Friday, May 27, 2011

Interview with Mary Martinez

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Mary Martinez. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Classic Murder: Mr. Romance. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Thank you for inviting me, I believe I will have a piece of chocolate. I love chocolate. Here is a bit about my story.

Adam enjoys a lifestyle most men only dream of. Then one day he wakes up to find the morning headlines blaring, "Another victim falls prey to Mr. Romance. Who is next?" He suddenly realizes his way of life is not only frivolous, but deadly.

Dubbed Mr. Romance by New York society for his romantic adventures, Adam Fernando Russo loves women. But lately he realizes how lonely it is coming home to an empty house. Can he settle for only one woman? After he makes a list of qualities worthy enough to merit giving up his desirable existence, suddenly recipients of his coveted attention mysteriously fall prey to a murderer. The murders seem unrelated with one exception--all the victims have recently returned from a fabulous weekend rendezvous with Mr. Romance.

Adam’s assistant, Katie Sinclair, knows Adam is innocent with airtight alibis. The police are at a loss so Adam and Katie work together to discover the link between the murders. As luck would have it, their plan to prove the murderer is copying classic Cary Grant movies goes astray just as Adam realizes his perfect woman has been by his side all along.

Classic Murder: Mr. Romance is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

One: I couldn’t decide between the two, so I used them both. They both work. Two: As you saw above, the story is about Mr. Romance and what happens to his love life. I love watching classic movies. I can tell you that I loved the research for this story.

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

It doesn’t fit ‘cozy’ but it is a mystery. I like to think it’s a classic murder mystery, but that’s just my opinion.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Mostly it’s my favorite genre to read, so I enjoy writing mystery and suspense. However, lately I’ve been toying with women’s fiction. We’ll see how that goes.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I write by the seat of my pants. The idea started as Adam and Katie’s story. This is one time where I had the names and the character personalities before I knew what to do with the story line. As I wrote, I realized there was going to be not one but several murders and I had to figure a way to connect the dots.

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

I find out what happens in my story the same way my readers do. I have to write to the end. Then I have to go back and fill in and layer. Again, and again… I think any writer knows what I mean. So, no I do not have all the key elements when I begin.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

Every book I research different. Watching Jenny, a suspense about a rock band, I researched bands, concert venues, etc. And because I’m a concert ‘ho’. That was no hardship for me.
Once I realized the way my Classic Murder: Mr. Romance was going, I pulled out the movies. I had notebook on my lap and I wrote detailed notes about each one. Some I enjoyed the movie, but knew it wouldn’t work. So on to the next. I believe I said before that I had a lot of fun researching this story.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

No question, I was in love with both Katie and Adam from the moment I started the story. These two characters came to me and begged for a story. I like the secondary characters also, but not the way I liked Katie and Adam. This is one time I can’t really explain why.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

As I write I make up a list of their characteristics. My characters grow as I write. At the end I finally know them. That’s why I have to go back and layer and fill in. The first chapters are usually tossed or so changed no one would recognize them. In Classic Murder: Mr. Romance I changed the beginning so many times, I could probably start another book and use the beginning and no one would know it.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Do you have a day or two to listen to my list? Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Heather Graham, Stephen King, James Patterson, Nora Roberts. And these are only a few.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I tried having a book tour, and having it listed on Book, not to mention Facebook and the usual promotional avenues. I honestly can’t tell what worked yet. Amazon and Barnes & Noble haven’t paid out yet, so who knows.

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m actually working on something fun, three story in one. I’ll keep you posted though.

Thanks, Mary!

Thank you for having me on your lounge chair! Oh, and for the chocolate, yummy!

To celebrate her book release, Mary is offering a free signed book of Classic Murder: Mr. Romance to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Mary has lived her entire life in the Salt Lake City Valley, where she has raised a family of six children. One of her favorite things to do is spend time with her seven grandchildren.
Mary is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Though she loves romance, writing suspense is her favorite. Mary’s dream conference would be the opportunity to attend ThrillerFest.

Mary and her husband love traveling, their favorites are the Caribbean for relaxation and Italy for the wine. Their experiences have given her valuable insight for her stories.
Mary has four books out and one novella.

For more information, you can visit her web site:

Buy links for Classic Murder: Mr. Romance


Anonymous said...

Good morning Mary. Thanks for joining us today. Which type of chocolate do you prefer? I'll make sure I get it out right away. We have a similar way of writing. While I'm not quite a seat of the pants writer, I do have an outline and synopsis I work from, I do have to go back in and add layers as I go because my characters always seem to surprise me. Sometimes this drives me crazy. What's the toughest thing for you in writing this way? Enjoy your day with us and let me know if you need anything else.

Mary Martinez said...

Thank you for having me Kim. I loved doing the interview.

The toughest thing is, I have to go back an layer. I think I know my characters and by the end of the story I've found I'm so wrong...

Chocolate? ALL kinds!

Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

What a fun blog and a delightful idea for a story - can't wait to read it! So you're not just fun in person, eh? Looks like your books capture that as well.

Estella said...

I like the concept of your story!

liana laverentz said...

Hi, Mary, Good to "see" you again. I love classic movies and concerts, too...research can be so much fun. Congratulations on your latest release and here's wishing you many happy sales!

Mary Martinez said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by! Yes, I'm pretty much fun all the time. LOL. Just Kidding. Well maybe not, cause I like me....

Mary Martinez said...

Liana--nice seeing you again also! Thanks!

Tia Dani said...

Hi Mary, It's very nice to meet you. We write similar also. Since we are a team, we really need a pretty detailed outline. However, there are always surprises along with some unplanned twists and turns once we start writing. Your book sounds like one we both will enjoy. We love the old classics. Thanks for the great interview.

Caris said...

Hi, Mary! Congrats on your book! I love classic movies as well. One of my favs is "Laura", which is essentially a mystery! Did you happen to use this one when doing your research? I think it would be a blast to write a women's fiction story based on Classic Movies. Are you thinking of using the old movies in this way? If so, which one would you choose!
All best,

Mary Martinez said...

Tia Dani and Caris
It seems like the Classic theme is a hit and I loved researching. As for Laura I did not use it for this particular story.

I do have a WIP about with a classic Hitchcock theme. It's a reality cooking show and the contestants are murdered.....

But we'll see what happens.

Donna Hatch said...

I'm a serious pantser, but I do have a vague idea of where I'm going, and often a few scenes already in mind. I do have to layer and deepen after the rough draft is done. I think everyone has to do that.

Your book sounds great. I'll have to check it out!

Connie Flynn said...


Your story sounds fascinating and the title is really a zinger! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about it and yourself.