Interview with Michelle Martin

Isolde: Your books are funny and entertaining. Is it hard for you to write a funny book or does it come naturally?

Michelle Martin: Generally, it's easy for me to write a funny book. I like to laugh, I like books that make me laugh, and I want to make other people laugh. Many of the books I read, and most of the television programs and movies I watch, are all specifically chosen for their humor quotient, and that helps fill my well. So, humorous dialogue and situations tend to come pretty naturally to me. But there's a caveat: if I am having hard times in my personal life, then it is very hard for me to be funny on the page. I have been struggling with a book for the last two years, because the first drafts were written during a very dark time for me and I couldn't put any joie de vivre in them. Now, with my life going better, I'm trying to insert some life, and interest, and humor into my characters and the book. This backward approach is a first for me and it's a lousy way to write.

Isolde: Samantha Lark, the heroine of "The Long Shot" loves horses. Do you have pets?

Michelle Martin: I have many pets. Three years ago, I promised my then-9 year old son that we could have a menagerie, and we've been creating it ever since. I have two dogs (German Shepherd mixes named Tex and Avery after the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon director), two cats (sisters, named Erin and Zune, after a character on Farscape, one of my son's favorite science fiction television program), two Green Anoles (lizards, Albert and Patrick), and 11 fish (I started with two and unfortunately the female is amazingly fertile). I used to have mice, but they kept escaping, so I returned them to the pet store for their own safety. I'll trade up to Siberian hamsters-larger than mice, smaller than regular hamsters. Some day, I hope to have one or two more dogs and cats, plus a couple of horses. (You were expecting a short  answer, weren't you?)

Isolde: You don't have a homepage in the interview. Will you have one in the future?

Michelle Martin: I have no plans for a web-page right now. I'm not the most technologically proficient or computer literate person on the planet, and I have little time to create or maintain a web page. Besides, I can't quite wrap my brain around the idea that people would actually like to know about me.

Isolde: "Stolen Hearts" is one of the best books I've ever read. How did you get the idea for it?

Michelle Martin: First of all, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I certainly enjoyed writing it.

As with all of my books, I get my ideas from other books, movies, music, anything that sparks a character or a scene in my head. Some times, I'll
say "Oh, I can do better than that!" and set out to write the story the author I'm reading or the film I'm watching "should" have done. "B" movies
are often great for inspiration. The first book I ever wrote (which hasn't been published) was inspired by Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger starring
Patrick Wayne (John's son), Jane Seymour, and Taryn Power (Tyrone's daughter). I am also inspired by "A" literature. I've stolen plots from Shakespeare, scenes from Jane Austen, and looniness from P.G. Wodehouse.

Stolen Hearts came from bits and pieces of Candlewick, a Disney film starring a 14-year-old Jodie Foster and Helen Hayes; from Remington Steele, an American television program starring Pierce Brosnan; from It Takes A Thief, another American television program starring Robert Wagner; from the Lindbergh kidnapping; from news stories about amnesiacs; and from the primordial soup inside my brain. I started with the idea of a thief and everything grew from there.

Isolde: Why are you a romance writer?

Michelle Martin: I'm a romance writer because I love reading romance novels, particularly the classics like Jane Eyre and Jane Austen's works, as well as some contemporaries, although they are fewer now. I'm a romance writer because I believe in love and the power of love, I believe in honor and courage, fantasy and laughter, and all of those components make up romance novels. In addition to contemporary romances, I also write Regency Romances, because I'm an Anglophile, I love history, I have a particularly strong connection to the Regency period, I love Georgette Heyer's and Jane Austen's novels, and the period's style of wit and repartee appeal to my sense of humor.

I'm also a fantasy writer, a mystery writer, and a western writer, because I love those genres, too. Often, I will try to put at least some of those
other genres into my romance novels.

Isolde: Where did the idea for "Stolen Moments" come from? I thought it very unusual to read about a popstar in a gilded cage who is really unhappy and who would so much rather be a rockstar.

Michelle Martin: My inspirations for "Stolen Moments" were issues in my own life about doing what I love vs. doing what other people want, my love for Manhattan, and my love of music which is always playing in my head. I had long fantasized about having a singer-songwriter heroine and this seemed the best book in which to use her.

© Moments - Höhepunkte der romantischen Literatur und Die romantische Bücherecke, Isolde Wehr, Februar 2002

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Dieses Interview entstand im Februar 2002 zwischen Isolde W. und Michelle Martin für:

Moments - Höhepunkte der romantischen Literatur Moments - Höhepunkte der romantischen Literatur

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