Today I am going to introduce you to a new friend I recently met in the Blogosphere. Mike is a Canadian writer, originally from the far East Coast, now located in Ottawa. He is the author of a series of mystery novels I have enjoyed reading, and well worth your time to peek at his material. We have exchanged guest spots this week.
Take it away Mike…
I am from St. John’s, Nfld but moved to Ottawa for work in the mid-1980’s and stayed ever since. I still go back to visit but Ottawa is my home now. I have been everything from a bonded messenger to a postal worker to a clerk to a life insurance salesman. I have visited every province and territory in Canada more than twice and I have traveledto Africa, Europe and Australia.
I have been a freelance writer for what seems like forever. My articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. I am the author of a self-help book: “Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People” and I have written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.
Now I write fiction, the Windflower Mystery Series. It is a traditional mystery series, close to but not really a cozy mystery, and almost a police procedural, except that I do not know enough about policing to write that way. So I write about Windflower’s adventures in discovering and enjoying the food and culture of small town Newfoundland.
The Walker on the Cape was the premiere of the series. It was published by Baico Publishing of Ottawa in 2012. The second book in the series, The Body on the T was released on May 1, 2013. Both are available from Chapters/Indigo and e-books are available on Chapters.ca and Amazon.com And a new book in the series will be coming out next spring.
Why and How I write
I grew up with three older sisters, two of whom were teachers, so I learned to read, a lot, early on. I always had an active imagination. That didn’t help me a lot in the structured family and school days. In fact it regularly contributed to my being in trouble. Nothing too serious. That would come later. I wasn’t encouraged to write. I wasn’t really encouraged to do much of anything, except to stay out of the way and to stay out of trouble. Reading was my kind of refuge from what I saw as the storm around me. I liked it and stayed with it all of my life. Writing didn’t come easy or naturally to me. I had it inside of me. I just couldn’t get it out. In high school I was a bit of a loner and felt really out of place. Drugs and alcohol changed that in university but then I was just a drunk and stoned loner. It wasn’t until the drugs faded in my late 20’s that my creativity started to pop out and I began writing a few little ditties and stories for parties. Somehow I found myself in a series of jobs where people actually thought I could write. I kept hoping that they wouldn’t find out the truth and fire me. I liked writing, a lot and soon it became my new refuge from the world.
I went through various phases as a part-time writer, policy writer, speech writer into finally taking the leap in my forties to primarily a freelance social policy writer. That didn’t pay a lot so I ended up selling my creative soul to a series of marketers, search engine optimizers and keyword racketeers. Fortunately my soul stayed intact long enough for me to finally get to fiction writing. Thank God!!
Fiction writing is where I wanted to be all along. I just never had the guts to get here. I am and have always been a story teller. The stuff that I got beaten for and beaten up more for as a kid has now become my passion and driver for living. The big difference is that today people tell me that they like my stories. Back then, not so much. Do I wish I had gotten into this fiction racket earlier? You bet! But mostly I am just grateful to be here now.
You know the best thing about being a writer. It’s better than having someone tell you that they like your story. It’s even better than someone paying money out of their pocket to buy your book, although that’s pretty freakin’ good too. It’s when someone comes up to you at a book signing with their kid and says I want my kid to meet a real writer. I look around to see where the writer is. And the kid is just looking at me. I try and get a few minutes alone with the kid to talk to them about writing and to encourage them to keep writing if they’ve already started, which most of them have. Just keep writing and good things will happen.
Thanks to Brock for the opportunity to meet all of you here in cyberspace and if you want to chat, drop me an e-line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Martin is the author of the Windflower Mystery Series, set in small communities in Newfoundland, on the east coast of Canada. His latest book, The Body on the T, is now available in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com