L. J. Martin is the author of three dozen works of both fiction and non-fiction from Bantam, Avon, Pinnacle and his own Wolfpack Publishing. He lives in Montana wtih his wife, NYT bestselling romantic suspense author Kat Martin. He’s been a horse wrangler, cook as both avocation and vocation, volunteer firefighter, real estate broker, general contractor, appraiser, disaster evaluator for FEMA, and traveled a good part of the world, some in his own ketch. A hunter, fisherman, photographer, cook, father and grandfather, he’s been car and plane wrecked, visited a number of jusgados and a road camp, and survived cancer twice. He carries a bail-enforcement shield. He knows about what he writes about.
What inspires you to write?
What drives anyone to, as Hemingway said, bleed on a keyboard? It’s a compulsion and a profession…and what’s better than loving to go to work, even if it’s only a few feet from bedroom to office?
Tell us about your writing process.
There’s no such thing as “writer’s block.” That only strikes lazy people who don’t really WANT to write. It’s a little like hiring a carpenter to build you a garage and you walk out the back door to find him staring at a pile of lumber. You ask him “what’s the problem?” And he replies, “carpenter’s block.” I’m an early riser, and like to write early, but I also do a lot of career things for myself and my wife, mostly on youtube and social media, so don’t get to write quite as much as I’d like. We have adjoining offices, and it’s nice to have someone who understands when you keep writing when dinners on the table…and that goes for both of us as I do lots (actually most) the cooking.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m very character driven and not as plot organized as my wife, Kat, although sometimes her characters do their own thing. I remember her stomping into my office saying, “I couldn’t keep them out of bed.” I still laugh at that one.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, write, write, and read what you love to write. I often laugh at people who say “I’m going to write a book,” and when I ask “what do you read?” reply “Oh, I don’t read much.” WRONG. They are folks who don’t want to write, but rather want to “have written.”
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After having a couple of dozen books published by Bantam, Avon and Pinnacle, it was affirmation enough that I knew something about writing. The hard-part of self-publishing is selling on the web, and I have a partner in Wolfpack Publishing, which published my back list, some new books, and lots of other writers. We now have over 40 non-Martin books out there and are doing very well with them…particularly with those writers who have a backlist. It’s much easier to be successful when an author has multiple books and one can play off the other.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
So long as there are compelling stories out there there’s a bright future for all of publishing. Readers will settle in to what and how they want to read, be it conventional paper books, ebooks, or even mobi. I’ve beer around long enough to laugh at the doomsdayers, like those who said TV would crater the film biz, now it’s the primary market for film. Yes, things change, but good stories will always find a way to reach the public.
What genres do you write?
thriller, mystery, romance, western and non-fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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