Annika Martin is a NYT bestselling author of dark romance and hot romantic comedy, and co-author of the best-selling dark romance PRISONER. She also writes as Carolyn Crane, a RITA® Award-winning, USA Today-bestselling author known for gritty romantic suspense and urban fantasy.
Here’s the other thing: the staffers here believe he’s so sedated that there’s not a thought in his head, but I catch him watching me when nobody’s looking. Our connection sizzles when I enter the room. When our eyes meet, I know he understands me in a way nobody else ever has.
I’m supposed to follow my editor’s orders—I have secrets, too—but everything about Patient 34 is suspicious. How can I not investigate?
Interview with Annika Martin
1. Your characters have great depth. What inspires you to go that extra mile?
Hey Reily! Thank you so much for reaching out and having me here! And for the lovely compliment on my characters. I guess I have a big thing about characters “adding up” on a psychological level. I like them to make sense, to feel real and like they’d really do the things I have them doing. So I try to dig into them. I don’t start out with them fully formed. I’m the kind of writer who chips away at their personality and background as I go.
2. What is your biggest time-consuming task post book publication?
Wow, there are so many of them. I think it would be just generally being all over on social media and making sure my book is easy to find, which means a flurry of posts and activity and things. Also, following through on what I say I’ll do—awarding prizes, sending things in the mail etc. I’m like a drunken sailor on release week, bouncing all over and trying to do everything.
3. Tell us about your next work in progress.
I usually only have one work in progress, but right now I have FOUR!! I’m plotting a kinky bank robbers book, finishing a mafia prince Christmas story, co-writing a sexy spy novel and co-writing the next Prisoner. I feel like one of those people who have ten chess games going at once. I hope for all these to be done so I can write something super fresh in the new year.
4. You’re a NYT bestselling author. Tell us about your experience leading up to that status.
I was published traditionally as Carolyn Crane, writing urban fantasy in 2010. I wrote 2 books for Random House in that trilogy (The Disillusionists) and 1 for Samhain, then I’ve been self pubbing ever since. I wrote sexy spy novels for a while as Carolyn Crane, then took up the name of Annika to be more wild and free, and now I'm Annika a lot more. The book that hit the list for me was actually an anthology that the Hostage Bargain was in!
5. Give us an anecdote about your writing experience and or rejection letters.
I wrote many books before getting the call in 2010. My first agent told me my stuff wasn’t sellable because it was “neither fish nor fowl.” She was right, actually. I have a bad habit of mixing genres and most people don’t want to read a mixed genre book. My best friend, who had a new book deal, told me to look hard at a niche and be serious about aiming exactly there. That’s what worked for me. And whenever a book of mine doesn’t fly, usually it’s a fish nor fowl problem. Really most of my books are still a little blendy but I try not to do it!
6. Tell us about your experience with winning the Rita award.
It was SO FABULOUS!! I felt like a princess. I really did. I couldn’t believe they called my name. They’d never given the award to a self published author. I barely had a speech written. I just really felt like a princess. I still have the envelope with the card in it (the RITA goes to…. card!)
7. Does your husband read your stories/help with plotting, etc.?
Yes! He’s a writer, an essayist, but he is a great reader for me. He grew up on comic books so he has a great sense of story from that, and we both love Joss Whedon and action movies, so we share a certain sensibility. We sometimes go on long walks and discuss plots on that level. He’s somebody I’ll bounce things off of if I hit a snag.
8. Tells us about your experiences with self-publishing.
I really love it, but it’s not for everyone, because you are really running a small business. I’m not that organized or businesslike, but I like the control, so every year I try to learn a little more and get a little better. I think the key is talking to other indie authors on loops, keeping the self education going, and not compromising on quality. I’ve learned to not try to do it all myself (for example, with covers and formatting and PR!).
9. What associations do you belong to and how have they helped your writing?
I belong to RWA. I usually go to that conference (though I can’t in 2017) but they’ve helped me tons in learning the ropes.
Meet the Author
I grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee and Chicago and now I live in the Twin Cities where I met and married my awesome writer (essayist) husband; we have two daredevilly cats. I’ve had tons of jobs: factory worker, waitress at a zillion different places, shop clerk, and these days I’m freelance copywriter. I’ve always written stories on the side and it’s been my lifelong dream to be a full time fiction writer. That dream gets closer every year.
Animals are a huge passion of mine, especially whales and lost dogs. Luckily there have never been any lost whales in my neighborhood or I wouldn’t know what to do. I’m into running and yoga and I spend way too much time in coffee shops. In my spare time I write as the RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.
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