Except for online, I've never had the opportunity of meeting Mary Martinez, so I'm very happy that she decided to allow me to interview her.
However, let's learn a bit about Mary herself. Mary has lived her entire life in the Salt Lake City Valley, where she has raised a family of six children. One of her favorite things to do is spend time with her seven grandchildren. That's one thing she and I have in common, except I have ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Mary is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Though she loves romance, writing suspense is her favorite. Mary’s dream conference would be the opportunity to attend ThrillerFest.
Mary and her husband love traveling, their favorites are the Caribbean for relaxation and Italy for the wine. Their experiences have given her valuable insight for her stories.
Ahh, something else we have in common. I would love to attend ThrillerFest, too. But, now the interview:
Vivian: How did/does your history and home background affect your writing?
Mary: I’m not sure how to answer this question. I’m a little on the older side, let’s just say I’m not ready for the grave yet, but I do have grandkids. But I believe what has affected my writing most, is the fact I am older. The fact I have more life experience and maturity. Not that I believe young writers aren’t brilliant and talented. I believe for me, I needed to wait until the time was right. Did that make sense?
Vivian: Now, wait a minute, older is great. I'm older and have great-grandchildren and need to live at least thirty more years in order to write all the books running around in my head.
Please fill us in on your hobbies, interests, or activities you participate in during your leisure time. *laugh* If you have any.
Mary: I love to travel, read, watch old movies. I love to cook new recipes and drink a great new wine. My husband and I are concert ‘ho’s’ and pretty much want to do them all. We have several concerts already lined up for the summer. Ranging from The Moody Blues, Chris Isaak, Buddy Guy, to Sheryl Crow. That’s just a few on the list to see.
Do I have time? I make time. As much as I love to write, family and friends are very important to me.
Vivian: This sort of ties into the last question. You have so many projects going all the time: working on books, traveling, etc.; how do you manage?
Mary: I recently had to go back to a day job. If we’re slow I have my laptop so I can work on blogs, promotion or email in between calls. That clears up less things for me to do when I’m off work and can write. I have really had to adjust my writing schedule and give my permission on some day’s not to write since I went back to work. At first I stressed when I was too busy and couldn’t be at my computer writing or editing. Now I am in the process of organizing my life so I’m not stressed when I’m too busy.
Vivian: Do you have a particular writing process or technique that you use, if so, what?
Mary: I do not plot. I tried that once after a workshop and to this day those plotted chapters are away in a file. My characters wouldn’t even speak to me after that. I am a total pantser. I find out what happens as I go, just like the reader. Basically I spit it out until the end. Then I start at the beginning and fill it in, layering and patching up sagging middles, etc.
Vivian: How do you feel when you complete a book?
Mary: Conflicted. On the one hand, I’m thrilled it’s over, and I want to go out and reward myself. On the other hand I’m sad to have the journey and with my friends.
Vivian: How do any writing groups benefit you and your writing?
Mary: When I first started writing I didn’t even know they existed. I had no clue how to do anything. Utah RWA saved me and helped me more than I can say.
Vivian: What advice would you have for a new author?
Mary: First, join a writers group. They’re a community of like minds who will take you under their wing and steer you in the right direction. Going in the right direction is only the first step. You need to do your research. Find out what agent/editor wants your genre, and who is actively seeking new clients. Before you submit, check them out make sure they’re legitimate. I can’t stress this enough.
Vivian: What is your most recent book, and what inspired you to write it?
Mary: It’s Classic Murder: Mr. Romance
I love old movies and I happened to be watching a Cary Grant movie, when the idea started as a small germ. By the end of the movie, I had note pad out scribbling notes about the plot. And no this doesn’t make me a plotter. I have a paragraph or two that could be called a short synopsis or blurb when I start the story. Then I add as I go.
Here’s a bit more about Classic Murder: Mr. Romance
Blurb, excerpt and trailer: http://www.marymartinez.com/mrromance.html
Web Site: www.marymartinez.com
Garden Blog: http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/
Thank you Vivian, this has been fun!
Thank you, Mary, for joining me today.
Mary has four books out and one novella. For more information, you can visit her web site: http://www.marymartinez.com
Join her newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marys_Books_and_Such/