Sunday, October 9, 2011

Author Interview with Debra L. Martin!

About the Author:

Science fiction and fantasy author who started writing with co-author, David W Small in 2006. Writing with a co-author is challenging in itself, but when 1 author lives on the East Coast and 1 lives on the West Coast, the challenges are a bit more daunting, but because we live in an electronic world of email, Instant Messenger and Skype, the partnership is totally workable. What makes the partnership even better is that David is my brother. We love the same types of books and that love naturally evolved into writing our own books.


My Tower of Books: The plot of Quest for Nobility ties into the tales and legends of King Arthur. Have you always been interested in those tales?

Debra: Yes, I've loved the legends of King Arthur, Merlin and the Lady of the Lake since I was a teenager. My father gave me a copy of "Mists of Avalon" one year for my birthday and it's been one of my all time favorite books. I still have it on my bookshelf. I also enjoyed the "Once and Future King" and, of course, loved the movie, "Excalibur."

MToB: I think the first few pages in a book are very important, and your prologue grabbed my interest right from the start. How difficult is it for you to start writing those first pages?

Debra: The prologue went through many renditions both at the beginning of writing "Quest" and also when we finally finished the book. It was quite long to begin with and included a fight scene, but it was getting out of control. A prologue is supposed to give you a glimpse of what had come before, not retell the tale. In the end, we cut everything out except for a few pages.

MToB: Writing can be very difficult when there is only one person telling the story. Do you think writing with a partner makes it more difficult or is it helpful? maybe a little of both?

Debra: As authors know, it is hard work coming up with ideas for a new book, putting those ideas to paper and then editing those words into a book that is ready for public consumption. Having two authors trying to accomplish this takes extra effort and it means leaving egos at the door. Every idea must be vetted and our reasoning is “if you can’t justify why it should be included, out it goes.” We do extensive outlines for the world we are creating, the plot lines and the characters. We found out with our first book that it is imperative to do all this background work first. It certainly saves a lot of editing at the end.

Writing with Dave is an absolute pleasure and I'm always excited to receive chapters or edits from him. Having another opinion on a scene sometimes leads to fantastic new threads. Of course, we have to be careful to stay pretty close to the outline so all of the threads in the book come to a satisfying conclusion. I live on the East Coast, Dave lives on the West Coast and we both work full-time so we each must dedicate a portion of a day to writing. My best time to write is first thing in the morning and Dave likes to write at night. This schedule actually works out well because I can edit what Dave writes and he gets to read new lines most days. We don’t impose a word quota on each other; sometimes one of us writes a paragraph and the other finishes the rest of the chapter or we each write a few paragraphs. Because of our hectic schedules, it usually takes a year to finish a book. We are currently working on a new fantasy involving assassins, witches and the Stone of Prophesy. If all goes according to plan, we should finish this story by the end of 2011.

MToB: Your character, Avikar, is extremely unlikeable. Do you find it easier to make the reader dislike a character, or relate to them?

Debra: It was easy to write Avikar. He's a little weasel of a guy who wanted everything that didn't belong to him. I think readers can relate to characters like that. I think it is infinitely harder to have the reader relate to a hero/heroine. You want your main character to shine, but not in an unrealistic way. Giving Darius his dark brooding type personality brought him closer to being a teenager no matter what planet you're from.

MToB: This feels like a very traditional type fantasy novel . . . aside from it taking place on another planet. What gave you the idea to set your story on a different world?

Debra: Both Dave and I very much wanted to use PSI powers (empathy, telepathy and telekinetics). We wanted it to be part of the mainstream story and not a fluke for one or two people. It was easier to create the world of Otharia with these abilities inherent in most of the royals and also in many commoners as well.

MToB: The second volume, "The Crystal Facade", of your "Rule of Otharia" series, is already published. When can readers expect the third and final volume? Can you give us any hints about the plot line?

Debra: We plan to start outlining the third book, "The King's Last Word," as soon as we finish with our current project. It is another fantasy, "Assassin's Curse," which should be published in January 2012. After that is published, we will start outlining "King." This is the culmination of the storyline between Janus Vogdo and the Telkur twins, Darius and Dyla Telkur. Every duchy on Otharia will have to take sides in the war to come and not everyone will survive. How's that? Is that enough of a hint for now? Dave and I are excited to start on "The King's Last Word," in the new year and hope to have it published late in 2012.

Jackie, thank you very much for hosting me on your blog. Opportunities to introduce your readers to our books are always greatly appreciated.


Thanks, Debra! It's been great working with you!

You can find out more about Debra and her co-author, David, on their Blog and Amazon. Or you can connect on Twitter or Facebook.

1 comment:

Debra L Martin said...

Thanks Jackie for posting my interview! It's been fun.