Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
My name is Martini Fisher, and I couldn’t really remember a time where I did not want to write. My dad worked from home quite a bit when we were young, so he usually gave us books to keep us quiet. I always thought that one day I’d be writing one of those books.
I started writing stories as soon as I could write short sentences, but never really took this whole writing business seriously until I sent off a short story to a writing competition and surprisingly got an honorable mention (I was 19, I think). Then I sort of get the idea that maybe I can do something with it.
I studied Ancient History in college which turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. 1. I had to write a lot of essays – therefore, I had to get into the habit of writing every day, 2. There was a lot of research involved. So that killed a lot of the insecurities I had about whether my writing was good enough because the facts come first. 3. Face it, Ancient History is not a terribly popular subject, so to explain a narration/concept/event, I had learn to be very very clear when I aim to write for people who don’t study it as extensively as I did. That involved a good knowledge of structure and creativity with words.
… And now history and history-related stories are pretty much all I write, but at least I know I’ll never run out of ideas.
Tell us about your books.
My very first published work was a little series called “Wayang: Stories of the Shadow Puppets” which is now on its second volume. In it, I break down and really simplify the ancient stories which are usually told in the traditional Javanese puppetry for modern readers who may or may not be well-versed in South East Asian mythology. With Dr. R.K Fisher, I am also working on another series of world history books called “Time Maps” where we sort of combine our expertise and revisit all the histories that have caught our interests from the prehistoric time to the study of history itself.
How did you go about getting published?
I started of with self-publishing. I believe it’s more beneficial for me personally in the long run.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
As this is my job, I keep normal office hours. Although, the perk maybe that I get to sleep-in every once in a while, but I would generally keep a 9-5 schedule of sitting in my desk either writing, doing promotions or admins for my books. I put in a minimal of 8 hours a day.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I read a lot. My current hobby is to try reading books that are very different from the things I’d write such as shifter romance novels, which I didn’t even know existed until a couple of months back, but they’re brilliant!
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Research and have ideas of what you and your audience want. You’d most likely hire a designer to do it for you, but it’ll be so much easier come up with a good cover if you can give reasonable inputs to your designer and be open to their ideas as well, rather than leaving everything up to them. They’re professionals, but they’re not mind readers.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
As much as possible, treat yourself and your book as a business. Come up with a set schedule, budget, and strategies, build your contact list and networks and decide on your targets. And don’t forget to do more writing.
What’s your favorite book?
“I, Claudius” by Robert Graves. Actually, anything by Robert Graves.
What are you reading now?
“The Slaughtered Virgin of Zenopolis” by David Blake. I quite like it. It’s great fun.
What’s your next book project?
Right now I’m plugging the second book of “Time Maps”, called “Time Maps: Australia, Early Sea Voyages and Invasions” – In a few weeks I will continue writing the third book of the series which will deal with the evolution of languages and writings.