Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello. My name is Celia Martin. I am old enough to be retired, but still young at heart as readers will discover when they read my books.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I grew up in TX, but now live in the state of WA.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a degree in history, minor in geography. I am credentialed in Social Studies and English and taught both, but the last years of my career, I only taught early US history. I love history, always have. Since I was in Junior High, I have been in love with English history and have spent many fun hours studying it. I am very happily married and love living in the Pacific NW.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My 3rd and latest book is, With Every Breath I Take. It takes place in 1692 on the Boston Post Road between Salem, MA and New York. It is a historical adventure romance.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I loved playing make-believe as a child and never wanted to give it up. So as I aged, I told myself stories when walking to and from school. Later when driving or waiting for someone. I just enjoyed having stories going on in my mind. I started framing stories I wanted to write while in college. I started writing when in my 20’s, took a couple of writing courses in my 30’s, wrote a couple of historical romance novels and one modern day mystery, but when we retired and we moved to WA, I got in with a writers’ group that was so great. They taught me far more than I ever learned in any classes. I now have 3 books published, I have 3 more works in progress, and four others finished, just need editing, and I have at least 20 more book outlines in my head.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess from the time I started writing in my 20’s. I knew my stories were good, but I needed the help I got from my writers’ group to reach a point where I felt I had it nailed.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I like to tell the stories that are in my head.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For the first book? The one I wrote in my 20’s? It has not been published. It was ‘Delight’. The name of the heroine. However, my first published book is ‘To Challenge Destiny’. I wanted a title that I hoped would intrigue the reader. Is destiny set in stone, or can it be challenged?
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I deal in historical facts interwoven with my fictional stories and characters. I work very hard to make sure what I am writing is accurate. I do a tremendous amount of research and have so many books on English history you would not believe. Making certain my works are accurate can be very challenging. In my 3rd book, when my characters have to cross onto Manhattan Island, I had them crossing on the Kings Bridge, but then I discovered it was the year before the bridge was built, so I had to go back and put them on a ferry. My first 3 books take place in Colonial America, but the next 6 books are in England. All are in the 17th century. Some are in the Cromwellian era, others after Charles II is back on the throne.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Again, my books are very realistic. I deal with the wealthy and the poor and middle class of the 17th century. They are based on historic events, but not any experiences of my own except that I have studied the history.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel, but some of my travels have helped with a few of the scenes I write about.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I like simplicity. I worked with the design artist who works with my publisher. We are not always able to get exactly what I want, but it comes close. My books are romances, but so much else is going on in them, I didn’t want the “lovers clutching” type of cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If you mean this novel, my 3rd one, it is the hope that kindness and caring can overcome hate and evil. But that is kind of it in most of my novels. My novels have many characters, some good, some bad, some just struggling to survive the rough life of the 17th century. I try to show life as gray, not black and white.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
My favorite new author would have to be CA Asbrey and the terrific mystery series she has going. I also enjoy reading Trisha J. Kelly’s cozy mysteries. I have two favorite authors. First would be Georgette Heyer. I love her humor and her multiple characters. I think that’s one reason I like having multiple characters in my stories. I also like Joan Wolf. She has real stories, not just fluff.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
If you mean a person – I had any number of friends who encouraged me. But I think the main thing pushing me is my love of history and of stories. I love reading history, mysteries, romances, and I’ve read many of the classics. I like intertwining my love of stories and history. I guess you could say history compels me to put it into an interesting format that people can enjoy without getting lost in battles and dates. When I taught school, I loved hands on activities with my students. History should be fun.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
A second career. Yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really. I like it as is.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh, yes. When writing historical novels, there is always a lot to learn. And much to pass on to my readers.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I really couldn’t say. I read a lot, but I seldom watch TV or go to movies. I am not well enough up on the stars of today.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
For me, I have all these stories in my head just clamoring to get out. Some people seem to like writing, but they are not certain what they want to write. For them, I could not say what would be best, but for those who have stories in their heads – Get to work on them. And for either type of writer, I recommend a writers’ group. That really helped me.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
If the readers like history, adventure and romance, I believe they will like my books. My 4th book that is coming out in Jan. takes place in England during the Cromwellian era. My books are a fun way to learn history while immersing the reader in romance and adventure. My three published books are ‘To Challenge Destiny’, ‘A Bewitching Dilemma’, and ‘With Every Breath I Take’.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished CA Asbrey’s 4th book in her Innocents series, and I have started reading Amy Owens by Trisha J. Kelly. It is more a thriller than a cozy mystery.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
On my own? I think it would be ‘Black Beauty’ or ‘Rin Tin Tin’s Rinty’.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
That’s a tough one. My husband has a great sense of humor. That is the first thing that made me start falling in love with him. When I do watch movies, I like happy movies. I like ironic jokes. I cry at unfairness, or when things make me angry. And usually it is unfairness that makes me angry. Sad movies, when I do watch them, can make me cry. For example, ‘An Affair to Remember’ with Cary Grant. Anything that hurts children or animals can make me cry. The loss of family members that I loved, even though they were old. Maybe I don’t cry, but I still miss them at times, and it can make me sad. Oh, yes, when Ginger died in Black Beauty, I cried.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Past – Abigail Adams – early on she pushed for more rights for women.
Present – Tom Hanks – just because he is not only a fabulous actor, he is a good person
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Most of my time is taken up with my writing, but I stay fit with the fitness center and walking on our treadmill, pulling weeds in the summer. I play around on the piano, but I’m not good at it. I read a lot. Right now I’m reading about the history of Salt by Mark Kurlansky. Fascinating. What a lot of research he had to do. I used to do creative memories, but we have no more space for all the creative memory books. We like to travel and we take lots of pictures. Now we just put them on a thumb drive and watch them go round on a screen.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Like I said above, I don’t watch much TV. I watch ‘The Daily Show’ with Trevor Noah, and I watch ‘Last Week Tonight’ with John Oliver. Recently we watched ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. That was cute.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods are nuts, cheese, and salmon. Colors – blue and green. Music – light jazz, and 50’s, 60’s, 70’s pop.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Talking with my husband about all the wonderful memories we have shared together.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’m probably not gonna have a head stone. I plan to be cremated and dumped somewhere. Haven’t decide where yet.
But – I guess I would want it to say, “She tried to be a good person.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is https://cmartinbooks.kitsappublishing.com/ and I am also on FB, Celia Martin Books
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Celia-Martin/e/B07TNP174K/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1