Interview with Dustin Martin

Describe your desk
My desk is wherever I feel like working at. I mostly write on a laptop and freely move from my bed, to a desk, to a table, to the floor, and back again at any time I choose. You never know when the creative urge will strike. Why limit yourself to only writing when you're in a particular place then?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Florida and have lived there my whole life. As such, my stories have usually reflected smaller towns and communities that are familiar with one another. It has also led some stories to feature water or the urge to travel to new lands.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in middle school, but at the time, I was awful at it. The first story I wrote could be called poorly written at best. I put it off for a while until I came to a website a few years ago where people could put up stories of any length for free. I hovered around the site for a while, reading and reviewing other stories before deciding to try my hand at it once more. I stumbled to begin with, but through effort, help from others, and God, I steadily improved.
What's the story behind your latest book?
From the blurb of my book:

Lydia and Mark are left with incredible new abilities after a tour accident. With the limitation of these abilities, they discover they are not beyond human reach, but are no longer the same.

Soon, Lydia and Mark are separated; Lydia is whisked away by the government official Arthur, while Mark is offered a job with a wealthy businessman by the name of Rooke. The two men thrust the pair into a world they never knew existed, full of gifted people with powers like their own. But the opposing ideals of the two sides will drive Lydia and Mark into a swirling confrontation with one other and their respective groups, one that will force the two to question the consequences, motivations, and nature of their actions and abilities.

However, even that doesn't quite explain the entire premise. The super powers these people exhibit have mild to severe drawbacks, and these people must learn to control them before they're put to the test.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
One of the things that motivated me was the entry barrier to become a traditionally published author. The long waits to hear back from literary agents, the horror stories I heard of signing on with regular publishers, and the general unpleasantness of it all made me run to independent publishing.

The other thing that motivated me was the flexibility and control offered. I can control the price, keeping it low instead of charging a standard. I can put out the books as fast or as slow as I'd like. And the only tradeoff is more leg work? It sounds like a fair trade to me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
One of the greatest joys of writing is creating a story that flows so well and one whose world you don't want to leave. It's just so enjoyable to want to keep writing, when you find it hard to step away from the story.

The other greatest joy is hearing the feedback on stories, negative or positive. To know that people either took their time to provide critiques and thereby want to see you improve or that people couldn't put your story down and that you're reaching out to them with your stories helps make it very worthwhile.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a sequel to my first book, Halfway Heroes. But I won't start on it until everything is in order with the first book and it has been published. I think it's better to commit my attention fully to one project instead of separating myself between multiple endeavors.
Who are your favorite authors?
One of my favorite authors is Charles Dickens since he wrote my favorite story, A Christmas Carol. His stories are usually heartwarming and welcome. Tolkien is another one I like, as he is one of the fantasy authors I've liked over the years. I also enjoy Clive Cussler and authors like him, as adventure novels are always a fun read. James Patterson is pretty enjoyable with some of his books, too. But on the whole, I tend to settle on favorite books rather than favorite authors, usually gravitating toward fantasy and science-fiction.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock's loud ringing, but mostly the knowledge that I usually have plenty of things to do. And if I don't do them, I feel like the day is wasted.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing or working, I usually spend my time reading, jogging or some other form of exercise, or I'll relax with some other hobby. If none of the above, I find something else to do or chat with friends.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
There's various ways. One is if they're recommended by someone who shares similar tastes to me. However, when I see ads for an ebook, I'll be curious to at least check out it's store page or any excerpts. Then there are times where I'll browse through ebook lists, looking for any high-rated ones at a good price with an interesting summary. Last of all, I might just snag an ebook if I get the feeling I would enjoy it, even if it's rating isn't great.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about a group of kids fighting these demonic creatures attacking their school. I wrote it back in middle school and to say it was amateurish would be far too kind. There was too much dialogue, it was little description, the plot wasn't well thought out, and it was excessively "mature" with copious swearing and gore. Overall, it was a mess, but one that I believe I learned from.
What is your writing process?
When I have an idea and have hammered out a rough beginning, middle, and end in my mind, I'll sit down and start writing. That's it. I write at least a couple of pages a day until I reach the end, then go back over it, checking for errors and ways to improve the story. Once I'm satisfied, I publish it online and allow others to give me their opinion.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Outside of Dr. Seuss books, the first book I remember reading was The Hobbit. Or our teacher read the story to us. I greatly enjoyed it and always hated it when we had to stop so we could continue a lesson. But it did influence me to read more of Tolkien's works and other fantasy stories.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to approach cover design to best represent what the book is about. I believe that the cover should tell the reader what the gist of the story will be about in a glance, but also draw them in with an interesting design that stands out from other covers.
What do you read for pleasure?
I mostly read adventure novels, whether fantasy, science fiction, or contemporary. They seem to have a little of everything in them and always provide a good time.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My computer. Nothing against e-readers, but I tend to be on my computer the most, so it's only natural I would use it to read stories.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean a great deal to me. Without them, I don't think I could've reached this point and I thank each and every one of them. I only hope that each story I write can entertain them, as one of the reasons I do write is for them.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I think that Smashwords has helped me find a place where I can publish books and distribute them in an effective manner. I think this site has also provided me with the tools and advice necessary to help with marketing my book and connecting with authors and readers in a meaningful way.
Published 2013-12-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Rogues of Overwatch
Price: Free! Words: 124,090. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Lydia has dedicated herself to becoming a BEP agent while Mark is pressed into service by Whyte. When the BEP Division and Whyte's private military corporation receive word of Heather's whereabouts, it's a race to see which side can find her first. Can Heather's knowledge save the BEP Division from Whyte's enclosing trap? But even more importantly, can a murderous fugitive like Heather be trusted?
Halfway Heroes
Price: Free! Words: 167,830. Language: American English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(3.00 from 1 review)
When two teenagers are granted new physical abilities from an accident, they are sought out by two opposing groups of people. The teenagers must decide how to use their powers and what to use them for as they're dragged into the fray.