Name: Bruno Martins Soares
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):
I don’t really know how old I was when I started writing stories. I wrote them for school, I’m certain, but the first time I wrote without any academic goal I was 12, I remember that much. I just loved reading and stories and the books I laid hands on didn’t last that much and I had so many stories in my head I just started playing with them until it was impossible not to write them down.
I kept writing different stuff. When I was 22, a friend of mine incited me to enter one of the largest and most prestigious Young Writers’ contests in Portugal. I did and won an Honourable Mention. I tried again two years later and won it. I went to Torino and then Rome and Sarajevo, representing my country as a Young Writer. One of the best times of my life. Then, one day, I decided to write a Scifi novel I had been chewing on for some time: The Saga of Alex 9. I showed it to a publisher who’d just included a short story of mine in an anthology, and he loved it. I was a published novelist one year later, and soon was featured in a series alongside names like George R.R. Martin or Bernard Cornwell, hailed as an author to recon with in Portuguese Scifi. How about that? I wrote more novels and worked in movies, TV and plays. I’ve done a lot of things in my career, but overall, I’ve been writing professionally for 20 years.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)
INSIGHT is a horror story that will come out in April 22. It’s about Matt Taylor, an American psychologist. Strange things begin to happen to him: his 9-year-old son seems to develop supernatural powers, apparitions of his dead wife become frequent, and he is being followed by a suspicious man. When his son is kidnapped, he dives into a spiral of unexplained events. He’ll have to do the unimaginable to save his family. It’s very intense and thought provoking, I think. I love how the characters came out and Matt’s character in particular is incredibly strong and admirable – and yet, still very human and relatable.
When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?
I love stories since I can remember. And I was a storyteller from the start. But I grew up watching my father reading books. Every day before or after lunch or dinner he would sit in his chair and read a novel. A crime novel, as it happens. Or a spy novel. He hated SciFi («Those are things that don’t happen and will never happen.» – i.e. «old ladies solve murders all the time.»), and Fantasy was obviously (obviously!) for kids. Still, some of the first novels he gave me to read were from Edgar Rice Burroughs or Jules Verne. And that was besides all the comic books I read – the pride of my collection was a 50cm-long special edition of ‘Flash Gordon’. At 16 I read Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ for the first time, and loved it. Its intimist style still stays with me after all this time. As well as authors as Boris Vian, or Virginia Woolf
But then, movies. I love movies. Much of my writing skills, my plotting skills, my ‘lay-down-the-scene’ skills, came from movies. I’d stay here a long time talking about it, so I’d better shut up. Seriously, when I was a kid, I would narrate every single scene from a movie I enjoyed to some poor family member I was able to trap. I was nasty! So don’t get me started!
What writing plans do you have for the future?
I have another couple of books still to publish this year. Probably a box-set for THE DARK SEA WAR CHRONICLES with a couple of surprises in it as well. Then, later in the year, I’m planning to start publishing the English version of my first SciFi trilogy: THE ALEX 9 SAGA. Meanwhile, I’m writing the sequel to THE DARK SEA WAR CHRONICLES, called THE OUTER SEA WAR CHRONICLES. If the DSWC was a kind of WW2’s Battle of the Atlantic in Space, OSWC is a kind of WW2’s Battle of the Pacific in Space. It’s the continuation of Byl Iddo’s saga.
What do you like to read?
Love Hemingway, Woolf and G.R.R.Martin. But also Bernard Cornwell or Alexander Kent/Douglas Reeman. Love to read historical fiction, but also some realistic one and scifi/fantasy.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?
It’s easy to get infatuated with incredible stories in our heads just to find out that when we start putting them in the blank page there is something missing. Writing is a bit more difficult than it seems. Many aspiring writers get the sense that they are not any good after the first few tries. But that’s a trap. Writing is a craft with a set of skills you need to learn. You can learn them by yourself, reading books and watching movies, or you can have lessons or mentors, or use other learning resources. Still, it takes time. There’s no substitute to writing and writing and writing. You won’t be good enough unless you practice.
Another trap is being discouraged by rejection. Becoming a writer means you’re entering the rejection business. If you’re doing enough writing you’ll probably be rejected 95% of the time. That’s the nature of the thing. Don’t get discouraged. Accept it. It is normal for someone in this kind of business, just like in acting or modelling, or sales, to be rejected most of the time. Get used to it.
Author bio and book synopsis
Bruno Martins Soares writes fiction since he was 12 years old, and his first book, ‘O Massacre’ (The Massacre), a collection of short stories, came out in Portugal in 1998.
It was followed by several contributions to newspapers, magazines, and other collective books.
In 1996, he won the National Young Creators Award for Writing, representing Portugal at the 1997 Torino Young Creators of Europe and the Mediterranean Fair, where his short-story ‘Mindsweeper’ was translated and published in Italian.
His first novel ‘A Saga de Alex 9’ (The Alex 9 Saga) was published in Portugal in 2012, by publisher Saída de Emergência, within a series that features authors like George R.R.Martin or Bernard Cornwell. The Portuguese version of ‘The Dark Sea War Chronicles’ (A Batalha da Escuridão) was published by Editorial Divergência.
He worked in Project Development for Television and was a journalist and a communications, HR and management consultant before settling as a writer. He was also an international correspondent in Portugal for Jane’s Defense Weekly and a researcher for The Washington Post. He wrote several plays and short and full-length pictures’ screenplays, and he wrote and produced English-spoken Castaway Entertainment’s full-length feature film ‘Regret’, distributed in the USA and Canada in 2015. He lives and works in Lisbon.
Strange things begin to happen to Matt, a recent widower: his 9-year-old son seems to develop supernatural powers, apparitions of his dead wife become frequent, and he is being followed by a suspicious man. When his son is kidnapped, he dives into a spiral of unexplained events. He’ll have to do the unimaginable to save his family.
In this new novel, award-winning author Bruno Martins Soares dives into the psychological thriller/horror genre to give us a riveting tale of suspense, surprising twists and impossible choices.