Interview with Martyn J. Pass

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a Metal Worker by trade and that makes up my '9 to 5'. I have a wife and two children that also need my attention, plus a dog, three cats and two guinea pigs! It can get a bit hectic, but I still find time to do a bit of long distance walking and paintball with the lads from work.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually by recommendation or if the cover really grabs me. I read one title simply because the person on the front was wearing a ruck sack and carrying a walking stick! I don't tend to judge a book based on the first few chapters because I know from experience that they're going to be more polished than the rest of the book. I look for writers who are marathon runners, not just sprinters.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was 'At the dawn of the ruined sun' and it was published in 2000. It's still my favourite and I wish I could go back and re-write it over and over again. It was the first time I'd written more than a few pages and I was very proud if it.
What is your writing process?
Character over plot every time. I don't concern myself with details of what happens to who and when. I try to create real, likeable characters and then put them in a world they can interact in. The plot writes itself if you know your people well enough. It lets them surprise you as you move along, doing things and leaving you wondering where it came from! I write as an when I can, making myself write at least a side of A4 a day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember themes more than specific stories, but 'Damnation Alley' by Roger Zelazney stood out for me from an early age. A biker in a post-apocalyptic world forced to drive across the nuclear waste land of USA to deliver some medicine. I liked the anti-hero of 'Hell Tanner' and his distrust of the world I felt at the time. I think it set me on the science fiction path I now write on.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything. Although I write mainly science fiction I read any genre going. I like to get a feel for style and age range when it comes to reading but my default is just to enjoy a good story.
Describe your desk
I'm under the stairs in a small alcove at the moment as its the quietest part of the house! It's littered with walking equipment, paper and wires. Bit of a mess really.
What's the story behind your latest book?
'The Wolf and the Bear' came out of a deep hatred of the way young women were being portrayed in movies and books, and also men to some degree. I hated the fact that they were becoming more like men, sacrificing their femininity just to compete in the fiction market place. Men, also, were becoming feminine, often taking a back seat when they should be standing up for themselves. I wanted to put a young girl in a place where she would have to become strong, fight, compete, but without losing the beauty that comes from being a woman. Also, I wanted a male who wasn't a cliche and who helped the heroine to grow and thrive without either taking a back seat or dominating her. Alex Hogg and the Bear form a great partnership that brings out the best in both sexes, I feel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Rejection, rejection and more rejection. I would love to see my work in print, legitimately, but like so many others it's probably not going to happen any time soon.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
People really enjoying and getting involved with the characters. When people say 'of course Alex did that...' or 'that's something Bear would do...' I know I've hit my mark. My characters have become 'friends' with the readers and that's what matters to me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a UK author, based in Lancashire which is home to Tolkien's 'Shire' and where he based his world of middle earth on. The countryside appears in all my books in many forms and continues to inspire me as I walk it often with the dog.
Published 2014-09-20.
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