Interview with Author Frank Martin

Frank Martin has written novels, short stories, and comics. His work has been featured in numerous collaborations, including Blackest Knights which I recently reviewed. His story "The King and The Witch" was one of my favorites, and he was kind enough to agree to an interview here. 

What inspired your world building process?
Anything and everything. Sometimes it’s simple as another story I read/saw/played (Shhh. Don’t tell anyone). Other times it can be something a bit more subtle. Things in our everyday life. An animal, job, or relationship. The best stories, no matter if they’re in fantasy worlds or far among the stars, always contain a hint of things we can recognize. Details that allow a reader to relate your wild and crazy world to something in their own.

Who are you writing for and why? 
Me. 95% of the time, unless I’m writing a story for a particular person, I’m writing for myself. Because I have something to say or an itch I need scratching. I know, as a writer, I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to have an audience in mind when I craft a story. But I don’t. I write something because I would like to read it. If others like to read it too then great!

What do you do to recharge your creative energy? 
This question sounds different than, “what do you do to break writer’s block?” Which I would either answer with “showering” or “wandering a supermarket.” But recharging creative energy? I guess the best way to do that is to watch my kids play. I usually like to play with them, but just sitting back on the couch, watching them run around and play make believe, that’s the best way to get my mind racing and rejuvenate my muse.

What reactions do you hope to inspire in others?
Depends on the story. It could be hope. Fear. Sadness. Joy. Laughter. Despair. I don’t try to limit the stories I tell to one style or another. The genres I write it and the characters I can create can be as wide as life itself. So in that regards, I hope the reactions are just as varied.

Where is your writing taking you?
Wherever it wants to. I have no direction. I just pump the gas and jump in for the ride.

Find more from Frank Martin:

Twitter: @frankthewriter 

Instagram: @frankthewriter


Facebook: frankmartinwriter

Review: Straight Outta Fangton by C.T. Phipps

Peter Stone is a poor black vampire who is wondering where his nightclub, mansion, and sports car is. Instead, he is working a minimum wage job during the night shift as being a vampire isn’t all that impressive in a world where they’ve come out to mortals. 

Exiled from the rich and powerful undead in New Detroit, he is forced to go back when someone dumps a newly-transformed vampire in the bathroom of his gas station’s store. This gets him fangs-deep in a plot of vampire hunters, supernatural revolutionaries, and a millennium-old French knight determined to wipe out the supernatural. 

Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to get out of the coffin. 

5 of 5 stars!

Peter Stone hasn't been a vampire very long, but long enough to recognize when the evening is going terribly wrong. What starts out as helping a new vampire with the transition turns into a complex night of lavish parties and unforeseen deceit wrought with conspiracies. Plus what would a vampire story be without bloodthirsty vampire hunters!

Set in New Detroit, where vampires have built up a Vegas-like capital for tourism and glamorized their nightlife, Straight Outta Fangton delivers a daring plan that unfolds into a complex plot that degrades into all-out war.

The more Phipps work I read, the more I enjoy his fun style. The dialogue and characterization bring some lighthearted moments to an otherwise intense conflict. Peter is frustrated with the realities of his dead-end unlife, but begrudgingly still cares for his creator, Thoth. When he finds out a psychotic vampire hunter is in town, he goes to warn Thoth of the hunter's violent plans to attack the Old Ones.

Naturally, there's a lot more history to it than Peter was aware of, and in playing his part to protect his way of life, he must confront his own personal history, from the people he loved to the terrors he took part in.

The tension picks up considerably toward the end, and I enjoyed being fully immersed in this extravagant tale. I loved the variety and depth Phipps brought to the characters and the vampire culture in general. I highly recommend this book to readers looking for a smart urban fantasy with violence and action, and vampires that are decadent and bold without being romanticized.

You can find it here on Amazon and here on Goodreads.

Interview with Author Allan Batchelder

I recently reviewed a new anthology called Blackest Knights.  Today I'm pleased to have Allan Batchelder, whose story "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" was one of my favorites. He's authored the Immortal Treachery series, as well as plays, screenplays, and countless smaller works.

What inspired your world building process?
I think it came about, as it seems to have done for so many others, as a result of role-playing games, specifically Dungeons and Dragons. I began to get tired of the game’s tropes and wanted to challenge or turn them on their heads. Also, I wanted to break out of the standard elves/dwarves/halflings/orcs model and do something a bit different. It’s funny, really. When playing a computer game, I need my elves/dwarves, halflings, and orcs. They’re like digital comfort food. But I hate them in actual fantasy novels, although I love the way Tad Williams writes his “elves.”

Who are you writing for and why?
I think initially I was writing for myself. I had a character or two in my head, and I wanted to see what their stories were. But as more and more people began contacting me and sharing their enjoyment of my series, I began to feel an obligation to them, a need to meet their hopes and expectations. That’s an impossible task, of course, but if authors were sane, they wouldn’t be authors.

What do you do to recharge your creative energy? 
As an actor, director and former stand-up comedian, I have, if anything, too much creative energy, and I’m constantly distracted by new ideas that pop into my head – not saying they’re good ideas, but I do struggle to remain focused on a single idea or venture at a time. Still, on those occasions when I’m feeling a little stymied, I like to take walks on the beach or in the forest. I also find reading others’ works helpful. Listening to music works, too. Finally, if all else fails, I’ll watch a movie or TV show recommended by a friend.

What reactions do you hope to inspire in others?
Nothing less than the whole gamut of human emotion, minus, perhaps, the loathing! Seriously, though, you want your audience to laugh at the (allegedly) funny bits, to love/hate your villains, to cry in sympathy for the sufferings of your protagonist and supporting characters, to dream of new vistas and possibilities.

Where is your writing taking you? 
The poorhouse? Actually, I don’t know, and that’s part of the thrill of it. I know I have a humorous steampunk novel in me after this series concludes and a horror novel after that. Beyond that? Who can say?

Find more from Allan Batchelder:


Twitter: @TarmunVykers