What role did books play in your early life?
They were my best friends. My father was military, so we moved around a lot. While it was an amazing childhood that afforded me some incredible worldwide travel I wouldn’t
otherwise have, it could get kind of lonely always being the new girl. Throw in some serious dental issues in high school and an unfortunate pair of mid-90’s massive glasses – well…let’s just say I wasn’t exactly popular. LOL
But books were always there. I could always find someone in a story who I could relate to, whose dreams and sorrows could be so easily tied in with mine, who knew what it was like to be me. And when I needed them to, books took me away somewhere else and gave me a reprieve from having to think about being in a new place where I had to remake friends again.
My oldest daughter has become an avid reader (like the kind who runs into walls because there’s a book in her face) and watching the love unfold through her eyes is so magical.
Does the writing get easier with each book? Or does it get more difficult because you’re also growing as an author with each work?
It gets easier for me. First of all, I’m getting better and better at adjusting my time and finding what writing methods work for me (writing sprints, all the way).
I think after so many books written, a certain level of confidence follows. This is a fickle thing, mind you, which can easily collapse in a fit of self-doubt and castigation at a moment’s notice. I think all authors go through this. (FYI – leaving a positive review for a book you enjoyed is one of the best ways to tell someone you liked their book – and helps them through these bad days).
I think with historical romance, the research also becomes easier and the knowledge base if greater, requiring less research.
How can an aspiring author get better at writing?
First of all, everyone can always get better at writing. No one is perfect (or there wouldn’t be editors).
The most important thing is to never stop learning. Be passionate in your endeavor to learn your craft. Take classes (Margie Lawson is one of my personal favorite instructors and has classes available online), attend conferences and local writer meetings through RWA, network with other authors and don’t be afraid to reach out to them if you have questions.
And be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor was a solid book written. I think for me, it took about five years to really learn what I felt to be the core foundation of writing, but everyone has their own path and the length they’ve walked it.
Just know – all the time and effort will pay off.
Do you think that networking with other writers and authors is also important?
It absolutely is. When I was new to writing, I had a lot of authors really take me under their wing. They explained all the things I had no idea about (POV what???), later when I was in the process of working on my first edits with my publisher, they were great for answering questions Google couldn’t really point me to. And when my first book came out (and really all the subsequent ones as well), the level of support and sharing my book release information with their readers has been amazing.
Later on, fellow authors are great for doing cross promotion with. I think the most important part though is the camaraderie. Someone who knows what it’s like to have people in their heads, who knows how soul-sucking awful it is to get a rejection, how glorious a feeling writing ‘The End’ truly can be, and how releasing a book is both euphoric and chaotic all at once.
Networking gives you the most incredible friends who just get it.
What do you think every writer should know about character development?
Absolutely – and I say this as a plot-driven writer. I’ve worked hard to strengthen my character development side and am grateful for all the instructors who helped get character development through my skull. LOL
The reason we read books is because of the characters we latch onto and love. If that character starts off without a flaw, the book isn’t interesting. If the character doesn’t grow, the book is unsatisfying.
Characters are the part of the book that curl around our hearts and bring a sense of connectivity that is so vitally important.
About the Author
Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (AKA Oldest Minion and Youngest Minion). All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter and on Facebook.
Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing crazy races (like Mud Runs and Color Runs) and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseous. She’s also a history fan after having lived in Europe for over a decade, and enjoys traveling overseas whenever she can. Her favorite place to visit thus far: Scotland.
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