Just like Gillian Matthews, the heroine in her debut romance novel, The Reunion, Marina Martindale began her career as a graphic designer and artist, and several of her paintings have been featured in juried art shows. Over time, however, she discovered that writing was her true life’s passion.
“I love creating conflicted characters,” says Martindale. “I think they’re more like the people we meet in real life. I also like the complexity of romance. It’s an opportunity to delve deep into the human condition and try to understand what it is that motivates us to make the choices in life that we make.”
Martindale draws her inspiration from her own real life experiences, and those of the people around her. The stories, however, are fiction.
“The path to true love is never an easy one,” adds Martindale. “Some are haunted by people from their past. Others have been deceived or betrayed by the people they trusted the most. All of us make bad choices, even if we don’t realize it at the time. My stories are about the unintended consequences of those bad choices, how the characters resolve them, and how they grow and become better people as a result.”
Marina Martindale resides in Tucson, Arizona. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, photography, quilt making, and cooking.
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by my own life experiences, as well as those of the people around me. I want to know what makes people tick, and why we do the things that we do. Ultimately, I’m inspired by the human condition.
Tell us about your writing process.
I typically begin by writing a treatment, or summary, of what my story is about, but I don’t go into a lot of detail. It’s purpose is to get me started on the first chapter. Once I start writing, the characters begin defining themselves, and at that point I’m writing by the seat of the pants. The characters grow and evolve as the story progresses, and I will often have to go back and rewrite earlier chapters to reflect the changes these character make. I’m always amazed at the end, because the final story is vastly different than what was in the treatment. That, to me, is what makes this so darn much fun.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Absolutely. I spend a lot of time sculpting my characters into believable, three-dimensional people. My protagonists are not perfect. They have character flaws and they make mistakes. Some of my antagonists start out as good people. As the story progresses they may find themselves in bad situations and become desperate. In their desperation they allow their evil sides take over. Some of my characters are inspired by real people. Some are composites, meaning they are inspired by more than one real-life person. Others are purely fictitious. All are believable.
What advice would you give other writers?
Find a good editor. You editor is your book’s best friend. He or she will find and correct the spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors that we can’t see because we’re too close to our work. A good editor will also look for inconsistencies and redundancies in your story and help you fix those as well. A good story, poorly written, can destroy you as a writer.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have my own publishing company, Good Oak Press. I publish my own books, as well as books for other authors.
Gone are the days when authors had to beg to have their books published, but now that the gatekeepers are gone, we have to become our own gatekeepers. That means we find the best editors and proof readers we can find, and we make sure the quality of the books we publish is just as high of quality as those published by the big publishing houses.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There will always be traditional publishing, but it will never rule the industry as it did in the past. More and more authors, even those who have been traditionally published in the past, are turning to self-publishing more many reasons.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Contemporary, sensual romance
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print