August 12, 2012

A Kick Ass Conversation

As the Olympic Games 2012 drew to a close in the morning (IST) we close in on an author who's recently released book is set in the backdrop of the London Olympics. As a part of her month long blog tour she has consented to an interview in the dream chronicle.
The fear of getting kicked by a black belt in Wing Chun kung fu is a good antidote to flowery prose from my end. And our show begins without further delay...

She talks a bit on the characters and settings in the book:
 Are any of your main or supporting characters inspired from real life/ literature or are they purely products of imagination?
I think my characters are an amalgamation of the characters I meet everyday, with some fictional traits thrown in. Detective Kurt Lancer, for instance, was created to reflect the multi-ethnicity of modern London: a half-English, half-Nigerian police detective who grew up in the East End. To add further layers to his character, I gave him some complexities and almost conflicting traits: for instance, he practices Wing Chun kung fu, a ‘soft’ martial art, instead of relying on his considerable size and brawn in a fight.

 Does your martial arts knowledge get incorporated in the book in any form?
Yes! My protagonist, Detective Lancer, practices Wing Chun, the martial art I teach, and I have used some of my self-defence knowledge in writing a handful of fight scenes in the book.

 Is this a standalone novel or is there a planned series that follows?
I am currently working on a second book featuring Kurt Lancer. Hopefully good news for any Lancer fans. ;)

 For a peep into her writing techniques and habits: 
What kind of research was needed for the book?
Obviously, the majority of the research centred around the places near Olympic venues. Apart from that, I also researched the history and origins of the Games, a bit of Greek mythology, and (you’ll find out why when you read the book) death by electrocution in water, various medical conditions, and bomb-making. that last one most probably got me blacklisted by Homeland Security! :)

 How does the writing pan out? Is it slow draft and fast revisions or fast draft and slow revisions?
I’d say it was a slow draft and slow revisions! Although I believe revisions were easier and less painful because I’m a hard-core plotter: outlining the entire story before I begin writing minimises plot holes, so revisions are mainly a matter of correcting typos and rewording sentences.

You have written short stories, how easy or difficult is the transition to novels and back?
Short stories and novels are two completely different beasts. The straightforward plot allows me to write short stories without an outline, but with novels, I need an outline to help consolidate multiple sub-plots ... and to ensure I don’t accidentally give a blue-eyed character green eyes later on!

Now, treading carefully on personal ground ;)
Your book is scheduled to be released during the London Olympics. Do you plan to watch any of the events live or cheer the participants from the living room?
I did try to get tickets to some of the live events, but alas they sell out so quickly. :( So I’ll be cheering on my team from the comfort of my living room!

The book in question - Oracle
Oracle-FrontCover-500px.jpgWith London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn't need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they've got one anyway.

Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter's disability.

Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victims.

One of whom could be his own daughter.

Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer's only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.
Purchase Links: Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Author Photo 2 s.jpgJ.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children. 

After working in pharmaceutical research, then in education as a schoolteacher, she decided to put the following to good use: one, her 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun kung fu; and two, her overwhelming need to write dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a psychological slant. 

Her short stories have won various prizes and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle is her first novel.

Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband and three dogs.
Contact: Website Blog | Twitter | Facebook


Annalisa Crawford said...

I empathise with 'slow drafts and slow revisions', although as a pantser it's for completely different reasons.

J.C. Martin said...

Thanks for reading, Annalisa! I bet as a pantser your drafts are faster than mine though!

Thanks for the interview Rek! I enjoyed it! And happy blogging anniversary!

Paulami said...

The name itself is so alluring and so is detective Lancer. Should be a good read.

Bikramjit said...

so shud i read it then :) he he he


A said...

This book might me a huge hit, I've seen it being promoted all over the place. Good luck to the author, the plot sounds *great*!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No wonder you know so much about fighting!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I had no idea that J.C. was a practicing martial artist. I'm sure that lends an authenticity to the fight scenes that others would have more difficulty with.

Karen S. said...

Amazing, this does sound like something to venture into! Good seeing you here again!

Mark Koopmans said...

What a GREAT idea to release an Olympics-based book around the Olympics :)

Hope it is very successful - just like London 2012 :)

Thanks for sharing, Rek :)

Katy S said...

Interesting book; thanks for inviting me!

Katy S said...

Oh, and yes, in answer to your question, I occasionally listen to music while reading/editing - it depends on my mood. I will either listen to a local mix station or my MP3 player, which has a wildly eclectic mix of music on it. :-)

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to J.C.! Oracle was a fantastic book!

J.C. Martin said...

Paulami: Thank you, hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

Bikram: I hope you decide to!

A: Thank you for the kind words. Thanks for reading, and it's lovely to meet you!

Alex: Mm-hmm. ;)

Michael: I like to think that my action scenes are more realistic. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen!

Karen: Thank you for reading!

Mark: Thanks for the wishes. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed watching London 2012. Fingers crossed.

Katy: Thanks for reading!

Cherie: Thank you so much!

M Pax said...

Great interview, Rek and JC. You've had a whirlwind tour, JC. Hope it's paying off for you. said...

The timing of the book release is impressive enough. Add to that, what I've read about JC and Oracle. I hope it kicks butt. Sounds like it will.


Alka said...

beautiful layout for the blog. Thanks for inviting.

Lynda R Young said...

Great interview. JC and her book has been everywhere in the blogsphere which is so wonderful to see.

michelle said...

Congratulations to J.C.
The story sounds wonderful!
I especially love the idea of the single oak leaf left at each crime scene...

Rek said...

Thanks J.C for the interview. Thanks everyone for commenting and making this a wonderful experience for me. ;D

Pat Tillett said...

Great post! I think I'm going to be reading this one!

Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay said...


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DDS @ b00kr3vi3ws

Post a Comment

Glad you made it this far...would love to hear your take on the words scribbled. A comment every now and then keeps the blues away. :D

Since, crazy Mr. Blogspot won't let me reply to the comments here (is upset with the water ladies ever since they refused to verify visitors)...will do the next best thing, drop in to your blog to say my Vanakkam/Namaste/Salaam/Hello.

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