Marshall Carr Jr. is a writer of fantasy and science fiction, the co-host of the Just Keep Writing podcast, and the Audio Tech for Writing Excuses as well as one of the Safety Officers. As we eagerly prepare for SiWC, we reached out to ask him a few questions and learn more about him and his current projects.
Can you tell us about the first story you ever wrote? What was it inspired by?
The first story I ever wrote was in 7th grade. I was reading a lot of Dragonlance novels at the time, and when my teacher asked us to write our own story, I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve always had a wild imagination, but with that assignment, Mr. R gave me the permission I needed to create a world of my own. With fantasy knights in mind, I wrote a short story about a knight named Sir Mark. It was not good, but Mr. R encouraged me to keep writing.
What are you working on currently, if anything?
My current project is a science fiction/fantasy reimagining of Beowulf featuring an all-black military force. The novel attempts to wrap race, oral tradition, and religion into an end-of-days near-future world.
What excites you about your current project? If you’re not actively working on something at the moment, what excited you most about your most recent project?
What excites me the most about this project is the worldbuilding. I’ve taught Beowulf to high school seniors for years, and revisiting the text and building a near-future world of my own around the history and storytelling elements has been a blast.
What is your favorite way to recharge, relax, and recuperate?
My favorite way to recharge is with a round of golf. I’ve been playing for over 20 years, and I’ve been the coach of the high school golf team for about 10 years. During the pandemic, playing at least 18 holes of solo golf over the weekend has helped me get ready for whatever Monday has in store.
Last, but not least, we’d love to know about the inspiration behind your podcast, Just Keep Writing. What led you to start it and what keeps you excited about recording new episodes?
Community was the inspiration for the Just Keep Writing podcast. I met Nick Bright on the WXR cruise in 2018. As we got to know each other, we wanted to continue the friendships we formed on the cruise well beyond the retreat itself. Not only that, we wanted to create a way to help other writers whether they were published or not, find a place to connect, share ideas, and share work. I was already podcasting, so that seemed like a great way to accomplish this. With the addition of Wil Ralston, we’ve tried to take the idea of community even further by interviewing more authors and discussing craft on a deeper level.
What keeps me excited about recording new episodes is the reason I started podcasting in the first place. I love sitting down and talking to my friends. Bringing authors and community members together on some episodes keeps the community growing and brings even more opportunities to sit down and talk with my friends.