Thursday, February 11, 2021

Marshall Ryan Maresca Interview - The Velocity of Revolution

Photo Credit: © Kimberley Mead

Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at


Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
I can say that Watership Down is probably the book I’ve read the most. I’ve actually worn out three copies over the years. Is that in or out of genre? I’ve always considered it a fantasy. I mean, you could easily make the characters human, and do the story beat-for-beat, character-for-character, as a grimdark fantasy. Truly out of genre, one that I kept going back to is John Irving’s The World According To Garp. Though it’s been a long time since I’ve read it. It’s actually funny, the titular Garp is a novelist whose whole career takes place before he turns 33, which is kind of wild to think about now. I haven’t re-read it for years, it’s possible it won’t resonate for me the way it used to.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I mean, there have been dozens, but probably the one that stands out the most? Shortly after Thorn of Dentonhill came out, I got a note from my second-grade teacher telling me how proud she was of me. It’s a little thing, but she was that teacher for me as a kid.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Well, there was a pandemic, and that was bit of a thing. For real, a bulk of the drafting was done in March through May of 2020, so the whole world-on-fire thing, it did make focusing on the book a titch of a challenge.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
If this past year has shown us anything, it’s the importance of having the release valves of escapism. Stories bring us together, and give us a place to go, even when we can’t get together or go anywhere. Especially then.

Can you tell us when you started THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION, how that came about?
So I think it first had its germination in 2018? I had been playing with creating a world map and world building for its own sake, with no real idea to do anything with it. Then I was with my son when he went to buy a pair of raw denim jeans in a specialty shop, and there was this vintage motorcycle sitting in the middle of the shop, like display art. And my son asks me, “Hey, why is it fantasy novels never look like this?” “What do you mean?” “Like, all fantasy seems to be, you know, Game of Thrones, Renaissance Fair type stuff. Why doesn’t it look like this?” And that seed was planted, which germinated into Velocity.

Writing Behind the Scenes
So, when I told my wife the underlying ideas I had for this book, her immediate response was, “We need to go to Guanajuato.” Why Guanajuato? “When you go there and see it, you’ll understand. It’ll help you.”




So off we went to Guanajuato. It’s a gorgeous city in central Mexico that really solidified the visual ideas I already had about Ziaparr, with its narrow alleys, and twisting, curving roads and tunnels. My wife was 100% right. So that trip was instrumental in getting the feel of Velocity of Revolution right.

What is the first job you have had?
The answer is weird, because it’s a job that only existed for a brief moment in time, but I spent the summer when I was fifteen installing cell phones into cars. At that point, personal cell phones existed, but they were very rare and expensive and the batteries did not last long. So you would install it into the car, connecting it to the car’s battery in a very jury-rigged sort of way, and pray you don’t shock yourself too badly in the process.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
We’ve driven out to West Texas several times, and there are few things more majestic and awe-inspiring than going to the McDonald Observatory on a perfect night. It’s an absolute wonder where you can see the night sky, high on a mountain in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no light pollution, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. If you get a good, clear night, where the moon is close to new, you can see the vast swath of the Milky Way and it’s the full glory of the universe above you.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
I’m actually going to flip this question around, just because it’s a fun story. Back in my college years, I did a lot of theatre. One summer I did a show which was set in a back alley behind a building, and the director decided the best place to rehearse was in the back alley behind his apartment. Which, to be fair, did have a great aesthetic. But also, because of the challenging schedules of all the people involved, we’d rehearse at whatever time we could make work. Like, for example, at around midnight on a Friday night.

So, here we are in a back alley at midnight, rehearsing a scene where I grab one of the other actors in a headlock and shout, “I’m going to kill you, do you hear me? You’re going to die!”

And right then, a pair of young women are walking right by the mouth of the alley. And one of them—she couldn’t have been more than five foot two, but, bless her—she just stormed into the alley shouting, “Hey! Let him go! Stop it!”

The other actor and I quickly separated and made it clear, no, we’re just actors doing a scene, it’s all good. But she did not know that. She just saw some stranger being attacked and came charging in anyway.

Bravest thing I’ve ever seen.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
This is the dorkiest, writer-iest answer, but most of the time I’m sorting through plot points of the things I’m planning. Sort of priming my head to have my subconscious work on things while I sleep.

From the author of the Maradaine saga comes a new dieselpunk fantasy novel that explores a chaotic city on the verge of revolution.

Ziaparr: a city being rebuilt after years of mechanized and magical warfare, the capital of a ravaged nation on the verge of renewal and self-rule. But unrest foments as undercaste cycle gangs raid supply trucks, agitate the populace and vandalize the city. A revolution is brewing in the slums and shantytowns against the occupying government, led by a voice on the radio, connected through forbidden magic.

Wenthi Tungét, a talented cycle rider and a loyal officer in the city patrol, is assigned to infiltrate the cycle gangs. For his mission against the insurgents, Wenthi must use their magic, connecting his mind to Nália, a recently captured rebel, using her knowledge to find his way into the heart of the rebellion.

Wenthi's skill on a cycle makes him valuable to the resistance cell he joins, but he discovers that the magic enhances with speed. Every ride intensifies his connection, drawing him closer to the gang he must betray, and strengthens Nália's presence as she haunts his mind.

Wenthi is torn between justice and duty, and the wrong choice will light a spark in a city on the verge of combustion.

You can purchase The Velocity of Revolution at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MARSHALL RYAN MARESCA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Velocity of Revolution by Marshall Ryan Maresca.

1 comment:

  1. "If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?" The Louvre, all of it, just for me! And I'd turn the attics/garrets into incredible palace-style personal apartments for my enjoyment, with 17th-century frescoes and beams, etc., etc.