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Interview with Tina Martin: ‘Don’t ever give up’



Tina Martin was born in Ahoskie, North Carolina and developed a love for writing in high school. She pursued creative writing courses in college and in 2007, self-published her first poetry book, Love Like Yours. She now uses her prolific style of writing to pen fiction novels, the latest being, Secrets On Lake Drive (Xpress Yourself Publishing) available now. You can read more about Tina at her website:

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Tina.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Well, I self-published a poetry book in 2007 and my romance novel, Secrets on Lake Drive was released July 6, 2010. So I’m multi-published.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

My first published romance novel is, Secrets On Lake Drive.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

Well, I intentionally self-published my poetry book. However, for Secrets On Lake Drive, I wanted to find a publisher. I received a lot of rejections, so much so that I lost count.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

No one likes to be rejected. It did make me feel like giving up, but I realized that if I really love writing, why should I give up just because some person sitting behind a desk full of old coffee cups, bread crumbs and a stack of manuscripts didn’t think mine was good enough for their publishing company. So now I look at it like, if they reject me, their in essence saying that I’m too good for them and therefore, they’re passing me off to someone else who can better serve me.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

I chose to submit Secrets On Lake Drive to Xpress Yourself Publishing because I saw the quality of the books they were producing. A month or so after I submitted my novel, I got an email from them saying that they wanted to publish my book. I was in shock for the first few days, and then it finally hit home. I had a publisher!

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I’m elated to be a published author, but I’m striving to be a full-time writer. Of course I celebrated with friends and margaritas.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Well, I mainly do email marketing, but I also mail flyers to different contacts and talk to anyone I can about my book.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?


Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

Secrets On Lake Drive was released July 6, 2010. I do have other novels coming out soon after and I think I’ve grown in the way I tell stories. I have a very creative mind and have great ideas so I’ll always have quality stories for my readers.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

I don’t think I could’ve done anything differently. I submitted to various publishing houses. Most of them are so rude, they won’t even return your email and if they do, it’s a one-line rejection. So I could have avoided submitting to these big publishing houses.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

Since becoming published, I have had the enjoyment of seeing people read and express how much they loved my novel.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

Well, I have a day job but I look forward to the day when writing is my full-time and only job.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I want to be a full time author. I would give up my other profession for the chance to be a full time writer in a heartbeat.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I see myself with various published works, still entertaining my fans with fresh, exciting stories.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Don’t ever give up. Expect rejection, but know that it is a test to whether or not you really enjoy what you do. If you can give up easily, then maybe writing isn’t for you, but if you trust yourself and our abilities, no one can tell you that you’re not good enough.

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