Please give a warm welcome to Mike Martin.
He joins us today to talk about his newest novel and answer a few questions I had for him.
Mike, welcome to my world. Why don't you fill us in about yourself.
I was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now live and work in Ottawa, Ontario. I am a long-time freelance writer and my articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. I am the author of "Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People” and I have written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.
The Walker on the Cape was my first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. The Body on the T was the second book, and Beneath the Surface is the third installment in this series. I am a member of Ottawa Independent Writers, Capital Crime Writers, the Crime Writers of Canada and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild.
You can find me on the web at
You can read about my books at
You can follow Sgt. Windflower on Facebook at
Please tell readers about your current book.
Beneath the Surface is the third installment in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series which is set in Newfoundland on the very easternmost tip of Canada. It is the next adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, an RCMP Officer and a Cree from Northern Alberta who is stationed in the small community of Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Much to his surprise Windflower falls in love with this part of the world and a certain redhead who lives there.
Beneath the Surface is about solving crime, including suspicious deaths, human trafficking and corruption at the highest levels of society. But it also about food, lots of food, and fun and friends and the ever-present fog that shrouds the truth and keeps it hidden, far beneath the surface.
When did you know you would be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I just didn’t know how to go about doing that. It didn’t seem a viable career option when I was young so I tried to find jobs that had an element of writing. That included correspondence and policy writing and later led to both speech-writing and editorial positions. But none of that satisfied my writing itch. Finally, one day I told my partner that I wanted to be a writer. In fact I told her I had decided that I was a writer.
Then I wrote a short piece that got picked up by a magazine for $25.00 and the rest they say is history. Except for nearly starving to death as I tried to carve out a career as a freelance writer. But I kept at it and over a period of time I did manage to eke out an existence. I have published thousands of articles in print and online since that time but I also remember the early days when I wrote for nearly nothing and got 10 rejections for every acceptance.
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
Once I decided I wanted to write fiction it took me five years to get the idea onto paper and into publication. That included many stop and starts and several periods of deep mourning that the book would ever happen. But with luck, and love and support I finally published The Walker on the Cape, the first book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series in 2012. Since then I have published The Body on the T and now Beneath the Surface.
Now I know that the process of writing a book and getting it finalized for publication takes me about six months. I am lucky, so far, that I seldom get writer’s block and I am quite disciplined when it comes to my writing. I get the initial inspiration and then the characters come and tell me the story. All I have to do is write it down.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
If you are a struggling writer, keep on struggling. If you are a writer, you just have to keep on writing. And remember what Stephen King says about writing “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” That’s a guy who knows something about scary stuff!!
If you think you are a writer then start writing. Take all those great ideas out of your head and put them down on paper or on your computer screen. Then share them with someone you trust. Someone who cares about you but is not afraid to call you on your stuff. Ask them if they think it is any good. If they say no, back to the computer or notepad. If they say yes or maybe then take a big risk and show it to someone in your life who is a writers, an editor or a teacher, preferably English. The last one there may correct your grammar, but all of them can give you an honest appraisal.
But do you know what? You already know that it’s not too bad. After all you are a writer.
Who are your favorite Authors?
My favorite authors are Charles Dickens and JRR Tolkien. Dickens because he wrote about his times with humor and a social conscience. Tolkien because as everyone in the world now knows, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are some of the best fiction books every written. Because I’m a mystery writer I also like Agatha Christie, (who doesn’t?), and some modern writes like Ian Rankin, Donna Leon and Elizabeth George. Each of these authors is a master and I would and do read their books over and over. To me that it the test of a great author, that you want to re-read them in different parts of your life.