Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.
A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.
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Title: A TANGLED WEB
Author: Mike Martin
Author: Mike Martin
Life is good for Sgt. Windflower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.
A TANGLED WEB is available at Amazon.
We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?
I have always been a writer, but most of my writing was from my head and not from my heart. I wrote business articles and created newsletters and wrote speeches and backgrounders. Then, I became a freelance writer and started writing a little more about what I wanted to write about, but still writing from my head about what I thought and what I knew. But I realized something was missing. I started writing short stories for my friends and family and that felt good. So, I kept going and found my connection to the creative flow and began writing from my heart. That appeared as my first real works of fiction. Six books later, I’m still going.
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
I write from inspiration and try and connect to the creative flow that I believe exists in and around all of us. I find a beginning. Usually it is a scene or a picture or something in the news that catches my attention. That’s my starting point. If it has resonance I begin writing about what I see and the rest of the story comes along. I write first thing in the morning and I have a quota of words I have to hit. If I don’t finish in the morning, I go back later and make up my word count. I can write anywhere that is calm and quiet. Not in a coffee shop!!
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
A Tangled Web is the latest book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series which is set in Newfoundland, on the easternmost tip of Canada. It is the latest adventure for Sgt. Windflower and while there are crimes and even murders, there is also great friends, food and adventure. The series is short on police procedures and long on finding the joy in everyday life.
How did you get the idea for the book?
For me, every book kind of starts the same way, with some connection to a picture or scene. In the case of A Tangled Web, I actually did see a truck parked near the brook in Grand Bank one day and thought that some small child could climb inside, without anyone noticing. Months later, when I sat down to start the new book, that image was still there.
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
My favorite character from the series and from A Tangled Web is Sheila, Sgt. Windflower’s wife. She is much more than his wife, she is a business woman and the Mayor of Grand Bank. She is Windflower’s moral compass and guide to society. She is definitely the smarter and stronger of the pair and even asked him to marry her. She is his rock and the underpinning of the series.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have at least one more Sgt. Windflower book left to write. But that’s what I said after the first book. The reason I say that with some certainty is that the story isn’t over yet. Some wise person once said that the story is only really over after the author dies. I have little intention of doing that right now, so I think I will write another Windflower mystery.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
I had no idea of where to even begin writing a novel so I did what was suggested to me, which I offer as advice to all aspiring writers: Read about how other writers did it. One book that really helped was Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” and in this book and others I learned that the way to write a novel was to start and then to keep at it until it was finished. It didn’t matter about the weather, or money, or the economy, or relationships, or even family or sickness or anything. If you want to write a book, you just get up every day and you do it. Good luck with your writing.