Interview with Martin Hengst

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love creating new worlds. I've been imagining the wonders of Solendrea since I was just sixteen years old. I've had many adventures there in my imagination and its fun for me to bring those adventures onto the page so that other people can enjoy them as well. Even when working in our world, as I'm doing for my Codex series, it is fun for me to tweak the laws of reality to fit the story.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a family man, so I spend a great deal of time with my kids, playing, reading, doing school work, or having adventures of our own. In my spare time, I enjoy music of all types, movies, and video games. Especially video games.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love fantasy books, as is probably obvious by the type of books that I write. I also love science fiction and action/adventure books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have both a Microsoft Surface tablet and a Kindle Paperwhite. Both serve the purpose admirably. I enjoy reading straight text on the Paperwhite the best. The Surface is ideal for comics and graphic novels, where I really want to have the color.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when I was in high school. The basis of the Solendrea stories has been over two decades in the making, so I have a lot of catching up to do. However, it has the benefit of providing me with years worth of material that I have yet to cover. Right now, I have notes for at least 15-20 more books in the Solendrea series and beyond.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've loved reading and writing since I was a kid. I enjoy creating worlds and populating them with interesting people and strange artifacts. In the fall of 2012, I was very dissatisfied with my job, so as an escape, I turned back to writing. I published my first indie novel, The Last Swordmage, in December of 2012 and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is your writing process?
I take notes. Generally, a story will come to me in snippets of dialogue, or a scene that I have to write down right that minute. Once that happens, I'll work out from that seed, figure out what characters are going to go where, what the settings are, what the plot it. Once I have a general idea of where I want everything to go, then I'll start writing and see where the story takes me. There are invariably rabbit holes that pop up, and its great fun to follow them down, even if they get cut eventually.
How do you approach cover design?
I look for elements that fit the story in some way, and then try to incorporate them with colors that catch the eye and elements that look pleasing and convey the feeling for the book I'm working on. I'm very fortunate in that my wife and friends have some experience in graphic design and I rely on their input to create covers.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a novel called Codex of Souls, which is the story of a young woman who stumbles into the middle of an Eternal War, between the Infernal Legion and the Holy Host. It is a story of good versus evil and the price that must be paid to maintain the balance.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything to me. It still amazes me that other people enjoy the characters and settings that I've created from my imagination. It is my sincerest desire that everyone who reads my books experience the pulse-pounding thrill that I have when writing them. I love hearing from people who have enjoyed the books because then I know I've done a good job of keeping them entertained, even if only for a few hours.
Who are your favorite authors?
Anne McCaffrey, Tom Clancy, Robert Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, JK Rowling, Stephen King, Douglas Adams, Jim Butcher, Larry Niven
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The adventure. My job is to watch as the adventure unfolds and report it, as dutifully as possible, to those who read my books. So I go along on the adventure and watch my characters. I laugh with them, cry with them, and triumph with them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Many of my friends are avid readers and they know I'm always looking for a good book to read. My father is a voracious reader, often reading seven to ten books a week, and he usually contributes to my "to be read" list as well.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do...and it was truly awful in every way. I learn something new each day and do my best to apply that learning with each new book I write.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
One of the first books I remember reading and enjoying was "Where The Wild Things Are". I love it for the imagination and the adventure of it...something that remains with me today.
Published 2014-08-06.
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