Happy bank holiday Monday angels! Today I have an extra Meet the Author interview for you (eeek!). Today I’m talking to Martin Ferguson about legends & myths, overcoming challenges, escapism, indestructablility and his Relic Hunters series…..
Young Adult Adventure
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a 33 year old author living in Norwich, England. I have been writing properly for around five years now, with my main focus being my YA adventure series Relic Hunters. I am married with two children, a 2 year old girl and a baby boy born 2nd May 2020.
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
I was brought up on tales of legends and myths. King Arthur, Robin Hood, the Trojan Horse, the Pharaohs of Egypt. I always knew that one day I would write my own stories. When I was at school we would be set story writing as a homework task. Two pages was the requirement, but I would write up to twenty sometimes (the teacher’s remarks were hilarious). Now, I am writing my own stories and bring to life those very myths and legends I was told as a boy.
How many books have you written and published?
I have published 4 books so far, all entries in the Relic Hunters, YA adventure series with more being written over the coming weeks.
It all started with Eagle of the Empire and the most recent release is Blood of the Dragon (released 25th May 2020).
How long does it take you to write a book?
Longer than it should! Each of my books in the Relic Hunters series comprises of two stories; the first, Adam Hunter’s modern story of treasure hunting, and the second historical story which charts the origin of the treasure or artefact. This means that each book is technically two stories, woven together to create one book. This does tend to take a bit longer, but 3 months is probably a good average between research (there is loads!) and completion.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Curse of the Sands. This is the second book in the Relic Hunters series and pits Adam and his team of Relic Hunters against rival teams from around the world as they enter a long-lost pyramid filled with traps and trials for our heroes.
The first book, Eagle of the Empire, is the entry into the series and establishes who the characters are and the setting. Book two, Curse of the Sands, lets loose those characters to run and play in the world I created. It was the most fun to write and reading it back it remains my favourite.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Abbey, from Relic Hunters. She is funny, optimistic, charming and ever eager to help. Above all, she would be able to figure out a way to get us off the island!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Pilot, firefighter or writer. I have worked in the NHS for near 10 years now but now can tick off the writer one.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go and why? (Backwards or forwards!)
I’ve always wanted to go back to the Second World War. Britain, during those times, as a RAF pilot. I’ve looked back at those times, especially recently, and marvelled at the togetherness and solidarity of the people in the face of tremendous adversity.
Other than writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Running and football, but more to prove a point. A few years back I had a nasty accident and ruined my knee. I was told by specialist surgeons that I would never be able to run or play sports again. I didn’t listen and over a year retrained myself to run again. I have since ran a number of events, culminating in the London Marathon last year.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was run over by a car when I was a boy, going through the windscreen. Incredible thing was, I was left completely unscratched, not even a bruise. I wondered for a little while if I was indestructible…until I broke my arm playing leapfrog three days later!
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Don’t give up, but don’t worry about taking a break. After running the London Marathon last year I was absolutely burnt out – physically and mentally. It took me a long time to recover from that and I considered walking away from writing many times. I just needed time though and a break has done me absolute wonders.
What’s your favourite film of all time and why?
Raiders of the Lost Ark. A superb adventure film with a great hero, strong relentless villains, independent heroine and of course an amazing mythical treasure to find.
What is the best thing you’ve done in your life so far?
Become a father. I have a little girl and a baby boy, born 2nd May 2020. My little girl is two years old and already she has a better imagination than me. She also has far more energy!
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Not first sight…but first conversation maybe.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Flight, absolutely. It would make the morning commute far easier and much more fun and could see more of the world and save on plane tickets. I’d just have to be careful of those airplanes…and helicopters…and storms!
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you (that you’re willing to share?!)
Nope…no chance…ha ha!
What is something you can’t live without?
Music. I do everything with music on in the background. The NHS day-job, writing, running, running circuits with my hyper 2 year old daughter, cooking, cleaning…everything.
Do you feel it’s more important to have a) strong characters b) a mind-blowing plot or c) amazing settings?
I do think the a) b) c) order does have its priorities. You need strong characters, if not the plot will mean nothing if you have no hero to cheer on or villain to hate. You need a great plot as without it the strong characters will have nothing to do or just simply create boredom. The setting is also vital, creating a place for the characters and their plot to run amok. Characters > plot > setting, but the first two run each other very closely.
What is your favourite genre to read and why?
Adventure and fantasy. I love escapism. Adventure: live out all the things you wish you could do – travel and explore. Fantasy: why stay in our world if you can escape to one completely different.
What is your favourite time to write, and why?
Late at night. When everything is quiet and the rest of the house is asleep. When the mind is racing with a thousand thoughts and you know there is absolutely no chance of achieving sleep for a while yet. That always seems to me when the imagination runs wild and the words just flow.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
I have recently relaunched my Relic Hunters series, culminating in the release of book 4, Blood of the Dragon on 25th May. The blurb for this is as follows along with where to find it:
BLOOD OF THE DRAGON: An urgent plea for help leads Adam Hunter and the Relic Hunters to the ruins of Poenari Castle in Romania. In the former home of the most infamous mass-murderer in history, Vlad the Impaler, they find that history and myth collide more than ever before.
As their actions lead to the return of an evil long-thought banished to the pages of fiction, Adam and his team soon find that they are not the hunters, but the hunted. The darkness pursues them across the globe and nowhere, not even the British Museum itself, is safe.
One by one they fall until only Adam remains, facing the horrifying wrath of the Blood of the Dragon alone. Can he save his friends and survive the greatest fight of his life or has Adam’s luck finally run out?
final words from chelle…
Thank you so much for this interview Martin and congratulations on the birth of your new baby boy!
There are so many bits in here where I was like…..yes!! Indiana Jones, WWII, myths and legends…….so much!
It’s amazing that you ran the London Marathon after being told you’d never run or play sports again – you certainly didn’t let that get to you! I’m also now extremely intrigued as to what the most embarrassing thing to happen to you is…..?!
And finally, the fact that you thought you were indestructible and then broke your arm made me chuckle (sorry!).
Your Relic Hunter series sounds fantastic and I’m excited to be reading and reviewing them soon – so keep an eye out everyone, as these books sounds fab!!
Any questions/comments for Martin, then get in touch or drop a comment below.
Enjoy your bank holiday Monday lovelies