Q: Can you give us a basic summary of Virtual
In the not so distant future, many people have abandoned the physical world. They
have their bodies frozen and their minds downloaded into massive Virtual Reality computers.
Morgan Asher is the heir to the largest VR company in existence, but he's shunned that life, seeing the technology
as immoral and destructive to society. However, when his cousin becomes trapped
within a Virtual program, he sets aside his prejudices and boots-in to save her. He
enters the world of Fantasan, a sword and sorcery realm, and in that program he learns more about virtual reality, and about
himself, than he would have ever imagined.
Q: What kind of research did you do in
order to write it?
A: Some of my books have required extensive
research, but Virtual Wiles was more of a culmination of intrinsic knowledge I had picked up throughout my life. I can't point to one specific book or field of study that guided me, but certainly a lot of psychology
and philosophy is mixed in, which really adds depth to my characters and provides for understandable motivations.
How long did it take you to write it from start to finish?
A: I first started Virtual Wiles following
a trip to Seattle
in November of 2000. I threw down a plot, and the first two chapters, but then
let the idea sit for a year. I came back to it in January of 2002, and completed
it in early March. I'd say, counting the editing process, Virtual Wiles took
three months to write.
Q: Are there Authors or Books that inspired
you as a writer?
A: The greatest single influence on my
writing has to be Robert A. Heinlein. His work from the 40's and 50's in particular
has always captivated me. There are a lot of other writers who have contributed
to my inspiration at different times, but none more than the great RAH.
Q: Do you keep a strict writing schedule?
A: I try to keep a regular writing schedule,
but it isn't always possible, unless it's your primary source of income. When
work is slow and the family isn't demanding, I am able to spend several hours per night writing, though there are many days
when I can't get to the keyboard. As such, my best work is done in spurts. Some nights, I'll blow through 10,000 words at a crack, though only if I'm in the
Q: Who is your target audience?
A: My intended audience was lovers of science
fiction & fantasy, though I have had people who don't regularly read either of those genres comment that they enjoyed
Virtual Wiles. It's the kind of novel that anybody can understand and enjoy. You don't need to be a sci-fi nerd, or a fantasy geek to love it, and I'm honored
to say that my work is something of a bridge between mainstream and sci-fi, spanning all demographics. I've had seventy year old men tell me this is the best book they've read in years, and teenagers say the
same thing. Therefore, I must ultimately conclude that my audience is anyone
who reads for fun.
Q: What are some of your favorite books
A: The first Robert A Heinlein book I read
was "Citizen of the Galaxy," and that remains among my favorite novels of all time.
Frank Herbert's "Dune" is another book which I hold in high esteem. Isaac
Asimov's "Caves of Steel," David Brin's "The Postman," Jack London's "The Sea Wolf," and any of Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer"
mysteries are also admirable.
Q: What would you like readers to know
I was born and raised in Downeast Maine, and have spent the majority
of my live working towards becoming a commercially successful writer. I spend
much of my free time on freelance research, learning more things to incorporate into my tales.
I am also a fiercely patriotic American, and as such have decided to run for the Maine Legislature in 2008, to protect
our rights and demand accountability from our government. Anyone interested in
my writing or interests may visit my website, http://www.martiningham.com
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Having recently completed "Prisoner
of Time," the sequel to "Virtual Wiles," I have already started on the third installment in the series, which holds the tentative
title, "The Guns of Mars." It will be a change of venue for the series, but will
follow several main Characters from the first two novels. It's shaping up to
be more of a hard sci-fi tale than the previous two books, which incorporated more fantasy elements that were made scientifically
plausible through virtual technology.
I have also started a new speculative fiction book revolving around Joan of Arc, for which I am currently conducting
research, and I'm polishing up the final chapters of "The Rogue Investigations," which details the freelance paranormal investigations
of Zachary McCain and John Rage. The first chapter in this work is currently
available as an Amazon short:
Q: Any tips for aspiring writers?
Write what you want to read. That is the first tip I would give to any
aspiring writer. Don't try to write a "blockbuster" or the great American Novel. Just write what you know and love, and let the market make up its own mind. My second tip is, don't become a writer because you want to be rich and famous, or to change the world. Do it because it's just worth doing. Accept
any positive byproducts graciously, but be satisfied with your work, regardless.
As mentioned above, for more information,
please see Martin's website at www.martiningham.com.