Author Interview with Martin J Best

This month on the mystery review crew we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Author Martin J Best! He writes Paranormal mysteries or Ghost Stories, his latest book Hunter & Allen: Paranormal Investigators (part of the Carolyn Hunter series) was released earlier this year. 

A little about Martin J Best: 

Martin J. Best is a native of Torquay, on the English Riviera, where he lives with his wife, Kim, and their dogs, Shadow and Raven. Dubbed Prince of the Paranormal by antipodean author Mark Carnelley, Martin grew up in an actively haunted house, which accounts for his abiding interest in the paranormal. He has had a varied work life, and spent many years running his own mobile disco business. He now writes full-time, and when not working, is a keen walker, music enthusiast, and ghost hunter.

Connect with Martin:

Our Author Interview with Martin J. Best:

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Author Martin J Best

What was the first story or piece of writing you remember creating? How has your writing evolved since then?

The first serious short story that I wrote was a paranormal outing called The Moth Trap. Over many years, it was shelved, rewritten, shelved, rewritten, then finally became my first self-published work. Since then, I have created a considerably more sophisticated paranormal urban fantasy literary world, populated by a team of ghost hunters, various supernatural entities, and Celtic Gods!

Are there any specific authors or books that influenced you early in your writing journey?

In my early teens, I was enormously impressed by Clark Ashton Smith’s Lost Worlds books. I went on to read all of his work, and remain a fan of his extraordinary fantasy and visionary science fiction. Another writer who definitely influenced me, is Mervyn Peake with his Gormenghast trilogy. A castle the size of a city, inhabited by a bizarre cast of characters; what’s not to like?

Are you a planner or a “pantser” (writing by the seat of your pants)? How do you approach structuring your stories?

I think it’s fair to say that I’m more nearly a ‘pantser’! I start each story with a concept, the bare bones of a plot, a few specific events/incidents that I want to include, and go from there. The story evolves as it unfolds, often in ways I didn’t anticipate.

What role does research play in your writing? How do you strike a balance between authenticity and creative freedom?

To date, all of my work is set mostly in and around my home town of Torquay, Devon, UK, which has a rich history dating back approximately forty-four thousand years to the oldest modern humans in Northern Europe. In my writing, I use genuine locations and blend authentic meticulously researched historical events with fiction to create a, hopefully, credible narrative.

Do you have a favorite genre or style to write in, or do you enjoy experimenting with different forms of storytelling?

When I started publishing my books, I described them as supernatural thrillers, but after a little research, it seemed a that the urban fantasy genre was a better fit; with the addition of ‘paranormal’, of course!

What sources of inspiration do you draw upon when crafting your stories? Are there particular life experiences that influence your writing?

I lived in an actively haunted house for the first twelve years of my life, and my experiences there gave me an abiding fascination with the supernatural. I have subsequently had other supernatural encounters, including seeing a full-bodied apparition, and have investigated with paranormal group Haunted Devon. All of these experiences have greatly influenced my writing.

How do you approach writing dialogue to make it feel authentic and engaging for readers?

I try to give each character an individual mode of speaking: using specific slang; expressions; local dialect; even pontification.

What do you hope readers take away from your stories? Is there a particular message or feeling you aim to convey?

My goal is always for the reader to believe that the story they have read, could happen.

Do you prefer coffee or tea? What kinds, or specific ways to enjoy these drinks?

Definitely tea. I have a selection of mugs, the smallest holding a pint, the largest one and a half pints, which I drink Tetley Original from.

Are there any exciting projects or new directions you’re planning to explore in your upcoming works?

I’m currently working on a series of novels which are a young adult spin-off from my six book Ghost Hunter series. They feature a fan favourite, sixteen-year-old Carolyn Hunter, as main character, and follow her adventures with the paranormal. The first novel, The Baby Farmer’s Ghost, has been well-received, and the second, Hunter & Allen: Paranormal Investigators, will be published shortly.

Looking back on your writing journey, what advice would you give to your younger self when you were just starting out?

I would tell myself that marketing and promotion is extremely important, and equally time-consuming as actual writing. Also, when writing, wherever possible, show, don’t tell, and to use punctuation with precision.

What are some authors who have influenced you and or your writing style?

William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, The Spire, et al; a master of economy of language. A style I seek to emulate.

Read Some of Martin J Best’s Books: We suggest starting with the first book in his Malachi Hunter series!

Ghost Hunter I: A Matter of Faith 

Fledgling Ghost Hunter Malachi Hunter is back with a vengeance in the first full-length novel of the macabre Ghost Hunter series!

Lonely paranormal investigator Mal yearns to find some direction and true happiness in his life. His world is rapidly changing- and not necessarily for the better. That is until he receives a fateful call which will once again put his eerie expertise into play. Fiercely independent single parent Teena Maunder is determined to handle anything which dares to cross her path. She is resolute and determined. However, when her home becomes the scene for a terrifying and baffling haunting, Teena appears to have met her match.

Turning to Mal for help, the scene is set for a deadly paranormal onslaught. Mal quickly finds himself embroiled in a supernatural battle unlike any he has faced until this point. He could very well be out of his league this time. Be that as it may, the stakes could not be any higher as a blossoming romance has ignited between Mal and Teena. This could finally be his chance to claim the love and happiness he so desperately craves. All that stands in the way is a hideous entity which has entirely different plans!

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookbub

The Novice Ghost Hunter

From the haunted mind of paranormal investigator and author Martin J. Best, comes the short story that begins the eerie Ghost Hunter series.

Reticent ghost hunter Malachi Hunter desperately aches to be one of the crowd. However, due to his peculiar fascination with everything supernatural, Mal sees little chance of that ever happening. Branded as a misfit and outcast. Well, he may be a timorous oddball on the surface, but deep inside his soul Mal burns with an inextinguishable passion to be an intrepid ghost hunter.

The problem is the fact that these two goals simply don’t mesh too well. That is until he meets the gorgeous yet arrogant Anna Spalding. She has a proposition for Mal which is right up his alley!

Beautiful Anna Spalding may be conceited, yet hapless Mal cannot help but be wholly captivated by her. Further, when Anna presents Mal with the chance to investigate a potentially haunted property, he cannot believe his good luck. Two birds with one stone as it may be! However, when this novice ghost hunter conducts his paranormal investigation, he unleashes a creepy aftermath which nobody expected- or was prepared for.

The time has come for Mal to truly show his mettle… or has his future already been decided for him? Come join Mal for the beginning of his journey to become ghost hunter extraordinaire!

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookbub.

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