Author Spotlight: Martin J. Best
What inspired you to write a book?
I grew up in an actively haunted house, and have had several paranormal experiences since, which has given me an abiding interest in the nature of supernatural phenomena. I suppose that my inspiration comes from a need to convince the reader that ghosts are real. I like explanations, and unlike some stories where the supernatural element just is, in the ongoing Ghost Hunter series I try to explore plausible explanations for the hauntings that my characters investigate. Similarly, with the Celtic Gods that feature in the stories, I have endeavoured to explain their existence by marrying speculative quantum physics with theories of collective consciousness.
What does your typical writing day look like?
I drive my wife, Kim, to work just after eight, then walk our dog, Shadow. I start writing at around ten o’clock, with local radio and Shadow for company, and then break for lunch from one until two. Writing continues until around four o’clock when Shadow tells me that it’s time for his second walk. After that, we pick Kim up from work at half past five. I continue to write sporadically through the evening, often with one eye on the television, and stop at around ten o’clock.
Do you have a favorite book you have written?
I am particularly fond of Ghost Hunter: Blood Ties. For me, it has all the elements that I enjoy: a harrowing double possession, with a plausible back story; unusual characters; family conflict and tragedy; a violent and gruesome clash between the ghost hunters and a group of occultists which involves several Gods; and a relatively happy ending!
What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
Write in your own voice. Write as often as possible, but be prepared to rewrite and edit. Don’t give up!
Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I am happy to respond to messages on these media, and can be reached via email from my website www.martinjbest.com.
How do you handle literary criticism?
I accept constructive criticism reasonably well, but find unnecessarily unpleasant or insulting reviews difficult to ignore.
Please describe your writing space?
I write on a tablet in our living room, which is a long room with good light from patio doors at one end, under the watchful gaze of a bust representing Herne the Hunter. When it comes to formatting, I use our desktop PC in the dining room.
Who is your own favorite author? Dead or alive.
It’s difficult to pick just one! I have probably read and reread more of Clark Ashton Smith’s work than that of any other author. Smith’s imagination is projected with vivid clarity onto the page in his own inimical style.
What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?
Those with influence who take an interest, and are kind enough to spread the word.
If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?
Obsessive. Sceptical. Sensitive.
My latest work is the fifth Ghost Hunter novel, working title Pariahs. In this story, the haunting is provided by an unconventional poltergeist, active in a former Catholic orphanage which is being converted into offices. As the team of ghost hunters probe the orphanage building, investigator Adam Ross infiltrates a group called the Partisans of Taranis (Celtic God of Thunder), led by Nathaniel Tarlock, a prominent politician and secret grandson of Taranis, to discover what they know of The Fall, gateway to the Summer Lands where most of the Celtic Gods retreated in the thirteenth century. Unwillingly involved in the Partisan’s dangerous mission, Adam unexpectedly meets a human fugitive from the Summer Lands who has committed a heinous crime there, and is being pursued by one of its denizens. Ghost hunters Wolfe, the Son of Carne, and his relative Teena join the chase, and find themselves in a struggle to contain the effects of the incursion from the Summer Lands. Meanwhile, the haunting is out of control, and a resolution appears impossible.
About the Author:
Martin J. Best was born in Torquay, Devon, England, in 1965, where he now lives with his wife, Kim. Martin grew up in an actively haunted house, which, he admits, probably accounts for his interest in the paranormal! He has had a varied work life, and spent many years running his own mobile disco business. He now writes full-time in the Paranormal Hard Fantasy genre. When not writing, he is a keen walker, music enthusiast, and ghost hunter.
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