Michael J. Martinez is the author of the newly released historical fantasy/space opera mashup The Enceladus Crisis, sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident. When not writing fiction, Mike has a day job writing about stocks and bonds. He brews his own beer and travels a lot thanks to his travel-writer wife; their daughter is awesome. Mike lives on the Jersey side of the greater New York City. He’s on Twitter and Untappd.
What I learned from The Empire Strikes Back
by Michael J. Martinez
I wrote a book that came out last year – barely, I might add. There was some question as to whether Night Shade Books would be a going concern if it wasn’t successful in selling off its assets to Skyhorse Publishing, and my pending debut novel, The Daedalus Incident, was one of those assets. But hey, the sale went through, and my book came out.
And then the new Skyhorse/Night Shade folks agreed to let me write two more.
Of course, having just learned to write a novel, I really hadn’t tried my hand at a sequel, so I had no idea how to go about it. Tapping into my intensive journalism training (which most often consisted of, “Hey, there’s a fire, go cover it” or “Find out everything you can about Microsoft NT in the next 20 minutes”), I dove into the research.
Michael J. Martinez is a novelist, a title which still takes him by surprise now and then. He’s the author of The Daedalus Incident (one of Library Journal‘s best of SF/Fantasy for 2013) and the novella The Gravity of the Affair, now available in ebook and Audible audio. The next novel in the Daedalus series, The Enceladus Crisis, is due this spring, and there’s a third book in the trilogy that he should really finish soon. He lives in the greater New York City area with his incredible wife and amazing daughter. He blogs at http://michaeljmartinez.net and Tweets at @mikemartinez72.
Building Out Worlds, One Piece At A Time
by Michael J. Martinez
One of the things, I think, that make science fiction and fantasy so popular is the immense possibility of the settings authors create. Done right, the reader knows that they’re reading a snapshot of time within an immensely complicated, rich world. George R.R. Martin gives hints as to the massive history of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe keeps, well…expanding. J.K. Rowling is going back to the well for more stories set in her Harry Potter universe.
When you build a setting – and you’re doing it right – the reader gets a mere taste of all the work that went into making a living, breathing world. You can’t fake that sense of depth. It’s either there or it’s not. That often means simply alluding to details, rather than spelling things out. And that leaves a lot of stuff on the cutting room floor.
Michael J. Martinez is the author of The Daedalus Incident, out now in ebook and due out in trade paperback in July. He spent 20 years in journalism and communications, writing other people’s stories, until he finally got up the nerve to try writing one of his own. In addition to Daedalus, he’s also serializing a novella, The Gravity of the Affair, on his website, www.michaeljmartinez.net. And he tweets now and then: @mikemartinez72. He lives in northern New Jersey with his amazing wife, wonderful daughter, and The Best Cat in the World.
[Photo by Anna Martinez]
The Joys And Perils Of Writing Historical Fantasy
By Michael J. Martinez
When I first approached writing The Daedalus Incident, I had yet to actually try my hand at any type of fiction, and I found the notion of historical fantasy oddly comforting. World-building can be very daunting, and I thought basing the book on the historical Age of Sail would make things easier.
And you know…it was. I had actual history to draw character and plot ideas from. I didn’t have to come up with a heap of odd fantasy-sounding names. I didn’t have to create my world from whole cloth.
But writing good historical fantasy has its own set of problems unique to the subgenre, and as I wrote and revised Daedalus, I came across a few things that I wrote down and kept in mind for future efforts – because, if all goes well, I’m hopeful The Daedalus Incident is just the first entry into this particular world.