In addition to writing, Martha is a 2012 Genesis Semi-Finalist, a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), YALITCHAT.ORG, the Muse Conference Board, CataNetwork Writers, and American Author's Association. She looks forward to expanding her career and is hard at work on her next young adult novel. She currently resides in Northern California where she enjoys gardening and kickboxing (not simultaneously). Visit her Website, Blog, Facebook Author Page, & Twitter.
Martha, were you a reader as a child? Did you have a favorite book or story?
Growing up I was more of a writer than a reader but I did greatly enjoy reading as well. I always loved fairy tales. Cinderella and Snow White has always been of one my favorites.
In your opinion, what are the three most important elements of writing a novel?
Structure- Without it, you'll be all over the place like a bad road trip gone bad. Tension- A must. Gotta raise those questions and stakes. Make them want to turn the pages to find out more. Voice- A hooky voice always wins the heart of readers. The way a story is told is everything.
What are your thoughts about self-promotion, author platforms, and the ever-changing publishing world?
Thoughts? Good question! Hmmm, let's see.
Self-promo-the best kind of promo is word of mouth. I think when authors overdo it and tweet every second of the day of how their book is available on Amazon it kind of turns people off. Self-promo minus excessive self shout outs is by all means the best. But don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with sharing. Just in moderation as a good diet calls for :-)
Platforms-I very much believe in trying to set your own platform. Platform takes work. It shows that a writer is serious about his/her writing career. It creates a following. I think it is essential to try. All a person can do is try their very best. There's nothing to lose as long as you try your best.
Ever-changing publishing world- It sure is, isn't it? Authors today have so many more options than they had several decades ago. Self-publishing, e-pubs, etc. I am curious to see how the book industry will be ten years from now.
What is the biggest challenge in writing YA, MG, or PBs today?
The biggest challenge IMHO in writing YA is finding that perfect balance between fresh and unique yet with a hint of familiarity where teens can relate to either the characters or the story itself.
The most biggest challenge of all though is breaking in. Convincing agents and editors (even when they find your story idea intriguing) your story is different enough especially in the over saturated paranormal market.
One valuable piece of writerly advice you want to offer to aspiring writers.
DO NOT GIVE UP!
"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination."
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