Tell us something about your books.
To be perfectly honest I find it very difficult to be associated with a particular genre and actually that works best for me as a writer – it reflects how I’m wired!
My four books to date have covered crime, gangsters, supernatural, ghosts, conspiracy theories, vampires, religious cults and football. Oh, and music is also very prominent in my story telling. So, does that make me a musical horror/thriller writer or a supernatural thriller writer with a sprinkling of crime and music? – I think I’ll leave it for others to decide. Perhaps I’m just multi-genre?
The first book I published was called ‘Beneath the Floodlights’ and it tells the story of a nest of vampires merging with a Birmingham based football club. Also, in ‘Beneath the Floodlights’ I came up with the idea of the world’s first vampire being buried in Sutton Park. It has recently been re-edited and republished. However, the first book I started to write was back in the nineties. I was never quite happy with it, but to cut a long story short (pun intended) I eventually published it as ‘Things They’ll Never See’ so it remains set in the decade of Grunge and Britpop. It tells the story of a rock star who buys a haunted house in the Peak District.
I also have two books currently published in the Judd Stone series; both have won awards. Judd Stone has proved to be a very popular character with readers and actually I find him great fun to write about – it’s almost as if he’s a real friend of mine! Judd is an ex-football hooligan turned copper, turned bodyguard, turned Private Investigator. He is flawed and he is a definite bad boy who thinks with his fists more than his brain, but underneath all of his bravado he is very sensitive with a heart of gold and suffers a serious guilt complex. One reviewer observed him to be an ‘anti-hero’.
So far Judd features in ‘Mind Guerrilla’ and ‘Club 27’, the latter being a fast-paced thriller exploring the theories around the 27 club – a phenomenon that has seen many of our best-loved and talented musicians becoming members. Why? They all died at the tender age of 27: Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse – to name just a few.
What inspires you to write? Who are your favorite writers?
I write simply because I love to do so. I love the creative process. I think my writing has its own style but I definitely have some favourite writers who have inspired me.
I think Dan Brown’s fusion of fact, fiction and conspiracy theories to create such thought-provoking and fast-paced page-turners such as ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘The Da-Vinci Code’ certainly gave me the confidence to do the same albeit my subject matter is different.
An extremely intelligent Japanese author Haruki Murakami, who like me is a huge Beatles fan, also inspires me to try something a bit off the scale. I believe originality is very important for a writer and the joy of a reader.
Before Brown and Murakami, my reading portfolio included Stephen King, James Herbert and Richard Laymon who certainly inspired the supernatural/horror elements of my writing. My direct approach born from a working-class background is probably akin to Martina Cole’s way with words. I do like a gutsy Cole read. However, as a child my first inspirational writer was definitely Enid Blyton. My imagination was definitely fed and developed by the lady who died twenty days after my birth. She was the one who made me want to read and write.
Anything else I haven’t asked you about?
I’m currently working on the third Judd Stone novel. It’s called ‘Lunar’ and it explores past-life regression. A skeleton has been unearthed during the renovation of Great Barr Hall and Judd has to try and solve a murder dating back to the time of the Lunar Society.
There was just something about this group of inspirational trailblazers who used to meet under the light of a full moon which sparked the need for me to weave another story involving our Judd.
Thanks to Martin for taking the time to talk to me about his writing. You can find out more about Martin’s books on his website.
Great interview, Martin!