Interview Thursday: Martyn Stanley


Yes, it’s a busy day and a second post. I actually hosted Martyn after the release of his first novel, over a year ago. Now he’s back with gorgeous new covers on his books and a third in the series just out!  You can find out more about Martyn on his website here: Martyn Stanley Amazon Author Page


1.  Welcome back!  I know I interviewed you when you first released Book One in your fantasy series, The Last Dragon Slayer, Book One of the Deathsword Arc. Since then you’ve changed the covers and rebranded the series. How’s it been going?

It’s been going better, but not brilliantly. People enjoy my stories, I’m happy with my story-telling. It’s the editing and proofing that is proving tough. I desperately want to make my books, all my books – error free. They are close now, but I thought book 1 was sorted, though I found a handful of little errors, and one of my regular reviewers suggested book 2 has some comma use, issues which I need to look into. Sales are up! I just did what will probably be my final Kindle Countdown Deal on books 1 and 2 at the same time. My author rank went below 1000 and I sold nearly 100 books in just a few days. It’s a hard game, writing and publishing yourself.  The hardest part for me is definitely the editing and the selling – the writing is easy.

2.  I understand that Book 3 will be coming out soon. Tell me about that.

I wanted to get book 3 out before I went on holiday. I uploaded it just before I drove down to the ferry! It’s longer and more complex than the other books. It’s been a real battle to finish and keep out consistency issues. I wanted to release it during 2013, that’s how overdue it is. I’m really happy with the finished product. I think it’s close to error-free. I think it’s a great development to the series.

3.  I recall you going through a process when selecting the new covers. How did you find your artist, and what was the process like?

It’s been great Isis has been helpful and positive throughout. You need to develop a relationship with your artist, a working relationship. It isn’t easy and I suspect sometimes it isn’t possible and you need to walk away and find someone you can work with. Isis is brilliant, I envisage giving all my book covers to Isis Sousa in future.

4.  What would surprise your readers to know about you?

Despite being a left-wing liberal, who is pro equality, pro LGBT rights, pro gender equality etc… I am a complete petrol head! Despite wanting to protect the environment, my dream car is probably a 900 BHP 5.8 Litre twin Supercharged Ultima GTR. I can’t help it, I have a deep, deep loathing of boring, sensible cars. I don’t have the money for these sort of cars, I drive a diesel Toyota MPV… When I do have some spare money, I’ll get something silly, a completely mad, impractical, thirsty car and I will love it to bits!

5.  What kind of research did you do for these books?

There are a lot of historical snippets in the books. I’ve read a lot over the years, I try to read a broad spectrum of genre and have always had an interest in history. Most of the research for these books, or at least the hardest research has been ensuring the timeline works. I have characters who are only in their twenties and I have characters that are over a thousand years old. It’s tricky making everything make sense!

6.  What will you be working on next?

I have a big idea, for a sci-fi come urban fantasy Angels and Demons series. It will continue the anti-religion theme I touch on in Deathsworn Arc, but in a different way. The concept is big, I need a lot of time to get my head around it.

7. What new insights have you gained since last year?

I’ve learned better how to write blurbs. It’s very tempting to write a brief synopsis as a blurb – readers don’t want that. They want a sales pitch! They want something which screams ‘buy me!’. I haven’t mastered blurbing, but I’m much better now than I was twelve months ago. My books are also far better edited and I will never give up on editing and revising until I am 100% sure 100% of all my books are close to perfect. They are close now – but there are still a handful of errors in book 1 and possibly a couple in book 2. They will be fixed soon though! Then I will re-read and check again. At the moment I think it’s something like an error rate of < 1 in 90 pages. I find editing hardest.

8.  If your characters could go on a vacation in our world, where would they go, and why?

Hmmm, interesting question. Somewhere peaceful, they have a harrowing time in Torea, and things only really get worse for them. It’s a dark, dark, grim series without any fluffy unicorns. I think they’d steer well clear of Mecca, Jerusalem and Vatican city though. The characters don’t tend to get on well with the religious establishment in Torea!

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