Next up in the rebrand line up is the wonderful Hemmie Martin. I met Hemmie a few years ago at a signing in Peterborough, now I’ve gotten to know her through social media, I’ve read a few of Hemmie’s books and loved them. This weekend I get to see Hemmie again at the #DarkerSideOfFiction signing in Peterborough & I really can’t wait! I’m so excited.
Hemmie has kindly donated a signed paperback copy of Rightful Owner & bookmark for a giveaway, but due to postage costs this will be UK only, sorry to all my non-uk followers but there will be plenty of other giveaways coming up.
An Interview With Hemmie Martin!
Me: I want to take a moment to welcome you to Lou’s Luscious Book Blog and to thank you for agreeing to take part in my relaunch/rebrand event.
Before we get into the actual interview questions please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hemmie: Hello Lou, thank you for having me on your lovely rebranded blog. I am currently living in Essex but hope to move to Norfolk in the future, where I have lived before. I have moved around the country a fair bit in the past for nursing posts, and when I was sixteen I lived in the south of France with my family, for six years. My home is more peaceful for writing now my two daughters are at university.
Before I became a full-time writer, I worked as a community nurse for people with learning disabilities, a family planning nurse, and a forensic mental health nurse working with young offenders. These jobs have helped shape my novels in one way or another.
Lets start with the Writing Related Questions:
What made you want to write?
Ill health gave me the time to write my first novel – which will never be published; call it a learning exercise – and then I became hooked on writing.
What drew you to genre of books do you write? Would you ever consider writing a different genre? If so which one?
My first unpublished novel was contemporary fiction, but I realised that my mind was darker than I first thought, so I wrote a psychological thriller. I always said I would never write crime or a series, but ended up with a DI Wednesday series, so I can never say never about any other genre in the future!
Do you outline the whole story before you begin writing or just roll with the flow?
When I write crime, I write a large mind map so I can keep track of the plot, sub-plots, and red herrings. When writing contemporary fiction, it tends to be more free-flowing, although I know the denouement for each character, although that can change as the book progresses.
How do you research when writing your books?
Mental health has always been an interest of mind, hence my career path, so I draw on my nursing experience, and ask hubs questions who is also a mental health nurse. I also refer to mental health websites as the topic is always progressing.
For my crime series, I have a DI in the Met police force who is happy to answer my questions about procedures and gives me general guidance.
For my current wip, I’m heading off to the Tate Modern for research purposes – plus a trip to Borough Market for some culinary delights afterwards.
I used my memories of living in France for my novel, ‘Garlic & Gauloises’, and I use the internet to research any topic I happen to be writing about that I know very little about.
Where do you get your character inspiration from? Are any of your characters based on real people? If so, can you tell us which characters?
I don’t base my characters on real people, but I do take snippets of behaviours and idiosyncrasies of people I see around me or know.
When you’re writing do the characters talk to you? Do they tell you what they want to happen?
That has happened in the past, but currently, I feel in charge of what’s happening to the characters – I have conversations with them, but I am the creator.
Who is your least favorite character to write or that you have written and why? Who is your favourite character to write or that you have written and why?
I’m not sure I have a character I haven’t enjoyed writing – if I dislike them, they are deleted! My favourite characters to write are the antagonists. I thoroughly enjoyed creating bad-man Walker in ‘Attic of the Mind’ and the dislikeable Theo in ‘Garlic & Gauloises’.
If you could collaborate with any author alive or dead who would it be & why?
Ooh, good question, Lou! I would love to work with Anita Brookner, who is now sadly deceased. I absolutely adore the way she writes and the characters she creates – I would learn so much from working with her.
Do you have people to use as a sounding board?
I use hubs and my mum, as I know both are not afraid to give me honest feedback – which is obviously what I’m looking for.
How do/did your family feel when your first book was published?
They were excited to see my first novel, ‘The Divine Pumpkin’, but now I have eight out, they seem rather blasé about the whole issue. I’m rather envious when I see photos of authors celebrating the publication of a novel with bubbly or flowers. I think I will only have that if a novel becomes a great success in one way or another.
Next up the Quick Fire Questions:
Sweet or Savoury?
Salted caramel – so sweet and savoury together!
I absolutely adore Salted Caramel!!
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chilli aubergine and lentil dahl.
I’ve never tried that, but it sounds lovely. I might have to look for a recipe for it.
Coffee during the day and toffee vodka in the evening.
MMMM… Coffee & Vodka…
Good Guy or Bad Boy?
Maybe I’m boring, but I’m more of a good guy girl.
Favourite Vacation Spot?
Es Cana – there’s a great hippy market there, with affordable silver jewellery.
Lastly some General Questions:
What is your favourite movie? TV show/series?
Oh, this a very hard question, as it depends what kind of mood I’m in. I love the film, ‘Love Actually’, but I also adore the modern series of Agatha Christie novels. However, I’m utterly delighted that, ‘Task Master’, has returned to TV, as it’s so funny and I get to spend an hour with Greg Davies, who I absolutely adore *sigh*.
What is your favourite music? (Genre or band/group/person)
This is much like the question above – it depends on my mood! Currently I’m listening to Birdy’s two albums as her music sits well with the current contemporary novel I’m writing. Music without lyrics is preferable when I’m editing, so I enjoy listening to classical music, Irish dance music, or sounds of the sea.
My music choice is very mood dependant too, but I love a bit of Michael Bublé and classical too.
Do you enjoy reading? If so what do you like to read? What are you reading at the minute?
I have always loved reading, and feel it’s an essential pastime if you’re an author. I’m going to Budapest in a few days, and I can’t decide whether to take, ‘A Start in Life’, by Anita Brookner, or, ‘Olive Kitteridge’, by Elizabeth Strout. The former is quite a thin book, so I think I may take the latter, even though I’m only going for three nights, as I hate being bored whilst flying.
Describe your perfect weekend?
Time to write and to read in the sunshine by the sea, followed by a meal in a restaurant, then finishing the night in a pub watching a rock covers band.
If you could be any age, what age would you be and why?
Thirty-two, as I was happy with my life and my figure!
When you’re not writing what do you like to do?
Apart from reading, I love going to pubs to watch rock covers bands, as I see so many friends, and enjoy a night dancing and singing along loudly! I also love playing with Alfie, my pure white kitten – does that make me a white witch?
I’m not sure, would it be a bad thing if you were?
Actually, thinking about it, no it doesn’t matter; perhaps I could drum up some spells to sort out the crazy world we’re currently living in.
When you were at school what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a policewoman.
What freaks you out or gives you the heebie jeebies?
Snap and Snakes!
Do you have any strange habits? Fancy sharing any?
I always check under my pillow for spiders before I settle down to sleep.
What is your earliest memory, that you’re comfortable sharing?
Listening to, ‘Leaving on a jet plane’ by Peter, Paul and Mary on the radio when I lived in Marlow Bottom in Buckinghamshire. I was about four-years-old at the time.
If you were stranded on a desert island and had food and drink, what 5 things would you want with you and why?
A kindle with a thousand novels on, my reading glasses, sunscreen, can Alfie, my kitten, be counted as ‘a thing’? (I’m going with ‘yes’!), and my yoga mat.
Can you list 5 things (non-author) related that we may or may not already know about you?
I speak French fluently, after living there for six years; I used to be good at Makaton – sign language for people with learning disabilities; I like watching cricket; in my youth I played the clarinet, classical guitar and piano; I have replacement ligaments in my left knee after a skiing accident many moons ago.
My other half plays guitar – electric & acoustic, electric bass guitar, drums & keyboard. I on the other hand; don’t have a musical bone in my body; unless wailing in the car to songs counts?!!
Finally is there anything else that would like us to know? Maybe a little snippet of you current WIP, or latest release?
Snippet of ‘The Reluctant Mother’
Hemmie, thank you for taking the time to join me and my readers today! It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the blog. 🙂 <3 Keep reading for a look at Hemmie’s books, where to find them, where you can follow & connect with Hemmie & for your chance to win a signed paperback of Rightful Owner by Hemmie Martin!
The Reluctant Mother:
Postnatal psychosis strips Colette of her early time with her baby, shreds her sanity, and almost destroys her marriage. When suicide seems the only option, Colette must face her limitations and move forward with demons clinging to every aspect of her life, whilst desperately trying to hold on to what she dearly loves.
Attic Of The Mind:
The time is right for Lilith Fields to seek revenge. Twenty-five years have passed since the sadistic abuser tortured the patients of the psychiatric ward, and now Lily has decided he must meet his final judgment. As her plan unfolds she discovers she is not the only one with a dark secret. Now, only time will tell if Lily’s demons will be vanquished, and just how many people are really involved.
Garlic & Gauloises:
Alice Calwin finds herself without purpose in life after the death of her mother, whom she’d been caring for following a stroke. Theo Edwards, a literary journalist, has a sour outlook on life, bolstered by his ongoing divorce, and is feeling the pressure to revitalise his column in the newspaper. They encounter one another at a writers’ retreat in France, but Alice’s shameful past and Theo’s deceptive reasons for being there end up affecting them both in very different ways. When someone finally acknowledges their mistakes, is it ever too late to make amends?
Forensic Nurse Paloma Parker seems to have her life in order. She is a successful career woman who is intelligent and confident in her abilities, but she just can’t seem to have a meaningful romantic relationship. Her newest patient, an incarcerated juvenile named Ella, has a connection to her that is fully realized when Paloma’s family secret is revealed. As Ella yearns for inner peace and Paloma searches for love, these two women may just hold the key to each other’s very different kinds of freedom.
D.I. Wednesday Series: (featuring DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox, set in and around Cambridge, with fictional villages. There are four books in the series so far.)
In The Light OF Madness:
A murdered boy in a Cambridgeshire graveyard sets in motion an investigation into the local church and school, with suspicions of a cult murmured throughout the community. With their first case, DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox explore the various levels of desperation and malice that can stem from an unhappy or dissatisfied life, where no one takes responsibility for their actions. They quickly find that everyone harbours a secret which, left uncontrolled, can bring forth devastating self-destruction.
When a murder occurs in an exclusive swingers’ club, DI Wednesday and DS Lennox find themselves immersed in a murky world of sex and secrets. It doesn’t take long for the members to turn on one another, and for their clandestine affairs to come crashing into their everyday lives. As Wednesday experiences the pressures of work and caring for her mother’s mental illness, and Lennox’s ex-wife has him worrying about the sustainability of his role as a father, their case brings about questions of personal freedom and they begin to wonder if we are all, in fact, owned in one way or another.
Shadows In The Mind:
The death of a patient in a psychiatric unit leads DI Eva Wednesday closer to the world she’s been trying to avoid. Attempting to separate paranoid emotions from reality proves challenging, and having her mother in the unit adds another layer of complication. As Wednesday begins to put the pieces of her case together, she is compelled to hold on tightly to her own sanity as the lives of those around her unravel before her eyes.
What Happens After:
What happens after the murder? A killing has occurred during a Parting Ways weekend, where couples make an attempt at divorcing amicably. The fallout points in many directions as Wednesday and Lennox are faced with a widow, sparring couples, the group facilitators, and the hotel staff, all as suspects. While the confounding case strengthens Wednesday’s negative views on relationships, it brings Lennox to a place of reflection as he analyzes his past and contemplates his future.
Hemmie Martin spent most of her professional life as a Community Nurse for people with learning disabilities, a Family Planning Nurse, and a Forensic Mental Health Nurse working with young offenders. She spent six years living in the south of France. She now writes full time.
Hemmie created the DI Wednesday series, featuring DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox, set in and around Cambridge, with fictional villages. There are four books in the series so far. Hemmie has also written a psychological thriller, Attic of the Mind, and three contemporary women’s fiction, The Reluctant Mother, The Divine Pumpkin and Garlic & Gauloises. Mental health often features in her novels due to her background in forensic mental health nursing. Hemmie is a member of The Crime Writer’s Association.
Enter below for your chance to win a signed paperback copy of Rightful Owner and a bookmark.
PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A UK ONLY GIVEAWAY!