Thursday, August 4, 2011

Interview with author Martin Sharlow

Paranormal writer Martin Sharlow joins us today as he travels to many stops with a virtual book tour through The VBT Cafe.

Welcome, Martin. Please tell us about your current release, Shades of Blood.
My current release is the sequel to Shades of Twilight. Basically, this book takes off from the very next morning after the ending of the last book. Needless to say, the story that began in book 1 is far from over, and our heroes are just finding this out.

I actually like this one better than the first, and that's mostly because I get to see the characters grow more in this one. In the first book I was laying a foundation for who they basically were, now we get a chance to see where they're going. A lot of people didn't like Melissa's personality in book 1, and I have to admit, I didn't like it either. But these books are like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. When I started book 1 I was looking at Melissa's personality as a whole, covering more than just the first book. So I'm hoping people will like her more as she grows.

What inspired you to write this book?
Mostly, the story wasn't over and it needed to go on. I could have left it where it was, but I really had a need to see Melissa grow. So more than anything, that is the driving factor.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm actually working on several projects at the moment. A lot of them are only in the outline or idea stage. But off the top, I'm working on a novelette that's actually my first vampire erotica story. I'm hoping that will be out in July.

I also have a novella I'm several chapters into. It's about a young man who finds himself turned against his will into a vampire, and is left to fend for himself with no idea what to do. In the end he decides that for his family's safety it would be better that they think he was dead. Unfortunately for him he later finds out that his family died under mysterious circumstances after he left, and his living younger sister has disappeared. This leads him into the plot of the book, in his search for answers about exactly what happened to his family and his attempts to locate his sister. Of course he meets people along the way, and discovers a love interest for himself as well. I don't want to give too much away, but I have high hopes for this one.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, I have always written somewhat. I never actually expected to be a writer, I kind of just woke up one day and found out, "hey I'm a writer." So it's been kind of a big surprise to me, but I'm actually starting to really enjoy it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a full-time writer. Whatever that is… I'd love to say that I write all the time, but the truth is sometimes it's like pulling teeth when I'm trying to get myself to write. It's not that I don't enjoy writing, it's more like my hobby has become a job, and trust me that isn't always good. Not that I would change it. My biggest problem, is that I can't find a comfortable or conducive place to work. Sometimes I can get away with working at home. More often than not I find myself getting most my work done at places like McDonald's or Starbucks. A couple of times, I actually wrote at a hotel room on the ocean. That was cool, except I never really got the chance to actually walk down by the water. Working, you know.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I suppose the most interesting writing quirk I'm having right now is that I'm trying out using Dragon speak software. I'm hoping that it will increase my productivity. I'm suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome at the moment, so my typing is really slow, as well as painful. So if this works out, I should actually be able to write more. Which is a good thing, except I won't be actually able to use the software anywhere but home or a hotel room. After all, the noise in most places would wreck havoc on the voice-recognition not to mention I'm sure people would be staring at me as I dictated stories.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Believe it or not, up until the age of eight I wanted to be an archaeologist. I don't know why I got that in my head, most likely because of my interest in dinosaurs at the time. I believe a schoolteacher changed my mind about it when they told me how difficult finding work as an archaeologist would be. I think it went something like "the world can only support a couple of archaeologist at one time." So I gave up my little dream then. After that, I just decided I wanted to be a millionaire, not that I had any plan or for that matter ever succeeded.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just one thing about my book. When I wrote it, I decided I wanted my characters in the real world. Not just some alternate world. So I tried to breathe life into them and make them as real as possible. Some people don't like the fact that I made references to the Twilight series. But Melissa is a fan of the books, not to mention various other vampire series. So her entire knowledge base comes from paranormal romance vampire books. She only has those as a frame of reference to attempt to understand what's going on in her life right now. I don't know about anyone else, but I've met lots of people that wish they had a vampire lover like in all the books. You have to admit that if you found yourself in such a situation, wouldn't you find yourself referencing those source materials in an attempt to understand what was going on? Melissa can't help but try to find parallels between herself and say Bella or some other lead girl in a different vampire novel. So try to keep that in mind as you read the books. I know if I was her I would expect at least some similarities to the books I read. Anyways I hope you enjoy it, and I want to thank you for allowing me to share on your blog with you.

Thanks for being here today, Martin and sharing a bit about yourself and your writing. Best wishes for the rest of your virtual book tour.

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