Back in 2018, I was lucky enough to interview a popular and successful indie author on my personal blog. Kristen Martin, the bestselling author of The Alpha Drive trilogy, also appeared on my YouTube podcast, The White Room.
I'm re-posting that interview here to remind my readers of her expert advice and insight—now including some bonus content—to benefit the science-fiction and fantasy writers out there. In one week, I'll be posting a new interview with this author to see how things have changed!
But first, let's get to know Kristen.
Kristen Martin is the international Amazon bestselling indie author of THE ALPHA DRIVE trilogy and the SHADOW CROWN series, a writing coach, a YouTuber, a podcaster (That Smart Hustle), and an entrepreneur. She lives in Southeast Texas and loves all things young adult, science fiction, and fantasy.
What made you want to become a writer, Kristen?
Most people would probably say they idolized a particular author while growing up, but I never truly had an author I looked up to. I just loved to read and write. When I was nine years old, I carried a spiral notebook with me everywhere and wrote short two-page stories about the most random things. I even illustrated my thoughts in the margins. My family's favorite story was called The Christmas Monkey in which a monkey tried to save Christmas from being destroyed by an evil king. It was a masterpiece (kidding, of course). My point is, I knew I loved to write, so that's what I did.
Why did you choose to write in this genre? Have you ever considered trying other genres?
There has always being something so fascinating to me about science fiction and fantasy stories. Maybe it’s because of their ability to transport you so seamlessly into other worlds and allow you to escape reality for a little while, or because I will always have a curiosity about worlds other than our own. I love reading in these genres, so I figured I would like writing them, too. And I was right! I have considered potentially writing a dark suspense novel, similar to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but this is definitely a-ways down the road.
The White Room Ep 26: Kristen Martin (YouTube) - 27/06/2017
What do you love most about writing and why?
Writing is the only thing that allows me to get out of my own head, away from my inhibitions and doubts. In a professional sense, I am a very analytical person, so I use my left brain pretty much all day, every day at work. But my right brain, where my creativity lives, is where I truly thrive. Writing gives me that space to discover new thoughts and ideas without the pressure or worry of being judged or criticized.
What do you dislike about writing and why?
I dislike when I doubt myself and my writing. Every writer goes through this more often than not, and it is not enjoyable at all. When I catch myself thinking negative thoughts, I usually need to step away from my computer and pick up an inspirational book. My favorite is You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I highly recommend it for literally everyone!
If you could trade places with any of your characters, which would you choose and why?
I would trade places with basically any of my characters in my new dark fantasy series! I don’t want to give too much away since it hasn’t been released yet, but I would give anything to have just one day with some of these magical powers.
Journal Prompt: if you could trade places with any character from the last book you read, who would it be and why?
If you could live in any of the worlds you have created, which would you choose and why?
This kind of goes along with my answer for the previous question. I would live in the world I’ve built for my young adult fantasy series. Again, I can’t say much, but the magical elements I’ve been creating are really fun and I wish I could do half the things my characters are able to do!
The White Room S2, E12: Kristen Martin - 01/03/2018
What's your writing routine or schedule like? Do you struggle to find time to write? How do you stay organised and keep to your deadlines?
I tend to do my best writing at night. I used to be a night owl, but unfortunately my full-time job changed that. I schedule my writing time between 8-10PM on weeknights. Sometimes, it is a struggle to find the time to write, especially if I’ve had a long day at work or I don’t feel inspired. I find I work best using a calendar with daily word count goals where I can record and keep track of my progress. Writing down my achieved word count for the day makes me feel accomplished and gets me excited for the next day’s goal.
Who or what inspires you? Where do you get your inspiration?
Honestly, this is a really hard question for me to answer. I am inspired by incredible authors, like Chuck Palahniuk, Sylvia Plath, J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas (just to name a few), but I think what it comes down to is my inner motivation and desire to write and share my stories with the world. I love writing with every ounce of my being; without it, I honestly don't know who I am. It's my passion, the thing that drives me forward and makes me hop out of bed every morning. Just knowing that I get to sit down at my computer and create is inspiration enough for me. With that being said, my inspiration doesn't come from external sources, but instead, from deep within. It's what I love to do, so I do it!
Do you have a favourite author and if so, why do you enjoy their work?
I do! I absolutely love Chuck Palahniuk, and one of my newer favorite authors is Sarah J. Maas. Chuck Palahniuk has such a unique writing style – I’m not exactly sure why I enjoy it, but I do! It’s dark and twisted, and he does such a great job connecting the reader with his characters. I love Sarah J. Maas as an author because of her world-building abilities and flow of the stories. I’m hooked on the Throne of Glass series. Those books are hard to put down!
Journal Prompt: who are your favourite authors? What is it about their work that causes you to return to them over and over, and what techniques do they use?
What do you find most challenging about being an indie/ self-published author and why?
Exposure is definitely the most challenging part of being an indie/ self-published author. We don’t have the large reach that traditional publishers do, so getting our names and our books out there is a huge hurdle, but I’ve found that engaging regularly with readers and writers alike is a great way to grow your author platform and get your name out there! Starting a YouTube/ BookTube channel has also really helped me reach my target audience.
Why not answer some of these questions yourself and post them on your blog?
Thank you so much to author Kristen Martin for sharing her insights on writing and publishing books. If you would like to support Kristen and her work, please consider purchasing one of her books.
Another, more recent, interview with this author will be posted on this blog in one week... be sure to check that out too and see how Kristen's life as a writer has changed.
Did you know? Kristen also writes non-fiction personal development books, both of which I own and love! You can check out her most recent book, 'Soulflow' on Amazon now.
Find Kristen on social media - like, share and follow!
This interview was originally posted on www.erachaelhardcastle.com - January 24th 2018. It has been re-posted here by Rachael Hardcastle for your information and enjoyment.
If you would like to complete and submit an interview of your own for the blog, get in touch today through this website's contact form.