First off, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Real life scientific researcher (drug designer), married no kids. Diagnosed with CLL in 2014, lost my hearing 2016, cochlear implant 2017.
What book are you currently reading and are you enjoying it?
Darkmage by ML Spencer. Certainly enjoying it, but it’s difficult to turn off the internal editor that suggests enhancements to the tale.
You’ve been writing and publishing short stories since 1995 and you published your first novel, Exile, in 2016. What was the hardest part about transitioning from writing short stories to a full novel?
I didn’t find much difficulty. I had no intention of writing a novel; Exile was a short story that just grew unexpectedly. Now I find it very difficult to go back and write short stories.
What inspired you to write Exile?
The old ‘what happened next’ plus ‘you can’t end it there, that’s too easy’.
Which of your characters do you most enjoy writing and Why?
Lord Tirellan, he has all the best lines. The guy is very smart, very ambitious and totally amoral.
What was the hardest thing about writing Exile?
Same as with all my work – characterisation. I’m fairly good with plot but giving my characters real depth is a continuing challenge. Fortunately I have great beta readers who pull me up on it.
What book/series has had the greatest influence on your writing?
The works of David Gemmell.
In your opinion, which fantasy series has had the greatest influence on the fantasy genre?
I think that has to be Lord of the Rings and the rest of the Tolkien universe.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the fantasy genre since you first started writing?
The rise of e-books and self-publishing. When I started only the desperate resorted to it, but now with e-books it is a very viable alternative. My agent failed to get a deal for Exile and it would still be sitting on my hard drive if electronic publishing had not delivered a whole new world to smaller publishers and self-publishers.
If you could write in any fantasy world, which would you choose and why?
Gemmell’s Drenai world. Because it is full of possibilities and Gemmell’s world-building is loose enough to accomodate them.
If you could write a book using another writer’s character, which character would you choose and why?
Conan, again a world of almost endless possibilities. Also plenty of other authors have written in this setting so there’s less chance of upsetting fans.
An evil wizard casts a spell on you and transports you to a world from a fantasy novel. Which fantasy world would you want it to be?
Juliet McKenna’s, because she builds such a very coherent world you can imagine it carrying on working when you close the book.
You cannot return from the fantasy world you have been sent to and are doomed to spend the rest of your days there, what profession do you choose to take up?
What is the weirdest place you have found yourself working on a book?
What weird writing rituals or habits do you have?
Writing without much of a plan – though I don’t think that’s weird. I’ve written a couple of books with no idea of what the end will be.
Why should readers check out your books?
If they love fast-paced adventure with real (as real as I can make them) characters facing real threats then my work should suit them. They are deliberately non-epic so if the bad guys triumph its rotten for the characters but the world keeps turning; the Dread Emperor and his endless army of zombie penguins will not take over everything.
About Martin’s Books
‘The Exile of Darien’ is a fast-moving tightly-plotted fantasy adventure story with a strong thread of romance.
Aron of Darien, raised in exile after his homeland is conquered by a treacherous warlord, makes his way in the world on the strength of his wits and skill with a sword. Both are sorely tested when he is impressed into the service of the Earl of Nandor to rescue his heir from captivity in the fortress of Sarazan. The rescue goes awry. Aron and his companions are betrayed and must flee for their lives. Pursued by steel and magic, they find new friends and old enemies on the road that leads, after many turns, to the city of the High King. There Aron must face his father’s murderer before risking everything in a fight to the death with the deadliest swordsman in the kingdom.
About Martin Owton
Fantasy and Science Fiction writer.
My first completed novel is a secondary world adventure fantasy called ‘The Exile of Darien’. It is available from the Phantasia imprint of Ticketyboo Press since April 2016, and the sequel ‘Return to Nandor’ will follow shortly.