An Interview with romance author Shirley
Martin, review of Dream Weaver
had the wonderful pleasure of talking to NCP author Shirley Martin
about her writing and her books, recently which I’d like to
share with you.
Shirley, please tell us a little bit about yourself, your past careers
and your interests and if any of them have influenced your writing.
For instance, I know that you have taught history and been a flight
SHIRLEY: First of all, Elaine, I want to thank you for
having me here. My love of history has been beneficial in writing
my historical romance, High Wind Rising. But my biggest
asset is my imagination. I have ideas all the time, which I've written
down and put in my computer. I have loads of ideas, more vampire
romances, a shape shifter romance, and several fantasies.
see that One More Tomorrow, your vampire romance, is set
in Miami. Why did you choose Miami as the setting? I also see that
you choose Pennsylvania for some of your settings. Why did you choose
SHIRLEY: Since I live in Miami, I'm familiar with the city.
As for Pennsylvania, I'm from Pittsburgh so am familiar with that
area, too, its history and geography. So western Pennsylvania was
the setting for both my historical, High Wind Rising, and
my time travel romance, Dream Weaver.
of your three published books, Dream Weaver and High
Wind Rising are historicals. As a historian, did you still
have to conduct a lot of research to write these books? Or were
you already very familiar with your subjects?
SHIRLEY: Elaine, actually Dream Weaver is a time
travel romance. I did a lot of research for both. I read so many
books about the Indians and the French fort, Fort Duquesne, which
later became Fort Pitt when the British defeated the French. Then
I read a lot for HWR about people captured by the Indians. I read
about the Indian tribes, mainly the Lenape (Delaware) and even studied
the language. And in Dream Weaver, since the hero, Christian,
is a doctor, I studied the history of medicine, concentrating on
smallpox, since the book deals with an empidemic.
see that your heroine Gwen in Dream Weaver is a history
teacher like yourself. Do you model many of your characters after
yourself? If so, which characters and in what ways?
SHIRLEY: I guess we all do that a little, model the characters
after ourselves. I've done this with all my romances. In Dream
Weaver, and the others--One More Tomorrow and High
Wind Rising, I tried to show a spunky heroine who will fight
for what she believes in. You will see this especially in HIGH WIND
RISING, which incidentally is available in paper.
writing books always been your dream? If not, what was? If so, do
you have other dreams yet to fulfill? What are they?
SHIRLEY: I've always wanted to write but it was only within
the last few years that I decided to do it professionally. I started
writing short stories and essays. Then I thought, what the heck!
If I can write short stories, I can write novels. And the rest is
his--my historical romance, High Wind Rising.
met you through our local RWA chapter, FRW (Florida Romance Writers).
You were program chairperson for a long time and did an excellent
job. Please tell us about your role in RWA and how membership has
helped you as a writer and a person.
SHIRLEY: I got acquainted with many other writers and joined
critique groups. These critique groups can be very helpful. Which
leads me to offer some advice to aspiring writers--be willing to
take advice. And of course, the friendships, such as yours, have
been important to me. Besides, belonging to Romance Writers of America
entitles me to get their monthly magazine, which has interesting
articles and writing contests.
of your books are published by New Concepts Publishing. Please tell
us how you came to write for NCP. And please tell us a little about
your publisher. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about
SHIRLEY: I've found that small presses, such as NCP, are
much more open to different types of writing. The NY editors set
so many boundaries for their writers, such as you can't write this,
you can't write that, etc. NCP publishes many genres, such as historical,
romantic suspense, paranormal, contemporary. They have a very wide
of your three books are in different genres, thus your offerings
are eclectic. What is your favorite genre in which to write? Read?
Please tell us why?
SHIRLEY: I still like to write and read historicals, but
I've been leaning more toward paranormal and fantasy.
you tell us what you’re working on now?
SHIRLEY: I'm polishing an historical romance I wrote a
long time ago but had trouble selling because the heroine was an
adulteress. So I've changed that. Am also working on a fantasy that's
been a lot of fun.
you be attending any writing conferences or book signings in the
next year that you would like your readers to know about? If so,
which ones, when, and where?
SHIRLEY: Don't know about writers' conferences but I do
intend to keep busy with promotion. I have several chats coming
up and am getting a newsletter ready to go. For those of you who
get Romantic Times, I'll have a group ad in the August issue and
an ad for myself in Sept. Also ads in Arabella.
is your favorite book and movie? Why?
SHIRLEY: Oooh, tough question. I greatly enjoyed Catherine
Asaro's The Last Hawk. Anything by her is great. And movie?
Both of the Lord of the Ring movies that I've seen so far were great.
Loved the movies, especially Aragorn.
is your favorite author? Why?
SHIRLEY: Dean Koontz is my favorite author. He does everything
well--plot, dialogue, narrative, description. He is a great writer.
in One More Tomorrow is a dark, sensual vampire. Yet he
will only feed from criminals. And he saves the heroine from a mugger.
He strikes me as a real hero. Please tell us about your inspiration
for writing Galan's character.
SHIRLEY: I started reading vampire romances a few years
ago. And I wondered what it would be for a mortal to be transformed
against his will into a vampire, and then fall in love with a mortal
woman. But he keeps many of his human qualities, such as compassion
and love for the mortal woman, Stephanie.
you always been fascinated by vampire lore? Why?
SHIRLEY: I used to see the old vampire movies with Bela
Lugosi, but I was not really fascinated with vampire lore. I just
think it's a good subject for a paranormal romance. People seem
to enjoy reading about vampires.
you give any advice to new authors of vampire romance? If so, what
would it be?
SHIRLEY: Read up on the subject, read other writers of
vampire romance, including mine--One More Tomorrow. There's
an Encyclopedia of Vampires, edited by Melton. Very good.
is your draw to history and time travel? To romance?
SHIRLEY: History was my major in college and is a fascinating
subject. So many great and small people, so many events to build
a story on, which is what I did with High Wind Rising and
Dream Weaver. And as for romance, "The world will
always welcome lovers." Everyone wants romance, an important
and gratifying part of life.
one or two historical time periods fascinate you more than others?
Which ones and why?
SHIRLEY: I like the colonial period of American history
and medieval history. Also enjoy reading about the American Revolution,
which is, of course, still colonial history. Believe it or not,
I like to read about the Dark Ages and King Arthur, who I believe
really did exist. Also like to read about ancient Rome. So here,
too, I have an eclectic taste.
you believe time travel and astral projection are possible? Your
books deal with such fascinating concepts. If you believe it possible,
would you ever try to travel through time or astral project? Why
or why not?
SHIRLEY: Time travel is another fascinating topic, but
I don't see any way we can travel back in time. If ever we could
travel faster than the speed of light, we might be able to go forward
in time. If I did either--forward or backward--I'd want to do it
just for one day. That might be fun to see a castle and all the
people during the medieval period. Or to see Caesar in Gaul. I surely
wouldn't want to live in the Middle Ages, much as I enjoy reading
about it. And astral projection is definitely possible. I've read
of many who have done it, but I haven't. Don't think I'd want to
either. What if your soul didn't get back to your body? Hey, you
just gave me an interesting idea for a novel--someone who spirit
travels but has trouble finding their body.
glad I was able to inspire another novel idea. If you weren’t
a writer, what would you be? What other careers would interest you?
SHIRLEY: Right now, all I want to think about is writing
and promotion. At this stage of my life--I'm a senior citizen--I
don't want to take up any profession. But I would like to travel
throughout the US and the world. I'd like to spend more time reading.
There's a lot of fun things I'd like to do--join an orchid club,
visit other people and places. Maybe I could work on a means to
time travel. Just kidding!
are the url’s to your website and to your publisher’s
SHIRLEY: My website URL is www.shirleymartin.net
New Concepts' URL is www.newconceptspublishing.com
join Shirley’s newsletter, send an email to email@example.com
there anything else you would like your readers to know? Please
tell them now.
SHIRLEY: Just want to say that I'm so grateful to all the
people who have told me how much they enjoy my books. That means
a lot to me. I have a couple other books in the works and hope to
get them out soon. And to all aspiring writers, I have writing tips
on my website that I think are helpful. Please visit my website
and sign my guestbook.
you for chatting with me and giving us a peek into your world. We
wish you well with all your endeavors and that you have abundant
you again, Elaine, for having me. It's been a lot of fun to talk.
Martin (Shirley Martin)
Disk or Download
by Elaine Hopper, MyShelf.Com
Shirley Martin’s Dream Weaver, troubling dreams of
the past haunts high school history teacher Gwen Emrys. Night after
night she sees a Colonial log cabin go up in flames, a young man
dressed as an American colonist, and visions of wounded soldiers
on bloody battlefields.
she sees a travel pamphlet with the exact restored village, she
is compelled to see it with her eyes wide open. While on tour of
the village, she faints and awakens at the cabin in 1762 during
the middle of Smallpox epidemics, Indian wars, and British and French
first person she meets is handsome doctor, Christian Norgard, the
cabin’s owner and the man from her dreams. To her dismay,
he doesn’t believe that she’s a time traveler from the
year 2003. Then to her horror, she overhears that he believes her
to be a French spy and that French spies are hanged, drawn, quartered,
or burned at the stake.
romance blooms and is interwoven deftly with Colonial Pennsylvania
history, magically transporting the reader back in time with Gwen
story also revisits Rebecca and Daniel Chamberlain from High
Wind Rising, Ms. Martin’s first historical novel. No
worries, this book stands completely alone and provides a highly
emotionally satisfying read.
excellent story teller, Ms. Martin spins you into her tightly woven
web of romance. A lover of the Colonial period, she makes it jump
alive with vibrant emotion and detail. Take my word, this is a story
you won’t want to put down from start to finish.
Reviewer Elaine Hopper is the author of twenty published romance
MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.