1. What is your name and where do you call home?
I like to go by C.E. Martin, and I live in southern Indiana, USA.
2. Do you have a pen name?
Sort of- I go by C.E. Martin because there are a lot of other Charles Martins in the writing world.
3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
It is entitled Mythical.
"With the help of the teenagers who found him, a super soldier tries to remember who killed him."
4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, this will be a three-part series. It could go on longer, if people are interested in it. I also have other projects on the backburner, ready to be written up when I finish Mythical.
5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Back in the 1970s and 80s, when I was a teenager, I read a lot. By the mid 80s, I wanted to be a novelist. A ghost writer for serial adventure books, actually. I particularly liked Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lester Dent and Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. I wrote a few books of my own, but only received rejection letters. I quit writing in 1990 when I joined the USAF, then took it up again, in 2003, with a nonfiction, true-crime book. That book ended up getting cut from the lineup when the publisher cut down their line. I again gave up writing for awhile, then started blogging in 2007. Last year I decided to give fiction writing a go again.
6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
I've only been self published for a couple of weeks, and have been using Smashwords' coupon system to offer free copies of Mythical to reviewers. I do plan on a free book weekend in the near future.
7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I designed my own cover using Corel Paintshop. The stone hand grasping the dragon ouroubouros is symbolic of the protagonist battling the shapeshifting antagonist in the book.
8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
This one- I never got to the point of designing covers for my other, unpublished works.
9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
I'm told Mythical looks a tad dark. I've tried to fix that. And that is actually my hand on the cover, photoshopped to appear like stone. I think my wrist is too thin.
10. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No- I think all the readers deserve to see the same thing.
11. How did you come up with the title for your book?
I wanted a simple, one word title, and since the antagonist is a mythical being (in the mdoern world), it just sort of fit.
12. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Yes, I think the beginning is a bit on the slow side- because you have to establish the characters before all the action starts. I originally wrote this as a screenplay, and the slow, mysterious build up works much better for film. For a novel, I should have started with more action to draw the reader in.
13. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
Nope. I think they are interesting, but I'm not sure if they're right for someone just starting out like myself.
14. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
E-books. I love laying in bed, reading an e-book by its own light. I can just put it down and go to sleep. I started out reading PDFs on my Palm Pilot Tungsten E2, then moved to my Samsung smart phone. It's really neat to be able to carry around several hundred books on my smartphone. I know I probably won't ever get around to reading all of them, but having that choice is great.
15. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes. I decided to try self-publishing first, this time. I am also in the process of submitting to publishers and agents.
16. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
I think the book I have read most in my life was "Trapping Wild Animals in Malaysian Jungles" by Charles Meyer. It is a sort of autobiographical tale of a man who captured animals for circuses and zoos in the late 1800s. I think I read it six times when I was a kid. I had a hardbound edition with great illustrations in it.
17. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
Absolutely. If the cover doesn't pique my curiosity there's no sense picking it up and reading the back. Best example of that was David Drake's "Ranks of Bronze" which has Roman Legionaires fighting aliens on the cover. Great book.
18. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Yes. My grandfather was always giving me scifi paperbacks when I was a kid- many of them, the cover was enough for me to read them. My favorite like that was "Deathbeast"... I can't recall the author's name now. It's a story of time travelers who hunt dinosaurs in the past for fun. As a kid, I thought that cover was just so cool.
19. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes, I almost passed on reading Michael Crichton's "Jurassic Park", because the cover was so plain. Luckily, the title intrigued me and I read it.
20. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
These days, I am always reading one of Lester Dent's Doc Savage, 1930s pulp novels. There are over a hundred of them, and over the years I have read most of them. But now that I'm older, I'm trying to read them in the right order. I haven't read one for a month or so- I think I was halfway through "The Land of Always Night" from March 1935.
21. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Be prepared for failure. Writing is about luck- there are plenty of bad books out there, that rehash old stories, or are written poorly. But if people find them, and like them, they become successful. No matter how good you think your book is, if no one sees it, or it doesn't appeal to anyone, it just won't do well.
The best advice I've seen is to write what you know. I take that to mean research what you're writing- plan it out meticulously before you write, so you don't write yourself into a corner.
22. Where can your readers follow you?
I started a blog for Mythical, at mythicaltheseries.blogspot.com, but there's not a whole lot there right now. As the book becmes known, I'll expand on it.
Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!