About Mauro Martone:
I was born in Glasgow, raised between Edinburgh and the East Neuk of Fife and attended residential school in the north of Scotland. I have been a waiter, a Barista, a wine sales person, and a taxi driver. I keep dogs, feed foxes and enjoy football.
What inspires you to write?
I guess having several stories to tell. I imagine little scenes as I walk the dog or drive my car, then I feel the urge to write these down and cook them all into a tale of sorts. Then I want to tell the tale to myself through my initial notes and draft. It is an addictive process that just happens, so I can only conclude that I must be stimulated by my imagination and ability to improvise.
Tell us about your writing process.
I remember hearing that Sly Stallone had written Rocky fairly quickly promptly the early hours and I understood how he could work much faster that way. I write at night too because there is nothing to distract me. The house is quiet, the dogs are relaxed, there is no traffic going past, and I don’t have the news or radio on. Nor am I answering emails or taking calls either of course, which helps. So, I find that it works for me too. I then have a good comprehension of the theme, then I think about it for days more and continue to do so as I finally begin writing the story. I don’t outline as such, well not in the way I would for say a university dissertation. Rather I tend to write freely and let my imagination run. I admit I was initially worried that this was not a clever idea, but in the end, it was the method that seemed to work best for me, so I just stuck with it. After which I then go back and re-write it and repeat the process until it is fine tuned. I do not do character sketches at all as I usually base my characters on individuals I have come across in my life. For example, years previously when I had been writing short stories, I would just jump on a bus across the city and then back again to where I lived and find either a mannerism or an appearance on another passenger who got on the bus. Then, I might give them to a fictional character before adding the persona of two or three individuals I had previously been acquainted with throughout my life. I could use the personas of anyone from a TV newsreader to a bar manage. I suppose it is like cooking in a sense, in that you forage around the supermarket for various ingredients etc and then cook them up at home where you add your own seasoning.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I dont. They only come alive in my mind as I am creating their individual stories. I think I have liked and also disliked some, but because they are all a fusion of people and their varied mannerisms, they only talk on the page for me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write about something you love, care about or are passionate about. It is akin to doing a degree, if you chose the subject based on your passion for it, it will never become a chore. The other I would say is, when you are finished, then trim it down again. I know it can be hard, but getting rid of the excess is something learned at university in your papers, as you will be criticised there for not doing so. Understand this and apply it to your work as a writer, no matter how agonising it seems to be deleting what is otherwise good work; for understanding that is key to forging a good novel.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was very lucky in that the first two publishers I communicated with, wanted to publish Kertamen. I think it is important to buy the Writers and Artists Yearbook and research which house would be interested in your story. It is all to easy to accept the first or second offer, but that is where a first time novelist can make a big mistake and chose the wrong house. You learn that first time round, and then are wiser for it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that the process might sadly become more and more electronic but that the stories people want to tell will continue to flourish regardless.
What genres do you write?: Conspiracy Thriller, magical realism, crime, Christian fiction, paranormal, history
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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