Martin Skate

martin skate

Age (Hanging onto my thirties just)

Where you live (London, UK)

1) How long have you been writing?

I’ve always had a flair for writing, but only been writing to self-publish for one year so far. I published my first book ‘The Spike Collection: Ten random short stories’ in Sept 2013, and have had a great response, it has been a truly rewarding experience. I am currently writing my second book, a novel, and am currently half way through, hopefully I will publish it later this year.

2) What or who was your inspiration to write?

Various reasons for writing, recently it has been about ‘instead of just talking about it – actually do it’ hence I have published my first collection of short stories, am working on a novel, and I’ve already got strong thoughts on a non-fiction book for the third. My inspiration for actually getting around to publishing was mostly thanks to (1) finding a story I actually wanted to write, a story that I felt was entertaining and worthy enough to be written, and (2) there was a person who gave me huge encouragement, without either of those two things I wouldn’t be writing this right now!

3) Which genre do you like to read? Why?

Humor, satire, or black comedy, something with a subtle underlying message, anything that makes me think. Something new is always good, I do like to try different genres. I have a passion for sci-fi but not all sci-fi, concepts like Time Travel fascinate me, there is always so much scope with time travel, so much to be explored, and time travel with humor, wow, yes please, this is clearly why ‘HitchHikers’ by Douglas Adams is one of my favorites.

4) Do you write this genre or others? Why?

Humor yes, although it is not outright laughs I am looking for, if you gave a wry smile at the end I’d be happy with that!

5) Who are your favorite authors?

Tom Sharpe is my #1 hero, his characters, situations, style, breadth, everything he has written is truly engaging and entertaining. I have read his books over and over and still laugh every time. A favorite book is Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and I’ve often thought that his style is close to Douglas Adams, another fave.

6) How do you create your characters?

I let them evolve, they create themselves in my head and then when I am writing I think ‘they would say this’ or ‘they would think that but say it this way.’ Typically a character will start off very differently to how they finish (it is the case at the moment anyway with the Novel I am working on, one of the characters has gone in a totally different direction from which I initially imagined him to.

7) Do you give them names before you develop them?

Yes, but these names invariably change throughout the writing process, their names arrive in the same way that their personality develops, it is there, and then maybe it changes later on.

8) How do you choose your characters names?

With great difficultly sometimes! I choose a name knowing that I can change it later on, sometimes I obsess over the name for too long, and then go back to the name I chose originally.

9) Do you edit as you write or after you get your manuscript written?

Edit during, after, after again, edit, edit, edit all the time.

10) Do you have an agent, publisher, or self-publish? If you’ve used more than one which was most profitable?

Only self-published so far, it has been an unbelievably great and rewarding experience, highly recommend to new writers.

11) What advice have you received to help you and what advice would you give a new writer?

Perseverance is everything, this is excellent advice, and I had great encouragement. My advice to any writer would be the same, never give up, get through it, get it done, and then work out your next move. Don’t procrastinate, finish, finish, finish, and then you can edit redraft mold it into what you originally set out to do. You always need encouragement, I wouldn’t have published had it not been for some truly awesome encouragement, so wherever you can find that beacon of motivation. Oh, one last thing, the online self-publishing community, get involved, I have made some incredible connections there, and that is a source too that will spur you on to where you want to get to.

The Spike Collection: Ten random short stories
UK Link
US Link





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