I’ve Got My Domain Name Back

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.

MM

 

 

Yes, Marina Martindale is Still Alive and Well

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.

MM

 

Five Way Street perform at the Elks Theater in Prescott, Arizona. Photo by Marina Martindale.
Five Way Street at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, Arizona. Photo by Marina Martindale.
Sly Slipesky, Sheryl Ann McKinley, Jason Carder and Jack Wood at Monterey Court, Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Marina Martindale.

 

Welcome to the New Edition of Marina Martindale’s Musings

Welcome to the new home for Marina Martindale’s Musings.

After experiencing some technical issues with my previous blog host I’ve moved to WordPress, and I’m happy with the results. We have a new look, a more stable platform, and I’ve brought over the best of the best from my old blog. So please, pull up a chair, and make yourselves comfortable at the new home for Marina Martindale’s Musings.

MM

I’m So Sorry To Be the Cause of Your Sleepless Nights

Reunion Loew CoverWebJust read a new review of The Reunion posted by a reader on Amazon. She mentioned being up until three o’clock in the morning reading the book because she simply couldn’t put it down. Funny thing is, she’s not the first one with this “problem.” I’ve had similar “complaints” posted by friends on Facebook.

Well, what can I say? I’m sorry to be the cause of your sleepless nights, (she writes tongue in cheek). And you should see it from my end. There was many a night while I was writing The Reunion, (and The Deception and The Journey), that I didn’t get to bed until well after midnight either because the ideas kept flowing. There were other times when I crawled into bed, so exhausted my that body ached, and then, just as I started to relax–BING! Out of nowhere came the next inspiration. I’ve learned, from experience, that if I go to sleep with the idea of writing it down the next morning the idea would be forgotten by the time I awoke. So I grumbled to myself as I got out of bed and went back on the computer, knowing full well that I might have to forgo a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, it wouldn’t take very long for me to get the idea down. Then I could finally go to sleep, and do the revising later.

So, what is it about my books that’s so compelling? From what you, the readers, tell me, it’s the plot twits and the characters. You’ve been telling me that my characters are very real and very believable. I honestly wish I could tell you my secret of how I create them, but I don’t know how I do it either. Some characters, like Ian and Samantha in The Reunion, are inspired by real people. I’ll use some of their real personalities as a starting point, then next thing I know the characters have taken on lives of their own and they have become unique individuals.  The same could be said for all the purely fictitious characters who weren’t inspired by anyone in particular. I guess something must be going on in my subconscious mind. Whatever it is, it seems to be working, and I’m pleased you all are happy with the results. Meantime, while I wait for The Journey to come back from the editor, I’m cooking up a new cast of characters for my next book, The Betrayal. Look for that one sometime in 2014.

So for now, sleep tight.

MM

Since When is Being Feminine a Bad Thing?

lips3My goodness gracious me.  I’ve just read a news article expressing all kinds of outrage over another news article, written by a Turkish journalist, lamenting his belief that “Womanhood is Dying,” at Olympics as he apparently expressed his dismay at just how masculine women athletes have apparently become.

Now granted, I didn’t read the original article, but the article I did read made it quite clear that the masses were ready to run the man out of town on a rail, if not lynch him from the highest tree. But what really bothers me isn’t what the Turkish journalist wrote, it’s all the angry backlash against him for writing it in the first place.  Apparently there’s something wrong with being feminine.

I admit I’ve never been in crisis about my gender and I’ve never wanted to be a man.  I like wearing dresses and high heels. I like wearing makeup and having my hair and nails done.  I like it when a man acts like a gentleman and opens the door for me.  So why is this wrong?  Is this the new taboo? Is this a sign of weakness?

Well, all I can say is the female characters in my books are all feminine, but none are weak.  In fact, I’ve gone out of my way to write them as good, feminine role models.  All have achieved professional success, but none are man-haters or ball-busters.  One of my female characters survives a near drowning. Another survives a gunshot wound–while she’s pregnant.  These are not weak women, however they are not wanna be men, nor do they act like men.  They love and respect the men in their lives, yet they do not allow their men to dominate them, nor do they lead their men around by their noses.  All I can say is that like me, they are not in crisis over their genders.

Women are resilient.  After all, we’re the ones who have the babies.  It’s too bad everyone else has their undies in a knot over one journalist expressing his opinion.  But as I said, what really bothers me is that deep down, there is now, apparently, something wrong with wanting to be feminine, and I resent a society that wants to force me to become a man.  I’m a woman. I’m damn proud of being a woman, and I will continue to create strong, feminine characters in my novels.

My thought for the day.

MM

Why My Books are Religiously Neutral

Religious SymbolsSomeone recently asked me a very interesting question.  She wanted to know if The Reunion was a Christian-oriented romance book. I told her no, it was not, and my reason is because I want readers of all faiths and backgrounds to read, and enjoy, The Reunion, along with my other books.

There are some authors out there who, regardless of their genre, write novels geared toward readers of their faith.  For example, at a book signing I did last year, I met Mormon author.  She informed me, quite matter-of-factly, that her romance books were LDS romance books. I looked at the covers, and sure ‘nuf, the words, “LDS Romance,” were included in the subtitles of her books. Since I’m not Mormon, she kind of looked down on me, as if I had two heads or something.

I’m pleased she found a faith that she believes strongly in, and if her religion enhances her life for the better then I’m all for it.  After all, this is America, and our country was founded on the concept of freedom of religion.  However, from a book marketing point of view, she was limiting the scope of her readership to other Mormons, so her books would only be read, or appreciated, by a small percentage of the population.

One of the things that makes America great is the diversity of faiths among its people, and  I want Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, New Agers, Wiccans, even agnostics and atheists, to be able to read and enjoy my books.  Yes, my characters are all believers, but none are churchgoers.  Again, I don’t want to endorse one religion over another.  Any references made to God in my books are very general, and are stated with phrases such as, “we’ll all say a prayer that he’ll be be found soon, safe and sound.”

I admit I am more spiritual than religious, meaning I believe in God, but I don’t follow the dogma of any particular church.  My mother was a non-practicing Northern Baptist, and my father was New Age, long before Shirley MacLaine came along and popularized it.  My parents weren’t churchgoers, so I didn’t attend Sunday school, and I’ll admit that as an adult, whenever I joined a church, regardless of the denomination, I never stayed very long because I got turned off by the inevitable back-biting and politicking going on amongst the various members.  My own beliefs are a blend of New Age and Christian, and I’ve never found a church were both schools of thought were welcome.  (The Unity faith came the closest, but I don’t agree with all of their teachings either.)

So there you have it.  While I have my own set of beliefs, I don’t use my books to proselytize or endorse any particular religion.  I’ll leave that to the theologians.

MM

Should Authors Be Held Accountable for the Violence in Their Books?

Ink SplatterMy heart goes out to the people of Aurora, Colorado.  I live in Tucson, Arizona.  Not too long ago a similar tragedy occurred here when our congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot at an event in front of a Safeway supermarket.  Six people died, many others were injured, and it had a profound impact on our community. Tragic events such as these are always followed by the inevitable debates as we struggle to make sense of it all, and sooner or later someone always makes the comment about too much violence in TV, movies, or video games, pointing the finger of blame at the entertainment industry.

Movies, television, and books are all mediums for storytelling. All story plot lines revolve around conflict, and how the characters react to, and eventually resolve, the conflict.  Now, whether we want to admit it or not, human beings have a great propensity for violence, so violence is often an integral part of the storyline. This is nothing new.  In fact, Shakespeare was pretty darn violent.  His works are full of murders and suicides. Some writers, like Edgar Allen Poe, describe violent scenes in graphic detail. There is an entire literary genre, called horror, that’s all about violence.

I myself am not into blood and gore, but there are still, nonetheless, some “violent” scenes in my books.  As I just mentioned, it’s part of the conflict and part of what makes the story interesting.  It’s also a catharsis for me, as a writer, to deal with some of the not-so-nice things that have happened to me in my own life, and I find it very therapeutic.  For example, there is a scene in The Reunion in which Gillian learns that her former husband has just murdered his current wife.  However I chose not to portray the scene in a graphic or gory way.  The incident is instead described in a dialog between Ian, Gillian and a police detective.  I leave it to the reader to imagine the blood and gore.  My upcoming novel, The Deception, includes a scene in which three characters are shot.  (Yes, writing that scene was my way of dealing with my own emotions from the Giffords tragedy.)  Still, I don’t get overly graphic or harsh with my descriptions.  My story isn’t about the violence.  It’s about how my characters deal with and overcome what has happened to them.

So, should authors be held accountable for the violence in their books?  Assuming that the author in question hasn’t written a book for the sole purpose of inciting readers to commit an act of violence, such as writing a “how to” book about the best way to kill other human beings, it would be difficult to prove that the author is responsible for any wrongdoing.  While I’m aware of studies out there allegedly proving a link between violent TV shows and movies, and violent behavior in real life, others will argue that the vast majority people do not act out what they’ve seen in the media or read about in a book.  Authors, at least here in the United States, are also protected by the First Amendment, so chances are that a court would rule that those violent scenes would be considered free speech.

Ultimately it is up to the author, and his or her publisher, to determine what, if any, level of violence is appropriate.  As I just mentioned, I don’t get into graphic descriptions of blood and gore in my books, but I’m not going to put up with anyone trying to censor me either.  I know this sounds like a tired old cliché, but if you don’t like a movie or TV show don’t watch it, and if you don’t like a violent scene in a book don’t read it.  Then there is the matter of parental responsibility.  It is up to you, the parent, to teach your child the difference between right and wrong, and to use some discretion in deciding which movies and televsion shows your child should watch, and which books your child should read.  My books, by the way, are written for adults. While they do not contain scenes of graphic violence they do include sexual content. They simply are not appropriate for younger readers.

Our readers want to see the bad guys pay for their wrongdoings.  My books certainly deliver on this, as do most books by other authors.  The bad guys may win a battle or two, but at the end of the day the good guys win the war.  That’s what good storytelling is all about.

MM