Welcome to another author interview, a weekly feature of the 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour. My guest today is Mary Martinez.
Anne - What activity (cause, charity, organization) consumes your time when you’re away from the keyboard, Mary?
Mary - I have two main charities. Cancer and MS. Each year we, meaning me and my husband, are team captain for the Local Relay for Life. Sadly, I have known many friends and family who have had cancer; most of them have lost their battle. My best friend since we were pre-teens, passed away last summer.
I also have a dear friend who has MS. She has three girls, and she doesn’t let the disease slow her down. Right now, I am a cyber team captain for the
walk this year. Salt Lake City, MS
I do try to support others, I always check out Brenda Novak’s Diabetes auction in May, and there are many others.
Anne – It sounds as if you do far more than ‘try’, Mary! Tell us about your most recent release.Classic Murder: Mr. Romance
Mary - Adam enjoys a lifestyle most men only dream of. Then one day he wakes up to find the morning headlines blaring, "Another victim falls prey to Mr. Romance. Who is next?" He suddenly realizes his way of life is not only frivolous, but deadly.
Dubbed Mr. Romance by
society for his romantic adventures, Adam Fernando Russo loves women. But lately he realizes how lonely it is coming home to an empty house. Can he settle for only one woman? After he makes a list of qualities worthy enough to merit giving up his desirable existence, suddenly recipients of his coveted attention mysteriously fall prey to a murderer. The murders seem unrelated with one exception--all the victims have recently returned from a fabulous weekend rendezvous with Mr. Romance. New York
Adam’s assistant, Katie Sinclair, knows Adam is innocent with airtight alibis. The police are at a loss so Adam and Katie work together to discover the link between the murders. As luck would have it, their plan to prove the murderer is copying classic Cary Grant movies goes astray just as Adam realizes his perfect woman has been by his side all along.
Anne – So many authors also have a trailer for their book. Do you?
Mary – Yes! See the video, and reviews, and read an excerpt at: http://www.marymartinez.com/mrromance.html#video
Here’s an Excerpt:
"Would you like to come up for a drink?" Katie asked and then hiccupped loudly. Placing a hand over her mouth, she looked around. Adam watched her cheeks pinken with embarrassment. Then another giggle escaped. God, she's cute.
"Come on, Katie. Let's go to your apartment and get you ready for bed."
"Okay, I think you can walk to your apartment. Come on."
Adam was glad they didn't have to take the stairs. He would have had to pick her up and carry her. Not that it wasn't a tempting idea, but he was having a hard enough time controlling himself without the added temptation. At her apartment, he kept one arm around her waist and half propped her against the wall. He waited while she fumbled in her miniscule silver purse for her key. Then he unlocked the door.
Katie straightened up and looked up at Adam. Adam watched as she started to lean to the side, he hurried to place a steadying hand out, but before he could, she started to teeter the other way. He finally grabbed her by the shoulders. Walking her backwards until they reached the side of the building, he propped her up against the brick. He leaned down and took the ridiculously high-heeled shoes off her feet, one at a time. Shoes in hand, he stood up.
"In you go, Katie. Now which way to your bedroom?" Adam asked.
Before she could answer, Oscar barked from the kitchen where Katie had left him for the evening. First things, first; someone had to take care of the poor dog and then he could deal with Katie. He led her to the sofa, helped her sit and smiled at the silly grin she had on her face.
Standing at the door, Oscar waiting to be let out, Adam looked at Katie. “I’m talking the dog for a walk. Will you be all right?”
Katie blinked and her head rolled to the side to look at him. She grinned wider, then hiccupped. “Yup.”
Adam sighed. He couldn’t just let the dog out; he had to be on a leash. Hoping she stayed on the couch, he let himself and Oscar out.
When Adam let himself back into the apartment a few minutes later, Katie was still sitting where he had left her. Her eyes closed and the same silly grin spread across her face. He walked over and, as his face came level with hers, her eyes popped open and her hand came up quickly. Before Adam knew what was happening, she’d put her hand to the back of his head and pulled him in. Her warm lips locked with his. Desire shot through his body.
Reminding himself that she wouldn't remember it in the morning, he forced himself to pull away gently. Taking both her hands, he pulled her to her feet, where she slightly swayed.
"Okay, now again, which way to your bedroom?"
"That wa…" She pointed in the direction of the hall and she quietly melted to the floor.
Anne – Wow! Talk about ending with a hook! I can’t wait to read more. Do you have a fear, phobia, or habit you’d rather no one knew about?
Mary - Needles, yup even the thought sends a cold chill down my spine. No, I’m now a wimp, I actually have a pretty high tolerance for pain. It’s unexplainable. I even had all my kiddo’s natural just so I wouldn’t have to have the cervical block. Of course, it hadn’t helped that the nurse walked in holding that LONG needle in plain view and asked if I was ready. I told her where to go—in a nice way.
Even now, if I know I’m having a shot, I stress to the point of making myself sick a week prior. And then it’s nothing, maybe a pinch.
Anne –What one how-to write book is a must on your bookshelf? Why?
Mary - Stephen King’s On-Writing. It read more like a novel than a how-to book. I have a short attention span when it comes to reading. If it doesn’t have a hook and the plot doesn’t sweep me along, then they’ve lost me. And though educational books are a must, most the time I fall asleep before I can learn anything. Stephen King’s book kept me turning the pages and I learned a lot.
Anne – How long does it take you to write a book?
Mary - When I’m not working full time at a day job, I can spit one out in 6 weeks. However, I’m a panster, so then the real work begins. Editing, filling in the week spots, rounding out the story. That can take a few months.
Anne - Describe your home office as appears right now. Is this a good or bad thing?!
Mary - I have a nice office space, a former bedroom, all to myself. I have an L-shaped desk that holds my desktop, actually two large desktops, my pictures, printer, etc. It has a hutch for me to store things on. I keep it mostly clutter free.
The reason I have two desktops is I work from home for Apple Technical Support. When I go to work, I swivel my chair toward my work computer and phone. Then lunch, breaks and after work, I swivel back to my trusty writing desktop.
Anne - How many rejections did you acquire along the way? What kept you going?
Mary - I’m with a small publisher, currently I’m working toward an agent and a larger publisher. Therefore, I’m still receiving rejections. I have a cyber file full of rejections and a paper file full of rejections. Most of them are forms, but there are some agents/editors who have given me very good advice on my stories. I have re-written several scenes because of their comments.
Anne - What kept me going?
Mary - I want to write.
Anne – LOL. It’s that simple sometimes, isn’t it? If you could just snap your fingers and go, where would you visit, return to, or move? Why?
. No question, I visited there once and fell in love with it. Especially Italy and Venice , they are both different, but have their own charm. And of course, I love Italian food and I’m a wino. What better place to live or visit? Tuscany
Anne - Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?
Mary - Do your research. Before, during and after you write your manuscript.
Make sure you have all your location facts, if your story takes place in a real city or small town. If it’s a time piece take the time to make sure what your characters use, has been invented.
While you’re writing your book, you’ll find things you’ve missed in your research. Or you add things you hadn’t planned. Don’t put it off, thinking you will do it when you’re done. It’s too easy to forget. Stop for as long as it takes, and with the internet, it’s not that hard.
When you’re finished, research how to query. Make sure the agent you’re sending to is open for submissions, and if they even accept your genre.
Join a writing organization, if there’s not one local try an online one. They are so helpful; I wish I’d joined before I started my first book.
Anne – Super advice. Anything you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
Mary - If you’d like to win a copy of Classic Murder: Mr. Romance please tell me three things you can find about me, that is not mentioned in this interview. Here are some resources to use.www.marymartinez.com
Anne –Thanks for dropping by today, Mary. Classic Murder: Mr. Romance is definitely on my TBR list.
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