Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Please Welcome Back Mystery Author Mike Martin

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Mike Martin

We are delighted to welcome back author Mike Martin to Omnimystery News today.

Mike's latest mystery in his Sgt. Windflower series is A Long Ways from Home (FriesenPress; August 2016 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we asked him to tell us more about his writing process. He titles his guest post for us today, "The Joys of Writing".

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Mike Martin
Photo provided courtesy of
Mike Martin

Sometimes writing feels like a task, a chore that I have to do. It feels like work. That's not always a bad thing when you are a freelance writer. It's good to work if you like to eat. But when my creative or fiction writing starts to feel like work, I remind myself of some of the joys of writing.

First of all, I get to let my imagination run wild. Not that wild!! But free, that's a better word for it. I get to create imaginary characters in an imaginary world and invite people to come visit. I make up imaginary friends and they become other people's friends as well. That's pretty cool. When I meet people who have read some of the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries they often talk to me about the characters they like, as if they were real. That's because to them, and certainly to me, they are real.

Secondly, I get to see some of my innermost thoughts displayed in public on bookstore shelves and in public libraries. People actually pay money or walk to the library to check out what I have written. The sheer pleasure of seeing your book on the shelf between Margaret Maron and Peter May is pretty awesome. But to see someone walking out of the library with their book under their arm is a gift that no money or fame could buy. It cannot help but make you feel a little humble and a whole lot grateful.

Thirdly, people don't just take your books into their homes, they take them into their lives. I've had many people write or tell me how much they enjoyed the last book or how much they are looking forward to the next Sgt. Windflower Mystery. Others have told me that they felt calm and relaxed when they were reading the stories, as if they were walking along beside Windflower and his partner Sheila. Or imagining the meals that they were eating and even trying out some for themselves.

Just recently I got a message from a reader who told me the sad news of her mother's passing. She was not looking forward to the next few days and saying goodbye, but she had the new Windflower book, and said that at least would give her something pleasant to look forward to when those hard days were over. And last year I got a phone call from a reader on the east coast who called to tell me how much she liked the series and that she had shared the books with a friend who was suffering from cancer. That friend had to go through the misery of chemotherapy, but before they went they would read a few chapters from one of my books. That relaxed them enough to go through the pain and come through to the other side.

I don't share these stories to say how great my books are but to show the power we as writers have to collectively bring some joy to a world that is desperately in need of it. And to remind myself and fellow writers that the gifts we receive from writing far outweigh any time or effort or work we put into them. Keep writing and finding the joy in writing. And remember the great Agatha Christie who said "Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well."

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Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at SgtWindflowerMysteries.com and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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A Long Ways from Home by Mike Martin

A Long Ways from Home by Mike Martin

A Sgt. Windflower Mystery

Publisher: FriesenPress

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook Format

A weekend visit to picturesque Newfoundland by a large crew of outlaw bikers leaves behind another mess for Sgt. Windflower to clean up. This time he's facing violence, murder, mystery and intrigue. This adventure has Windflower questioning everything he thought he knew. There are troubles on the home front, cutbacks in the policing budget, old friends leaving and new ones not quite here yet. Windflower is seeking to find answers in territory that is both dangerous and unfamiliar.

Along the way he never wavers in his pursuit of justice. But he stills tries to find a way to enjoy the natural beauty that lays all around him, and to bring out the best from everybody he meets.

A Long Ways from Home is about more than just homicides or the dirty dealings of outlaw bikers. It is also about helping people and communities face up to and overcome new and very difficult challenges. Windflower relies on his friends and allies, including some four-legged ones, to help him and them find the answers. He also discovers that we are never really alone, even when we are a long ways from home.

A Long Ways from Home by Mike Martin

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