Interview with Mary E Martin

Today we are being visited by a virtual blog tour celebrating the completion of author Mary E. Martin’s second series, The Trilogy of Remembrance. We would like to welcome followers of the tour joining us from JD Holiday’s World of Ink Network BlogTalkRadio interview with Mary E. Martin, on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork,  and from other sites on the tour.

Followers of the tour have an opportunity to enter in a $200 Amazon gift card giveaway, sponsored by the author, as well as to receive a purchase incentive package donated by the tour sponsors. Entries in Mary’s $200 Amazon gift card giveaway will be accepted until midnight on August 31, 2015 with an announcement of the winner posted from Mary’s Blog on September 1, 2015. Anyone submitting a proof of purchase entry in the giveaway draw will receive as an added benefit the tour purchase incentive rewards package of free e-books and discount coupons donated by tour hosts. For a full tour schedule of events, as well as details on how to enter the lottery drawing for the gift card and receive the purchase incentive rewards package, visit Mary E. Martin at  http://maryemartintrilogies.com/virtual-tour/

Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing.  And now for Mary’s interview:

You’ve written two trilogies now.  What draws you to the trilogy? And did you know at the outset of each trilogy that there would be three novels?

For each trilogy, I felt I had a very strong character who was determined to take me in all sorts of directions at once. In the Osgoode Trilogy, Harry Jenkins was that character— a Toronto lawyer. Harry was actually inspired by my law partner Robert Gray, who was well in his sixties when I began practice in 1973. Not only was he a real gentleman of the “old school”, he was also a fine lawyer with a very empathetic outlook on the world and his clients. So his energy stoked the creation of Harry Jenkins.

By the time I began writing Conduct in Question, the first in that trilogy, I had at least twenty years of practice behind me and that meant many untold stories to play with. Harry’s story could go on far beyond just one book. Also, I like big canvases for painting and the big screen and the BIG questions and so—the trilogies.

With The Osgoode Trilogy, it wasn’t until I had finished the second, Final Paradox, that I decided that there would be a third. The second and third are closely connected. If I hadn’t written A Trial of One, the story in Final Paradox would have been incomplete.

The Trilogy of Remembrance had a different beginning. The protagonist Alexander Wainwright was very forceful. A form of him first appeared in a short story which then grew into a novella. Finally, I broke down and gave into his demands. He got an entire novel in The Drawing Lesson and since that didn’t really satisfy him, it became a trilogy—The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing. But he was not an easy character to get to know so it may have taken me three novels to accomplish that. I still think he has more to tell us. In reality, I think that’s the way it works. It really depends upon how fulsome your character is.

Your characters seem to have broken free from their pages – commenting on blogs, even chatting with other characters in cyberspace.  Do you feel like they have a kind of life outside the pages of your novel – do they go on?

As a child, I had imaginary friends—actually quite a crowd of them. My fictional friends do seem very real to me and I suppose they are my adult imaginary friends. I’m very interested in all the “tools” of social media and I think they present a great opportunity to extend our ways of creating and telling stories to the world. Consequently, I have put Alexander, in particular, to work. Why shouldn’t he get out there to present and sell the books? After all, he knows them at least as well as I do.

And by the way, Alexander told me that he had met Marianne [your protagonist of Sleep Before Evening] one afternoon in Central Park at the carousel where they discussed art and music. http://maryemartintrilogies.com/alexander-wainwright-remembrance-trilogy/ Perhaps they might like to get together for another chat?

In any event, I’m having a great deal of fun with Alexander’s adventures in Cyberspace where he is getting quite good at time-travel to meet famous artists such as the poet Lord Byron. http://maryemartintrilogies.com/peter/

This actually raises a lot of interesting questions about this time travel in Cyberspace. For example, how can Alex meet up with Marc Chagall, the painter in 1912 and Chagall be aware of Alex’s work in 2010? Even though my friends seem very real to me, I have never once dreamed of them at least not that I know of.

You’re not the first lawyer who has transitioned to fiction.  Is there a link between law and fiction? 🙂 

Whenever I say [what I think is a humorous line] “I like writing far more than practising law because I get to make up the facts not stick to them] people almost always say—“Didn’t you know? That’s what lawyers do best!” So perhaps there is a connection.

I have always regarded my years of practice as very important for my writing. It really gave me a wonderful window on humanity—their troubles, their stories and human nature. That’s a great advantage for a writer.

I enjoy writing more than law practice probably because of the opportunities for creativity. Yes—lawyers get to be creative in their presentations and finding ways of dealing with clients and their cases. But that’s a limited creativity which doesn’t compare to making up not just characters but entire worlds.

Talk to me about the relationship between truth and fact in your work.  

Wow! Super question. I think that it’s different in either of the trilogies. The Osgoode Trilogy has a lot of deceit and fraud in it. In Conduct in Question the most prestigious firm in the city is mired in money-laundering and Harry Jenkins is almost dragged in. But he has the right answer to how much money is enough? He is able to avoid the seduction of the big firm’s big money. There is also a serial killer dubbed the Florist who successfully presents himself as a near paragon of virtue, fooling just about everyone. As an aside, when I was creating my one and only serial killer, I wanted to give him some human touches. At one point he says “I know what the word compassion means Mother. I want to know what it feels like.” Despite being a murderer, the Florist has some humanity or at least might desire it. There is a lot of “hidden” truth in the novel which the surface of life covers over.

In The Trilogy of Remembrance it took me a long time to reach a number of “answers” to questions relating to the truth of something—of anything. In one scene Alex talks with another man, Charles, in The Drawing Lesson. Charles is trying to justify an extremely painful decision he made to preserve what was left of his wife’s sanity after the loss of their daughter. He did not tell her the truth. Instead he said to Alex —what good is the truth unless it helps you live and love? I often think about what he said. In Night Crossing, Alex refers to truth and reality as a tissue of conjecture and wonders if there is such a thing as absolute truth. Perhaps it is all just opinion.

What has drawn you to the art world? 

I come from an “art” family. For a time, my brother painted and my father was an art teacher. We had paintings, prints and art books in the house. I remember staring at a print of a painting by the Italian Surrealist artist di Chirico in which a young girl rolls a hoop down a street towards a pretty scary shadow cast over the road. Obviously that made a big impression.

I’ve spent my life visiting art galleries and museums and have had one or two really great art history teachers. [I have no talent in drawing or painting] And so, it seemed pretty natural to view the world through the eyes of the artist—Alexander.

Talk to me about the transcendence you write about in The Trilogy of Remembrance.

Mary: I have always had a very strong feeling or sense that there is much more to this world than meets the eye. Also, I’ve had a number of synchronistic experiences over the years. Usually life tells us that one event causes another and that you can find what caused something to happen. But a synchronistic experience is something that can really make you consider that there may be other forces at play. These events are frequently dismissed as coincidence or happenstance. When several unrelated events come together to form a meaningful message for you, then that’s probably a synchronistic event. Such experiences seem to take place outside of our time and space world.

Throughout the trilogy, Alexander has quite a few of these experiences which makes synchronicity a major theme throughout. Sometimes, if we can transcend the trappings of this very solid phenomenal world then we may transcend space and time. It’s really hard to give this much credence unless you’ve had a few such experiences. So this trilogy is filled with transcending time and space.

For example, in Night Crossing, Alexander seems almost destined to meet an elderly woman, Miss Trump, on a train to catch a ferry. The ferry capsizes and she drowns. But, although I don’t ever play around with ghost scenes her power and influence over Alex are made very real to him. At the end, he wonders if love can be so strong as to transcend life and death.

What do you have in the pipeline at the moment?  Is there another trilogy in the works?

I having a lot of fun blogging these days. As you mentioned, Alex is very much on the scene and I don’t think we are really finished our work together. I thought about creating another trilogy but I think instead, I’ll just try to turn The Trilogy of Remembrance into a quartet. Alex’s nemesis in the trilogy, Rinaldo, is a very different artist from him. Landscape painting vs. conceptual art. Although they are polar opposites, Rinaldo wants Alex to collaborate on a joint art project. It could be fun to get the two of them working together and explore what might be lost and gained in such an endeavor.

We encourage our guests to follow the tour further by visiting Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews, http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com, for another Q&A Interview with Mary.

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