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Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Author's Journey to Publishing - Mary Martinez' Story

Thank you, Regan, for hosting me on your blog today. It’s very nice to be back!

Couldn't resist when you commented to me about the date stamp when you started your latest book. 

Regan:  So Mary, please tell us how you came up with the idea of the Beckett’s.

Mary: Man, that is so long ago, I hope I remember. I’m getting old what can I say? Anyway, I only remember the year, because that was when I created my file, and it’s stamped 2009, yeah a while ago. 

I can’t tell you everything about how I came up with the idea because it would give a major part of the book away, but I’ll tell you how the first book –Disappear—arrived where it is today.

My husband and I were watching a documentary—can’t tell you what it was about—and that’s when the germ started. He’d been surfing the channels and we found it. When I came up with the idea, I went and rented the DVD so I could take notes, and the idea grew.  As the idea grew, so did the list of characters.

Let me tell you a bit about my process, which isn’t much of one. I am not a plotter, I do not do story boards, I pretty much let my characters run the show. I have a file where I put all my ideas, most are one paragraph blurbs. Some are a whole page. Those are the ones that usually make it past the idea folder this is one of those ideas that barely made it to the idea file before I knew I had to write it.

Here’s my process, the file that was stamped August 2009 I had named background and the WIP title—as I do with all at the beginning. Then I copied the blurb over, then I started with a list of characters, then I expand a little bit about the original idea.  Then I open a file for my manuscript and start writing. I keep my background file open as I write. As I get to know my characters, I add character traits to their background in the background file, along with their descriptions, etc. As characters appear, I add them too. This particular background file, soon had several members of the Beckett family and that is when I knew it would be a series. But first I had to get The Bridge-working title—finished. The title became Nowhere to Hide several months down the writing road.

I submitted it to several contests and during that course—after listening to feedback—I lost the first three chapters, as it started too slow. Then once I thought it was polished I submitted it to more places. Some of the advice was that where I had my murder was unbelievable. I had been to New York or Manhattan if you will. I had maps and I looked at it again, looked fine to me. BUT the source was very reliable.

That spring while I was still rewriting, we went with our friends and family to New York for a Yankee game in the old stadium as it was its last year. And while there I did some research. I made my mother-in-law and our friends go to the financial district and check out the murder site. OH and the source was so right! So I found a side street and walked/worked the murder out and when I came home I changed it.

For Innocent and Quiet I’ve walked the neighborhoods in the areas. In fact, I had found the address of Christine’s (Quite) townhouse on a real estate site and used that with the floor plan for the story. Ron and I will be visiting there in May so we will be walking by the address and get pictures of the exact neighborhood. I take my research very seriously. There is nothing worse than being pulled from a story when you know something is incorrect.

Anyway, once the story was ready to go, I found that Nowhere to Hide had been used quite a bit, and I changed the title to Disappear. Innocent has always been Innocent, and since the first two were both one word, and I really liked them—and thought I should stay with the one word titles, I changed the 3rd from Quiet of the Night, to… Quiet.

There you have most my secrets about the Beckett’s—oh and there are 3 more siblings I’d like to create a story for, but The Rents  as the kids call their parents, have their own story brewing in the back of my mind already.


Now here’s a bit about my new series:

The Beckett Series
The Beckett’s have a strong sense of family and honor. When one of their own is threatened, their bond is as strong as a badge of steel.

Trailer (Must see! Best viewed on full screen) and Series information:

Disappear (Book I of The Beckett Series)
Available in eBook now at:
Print available May 2012
Teaser:
Smack!
“Ouch, what was that for?” Keira rubbed her exposed butt cheek. It probably had his handprint on it. “I’ll be bruised for life.”
“Whatever.” Tyler chuckled as he climbed out of bed. “I thought you were anxious to pull weeds.”
“You didn’t need to spank me. You could have said very nicely. ‘Keira, love, let’s go putter in the garden.’ Would that have been so hard?”
“That sounded like a sissy boy, I’m a manly man.” He put his arm up and flexed his pecs.
“You’re incorrigible.”  She climbed out on her side and grabbed her robe. “I’m going to take a shower.”
“Before you get dirt up to your elbows?”
“I need to wake up. I’ll take another one later.”
“Okay, we’ll I’m not going to bother before I go out and get all sweaty.” He pulled his jeans on, put a shirt on and turned at the door. He blew her a kiss as he left.

Mary’s web site: http://www.marymartinez.com

Thank you, Regan, I had a great visit!

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for inviting me back Regan!

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  2. I like how you gained inspiration from your surroundings. the creative muse walks with us.
    And how your book changed in re-writes, totally relate to this.
    Thank you for sharing your talent, self and your journey.
    It helps.

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  3. Mary, I think it's great that you write a blurb before you write your story. I'm not that talented. I have to write my story first. lol I've ready Disappeared, and I cannot wait to read the other two. You are a great story-teller!!

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  4. I learned a lot from this. Your way of developing your characters and developing the story and/or the series is very interesting.

    I just checked out the trailer. It’s great. I think I’ll be buying the series as they become available.

    Great blog, Mary.

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  5. Thanks for sharing you journey, Mary. Good luck with the book.

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  6. I love family stories! And this sounds wonderful. Great post and good luck.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks everyone I appreciate all the comments! And thanks again Regan for having me.

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