those who stand with you. (And it is astonishing how many GOOD people there are. I love humanity.)
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Hecate’s Faun"?
The novelette begins with an old woman and the discovery of the corpse of a mythical creature floating in her pond. The creature is a faun or satyr (half-man and half-goat; think of the god Pan). Hecate is the mythic “Queen of the Witches”. The protagonist is an old woman (“The Hag”) whom the locals have declared is a witch. The Faun functions as a metaphor – but I’ll let the public argue what it that metaphor is.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I don’t think you can print my initial response. I had to delete it. (It was a vulgar phrase and an imperative to commit an impossible self-violation). There are very few people who have the right to talk with me on a personal level. There are fewer still who would ever conceive to draw me as deficient. Oh, friends will call me on any bullshit they perceive, and are welcome to do so, and they are well open to voice any disagreement. We have no inhibitions among us in that regard. But they don’t put me down. And I don’t put them down. That’s what personal criticisms are. You have to know someone very intimately before making personal comments -- let alone to give personal critiques. (Try it with your significant other sometime and see what happens.) I would find it extremely rude and disrespectful if anyone felt they had the right to criticism me for my appearance, opinions, speech, or behavior. Who appointed them my judge? Did I ask for their opinion? Are they really qualified to point out my purported flaws? Most likely such a dog could expect me to either turn my back, walk away, and ignore them in perpetuity. I don’t suffer an ignoramus. Or they could expect a shotgun blast of vitriol fired from my tongue, a bombardment of counterpoint that flays them skin to bone and makes them shit in their pants. (Remember, the pen is my sword.)
As to my work, whereas it is deeply personal, anyone is welcome to give their opinion. Disparaging remarks about a writer’s work can sting, as well I know. However, I bite my tongue and listen. I weigh the observation as well as the giver and decide whether I agree or disagree. (While in draft, I often make changes based on my readers’ comments from the writers’ groups in which I participate.) If I don’t agree, I do nothing. My decisions are my own. A reader may or may not be able to write or be conversant in the craft, but they experience, and their thoughts are valued.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
How can they resist? The notion is absurd. And what a loss that would be! I am an exceptional writer. You won’t confuse me with anyone else. My voice is unique. And what I write is FUN and EXCITING and NEW. Love and Loss, Victory and Defeat, Impossible Challenges Overcome. Twists and turns. A sweeping tale! It is my goal to take the reader along on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. My worlds are real. My characters are involving. And I am an intelligent writer. You will experience fresh perspectives, new ideas and new angles of perception. I guarantee it. “Hecate’s Faun” is a chilling and quirky interlude. Frankly, it is beautifully written. That Victorian diction has its own flavor. And it is unsettling. Join me as we descend into madness and take a dark rise toward retribution where the unreal becomes reality. I promise: You are safe. This is a story you’ll want to talk about. This is a story you will remember.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Who says there is something? Who says there is nothing? Existence is an illusion. Time and space, life and death, good and evil, these are conventions necessary to perception, and perception is necessary to allow our minds to engage in self-exploration for the purpose of enlightenment. We ARE the Universe, and the Universe IS us. But even the concept of “we” and individuality is a misnomer. “We” are states of conscience in a collective mind. “We” are the thoughts of the divine. “I” am simply a concentration on a single perspective. And all the Universe, from the smallest of the small to the largest of the large, is holy.
Thank you Marc :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out 'Hecate’s Faun' on
While Savannah burns on the horizon and the final battle of the Civil War is fought, an old woman discovers the corpse of a satyr floating in her pond. When a confederate officer arrives and claims the body is a demon, the homicidal ghost of the old woman’s daughter instigates a night of horror and recrimination while crimes long hidden and secrets too terrible for the light of day are revealed.