Today, I'm interviewing myself, Martin T. Ingham, who contributed The Killing of Yesterday to "The Temporal Element." What a rare pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Mr. Ingham
MTI: No, please, call me Martin.
MTI: Okay, Martin, let us begin, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
MTI: Now, getting down to business; what first compelled you to weave fiction, and what's your favorite type of story to write?
MTI: I can't really say what compelled me to start writing, but I can tell you when I decided to become a writer. I was 6, and I said "I'm going to be a writer." Since then, that's all I've ever tried to be, although not in the most conventional of manners. When it comes to the type of stories I write, Science Fiction and Fantasy have dominated my catalog. It's what I love to write, so I write it.
MTI: Tell me, if you had to pick just one author who has influenced or inspired you, who would it be?
MTI: Robert A. Heinlein. No question; his fiction has had the biggest influence on me. I remember picking up a copy of Citizen of the Galaxy when I was a teenager, and after that I couldn't get enough of his stuff. I read virtually everything he ever wrote by the time I was twenty-one, and it would have been sooner if not for my low budget and the limited availability of certain out-of print books. Orphans of the Sky was the last one I had the pleasure of reading, and it is by far one of his most underrated selections!
MTI: The Temporal Element is an anthology devoted entirely to time travel adventures. These fictional accounts are fascinating, of course, but do you ever believe that humanity will discover a viable way to travel backwards and forwards through time?
MTI: The science is certainly out there, alluding to the possibility. Yes, I truly believe we'll someday unlock the secrets of time, but it may be a long way off. Modern Science has really only scratched the surface of what's out there. I really wish we'd unlock the mysteries of the space and time in my lifetime, but I fear it could take thousands of years.
MTI: If you could go back to any point in history, when would you visit?
MTI: Any point? How about every point? Though, for starters, I'd probably go back and visit some points closer to home. I'd like to explore Colonial America, meet some of the Founding Fathers. I'd like to go visit the Pilgrims as they're making a life for themselves in the New World. Then, I'd like to go back to Ancient Egypt and see the pyramids being built. No doubt, that would prove insightful (and likely heretical to mainstream archeological assumptions about their origin). After that, there's no limit to the places I'd visit, so long as I could survive it all.
MTI: Looking forward now, what futuristic piece of technology would you like to own, or have for personal use?
MTI: A gene-resequencer that could remove this pesky aging gene would be nice. I'll be 33 in a few weeks, and I'm just starting to understand how much getting old sucks! It's a genetic flaw that our current understanding of the human genome should have fixed already. Then again, maybe scientists have discovered the cure for aging, but they don't dare share it. Over-population would become a deadly problem if we could all live indefinitely... at least, until we have other worlds to export people to. Still, I wouldn't mind living forever.
MTI: Shifting back to your writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?
MTI: At the moment, I'm working on "Rise of the Rogue Fighters," the sequel to "The Rogue Investigations." It's a book that has been in the works for years, and I have several fans that have specifically requested a continuation of the Rogue stories, though overall sales have been less than thrilling. Still, I enjoy the characters, so I'll get this finished and see what happens.
MTI: Other than The Killing of Yesterday appearing in The Temporal Element, do you have any other stories being published in the near future?
MTI: The third novel in the West of the Warlock series, "The Man Who Shot Thomas Edison" is written and just waiting to be published, so I expect to release that through Martinus Publishing later this year. I also have a few short stories I'll probably sneak into Martinus anthologies as more of those come out. I have a few novels currently on the market, as well.
MTI: Speaking about Martinus Publishing, what ever made you decide to start up your own publishing company?
MTI: It's something I'd been considering for years. The more experience I had, working with other editors, the more I realized it was something I could do. I've always been very good at catching typos, and revising other people's work comes as second nature. When Hall Brothers Entertainment (the publisher of West of the Warlock) shut down last November, I found myself at the point of no return. They'd been planning to release The Curse of Selwood, and had done all of the set-up (editing, cover art), so I was left with this unpublished work just waiting to be released. In addition to that, they were going to be releasing The Temporal Element, so I already had half the stories for an anthology and no publisher. Rather than tell the writers involved "sorry, we're closed," I picked up the reigns and pushed forward. So far, it's turning out to be a good experience, though it's still well into the red financially at this point.
MTI: On a lighter note, have you watched any good tv lately?
MTI: I don't watch too much television these days. It seems most of my favorite shows have been off the air for years. I always have reruns of my favorites—Star Trek (TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise), Stargate (SG-1, Atlantis, Universe), Firefly, Farscape, Frasier, other odds and ends here and there. A few shows I like that are still around are Justified, The Walking Dead, and Castle. I also like to watch Survivor, but I generally hate all other "reality" tv shows. Survivor was one of the first, and it has a unique appeal for me which I cannot explain.
MTI: How about music?
MTI: Again, my music is what you'd call "out of date." The Beatles, The Who, Electric Light Orchestra, The Moody Blues, Styx, just to name a few. The only "modern" artist I really like is Matthew Sweet, and he's been around since the 80's, so I'm not sure how modern he really is. I also have a sizeable collection of 78RPM records that I've been listening to lately, stuff from the teens through the fifties—eclectic stuff.
MTI: You've got the attention of potential readers. Do you have any words of wisdom you'd like to share? Perhaps something to spur their interest in your work?
MTI: My writing has always been about entertainment, so if you want some captivating stories to keep your attention, try any of my published works. If you're looking for some artsy experimental writing, or some preachy metaphor seeking to change your mind about some social injustice or other, then my work probably isn't going to satisfy in those regards. It's pretty straightforward, intelligent literature, much like the old pulp from the golden age of speculative fiction, with some modern and unique concepts incorporated into the mix. For less than the cost of your average DVD, you can get one of my books and have many hours of entertainment, so go ahead and give it a try!
MTI: Before we wrap up this interview, do you happen to have a sample you'd like to share with our readers? They're always eager for free reading.
MTI: For those who want to sample my wares, they can read the first few chapters of West of the Warlock, The Curse of Selwood, or The Guns of Mars at my website.
MTI: No, I mean something new, that nobody's ever read before.
MTI: I have plenty of that.
MTI: Then why don't you share something to titillate our readers, perhaps to give them greater interest in your other works? Come on, give me something here.
MTI: What? I refuse to be a party to this rampant extortion! How dare you, sir!
MTI: Hey, I'm just trying to help you out. It's free publicity, after all.
MTI: So, you think everything should be given away for free? You communist bastard!
MTI: Hey! There's no need to hurl such scurrilous insults at me. You give out free samples all the time. How is this any different? Don't be a skinflint.
MTI: That's it! I'm through here. Goodbye! (Storms out of room.)
MTI: Uh, okay. Thanks for the interview, Mr. Ingham. Those who want to read your time travel story, The Killing of Yesterday, can pick up The Temporal Element.
Now, before we go, I suppose I'll just have to share with you something that I wrote recently. Here's a brief snippet from Rise of the Rogue Fighters. If you like it, be sure to pick up a copy of The Rogue Investigations as you wait for this sequel to come out:
There was darkness beyond the light.
Julie McCain floated around her new surroundings, feeling the thrill of an out-of-body experience. It was nothing new to her, as her telepathic powers had often allowed her to exist in such a non-corporeal state. However, this was the first time she found herself displaced from her body against her will.
Her mind's eye gave her a clear view of her current surroundings from all angles. It was a large chamber with metal walls, and no apparent light sources. There were human bodies covering the floor, thousands of them, and they were all unconscious. She checked a few of them and discovered they were existing in a displaced state similar to her own, only they lacked the mental capacity to think beyond their flesh. Their minds lurked in slumber when separated from their bodies.
Julie examined several of the bodies, recognizing a few of them. Elizabeth Weston and Julia Shaw were among those cluttering the floor, and she recalled a few prominent residents of Freedom Lake as well. Her telepathic probes discerned their identities, though it was difficult to get more than that from unconscious minds.
Something stirred in the corner, drawing Julie's attention. The shifting motion and the active mind summoned her like a lightning rod, and she sent her etherial form to investigate. In an instant, she was upon the individual who was sitting up against the wall, shaking off the room's paralyzing effects.
Julie recognized the man instantly, and shook off a feeling of bewilderment. How was he able to repel the paralyzing effects of this place, when even she was at its mercy? Whatever the reason, this gruff man was immune, and could prove to be her salvation.
"John Rage," Julie spoke into his mind.
"Who's there?" Rage asked, feeling a hangover he hadn't earned. The groggy euphoria left him searching for the memory of a strong drink, but he couldn't remember the last time he'd had one.
"It's me, Julie McCain," she whispered, and with her words she sent a flood of information into Rage's head, explaining their current predicament. She was careful to limit the exchange, so the man wouldn't receive sensory overload.
"Are you serious?" Rage asked as his mind assimilated the new data. The story she'd laid on him seemed far fetched, even after everything strange he'd seen in recent months.
"Dead serious," Julie replied.
"Right," Rage said, standing up. He wasn't sure if he should believe her, but couldn't think of anything better to do.
"You're going to have to trust me," Julie replied to his doubts. "A lot of people are depending on us. The entire world, in fact."
"I've been there before," Rage said, taking a step forward in the dark. Before he got far, he tripped over one of the unconscious people, and fell atop several others.
"Hold on," Julie replied as Rage cursed. "I'll share my mental perceptions with you.
"Your what?" Rage asked. A second later, phantasmal images appeared before his eyes, giving him a clear picture of his surroundings. Rage blinked, trying to clear his vision, but it did nothing for his sight. The hazy images were not coming from his eyes at all, but from Julie's mind.
"Head over toward that wall panel there," Julie said, adding a touch of added light onto the rectangular patch sitting on the far wall.
Rage made his way through the sea of bodies, trying to avoid stepping on them whenever possible. They were packed so tightly, it was difficult to avoid in some places. It wasn't long before he reached his destination, and looked at the blank panel. Close up, it was clearly some sort of computer screen, only inactive.
"Okay, now what?" Rage asked.
"What do you have to pry with?"
Rage patted himself down and found that his bowie knife hadn't been removed. He pulled the large blade from its hip sheath and began poking the tip along the edge of the panel. "Exactly how do you know this is a good idea?" he asked as the knife found a groove.