FRANK MARTIN author of many graphic novels, plus Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters with BWP.
So first, when did you realize that the voices in your head were telling you to write stories or go mad with all that stuck in your head?
The very first story I remember writing was in 1st grade about zombies rising on Halloween. I continued coming up with stories involving some of my favorite characters in video games in cartoons. I thought it was just kind of playing around like normal kids do. It wasn’t until I actually began writing fan fiction of those stories that I realized, “hey. Normal kids aren’t really doing this.” From there it wasn’t a long leap to write characters of my own.
I know many writers who jump in all different genres, so what is your favorite to write?
I really can’t pick a favorite genre as they all allow me to spread my creative wings in different ways. Horror let’s me unleash my dark side. Comedy my goofy side. Sci-fi my technical side. Fantasy my magical side. They’re all me. So choosing one over another feels wrong.
Currently, there are over a million books that I want to read… and some I have in the past I wish I had written myself, do you have any that you read that you thought about and said, I wish I had written that book?
This is a weird question. It’s kind of like asking, “are you jealous of other writers?” I would say no. There are definitely books I love! But to wish I wrote them instead…it’s just the wrong mindset to have. Takes focus away from what I can do myself.
What is your favorite book not written by you? See that question is not the same as the other one above… to follow up, what was your favorite book that you wrote?
I loved World War Z. One of the few books I would actually want to read again. A favorite book I wrote is actually an unpublished fantasy novel involving floating cities.
When the muse is off doing their own thing instead of pushing you to write, albeit by gunpoint at times, what is your favorite time-waster?
Video games. If I didn’t have to work, take care of my kids, go to the bathroom, eat, or pretty much do anything else, I could sit on the couch and play video games forever.
What is the one thing that you must do to get into a writing mood. For me, it is listening to 80’s hair metal.
With the amount of time I have during the day I don’t have the luxury of “getting in the mood.” I just have to go for it.
Is editing your story just part of the job or does it literally kill a part of you to “kill your children” as it has been said? What about making revisions?
Depends on the situation. Sometimes I can see so obviously where my mistakes are and have no problem chopping up a manuscript. Other times, I have several people telling me the same thing and have no choice but to “kill the children.”
When you read a book by another author do you ever look at it and criticize it or edit it in your head as the way you would have done it yourself?
Not so much with books. But movies? Absolutely.
What would you like to be chiseled into your headstone?
Nothing. I think cemeteries are a waste a land. Cremate me and toss me in the Gulf of Mexico.
What was your favorite candy to get at Halloween as a kid?
Mini Kit-Kats…wait. What do you mean “as a kid?”
What is your favorite Halloween ritual? And if you do not do that… what is your favorite Halloween movie?
I play a horror video game at night after everyone’s gone to sleep.
Beach, Mountains, Country, City? And follow up… favorite season… just a hint here… you should say Autumn.
I really like it all. Honestly. All the seasons and all environments. But I do like the transition seasons more. Spring and Autumn. When the weather really starts to change in either direction.
I know my “To Be Read” list is never ending and grows daily… how is yours? And do you prefer paperbacks or e-books? Notice I did not ask about audio?
I prefer paperbacks, but sometimes it’s easier to just get an e-book. My list isn’t long at the moment. Only about 10 books or so. But it’s never hard adding more.
If you could not be an author then what would you be?
I don’t understand the question. What does “not be an author” mean? Is that even possible?
What was your childhood ideal job to be as an adult?
Video game tester. I thought it was just playing video games all day. It’s actually a very boring job.
Advice in one sentence to a new author who is not published yet?
Don’t be afraid of criticism. Be vulnerable. Allow people to read your work and pick it apart. It will only make you stronger.
Do your siblings or other family members support your choice to write horror? Fantasy? Erotica… if you do? SCIFI? Other genres?
Support? That’s a strong word. Let’s just say they haven’t disowned me. Which is still a win in my book.
Do you ever use writing as an excuse to get out of doing things with the family… especially the in-laws?
If you had wrote a sex scene in your book, would you be embarrassed to have your mom read it?
Depends. How many orifices do the aliens have?
In your day of writing… do you push through it all day or do you take mental breaks?
A whole day of writing? Do such things even exist? What country are they allowed in? I want to move there.
Do you ever get to travel as an author? Do conventions? What have you learned in those endeavors?
I have. Not often. What I’ve learned is that people who don’t know you aren’t going to care about you. So you need to make them care.
Book signings? Necessary evil even for the introvert?
Yes. If you don’t want to meet your readers then why publish?
What do you have coming out in the next year and who is producing it?
I’m also a comic writer, so my next project coming out in the next couple of months is a crossover comic launching on Kickstarter.
What is your go to alcoholic beverage of choice?
I enjoy trying unique and strange craft beers. It’s probably the most hipster thing about me.
In the book, Misery by Stephen King, his main character celebrates the end of the Misery books series by smoking a cigar and drinking a scotch so, how do you celebrate a finished story?
By starting a new one.
Ideas come from all over. I get mine everywhere… so my question is what was the inspiration for the last (or upcoming) book you released?
I was a philosophy major in college, so a lot of my work comes from boiling a big metaphysical or ethical theme into a story.
Are there any horror or thriller novelist that you admired when you were younger?
Like most kids I loved RL Stine. Even today, I’m amazed by the amount of work he churned out.
While writing, has any of your own stories given you nightmares?
It’s usually the other way around.
Have you ever seen a movie that was better than the book? If so, what was it and why?
Never better. But different in a good way. I liked the American Gods series at times when it expanded upon parts of the book that were vague.
Do you ever base characters on people that you know? If so, do you ever kill said characters and feel bad?
Feel bad? I thought that was the whole reason you put people you know in your work?
I cannot live without Chapstick. What is one comfort item that you must have?
Tea. I usually drink three cups a day.
Do you ever feel that your characters have a mind of their own and change the course of the planned storyline?
Kind of. Sometimes I write the story the way I planned and I look at it and say, “this person would never do that,” forcing me to rewrite it.
Where can we stalk you at? Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, website?
My website is www.frankthewriter.com. You can follow me on Author pages at Facebook.com/frankmartinwriter
I’m also on Twitter and Instagram at the handle @frankthewriter