Featured Author – Martin Crosbie

Martin CrosbieHi Martin, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.

Being a Scot, do you ever wear a skirt? Sorry, kilt. 🙂 And do you wear anything under it when you do. (Couldn’t resist that one)

My buddy got married many years ago and we all wore kilts. I believe that was the only time. It was very liberating. And, quite um, cool too. Did that answer your question completely, Lucy?

 Hahaha, sort of. Hey, that is a very writer-like answer! Not fair, you create suspension when I’m interviewing you! There’s all sorts going through my mind now. I need to Know!

But instead I’ll just ask you what you think of Haggis.

Whenever I’m in Inverness I visit my cousin Yvonne and her family and inevitably she cooks me haggis and neeps (turnips). I say all the right things and get it down as her husband and son and her giggle at me. I’m going to assume that she won’t read this interview so here goes – Haggis is disgusting. If you haven’t tried it don’t do it.

(laughs, nearly choking in her coffee and Ginger Bisquit.) Sorry, but that is hilarious! She must really dislike you. 🙂 For those that don’t know what Haggis is, it is sheeps pluck (fancy word for its heart, lungs, and liver). That is minced with onions, oatmeal, and suet. Seasoned, stuffed in its stomach, and then cooked for a couple of hours. 

I think I must thank you for the warning, but are there any readers that absolutely love Haggis?

You’re welcome.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Pizza is a constant in my life but not so much in my books. I may have to change that.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

Can you tell us a bit about your self-publishing journey?

Lucy, I was turned down by traditional publishing over and over again. Nobody wanted to publish my book so I self-published. I ended up being in the right place at the right time and released my first book “My Temporary Life” at the end of 2011. After joining Amazon’s KDP Select program I managed to find lots of readers for my novel. It ended up rising as high as top five overall on Amazon’s rankings and continues to sell every day over two years later. Since then I’ve published four other books including a self-publishing guidebook, I teach workshops and write and blog for whoever asks me to. As my writing mentor Ed Griffin tells me “It’s a great time to be a writer”.

He is so right! And you were’nt just at the right time and in the right place, it must be a pretty good book if it after two years still finds new readers.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

I wrote a Christmas romance and released it at the end of last year (appropriately enough). “Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Christmases” has surprised me. Believing AgainI thought it would be a nice little book that would sell every Christmas and perhaps connect with some readers. Well it did do well over the holidays but it continues to sell consistently. I was fortunate enough to have it read by a number of different beta readers who read strictly romance and my book went through many, many changes. In its final form it is not a traditional romance but still has found a large readership. In fact it hit number one in its category for a few days last week and it continues to sell well. So, seasonal stories aren’t necessarily read just during the season they are set in. This book has performed so well that a sequel is in the works. I hope to have “Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Valentines” released by summer.

What do you love most about being an author?

I like the fact that I can talk to myself, dress in weird clothes, bathe sporadically and blame it on the fact that I’m an artist.

Just kidding. I enjoy the freedom. I enjoy the fact that I can work my own hours (lots of them) and I’m the master of my own destiny. If I do a good job working hard and connecting with my readers I’ll succeed. There are other factors too as you know Lucy but I do believe that if I keep writing I’ll become a better writer and continue to attract readers.

I know what you mean, and practice makes perfect, so don’t stop writing. 🙂 You do know there is no such thing as perfection?

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I pay it forward. I help other authors whenever I can. If someone has a question I try to be right there helping. In doing this I’ve built a support system of very giving friends and we help each other move forward. The self-publishing community in general is different from anything I’ve ever experienced in other businesses. There really is a common goal of seeing each other’s work be recognized and read. For example I just read one of the best books I’ve read in years, and it was written by a new Indie author. I’m going to do everything I can to get the word out for her because I believe in her work. And, I know that positive energy will come back at me somehow. It always has.

That’s great, and in sync with my idea exactly! It’s what I do on this blog and wherever else I can.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I’m on day 35 of my 1,000 word a day challenge and I hope to be able to tell you at the end of the year that I haven’t missed a day. So, I have no excuses.

Can you tell me something no one has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I’m afraid of bears. I love John Irving novels and from time to time he has a bear lurking somewhere and usually they’re relatively harmless but I’ve seen them in real life and they scare me. We were camping a few years ago (in a motorhome fortunately) and a bear sauntered through the campground. I stayed as calm as I could but inside I was not good. For a large animal they move extremely quickly and they’re very strong. So, I do not dig bears. There, now you know.

Ah, I guess you won’t be facing your fears and follow this example?

 

Thank you, Martin. Stay out of bear’s ways and do stop by again when ever you have an idea for a guest post, or more news to share.

Now readers, what is your biggest fear

And before you tune out, here’s where you can find Martin and discover more about him. 

Twitter | Facebook | Martin’s website | Amazon Author Page

It’s Just the Normal Noises in Here by Martin Crosbie

Today best-selling author Martin Crosbie is the guest blogger and he starts with a question, but then explains. I suggest you read it and look up the answer to his question.

***

The first reader who can tell me where the above semi-well-known phrase is from will receive their choice of one of my e-books.

I live with noises and voices in my head all the time. And, if you’re a writer you probably do too. It’s part of the deal. I’m currently writing two books at the same time. I’ve tried to do this previously and one has always fallen by the wayside. This time it seems to be working though. When I get stuck with the story in one book I switch to the other. One story is a light, romantic tale that takes place on a tropical island and there’s lots of laughter and occasional frolicking. The other is darker. It’s the third book in a trilogy so it has to honor its predecessors by maintaining the personalities of the characters who have been carried over into the final book. And it gets really confusing. I wrote the first book three years ago and the majority of the characters that I’m bringing back weren’t in book two so I need to get to know them again. And, sometimes I can only take so much. When that happens I switch to my light, romantic tale on Valentine Island and spend some time with the characters that don’t require quite as much of my attention.

I heard a very successful author say one time that he lit some candles and invited his characters into the room each time he began writing. I’ve never needed the candles. They’re there, almost all the time. Driving is bad. Even if there’s someone else in the vehicle I can still think about my story and what’s currently happening in it and what’s going to potentially happen next. I can be smiling and listening to a conversation but I’m not really there. I’m on the tropical island or dealing with complex relationship issues or trying to figure out if I’m really going to put a ghost in the house. I’ve even had someone share an anecdote with me and I’ve caught myself just as I was about to relate a similar incident that happened to Malcolm or Heather or Stephen from one of my novels. It’s been very close a couple of times.

And, if I’m on my own it’s even worse. From time to time my mouth will move as I talk my way through part of my plot and occasionally I’ll even smile in satisfaction when I manage to pull some loose ends together. That’s me congratulating myself. I remember as a teenager sitting with my buddies in a fast food restaurant and watching in amazement as a man spoke to his own reflection in the glass windows. Now I know why. He was a writer.

Today, I do those same things and I’ve developed a way of dealing with anyone who notices. I’m sure karma has a group of rambunctious teenage boys lurking somewhere in my future, waiting to mock me. And, I know there have been drivers in cars beside me wondering why I’m muttering. Well, I deal with it this way. I don’t care. I don’t respond or acknowledge. I keep working out my story in my head, mumbling and muttering as needed. I’ve always enjoyed being a little bit different, and being a writer has allowed me to adopt eccentricities that most people would find strange or weird. So go ahead, stare all you want. I’m a writer and I don’t care. It’s just the normal noises in here.

So, how about your noises?