Monday 11 March 2013

Author Interview: Martin F. Hengst

About the Author:

Martin F. Hengst is a fantasy author based out of South Central Pennsylvania. An avid reader since childhood, he attributes his love for fantasy and science fiction to his father. Martin's passion is creating intricate stories with intimate details set in fantasy lands that exist only in his readers' dreams.

Happily married with two children, Martin has been writing for more than a decade and has recently begun work on a new series of fantasy novels and short stories that share a common setting. Martin's latest, The Darkest Hour, will be released on Amazon at the end of March 2013. Part one of The Swordmage Trilogy The Last Swordmage, was released in December 2012 and has sold thousands of copies worldwide.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

A little of both. I use Dramatica to lay out the basic foundation and build the treatment, and then I flesh it out freestyle. The story often changes radically between the treatment and the final product.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Quite often...and I usually let them. If the motivation of the character is powerful enough to change the plot, it bears exploring why that is.

What is your favourite food?

I love a good French Dip sandwich.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I do my best work at night after everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet. I'm not a morning person at all. The day should start at noon.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I'd love to visit Japan for the culture and Ireland for the scenery. I think they're my top two destinations.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Imaginary places based on all different parts of our world make up the bulk of the locations in my writing.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Yes, usually classical or gregorian chants.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Volume 1 of the Swordmage Trilogy, The Last Swordmage, was released in December 2012 and follows the coming of age of a young woman sold into slavery by her father. The Darkest Hour, which will be released later this month, picks up after the events in The Last Swordmage and shows us how Tiadaria continues to grow.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

I've learned that you never stop learning. There's always something you can do better, tighter, more efficiently.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I'd have stopped worrying about being my own critic a long time ago and accept that everyone is going to have their own opinions and that some will be good, and some will be bad.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My father's love of reading made me want to create worlds of my own.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better you'll be.

What are three words that describe you?

Loyal, funny, and odd.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

I love the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

The Darkest Hour is the second in the Swordmage Trilogy and picks up two years after the events in The Last Swordmage. Tiadaria is still learning a lot about herself and growing into her new role and the expectations that come along with it. The Xarundi are still a threat and the Imperium is once again threatened by forces outside their control. We revisit some old friends from The Last Swordmage in The Darkest Hour, and we meet some new ones.

An ancient relic of unimaginable power lies entombed in the ice at the top of the world. The Xarundi, savage wolf-men who will stop at nothing to see their dominance over every other race on Solendrea, want nothing more than to possess this relic and subjugate the rest of the world.

Only Tiadaria, the last swordmage, can stand in their way. With the help of her friends, and Wynn, a mage reluctant to use his magical powers, they must find a way to stop the Xarundi menace and protect the relic from falling into the hands of the greatest threat the world has ever known.

List of previous books if any

The Last Swordmage - Volume 1 of The Swordmage Trilogy:

Volinette's Song - A short story in the same series:

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web. -

Twitter -

Thank you, Martin and good luck with your books!

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