Saturday, 21 July 2012

Welcome Lazy Day author, Marcus Lopes...

Today, I am welcoming Marcus Lopes to my site with his debut release, "Freestyle Love" - Marcus is on a blog tour throughout July so why not pop by each stop and be in with a chance to win! Details of Marcus' prize is at the end of his fabulous interview.

Take it away, Marcus!

1)  Who is your favourite author and why?

My favourite author is Iris Murdoch. I enjoy Mrudoch’s attention to detail, the way she makes her characters come alive — sometimes I want to root for them, other times I’m hopeful that they will fail. What I enjoy in Murdoch’s works is the relentless search for hope and love in a world that can be, at times, unsteady and dark.

2)  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I began to think of myself as a writer around age twenty-five. I had just moved to Ottawa (Ontario), and I was determined to make writing an integral part of my day. And I did. I wrote (and still do write) faithfully first thing in the morning. I would spend my lunch hour writing. I would go to a coffee shop and writing before heading hope after a day at the office.

3)  Describe your writing space?

My writing space is the upstairs bedroom I use as my office. My desk is pushed up against the wall, in part to keep me focused on my writing and not on what is going on outside on the street, but also to let me reread the quotes that inspire me. Specifically, Charlie Chaplin’s “As I Began to Love Myself.” Also on the wall above my desk is a landscape watercolour painting done by my grade school art teacher. To the right of the door there are two beige armchairs where I often read. On the wall above the chair is one of my paintings, “When Night Falls I,” the title piece of my newest series of paintings. My framed university diploma is on the wall next to the window that offers a view onto the street below.

4)  What are you reading now?

I am currently reading Julia Cameron’s Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in Our Spiritual Lives, Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, and Iris Murdoch’s Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature.

5)  How many books have your written?  Which is your favourite?

Freestyle Love is my first (published) book, so for now it’s my favourite.

6)  What comes first, plot or characters?

Sometimes plot comes first, sometimes it’s a character that I hear in my head, a scrap of dialogue that I have to get down. But more often than not, whether it’s the plot or a character that starts me writing, I let the characters — their interactions with each other — drive the story initially. Then, once the draft is completed, I set about to put the pieces together, and in the right order. So I guess it’s fair to say that I let the characters get inside my head and let them “lead me.”

7)  Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

I’ve never experienced writer’s block. I sit down and write every day. Sometimes the writing is easy, sometimes I feel like I’m writing uphill. But I write. Like today. I work to my daily quota and then, and only then, am I free to do as I please.

8)  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I like to run, hike, read, cook, playing the piano, travel, and spend time with friends and family. I’m also a painter, so that keeps me busy, too.

9)  Tell us about your latest book?

My latest, and first, book is Freestyle Love. In many ways, Freestyle Love is not your typical romance novel. Love may be the novel’s currency, but it’s really the characters’ actions and reactions — how they interact in love — that interests me. Sometimes we let our experiences define who we are, and that is the trap that Malachi Bishop involuntary falls into. Malachi is far from perfect — although I think in his mind he’d disagree. He’s arrogant and uncompromising, held to the “It’s my way or the highway” mentality. Malachi becomes a character people love to hate. So Malachi, on an unexpected journey of self-discovery, experiences a sort of great awakening, moving from “denial” to acceptance of the man he thought he was to the man, at the end of the novel, who he becomes.

10) What’s next for you?

What’s next for me? To keep writing, and where that leads me, time will tell.

When it comes to one-night stands, Malachi Bishop has “rules”. No pillow talk. No sleeping over. No planning a future hook-up. First names only. It’s just sex, not a prelude to love. But when Cole Malcolm, a smooth-talking management consultant, woos Malachi into bed, the rulebook is tossed out the window. The one-time fling leaves Cole reeling: Malachi is his first real shot at happiness, his “forever” man, and he’s determined to show Malachi just how good they could be together. But Malachi doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after, and dodges Cole’s play for his heart. After all, Malachi is still mourning the loss of Taylor Blanchard, whom he hoped to love forever. Then there’s Zach Brennan, a handsome twenty-five-year-old and student at the college where Malachi teaches. Falling for Zach could destroy everything he’s worked for, but Malachi can’t help himself.

Caught by love and in its betrayal, it’s a later affair with a beautiful stranger that changes Malachi’s life most dramatically. Now Malachi must confront his present and his past that bring into question the larger fantasies of home and his place in the world.


As Cole Malcolm asked the server for his bill, Malachi Bishop was across town, alone in his condo, pouring himself a stiff drink. Malachi picked up the crystal tumbler and moved into the living room, standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows and watching as the dark storm clouds edged their way eastward, dulling the bright sky. His unit, located just below the penthouse level, offered a view of the west side of Claredon, including the college. And Malachi was right, as he had explained to Shane Martin, that on a clear day he could see to Chemong Lake.

Malachi sat down on the worn brown leather sofa and stared blankly at the TV. Am I unreal? Malachi lifted his glass to his mouth and held it there. Tuesdays, when he taught three of his four classes, left him drained. Today he was exhausted. Malachi’s day started off with the advanced writing workshop, and Zach Brennan had not shown up again. Malachi had taught the ninety-minute English literature course that started right after the lunch break pausing often, as if he were unable to weave together, and hold, a train of thought. One of his students asked if he was okay, to which he replied, “I’m fine,” with great defence, and then dismissed the class — forty minutes early. When all of the students had left the classroom, Malachi sat down at his desk and wrote out a notice cancelling the creative writing class he was to teach later that afternoon. He posted the notice to his classroom door and then made for home.

Beyond the usually long day of teaching, beyond the ordinariness of his life, Malachi was caught up in the paralyzing, awful, blackly saddening events of the day. In the aftermath of the day’s events, his perception of his life in Claredon had shifted, seen now as imaginary and formless, indeed a fabrication. There remained a contradiction because he knew that there was an inescapable realness to Claredon where he had, over the past five years, carved out a home. And in that realness there was Zach Brennan.

About the Author:
Marcus Lopés is originally from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. His writing has appeared in Canadian and international literary magazines. Freestyle Love is his first novel. A novelist, essayist, poet, painter and singer-songwriter, Lopés lives in Sherbrooke, Québec.


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