High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head. Lily Morgan can feel everyone’s emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai. Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily’s secret too big to accept, even for him?
Interview with Martine Lewis:
What’s the best lesson you have learned on the path to indie publishing? Anything, but I mean ANYTHING is possible. To tell you the truth, I never thought I would ever write for publishing. I began writing at 11 years old and quickly enough, I thought I would always write in other people fandom (writing fanfiction). Turns out, in 2013, I was inspired to create my own world. I began two originals. In 2015, I solidified my world and wrote a third book (which turns out to be Crossing the Barrier, book one of the Gray Eyes Series). It’s so so exciting!
What’s the hardest lesson you have learned on the path to indie publishing? It’s expensive! If you want to do it right, you can’t cut corners. Some authors do not care whether or not they put substandard products out there. I’m not like that. I want my book to be as good if not better than a traditionally published book. I want my readers to know, when they are reading a book by Martine Lewis, they can expect quality. I want them to know they are reading a product that has been properly edited and proofread. I want to put out something I am proud of, something I would want to buy.
How did it feel to hold your first physical copy of Crossing the Barrier? There is just no words! The first time I saw a hard copy was my first proof. When I received it, I took a picture and text it to my cover model, Damen. He was excited! He wanted me to give it to him. I told him to wait for his own copy :p
When I got the first real sellable copies, it was so so exciting. I took a picture of the box which I quickly posted on Facebook, then I texted it to Damen again and said:
“I just got lotsa pictures of you, with a story under.”
And him to say:
“When can I have my copies?”
The day after I was driving 25 miles to give him his copies, and give Lexi, my other model, her copies too. To tell you the truth, I don’t know, who of the three of us, was more excited.
I need to add here that my cover models are actually local high school teens. While Damen is not pursuing a modeling career, Lexi is. It was so fun and rewarding to work with my teens. The photos for the six books in the series were all shot at the same time and all my teens are part of the process. All of them are excited, which makes it even more fun for me. I will definitely do the same for the covers of my next series.
Crossing the Barrier is getting a lot of positive feedback. What does that feel like? It’s amazing. I sometimes look at the reviews and wonder if it really all true. People really like my story. Wow! I put so much work into it…
Sometimes, I’m afraid of the bad review. One day, a bad review is bound to happen. I just hope it’s a “good” bad review. I just hope it’s a review based on opinion and not on craft. In any case, like all authors, I hope I’ll keep on having awesome reviews and bad reviews would never come.
You already have 4½ books in this series written which suggest a fast writing speed and some serious organization. Can you discuss those two things?? Yes, I write fast. I write 92,000 words in one month. Then it takes me almost a year of editing!
I plan my story in advance then just spit it out usually following an outline. I like to do challenges like Nanowrimo and Camp Nanowrimo so I usually use those months to write. I should be writing book six during Camp Nano in July. People know not to ask for anything during those months because writing that much in such a short amount of time takes pretty much all of my time.
I don’t edit as I go. I do it after. After is also when I find out if I need to add something. It’s also when I know what has to be removed.
I am a project management planner/scheduler as a professional and I take that skill into my writing. I have a schedule that tells me what I will work on in each month of the year. I already know what month I will be sending my books to the editor. I currently have a five-year schedule with 12 books to be written and launch, two series of six books.
Tell me about your writing cave/space. There are two places I love to write: On my swing set on my balcony and in my easy chair in my living room. I use to like writing in bed but it ended up giving me back pain so I stopped.
I also like to write in public places such as Panera and Starbucks. When you do a sprint of writing like Nanowrimo, meeting up with other writers in public spaces is often very energizing. I think my favorite is Panera as they are usually quieter than Starbucks and have more places to set up.
What kind of research did you have to do for this book/series? I research legal issues. My books are contemporary so I do not want to have my legal facts wrong. In fact, I have a lawyer review all of my legal facts, believe it or not. I also do research as the plots or my stories require. I don’t always know in advance what I need to research as sometimes, my characters surprise me with things.
I have to say Google Map is my friend! And so is Google for that matter.
And now, just for fun:
What are the names of your cats? Pumpkin and Miline
What’s your favorite Duran Duran song? Lonely in your Nightmare, the US Album Remix
Buffy’s perfect boyfriend was: Angel, Spike, Riley???? Oh! That’s such a thought one. Spike?
Dark Side or Light? Light!
Your guilty pleasure? Chocolate!
Do you collect anything? No, I don’t. I’m the type of person who only have what she needs. I rarely by anything just for the fun of it. My place is really bare 🙂
About the author and where to find her:
Martine Lewis is a forty something who was born and raised in the French speaking province of Quebec, Canada. She spent her childhood looking forward to her summer vacations at the farm, which were a nice escape from the suburbs where she lived.
Her first written endeavor was a 200-page handwritten Duran Duran bandfiction which she wrote when she was eleven years old. Of all her written work, this is the only one she no longer has.
All throughout high school, Martine wrote more bandfictions and some original work, then she went to write fanfictions in the Star Wars, Buffy and Harry Potter universes. Her fanficiton in the Potterverse are mostly centered on characters of her own creation and can be found on fanfiction.net.
Following her viewing of Roswell on Netflix in 2012, Martine wrote book two and three of the Gray Eyes Series, then went on to create the Gray Eyes Series universe in which she has been playing ever since. She writes contemporary coming-of-age romance fiction (young adult/new adult) with a twist.
Martine is an avid reader and rollerskater. She loves sushi, hot chocolate on a cold day, and the beach. But what she loves above all else is to curl on her chair with her computer and write more stories for her readers.
Martine currently lives in Houston TX with her two cats.