Today we have with us author Cee Martinez for an interview. I learned about Cee through another author who sent me a book Notes From Underground, an anthology written by various authors. Cee's story was the first one and I loved it so much I had to reach out to her find out some more about her. We have written back and forth a few times and then I asked her to do an interview. So without further ado, here is my interview with Cee Martinez.
1. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes! As early as I could start writing I liked ripping pages from spiral notebooks and gluing them together to make "books" to write and illustrate. I remember the joy of being in elementary school and putting a finished story into the "publish bin" and seeing it the next week on my desk laminated and spiral bound.
It's always felt like I've had words caught on my chest and throat that I need to relieve by putting them on paper. I feel such a relief almost to the point of disinterest as soon as it's finished because I no longer need to worry about "getting it out" of me.
2. I looked over your books that you have written and you seem to lean toward short stories (my favorite genre). Why that genre?
I get a ton of satisfaction from crafting tiny worlds and setting 'em loose. They're mini-victories and make me feel good about myself. They're totally the one night stands with no-regret mornings of writing manuscripts.
3. I found out about you through author Judy Croome. She sent me a copy of "Notes From The Underground". You of course know yours was the first story and I loved it. Can you tell us a little about it.
The germ of the story began because I tend to look at families, beautiful families--the sort that could easily appear on a catalog ad and I often find myself imagining how much dysfunction they could be sitting on behind closed doors and still find the energy to present a public smile.
The ending scene of the story was what I wrote towards. I had the image stuck in my mind of a young boy staring in confusion at an embracing couple and I wanted to know why he felt so betrayed, and I needed to know who they were and how their actions were hurting him.
The characters in the story now recur throughout my short stories, so I am always exploring what's going on in their lives as if it were scenes from a soap opera.
Stevie is at that age where there is so much hope and promise in the world, and that is often the prime moment when everything gets pulled out from under a child. Alice is a quiet, and friendly young woman whose actions can seem like a betrayal to a younger boy, but to an adult, she is obviously being victimized.
Then there remains the dynamic between Maggie and Stephen, and how a simple thing like giving away a beloved pet is a sign of a much more serious problem.
4. How was it collaborating with other authors and were you familiar with any of them when you worked on "Notes From The Underground"?
I found out about the anthology through a Twitter friend who was posting about it. From there I learned about the submission process and after my writing sample got me accepted, I was able to meet and follow the other writers participating. At the time, I had only been published in a handful of small online e-zines and so I found the other writer's body of work and talent to be intimidating and inspiring.
Once I began getting to know them better through their facebook pages and twitters, I began to see how human and funny and open they were and it did wonders in stripping my shyness away about being around the big dogs!
5. Who are your influences?
My biggest influences in writing have to be the works of David Sedaris, Anais Nin, Daphne Dumaurier, and Anne Rice. Anything by Davids Lynch and Croenenberg juices me up as well.
What I love the most are writers and artists who take settings and characters who could be so mundane on paper, and they find the bizarre and the tragic within them. The suburbs is a weird place to grow up because everything is supposed to be so quiet and perfect and it's ALWAYS messed up. I like writers who GET that.
6. What has been your happiest moment as a writer so far?
When I won the League of Extraordinary Author's flash fiction contest with my story "Little Wooden Hands". I lost the popular vote for it and thought it was over but the judges chose it as an overall winner. The prize was a Kindle Fire and I'd never won a prize like that before.
Plus, one of the judges told me he was so certain that the story was already a Hans Christian Anderson tale, that he had to google to make certain it wasn't. So that was a huge compliment to the fairy tale I had constructed.
7. Do you have any particular writing habits?
I do not have any set writing habits. I'm very opportunistic as a writer and I jump at any moment I can steal to write. My life is too hectic to allow a set schedule for writing, so I don't let myself get caught up in any sort of routine. I write when I can, and that's it.
8. Are you able to remember your ideas for you stories or do you carry something around to write your ideas down?
If a story roots itself in my brain it stays there. I don't often jot down initial story ideas until I'm ready to start serious work on it. If it's meant to be it stays in my brain until I can call upon it. If I've forgotten it, then... well... it's gone and I'm not too bothered.
9. Where do you like to write? For example, at a nice desk, out on the patio, in a nearby park, etc.
I'll write anywhere, baby. I ain't picky!
10. What are you working on now?
I am working on a cracked out modernization of the novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses". The characters are all members of a hockey team and I'm working on mixing in fantasy, romance, suspense, and supernatural elements to it. It's possible I'm having a nervous breakdown and this is the result. If the story works and catches an audience I'll just pretend I knew all along it would work.
11. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I love all of you taking the time to read this and who are taking interest in my work. Anytime I log onto my reports and see that someone has downloaded one of my e-books, or bought a physical copy, I feel like everything I've ever wanted since I was a small child has come true. Thank you so much.
Wow that was a great interview. I always believe you can tell how much authors love their work by their interview answers. Cee loves to write! In reading her short story from Notes From Downunder I am looking forward to reading more books by her.
If you are interested in Cee Martinez and her works, check out the following links:
Twitter: Click here - Cee says "I am always on twitter and can be easily reached there. follow me and watch me go insane!"
Facebook: Click here
Amazon Author Page: Click here
Link to Cee's book Antipathia: Click here
Blog: Click here
I just want to thank Cee Martinez for coming on my blog to do this interview. I am hoping to read another book by her and interview her about that or have her drop to do a guest post. I hope you all enjoyed reading the interview and that you will visit Cee's social media.