Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Interview with mystery author Mary E. Martin

Today we are being visited by a virtual blog tour celebrating the completion of author Mary E. Martin's second series, The Trilogy of Remembrance. The books are: The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde, and Night Crossing.

I’d like to welcome followers of the tour joining us from Book Musings, and from other sites on the tour.

As part of the tour, the author is sponsoring a $200 Amazon gift card giveaway, as well as to receive a purchase incentive package donated by the tour sponsors.

Entries in Mary's $200 Amazon gift card giveaway will be accepted until midnight on August 31, 2015 with an announcement of the winner posted from Mary's Blog on September 1, 2015. Anyone submitting a proof of purchase entry in the giveaway draw will receive as an added benefit the tour purchase incentive rewards package of free e-books and discount coupons donated by tour hosts.

For a full tour schedule of events, as well as details on how to enter the lottery drawing for the gift card and receive the purchase incentive rewards package, visit Mary E. Martin at http://maryemartintrilogies.com/virtual-tour/.

I encourage you to follow the tour further by visiting The Book Bag for reviews of Mary's work.

Graduating from the University of Toronto in Honours History in 1968, Mary E. Martin obtained her law degree from Queen’s University and began practice in Toronto, primarily in wills, estates and real estate from 1973 to 2001. Since then she has worked full time as a writer and photographer with six novels and six shows to her credit.

As an author, Martin has published two trilogies, The Osgoode Trilogy and The Trilogy of Remembrance, which have garnered many awards and much critical acclaim in almost fifty reviews. The Osgoode Trilogy, set in the corridors of power of the legal world, was inspired by her many years of law practice.

The Trilogy of Remembrance is an exploration of the art world where questions of creativity abound. The novels have attracted popular attention and praise with readers through social media recognition. Martin’s popularity has grown with readers through internet promotion activities, as a featured novelist with Wattpad, as a popular guest for podcast interviews, and as a blogger often on topics of art and culture.

Welcome, Mary. Please tell us about your current release.
Night Crossing the third in The Trilogy of Remembrance.

What inspired you to write this book?
Night Crossing is the final novel of The Trilogy of Remembrance and is “built on” or inspired by the two preceding novels, The Drawing Lesson and The Fate of Pryde.

My earlier writing in The Osgoode Trilogy, [Conduct in Question, Final Paradox, and A Trial One] featured a Toronto lawyer, Harry Jenkins and was inspired by my many years of law practice in Toronto. In that trilogy, I found that amid murder and fraud, I was also exploring other quite different issues of love, forgiveness and compassion. And so, I’d say the first trilogy really did inspire the second.

After completing The Osgoode Trilogy, I wanted to continue exploring those kinds of issues and so, realized I needed a new leading man, Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape artist. I’ve had a lifelong love of all the arts and thought that I should view the world through the eyes of this artist. And so, my love of the arts and my desire to explore quite different issues including the BIG questions.

What sort of BIG questions? These are just a few: Do we inhabit a random universe or one which is governed by mysterious forces we don’t yet understand? How can the very worst and the very best of humankind thrive in one man’s breast? Can there be a love so strong that it transcends death?

Would you like to meet Alexander? Here he is at the beginning of Night Crossing desperate because his muse has abandoned him.

Excerpt from Night Crossing:
Chapter 1
Sharp rays of sun illuminated tubes of paints set out in orderly rows. Brushes stood upright in tins like sentries organized by size and rank. A dirty rag, smelling of turpentine, dropped to the floor and a stony-faced artist gazed at his half-finished canvas. Suddenly, with an anguished cry, he flung his palette at the canvas.
What he then saw froze and silenced him. The palette did not strike the canvas
but veered willfully off in a wild arc of its own creation. The spinning palette appeared to take aim at the long, elegant neck of a mannequin he sometimes used for still-life drawing. It struck it with full force. At first, the mannequin seemed suspended in time and space but then it clattered downward onto a tin of bright red paint. The tin spilled over dripping paint from the table to the floor where it congealed in a massive red pool. The mannequin lay face-up with a bloodied nose.
Witnessing such absurdities unfolding before his eyes, the artist gave an angry bark of laughter. Surely some unseen hand had mysteriously directed the cascade of events! How could one tin of paint flood an entire studio floor? Astonished to witness such unnatural events, the artist glanced warily about his studio. Shaking his head, he rushed to sop up the mess with a rag.
 Even inanimate objects seemed to mock him. Although there was nothing to do but laugh, he did not. Throwing aside the rag, Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter, glared at his canvas and shouted, “Disgusting! Stupid and trite!”
Scowling, he stared out the high windows of his studio. Beyond them, twilight crept over the Thames dotting it with tiny pinpoints of light. A ferry churned across the river just beyond Tower Bridge and shadows fell softly across his studio. His foot tapped out a staccato rhythm.

But this artist is about to be shocked by a vision rising up before him—one that will set him on his journey from London to Paris and St. Petersburg

What exciting story are you working on next?
Have you ever seen a trilogy morph into a quartet? I’m thinking about turning The Trilogy of Remembrance into a quartet. Throughout the trilogy there has been a strange rivalry between Alexander Wainwright and his “friend and nemesis” Rinaldo who is a conceptual artist. In terms of personality, world view and their art, these two men are polar opposites. I think they are fated to collaborate in their art in the next story. That raises a lot of fascinating questions such as what might be lost and what might be gained in such an artistic collaboration? Somehow I don’t think I’m finished with these two characters.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I was in my early teens. But later, I realized I might actually have to earn a living. So, I studied History and English at University and then went to law school. That led me to practicing law for almost thirty years. I really liked the practice of law and in particular, the clients with all their troubles. Only later did I understand that this was the way to become a writer. I had a wonderful window on the world of humanity and found inspiration for The Osgoode Trilogy which is set in the world of Toronto lawyer, Harry Jenkins, and protagonist of the trilogy.

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 do write full time now but only after retiring from law practice. One of the greatest challenges that a writer encounters is promotion. It makes writing of the novel look easy! One of the most effective means of this is blogging from my website.

What to blog about? I’ve been having a lot of fun allowing some of my characters to be guest bloggers. Alexander Wainwright, artist and star of The Trilogy of Remembrance, has taken to exploring Cyberspace. Lately, he has visited quite a few famous personages such as the artist Marc Chagall and writers such as Dostoevsky and the poet Lord Byron. He time travels in Cyberspace and is astounded to find that sometimes these long since dead artists know him. Lots of fun! Please visit my blog at http://maryemartintrilogies.com/blog

I have a rule which works well for me. I don’t try to work on a novel [especially a first draft] unless I feel I have something to say. If I do, usually poor quality writing comes out because it’s forced.

Other activities? Travel, photography and playing with my grandchildren.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
If frustrated with the results of my writing efforts, I might well take a nap. This isn’t laziness. It gives your subconscious, where all the good creative stuff lives, a time to speak up. And so, often a writing question is answered after a good nap.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer and at one point, a filmmaker, but I didn’t get into films and the writing only much later.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m frequently asked about writing advice. It’s simple—don’t ever give up. NEVER!


Thank you, Mary!


Vonnie said...

I've been following the tour to make comments and am quite impressed with the quality of interviewing and insights, reviews, and articles I am reading. My enthusiasm is really up as I am currently reading Conduct in Question! Great interview and Books. Congratulations Mary on your Success!

Mary E. Martin said...

Thanks very much for the opportunity to talk about one of my favourite topics--writing. Please join me on my blog where the characters come to life.