1. This week is national book week in Scotland. Speaking of Scottish talent, are there any authors that inspired the creation of your book?
I’d say I was more inspired by the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve gone through. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing! Scotland is brimming with creative talent, not only in writing but in acting, directing, music and art as well. It can be tougher to make it when you’re so far away from the opportunities in London but it certainly doesn’t stop us from trying!
2. Have you always wanted to become an author?
I’ve always got a thrill out of making up stories and loved living in an imaginary world and daydreaming when I was a kid. As I got older, I went into the music industry, writing and performing with Eric and The Bunny Boilers. The music side of it was an amazing experience that taught me a lot. I got to play T in the Park and support bands like Spandau Ballet. We even featured on Placebo’s Androgyny DVD, Radio 1, BBC, ITV and done some charity things for Save The Children. After that, I studied Creative Industries for Television and started writing scripts for film and TV. I founded Braw TV and Bad Pony Productions, companies that went on to win a Scottish Sun Variety Nomination, a Scottish Bafta nomination and a future 100 award, to name a few. It took a lot more research and practise before I was ready to start my first book though! But writing is an amazing experience and something I feel is built into me.
3. What drew you to the horror genre?
I absolutely love the horror genre, especially anything with a gothic undertone. I am drawn to old buildings, and castles and anything really dark that holds that kind of curious energy. I visit as many places like that as possible and always really enjoy exploring ruins, imagining what the atmosphere was like when it was fully functioning hundreds of years ago. I’m drawn to the psychology of horror, as opposed to traditional supernatural tales (though I enjoy those too!). I can relate to tragedy and adversity because of my childhood, so I can write these stories with a hint of realism, especially in the emotions of the characters. I draw on a lot of what I’ve been through.
4. Do you have any favourite horror reads of your own?
I love anything Stephen King and V.C Andrews Flowers in the Attic series. My favourite thing lately is true crime podcasts and shows like Evil Lives Here, where you’re getting a glimpse into the psyche of murderers. What attracts me most to the idea of horror is the human element. What drives people? What pushes people? How does that come about?
5. How did it feel when you held your first book?
Holding my first book was a surreal experience. It definitely felt like a privilege to have made it to that point because it wasn’t an easy process from start to finish. I loved the feeling of holding it in my hands. It was finally out of my head and a real, tangible thing. Something I could share with other people and something to show for a lot of hard work.
6. Do you have any plans for a follow-up book?
The sequel to Evil Is is called Evil Does, and is self-published and available on Amazon Kindle right now by clicking here! I’m working on the third and final instalment in the series and love how it’s shaping up! I’m also working on a separate book called My Mother My Monster, about my childhood growing up with abusive alcoholics and my struggle for justice when I took my mother to court for historic abuse. It’s a work in progress and something recently having my first child has really made me view it from a slightly different perspective.
If you would like to purchase a copy of M. J. Martin's book, please look here!