This week's featured author had no specific destination in mind for our interview, so seeing he was from Germany, I kindly asked him if he'd mind if we visited several places of interest in the old country. He graciously agreed and while we talked, we enjoyed various local delicacies.
1. Who is Martin Bartloff and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I'm a 44 year-old, parent, automotive shop owner and author. People are always fascinated when they hear I immigrated from Germany in 1991, not speaking a word English :)
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
They are always surprised to hear that I'm not married and never was. They know I have a son assumed I would be happily married. My son was adopted when he was only 6.
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming a NASCAR driver?
In all honesty, becoming writer was never on my wish list. I wanted to entertain by becoming a musician or film producer, or stuntman because my abundance of imagination and entertainment always fascinated peers, even when I was a child. Writing is the more convenient way to entertain people and reach a broad audience world wide.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
I would enjoy having dinner with Jay Asher. That would give me a chance to ask him what makes him so arrogant when it comes to fellow authors :-)
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
There are several reasons I can think off. TORN FROM NORMAL is not only a great story, the book has also a very strong message for young and old people, globally speaking. The most important fact is, and this is what readers say about TORN FROM NORMAL, The story is told very deep and real, it reads like watching a movie, you see the images, identify with Andy Riley, my main protagonist. The emotional involvement is unlike anything they ever read. This comes from my readers and fans, in form of reviews and email.
6. Share the Bartloff process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
My writing process is a story by itself. My visions and images come when I listen to music. Don't get me wrong, I could never listen to music and simultaneously write. No, I disconnect from the world by shutting my curtains, turning phones off and become one with my stereo, the music and myself. I do this several times a week, in complete dark. I begin to see images, triggered by either a part of the lyrics, or simply by the melody. In order to complete an entire book, I must keep the order of songs, during the which the images started. Torn From Normal was re-written 4 times. I'm kind a picky and don't turn my stuff lose unless I myself am 100% satisfied with my work. I don't visit places in order to write, but many places I happen to visit throughout my life, appear in my stories.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Very good question, my favorite one :-) Begin by believing the story at first. Ask yourself if you would believe it if someone told you! Think yourself into the skin of the characters you're writing about. Does that work? You're on the right path. If you're having difficulties thinking, seeing like the characters, scrap the idea or try a different approach. Don't be led by a particular order, begin writing with images and ideas you have. Even if that means writing the end of the book first. I began writing TFN with its end and worked my way back to the beginning of the story.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
I don't intend to stop writing. In fact, there is another, strong story in the making. The rough draft is already finished and the clean up and structuring has began.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
I maintain a strong web presence, such as Facebook, twitter etc. My website www.MartinBartloff.com is frequently updated.