Monday, November 13, 2017

A TANGLED WEB by Mike Martin Excerpt & Interview




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Title: A TANGLED WEB
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 338
Genre: Mystery

Life is good for Sgt. Wind­flower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.

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“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” said Winston Windflower. The Mountie looked over at his collie, Lady, who wagged her tail at the sound of his voice. If dogs could smile, she smiled back. His world was almost perfect. He had the love of a great woman and a good job as a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrolling one of the lowest crime regions in the country. Plus, the weather had been mild so far, at least for Newfoundland in early December, and that meant no snowstorms with forced overnighters at the detachment. Life was very good indeed.
He had good friends, including Lady, who was amongst the best of them. And he had a child on the way. His wife, Sheila Hillier, was pregnant and at the clinic for her three-month checkup. He was waiting to hear how both Sheila and the baby were doing. His Auntie Marie had told him the baby was a girl, and if anyone knew about these things, it was his Auntie. She was a dream weaver, an interpreter of not just dreams but of messages from the spirit world. Windflower had recently spent a week with her and his Uncle Frank, another dream weaver, to learn more about the dream world.
Interpreting dreams was part of his family’s tradition. But it was an imperfect tool that gave information, not always answers. Perhaps the most important thing he learned was that dreams do not predict the future. Instead, as his Auntie told him, “Dreams tell us about our past, what has already happened. They also point to actions we should take if we want to get the right result in the future and to the signs all around us that we need to follow.”
Windflower was contemplating that piece of wisdom when he noticed a very distraught woman get out of her car outside the RCMP detachment in Grand Bank. She ran towards the front door. He walked out to meet her, but the administrative assistant, Betsy Molloy, beat him to it.
“There, there now, Molly. What’s goin’ on?” asked Betsy as she put her arms around the other woman and guided her to a seat in the reception area.
“It’s Sarah, she’s gone,” said the other woman between sobs. “I told her to stay close by the house where I could see her. I went out back to put the wash on the line. When I came in, she was gone.”
“Okay, Mrs. Quinlan,” said Windflower as he knelt down beside the two women. “How old is Sarah?” He didn’t really need to know how old the girl was. He wanted to help the mother calm down so she could give them as much information as possible.
“She’s going to be six next month,” said Molly Quinlan. “She’s growing up so fast. But she’s still such a little girl. And now I’ve lost her. Brent is going to kill me.” She started sobbing again.





Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

Interview:

Where are you from?
I was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada. I currently live in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada.

Tell us your latest news?

My latest news is that A Tangled Web, the new Sgt. Windflower Mystery is now published and available everywhere. It is a light, cozy-type mystery set in small communities like Grand Bank, Newfoundland.

When and why did you begin writing?

I have always been some sort of writer. But first I was a reader. I had three older sisters who would drag me to the library when I was quite young.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have been a freelance writer for almost 20 years now. But I only considered myself a real writer with the publication of my first Sgt. Windflower Mystery. The Walker on the Cape.


What inspired you to write your first book?
I had always wanted to write a fiction book but didn’t know where to start. Then one day my main character, Sgt. Winston Windflower walked out of the fog when I was visiting Grand Bank. He started telling me the story and I just wrote it down.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I write from my heart, from the creative flow. I do not know where the story will end up when I start. I think that makes it more fun for me, and hopefully the readers as well.

How did you come up with the title?

The titles start to come for me about ¾ of the way through a book. Then I try them out on some people to get their feedback. In the case of A Tangled Web, it makes sense after you read the whole book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No. Just have fun and enjoy the story. If you want a moral: Be kind to others.

How much of the book is realistic?

The setting is real and the characters are imaginary. But some of the themes are very real.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All fiction is a bit biographical and some things in the book are clearly from my life and life experience. But never as good as I imagined or as bad as I thought.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit are my favourites forever. They inspired me to imagine and dream and create.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would choose Stephen King for his perseverance in the early years when everybody told him his stuff was no good.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading Donna Leon’s new book Earthly Remains.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m not a current fad kind of guy. I’m more of a classic person and if I had my choice would read Dickens or Tolkien again any time.

What are your current projects?

I am currently promoting A Tangled Web and also developing a new series called Curveball which takes place within the baseball diamond and a minor league baseball team.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

Other writers have been my greatest supporters, along with an army of book reviewers and bloggers who have spread the word about my writing.
What would you like my readers to know?
I would like your readers to know that I really appreciate every one of them that reads my books. Without readers, writers are just yelling words into the canyon. Readers give those words an echo and a new life. They are the ones that bring fictional characters to life. Thank you.


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