How did you find your agent?
I was introduced to my agent, Rachelle Gardner with WordServe Literary by a mutual friend four years ago who was represented by the same agency and we hit it off right away. Rachelle loves thrillers and in particular my style of thriller. There are lots of ways to find an agent but doing a lot of research beforehand is definitely the best way to go. Who likes the very specific genre you’re working in and has repped similar books? Then get the elevator pitch down and put that in the opening paragraph. Not ‘why this story is great’ but why this book will sell. Writing is this wonderful art form that has to mesh with the nuts and bolts of business. There’s nothing wrong with that and being able to do that can even result in a better book.
What do you do when you get writers block?
I have things I do to prevent writers block especially since I write based on deadlines and the other end really doesn’t care about my lack of a muse. I never end a writing day at the end of a chapter. While things are still hot I write the first page of the next chapter. I make extensive notes about the backgrounds of the characters, the era they live in and what they’re struggling with and use those notes to move forward. And, if I really need to I have a couple of people I can call who will talk plot with me as if the characters existed. Like fictional gossip and that helps to get me going.
How many hours a week do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?
My entire work week consists of writing whether it’s for me or someone else (I also ghost write books and write interactive web copy and SEO) I edit as I write and then put down the piece for a day and come back to edit more. Procrastination to me is just the mind’s way of mulling things over and spitting something creative back out to put down on paper.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish on average?
I’ve been writing for a long time, which means there was raising of children and taking care of parents and other life events that took some mixing in as well. With that in mind it takes me about 8 months to finish a thriller so that it’s ready for Rachelle to see.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on The Keeper, the sequel to The List, which Rachelle is currently showing to publishers. It’s a thriller about a happy American family caught between two old political powers that have always existed behind the scenes, invisible to most of the public. The sides have battled over control for hundreds of years, actively recruiting new members at a young age to groom them for politics, Wall Street, corporate corner offices and the military. However, families find out a little too late that once they’ve joined, there’s no ‘out’ clause.
Wallis Jones is the wife of Norman, mother to Ned and a successful attorney living the good life but she’s about to find out that she’s also a pawn in the deadly games of two powerful global secret societies at war with each other and her loved ones are the ultimate prize.
Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.
I have belonged to small writers groups in the past where we critiqued a chapter every month of each other’s work and I found that to be very helpful. It gave me outside opinions and an artificial deadline. But I’m on my 8th or 9th book (6th of my own – the rest were ghost written) and I let Rachelle see it first these days.
Which is the most important social media platform and why? Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, or any other one you use.
I’m on all of them including LibraryThing and Shelfari and I think it’s important to make a presence on all of them but remember to not make myself crazy. I have them all interconnected, along with my mystery blog www.marthacarr.com so that I don’t have as much repetition and I try to be a listener on those sites as well as a content provider.
What are three resources/web sites that are indispensable for authors?
Rachelle’s web site, www.RachelleGardner.com has won awards for three years in a row from Readers Digest and packs in information about how to get published, how to market yourself as an author. www.NovelPublicity.com does a great job of showing people how to use social media to their advantage in new and clever, cost-effective ways and www.FundsforWriters.com by Hope Clark is one of the oldest writer sites that includes jobs, grants, news, publishers and agent info.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Wired is an amazing thriller and when it first came out I went on a country-wide book tour dotting the entire country. Every time I did an appearance someone came up to me clutching the book and would then lean in to tell me a secret they had kept for years that was swallowing up their life. The look of release and joy on their face was magical and left me feeling humbled that they entrusted me with their secret. I always encouraged them to go and tell others and really set themselves free. Plus, I love how many times reviewers have said the book scared them till they had to lock the front door or check the windows. That’s what I hope for as a thriller author – not gross you out or horrify you – slowly scare you by what you’re worried may come next.
Enter to win 1 of 3 free paperback copies of this novel on the official Wired blog tour page. The winner of the give-away will be announced on Wednesday, October 26 – be sure to enter before then! Just can't wait to read Wired? Pick up your copy in the Kindle, Nook, or iTunes stores or visit Smashwords with the coupon code AK95A to receive a discounted price (just $2)!
Don't forget to vote for my blog, Indie Writers Zone, in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins an Amazon gift card and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Wired blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.
Learn more about this author by visiting her website, Facebook or GoodReads pages or by connecting with her on Twitter. You'll definitely want to check out Martha's Mystery Blog--each week a new short thriller is serialized Monday through Friday. The entries are nice and short, easy to read via smart phone or tablet. It's all at www.MarthaCarr.com.