Over a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting this weeks Spotlight Author, Angie Martin, at a signing in Kansas City. Now I get to introduce y’all to her.
Multi-award-winning, best-selling author Angie Martin relies on her Kansas upbringing to add a certain Midwest, small-town creepiness to her work. She has released several novels and short stories in suspense/thriller and horror genres, some with a unique paranormal or supernatural edge. She currently resides in the Tennessee, where she is working hard and losing sleep over her latest novel.
1. When and how did you find your love for horror/thrillers?
I’ve loved being scared ever since I was a child. I remember the tunnel scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and being terrified. Then, I read a Toad and Frog book with a short scary story for kids, and I was hooked. In 8th grade, I read my first Stephen King and it was all over for me!
2. What did you find scares you more the supernatural or the evil within a person? Why?
Definitely the evil within a person. There are evil people in the world now and in the past who have done truly terrible things that most of us wouldn’t dream of. There is nothing that can top that because even for those who don’t believe in paranormal or supernatural, they still know that people are real and the evils that people can bestow upon each other are horrifying.
3. If you ventured into another genre which would you choose and what would be the deciding factor?
So I am currently venturing into the genre of romantic comedy. It’s a story that I wrote, then a friend of mine and I turned it into a screenplay. After that, he left movies and gave the rights back to me. He much later passed away, so it’s the right time to get this book done. It’s also called Getting Over Joe, so yeah, there’s that little fun with your hubby haha.
4. What is your favorite horror icon? Who do you find as the most intriguing serial killer? Do you ever use them or the characteristics in your books?
My favorite horror icon is Mike Flanagan – he’s not an actor portraying a killer or monster, but a director. His horror speaks more to me than anyone.
Most intriguing serial killer has to be BTK, Dennis Rader. I grew up in Wichita, so his killer name was everywhere. He was quiet during the time I lived there, he had just gone dark when we moved there in 2nd grade, and he came back up after I had just moved away, but I was never more affected by a real life serial killer due to proximity. I still get goosebumps and tear up when I watch the news conference where they announced he was arrested!
I always try to create unique characters, but I know that my killers and monsters do have influence injected in them, at least subconsciously. There’s no way around it!
5. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever had to research for a book?
For False Security, I attended a counseling session for violent domestic offenders who had been convicted at least two times of domestic violence. The sessions were mandated for them, and really opened my eyes to how to write a certain character in False Security and, later, False Hope.
6. How did your son, Christian, come to create music for The Chronicler and Mr. Smith?
Christian has always been incredibly talented in music. I play piano, and have since I was young, and also write music – so he gets it from me ha ha. He picked up one of my guitars when he was in 8thgrade with no training and in a week, he was playing Guns and Roses. I immediately got him into guitar lessons, and he took them for three months I believe before we moved out of state. From there, he’s entirely self-taught: guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, singing, screaming. I really wanted something special for The Chronicler and Mr. Smith, something not really done in our industry, so I approached him, told him what songs I loved listening to while writing, and he came up with that song. His best friend and my other “son”, David, plays drums on the track. I titled the song, Vengeance Divided, and it all came together to define Mr. Smith’s character even more than how I wrote him.
7. Have you ever had a story idea that was too graphic to release? Is there a story idea that you would love to come alive but fear it would mess with your own mind?
My short story Sissy did that for me when I wrote it. I was grinning as I wrote the ending, and that kind of scared me! But yeah, I definitely have some other stories that would mess with my mind, and I do plan on doing them. I love to push myself as far as I can go.
8. Who is your favorite character from another author that you wish you had created? What draws you to that character?
This is incredibly hard, because there are so many amazingly talented authors out there. I have to say, there’s not one character I wish I could have created first, even though I’m stunned by some characters. But there is a concept that a friend came up with that I wish I had thought of first. Max Lemuz isn’t published yet, but if he doesn’t publish this idea, I’ll be very upset! Lol… I won’t reveal it here, but it’s brilliant!!!
9. Is it hard to switch off the editor side of you while writing a first draft?
Definitely, but I’ve also continued to improve my writing to where my first drafts are mostly where I want them to be. Every author who pushes themselves and continues to learn and improve find themselves in that position. But, I do edit as I go, which is hard!
10. Where do you draw inspiration for your books from?
Mainly the world around us. I’ve taken inspiration from real life (like for Conduit) all the way to dreams (The Chronicler and Mr. Smith). Video games also inspired two of my books – The Chronicler and Mr. Smith and The Boys Club. And of course, Supernatural inspired The Chronicler and Mr. Smith. Can you tell how much fun I had writing that book? 😉