At this time, the Xarrokian Governing Body would like to express it’s gratitude to one Martin Reaves for granting an entertaining and reflective interview for our people and everyone who engages on this transmission channel.
You may begin enjoying the crafted, honed and enjoyable skill of Mr. Reaves:
How did you get into writing? I think it’s more of matter how writing got into me. I’ve been a voracious reader as far back as I can remember. Stories captivated me. Eventually I realized that writing my own stuff was the ultimate “choose your own adventure.” The realization that I could make up my own stories was (and is) intoxicating.
What is your first piece of work to be released? Relative Sanity was the first, although Relative Karma was actually finished first. Before either of these longer works, I had some short stories and articles pop up here and there, as well as many short vignettes for stage.
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment? The creation of my two amazing daughters…although I had some help.
Can you describe that feeling? It’s what I call a head-shaker. My girls are adults now, and I count them among my closest friends. I am astonished by their beauty, intelligence and humor. Their heart and compassion humbles me. When I step back and realize they sprang from my DNA, I can only shake my head and be grateful.
What about your current (or most recent) work stands out as compared to what came before it? My current project is one I can’t say much about, and that in itself is what sets it apart. I’m usually so excited when a story grabs me that it’s all I can talk about; this one has had the opposite effect. I’m afraid to drag it into the light until it’s ready to be seen.
Can you share some of it with us? Well, as noted above, I’m keeping this one pretty close to the vest. But…since you asked so nicely. The idea was born when I saw a road sign on a road trip. Seriously: The sign was a girl’s name that I found interesting. Before the trip was over I had spun out a dozen plotlines, scenarios, etc. All from a single name. I can only say this was The Muse at work. The power of possibility was (and is) such that I was afraid to start writing anything for a long time. I was terrified of setting down a single sentence for fear of setting the story off in the wrong direction. This one scares me in all the right ways.
Can you share a short excerpt of a previous work with us? Here’s a short excerpt from Relative Sanity—the opening to a favorite scene that sets the story off in a new direction: They smoked without speaking. With each inhale Nick took in as much smoke as his lungs would allow, held it until dark smudges began to pulsate at the edge of his vision, then tried to lose himself in the poisonous exhale. Inevitably the smoke cleared and he was still standing next to Alex, minutes away from changing everything.
He sucked the last from his cigarette, flicked it into the dead-quiet street, thought about lighting another and sucking it down, continuing the process until the pack was empty and there was nothing left to do but go inside, tear open a vein and bleed the fucking misery into the open.
Do you feel that your writing style has changed at all since you began writing? Absolutely. I used to write much more of what has been called “purple prose,” flowery and with lots of detailed imagery. I blame my early love of the brilliant works of Clive Barker, Charles Grant and their ilk. This type of writing is quite effective for works of dark fantasy, but became less effective for the type of writing I began to produce, which I guess I would describe as dark, realistic suspense. My writing seems to work better with less flower and more grit. More show and less tell. Barker and Grant are masters at descriptive fiction—I was not.
What do you think has bettered your skills? What do you think has hindered you? Easy answers to both questions. Reading has sharpened my skills, followed closely by writing. Want to be a better writer? To quote Stephen King: “Read a lot and write a lot.” And the greatest hindrance to my writing has been, unquestionably, too much time spent in front of the television; which is to say, too much time spent not writing or reading.
Which of your characters stands out the most to you, and why? I think it’s probably going to be one of the characters in my WIP, but since I can’t talk about that…I guess I’d have to say Babylon and Bella, the young protagonists of Relative Sanity. They are complex in ways I can’t really describe with spoiling the story (which you are all going to read and review immediately, yes?), but here’s a snippet:
Babylon looked at the tiny sliver of window over the tub; it was dark outside. How long had she been asleep?
“It’s time,” Bella said.
“Time for what?”
“Time to get out of this damned bathroom.”
“Don’t you swear, Bella,” Babylon whispered.
“Don’t change the subject.”
Babylon looked at her toes, no longer shriveled from the soak in the tub. “You were the one said we had to watch out for him.”
“We still do. But he had a chance and didn’t do anything. He’s probably as scared of actually doing something as he is afraid he might do something.”
“Never mind. Just get up. He’s fixing dinner. We need to eat.”
Babylon huddled into the big shirt. “I don’t want to.” Only she did kind of want to because her bottom was numb from sitting on the floor so long, and she certainly was hungry.
“You have to, Baby.”
“I don’t hafta do nothin’!”
In the kitchen it went suddenly quiet.
“He’s listening,” Bella whispered.
“Let him listen. I ain’t leaving this room.”
“Then I will.”
She stood, shifted her weight from one leg to the other until her circulation caught up. Then she rearranged the shirt, pulled the belt tight and opened the door.
“Bella, you can’t,” Babylon hissed.
But Bella could, and Bella did.
Do you have a writing mantra? Yes, it’s “write every day.” I hope to someday actually follow it.
Is writing your hobby or your job? Music is my hobby. Sales (for now) is my job. Writing is my passion…until the scales tip and it becomes my job.
What do you do when you’re not creating the next masterpiece? I sell plastic by day. It pays the bills and keeps the word processor running. I am also a musician and singer and husband and father. I stay pretty busy.
Do you like sports? I like all sports a little bit I guess…as long as there are friends around, and plenty of good food and drink. I do not follow any sports, because they mostly bore me to tears (the sports, not my friends).
Do you have a favorite musical artist? Who? Depends on my mood, but I guess I’d have to say Rush (the band, not Limbaugh). I also enjoy cinematic music; John Williams, Alexandre Desplat (love writing to his stuff), James Horner, etc.
What book are you reading right now? Good Omens, a comic novel of the apocalypse by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. If you know these writers, you know I’m in for a rollicking good time.
When do you anticipate your next work to be released? I’m spending a lot of time networking and marketing and, errrr, answering interview questions, so it’s tough to say. I will likely release a collection of short fiction by year’s end, entitled Dark Thoughts. My actual WIP (the novel that scares me as I hope it will scare readers) will likely not see the cyber light of day until sometime next year.
Where can we find you online? Hither and yon…or, more precisely:
Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/MartinReavesAuthor?ref=hl#
Facebook Personal: https://www.facebook.com/Mottlee
Martin Reaves is a writer primarily of suspense/thrillers with a psychological edge. And sometimes horror…or humor…heck, even romance. (Aren’t all these things connected on some level?). Upon turning 48 he realized he was no longer 47…he wasn’t sure what to do with this information so he moved on. Martin is very happily married to his childhood sweet-patootie, and has two incredible adult daughters who he considers among his best friends. Reading and Writing are twin first-loves, followed by music . He is a musician and singer and has been performing semi-professionally for longer than he’d care to think about.