I managed to catch a little time with Marcus Elliot recently, the interview below is the result. He was his usual taciturn and slightly surly self and there were some questions I asked which he refused to answer – they don’t appear below. However, I will see him again some time in the future, so if there’s anything further you’d like to ask, leave your question in the comments at the bottom of this and I’ll see what I can do.
Q: Some call you Elliot, some call you Marcus, can you clear up the ambiguity about your name?
A: The name on my birth certificate is Gabriel Marcus Elliot. My mother named me Gabriel after my birth father who was also called Gabriel and who was also a bit of a myth. My father, Mike Elliot, who was in fact my stepfather, allowed my mother to name me Gabriel but wouldn’t have that name spoken in the house, so my second name was always used. So I was always Marcus, right from birth. My surname, Elliot, comes from my stepfather, obviously. After my mother died and until recently, only Karen called me Marcus, everyone else calls me Elliot, which I prefer, keeps it nice and impersonal.
Q: Talking of Karen, can you describe your relationship with her?
A: Friends. Old mates. We trained together. We were the misfits in the group; she was a newly divorced single mother and I was straight from the army. We were the ‘old’ recruits so naturally we were drawn to each other.
Q: Were you attracted to Karen and she to you?
A: Yes to both questions, but not at the same time. As it turned out, we became good friends and that was better in the long term.
Q: Tell us about the first time you saw Hannah and her sister, Helena. What did you think and feel?
A: I thought they had a damn nerve driving through a red light right in front of us, not that I was in a position to do anything about it at the time. I also couldn’t understand why my colleagues didn’t see them do it. Of course, I do now. Laughs.
Q: Is that all?
A: He frowns. Obviously I thought they were attractive, and Hannah’s over-long finger intrigued me. I’d never seen that before, except on myself, of course. Then, later when I saw it on Helena too, well… He shrugs.
Q: Was it love at first sight?
A: He laughs. No.
Q: Was it attraction at first sight then?
A: Well, I was intrigued.
Q: You also thought they could be criminals, that they were abducting a child.
A: Yes. He sighs. I did and they were, abducting, not criminals. That was hard for me as a serving police officer. He shrugs. In the end it was for the greater good.
Q: Tell us about your relationship with Hannah now.
A: He laughs, looks away embarrassed. Serious, very serious.
Q: Is she the one?
Q: It was just a matter of weeks after meeting Hannah that you were asking her to marry you. Why so soon?
A: Six weeks. When you know, you know.
Q: How do you get on with Helena, Hannah’s sister?
A: I think we tolerate each other. Helena seems to resent me. In many ways she is like Karen, feisty, outspoken.
Q: Tell us about your relationship with Gabriel. How surprised were you to finally meet your father?
A: To be honest I didn’t believe he really existed, or at least not the way my mother described him. I assumed she had idealised him over the years. Then I met him, and he was just as she described. I’m still getting to know him. He can sometimes be enigmatic, aloof even. He invariably answers a question with a question.
Q: Do you think that’s a trait you have inherited?
A: He shrugs.
Q: You’ve been described by readers of The Finder as arrogant and selfish. What are your thoughts on that?
A: Probably not far wrong. I think, since being with Hannah, I am less so.
Q: At the end of The Finder you were sent on a mission by the Stonehaven council to track down and investigate Magnifico, the illusionist. You wasted no time in expressing how pointless and ridiculous you thought that was, how do you feel about it now?
A: It was Ethan’s obsession. I still think it was ridiculous and events proved me right. However, the outcome justified the means, though some paid a high price.
Q: Before you met Hannah what were your plans for the future.
A: Plans. I don’t think I had any plans. I imagined that I would be retired from the job, probably forcibly when I was old and grey, so probably in another ten to fifteen years. Then I’d slide into lonely old age. He laughs. As it turned out I have been forcibly retired, somewhat sooner than expected. But I won’t be slipping into old age just yet – it’s quite liberating to discover that by Stonehaven standards I am a young man. And I certainly won’t be lonely.
Q: How does it feel to go from having no family, to having this large extended family?
A: Amazing. (I think he blushes.)
Q: At the end of The Illusionist you’ve moved to Stonehaven. When do you think you’ll come back to the real world? Do you miss your home?
A: I’ll answer the last question first. I don’t miss the flat Hannah and I bought, I hardly lived in it so didn’t have time to think of it as home. My old flat is let out now, and I rarely think of it. Stonehaven, the cottage in the valley, that is now home.
I will be coming back into the real world occasionally, especially if Helena and Caleb need any assistance, but not to live permanently, well not for the foreseeable future anyway. Talking of which, I need to go.
Follow this blog so you don’t miss out – the next interview will be with Karen. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask, leave them in the comments below.