Sunday, July 20, 2014

Okay, So Maybe It Was Watching Detective Shows, Along with Those Soap Operas

Funny the things that inspire us as writers. Back in December, 2012, I posted about how many years of watching soap operas has influenced my writing. (Blame It On Too Many Soap Operas and My Misspent Youth.) Yes, growing up in the golden age of television had an effect on me, but it wasn't just watching the soaps. I watched a lot of detective shows too. I was even reminiscing about it the other day with a friend.

As a teen and young adult, I loved watching Columbo and the original Hawaii Five-O. Both shows were very well written, and even though both used formula writing, the scrips were still good enough to keep me coming back week after week. And, unlike detective shows of today, there were no overtly graphic images. No bodies laid out on the autopsy table. No gory, mutilated or half burned corpses appearing on camera. Good writing doesn't need that kind of visual imagery. Facial expressions or comments made by other characters will tell us what we need to know, and our imaginations can do the rest--probably better than the guy who designed that fake corpse.

What made Columbo great was the bumbling title character, brilliantly portrayed by the late Peter Falk, along with all the bad guys who thought they could outsmart him. What made the show fun was the way Lt. Columbo solved the crime by seizing on some obscure, overlooked detail that even surprised the audience. And along with spectacular scenery, Hawaii Five-O also had well thought out plot lines. While the characters may have been as well developed as Lt. Columbo, there was one unforgettable nemeses named Wo Fat. Kudos to the script writers of both.

Crime stories make for great drama as they create the ultimate conflict. That's why I've always included crime subplots in my novels. Whether it's Gillian's murderous ex-husband on a rampage in The Reunion, Scott's jilted wife's twisted scheming in The Deception, or the revenge seeking Denise wreaking havoc in The Journey, these crime subplots create the tension, and the drama, that keeps you turning the pages. Look for more in my next novel, The Betrayal. Until then, happy reading. (And by the way, you can rent old episodes of Columbo and Hawaii Five-O from Netflix.)

MM


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet Allison Santiago, Supporting Character from THE DECEPTION

Photo by Can Stock Photo
Someone reviewing The Deception once commented about how we should all be so lucky to have friends like Steve and Allison, two of the supporting characters. Well, guess what? I really do have friends who are just like Steve and Allison, that's why I'm paying homage to them in the book.

Allison Santiago has known Carrie Daniels, the leading lady, since high school, and their friendship has lasted into adulthood. That friendship, however, will be soon put to the test when Allison introduces Carrie to Scott, a man she's also known for several years. Allison thinks he might be a good match for Carrie, who's recently ended a long-term relationship. But unbeknownst to Allison, Scott has a secret, and it could be Carrie's undoing.

Allison was inspired by several of my friends, but she resembles one woman in particular. She's much like her literary counterpart as she's been steadfastly loyal friend for almost ten years now, and she's someone I can always count on. Friends like her may be hard to find, but they really are out there.

MM

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's Time for a Time Out From My Time Out

Photo by Marina Martindale
My how time flies. It's been such a hectic year between doing some much needed work on my home, traveling, making new friends, and catching up on life in general. I've also been working on the manuscript for my next novel, The Betrayal, but I've been having a hard time keeping up with that as well. I think I need a time out from my time out.

I know people who love to retreat into their man cave, or their woman cave, or just their cave in general. Some stay home, pulling the blinds and shutting off their phones and computers. Others like to retreat to the mountains and pitch a tent in the wilderness. I prefer to travel. My favorite cave is a beach, or a cruise ship. Cruise ships are great because no one can bother you when you're out in the middle of the ocean, and for me there is something about a large body of water that soothes my soul.

Retreating to our caves can be a good thing. We all need an occasional time out to gather our thoughts, analyze, and regroup. But there's also too much of a good thing. Analyzing your problems is one thing, running away from them is quite another and it solves nothing. Ignoring things only makes them worse. Trust me on that one. Nor do we want to make the people around us worry. Yes, family and friends can be annoying at times, but the fact that they worry means they care. And in a good way. It's not the same kind of worry your mortgage company gets when they don't hear from you.

So that said, it's time for a time out from my time out from this blog, and I'm going to start posting once again. See you soon.

MM

Sunday, June 15, 2014

New and Improved Book Trailers for THE REUNION and THE DECEPTION

I know, I know. Life happens, and I've been busy. One of my latest projects has been a slight revision of my book trailers. I'm still using original music, but it's now from a different artist; my good friend, Malik Alkabir. Malik is a jazz saxophonist here in Tucson and I hear him play every Sunday night at Old Pueblo Grill. He and his companion, Stephanie, are two of my biggest fans. Thanks for being a contributor, Malik. Here here are the links to my new, and improved, videos.

The Reunion video: http://youtu.be/XDEFNwy9R8E
The Deception video: http://youtu.be/0dCEguDANmghttp://youtu.be/0dCEguDANmg

Photo: Malik on Sax
Photo courtesy of Tucson BizInfo.com

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meet Cassie Palmer Leading Lady in THE JOURNEY

Photo by Fotolia.com
Cassie Palmer is a character best described as grace under pressure. Seemingly naive and shy on the outside, Cassie is actually an iron lady in disguise.

We first meet Cassie in The Reunion, when Gillian and Jeremy stop for breakfast at a truck stop diner in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Gillian suddenly finds herself reunited with her long-long best friend, Samantha Walsh. As they are getting reacquainted Samantha unveils another surprise--her daughter, Cassie. Gillian is surprised. Jeremy's life will never be the same.

Cassie and Jeremy soon become friends, but I don't want to spoil too much of the story for those who haven't yet read The Reunion. Cassie returns in The Journey. This time she's the leading lady. As the story begins, she is critically injured in a car crash that leaves her fighting for her life. Later, as she begins the long road to recovery, her world will turn upside down once again, yet through it all, she remains gracefully resilient.

Cassie is a purely fictitious character not inspired by anyone I know in real life. She is, instead, an inspiration for those times when we feel overwhelmed by all life's obstacles.

MM


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wishing Everyone a Belated Happy New Year

Yes, Marina Martindale is alive and well. I've just been very busy working with a home remodeling project, which, as you can imagine, has been a major distraction. But still, lots of exciting things are happening, which I will be posting about very soon. In the meantime, I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday season and I'd like to wish everyone a Happy 2014. It's going to be a very good year.

More later,

MM