Interview with Stewart Martin

When did you first start writing?
At 15, just after my father passed away. Wrote one or two books, long ago lost in storage or elsewhere, no copies that I know of still exist. They weren't very good, just my thoughts and about the world around me. I had to quit school and work to help my mother and I through some tough times. Took all four years of high school through the mail in about one year, passed exams and went to university, eventually receiving a BBA with a major in political science. From 15 to almost 21, spent my days with working adults, aged 25 to 65, not with people my own age. I found university freshmen to be immature and only interested in girls and cars, we had nothing in common. I've been writing seriously the last ten years and have finished five books and about to finish the 6th, with no one having read any of them without an agent or publisher willing to take a chance on my work.
What's the story behind your latest book?
'An Old Fart's Tale' is a bit about my life in Hong Kong during the last 20 years, it's realizing we all have a second or third life to live if we take chances. Adventures in Thailand, including an insane doctor who keeps his patients drugged, pot sales and distribution, U.S. stock market investing, greedy real estate companies, kidnapping and the unexpected....being lucky....In part, I am the 'Old Fart', but still a fictional story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
To be honest, I couldn't find any agents or publishers willing to work with me. I want someone other than myself to read and possibly enjoy what I've done. Their comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
My first book, 'An Old Fart's Tale', was just published and I have no idea where this will lead. I intend to send in other works, including one I'm almost finished writing about Donald Trump. Would love for one or all of my stories to be enjoyed by others.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing keeps my mind focused and yet allows me to escape reality into uncharted territories. I have a humorous nature and can't help poking my finger at someone like Trump. The research part is difficult, but my team works around the clock to achieve what is needed, my special thanks to them, (Me, Myself and I.)
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans keep me cool in the summertime and reduce the cost of air-conditioning. Seriously, once I have achieved fans who actually read, I'll be in a better position to answer this question.
What are you working on next?
I'm almost finished with my book about Donald Trump, 'The Trump Tragedy', and will be submitting it shortly to Smashwords. It's about his background, mob connections, business ethics and the rather inept group he has surrounded himself with. He is extremely greedy, would like to be as rich as Putin, egotistical and willing to do anything to achieve his goals. Don't want to say to much, but believe this is a timely, exciting story, with enough fiction mixed in to hold a readers attention....
Who are your favorite authors?
Rather ancient ones, Charles Dickens, 'Great Expectations'; Barbara Kingsolver, 'The Lacuna' and more recent ones; Tom Rob Smith, 'Child 44', Jonas Jonasson, 'The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared'; Paulo Coelho, 'The Devil & Miss Prym' & all of his stories; Stieg Larsson, 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' (a three book series); and I almost forgot, John Fowles, 'The Magus' & 'The Collector'.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm afraid to honestly answer this question, as my rather nutty mind knows no limits, but what the heck, (to urinate!). Truth is I get up early to have a light breakfast with my wife, at least coffee and some sort of bread or bun....
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do a lot of reading and some research for my next story. Very often, I re-read and re-edit my stories, often finding mistakes or something unclear worthy of being deleted.
What is your writing process?
Research, check facts and then do it again, first notes, then hand written on legal pad and finally typed on computer, then edit, redo, recheck and so on...
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I still believe the first book that influenced me was 'Great Expectations' surely not the first which may have been Tweety Bird or Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny.... Dickens was a pure genius, very inspiring, deeply motivating. I will always remember Pip...
How do you approach cover design?
Hire a professional, for my first book, 'An Old Fart's Tale', used one of Smashwords, recommendations, 'Tatiana M. Fernandez and she is now working on 'The Trump Tragedy'...She is intelligent and easy to work with and I give her my suggestions and she takes it from there...
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Don't know, will try and learn and do some of Smashwords suggestions. I am not a salesman, or a distributor --- just want to be a writer and too busy to do other tasks, but will do my utmost to find out what people think of my stories..
Why write about Donald Trump?
The newly elected President Trump deserves to be picked apart. Truth is a major problem, reading treaties and trade agreements is another and ignoring the intelligence gathering community is a third. He spends his evenings tweeting falsehoods and then either denying whatever was tweeted.
Describe your desk
My desk is a long wooden board on metal legs bought at IKEA, but does have plenty of workspace and room for backup documents. It's inexpensive, durable and always loaded with notes and other junk.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, but not all the details. I lost my only copy many years ago. It was about my father, almost twelve hundred pages, far too long and more interesting to me than anyone else. I was 15 or 16 at the time.
What would I like to see happen if people discover I actually know how to write?
I would love for them to enjoy my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. If I am extremely fortunate, perhaps some of them will become fans of mine. I do have three more books to edit and format before submitting to SmashWords. If they are in readable shape, I will ask my book cover designer for covers... What will be, will be.
What do you read for pleasure?
When I was a young guy in my prime I loved the stories (and pictures) in Playboy and Penthouse. Charles Dickens turned me on to real novels.
Published 2017-04-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Garmento
Price: Free! Words: 159,170. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Business
Short Summary of; ‘The Garmento’ Michael Rivers’ father told him to strike out against anyone who bullied him and not to worry about the consequences. Michael did as he was told. He lashed out when someone was in his way, threatened him or his family. Watch out if you step on his toes. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Just Call Me Bob
Price: Free! Words: 78,360. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
This book, ‘Just Call Me Bob’ is a fictional parody about President Barack H. Obama. Each chapter is wrapped around a different press conference or media event. In this comedy, the President has requested that he be called ‘BOB’ or President BOB, keeping an open informal air in and around his office.
The St. James Inquiry
Price: Free! Words: 151,900. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Detective James Harvey, kicks a hornet’s nest of international criminals beyond his wildest imagination. They will do anything to stop his investigation into the orphanage’s missing children. James is assisted by world class investigative agencies, UK Prime Minister, China’s Premier, the Church of England, an orphan and a former colleague from the Hong Kong Police force.
The Trump Tragedy
Price: Free! Words: 71,300. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
(5.00)
This story is about a professional liar, a conman, a guy lacking any business ethics, a changeling or if you prefer a chameleon, who is temporarily occupying the Oval Office in the White House. Devious Donald believes he is a monarch. His motto is simple, ‘Attack, counter-attack and never apologize’ to anyone about anything.
An Old Fart's Tale
Price: Free! Words: 56,760. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
(5.00)
This tale is about a U.S. retiree living in Hong Kong and Thailand where he becomes involved with a ‘madman doctor’, a family growing ‘Thai Sticks’(Pot), ‘wild investment s’ and ‘greedy real estate developers’ and a ‘new love’. This book is about the unexpected, unplanned, uncharted part of life, one that nightmares and dreams are made of.