'TWAS THE NIGHT: AUTHOR Q&A with Marin @fontrealbooks #blogtour

Today's guest is children's picture book author Marin. His new book is 'Twas the Night and he is on a virtual book tour this month with Pump Up Your Book! We're very glad to have him here today to talk about his book, writing and what surprised him about getting his book published. 

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

In our politically correct world of consumerism, people increasingly lose connection with the true meaning of Christmas; we have even replaced the expression “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays.” My goal was to provide readers, especially children, with a present they can open again and again. I chose to develop this story solely with pictures and no text to encourage readers to participate in the creative process. My intent is to gift everyone, both the young and the young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season's wonder, and the freedom to script their own lines to go with the images.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I owned an advertising agency for many years, so it was relatively easy for me to start swimming in the waters of the publishing world. The publishing house, Fontreal, is my youngest baby. I write, illustrate, design, and publish my own books. I produce my own book video trailers with a $68 software installed on my desktop – I even create custom-made fonts to make my publications truly one-of-a-kind. In one sentence, with minimum expenses (printing being an exception!) I create high-quality products with no expiry date.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

As a newcomer in the publishing industry, I found two challenges. First, there is stigma about self-published titles. Second, there is an expectation that all authors must sell on Amazon. I felt compelled to address these issues and perhaps change people’s attitudes. I am committed to create quality self-published titles and entice the mighty reader, without resorting to the 800-pound gorilla Amazon.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Human eyes guide us all the time, even when it is pitch-dark. Our eyes help us distinguish the good from the bad. A book cover is the packaging of a product; and let’s face it, good packaging sells! Although, sometimes our eyes trick us and there is little value under the wrapping paper.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Leo Tolstoy said that "there are as many minds as there are heads." To me, this means that every individual is unique. Fortunately, I am able to solve artistic problems quickly and the process is nothing but pure bliss. My one piece of advice to fellow writers is: Stay true to yourselves through the ebb and flow of the creative process - I guarantee your work will reflect your uniqueness.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

Since mid-2017, I have developed nine children’s books and only one of them was not illustrated by my hands – for good luck! All of the books are available on my website https://fontreal.com in MOBI, EPUB, PDF and audio format. At the moment, ‘Twas the Night is the only story printed, and it is a hardcover book manufactured in North America. I am currently working on 11 other titles that are in various stages of development. In 2020, more publications will be added to my small book catalog.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

The surprise awaits readers on the very last page!

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Keep dreaming big!


Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A few years ago I developed a catchphrase for my first small (but successful!) book campaign on Kickstarter: Earth is the greatest planet – it has air, water and books. Don’t you agree?


Meet the Author

My name is Marin and I was a child a very long time ago. My father passed away when I was one year old. My mother remarried and I was raised by my loving (but strict!) grandparents. After losing their son, they were terrified by the thought of losing their grandson. For this reason, they didn’t let me play on the street, swim in the nearby pond or explore the forest with the rest of the kids. This was also the reason I learned to read and write long before I went to school. My grandparents surrounded me with books. Books became my imaginary parents and my fictional friends. Apart from my genetic building blocks, books also came to be the main component in my development as a creative, compassionate and competitive individual.

I studied nuclear physics, art, and literature, but I enjoyed art the most. As a young artist, I was eager to succeed, winning prizes from various countries. I later became a partner in an advertising agency and switched my attention to serving clients. My last award was somewhere in the early nineties – The Best in the West by Corel Draw Corporation.

Oh, a few more boring things about me: I do not drive, I do not drink carbonated beverages, I have never consumed food from McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC or any other fast food restaurant, I do not have a mobile phone, I have never used legal or illegal drugs (except Gravol when I fly), and I have never visited my GP (much to the disapproval of my wife).

I read. I read every day. I am what I am today because of books. This publishing house is my little “thank you” to all of them.

website & Social links

Website  → http://www.fontreal.com

Twitter  → http://www.twitter.com/fontralbooks

Facebook  → http://www.facebook.com/fontreal/

Inside the Book

Author: Marin
Publisher: Fontreal
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
‘TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that “tells” a heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season’s wonder, and the freedom “to script” (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!




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