Today I am pleased to welcome author, Martin Lott. Like myself, Martin spent time growing up in the small village of Horley in Surrey, and it was through Facebook Memories of Horley that I first discovered his work. Martin has come along today to talk about his writing so without further ado, over to him.
Writing and Music
I have always been an avid reader and writer. I wrote my first book (albeit a short one!) at the tender age of seven.
I am driven by an almost restless need to be creative and in doing so, have two outlets: writing and music. More on the music later…
It probably helps that I have a genuine passion for language, and in particular the written word. I try to find different ways to describe the ordinary. I cannot draw so aim to paint pictures with words, e.g. clouds infused with gloom scatter like shredded angels; a crimson tide of poppies swayed and bled into the fields; buttercups shimmering like planted sunshine.
Throughout school, my English teachers hoped I’d secure employment as a writer in some capacity, possibly as a journalist. In the event, I spent ten years working in local government before emigrating (temporarily) to Australia. I then juggled working in a restaurant with songwriting and working on manuscripts which eventually became The Witchetty Men and Ethereal Wood. I even attempted a script for a play – The Condemned.
I tried to obtain a traditional publishing deal, but to no avail.
Fast-forward several years. I met Scottish author Gordon Brown (whose work includes the Craig McIntyre series) in a bar in Jávea, Spain. At the time, I didn’t know who he was, but we struck up a conversation over a couple of beers. He inspired me. Thank you, Gordon.
I now have a cottage industry. My son and daughter have helped me to type, edit, and proofread The Witchetty Men and Ethereal Wood, now available on Amazon. Both books are stand-alone fantasy adventures, and have sold modestly but steadily, and for this I am truly grateful.
As I don’t have an agent or a publicist, I promote them as best I can via social media and the local press. I even did a leaflet drop in an attempt to boost publicity.
My work-in-progress novel is titled Aldred, and explores some dark themes, pushes boundaries, and asks questions which do not always have answers. It possesses a haunting, fragile beauty with contradictions and contrasts. I like plot twists, so it will have plenty.
My approach to writing is to firstly be absolutely certain that I have a worthwhile story to be told. Then I need to be certain that I can tell it. I always have the beginning and ending written. The hardest part is filling in the gaps! I tend to find that my characters suggest or create their own situations and scenarios. Like a complex game of chess where the pieces come to life. Sometimes I write in a flurry, other times at a more measured pace. Whichever works best at the time is right.
I am old-fashioned, so I write everything longhand. I have a story plan, and a separate notebook in which I add ideas, plots, phrases, or just a particular word which appeals to me. Not all are used, but I would rather have too much than too little.
I don’t write with a target readership in mind. Perhaps I should, but really I write for myself, with the hope that others may enjoy what I do.
Songwriting is my other creative outlet, and occupies a similar space in my head to book writing. The two are different, but they don’t feel that different to me. I have written about 250 songs, as well as composing music for theatre.
My play The Condemned eventually made the quantum leap from page to stage when it was performed at the Courtyard Theatre in London last year.
Many thanks for your kind invitation to be Tuesday Guest, Patricia.
Thank you, Martin, for coming along today and sharing those details about your writing and music. How wonderful to have seen your script come to life and performed in London. ‘Aldred’ sounds fascinating. I hope you’ll return to ‘Patricia’s Pen’ once it’s ready for publication.
About Martin Lott
Martin grew up in Horley, Surrey. He lived in Perth, Western Australia for a few years and now lives in Littlehampton with his family and cat. He works as a payroll officer for a local NHS trust.
Martin enjoys travelling and has a particular affinity with Australia (his eldest daughter lives in Brisbane) and Spain.
In addition to writing and songwriting, he is attempting to learn Spanish whilst re-learning French.
You can purchase Martin’s books via the following links