Interview with Martha Emms

Martha Emms

Interview Date: 1/4/2013


I was born in Sacramento but my Father was in the Air Force, so we traveled often, living in different states, and in Europe. As far as jobs go, I've done everything from modeling, assembly work, janitorial, to tech writing, and graphic design. Today I have three adult children, two of which are serving in the military. I love nature and animals. I have many cats, but no, I'm not the crazy cat lady, LOL, at least not yet. I enjoy reading, cooking, baking, the beach, art, movies, and learning new things. My name is Barbie, but I use the pen name Martha Emms in honor of my mom and aunt. They each had hopes that someday I would pursue my interest in writing. My mom, Martha, hoped that I would write from my heart. My Aunt Emma, said if you're going to write, write to stir the pot and get people talking. I believe my first book, "Portrait of Our Marriage" Memoirs of Love, Family, the Internet and Obsession, achieves both.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I began playing around with words at a young age. I used to make up silly poems and songs and share them with my friends. It wasn't until I was much older though, that I became seriously interested in writing. When I was a technical writer in the aerospace industry I wrote several children's stories, but after many rejections I gave up, at least on that genre. More years passed and after watching an episode on The Oprah Show, I was filled with an idea that would not leave me alone. The episode was about men who were addicted to porn. I began to have dreams and parts of a story would play out in them. They were dreams that were so real I could not ignore them and I knew I had to write about it. Originally, I began writing the story as a screenplay. Since in my dreams it was like watching a movie, I thought a script would be the best venue. But I couldn't capture the emotions I wanted, so I switched to telling the story in book form.

Kev's response: I'm not sure I could write in screenplay format, it seems so specialized as to how the scene is setup and shot in video format.

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)

I would love to have healing as a superpower. To cure diseases, regenerate new tissue and heal wounds, to save lives. Wow, what an amazing and helpful power that would be.

Kev's response: Me too!

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

As a child, Superman, was my favorite. I know that sounds like a boring answer but he was the first superhero I remember seeing on TV. And it was Superman comic books I read. He had superpowers but still had human emotions and vulnerabilities. But today, I would say the Transformers. Can they be superheroes? Well, anyway, to me they are cool. I loved playing with them with my children, I enjoyed the stories and then the movies, wow! Optimus Prime, he could change and purify evil machinery and give the gift of life to new machines. Talk about a grand power.

Kev's response: Sounds like you should have gotten into robotics!

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I can get inspiration everywhere. People, nature, reading, watching a movie, a song, anything. My problem is to slow down and limit the ideas. I have far too many and not enough time to make use of them all. I'm a dreamer, but human aspects really get to me. Our flaws, our strengths, pain, the reality of how loving, sexual, cruel, silly, caring, and impetuous we can be is endless inspiration. What motivates me to write? When what I'm working on takes off, when I don't feel like I'm thinking and the story, the dialogue, almost writes itself, then I'm motivated.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

It depends on the story. Some stories have a mind of their own, then I can fly by-the-seat-of-my-pants. Others need research, so then I do have to be more organized and plan things out.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

Both. Sometimes I just have to write, it's in my head and won't leave me alone. I can be up to 3 or 4 in the morning working, if that's when the inspiration strikes. Other times events in my stories come to me in my dreams, so I have to write it down when I get up or at least make a bunch of notes and write it out later. If I'm participating in a writing group I know I have to be regimented and be prepared, so then I plan and write accordingly.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

My favorite genre to write in, right now, is adult fiction.
I like to read almost anything. I enjoy romance, mysteries, adventures, sic fi, and some fantasy. I love the objects and looks of SteamPunk that I've seen on Pinterest, so I plan to delve into reading that genre when I have time. My favorite authors are many. I can’t pick one above the other because they each fill different needs when I read their work: Ken Follett, Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, Debbie Macomber, Tom Clancy, Lawrence Sanders, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and Constance O’Banyon to name a few.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The process. From jotting down sentences, working on chapters, to creating a complete story. Getting in the characters heads and getting to know them, seeing them come to life in words and as the story plays out. It's like living the dream.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

I wouldn't say there's a part that I don't enjoy, but fear, yes. Writing is exciting and frightening. At least in my first book, "Portrait of Our Marriage". It's frightening because some of the scenes bypass what many may consider acceptable boundaries. I deal with issues some may feel should remain behind closed doors. Writing about sensitive sexual issues, like porn addiction, really puts ones self out there, puts me out there, and that is scary.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I am a survivor. I survived a severed aorta and being in a coma.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

When I wrote my first book, I worked on that alone. But now I have two stories in progress and may possibly start another one. I'm learning and experimenting as I go.

Have you ever wondered why evil people want to take over the world. Why not take under it?

Haha! When I think of someone wanting to take over the world, I think of power. I think people can be seduced by power. Some start off with good intentions to better themselves, achieve goals, attain status, or help others. But sadly, we see too often how power can change even the nicest person into a self centered, and power hungry individual who believes they are God like and privileged, deserving more than others and thus they place themselves above others. Evil is not necessarily always combined with power, but when the two are together, over or under will make no difference, LOL. We must then hope, pray, and fight, so good will overcome.

Kev's response: Poor villains, they never get their day ... until they get into politics.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I hope that we will always have paperback books. I enjoy the digital age and especially love my Kindle when I read at night or when I'm on the go. But I enjoy having my favorite books in hard cover or paperback. I also like having books that I learn from or refer to, in paper back.

What are your current projects?

I'm working on a family story that includes pets. If I can tell this story right, I think it would make a great series on TV. I'm also working on another adult fiction that deals with a young women's experiences after coming out of a coma.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

First, don't be afraid to ask others for help. Second, make sure you learn social networking and utilize all the social media that's available. Third, make sure you hire a good editor and proof reader. Fourth, remember your cover art is important and the text should be easy to read. Fifth, share and help support others. Sixth, trust your voice and never ever give up.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

PORTRAIT OF OUR MARRIAGE by Martha Emms • Adult Fiction, Sexual content
FB Portrait of Our Marriage book page
FB Martha Emms author page
Book Available on:
Amazon Amazon
Amazon print
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble

Kev's response: Barbra, thanks for joining me! I wish you the best on your books - good luck on the series!

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