Sunday Surprise

May is the month of hospitality – yes, you get another guest! He interviewed me on his blog at the end of April, and now here he is. Apologies if I picked random covers, but as you can see here’s another prolific author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Duane L. Martin!

f0808eb568faa2e9abde6dc9c27f9810aed39dfa-thumbWhere do you live and write from?

My name is Duane L. Martin and I live in and write from Boise, Idaho.

When did you start writing?

When I was a teenager really. I was always a voracious reader, so for me writing was just an extension of that. I never wrote my first completed novel however until October of 2013.

What genre(s) do you write?

My series is called Unseen Things, and it started out as a contemporary fantasy series, but with the release of the eighth book, Ghost Worlds, it’s turned into a fantasy / sci-fi hybrid.

f56f38a4121021fe2fa218f3901b0e2ed3afc67a-thumbWhere do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Yeah actually, there are quite a few things from my life that I’ve included in my books. For example, one of the characters in the first book takes his girlfriend to this abandoned house that’s surrounded by trees and hills, and when they arrive, there are tons of birds that fly up out of the trees in a great mass and fly together in swirling, synchronous patterns in the sky. I actually visited a house like that as a teenager with some friends, and I later came to find out that those birds are starlings. If you look them up on YouTube, you can find videos of them flying together in those swirling patterns. There’s a lot of me in the stories, and a whole lot of me in one of the main characters.

Do you have a specific writing routine?

I tend to start writing about midnight, write until about 4:30 – 6:30 in the morning, eat breakfast, get some sleep and then I’ll get up and write some more during the afternoon. My goal is always to finish one chapter a day, which is typically 5,500 words or more. Typically it takes me about three weeks (roughly) to write a completed novel and then I spend several days proofreading and editing it. One of them I actually wrote in two weeks, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much coffee and lost sleep went into achieving that.

6c52dfcc4a699cfa23fc12ae6e7a110892c66712-thumbOutliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser definitely. I rarely plan out things in my books. I may have a general idea of certain events I want to take place, but I let the actual writing just flow out of me organically so the story has a flow to it and doesn’t feel contrived. I’ve actually had ideas for certain things I wanted to do that never made it into the books, but those ideas led me in a different direction that evolved naturally as I wrote.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest published book is Ghost Worlds, which is the 8th book in the Unseen Things series. I’m currently writing the 9th book in the series, Resurrection. All the books in the series are available through the following sites:


Smashwords (including their premium channel retail sites)

And my official site

4c02f734ce8d9d632187c9a71891c3be96ed4ebc-thumbIndie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie, for several reasons. First, it’s insanely hard to get an agent, and even if you do get one they still have to find a publisher willing to take on your books. Then there’s the turnaround time with traditional publishing. It takes a long time to get from submission to printed books that are available in the stores. Then between the publisher and the agent, you’re losing a considerable amount of your potential commissions. It’s a trade off though, because they handle things for you that you otherwise end up having to handle yourself, like marketing, cover design, etc…. Personally, I’m too impatient to deal with the turnaround time. When I finish a story and get it proofed and edited, I want to get it out there and make it available right away, and self publishing e-books allows me to do that.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Just the 9th book, Resurrection, which I already mentioned. Some authors actually write books in two or more series at once, and I’ve considered doing that, but then I decided against it. I know all of my characters intimately and they all have distinct, individual personalities. I think if I spread myself out between two or more series, I’d lose touch with my characters and the stories would suffer for it. For now I’ll just continue on with Unseen Things, and if that series should ever reach a point where I feel like it needs to end, I’ll write the final book and move on from there.

9d1a45452264e099bec14bbc9ecb750839093a6e-thumbWhat is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Some people say they do it for the art or the need to create and express themselves. You know how it goes. Yeah, I love the feel of creating a whole world and multiple dimensions and populating them with all sorts of different characters. For me writing is a passion, but I’d be lying if I said the ultimate goal behind it all wasn’t to become successful and to make money at it, which is something I think everyone wants really, though some would probably be loathe to admit it. As for what I’m doing to achieve that…I’m writing as prolifically as I can so I can get my books out there for people to read and enjoy. However, the unfortunate flip side of that is that without getting into the whole marketing side of things, your books end up getting lost in a sea of books that are published every day by other indie authors. You have to get out there and get your stuff noticed if you want to have any hope at all of building a buzz and gaining a fan base. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at marketing and rather shy about putting myself out there. So for right now I’m simply writing and publishing. At some point I’ll have to do some heavy duty focusing on the marketing side of things though if I ever really want the series to take off. It’s all about finding that balance between the writing and the promotion. Unfortunately, at the moment I’m still way off balance. πŸ˜‰

c8a7c500239e568b4854c7e9168ea9ef9751a493-thumbWhere to find Duane L. Martin online

Twitter: Duaners
Facebook: Facebook profile


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