Multi-genre novelist Allison Martine, who also writes under the pen name A M Hubbard, doesn’t remember when she started writing, but what she does remember well is getting in trouble in the first grade. ‘Oh, and that was for writing book reports on books I myself had written,’ she tells us with a guffaw.
Letting us know that she is a pantser, meaning she tends to start with a concept and characters and allows the story to unfold thereafter, Ms Martine, who used to be fluent in Spanish but has now lost touch with the language, says her debut romance novel entitled ‘dibs’, a finalist for romance in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards, came to her almost fully-formed, and she simply had to write it down as she saw the movie in her mind.
Stepping Out of Comfort Zone
Speaking about her recently published installments of the romance series The Bourbon Books (written under Allison Martine), the author says it came as a result of her being inspired to step out of her comfort zone, which is science fiction, and try her hand at romance after reading a romance novel that left her underwhelmed and disappointed. ‘I decided to tell the kind of story I wanted to read. My latest in that series is currently in beta, and it continues with the same characters that star in the first two novels, namely, dibs and Since September, but brings secondary characters to the forefront,’ she explains, adding that she writes science fiction under the pen name A M Hubbard.
Letting us know that her favourite author list is always growing, Ms Martine tells us she grew up reading Anne Rice, Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and others. ‘With time I added Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, and Peter Straub to my list. For satire, I adore Carl Hiaasen. Pratchett and Hiaasen influence the humor infused in my books, while Anne Rice was a great study on writing complex characters that a reader may come to love,’ she explains.
‘Used to Think Being Author Wasn’t a Tenable Career Decision’
Currently residing in Orange County, California, the author, who went to UC San Diego for her undergrad and Pepperdine University School of Law, lets on that on account of the pandemic, she is writing whenever she can. ‘Quarantine has thrown my schedule out the window. I used to go to a coffee shop when my youngest was in preschool and write while he played. Now, my older children are schooling at home, so I write when I can,’ she tells us.
Upon being asked if becoming an author was a conscious decision she made, the author answers in the negative, stating that she grew up thinking being an author wasn’t a tenable career decision. ‘Hence, I pursued law. I always planned to write on the side and allow it to take over, if possible. After leaving my law practice to be a stay at home mom, writing became a larger priority,’ she explains.
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‘It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint’
Be that as it may, Ms Martine, who is a non-practising member of the California Bar, avers that writing is her first priority at present and will continue to be so in the future as well. ‘But I also am privileged to co host a video podcast with two of my “book sisters”, Jennifer Anne Gordon and Trisha Ridinger McKee, where we interview bestselling authors and other creatives,’ she says, adding that the show Vox Vomitus goes live at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesdays. ‘That’s the highlight of my week. We recently interviewed James Rollins, Paul Tremblay, Wendy Webb, and Nancy Bilyeau. My other passion is reading and am usually listening to an Audible production while doing chores as I have little time to sit and enjoy a good book in silence,’ she shares with us.
A full-fledged author already, Ms Martine says she is currently working on her next literary science fiction novel. ‘And when that draft is complete, I’ll begin the fourth entry in The Bourbon Books,’ she shares with us. To budding authors who often lose motivation if their works don’t do well, Ms Martine, who loves drinking coffee, has just one thing to state: This profession is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to find your readers and build a name for yourself.
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PS: Readers are invited to check out Allison Martine’s website, A Fictional Hubbard, and find their Vox Vomitus video podcasts live each Wednesday on Facebook under Vox Vomitus or catch a replay on YouTube!