Martini Fisher graduated from Macquarie University, Australia, with a degree in Ancient History. As a writer, her credits include “Wayang: Stories of the Shadow Puppets,” a look at the ancient stories of Javanese creation myths from a traditional performing arts standpoint, and a novella, “Songs from a Mountain,” also based on East and South East Asian history. Her latest effort is “Time Maps,” co-written with Dr. R.K Fisher, analyzing the world from the very beginning, examining theories of evolution and other beliefs on the subject, before discussing Biological Evolution in details.
What inspires you to write?
I love to read, and I believe that if you like reading, you have a writer in you. Because all those things you’ve read need to be let out somehow! But, as far as my topics goes, I happen to have a pretty extensive background in history, so I’m always very interested in the past. One day, I was writing a report for one of my subjects in university and my professor wrote in his comment, “try to look at an event with the eyes of the time.” and I realized that a lot of misunderstanding about history, a lot of what makes some historical novels really uninteresting and a big reason why a lot of people tend to ignore folktales, myths and legends, is that the writers would look at something like, say, the story of Emperor Nero or the fall of the Roman Empire from the eyes of a 21 century writer. So that comment always stuck with me, and trying to see things from the eyes of my characters became the basis of a lot of my writings.
Tell us about your writing process.
I wish I’m a seat of the pants writer! Alas, I’m not that creative. Research is very important for me. And a lot of drafts. For “Wayang: Stories of the Shadow Puppets” and “Time Maps” I have hundreds of notes that I have accumulated, as well as translations etc. The tricky part is to put them together in a proper sequence. That’s where the drafts come in. I have a big board on my wall that I use to stick my paragraphs or sections on so I can move them around when I think it’s necessary. When I get the sequence/plot I want, then I’d start looking at the finer details. As far as characters go, I would work only with broad brush strokes of characteristics if they help the plot at that stage. But I’d usually leave the fine-tuning until after the story-line is finished. I always find that when I know where the story is going, everything else falls into place much quicker.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have only written one work of fiction so far (“Songs from a Mountain”) But, this comes back to what I have said before about seeing things from the eyes of my characters. “Songs from a Mountain” was a good exercise for that, because I worked with many different characters to build a story. So I kept in mind two things: what happens to them and what would their reaction be? and would what happen to them be a compelling enough story to make them (those characters) think that it’s worth retelling? Because we all have stories for every minutes of every hours of our lives, what are the things that make that moment unforgettable?
Who are your favorite authors?
Robert Graves. I think he’s brilliant, and he was the writer who got me interested in studying history. My favorite works of his are “I, Claudius” and “Claudius the God.” For a lighter readings, I love anything from P.G Wodehouse, but if I am to recommend anything more specific from him I’d say the Jeeves and Wooster series.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started with self-publishing. I found that it gave me more control. I would also recommend that for new writers, because then they can see for themselves if what they’ve been doing, as far as writing, promoting and so on, works for them. It’s a better learning experience, I think.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that with the rise of ebooks, book publishing has become a very competitive field. As a writer, you now have the option to self-publish, self-promote and build your own network. It’s great in a sense that it puts you in the driver’s seat and hold you accountable for your own success, but you really need to get yourself educated on how to do that effectively. As a reader, you will have all these options of reading materials. Again, great. But now is the time to be more selective, because there are more books out there and some of them may not be so good. In short, the future of book publishing is higher expectations for writers, more options for readers, and more excitement for both.
What genres do you write?
non-fiction, fiction, historical fiction
What formats are your books in?
Link To Martini Fisher Page On Amazon