One of my cousins, who used to be an actress, once told me how she would feel her characters’ emotions as she portrayed them. She said that performing emotionally charged scenes left her feeling drained.
The same is true for me as a novel writer. With nearly every character I create, I experience their emotions as I write my scenes. Writing the dialog is usually the catalyst that drives those emotions.
I’m working on my next novel, The Letter. Leading man Danny is being hounded by Martha, a woman from his past, and I’ve been building up to a major confrontation between the two of them for sometime. This past week, I finally wrote the chapter where their conflict reaches its crescendo. I expected this scene to be fun to write. Martha really has been a pain in the butt who most certainly has it coming, and I wanted Danny to feel vindicated. However, as I wrote the dialog I started feeling emotions I didn’t expect to feel.
Danny wants no further contact from Martha, but an obsessed Martha refuses to let him go. As the scene plays out, Danny becomes more and more frustrated with her unending state of denial, and as he struggles to get through to her he becomes more verbally harsh. I started feeling anxious as I wrote the dialog. Harsh words, even when justified, can hurt like a fist, and some of the verbiage I used brought back memories of arguments I had with men from my own past. By the time I finished I felt as if I’d been sucker punched by both Danny and Martha.
It was at this point that I’d planned to write Martha out of the story completely and have another antagonist take over, but now I think I’ll keep her around. She has a real knack for pissing people off, and talent like hers shouldn’t go to waste. While the new antagonist will be the main focus for the remainder of the story, Martha will spend some time going after those who she thinks turned Danny against her.
The Letter should be available by the spring of 2018.
There are two kinds of women who get involved with married men. Some are like Carrie, the leading lady in my earlier novel, The Deception, who are duped into believing the man is single and available. Then there is the other kind. She knows upfront that the man is married, but she chooses to get involved with him anyway.
Annette, one of the antagonists in The Betrayal, is the latter. Not only does she know, from the get-go, that Jesse is a married man, she also knows his wife, Emily. Jesse, however, is nothing if not charming and seductive. He takes full advantage of the fact that Annette has become disillusioned with her significant other, and he uses it as the catalyst to initiate their affair. In her own mind, Annette has convinced herself that not only would she be a better wife for Jesse, she’s actually doing Emily a favor by breaking them up. She knows Emily put her dream of becoming a concert pianist on hold to help Jesse with his career, therefore, she is, “helping” her by freeing her so she can finally pursue her dream. Emily, however, doesn’t see it that way.
Jesse soon tires of Annette. He ends the affair and tries to win Emily back, but Annette has no intention of going quietly into the night. She comes up with her own desperate scheme to get Jesse back, and the consequences will forever change the lives of everyone involved.
Annette is a purely fictitious character, and, thankfully, not inspired by anyone I’ve ever encountered. There are, unfortunately, plenty of real life Annettes out there. That’s what makes her the woman you’ll love to hate.
One of the projects that has kept me so busy over the past few months has been the book trailer for The Betrayal.
Ever have one of those projects that seems to fight you every step of the way? It’s been that kind of an undertaking. We had lots of unexpected challenges which took up more time than we expected, and I even ended up having to buy a used piano along the way. Fortunately, we’re now in the home stretch, and it’s coming out nicely. I got to work with some amazing actors, and my good friend, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video, was extremely helpful, as usual.
Even with all the challenges, I still had fun. I drove up to Phoenix to shoot the opening footage, and spent the day with my sister-in-law. I also took a drive down to wine country to shoot some road footage. (Yes, we really do have wineries in southern Arizona.) Rob thought it had some problems, so golly gee, I had to take a second trip down there to do a reshoot. Nothing like having a good excuse to do a little wine tasting and have a picnic lunch with my friend, Maria, who came along with me.
Thankfully, all the footage is finally in the can, and we’re now in post production. In the meantime, I love playing my new-to-me piano.
Rachel Bennett has a problem. A man from her past is obsessed with her.
A twenty-eight year old graphic designer, Rachel has recently returned to her hometown of Tucson, Arizona, and is attending her ten-year high school reunion. While she’s there she’s reintroduced to Shane MacLeod, a fellow classmate who she briefly met while serving on the yearbook committee. Rachel may not remember Shane, but he certainly remembers her, and as they’re busy getting reaquainted another man from Rachel’s past suddenly reappears. A former coworker, Craig Walker, has been stalking and harassing her for the past few years, and no matter how hard she tries to seek justice, the system keeps failing her.
Fortunately for Rachel, it’s all about to change. Shane is undaunted by Craig, and, with his help, things finally appear to be working in her favor. But unknown to them, Craig is about take his revenge, and Rachel’s life will never be the same.
Rachel was inspired by an acquaintance who was once hounded by a former colleague. She’s a courageous woman determined to regain control of her life, and she’s not afraid to back down from a fight.
This may sound arrogant or even hokey, but I get weary of hearing myself say, “I write romance novels,” whenever I’m asked about what I do. People either think I’m writing schmaltzy dime store novels, or they think I’m writing erotica. Neither is the case, as there is so much more to what I write.
I write stories about humanrelationships. Love isn’t limited to a man and a woman falling in love and living happily ever after. Love is about all kinds of human relationships; the love of a parent to a child, the love between siblings, even the platonic love between close friends. The romantic love between a man and woman is only a part of my story. The Journey includes a heartwarming subplot about the relationship between brothers Jeremy and Larry Palmer, as Larry puts his life on hold for a time to help his ailing brother through a life altering crisis. That’s true love. In The Deception, a father literally takes a bullet meant for his child. That’s also true love. In The Betrayal, leading ladyEmily’s long estranged aunt finally reaches out and accepts her like another daughter. That too is love.
The reason why I write romance, instead of science fiction or mystery or horror, is because I’ve always been fascinated by the complexity and dynamics of human relationships; not only between lovers, but between family members as well. Of course those relationships can be part of the storyline in those other genres, but the romance genre is the only one where the primary focus is on human relationships. I’m just trying to expand the boundaries.
What would a story of betrayal and adultery be without a cheating spouse? Jesse St. Claire, the unfaithful husband in The Betrayal, is perhaps my most complicated and enigmatic antagonist to date. Unlike Scott Andrews, the cheating husband in my earlier novel, The Deception, Jesse really isn’t a player. In fact, he’s never cheated before. A highly successful motivational speaker, Jesse steadfastly claims to love his wife, and, in his own strange way, he does. Or, at least he thinks he does.
Jesse has built his career on helping people take control of their lives, but his own life begins spiraling out of control when his wife, Emily, catches him in the act with Annette, his personal assistant. As Emily packs her bags and walks out the door, a determined Jesse tries to come up with a plan to win her back. Not only does he want to save his marriage, he also wants to save his career. Unfortunately for Jesse, his bad habits prove difficult to break, and his past soon comes back to haunt him, forcing him to once again betray his wife.
Jesse is a fictitious character not based on anyone I know. His inspiration comes from many stories of unfaithful men who claim to love their wives, which, for those of us who don’t cheat, is something we can never fully understand.
Sometimes we authors have unexpected adventures in cyberspace…
Last year my blog crashed and burned, so I ended up coming here, which wasn’t all bad. Once I got the hang of WordPress I found I liked it much better, but there was still one lingering problem. I was unable to keep my old blog’s domain name when I changed hosts, and yes, it was an issue, as it was included on all sorts of marketing materials. Yikes!
Like many authors, I have both a website and a blog. My website is more formal. It includes a nice welcome page and an about me page, as well as info about my books and where to by them. It’s a short and sweet “just the facts” version of who I am and what I do.
My blog is where I expand and go into more detail about my books with articles about individual characters, excerpts and sample chapters, and posts about what I do when I’m not writing. It’s my less formal, more up close and personal website, and I had it all figured out. My website was marinamartindale.com, my blog marinamartindale.net. However, I had my website with one host, my blog with another, and, even though both domain names were registered in my name, Google had buried the access to my dot net in cyberspace to where I couldn’t retrieve it. I had to wait until it expired and then back order it. What a pain in the you know what. The Internet is a weird, weird place.
Thankfully, I finally have my dot net back, and it’s up and running. I also now have the same web host for both websites, which makes things so much simpler.
Okay, life happens, and sometimes you just get so darn busy that you forget things, like updating your blog.
So, what has Marina been up too?
I’ve been keeping busy with real life and spending quality time with friends. Writing can be such a solitary profession, and, if I allowed it, I could easily become a hermit. Fortunately, I’m not about to let that happen. I spend a lot of time supporting musician friends at local venues, such as The Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, and Monterey Court in Tucson. I’m a big believer in artists supporting other artists, regardless of their genre. Some of my musician friends are also fans of my books, so we have this mutual fan thingy going on. Other musician friends have helped me with some of my projects. Jazz singer Sheryl Ann McKinley provided the voiceover for The Reunion book trailer, as well as for my upcoming Betrayal book trailer. Another Tucson singer, Gigi Chanteuse, did the voiceover for The Deception book trailer. Rob Resetar, who helps produce and direct all of them, is a musician as well. It’s a real honor to have such talented musicians as friends.
So yes, Marina Martindale is still alive and well, and when I’m not writing, I’m busy pursuing another of my life’s passions–photography. I’ve started another novel too and I’ll tell you more about it later. In the meantime I hope you too will support live music in your community.
My editor loved Shane. She thought he was the best leading man since Alex Montoya in The Deception, and she has a point. Both will do whatever it takes to protect and defend the women they love, and both were “nerdy” kids when they were young.
Rachel and Shane went to the same high school, but had different circles of friends. Shane hung out with a couple of other nerdy kids, known as “The Math Club,” while Rachel, who was on the yearbook committee, took their club photo. And even though she didn’t notice him, he certainly noticed her, and he soon had a secret crush on her. Fast-forward to their ten year class reunion. Shane has gone from a nerdy teenager to a handsome, accomplished man, who, upon seeing her, reintroduces himself and invites her to join him at his table. Rachel accepts. The two quickly become friends, but little they know that another man from Rachel’s past intends to destroy her, and he will stop at nothing to get to her.
Like Alex, Shane is a purely fictitious character not inspired by anyone I’ve known in real life. Tis a pity indeed.
If you liked, The Deception, you’ll like The Stalker as well. Along with similar leading men and a supporting character who appears in both books, both leading women have enemies who intend to destroy them at all costs.
Whew! It’s finally done, and I’m pleased with the final results. As I mentioned in my prior post, I’ve become more hands on with my book trailer videos, and I’m loving it. Makes sense, as my background is in fine art, and my degree is in drawing and painting. I also studied photography, and it too is one of my life’s passions. Granted, it’s taken me a little while to make the jump from 35mm to digital, but one of the great things about a DSLR camera is you can also shoot video. And there you have it.
I did most of the filming and nearly all of the editing. My good friend, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video, shot the kidnapping scene and did the musical score and final audio mix. Wish I could take credit for the drone footage, but it too was shot by another friend.
Enjoy the video, and if you haven’t read it yet, you’ll like, The Journey, especially if you’ve read The Reunion. While not exactly a sequel, both books use the same cast of characters, and The Journey begins about eighteen months after the end of The Reunion.