Interview with Gregory Wayne Martin

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (because the language and descriptions are so colorful), The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (just because it's so damn funny), Cruel Shoes (because it's so absurd), The Harry Potter books (because I learned so much about punctuation, grammar and sentence structure from them) and Breakfast of Champions (if for no other reason than the fact that Vonnegutt drew an asshole in it).
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Birmingham, AL./Montevallo, AL. Living there taught me that there are good, intelligent, cultured people everywhere and that you can't, pardon the phrase, judge a book by it's cover.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest is a sequel to my first and second. I'm not going to get into the plot or characters. If you want an idea, read the first one.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Business cards with the name of my first novel and an ISBN on them. Threats and extortion have helped. Seduction has worked, although she won't read the second one.
Describe your desk
The local bar.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Honestly, time constraints. I began to see similar ideas to things in my first book in other places (TV mostly) and figured I'd better get the thing out there before parts of it began to look contrived. I'm not sure what that says about my level of creativity.
Who are your favorite authors?
Vonnegutt would definitely have to be towards the top of the list. Robert Aspirin is a lot of fun, as is J.K. Rowling. I love the way Tim Dorsey can paint an incredibly vivid image with words. Mary Shelley, Jeremy Leven, Hunter S. Thompson...hmmm. There are lots of them. I'm reading a Chuck Klosterman book right now that I really enjoy.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire my old roommate gave me and a desktop. (That's kind of a dumb question).
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I haven't had to wait on or depend on other people for my productivity as much. Other than that...what success are we talking about?
What do your fans mean to you?
Well, in regards to my first book, they always read the first two or three chapters, put it down, pick it up later, read the entire thing in one sitting and then contact me to read me the riot act. This tells me that they get as attached to my characters as I am. It's hard not to appreciate people who care about those that you love...even if the latter are make believe.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Playing God.
What are you working on next?
Currently, I've started on two more follow ups to the the Alexandria series. I just finished editing an erotic, narrative nonfiction book, alongside novelist and screenwriter Julie Fisher, entitled Ignite35. It's about the BDSM community and written by a very "camera shy" author named Kelly Ferrall. Look for it when it comes out. I also lead the Murfreesboro Writing Group and have helped edit the works of June Hall-McCash, George Rapier, Bruce Harvey and David Joel Stevenson, among others.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Disappointment in myself if I don't.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Television, reading, playing music, drinking, hitting on women who typically turn me down...
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Cruising the internet.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Damn. That's tough. I think it was about Robin Hood, but I can't say for sure. The first one I remember was kind of a futuristic, Dirty Harry-type story. There were also a lot of forged notes from my parents to excuse absences in school.
What is your writing process?
The first step is to go to the bar with a notebook, drink copious amounts of George Dickle white label while obnoxious college kids and bar flies scream and shoot pool and desperately try and pick each other up all around me. After the first draft is done I go home and transcribe it onto my computer. That always produces a second draft. Then, it's back to the bar to write any pick up scenes that I need. After that, it's just read it and re-read it and re-read it and re-read it until I feel that I've done all the damage I can do by myself. I then send it to one of my editors, who rapes it and sends it back. Finally, I fix all the places where they have covered the document in read font and correction marks. It's at that point that I give up and turn it loose into the world for better or for worse.
Why do you write in a bar? How do you concentrate with all the noise and chaos?
These are the two questions I get more than any. The fact is, it's easier to concentrate there. If I'm at home I start finding distraction. I do the dishes. I watch TV. I cruise the internet. I play one of my instruments. If I'm at the bar, it's easy to force myself to work because I typically don't want to deal with anyone around me. Occasionally, I will have a conversation with someone. That gives me the breaks I need without taking up too much time. If I excuse myself to get back to work no one gets offended. As far as the noise...whenever I get that question, my answer is usually, "How do you concentrate on your pool game or selecting things from the jukebox or watching the game on the TV over the bar? How do you single out one person's voice in a sea of shouting drunks?" It's kind of like having a cubical around me made out of fire and insanity.
How do you approach cover design?
I struggle. I hate trying to find or make covers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Jeez, I dunno. It was probably a Winnie the Pooh book. I mean, I learned to read before I got out of kindergarten. The first books I ever remember actively seeking out and reading were the Three Investigator novels. I don't think I missed one of those. As far as impact...hmm...I guess it just taught me that one doesn't have to abandon one's imaginary friends and that it was okay to share them with others. Also, it taught me that a writer can share ideas and pass on information and learning to others while entertaining them.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fiction...and a lot of biographies and informational books and essays for some weird reason.
When did you first start writing?
When I was around ten.
Where do you get ideas for your characters?
It's usually one of three things. Either I daydream until I create what is basically an imaginary friend, I personify a situation or a problem or an idea...or I steal people's identities. Yeah, I'm one of those "Don't piss me off. You'll end up in my book" writers. Although, it's not always anger or frustration that inspires it. Many times I will create amalgamations of people I know. Quite a few of my main characters are the result of combining traits and behaviors and appearances of my friends. For example, Rachel Anderson is based on about four different people I know...not the least of which is me.
Published 2017-06-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Macy's Day
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 74,080. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
The sequal to Common Knowledge brings more boozing, more sex, more insanity, more humor, more tragedy and something sinister.
Dirty Soapie: The Superhuman Lies of Soapie Shumacher
Price: Free! Words: 4,310. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Look out. The aliens are coming…and they're positively wacky.
Common Knowledge
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 71,330. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
A student anthropologist travels from the security of her quiet life in Indiana to the weird and debauched town of Alexandria, Alabama heavily colored by alcohol, sex, insanity and elements of the comically supernatural.