Fiona McVie inverviews authors on her website. She does perhaps the most comprehensive interview out there. It was great fun to do. Have a look at my answers at this link.
DOB Today just before the festivals, I have the great pleasure of having a few minutes to chat to J.D. Martins about One Night in Pamplona.
Hi JD. Great to have you back to talk about your new book. Thanks for taking the time. I know you are busy getting ready for the festivals, so I’ll try keep this short.
JD Thanks. Good to be back. Yes, we are all excited about San Fermines starting in just a few hours.
DOB So, this book is another erotic romance in the City Nights Series? Why Pamplona?
JD Yes, like the other city nights books, including One Night in Madrid, my first novella, it is an erotic romance set in one city and has to tell a story over the course of just one day in less than twenty-five thousand words. I know some readers of One Night in Madrid were a little disappointed that the story did not continue, but that was due to the constraints of the series. Perhaps one day I will continue Danny and Aishling’s story… But to get back to your question, One Night in Pamplona is a more traditional romance of boy meets girl and they hit it off straight away. I chose Pamplona because I know the city well having lived there a while, and because it’s a really amazing place, especially during the festivals. It’s the perfect place for two strangers to be thrown together and have a great time together, sharing amazing experiences to lay down a foundation for their a common story.
DOB So the story takes place during the festivals?
JD Yes, from ten in the morning on the 6th, to ten the following morning.
DOB That’s an intense twenty-four hours! I’ve experienced them myself and you can fit a lot of life into that day.
JD Indeed! The city goes twenty-four hours a day during the festivals, so there’s no need to stop partying if you have the stamina.
DOB I’m guessing your characters do?
JD Ha! Yes, they’re both young and energetic.
DOB Tell us about them.
JD Well, Jeff is from Boston, where he works in a law firm. He’s on a tour around Spain and has of course read his Hemingway and knows he needs to stop in Pamplona to run with the bulls. He’s on the look out for a lady friend to spend the day with, and he meets Idoia, a local girl who’s up for some fun with this tourist. Unfortunately, Jeff only has one night there, which is a disappointment to Idoia. What really upsets, her, though, is that he wants to run with the bulls, something she thinks is reckless and idiotic.
DOB I see. We’ve both run with the bulls, though, JD, so I can’t fault the man.
JD That’s true, but, as Idoia says, not the first night without any sleep or idea of what to expect. We spent a few mornings watching the Encierro, and we knew what it was about. And I for one, had a good night sleep before hand, and was stone cold sober.
DOB Me, too. Sounds like a strong-minded young lady, Idoia.
JD She is. One of the important themes I wanted to have in the book, without being obvious about it and ruining the fantasy of it, is something that has been given a lot of attention last year and this year in San Fermines – sexual harassment by drunken men who think they’re having a bit of fun when really, they’re overstepping the mark by a long shot. Idoia’s is always in control of the situation. She knows what she wants from him and asks him for it. He is very willing to give her it, of course, and readily follows her lead, only going as far as she is comfortable with.
DOB Sounds like a strong character readers will identify with.
JD Hopefully so.
DOB Apart from a bit of nookie, what else do the characters get up to during their night?
JD As you know, there’s a hell of a lot to see and do in San Fermines besides drinking and running with the bulls. They see a few sights, watch the giants in procession, see the Peñas – the marching bands for readers who don’t know them – and of course watch the fireworks in the Citadel.
DOB A complete day! So, does Jeff run with the bulls in the end?
JD I’m afraid I can’t say. He has to weight up the ambitions and desires of a day and a lifetime, let’s put it that way.
DOB I think that is a good way to put it. I’ve read the story myself and I just wanted to see how you’d answer. Any more novellas in the pipeline?
JD Perhaps after the festivals I’ll start working on a One Night in Boston. I will be set in the snowy cold, though, to make a change from the sultry nights of Madrid and Pamplona.
DOB Well, what better excuse than the cold to make a couple cuddle close? Before you go, let us know where we can get our hands in One Night in Pamplona.
JD Yes. The novella is out on July 29th, and it is on pre-order now at the reduced price of just 99cents on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZMO4226
if you order it before publication. You can also get it from various vendors via the Tirgearr Publishing website. http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Martins_JD/one-night-in-pamplona.htm
You can find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JDMartinsauthor
DOB Sounds like a great deal. Well, JD I’ll let you go and put on your white and red clothes and have your almuerzo before the rocket goes off. Feliz Fiestas, as they say.
JD Cheers for having the chat and have a good festival yourself, David. And careful with those bulls!
Tags: author, Books, Chupinazo, City Nights, City Nights Series, erotic romance, erotica, festival, Hemingway, J.D. Martins, novella, Novels, one night in madrid, One Night in Pamplona, Pamplona, romance, running of the bulls, San Fermines, sexual harassment, Tirgearr, tirgearr publishing
Your friends don’t give a toss about your new book.
That’s one of the first things authors have to learn when they first publish, along with not to read reviews, not to take bad reviews to heart when they don’t follow that previous rule, and certainly not to comment on bad reviews even though they want to gouge out the eyes of the reviewer.
Your friends are not your friends because you are writer, even if you’re a good one, or a published writer. They were there before you told them you wrote. They were there when you were clicking away at the keyboard in your spare time at work, when you told them you were holding out for the box set of season three of The Wire because you were really writing instead of watching television. And they gave you a pass, held off on the spoilers in your company, though they’d to bite their tongues to do it.
When you put away the notepad you’d been scribbling on in the coffee shop before they came in, they didn’t twist your arm and demand to see your poems, or short stories or whatever. And you were glad.
Now that you’re published, you can’t go and demand everyone read your shit, or get pissed off that nobody seems to give a toss that you have this amazing new novel out now (Spoiler alert: I have a great new novel out today, but I can’t give any more info because it would be spoiling). You can’t now do the equivalent of shove that notebook in their face at the coffee shop and tell them to check out what you just wrote before they sit and get a cup of coffee. The truth is they don’t give a shit.
Yet, if they did, would you be happy? I suspect, because I have no firsthand knowledge of such situations, that it would be similar if a Hollywood movie actor’s friends were all waiting for his or her new flick to come out, or asking them to give a few lines of whatever movie they were rehearsing at the time was. And you’d think they were just there because you were what you were, not who you were.
That’s what I tell myself anyway. It helps when friends don’t give feedback, when they don’t crack the book you asked them to beta-read, when they give you no, “hey, thanks,” or anything of the sort in response to the dedication you put in the book you sent them a copy of when it came out, because, basically, they didn’t even fucking look at the acknowledgments.
There will be plenty of people out there who delight in the fact that you’ve a new book out. They’re not necessarily your friends. They’re called readers. If you are lucky, there will be overlap. But there doesn’t need to be. There just needs to be people in both camps. Lots of people in one, and however-many you’re comfortable with in the other.
When your friends don’t respond to thinks like wedding invitations and photos of your children, you can worry. You might see your book as a newborn baby, but to some you’re basically asking them to get all teary-eyed over a work project you finished. They didn’t read your research thesis, nor the amazing 100-page contract you wrote for the sale of three thousand solar panels to a Chilean copper mine consortium, nor did they do much more than glance at the wing mirror you designed for the new Chevy Volt (is that car even being made?). It’s all work to someone, though it’s art to others.
(for the record, fiction writing is totally fucking art, though my doctoral thesis is also stimulating reading…)
A person wrote a question on a FB writers group the other day, asking what people do to celebrate finishing writing a book.
Most people said start the next one. I concurred. I do also allow myself the luxury of going off the deep end into a new TV series, or season I’m already addicted to.
Or a big novel, like The Count of Monte Cristo last year when I finished the first draft of The Ecology of Lonesomeness.
But it’s only the first draft. And I certainly don’t do anything like buy something to celebrate, or take my wife out to dinner. I don’t take her out to dinner to celebrate her own achievements, and they are much more impressive than mine, so why would I do it to celebrate what’s not an achievement, but more like a milestone on a journey, albeit a very significant milestone?
I do celebrate when the book is published. I splashed out on a bottle of scotch to celebrate Leaving the Pack, and bought myself a cool pen for the publication of Five Days on Ballyboy Beach. Absinthe seemed appropriate for JD Martins’ novella One Night in Madrid. For The Ecology of Lonesomeness another bottle of scotch is on the cards – but a better one, and for The Soul of Adam Short, I’ve no idea. I don’t need much (apart from lots of liquor, it seems).
That’s not the most important part of the process for me, though.
Framing a copy of the cover is special.
But not nearly so rewarding, really, as starting a new outline, a set of frantically scribbled notes as a new story unfolds in my head, complete with all it’s attendant glorious absence of logic.
But the best bit of all? That’s what I just did this week: signing a contract and getting to write the back cover blurb, the dedication and the acknowledgments.
I usually have a rough draft of the blurb written. If I didn’t, I couldn’t send submissions in the first place. But the dedication I get to do from scratch. I never write that until a book has somewhere to go. And I probably never will.
Each of my books, with one exception, is dedicated to someone different. I like to find someone appropriate given the theme of the story. My parents and my family are thus yet to see a dedication. But theirs is coming. I hope.
As for acknowledgments, I delight in writing those, too.
Writing is a lonely business. It has always been for me. I never got much in the way of encouragement from my close family or friends (some, I suspect, are merely putting up with me until I make some money at this game… but don’t tell her I told you so). The people who do lend me a hand, therefore, even when I have had to nearly wrench it off their shoulders in the first place, well deserve their mention.
I recently wrote an article about sticking with writing over years of unsuccessfully trying to get published, and how, twenty years after writing my first novel, I got it published and had it followed up by the second, and now I have contracts for five books, including one published under a pseudonym.
It’s hard to maintain confidence in your ability: I often thought I’d never sell a book, but along the way there were confidence boosts now and then when a poem was published, and a few quid here and there, even, for a poem or an article. When I finally got a contract, after all the effort, it was gratifying and affirming of my small amount of talent, and I felt vindicated in keeping at it.
I’d made that giant leap into Authorship.
But getting a book on the market – professionally edited and with a great cover that I was able to have some input in the design of – was just one more step forward, it turned out. I thought it was a giant leap because of my previous perspective – or lack of it.
It’s like an animation video describing the scale of the universe. You make it to the moon and before you have time to appreciate the view, the camera pans back to show just how far away Mars is, and then Jupiter, and how small our solar system is.
The journey has only really begun. It’s just you’ve learned to walk and been given a decent pair of boots, is all.
The pressure is not off now; it just got more intense.
Apart from building a platform, blogging and posting and advertising, there’s the requests for reviews and the feeling you have to get big sales, to justify the confidence in your work – and to a certain extent you do. Instead of feeling you’re no good if you can’t get an editor interested, now there’s the feeling that you’re not good enough if you don’t see lots of sales. Friends ask if you’re making millions yet – often despite not having read it themselves: and who ever sold a million copies of a book that wasn’t good enough for friends to bother with?
The reviews are another source of stress. You want everyone to love the book of course, but it becomes a bit over the top: what once might have been worthy only of a place in a desk drawer or the farthest reaches of a hard drive, suddenly needs to deserve only five star reviews.
God forbid someone should give it less than three!
But they do – they did mine already.
You can’t please everyone, and even fans of the genre might be your biggest stumbling block – especially if you did something with they didn’t expect, that quirk, that novelty, which pleases 9/10 readers, just doesn’t float the last one’s boat. They might even feel hard done by when the book doesn’t match their expectations – however misconceived they might be.
But the long term is what we have to look to again – just as before publication. Over the long haul, more will like it than not, and hopefully they’ll tell their friends. There will be reviewers who say they’re delighted to read a new slant, who believe your characters are great.
Nevertheless, in my short and scant experience, these great readers and reviews don’t do as much to put things in perspective as the old friends or colleagues who congratulate you and say they’re jealous of you. When you humbly tell them that you’re not making those millions, they shake their head and insist that they’re not jealous of you publishing, but of the fact that you actually wrote a novel: that you finished your shit, and polished it well enough that anyone would read it.
And that’s one of the things we need to keep in mind as we go to the next project, and keep blogging and advertising, and seeking more reviews. It’s a struggle uphill (hope Bjork doesn’t have that phrase copyrighted), but the fact we’re plodding ahead is something we need to be proud of.
Today I have the great pleasure of hosting Mary T Bradford, who’s just published her first novel, My Husband’s Sin with Tirgearr Publishing.
She’s agreed to answer a few questions for me. But first, here’s the blurb to get us started:
In the weeks following Lillian Taylor’s burial, her four loving children assemble for the reading of her will. For the grieving youngest sibling, Lacey, life is about to come crashing down as a deep secret is revealed. The fall-out affects every member and they struggle to regain the happy family unit they once shared. Each of the four, now adult, children take the reader on a journey as they try to come to terms with and learn to handle this huge revelation.
So, Mary, first off, can you give us a little more info on what My Husband’s Sin is about?
My debut novel is centred about the Taylor family. Lacey, the youngest of the family is dealt a horrible blow at the reading of her mother’s will. She is devastated and the knock on affect on her three siblings shakes the family unit. Lacey has questions that need answering and at one stage she must leave Ireland to search for some of the answers. Will the Taylor’s come together and unite or do they fall apart and remain so?
What are the main themes in the book?
In My Husband’s Sin, there are a few themes but the main one is loss. Losing a parent or indeed any family member is a difficult time for everyone concerned. Lacey Taylor, suffers loss greater than the others when after her mother Lillian’s funeral, a letter she is given destroys her life further. She now suffers betrayal as well. But it only takes a small crack to appear in a family for it all to come crumbling down
If you were casting the movie version of My Husband’s Sin, who would you choose for the leading roles?
I would love the young actress, Amanda Seyfried, play the part of Lacey in my debut novel. The solicitor, Mr. Philip Sherman, played by Jeff Bridges, then Sally by Michelle Pfeiffer and finally Robert, by Jason Stratham. The other characters, Willow and Cora I have no idea.
Tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about?
I enjoy public speaking. I have my CC (Competent Communicator) from Toastmasters International and I started the advanced manuals. I also represented my local club Fáilte Toastmasters in competitions. Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to participate but I may go back to it another time.
Wow! All I can say is Slainte!
What are you working on currently?
I have my fingers worn to the bone at present because I have three projects on the go. Yes I am a nut to take it all on. I am writing my second novel which is totally different from My Husband’s Sin; it is not even in the same genre. It is a good V evil story, a priest who is sent to do battle with the devil and it all takes place inside a locked room. So who wins? That is a question I have not yet answered LOL.
I am also writing a western novella for a group that I am involved in. The group are called Writers of the West, it is an exciting project. Finally, I am busy seeking a home for a play I have ready for production.
I’m betting on good, but I’m an optomist!
What would your perfect day be?
A perfect day, let me think, it would be warm, not too hot, by the sea, with a picnic of cold meats/ white wine/salads. A book of course and would I want company? Well if, Kevin Costner or Charles Bronson were available, or maybe Michael Bublé, he could serenade me right?
Better than Charles Bronson, I suspect! Sounds like nice day – but I wonder what book you’d pick… Thanks for stopping by, Mary!
My Husband’s Sin is the debut novel from Mary T Bradford. She is an Irish author, married and mother of four children. She has been writing short stories for many years with which she has enjoyed publishing success in Ireland and abroad. While working on a story it happened that the story kept getting longer and the word count continued to climb, resulting with Mary having her novel. My Husband’s Sin is published by Tirgearr Publishing.
Recently Mary has dipped into play-writing and one of her plays was shortlisted in the Claremorris Fringe Festival in April of this year and was performed by the Half A Breakfast Theatre Group. Another of her plays had a Staged Reading in July at Friar’s Gate Theatre in Kilmallock, Limerick in Ireland. Her short story collection, A Baker’s Dozen, is also available on Amazon.com. Or in local bookshops.
When not writing, Mary enjoys crafts. In particular, she enjoys crochet and cross-stitch and catching up on her reading from the stack of books on her bedside locker.