Interview with Debra Martin

Debra Martin

Interview Date: 6/7/2012


I write fantasy and science fiction stories with my co-author, David W Small. We've been writing together since 2006 and have completed 2 novels, QUEST FOR NOBILITY and THE CRYSTAL FACADE in the "Rule of Otharia" series". The third and final volume, "THE KING'S LAST WORD" will be published late in 2012.
We also have a post-apocalyptic series, "Dark Future," which includes "PATH TO DESTRUCTION" "THE RIGHT PATH" and "ZIA'S PATH." You can now buy all 3 titles in one volume, "THE PATH."
We have published a new fantasy, "ASSASSIN'S CURSE, Book 1 of The Witch Stone Prophecy."

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

My brother, David W Small, and I grew up loving the same types of books especially fantasy and science fiction. Even though we lived on opposite sides of the US, we’d swap books back and forth through the mail. (Yes, it used to get expensive!) One day late in 2005, Dave called me complaining about how everything that was currently on the fantasy shelves he’d either read or it was more of the same ole thing. It was weird, but at the same time, we both said, “We could write something better.” And, ping--light bulb moment—that was the beginning of our writing career.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

Oh, there’s definitely a superpower that I’d want – I would love to be a telekinetic. Our 2 novels in the “Rule of Otharia” series feature characters with 3 different “psi” powers – empathy, telepathy and telekinesis. Our evil assassin, Nils, is a powerful telekinetic and he travels across the universe pursuing Darius and Dyla Telkur. Can you imagine having that kind of power? Poof—one minute you’re sitting in a boring meeting and the next, you’re gone!! That would be hilarious although probably not for the other people in the meeting.

Kev's response: Yeah! Rawr for a multipurpose power! Wait, are you talking about teleportation? Telekinesis is the movement of objects with your mind.... Teleportation rocks too, though. Rawr for instant travel!

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I get my inspiration from Dave. I never know what exactly he’s going to send back to me. There’s always some little twist on a plot point that I didn’t see coming. Of course, that only spurs me on to write more.

Kev's response: Your brother uses spurs on you? That's just mean! Hmm, on the other hand, I've never considered using spurs on myself to force me to write more. I might have to try that. On the other hand, I just had a doctor's visit, and apparently have a bone spur in my left shoulder. Does that count, or does it mean I'm just growing horns from my shoulders?!

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

In our first novel, “Quest for Nobility,” we were winging the plot. The trouble with that was we would be writing along nicely and then—bam—a new plot twist would surface. “Oh, yeah, that’s so cool. We have to use that,” was our mutual response. However, when you do something like that, it has repercussions throughout the novel. We ended up re-writing that book 3 times. Do you know how sad that was to edit out thousands of words?? After that, we use a planned-out outline for our novels.

Kev's response: Ugh, I hate when I either pull or change a plot point. You're completely right, it's like throwing a rock in a pool. Not that I have a pool, but I'd be pretty unhappy about people throwing rocks in my pool.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

Both Dave and I work full-time so we usually write on the weekends. That’s why it takes us a full year to release a new novel.

Kev's response: Release an old one, it'll be faster! :)

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Currently all 3 of our novels are in the fantasy realm with 2 more to go to finish in each series. We do have story ideas in the science fiction genre waiting to be written as well. So much to write, so little time. I love fantasy and science fiction, but as a book reviewer, I’ve been reading a variety of other genres as well. I will not, however, read horror, true crime or memoirs.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I love watching an idea come to life on the written page especially when it resonates with readers.

Kev's response: Same here, those times when you are really "into" a character or scene as your writing it can be awesome as well.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I don’t know if it’s odd, but I have green/yellow eyes.

Kev's response: Do they turn green only when you get spurred? That might be a Hulk type issue. You haven't been around any gamma radiation, have you?

In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

Which world are you talking about? In a true fantasy world, dragons would be the ultimate animal to help you take over the world. You could fly above the fracas and reign fire down on all those that displease you! If we go back to today’s boring world, what could really compare to that?

Kev's response: Great, now I have to find dragons somewhere? This whole evil plot thing is building a big quest list all on its own....

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I think there will always be readers who prefer the paperback, but digital ebooks are poised to take over the bulk of sales in my view.

What are your current projects?

Our newest release is “Assassin’s Curse.” It’s the story of an elite assassin, Jeda, who is sent to kill a powerful elemental witch and return her daughters to the Countess of Berkshire. Things don’t go as planned and instead Jeda is compelled with the witch’s dying breath to take care of her twin daughters. Trouble is, these two little girls are believed to be the children of prophecy. Now Jeda is on the run trying to protect them while keeping himself alive from all those that pursue them. We are currently working on the sequel, Witch’s Curse, and hope to have it published late in 2012.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Patience above all else. Write the best book you can, edit it, send it to beta readers, then edit it again. Spend the time and money to hire professional people to do a final edit and design a professional cover. Nothing screams inexperience than a book riddled with typos and with a terrible cover.

Kev's response: I've heard others bring up "good cover" or "bad cover," but none appear willing to define what that actually entails. Hmmm.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Facebook Fan Page:
Amazon Author Page:

Author bio: Debra L Martin writes SF/fantasy with her co-author and brother, David W Small. They have been writing together since 2006. They make their partnership work through the use of email, Instant Messaging and Skype. Their newest release is an epic fantasy, ASSASSIN'S CURSE. They have written two novels, QUEST FOR NOBILITY and THE CRYSTAL FACADE in the RULE OF OTHARIA series and three novellas in the DARK FUTURE series to-date.
Debra lives on the East Coast with her husband and 2 cats. She works as a Programs Manager at a research university. David lives on the West Coast with his wife. He retired from the Marines after 21 years and currently works as a Network Specialist.

Kev's response: Deb, thank you for joining me! It sounds like you've got the "back and forth" thing between your two series going on that I'm looking forward to (soonish). Good fortune on them, and tell your brother to stop hitting you. Wait, if it's getting you to get more done.... Hmmm. Okay, spur on.

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