Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a
girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city. But he still manages to enjoy all of the good things in life. His family, old and new friends, and the love of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome back to St. Windflower Mysteries.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write in the morning. Almost as soon as I get up. I find that’s when I’m most creative and when I have the best writing energy. But I can write just about anytime and anywhere. Except for coffee shops. How can anyone write in Starbucks?
Do you have a certain ritual?
As I said, I prefer to write first thing in the morning. When I am writing a book, I start with that first. I write as much as I can without editing, writing towards a goal of about 1,500 words a day. I often don’t make that target in the morning, so I have to go back later in the day to meet my quota.
Do you like a drink or something to nibble on while you write?
I always have coffee first and then I write. I will pour myself a second cup but that will usually grow cold as I am immersed into the writing process. I don’t eat much when I’m writing. I’m too preoccupied.
Do you consider writing a different genre or do you already do that?
I think writers always think about a different genre. Then almost always revert back to what they know, what they are most comfortable with. That’s me, for sure.
What is/are your favourite book(s)?
I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit. I usually try and re-read them once a year. Now of course we can see the movies. But it is not nearly the same experience.
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
The great mystery writer P.D. James once said that all fiction is largely autobiographical. I think that’s true. The characters in fiction books come from somewhere in our memory bank. So, yes, the characters are sometimes based on real people. Without their real names, of course.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I would love to work with Charles Dickens. Although I would probably not be doing much writing. I would likely be getting him drinks and snacks and marveling at his process.
Do you take a (digital) notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I’m an old pen and paper guy. I always have a notepad or scrap paper to jot down ideas as they come. But I also have a phone and will sometimes use that to email myself a prompt.
Which genre(s) do you not like at all?
Horror and hard-boiled crime. I don’t want to be scared or horrified when I read a book. In my books there are sometimes bad things that happen, but I don’t use violence as a vehicle to tell the story. There are other, kinder ways to do that.
If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I’d love to go back to Australia and New Zealand. I love the combination of Asian and English influences and cultures. And the weather is pretty awesome, too
Thank you, Mike Martin and Pump Up Your Book
About the author
Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.
He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 10 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Safe Harbour. A Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.
Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.