Author name: Martin Wilsey
*Please tell us about your publications.
What first prompted you to publish your work? The final kick over the edge was when a beta reader said, “You are going to sell thousands of these. Bastard.”
What have you found the most challenging part of the process? I love the outlining, the planning, the brainstorming, and the writing. All of that is fun. Editing is more like work.
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I am a big time plotter. HUGE plotter. I develop outlines that will eventually include every scene in the novel. When I outline, I am thinking only about the plot, pace, setting and characters. I am not worried about spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage or phrasing. My outline is conveyed to Scrivener, and then the writing begins. It is absolute proof against writer’s block as well.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Finish one thing before moving to the next.
If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would it be? Cormoran Strike, from the Robert Galbraith novels. We’d have dinner in a British Pub. I’d order bangers and mash!
What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? I believe authors should be free to do whatever they like. I have free Kindle promotions. They are effective. I also write and publish free short stories that are related to my novels. It’s the drug dealer model of marketing. Give them a little taste for free. If they like it, they will buy the novels. The key is that your free stories have to be good.
What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? I never comment on reviews. What people feel about my stories is none of my business. I always try to reach the correct audience.
How do you deal with bad reviews? Bad reviews don’t bother me. I deal with them by staying focused on my next project. I pay close attention to the reviews of my Beta readers.
Sort these into order of importance:
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I research the hell out of everything. I write Hard Science Fiction. I make sure I get the real science right so when I quietly step over the line with artificial gravity or Faster Than Light travel it seems more plausible. The wildest subject was how to cook using a large caldron.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? The best advice was that writing is work. You have to treat it like a job. Treat it like brushing your teeth or putting on your seatbelt. It is more about discipline than inspiration. You have to write even if you don’t feel like it. It sure does make it easier for the muse to find you if she knows where you will be every day.
What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? “Your first draft should be your final draft.” Once I gave myself permission to write a crappy first draft, to hammer through without looking back, I was free.
Bio: Martin Wilsey is a writer, hunter, photographer, rabble rouser, father, friend, marksman, storyteller, frightener of children, carnivore, engineer, fool, philosopher, cook and madman. He and his wife Brenda live in Virginia where, just to keep him off the streets, he works as a research scientist for a government-funded think tank.