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Advice on Getting Published

Readers ask me quite often, "Any advice on how to get published?"  

In truth, I'm no guru at this.  Have no monopoly on the process.  But I do have a few thoughts.  So, if you're asking the same question, consider this my letter to you.

Next Book Update ;-)

Good news.  My editor moved UP my release date, which means “Thunder and Rain” will release April 1st, rather than May—and no, this is not some sick April Fools’ joke.

‘Ask Me’ No. 4

A few of the questions I’ve received lately:

Q: You have said before that you are an introvert.  How does that affect you as a professional writer?

A: I’m pretty happy sitting right here.  Coming out of my shell is a purposeful act.  Interacting in public takes energy.  Note: that’s not bad and it’s not like I dread it, not at all, it just zaps me.  Writing charges my batteries.  Public stuff (appearances) drains them.  It took me a while to figure this out…

‘Ask Charles’ No. 3

Q: What process do you take to come up with the right name for your characters?

Good question.  I’m not sure I have a process for naming characters.  I’m always paying attention to people’s names.  Especially when signing books.  I can usually pick up a few while on tour.  More than anything, I listen to what a name sounds like.  And sometimes how it’s spelled.  But, I don’t really have a hard and fast process.  It’s sort of stumbling in the dark sort of thing.  Its not unheard of for me to get to the end of a book, turn around and completely rename a character. 

Q: Charles, what/who do YOU read when you’re in the mood for a good fiction book?

Anything Vince Flynn.  I’m a pretty big Grisham fan.  The Testament may be my favorite.  Or, A Time to Kill.  Although the first chapter is Testament may be my favorite all time first chapter ever.  Wish I’d written it.  Clive Cussler takes me places I like to go.  Stephen Hunter is another.  Conroy, of course.  For the most part, I read non-fiction.  Krakauer.  Powers.  Ambrose.  Sides.  I can’t explain that, I just do.  Right now, I’m reading The Hobbit to the boys.  I read it when I was twelve.  Quickly followed by The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.  I remember reading the Two Towers in a day and a half – which was unheard of for me.  Still is.  I fell in love with Tolkien and middle earth long before Jackson put it on screen. (And he did an awesome job in my opinion.  Can’t wait to see The Hobbit.)  Anyway, they love it.  Mesmerized.  A lot of fun for me.  Sometimes, I’ll go back and read Louis Lamour novels that I’ve read a few times.  I love a good western.  My favorite book is Robinson Crusoe.  Followed closely by Huck Finn.  My favorite writer is King David – he says what my heart needs to hear…and say. 

Q: How long did you research locations when writing “When Crickets Cry”?

About a year. Maybe 18 months if you include the writing. 

Q: Do you still live in Jacksonville, Florida and are you a native Floridian?

Yes.  Born and raised.  Still here.  I’m a 4th generation Jacksonvillian. 

Q: What book that you have written has touched you the most? 

It surprises folks when I say this but I cried when writing all of them. I know, I know…  But, I did.  If I don’t experience it emotionally, why in the world should you?  If it doesn’t touch me, how will it ever touch you?  I don’t pick one book as touching me the most, but there are scenes in each that get to me.  You can probably guess them.  Same ones that get to you I suppose. 

‘Ask Charles’ No. 2

Q: Which of my books is my favorite?
A: I get asked this question alot.  The short answer is, I don’t have a favorite.  You might as well line up our three sons and ask me who I love the most.  I love them all the same, equally and for different reasons.  There are scenes in various books that I’m proud of, specific moments, I look at and think, ‘that’s some good stuff,’ but not one book.  I’ve said this alot but it remains true: when I’ve finished every book, I’ve been able to lay it down and honestly say, ‘that’s the best I can do.’  It’s not like I held back somewhere.  Each has required all of me to write it.  Books do that by default.  (At least mine do.)  I am either all in or I’m not.  Can’t be half in the computer screen and half out.  Can’t be half pregnant.  That said, this latest one is pretty good.  Course, I’ve said that same thing everytime a book has released.

‘Ask Charles’  No. 1

Q: Do I work out of the house?
A: Sort of.  Our house doesn’t have a garage.  Because of that, we bought a portable, metal shed and had it dropped in the back corner of our yard when we moved in. Christy liked the aesthetics of it so much that she quickly surrounded it with shrubs and bushes which now conceal it quite nicely.  Anyway, we stored all the normal garage stuff in there.  I.e., Christmas decoration boxes, flashing reindeer, ski clothes, kayaks, lawnmowers, backpack blower, etc.  I took a closet in the house and turned it into my office…

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Download the first three chapters for free.

 

Novels by Charles Martin (Latest release first)

  • The Mountain Between Us
  • The Mountain Between Us
  • Long Way Gone
  • Long Way Gone
  • Water from My Heart
  • Water from My Heart
  • A Life Intercepted
  • A Life Intercepted
  • Unwritten
  • Unwritten
  • Thunder and Rain
  • Thunder and Rain
  • Where the River Ends
  • Where the River Ends
  • Wrapped in Rain
  • Wrapped in Rain
  • Chasing Fireflies
  • Chasing Fireflies
  • Maggie
  • Maggie
  • When Crickets Cry
  • When Crickets Cry
  • The Dead Don’t Dance
  • The Dead Don’t Dance

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