We had the chance to talk to Missy Martine this week! Check out her interview, and then her website!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I never actually wanted to be a writer. I grew up like a lot of little girls, dreaming of becoming a nurse. My dreams came true back in 1976 and I worked in hospitals doing patient care for several years. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, nursing wasn’t really my calling. I’m good technically, but I don’t think I had the right temperament or heart to be a really good nurse. I transferred my skills to medical management and eventually opened my own medical billing service. Fate stepped in again in 2002 when I suffered a series of small strokes that forced me into early retirement. My loving husband kind of goaded me into writing my first book as a sort of therapy. He wanted me to do something fun, that would exercise my brain at the same time. Nobody was more surprised than me when Siren agreed to publish Table for Three. I had a lot of fun writing it, even though it’s based loosely on my first disastrous marriage, and suddenly I wanted to write more and more. Now, it’s all I want to do. I’m constantly coming up with ideas for new stories, probably more than I’ll live long enough to write!
How long does it take you to write a book?
The first book I wrote took me almost six months from the beginning outline to the day of submission to Siren. It was definitely a learning experience. My husband insisted I submit it to a publisher, and since I bought all my online books from Bookstrand, Siren seemed the logical choice. Never in a million years did I believe they would publish it. I didn’t start my second book until I received a contract for Table for Three. My second and third books took me approximately three weeks a piece to write, including the opening outlines. I’m pretty sure that’s about as fast as I’ll ever be able to do them.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
My schedule is pretty flexible all the time. I don’t have an outside job so I can basically write whenever the mood strikes me. I usually see my husband off to work around 6:30 in the morning and then I sit down and catch up on my emails. I begin my day with checking what I wrote the day before for errors. This involves me reading the paragraphs out loud to make sure they make sense. After everything is the way I want it, I check over my outline to see where I am and then just start writing. I take periodic breaks and small walks around the apartment complex where we live so I don’t stiffen up in my chair. When my husband is home and not traveling for his company, I stop around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and spend a couple of hours either working on outlines for new ideas, or reading some of my favorite author’s works. Of course when hubby is traveling, like now, I can write any time day or night. I’m a night owl, often suffering from insomnia, and when he’s not here to disturb I write well into the night.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
That would have to be my sex scene Excel files. My strokes back in 2002 left me with a short-term memory problem. It’s not serious, but it did keep me from ever working in the medical profession again. I discovered early on that if you write erotic books, with more than one sexual encounter in the story, it’s easy to overuse words, phrases and positions without even being aware of it. So, I’ve learned to map out my love scenes before I start the book. I decide which positions, and which phrases and words for various body parts and acts I’m going to use. It’s kept my love scenes from sounding repetitious. I can honestly say I’ve never heard of another writer who approaches their love scenes in the same way.
When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first book in 2009 after my health took a nose dive. They diagnosed me with pulmonary hypertension and put me on oxygen at the beginning of the year. My subsequent depression is what started my husband nagging me into writing a book. It was an all out effort on his part to cheer me up and get me interested in something again. But, don’t feel sorry for me because my life and health have done a remarkable turnaround. Not only did I write my first book and become published, I found the right doctor for what ailed me! Since January of 2009 I’ve lost 142 lbs, lost the need of almost all my medications and am no longer on oxygen! Quite a year for me!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
My husband and I are fanatic about taking our Jeep off-road in Wyoming and Montana. My favorite hobby is taking photographs of wild animals. Over the years I’ve had pretty good success. My collection has pictures of buffalo, long horn sheep, coyote, fox, prairie dogs, bears, muskrats, rabbits, wild horses, skunk, armadillo, and hundreds of species of birds including a nesting bald eagle. We take paths that most people would never refer to as a road, and then literally crawl through the brush at times to get the pictures I love. I’ve even submitted them to the Wyoming Wild Life Magazine in past years. Luckily, we both love to travel and we’ve been all over the world together. Nigel, my husband, is from England. We met in a chat room back in 1997 when he was here in the states in Oklahoma and I was living in Tennessee. It was love at first e-mail! Since meeting him I’ve traveled to England, Wales, France, Japan, and Canada, spent a month in Mainland China and even took my first cruise. All after the ripe old age of 40! Did I mention I’m a real-life cougar! Nigel’s much younger than me. There’s nothing like having a husband who’s a decade younger!
What does your family think of your writing?
There have been a wide variety of responses. Most of Nigel’s family, including his 85 year old mother, has been very supportive. In fact, she’s waiting not so patiently for the second book in my “A Wolfen Heritage” trilogy to be released in paperback. She loved the first one, but she can’t read the books from her computer. My sister has been extremely supportive, complimenting me in a way that I’d never heard from her before, and she’s read everything I’ve written. Unfortunately, I have several members of my own family who pretty much think I’m an embarrassment because of what I write, and partly because of how young my husband is. I don’t let them get to me though. I don’t try to force my books on anyone so I figure it’s their choice whether they read them or not.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that I have a very, vivid imagination. I never really knew that about myself. I was always the straight-laced, methodical individual who specialized in organization and detail. I didn’t fantasize, or indulge in movies or many books. Suddenly I’m dreaming up fantasy worlds, creating shapeshifter characters, and even creating a new language for one of my coming books. I hardly recognize myself anymore, but in a really good way. It’s made me feel like I’ve reached my potential.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve completed five books, and I’m nearing the completion of two more. I have contracts with Siren for four of them so far. I don’t’ really have a favorite book, but my trilogy “A Wolfen Heritage” was my favorite to write. There’s just something so exciting about writing paranormal. You have fewer rules to adhere to, and you can create any number of different kinds of characters and situations. I’m working on a book set on another planet now and it’s the most fun I’ve had in years.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do get letters from readers through my website and they’ve been mostly complimentary. About 60% of them came after “Table for Three” when they demanded to know what happened regarding a certain phone call from one of the characters. They gave me pure hell for leaving it up in the air (LOL). The explanation will be in the sequel which will be out next year. I’ve had compliments on “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage” that mostly involved the main characters. People have very nicely said how well they thought I had let the characters grow and develop in the book.
What do you think makes a good story?
I’ve always loved reading romance books, especially erotic romance books. A good story for me is one that the sex in the book is secondary to the main story. It can enhance the relationship between the characters, but the story would be just as good without it. My favorites are the ones that throw in suspense and humor along with the romance.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Not an easy question to answer. My favorite for ménage romance is definitely Leah Brooke. Her “Desire, OK” series is full of intrigue, interesting plots, romance, humor and really hot sex! Leah’s book “Desire for Three” actually helped bring romance back into my marriage. I’d been sick and depressed for a long time when I read it and it just made me miss the romantic side of our relationship. It also inspired me to agree to write my first book. Stormy Glenn is my favorite author for M/M paranormal romance books. Her “Wolf Creek” and “Tri Omega Mates” series are the absolute best. It was her influence that made me try shapeshifters as my second book. I love books by Lacey Thorne, Tymber Dalton, Lauren Dane, Loribelle Hunt, Annmarie Mckenna, Bianca D’Arc, Dana Marie Bell and of course, Carol Lynne. Dana’s humor in her Halle Puma series is phenomenon, and Carol Lynne’s ability to keep a series going with fresh and new stories each time is remarkable. I have all her “Cattle Valley” series in print.
How did you come up with the title?
When I came up with the idea of having a family of shapeshifters that didn’t know they were shapeshifters, the titles came pretty easily. The first book, “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage” is pretty self-explanatory. The family learns of their hidden heritage. The second book, “Denying His Wolfen Heritage” picks up where the first one left off, but with one family member that just doesn’t want to believe. The third book, “Changing Their Wolfen Heritage” is due out in November. It’s got some surprises and that’s all I’m going to say.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, I want to thank you for supporting me in my writing. There’s nothing more exciting and satisfying to me than getting a note from one of the readers through my website. Most people read their books and never think of sending word to the writer that they enjoyed it. Everyone would send notes if they could feel the satisfaction that runs through us when we read a complimentary note. Even the fans that have written to me to point out flaws or to tell me what they didn’t like have helped me to grow as a writer. Check out my website, it’s easy to contact me with the click of your mouse.
Can you tell us a little about your latest release or upcoming books?
My newest release is book 2 of my trilogy. It’s titled “Denying His Wolfen Heritage”. It picks up where “Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage” ended, although you can read the book and understand without having read the first one. I do think you’d enjoy it more if you read them in order. Basically, it’s about a young man who finds out about his family’s guarded secret and just plain refuses to believe it. He’s struggling with accepting his sister’s marriage, the fact she says she can shift into a wolf, and the feelings he’s developing for a woman who says she can shift into a wolf as well. There’s lots of romance, humor and conflict for the readers to enjoy.
As for me, I’m safely tucked away in California now. Nigel and I have lived in several states and I can honestly say this is my least favorite. Nothing against the Californians, but they need to do something to make this place have more than one season a year! We moved here from Minnesota and I really miss the hip-deep snow in the winter. We’ve experienced a lot of little earthquakes since being here, one even big enough to roll the privacy fence around our patio, but nothing really impressive. Of course, we were living in Oklahoma when the huge tornado came through that got a whole new number on the Fajita scale! It would be hard to beat that.
I’m married, for the second time, happily since 1999. We are true opposites, but complement each other in ways that I can’t really explain. I’ve never had children of my own, but I have two lovely step-daughters who are in college in Oregon and Minnesota. My family consists of my husband and three, beautiful, mischievous cats. Beau is almost 10 yrs old and weighs 20lbs, Midnight is almost 8 years old and weighs 10 lbs, and Bubba is almost 3 years old and weights 20 lbs. Beau is a Himalayan we keep shaved, Bubba is part Bengal, and Midnight is pure alley cat! They definitely rule out lives. If you’d like to see what they look like, check out my website. Their pictures are on my “About Missy” page. http://www.missymartine.com
Other than that, I’m a pretty private person. I spend a great deal of time alone, with Nigel traveling for work. My favorite part of living in California has been the ability to walk on the beach. I love walking, looking for shells, and watching the waves slide up over the sand or crash along the rocks. I think I could be a happy woman if I could live year round where I could listen to the sounds of the waves at night.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit of my life with the readers today. I’ve enjoyed being here and sharing my thoughts with you.