Martin Wilsey is a full-time author, hunter, photographer, rabble-rouser, father, friend, marksman, story teller, frightener of children, carnivore, engineer, fool, philosopher, cook, and madman. He's also a member of my local writing group, the Hourlings! I consider myself more than fortunate to have Marty as a friend and mentor in this indie publishing world. (And no, he didn't pay me to write that, but I wouldn't put it past him either!)
What inspired the story concept for SHADOWS OF THE SENTINEL?
SHADOWS OF THE SENTINEL is the story of a working stiff and a deep space salvage company. It had its origins in a short story called OKLAHOMA SALVAGE. After I wrote that story a couple of years ago, I began to imagine what the job would be like after there was deep space colonization. After a few hundred years of expansion, wars, and millions of ships began to litter space. Toss in some action-adventure, a bit of murder, corruption, intrigue and a dose of romance.
What do you love about writing hard science fiction? What do you hate or maybe just dislike about it?
I really love putting the science in science fiction. Before I retired to write full time I was a research scientist. Doing research is a big part of my writing process. I like to get the real science right so when I step over the edge into Science Fiction, faster than light travel and artificial gravity seem way more plausible.
My least favorite thing is editing my own work. By the time I have completely read and revised it for the tenth time, I am not having as much fun as pounding through a first draft.
When it comes to world-building do you have any particular tricks or techniques?
The worlds I build include all the senses. The food is good or bad, there is climate, and people and cultures. There are old things and places as well as new. There is history and good people and bad people. Smart people and dumb people. There is joy and sadness. But there are a few things that you will find in all the worlds I build. Coffee, Bourbon, and Bacon. Because I cannot imagine a world without them.
What was the most difficult part of the publishing process for you?
The hardest part is that that last 1% to get everything perfect. Spelling grammar, punctuation, interior design, covers, and alignment. I don't even want to talk about back cover blurbs!
What does your writing space look like?
I have an awesome den. I use a 49-inch curved screen monitor mounted on the wall above my 10-foot wide desk. I use a wireless keyboard and mouse to keep it all neat and tidy. I've just moved to a new home and I am pulling out all the stops to make a perfect writers lair. I even have a window seat so my cat Baily can watch birds and squirrels instead of laying on my keyboard!
What are your tricks for juggling writing with a full-time job, family, life, etc.?
As a full-time writer, it's easy. My wonderful wife Brenda is super supportive and give be space and the time to write. It also helps that I get up at 5am and sneak out of bed for coffee. I am usually done writing before lunch. I love it.
What's the best piece of advice you've received about writing?
Write a great outline.
Give yourself permission to write a crap first draft.
Hammer through and never looks back. Correct nothing.
Use a professional editor.
Have a great cover. A professional cover.
The best piece of advice though, by far, is: Finish Things.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
By Darkness Forged by Nathan Lowell. This is the latest story in the best science fiction series I have ever read. The first book in the series is called: Quarter Share
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