Interview with Tyrean Martinson

Published 2014-05-26.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
"The Black Hat" is a story I wrote in third grade that I loved writing. In my mind, it combined all the perfect elements for a story, an animated black top hat that could tap dance and an escape to an open horizon of freedom. In the classroom, I daydreamed often with my eyes focused on the sky, the horizon outside the classroom that seemed limitless. I didn't know I would be a writer then, but I did know that I liked to daydream. In sixth grade, I wrote a story about a pencil and eraser's escape from a classroom. That story gained me encouragement from a teacher, and the writing dream took flight.
What is your writing process?
Daydreaming, journaling, and random writing prompts all help me start the process. After that, I will write the beginning of the story, or a character introduction. I'll explore with small vignettes. Then I'll start asking myself questions: what is the character's heart's desire, how they can achieve that? what stands in their way? and what will the outcome be? how will their journey change them? After asking myself those things, I'll start a tiny four point outline: beginning, mirror moment middle, conflict climax, and ending. Then, I begin writing and fleshing out that outline as I continue the story and add characters and dimensions. However, this is all just for the rough draft, which I consider the fun part. Revisions take much longer, and I follow this process: wait, read-through, plot/character revision, word usage and grammar check, help from proofreaders, and several copy-edits. Revision is often the stage where I grow the most as a writer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mom read me stories from a very young age, along with the Bible, and the first story I remember loving as a read-aloud was about a lost puppy finding a home. As an early reader, the first two books that had an impact on me were: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I checked them out from my town library over and over again, even when I had moved on to longer, chapter books. To me, they were both stories about freedom, beauty within, and love. The caterpillar's inner beauty is revealed as a butterfly. When Max returns home, he find his dinner waiting for him, and he knows that despite all his wildness, he is loved. These stories spoke to me deeply as a kid, and they still do.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I'm not sure I can pick only five books as favorites, but here is a starter list based on books that I've read many times:
The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, for reasons stated in the first book question.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, for reasons stated in the first book question.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien because Bilbo's reluctant heroism and journey strikes a chord with me.
The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis because they transport me to another place and speak truths.
The Bible because it points the way.
(Bonus Books: The Giver by Lois Lowry, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George)
What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy and Space Opera Science Fiction.
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