Thursday, August 21, 2014

Author Interview with Martin Gibbs

This week I kidnapped an author, strapped him to a chair, and forced him to answer my questions with the threat of OR ELSE! I had no plan for the or else, but he didn't know that! The author of the novel "Love's Pale Road" Martin Gibbs is the first interview I have done, so be kind with your comments or you may be next!

BB: Thanks for agreeing to be tortu..erm.. interviewed here! How are you doing today?

MG: After the ordeal in the Turkish prison, I can no longer tell the difference between torture and a pillow fight with a rabid spider monkey. Today, I am doing well, thank you. I finally got out for a long run, and though I ache all over, it feels good to have been outside.

BB: Yes well we all know spider monkeys like to keep their sharpened sporks inside their pillowcases.

I was looking at the summary for your ebook "Love's Pale Road". It looks interesting. How does a ghost go about getting someone to do their bidding? Is it like "if you don't I'll haunt you forever scary BOO!"?

MG: Well it is a fantasy world so a lot of things are allowed in that world, that are not in ours.

Bailey is simple-minded (one might say he has a spectrum disorder), but he's a very skilled musician. The dead are able to visit him through the spaces between the notes; this is how Lyn gets in his head and tasks him with finding the warlock. But trusting the living is always a losing population.

Lyn hasn't threatened Bailey--Bailey enjoys the company and likes to talk to the man and hear his story. When Bailey meets Abigail, this upsets Lyn's plans and pushes him aside. And he's not happy.

BB: *scoots to edge of seat* But what can he do as a ghost??? I'm gonna have to read it!

What made you want to write this kind of story? Any kind of inspiration you would like to credit?

MG: That's the problem; he's stuck within Bailey's mind and is basically at his mercy. At any time, he could be cast out and left to drift in the void. Lyn (the dead guy) killed himself because he suffered from a bone-eating disease, and now his son is in danger from this mad warlock. His mistake was finding Bailey, a seemingly simple farmer, and sending him on this journey.

Bailey is not so simple and shallow as first shown, but we only see little shadows of what lies beneath; we only see what he chooses to reveal.

Well, a lot of this story actually comes from my first fantasy book, The Spaces Between: a Novel, but the names are changed and the outcome is totally different. That one starts a trilogy, while this one ends cleanly.

That book wasn't really selling at all and it was sort of therapeutic for me, as I wrote it after my own father died. Years went by and I realized that it really lacked a human component--sure, the main character was sad and mopey, but that gets old in fiction. I wanted to keep the main twist within, but it needed something/someone softer; a woman's touch. My wife gave me the names for the characters, and I went with it.

So Love's Pale Road turns the tables on the you, but it doesn't have such a harsh, dystopian ending that The Spaces Between had. In love, there is always hope.

BB: They do say that writing is rewriting. Not sure who "they" are. Might be the voices in my head, but sometimes they are pretty smart. Other times they run around screaming about Godzilla.

You said this one is stand alone and the other was the start of a trilogy. Is there any chance of a sequel? I gotta admit the concept has my idea bag bursting at the seams.

MG: There is always the possibility that we will pick up where this leaves off and follow a new thread with the character that remain. It really depends on how this book does, really. I'm under contract for four other books and only have two done--I gotta get my butt in gear and finish those before I'd start in on a sequel. Unless there was overwhelming demand, of course. :)

BB: One of the voices in my head is already demanding more. Now it's asking if you're overwhelmed. Now it's asking if the rain is really God peeing on us. OK that voice doesn't get to talk anymore...

So what is going to be the next project then? Do you have one you're working on now?

MG: Never overwhelmed. Buried under a pile of delicious gumballs while somebody plays Alkan on a Casio 9000; children laughing as they pour molten Velveeta over my body. Wait. No, that was last weekend. The rain is actually made up of tiny spherical particles called Uumba, that, when exposed to methane of Neptune, erupt in purple fireworks. True story.

The next project is really getting these books done for Ellechor. But I also have a contemporary Christian novel I'm working on... not sure if I'll seek a publisher or go the self-pub route. Will see what reaction that gets.

BB: Ah yes the eternal question.. to traditionally publish or not to traditionally publish. I think Shakespere wrote that or Adele. I always get those two mixed up. What has your experience been like so far with your publisher(s)?

MG: So far it has been a great experience. It is a rapidly-growing company with a clearly defined business plan and mission; they are very committed to their authors. However, there is some control that is lost--but for now I'm really okay with that, because I feel the books need a lot broader reach than I could probably give on my own.

BB: I'm a bit of a control freak. I'm not sure I trust myself to publish my own work. Now I have to get into the serious questions. The questions that will forever define you as an author. I hope you have prepared.

How much and what kinds of chocolate and coffee did you consume while completing 'Love's Pale Road'?

MG: I don't think I'd trust myself either.

Well there were copious amounts of Americanos during the day and Zen green tea at night, chased with either sharp cheddar cheese and/or Sour Patch Kids. Because I still haven't grown up and refuse to do so.

BB: I don't think I would trust Sour Patch Kids to publish my novel either. Their shifty eyes and sour attitude makes me think they are plotting to take over the world. What do you think their ultimate goal is?

MG: They've now added Blue to their lineup (read: gang), and it only paints a bleaker picture for the fate of mankind. We are collectively doomed, for they soften you up with Green and Red, then use Yellow and Orange to attack on the flanks; just when you think that you may have a chance at winning the battle, Blue is there for the nuclear option, and the game is effectively over. World domination? Hardly. These Sour militants want nothing more than to rule the entire universe my friend! Don't be fooled by their smiles and their calm words: They mean business.

And now they make gum. GUM! Any remaining intelligent life is doomed.

BB: As terrifying as that sounds I don't think that will be the end of humankind. The One Direction Apocalypse is the most pressing threat to humanity right now in my mind. What do you think will be humankind's undoing?

MG: Well I maintain that we must still be careful.

Humankind will do itself in at some point. I'd like to think that we will evolve past the point of senseless wars and violence; that we'd rocket off into the great depths of space and ensure the survival of our species through other-worldly colonization. But I'm afraid we will wind up nuking ourselves, or we'll get hit by a huge asteroid before we can do anything about it. Only roaches will survive.

BB: Ah yes.. Asteriods. I remember playing that on the good old Atari 2600.
I have one final question. What is the meaning of life?

MG: Why, don't you know? The most sophisticated computers spent hundreds of years processing, compiling, crunching, and parsing through complex algorithms to come up with the final, most precise, least-questionable answer: 42

BB: Thank you for participating in the re-educatio... uh.. interview process! Do you have any last words or shoutouts before we let you go?

MG: Just a hearty thank-ya! I appreciate the time taken to chat with me. *Ducks back into the dungeon and begins typing*

Martin Gibbs writes in several genres, from fiction to fantasy to bizarro. He enjoys cross-country skiing, biking, and burning béarnaise sauce.

He works from a padded cell, serenaded by Debussy and Swedish death metal. If he were to vacation to another planet it would be Pluto (yes, it’s a planet!) and rescue his friends from the mental asylum there. Yes, there is one. How do you know there is not? His favorite ice cream flavor is ginger green tea bubblegum, and the capital of Nebraska is LINCOLN!

Martin lives in the tropical paradise of MN.
Martin's blog:

You can check out his novel "Love's Pale Road" on Amazon here:

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