Interview with C.E. Martin

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had given up on getting past the slushpile gatekeepers then stumbled across an article about Aamzon's Direct Publishing Program for Kindle. I had completely missed it the first year it came out. I did some research and was shocked to learn that self-publishing had grown so much beyond the scam-ridden vanity publishing of the 1990s. I immediately set out to write something new and give it a shot.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite would be Warren Murphy- co-creator of The Destroyer action adventure series. He managed to blend mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy elements all together in one series that dripped with sarcastic humor. His writing partner, Richard Sapir, passed away years ago, but Mr. Murphy has soldiered on, writing, co-writing and supervising the Destroyer franchise.

I'm also fond of Piers Anthony, Keith Laumer, Lester Dent and Edgar Rice Burroughs- all writers who used wither action or humor, or both to tell great stories- then kept on telling those stories with sequel after sequel, expanding the little universes they had created.
What is your writing process?
Since 2012, I have done things differently than I had for years and years (when the urge to write hit me). Now I fully plot out my projects, writing overly-detailed outlines and planning everything to the tiniest detail before I start writing. Then I sit down and write until I get sleepy or my wrists hurt- marathon sessions that can last ten hours sometimes. I also don't like to stretch it out- I hammer away on a project, every weekend until it's done. No dragging out a book for a year or more. I start it, I get it done.
How do you approach cover design?
I have long played with photo editing programs as a hobby. When it came to indie publishing, I wanted to go fully DIY and do my own covers. So for each I plan out what I want the cover to convey- what feeling. I don't just find a picture of some wistful-eyed young girl and slap it on a pretty background. That may be what is popular right now, but it just reminds me of my wife's romance novels. I think a cover should be made like a movie poster- catching your eye and then making you want to learn more about the story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible is #1 for me. But as far as literature goes, I enjoy The Destroyer, Doc Savage and Tarzan series the best. I just really like the adventure in them and that the good guys win and don't have a bunch of sappy internal conflicts. They do what needs to be done and don't get all wussified in the process.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Tough call. I really miss my old Palm Pilot Tungsten E2- it was slightly smaller than a paperback and easy to use one handed. But it didn't have wifi. My 10 inch tablet is great- I can use it for a variety of purposes, not just reading. Maybe later I'll get a 7"tablet just for reading, but right now I get so little time to read, I just use my tablet- which I also use to write on.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I don't think any of them have been particularly effective. I've been marketing on a very limited budget. I try not to spend anything more than what I make on royalties- and just starting out, that ain't much. It seems to me that the way to become successful is to dump a lot of your own money into expensive adveritising then cross your fingers. Money's too tight (or maybe it's me) for me to gamble like that, so I'm quite a ways off from the expensive ads. For now, it's Goodreads and Twitter and hoping my niche audience will eventually find me.
When did you first start writing?
The 1980s is when I really became interested in writing as more than a goof. I had been reading a lot of The Destroyer series and decided that is what I wanted to do- write. I tried submitting a number of short stories to publications like Analog Magazine, but never got anywhere. I developed my own Adventure series and sent it in to publishers. Nada. I kept at it for a few years, then gave it up- irritated every time i'd buy a book and think I could do better.
What do your fans mean to you?
Customers. They mean I am producing a product that is liked. If I had a restaurant, regulars would literally be my bread and butter, and I'd bend over backwards to make sure they were happy. I don't see any reason why writing should be any different. If I ever do get fans, my number 1 priority would be to make them happy- listen to their feedback and provide the product they want. Without customers, I'd just be writing for myself, and that seems pretty pointless.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
With my family. My favorite thing is to watch B Movies- cheesy, lame monster movies. Preferably on the digital recorder, so I can skip past the unbearable parts. Having kids makes it hard to enjoy the movies I grew up watching, but as they get older, I'm getting to catch up on the stuff I've missed. Oddly, I don't like reading horror, despite it making up most of what I watch. When I started writing last year, it just seemed appropriate to combine my favored adventure books with my cheesy horror movies.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Terrorcota (Stone Soldiers #8)
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America's supersoldiers must stop a flesh-eating virus, and the entity behind it, from devouring all of mankind.
Stone Soldiers: Catching Fire
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After dying in combat, a Navy SEAL is resurrected as a super soldier to fight a fire elemental in Iraq.
Armageddon Z (Stone Soldiers #6)
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A psychic forced to relive the zombie apocalypse over and over tries to warn the Stone Soldiers before it happens again.
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A supersoldier fights communists, a Chinese wizard and a monster in 1962 Laos
Black Knight Down (Stone Soldiers #5)
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Series: Stone Soldiers, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,640. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
When a coven of witches of conspire to bring down a prehistoric satelite, the stone soldiers must spring into action to keep its dark secrets contained.
Shades of War (Stone Soldiers #4)
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Series: Stone Soldiers, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,820. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
When a mystery man begins raising a spectral army from Civil War battlefields, America's supersoldiers must find a way to defeat an enemy that is already dead.
Stone Soldiers (Omnibus #1)
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 158,800. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
A collection of the first three books from the Stone Soldiers series: Mythical, Brothers in Stone, and Blood and Stone
Blood and Stone (Stone Soldiers #3)
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Series: Stone Soldiers, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,690. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2012. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
Kukulcan has returned to Earth and demands sacrifices. But is this really the blood god of the Mayans, or something worse?
Brothers in Stone (Stone Soldiers #2)
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Series: Stone Soldiers, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 55,330. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2012. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
A second prehistoric shapeshifter is loose in the modern world, joining his resurrected brother in ripping out and consuming the hearts of victims to steal their power, their memories and their form. Colonel Mark Kenslir came back from the dead to defeat one shapeshifter. Can he hope to defeat two, or will he need help from two teens and an FBI psychic?
Mythical (Stone Soldiers #1)
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Series: Stone Soldiers, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 48,750. Language: English. Published: June 5, 2012. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
A resurrected super soldier must stop a shape-shifting giant who eats the hearts of his victims to steal their identities.