Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Interview with Author, Marti Talbott

For this post I have interviewed fellow author,
Marti Talbott.   You can see her Amazon author 
page Here.   She has written over 24 books 
of admirable style and spirit.  The first book
 in her Highlander series is always
available for free on Kindle and I encourage
                                             you to download your own copy and try out her other books as well.   

   Here is a recent interview that Marti was kind enough to agree to.

Q:   Some writers are inspired by their heritage and wish to explore it further.  One of 
 your series of books, the Highlander, is set in Scotland in the past.   Are you of Scottish
 origin?  If so, tell us about that.
My grandfather was Scottish and belonged to an American branch of the McClurg
 (MacClurg) Clan in Iowa. He was a giant compared to my little 4'8" grandmother,
 and the most gentle and affectionate man I have ever known. We children didn't 
 dare cross him, however.

Q:   I like to write several different genres but there are some, like horror or erotica,
 that I can’t imagine writing a book on.  Tell us about the genres you write and how you
 came to choose them. 
I had always been an avid reader, but I stopped buying books once they included 
more graphic sex and violence. My mother loved history, and I inherited that love,
 so it is natural for me to write historical romance. My grandparents left journals
 about previous McClurg generations and their lives in the early 1900's, which inspired
 both the Carson Series and the Marblestone Mansion series.

Q:   Do you describe your books as fiction or romance?
It is interesting that romance books are listed by the booksellers as fiction. All I know,
 is that everyone loves falling in love, so if I had to choose, I would choose romance.

Q:   Are you a plotster (you plan out what is going to happen in each chapter
 before you start writing) or a pantster (you write ‘by the seat of your pants’ –
 in other words you decide where the plot and characters are going as you 

Definitely a pantster. I begin with two characters and a problem for them
 to solve. I never know how they are going to solve it until much later 
in the writing. I also include a subplot in most books. It helps me as
 a writer, because I can move on to the subplot when I can't figure out 
where the main plot is going next. 

Q:  I sometimes find it difficult to decide on a character’s name and I realize I 
have repeated some of the names in different books.   How do you choose your
 character’s names?

I agree, this is a tough one. I have a list of Scottish names, but some are
 impossible for readers to pronounce, so I shorten or revise them a little.
 Yes, I have used names more than once, but not too often, I hope. 

Q:   Some writers, like me, like to write under pen names.   Do you do this or
 have you considered this?
The problem with writing under more than one name is that it makes marketing 
twice as hard. I used my real name form the beginning, and am glad I did.
 Name recognition is very important and having a name people can remember 
helps readers find my website and my books. 

Q:   You’ve written before about your marketing efforts.   Is this something 
you enjoy or something you make yourself do?
Marketing is a lot of hard work, but it can't be over looked if a new author
 wants to succeed. I won't lie, it is often drudgery, but it can be done
 effectively. I write for a while, promote for a while and then go back
 to writing. I try to promote during the hours when people are commuting 
or getting home in the evening on the east coast. 

Q:    Have you visited the locations you write about?    If so, have you found
 that to be an inspiration?

I would love to see Scotland, but I am too old to go now.

Q:   I enjoyed your book, “Triplets” in which the three main characters are
 young men.  Do you find it more difficult to write from a male perspective? 
  I know I tend to focus on female characters.

A man once pointed out that men and women have the same emotions,
 they just react to them differently. He was a little miffed at me at the time, 
but it is a point well taken. Knowing that, makes it easier to write my male 
characters - figuring out how they will react is something else again.

Q:  You are also a resident of the Pacific Northwest and one of your books
 is set in Seattle.   Most of my books are set in the Pacific North West. 
  Have you considered writing another novel set here?
I love the Pacific Northwest, but I have not truly considered writing more books
 about the area. It has some rich history and it would be a lot of fun. Alaska gold
 rush days here would be fantastic to write about, although it has been done 
many times before. I actually have a great uncle who got caught up in the fever. 

Q:   I enjoy writing dystopic novels but find they take considerably more time
 in terms of the world building and other features.     How did you find that with 
the book you wrote of an earthquake in Seattle, Seattle Quake 9.2?
I worked in downtown Seattle at the time, on the 43rd floor of the building
I use in the story.   How do you get out of a high-rise if an earthquake
collapses two bottom floors?  I thought about that a lot.

Q:   We both write what some call ‘clean’ fiction'.    After a certain bestseller,
 which won’t name, do you feel that you are fighting against a trend or do you hope,
 as I do, that there will always be a market for less graphic novels?

The secret to success is always going to be word-of-mouth.  I am often thanked
for writing clean romance, so I am convinced there are many readers out
there who are searching for books with less smut.  It's just a question of finding

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