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Interview with C. E. Martin, author of Blood and Stone

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Tell us about Mythical: Blood and Stone (Mythical #3)
Blood and Stone (Mythical #3) is the third book in my military vs mythical/supersoldiers vs supernatural series. It starts with a prehistoric shapeshifter (who managed to survive Book #2) assaulting Alcatraz. His plan is to consume the hearts of the humans imprisoned there, stealing their various abilities and powers. During this raid, he encounters a vampire and rips her heart out, stealing her undead powers as well. The military unit in the series responds, but it’s too late. The shapeshifter has fled to Mexico where he sets himself up as Kukulcan, trying to gather followers and sacrifices. Meanwhile, Alcatraz’s vampire has recovered and joins the team for revenge against the shapeshifter who stole her heart. The question is, can she work with the team’s leader- the man who put her in Alcatraz forty years ago.

What genre would you say these novels are?
Horror/Dark Fantasy with a lot of Scifi. I like to call it Pulp-Horror, but that doesn’t seem to be a real category… yet.

So what kind of readers do you expect it to appeal to?
I added a vampire into the third book for folks who like a different take on vampires. Without giving too much away, the team’s new vampire is a doctor- and she’s learned to do more than just kill with her undead powers. Anyone who likes Doc Savage, Remo Williams or any of the over-the-top, action-packed pulps should enjoy this. Fans of modern supernatural action should enjoy it too, although I’d have to caution that this isn’t a romantic, coming of age tale, but a sometimes-brutal action story packed with horrifying violence and a more realistic take on the whole magic and paranormal abilities genre.

How long did it take to write?
About two months. I got delayed due to the rigors of real life, otherwise I’d have hammered it out in about half that time. True pulps were written and released surprisingly fast and it shows. I try to embrace that with meticulous planning, fast writing and little changes or rewrites in my editing. Spending too much time on revisions would take away from that haphazard, reckless abandon the pulps were written with.

What was the most challenging part of your creative process?
Adding in the story elements that go with a vampire. The first novel in the series (Mythical: Heart of Stone) is almost young adult- two teens stumble into the semi-hidden world of soldiers and the supernatural, and end up joining the military unit that protects America.

In book two (Mythical: Brothers in Stone), there is much more emphasis on the combat and clash of titans that the general public is blissfully unaware of.

For Blood and Stone, I had to incorporate as much of what vampire readers expect without taking away from the overlying military and pulp themes. For example, the vampire is a bit of flirt, which is a big change from the serious dynamic between the recurring characters. I know vampire fans tend to enjoy the more saucy elements of vampire novels and working sexual tension into a pulp wasn’t easy for me.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a veteran- I served four years in the USAF from 1990-1994 in what was then called the Security Police. After the service, I returned home and tried to stay in the law enforcement profession. I’ve worked for the past sixteen years in criminal justice. Which means I have to struggle to not bring home a lot of horrible stuff I see. I try and spend my time doing stuff as far away from work as possible- like reading pulps, watching cheesy B movies and video gaming. I’ve got two daughters, ages 7 and 13, and that makes the day job rougher, but having a family to go home to does help a lot. Oh, and I’ve got a dog that is obsessed with me and follows me around like a groupie. I kind of took a little bit of that and worked into the vampire character- she has a bit of obsession with another character as well.

How else can we find you on the internet?
I set up a blog for the series, and I’m trying to learn how best to use Facebook. As of now I’m also blogging once a week for the newly relaunched Amazing Stories blog & website.
Twitter: @troglodad.

Where can we buy Blood and Stone?
It’s on Kindle (US, UK) , Nook and everywhere Smashwords distributes.

What’s next? Are there going to be further Mythical books?
I’ve started on Book 4 in the series, have Books 5 & 6 plotted out and have some other projects I’m considering for the year. But my most promising project is a children’s (Middle Grade) Pulp Parody I’m putting together for a small publisher. It’s a complete break from my Mythical series, and is something my kids could read. It’s sidetracked me on Book 4 in the Mythical series, but only for a brief time.

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