Official Upcoming Release Schedule!

Due to changes in how my publisher assigns dates, I won't have release dates until I finish the book. I'm currently working on:

Taking the Realm which is book 3 of Sha and Connor's trilogy (previously titled Shaking the Balance)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Interview with Don Martin!!

Welcome my lovelies! Time for another interview with one of my author friends on The Lindsay Show :) Today we have Don Martin!!


Thank you so much for joining me today Don! Let's get started, shall we? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

That actually came fairly recently. I was always seen as a good writer in high school and college. I had the technical part down really well. The structure and punctuation and flow and things like that. But I was more of a technical writer (I'm an engineer by training). I had submitted a few pieces of short fiction to contests in the early 1990's. I never won any one them, but I got reasonably positive feedback. I had been playing around with the idea for Sol for 5 or 6 years and it was driving me sort of crazy. So early last year I decided I'd commit a year to it, write it, and see where it went. That was when I became a writer.

See, I would've thought you'd gotten into writing early on for some reason lol. What has been the most difficult part about being a writer?

As I mention just above I have no problem at all with the technical aspects of writing. I just got lucky that way. And I don't have much of a problem constructing a plot and developing characters. What I do have a problem with is writing certain kinds of things. I can not for the life of me write love scenes. So you won't find any in my books.
I admit my first love scene was quite intimidating so I can definitely understand how it could be difficult for you. Who are your favorite authors?
Actually, I don't really have any long-term favorites. I enjoy an author when I'm reading him, but when I'm done that's it with them. For example, I've enjoyed most of the Stephen King and Dean Koontz I've read, but I understand those people are really commercial businesses any more. I'm not so sure I would call them pure writers. I mostly enjoy the new ones I haven't read yet. There are some really good young novelists coming along and I've been fortunate to have worked with some of them. But it wouldn't be fair to name a few of them and leave the other ones out.
Very interesting take on things :) What authors inspire you?

I really like authors that can build strong, interesting characters. As an editor one of the common problems I see is very weak characters wrapped up in a very strong plot. I just want to slap that author upside the head and say, “You were 90% of the way there! Why did you leave your characters unfinished?”
I've had that feeling too! Glad I'm not the only one lol. Do you like to plan your scenes out or do you just wing it?
Actually, both. I do have outlines for my scenes, and I have character sketches for most of my characters so I know how they will act. But I think you can go too far with that. You can over-outline and over-plan. That takes the creativity away, for me at least. So I have a structure, and I know where I want to go with it, but the actual writing part is done on the fly.
That sounds like a wonderful system. What type of books do you like to read?

I hate to say it, but I'm really into reading paranormal romance now. And I hate romance books! A while back I beta read a paranormal romance and I liked it. So I beta'd another. And word got around and authors were asking me to read their paranormal romance stuff. Then some of them wanted me to edit them. So it just sort of grew. Today I claim to specialize in it, for beta reads edits, and book reviews (which I also write).
There's absolutely nothing wrong with loving paranormal romance lol. Adore the genre! What do you like to do in your free time?
The only other thing I do that takes much time is I build replicas of historic wooden ships. I enjoy the history behind them, and they were amazing machines for their time. One of them was good enough it now lives in a museum.
Ok now that's just awesome. I want to see pics sometime. Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Hmmm. Have been on a real vacation in a LONG time! Being a desert rat myself I enjoy a place with a beach, lots of water. Where it is isn't as important as what it is.
Ah the beach, definitely one of my personal favorite places to go. Why did you choose to write science fiction?

I didn't really choose science fiction, it sort of chose me. When I outlined Sol it was an end of the world story. Nobody was going to survive. The book would be about humanity coming to grips with the fact that they were going extinct. And that it wouldn't matter how many pretty things they left behind because nobody would ever look at them. But about 1/3 of the way through the book Sol wanted to fight me on that and wanted me to at least leave a few survivors alive. That required some science, and the book morphed into science fiction.
Don't you just love how books can take on a life of their own? What has been the most fun about working on your books?
Without a doubt the relesase and the relaxation. I've heard other writers talk about it. There is just nothing better than creating your own world, populating it with characters you create, and then seeing what you can get them to do. For me writing a book or an article or a review is not work. I am a firm believer in the idea that those things write themselves. I am just along for the ride, and I enjoy every second of it!
Ok, I have to agree with you 100%. I'd agree more if it were possible lol. Such a relief after the book is released! What has been the hardest scene for you to write?
I already mentioned I have problems writing love scenes. The hardest part of Sol to write were the few chapters where I transitioned from the orignal idea (everybody dies) to the new idea (some peole live). Those were tough because I didn't really know if I had made the correct decision there. I was pretty committed to my original outline, and I was about ready to toss the whole thing. In the end I think it was the right thing to do, but I was really unsure there for a good long while.
I can see how that would be hard, especially if you had had the story idea for a long time. Do you have any favorite characters?
I do, but I try not to let it show. Some characters are based at least in part on people I know, and I like those people fine so I enjoy their characters. Other characters are based on people I admire. There are three main characters in Sol and all are based on actual real people. Not personal friends, but people I'm aware of and have a respect for.
Hahah it's ok to have favorites ;) We promise not to tell, don't we lovelies? How did you come up with the premise for Sol?
About six or seven years ago I watched a TV show which said that someday, in a few tens of billions of years the sun would expand out to about the orbit of Mars and all life on earth would become extinct. In fact, the earth would melt and just become part of the sun. That sounded like an interesting thing to write about, people facing that situation. How would they handle their upcoming doom? But there is no real way to write about humans 15 billion years from now because the only thing you know about them is they won't be humans at that time. They will have evolved intop something else. So I started to wonder what would happen if it began to happen today.
That's awesome. In Sol, you explore the idea that life on Earth has a known end date. What would you do if you found yourself in a similar situation?
I'm not really sure. That's one reason Sol was so much fun to write. I gave the characters an impossible situation and then sat back to see if they could get themselves out of it. And, of course, survival is the strongest human instinct. No matter how hopeless it looked they were going to try something.
I think I'd try to spend my last days on Earth with my husband in Disney World lol. Are you able to tell us more about the Human Lifeboat concept?
When I started seriously thinking about writing Sol I did some research of the doomsday theorists. And they all had some sort of lifeboat concept. They might launch a few people into space. Or sink some folks deep in the ocean. Or maybe put some in suspended animation or freeze them. Anything to keep the gene pool alive.

Then I looked at some serious scientists who had looked at the same question. Much of their work came out of the cold war, when the idea of a 99.9% nuclear annihilation was not unthinkable. I based my lifeboat concept on their work, for the most part.

This book sounds so interesting. Your blurb mentions that your characters are all geniuses. Tell me more about your characters. Do they each have different areas of skill?
They all are geniouses, and they do have different areas of skill. But only the main characters really express their unique skill areas. One of the subplots I wanted to explore in the book was the idea that people may be genuiouses, but they aren't goping to agree with each other. In fact, the smarter they are the more likely it is they won't agree with other people. I don't think I brought that subplot out strong enough. It is there between Dr. Brewer and Dr. Nelson. Who never agree on anything, but the others don't have as much of that attitude as I'd wanted.
Ahh, that makes sense. What's next for you?

I'm about halfway though HUNTT, my new novel. It's a para-physiological thriller about two companies who are going to war to control the world. Both have plenty of psi abilities – mind readers, time travelers, remote viewers, those sorts of people. I thought it would be interesting to write because when people think of a battle for complete world domination they think of countries, not private companies.
Ooo ok now I can't wait for you to finish that lol. Well, we are unfortunately out of time. Anything else you want your readers to know?
I would just suggest that people read as much as they can. And not always from the “big name” authors. There are some very good new authors that can give the best of them a run for their money. I've seen some spectacular work out of some of them.

Thank you so very much for joining me, Don! It has been a pleasure! Lovelies, be sure to check out his book, Sol!! You can find Don at his website here.

 Sol...Buy it Now!

Mankind is facing the biggest challenge he has ever faced. The human race will be extinct in 5 – 7 years. And this is not just a theory. It is a scientific fact. And it has already started. All humans will die. As will all animals, and all plants.

The sun is expanding. And the earth is getting warmer. The computer models say temperatures in the desert southwest in the United States will top 380 degrees. Temperatures above 400 degrees are a possibility in some areas. The oceans will literally boil.
Two men are given the job of saving humanity. Dr. Alan Wheaton is considered the best solar physicist in the world. Lucas Wills is a 24 year old kid who only wants to be a pro skateboarder. But Lucas is a genius, and is thought to be the smartest man alive. Alan and Lucas surround themselves with an unconventional cast of characters, all geniuses themselves. Will their Human Lifeboat concept work?
What will they do when the lifeboats start to fail?  They have no back-up plan.

And if they work is it the right thing to do? Is saving a handful of humans justification for releasing them back to a barren planet they can do nothing with?


Alan walked into his office at a quarter to 10.  Lucas was sitting in the waiting room.  Anna motioned him over and whispered, “They are in your office sir.  Just wait until you see them!”

“Thanks, Anna.  Did you get lunch worked out?” 

“Sure did.  Just sandwiches.  No grilled lizards or anything.”

“Great.  Hold all my calls today.”  He walked over to Lucas.  The kid at least made an effort to look presentable.  His hair was combed, and no sign of the ever-present mp3 player.  But a plaid shirt and a sports jacket?  Really?  “You ready kid?”

“Aside from being so nervous I could puke?”  Alan patted him on the shoulder and said, “You'll do fine, kid, let's go knock 'em dead!”  For some reason Alan really liked the young man.  He felt better when he was around.

Alan and Lucas entered the office.  Alan did a quick scan and confirmed the coffee, sodas, fruit and pastries were there.  Seated at the table were two men who were sort of a yen and yang pair.  Closest to the front was a very muscular black man, perhaps about 50.  Probably six foot six, 280 pounds.  He looked like he had probably played some football in his younger days.  Next to him was a tall skinny guy.  Maybe six three, six four.  But no more than 140 pounds dripping wet.  He looked like you could easily snap him in half.  Alan put him in his mid-60's.  Strange thing was, they were both dressed identically.  Tan shorts, a khaki shirt, snakeskin boots, and a safari helmet.  It was all Alan could do to keep from laughing.  He had Indiana Jones in his office, two of them.  He wondered if either had a whip stashed away, or a pistol.

Alan crossed in front of the conference table and shook the black man's hand.  “Very pleased to meet you, Dr. Wheaton.  I am Dr. Napoleon Bonaparte.”  Alan gave him a second look.  “Actually, Napoleon is not my real first name, it is George.  But the real Napoleon is my fifth cousin on my mother's side.”  Alan took another look at the man.  He was coal black.  No way was he related a white European, even five generations removed. He moved on to the skinny man, and shook hands.  “Very pleased to meet you as well, Mr. Director.  I am Dr. Fred Rogers.”

“And I suppose you have a choo-choo train?”

Fred laughed.  “No of course not.  The one you are thinking of, he was on TV.  Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and all.  He was my second cousin on my father's side.”

Alan saw what was going on.  “Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to Lucas.  He runs our underground black-market data analysis business.  We make more money on that than we ever could make with astronomy.  We gave up the sky thing years ago.”  Alan walked to the head of the table and motioned for the men to sit down.  Alan also sat.  “Gentlemen, welcome to the  Observatorio Solar de la Argentina.  We are honored by your presence.”  Alan looked at them.  “I only have a few questions before we start.  First, are you gentlemen really geologists?  The black man answered in a low baritone, “We are, sir, yes we certainly are.  We have degrees and certificates which say so.  At least I do.  I can't vouch for Fred here. Fred?”

“I took a geology elective in college.  Does that count?” 

In a strange way Alan was warming up to the odd pair.  He could see  working with them.  “On another subject gentlemen, is it your usual habit to dress up as if it were Halloween and go around giving fake names to people?”  Both men burst into hearty laughter.  It took them a few minutes to settle down.  Finally the black man turned to Alan, with tears in his eyes.  “Of course not, sir.  We just wanted to make a good first impression.  I am Dr. Henry Davis and my partner in crime here is Dr. Tom Smythe.”  Alan recognized both names immediately.  Smythe had been nominated for a Nobel Prize.  Davis had won pretty much all of the big awards in the environmental and physical sciences.  These were not men to be trivialized.  

“Thank you gentlemen.  Now that I know who you really are, would you care for a short tour of our facility?” 

1 comment:

  1. Another awesome interview, Lindsay. Great answers and excerpt, Don! Glad you finally made it on over to the crazy side with the rest of us. ;)