Hey Space Cadets, how’s everyone doing today? Things are going well here, life is crazy hectic and I’m not where I want to be with book four but that’s the writing life. I let myself get intimidated by the blank page, but I’ve gotten back on the wagon and here we are! Now, let’s get right to the point of my latest blog posting! Yes, I’ve gotten bit by the interview bug, so here is another installment of SciFy Shenanigans! Now grab your popcorn and enjoy the ride!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of All Ages……Craig Martelle
How’re you doing today Craig?
I’m doing amazing…launched two books over the last two weeks and they’ll have all new covers with actual models that we hired for a custom photoshoot. It’s all very exciting to put out books 4 and 5 of the series, then put the new covers on books 1 through 3.
Wow, that is awesome! I wanna be you when I grow up! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m a young retired dude. I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after nearly twenty-one years of service at the ripe old age of 39. Then I decided that I needed to do something with myself, so I went to law school. I graduated summa cum laude and was immediately hired upon graduation as a business consultant. I did that for a while, and although it was lucrative, it required a great deal of travel. So I retired a second time. I need to stay busy, so I started writing, then I trashed the whole thing as it was a total crybaby oh-woe-is-me sobfest. Then I started with my first book about survival in the Alaskan winter. I wrote that book in 61 days, 100,000 words. I took two months doofing around editing it. After twenty reads, I had to say good enough (although it wasn’t). I then started writing my science fiction and had great fun with it, so that’s where I am.
I’ll go out on a limb and assume that if you write books you also enjoy reading them. What other genres do you enjoy reading, and how have they affected your writing?
Science Fiction and thrillers, maybe a good action/adventure yarn.
Who are your biggest writing influences?
Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey.
Who are your favorite authors and books?
Soooo many; Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Robert E. Howard, Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, and David Weber!
What is your preferred writing style?
3rd person omni
How did that lead you deep into the weeds of the writing life?
I love the stories and so many were untold. I’m a lifelong daydreamer. I thought that I told myself good stories, so then I started writing them down.
When did you get serious about your writing?
When I retired from the consulting business in September 2015. I was still way too young to sit at home and do nothing. So I sit at home and write instead.
What is your current novel? Tell us a little bit about the premise?
I just wrote The End on my 21st book. This series is co-written with Michael Anderle and based in his Kurtherian Gambit universe. The premise is that the world is left in ruins and a former Marine, enhanced by alien technology who had been in hiding for twenty years because he wasn’t there to protect his family, returns and decides it’s time to bring humanity back to civilization.
The Terry Henry Walton Chronicles is exclusive to Amazon – the link to the series page is here.
Wowzer, 21 novels? I feel like I should kneel down and lay out some “we aren’t worthy” lines from. Where did you find the inspiration for Nomads Fury?
Since this was a spin-off series, the inspiration was Michael Anderle’s for the character but he gave me wide latitude in developing the story. I mean really wide. You have 150 years of time to fill. You start with this level of technology and you end with this. Go. I wrote a four-book series on survival and what it would take to rebuild a society (End Times Alaska – it is wide, so find it anywhere). I used much of that research to help me shape the rebuilding in the new series.
Your characters from Nomad Supreme are sent into a gladiatorial death match. Who wins?
Terry Henry Walton, former Marine, now enhanced with nanocytes and juiced with a little Werewolf. So the only fair fight he’s been in is the one that he lost, which hasn’t happened yet.
What do you listen to while you write? Or do you prefer silence?
Silence mostly, but other times, Rush, Rock, Metal, Gothic Rock, and New Wave.
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve looked up in the name of research – or what do you think the government has maybe flagged you for?
In my one thriller, People Raged and the Sky Was on Fire, I had to do a great deal of research in how to make TATP, a homemade explosive used in IEDs around the world. It’s really volatile stuff, but can be made with readily available chemicals.
I try not to do embarrassing net searches….
What was your favorite part of writing Nomad Supreme & Nomad’s Fury?
The interplay between the two main characters is key. Both are genius level intelligence, but Terry Henry falls back into “real man” mode often and misses the subtle cues from his wife.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing your main characters from The Terry Henry Walton Chronicles?
The Rock and a young Denise Crosby
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I get up at 3am. I’m still conditioned from the Marine Corps. I doof around with marketing and social engagement, read the news, and then try to jam the first thousand words by 6am. On a great day, I will have 5k words by noon.
Do you aim for a set number of words/pages per day?
I shoot for 3500 good words every day (I edit as I go). Good days are 5k+.
When you develop your characters, do you already have an idea of who they are before you write or do you let them develop as you go?
I have a mostly complete idea but flesh them out as I go in case I need to tweak their personalities to fit a plot idea.
How did writing Nomad’s Fury differ from your writing your previous novels?
Since this was the fifth book in the series, we needed to keep the plot and the characters fresh. We ratcheted up the action and created more depth to a couple of the people from the previous books. We brought new life to the world.
If Nomad Supreme had a theme song what would it be?
Interesting question. I think it would have to be something by Metallica, maybe Of Wolf and Man.
Nomad’s Fury is full of many amazingly talented characters and I imagine it was really fun to create some of them, but which one was your favorite and why?
I like the hell out of the Werewolf called Ted. He has Aspergers so doesn’t necessarily understand the social graces. He is freakishly driven on what he considers important which may not be obvious to those around him. He’s such a good guy at heart, but wonders about the others and he considers them easily distracted.
What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out?
Write. If you want to play golf well, you practice, but you also play. Write, publish, learn, and do it again. Just writing is good, but not good enough. Write with intentionality. Find people who can give you honest feedback, put your ego aside, and learn to write better. Then you can work on your processes and those little things you need to know to be a successful small business (marketing, taxes, business org), which is what all Indie authors are.
I hope you enjoy this little conversation, and if you want to find out more about Craig Martelle then follow the rabbit trail to their warren in the internet! If they don’t like it, beat ‘em with a carrot and keep on truckin’!
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen shots taken by JR Handley and used under the Fair Use Doctrine.
–> Some of these interview questions were inspired by my good friend TeacherofYA, and are used with her permission. If you have kids who love to read, she’s the girl who’ll make the literary introductions! You should check her out, after a lifetime of reading, your kids will thank you.