What made you want to become an author?
I’ve always been imaginative, interested in people and the world in general. I can remember writing a small book on dinosaurs when I was five and telling people I’d ‘written a book’. I also won prizes for poetry and essays at school so I knew I had some ability. As a journalist later on in life I realised that I’d like to dip my toe in the water and write novels.
Do you have a favorite author?
Actually, I don’t really have a favorite. There are so many brilliant writers out there. I love reading Bill Bryson books and those by Ian Rankin, John Grisham and, of course, Stephen King in terms of contemporary writers. Iris Murdoch, Dickens, Dylan Thomas, Hardy and P.G. Wodehouse are all among the authors I’ve most enjoyed.
What inspired you to write about the paranormal?
I find the subject totally fascinating. I think the existence of life after death and the spirit world is one of the biggest questions facing us. Roughly half the world believes and half doesn’t. On the one hand there’s so much evidence of the paranormal on the other there isn’t enough. When I was a local newspaper reporter I always liked to write about paranormal subjects if I could – crop circles, ghost sightings and reported UFOs. Camera Five was actually inspired by one of my best friends (changed her name to Karen Jones in the book) who really had those experiences in the 1970s. The names are different but the events in that section of the book are accurate.
What are your experiences of ghost hunting and the paranormal?
Too many to mention here but I will say that I do believe in ghosts and the spirit world. I have seen dark figures, white mists, orbs and objects moving. I once saw a picture on a wall lift up and crash on the ground with no obvious cause. I have friends and relatives who’ve experienced amazing things. I’ve come across clairvoyants who were red-hot (not all are) and last Halloween held a spirit pendulum that went berserk in a haunted house.
Would you ever write for another genre or do you feel your feet are firmly planted in paranormal fiction?
Absolutely, I could write on other things and probably will but will stick to the paranormal for the time being. My next two or three books at least will be involving the experiences of the Ghost Scene Live crew. This team of investigators have to be developed and I’ve got plenty of exciting adventures lined up for them. I have been a travel writer and a news and sports journalist in the past so I think I can handle different genres.
What can you tell me about the sequel to Camera Five?
It involves an exorcism, a trip to the Vatican and a confrontation with a leading celebrity sceptic (not Derren Brown or Richard Dawkins). It is largely set in and around Glastonbury. There…not telling you any more at this stage!
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Go for it!
You can find out more about Martyn at his website http://www.ghostscenelive.co.uk/