What name do you write under and is it a pen name?
Bethany Martin, which is not a pen name.
What is the name of your most recent story and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
My story is called “The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase” (I know, it’s a mouthful). The simplest way I can sum it up is this – a wild mix of kidnappings, demons, and sassy characters.
Is the above story part of a series or anthology?
The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase is not part of a series, but it is part of the anthology a Door to Our Minds, which is full of other short stories written by some amazing teen authors.What or who inspired you to start writing?
Ever since fifth grade, I’ve really enjoyed writing, especially argumentative essays, however I really got into creative writing about 2 years ago, when I joined Wrecking Havoc on Paper. My friends in band, as well as author A.G. Porter, convinced me to join, and I’ve been hooked on creative writing since then.
How long have you been writing?
Like I said above, I’ve loved writing for a long time, but I suppose you could say I’ve actually been writing for just a little over two years.
How did you come up with the cover design idea/concept and who designed it?
Well, for one thing, I’m such a sucker for minimalist designs. A simple, yet intriguing cover will always interest me more than super detailed covers (not that detailed covers can’t catch my eye too). Second, because the ‘X’ seen on the cover, as well as the smoke, are such a big part of my story, I knew I needed to incorporate those. I’ve had other, different ideas, but I really think no matter what, I’ll be happiest with the cover I have now. The cover was actually designed by Amanda Orneck, the author of Sister of the Circuit.
Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your story?
I can’t think of any one song specifically, but I tend to listen to the soundtrack for Over the Garden Wall while writing, so I’m sure I listened to that at least a few times while writing this story.
How did you come up with the title for your story?
I’ve had this title from day one. In all honesty, I hadn’t even been working on this story when I came up with it. I was sitting in my friend’s room and I just said the title, sort of as a joke. However, a plot came after that, and the name just stuck.
As a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers, or audio-books?
I definitely like hard-covers most, but I see nothing wrong with a paperback. I don’t dislike e-books or audiobooks, but they’re not what I prefer at all. I like feeling actual paper and smelling a new book.
Have you ever read a book more than once? If so, what was it?
I’ve totally read the Harry Potter series a couple of times (Goblet of Fire being the one I’ve read the most). There are many other books I’ve read multiple times as well. I have nothing against reading a good book over again.
Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Absolutely. I oftentimes only pick up books with an interesting or aesthetically pleasing cover. Usually I’ll read the back of the book, as well as the first page, but every once in a while there are good covers that have me invested in the book all on their own.
What is your favorite film based on a book?
This is definitely a hard one. Even though I haven’t read the book, I recently watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix, and it was fantastic. Of course, I also love Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as a movie.
What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Hands-down mystery/thriller. I am fascinated by true crime, so anything of that nature is a must-read for me.
What books have made it on your wish list recently?
A book I would like to read is Columbine by Dave Cullen. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble recently, and what I read of it before leaving was very interesting. Another book I’m eager to get my hands on is the second book is Marissa Meyer’s Renegades duology, Arch-Enemies. It comes out early November, and I cannot wait. Renegades was fantastic, and Meyer never disappoints, so it’s been at the top of my wish list for a while now.
What books are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am currently reading “Unsub” by Meg Gardiner in hardback.
If you could invite any four (4) authors (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
- Lois Lowry– her book, The Giver, is what really got me into dystopian, and I think all of her books are absolute works of art (Gathering Blue is my personal favorite).
- William Pene du Bois– I read The Twenty-One Balloons when I was younger for a project, and it’s still one of my favorite books to this day. It’s such a dreamy and whimsical story, and I’m sure a conversation with du Bois would be fascinating.
- Gillian Flynn– Gone Girl is probably my favorite book of all time, and talking to the genius behind it would be a dream-come-true. I’d love to talk with her over dinner about true-crime and how to write the perfect mystery. And, she can sign copies of her books for me.
- J.K. Rowling– Overdone, yes, but who wouldn’t want to have a dinner party with her? Harry Potter plays a huge role in my reading journey, it would feel like a crime to not take advantage of an opportunity to chat with Rowling.
What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
The best advice I’ve been given thus far is probably not to edit as you are writing. Nina Soden told me this, and while it was definitely a struggle to adjust to, I’m glad she told me. Now, I’m not constantly being so critical to myself, therefore I can write freely and actually come up with some great ideas.
What authors inspire you?
I have loads of author inspirations, but the two biggest are A.G. Porter and Nina Soden. I’ve learned so much from working with them, and I them a lot of gratitude because of how much they have not only improved my writing, but motivated me to keep with any story I come up with.
Where can your readers follow you?
On Instagram @bethanymartinbooks and please give the Wrecking Havoc on Paper Instagram a follow, @whop.teens
If you are interested in reading The Peculiar Case of Matthias Chase and purchasing your own copy of a Door to Our Minds, fill out the information form below and I’ll be sure to email you more information as soon as the anthology is released.