Today’s featured author interview :Martine Lewis; Author of Crossing the Barrier- a contemporary young adult romance.
What are the names and dates of your published novels?
Crossing the Barrier – The Gray Eyes Series – Book One was published on March 22, 2016
What genre/subgenres do you write in?
I write upper Young Adult Contemporary Coming-of-Age Romance with a touch of Paranormal.
How long have you been writing?
I began to write when I was 11 years old. I use to write ban-fiction and fan-fiction. I wrote one original story in high school, but it was my only original work before this series.
What made you want to be a writer and have you always wanted to write?
I have always considered myself a writer, but, I never thought I would publish anything. If anything, when my sister asked, I always told her that I did it for fun and was too lazy to create my own world. Well, not anymore… I think she’s the major reason why I finally ventured to create my own universe.
Who is your favorite author?
I have many but, I want to say Cambria Hebert is my favorite. I love her #hashtag series.
What was the first piece of fiction that you fell in love with?
It’s been too long… Maybe Mercedes Lackey, her first Valdemar trilogy… It’s been way too long…
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy talking about people who fascinate me, taking the time to get to know them, and telling their stories.
How long did it take to write your first and how long to write the last novel?
Usually, I can write a 95,000 words in a month. I use challenge months such as the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), Camp Nano, and Junowrimo to complete my first drafts, and off months to plan and edit. It works for me to have the pressure of a challenge in order to obtain a good word count by a certain date. I think my first draft is by far the easiest part to write. I once wrote a 100,000 words fan-fiction beginning to end in 10 days… But I was never able to repeat that feat!
What three words would you choose to describe your writing style? Energetic, fun, but also angsty.
Are your characters inspired by real life people, or do you make them up 100%?
Lily was made up. The idea of Malakai came from my looking at a particular player from the high school football games I attend. But Malakai’s character is completely different and he doesn’t play the same position so that’s where the similarity stops.
What sort of mood or feelings did you hope to convey to your readers with your latest work?
Things may be dark, but they won’t stay dark forever.
Can you tell us a little bit about the main character of your most recent novel?
Lily is a band member with a secret. Malakai is a football player who is rather lonely. Both have issues at home but very different ones. They fall in love and have to face their issues in order to grow and come into their own.
How do you go about building an antagonist?
I don’t really “build” them. They actually come to me and tell me I need to write their stories. It’s unsettling sometimes. That’s how my second series was born. A minor character of my book (who didn’t make the cut!), jumped out of the page and screamed at me to write her story. She came fully developed and all… She hasn’t told me all of her story yet, just some of the background. I think she’s mad that I told her she would have to wait a few years before I can get to her.
What is your writing process?
Usually, a first draft is one month. Then I let the draft sit for at least one month before coming back to it for a first revision. If it’s good enough (which it rarely is), I send it to my legal reviewer and my betas. If it’s not good enough, it sits for another month then receives a second round of revision before going to legal review and betas. When I get it back, I take one month to review it then I send it to development editing. After development editing (usually 2 months – one for my editor, one for me), I send it to copyediting. Copyediting is two rounds of comments from my editor and takes about 2 months of back and forth. Then it’s proofreading with a second editor, and that is also two rounds and take about 45 days. During that time, my cover artist works on the cover. Once it’s all done, I create the the paper copy layout and then the eBooks.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Rollerskate. Yeah, even at my age, I still do.
Do you ever need to escape from writing, if so, what do you do to get away?
I drive… well, it’s not really an escape. It’s when I can figure out my plot issues. Real escape…. Mmmmhhh, rollerskating is one.
What is the hardest part for you as an author? What do you consider the easiest?
Grammar and finding the right word is the hardest part. English is my second language after all. I also struggle with show/tell. Characterization is probably the easiest part.
What is your biggest pet peeve as an author?
Pen color! Even on my white board… Everything needs to follow a certain order of color.
Are there any authors that you feel directly inspired you, your works, or your style?
Cambria Hebert is definitely one of them.
Would you say that you were good at English in high school? If not, what were you good at?
I was okay at everything; even English. I wasn’t the best student ever (I had stuff to write after all), but I was doing all right.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what are some ways that you overcome it?
Yes, I do. They last for years. Before, I would just wait for it to go away. After all, I was writing fan-fiction so keeping a schedule wasn’t important. Now, I just hope I don’t get one! I don’t know how I would manage it.
Any current projects that we can look forward to?
The Gray Eyes Series is a series of six books; the first in the series is now available. I plan on releasing one book every six months. After that series, there are two others planned.
What are your long-term goals as a writer?
After The Gray Eyes Series is over, I am planning on starting on my second six book series, The Blue Eyes Series, then move on to my third series, The Green Eyes Series. I currently have a five-year schedule that covers the first two series.
Are you planning any spin-off novels?
Not so much a spin-off novel as spin-off content which will be available for free on the website, to my newsletter subscribers.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t give up. Don’t listen to mom. Keep on writing.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. And when you’re ready, seek help and advice. There are so many good writers groups on Facebook. Join a few and ask for help. Writers are generous people, they will help you if you ask.
Are there any other interesting things that you would like your readers to know?
I have all sorts of things coming up the pipeline. Please join my newsletter to keep informed.
How can your readers find out more about you and your books?
Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/martinelewisauthor
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/martinelewis