Let me introduce you to the lovely Mel Martin from England. A poet and social history author who was a delight to interview.
My name is Mel Martin. I am a mother of three, almost grown up children. I live in Colchester in Essex, UK, though I am originally from Dudley in the Midlands, UK. I work in a local high school helping kids to reach their potential. I see this as more of a calling than a job. I have a passion for history, particularly family and social history and love all things nature. I also make homemade cards and research family history for others.
What bought you to the world of writing?
I have always wanted to write but have never had the confidence to do so. I had learning needs when at school and struggled with basic literacy skills and grew up thinking I was never going to be good enough. I love the English language and the use of techniques such as metaphors and similes. I have written my poems down for years and some time ago decided I may share over the great resource of the internet, people who read them said I should try to publish so with the help of a friend (also a writer), a girl I grew up with, I sent off my first book to be published. This was for me rather than for anyone else. It was at this point I realised people wanted to buy and read my poetry.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
The first book I wrote was called “My Poetry Corner” and was published on 1st April 2014. I still love this book it will always be dear to me as it was almost a platform for everything that has come since.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
I have written 5 small volumes of poems, these have been a considerable help to others and I know that some carry them with them when they take a journey or a few days away. I have also written a book on short stories passed down through the family and a novel (in Black Country dialect) based on someone I discovered in my family tree. Both of these have received a lot of interest, mainly because some of my characters are remembered by others and also because they could be stories about anyone else’s family. I have also written 2 research books, which I put together for families to preserve their heritage and continue their legacy.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
Yes, I love all of my books but the one closest to my heart has to be “The Black Sheep” – the story is set in the heart of the Black Country in Victorian England. It is essentially the life of William Loundes and young man seemingly disowned by his family and left to take life’s journey alone. The reader is drawn in the question of who the Black Sheep is and what they have done to make them so. The book leaves a lot of questions for the reader to think on and helps them consider what legacy they may leave behind in life.
When I wrote the Black Sheep it took about 6 months for me to draft and to get it right. It took some time longer to do the justice I felt my character deserved.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
Yes, although it was reasonably easy in the case of the Black Sheep as I had the story of his life mapped out before me through research it was just a case of getting everything to flow fluently.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?
I tend to write in the third person as I tell a story from my characters viewpoint.
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
I tend to edit my work as I go along and then at the end also. I write about persons who have lived before,so write and re-write and then re-write again till I feel its how they would have wanted it.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
I try to write books that would appeal to people of all ages. A lot of my market audience for my novel has been family and persons local to where the book is set, whereas, my poems have a wider audience.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher
I self-publish which gives me a greater freedom of expression. I edit my books myself though occasionally I will ask someone to look them over if I am not completely satisfied.
How do you promote your writing?
I generally use the internet to promote my books I have recently set up a blog and am working on that to show others my work; I also make good use of the facebook community.
Where can we buy your books?.
All of my books are available through feed-a-read.com
Who are your favourite authors?
Charles Dickens, The Brontes, Jane Austin, Lucy Maud Montgomery and contemporary writers such as Ruth Calder Murphy, Anne Murray and Meg Hutchinson
Thank you Mel for letting us get to know you better, good luck with your books.
Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?
I would like you to take a look at my links and enjoy my journey. Thank you.