Author Interview: Shawn Martin
Forget Me Not by Shawn Martin
Series: Shadowflesh #2
Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy, romance
Published on March 31, 2014
Published by Vinspire Publishing
Fortune has smiled on seventeen-year-old Aileen McCormick ever since Addison came back into her life, giving her the love she has so desperately longed for. That is, until a mysterious man slithers across her path and slips a spellbinding cameo around her neck. The cameo holds more than just the image of an enchantress who hungers for souls. It possesses a curse that strangles away every memory Aileen has of Addison.
Addison, a three-hundred-year-old fugitive from the netherworld, recognizes the wretched woman inside the cameo and the curse she has cast on his unsuspecting love. The enchanted cameo has but on purpose: to torment Aileen with hints of love she can no longer recall.
Aileen cannot escape the deadly cameo. She runs for her life with the curse only a breath away. If she truly wants her memory back, the enchantress is all too willing to restore it. It will cost her, though. Cost her everything.
About the Author:
Shawn Martin calls Springfield, Missouri home. After graduating from Missouri State University with majors in Economics and Political Science, he bounced around the Midwest only to end up right where he started.
His day (and night) job is being a firefighter. Aside from rescuing cats in trees and removing burnt pot roasts from ovens, he spends his time finding the hardest way to do the simplest of things. The rest of his time is spent weaving words into another installment in the Shadowflesh Series.
Q: What inspired you to write Forget Me Not?
A: I've always been drawn to Gothic fiction, and if there is an element of hopeless romanticism involved, so much the better. Forget Me Not is just that - a paranormal romance, my favorite genre. But my inspiration for the story itself hatched itself late one night. While staring at the stars, I wondered what it would be like for Aileen (the lead character in Forget Me Not) to have amnesia, to forget ever having fallen in love with her soul mate. Would she simply see him, appreciate the smile and the body, and drift away? Or would fate send her spiraling toward true love all over again? The practical side of me knows that things have to be just right in order to fall in love. The timing, the location, the circumstances, the mood. . . .The everything. And if just one little element is out of whack, then love may never be realized. Otherwise we'd all be falling in love every day. The hopeless romantic within me, however, looks at things differently. When two people are meant to be together, nothing can keep them apart. Not even amnesia. Forget Me Not takes this concept and runs with it, as fast as it can and into the dark.
Q: I know when I'm writing a story, I have very specific Authors that I turn to for fresh inspiration - Authors whose writing I want to emulate or who write books set in the same era or genre. What authors/books did you turn to?
A: Three very notable, yet very different authors, inspired my tone and texture of Forget Me Not (as well as Shadowflesh, the first book in the series). First, Jane Austen enlightened me with Pride and Prejudice. Her love story filled with angst, heartbreak, and hope swelled like an ocean wave before finally cascading upon the conclusion. Second, Jim Butcher amazed me with The Dresden Files. He crafted a complex series with a casual pen. His first person narrative still amazes me. And third, Kendare Blake seemed to hold me by the hand and take me into her nightmares with Anna Dressed in Blood. The eerie essence of Kendare's work casts an amazing shadow of the story.
Q: Who is your favorite character in Forget Me Not? Why?
A: By far, Addison Wake takes the prize as my favorite. Addison presents himself as your average seventeen-year-old high school student. But nothing could be further from the truth. Addison was murdered three hundred years ago and is allowed to walk along the mortal plain as Shadowflesh. Addison became my favorite character because he is strong, yet vulnerable. Honest, yet deceptive. Alive, but dead. Addison embodies the contradictions we all face and embrace. Not to mention, he stays cool under pressure.
Q: When I'm writing my stories, I've found that the villains are my favorite characters to write/work with. What sort of "author relationship" did you have with your villain(s)?
A: My villains could not be one dimensional or simplistic. I refused to let evil, in and of itself, be their motivation. In order for a character to become a believable villain, he or she needs to be tempted by love, money, power, or fear - the same things that tempt me. And when I put all this into place, my relationship is created with my villain. In a way, I become that villain, and he or she becomes me. While I give the villain a voice, the darker side of the villainous character challenges my sense of reason. This author relationship with my villain creates realistic motivation, honest-to-goodness fear, and even a little sympathy for what is otherwise a vile creature.
Q: Throughout the writing process, which characters did you get along with best, and who gave you the most trouble?
A: While writing Forget Me Not, I found Addison and Aileen the easiest to get along with. I knew (albeit in broad brushstrokes) what they were going to do throughout the story. Their banter came so naturally, and inviting them into the pages truly became a joy. Nicola, however, gave me the most fits. As we learned in the first book Shadowflesh and continue to see in Forget Me Not, Nicola wears black, is most comfortable in a trench coat and sunglasses, and loses herself in Jack Kerouac. And when I shared the reasons why with my Readers, penning it to paper carried the same tension as diffusing a bomb. (Sorry, no spoilers.) Nicola often steals a scene. Though when I begin writing the scene, I really have no intention of her jumping into the limelight. Nicola eventually has become the type of trouble I look forward to.
Q: I have specific CDs/movie soundtracks I always listen to when I'm writing. What was some of the music that helped you write Forget Me Not?
A: I enjoyed a strange mix of music while pulling the story out of the ether and capturing it onto pages. Joy Division created a haunting echo while occasionally unleashing anger. Okkervil River often set the mood and tempo with their lonely coffeehouse folk and introspective lyrics. Then there were the Bouncing Souls. Their music hit me like espresso on an empty stomach, giving me a broad smile and an amazing jolt of harmless energy.
Q: What was your first reaction when you wrote THE END on your final draft of Forget Me Not?
A: The end of a book is a sad time for me, reminiscent of the day I graduated high school. I found myself facing the reality of saying goodbye to my friends, wondering if I'd ever see them again. Sure, I had always imagined "The End," and it always seemed like a worthy goal. But when it came right down to it, finishing a book leaves me cold and alone. And anxious to do it all over again.
I want to thank Mara and The Reading Hedgehog for allowing me to spend a little time with you today. And please let me know if you enjoy Forget Me Not.
I, likewise, want to thank Shawn Martin for taking the time to do this Q&A session with us! Keep an eye out for my review of Forget Me Not (it'll be along soon!).