Know Your Military

‘Marauding’ Marine Makes His Mark

Dec. 3, 2018 | BY Shannon Collins

Former Marine Corps Reservist Lance Cpl. David Roach describes himself as a jack-of-all-trades. He used his Marine Corps experience, along with the experience of his family and friends, to write his Viking fantasy  series “Marauder” and a Civil War book, “When the Drums Stop.”

Former Marine Corps Reservist Lance Cpl. David Roach
Job Title: Fantasy Series Author, Global Security Manager
Unit: U.S. Army Public Health Activity - Fort Belvoir
Current City: Forney, Texas
Former Marine Corps Jobs: Infantryman, Machine Gun Operator, Heavy Equipment Operator
Years in the Military: 2002-2008
Jobs Along the Way: Security Guard, Global Security Manager

How do you use your experiences to bring realism to your characters?

“In security, I’ve been shot at, and I’ve had people try to stab me. I’ve gotten into lots of fights and takedowns,” he said. “I hate going into crowded places. I’m definitely a person who enjoys being out in the wilderness.”

He said he uses stories and experiences from his military friends and family members. His wife, Amanda, comes from a military family. Her grandparents both served in the Marines in the 1950s. “My grandmother was a Marine in the 1950s. She was tough as nails. My brother and cousins are also Marines,” he said.

Marines wearing service dress pose for a photo.
Marine Writer
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David Roach, left, poses for a photo after graduating from the receiving phase of boot camp at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 5, 2002.
Photo By: Courtesy photo
VIRIN: 020405-D-ZZ999-0001A

What kind of research do you do to ensure historical accuracy?

“I researched the history of Vikings and Scandinavian culture and the realities of their lives during that time period,” he said. “I try to keep it as realistic as possible and then throw in the monsters and the gods. That’s when it gets fun and exciting. But everything else, I try to keep as realistic and close to real life as possible so that the readers can relate.”

What other kinds of research do you do?

“I started going to re-enactment battles as well,” Roach said. “I got to get into a shield wall. I saw how easy it is for a shield to splinter or for weapons to bend, or how quickly things could go wrong if you get flanked or if someone is careless.”

A Marine gives a thumbs up.
Thumbs Up
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David Roach takes a break during infantry tactical training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 15, 2003.
Photo By: Courtesy photo
VIRIN: 030315-D-ZZ999-0001

What advice would you give people who are considering becoming an author?

“Just start doing it. Don’t wait for somebody’s permission. Don’t wait for a publication or publisher to tell you you’re good enough, because most of them will say, ‘No,’ because they want to make sure you’re a sure thing before they even spend a dollar on you,” he said. “Just do it.”

“Just like with the military, if you work hard at it and have that perseverance, eventually it’s going to pan out for you,” he said.