First interview with Smashwords- Get to know A.J. Martinez

You can go and read the review on Smashwords as well.


Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

Yes I do. The first story I ever wrote was actually a thriller/horror. It was a good story or so my friends told me but I was dissatisfied. However I found love in writing fantasy and I made a final decision that I wanted to be a king in the genre.

What is your writing process?

I always start with the characters. The invention of the character is the best part. The comes the setting. After I have the world all together then I think of the story and where I want to take the characters. I think about the plot and the conflict between characters and what is going to drive them and what motivates them. I think of how the characters are going to meet and how their first encounter should have an impact on the reader.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

I always read books when I was young. However the big inspiration came when I read Harry Potter. JK Rowling had such a great influence on me. I believe it was because I could relate to Harry Potter. His life was similar to mines. When I read Harry Potter that is when I really began to love fantasy and started writing stories and drawing characters.

What are your five favorite books, and why?

My favorite books would have to be The Giver, Song of Dragons by Daniel Arenson, Dance of Cloaks, The Hobbit and that is it. I am really picky with books.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

The amazon kindle. The best of the best.

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?

Twitter. It is a great social website to reach people of the same interest and thank god for tags. I have been able to speak to and interview many authors who have give me great advice

Describe your desk

My HP laptop with two woofers. A printer and top is my amazon kindle. At the bottom shelf of my desk I have the drawings of my character designs (Yes I actually draw my characters). Last but not least a comfortable chair

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I actually came from a under develop country in the Caribbean. My father brought me to America when I was ten years old. I dont like to talk about it much but growing it was difficult. My father passed away when I was 11. I experienced a lot of loneliness and found bliss in reading books and playing RPG games. The thought of other worlds fascinated me. I started drawing mainly anime style and writing stories for my characters. I was so different than the other kids and I was not the stereo typical male of my race. I really did felt like I was from another world. Like my family kidnapped me and raised me.

When did you first start writing?

I actually started writing stories in the seventh grade. I was also drawing. I was into Japanese manga, watched a lot of anime and read many novels. But I seriously started brainstorming stories in the seventh grade. I never wrote a whole novel. But I would write short stories. Then in 2012 I decided to get serious about this

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I never bothered trying to submit my manuscript to big name publishing houses. I was always a control freak when it came to “my artwork.” I never wanted anyone to have the rights to my work. I wanted full ownership of my work. I was also studying business in college and thought about writing some self help books and sell it online as a PDF. Then I heard of Amanda Hocking and her success as a self published author. That is when I saw a window of opportunity to publish my books and live my dream of creating fantasy worlds.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

The simple act of creating. Especially when I think of a character. Once I start writing and give life to the character and his/her personality it fills me with joy. It is like Mickey Mouse in that animated film ” the sorcerers apprentice” When Mickey starts to give life to the broom

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

When ever I wake up with a new story idea I am eager to finish my current novel and start the new one. It is not a good way to go about writing but it sure pumps me up.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Watching anime, movies, reading books from other authors. I also like to go to conventions with my friends.
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