Marta Szemik is an author and a writer. As a mom of two and a wife she enjoys using her family member’s attributes in her writing – just because they are unique:) A great skier (in her kids eyes), she loves the outdoors. Very often she can be found daydreaming new worlds in front of her computer. Her favorite pass-time is sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee. Powerful writing with colorful characters who make you cry, laugh and wish they were real intrigue her. She has a sarcastic sense of humor and those very, very close to her know that she can make a joke out of almost anything, but she would suck as a comedian 😉
Hello! What’s your name?
Hi everyone. I’m Marta Szemik. Lisa, thanks for hosting this interview. I’m so excited to be here.
What do you write and why?
I write mostly young adult fiction and fantasy novels and novellas. I say mostly, because the last novella I wrote was hijacked by one of my characters. He didn’t want to keep it PG rated and it turned out to have some adult content. I’d like to change that, but I’m not sure if he’ll let me.
Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?
I read both YA and adult fiction and fantasy. I don’t usually stray far away from that genre, but I do love paranormal romance and can see that reflect in my own writing. I read in the genre because I enjoy it and because it helps me perfect my craft. 🙂
What is the title you are promoting right now?
My debut novel Two Halves.
What is it about?
Two half-breed vampires destined to save the human and vampire species from an extinction by a demonic takeover (gosh, that sounds darker than it is).
Sarah, the main character is struggling with being a half-vampire. She hates her traits, needs, urges and suppresses them with serums to seem more like a human. When she meets William, the other half-breed, she realizes that being one of two unique beings in the world is important to saving both species. Sarah and William are connected in more ways than just being each other’s equals.
There are curses which keep them apart, powers beyond their control affecting their fate and the future of their species.
Twenty-one-year-old Sarah is a child of a human mother and a vampire father and has suppressed her dark side with serums. The only memory of her mother is when Sarah killed her, soon after birth. Of her father, nothing—just a hatred for his vampire traits that made her kill her own mother.
When a disturbing nightmare foretelling her bleak future stirs the superhuman traits, underworld creatures are beaconed. On the run with William, a man she knows from her dreams, Sarah tries to learn what’s been hidden from her, for a good reason. Had she known her destiny, she may have continued with the serums that kept her hidden.
What makes this book different from others in your genre?
It combines elements of fantasy and fiction in an urban setting. As the story develops the reader is drawn into a world where witches, warlocks, demons and shape-shifters affect the way humans live everyday – and they don’t even know it.
The main message is not to change who you are. Everyone can make a difference. What makes you different from others makes you unique and that’s what this story is: unique.
What’s the story behind the story?
I am grateful to Stephenie Meyer (though she will probably never know it) for inspiring me. Three years ago my husband rented Twilight for me. Living under the rock with two little kids I had no clue what the movie was, but my husband said I’d like it because I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched the movie and was drawn by the story and its simplicity. Even as an adult I connected. That same night I went on the internet to search for Ms. Meyer and read her biography. As I read, I saw myself as a writer. The next day I woke up, sat down and started typing.
From the first word I knew I was going to finish – I didn’t know how long it would take me, or if I would ever publish the novel, but I knew I was going to finish. That was March 2009. While writing I creative writing courses, attended workshops and listened to other writers. Once done, I hired an editor, a professional cover designer and a bit more. It turned out to be a longer process than I imagined and part of me was grateful I didn’t know what I was getting into when I was writing.
I started writing because I wanted to, now I write because I need to. It makes me happy.
What is your goal as an author?
To write books my readers enjoy. I think that’s every author’s goal. On a personal note, I’d like to publish 3 to 4 more titles in 2012. I strive to create characters who make you cry, laugh and care for them as if they were real, so my goal is to make my readers fall in love with those characters and their stories.
Are you working on anything new? Give us a preview of what’s to come!
Marked: A Two Halves Novella (out in spring 2012). It’s a prequel to Two Halves, but it’s meant to be read after the novel. Marked is written from one of the supporting characters, male point of view. He’s been driving me nuts with the way he wants to appear in the novella! His personality is so strong, I’m going to have a difficult time in editing J
I have two more untitled novels in the works. One YA fantasy, one adult fiction. I’m also beginning to think about a sequel to Two Halves and another novella that will follow the sequel to continue the events from Marked.
Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?
Favorite author: J.R.R. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings is everything I would ever want it to be.
Favorite book: The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I must say it was difficult to understand for a few good chapters, but once you know what’s going on, it’s awesome. I love an emotional rollercoaster.
Where can readers find you and your work?
What’s your view on the self-publishing/traditional publishing thing? Ideally, which one would you prefer and why?
Where do I start? The industry is changing from month to month and there are a lot of politics and many opinions about self and traditional publishing. I don’t like politics and don’t agree with many opinions as well as how self-published authors are ‘snubbed’ by some.
My opinion: traditional publishing is right for some and wrong for others.
I love the fact that authors have options. There are thousands of wonderful books and stories by self-published authors and it would be a shame if readers were deprived of that work.
Traditional publishing would not be good for me as I have control issues. I can’t imagine letting someone else design my cover or change chapters in my novel, or even decide its price. Then there’s the wait time. 12-18 months to see your novel in print? I can’t wait 5 minutes if my husband is running late. I’m a go, go, go type A personality juggling ten projects at a time. My calendar does not have empty spaces.
Does it mean I wouldn’t publish traditionally? Absolutely not. But the conditions would have to be right. The publisher would have to be right.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Never say never.” And believe me, I had it way before Justin Bieber.
What is the most important advice you can give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing, perfect your art, don’t strive for a one hit wonder.
Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
I’m amazed at how supportive the online community of writers (both tradition and indie), readers, bloggers and reviewers has been. The age of the internet has certainly connected people all around the world like nothing else. It’s a wonderful time to be a writer.
Awesome, thanks for allowing me to interview you!
Thank you for having me!
Please pay Marta a visit at any of the links below!