Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Novelist Samuel Thomas Martin

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Samuel Thomas Martin

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales / publicity / production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Samuel Thomas Martin is the author of This Ramshackle Tabernacle, which was shortlisted for the 2010 BMO Winterset Award and longlisted for the 2011 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His reviews and stories have appeared in journals in both Canada and the U.S., and his jalapeno chili once made someone cry. Originally from Ontario, he now lives in Newfoundland with his wife Samantha and their dog Vader.

Samuel's Links:

A Blessed Snarl
Dark Art Cafe
49th Shelf Interview

I am the real George R.R. Martin.

I am known to have a soft spot for cripples, bastards, and broken things.

I do this impersonation of George so I can tag his name in posts and get more Google hits.

I do this because I wish I had Martin’s readership.

I do this when I remember that my book has sold 10s of copies.

The way I do this is to grow my beard out, wear big glasses, and place copies of A Song of Ice and Fire in front of my books at a signing, and then tell fans that I wrote this other book under a slightly altered pseudonym. (This creates interesting photo-ops but sells few of my books).

At his/her core, a Writer is someone who knows that winter is coming and he/she will not make enough to pay the heating bill.

As opposed to an Author, who is able to pay his/her debts, much like a Lannister.

A Writer is responsible for defending the world from white walkers, zombies, and the trolls of chaos. (He/she gets no thanks for this and usually winds up alone, celibate and
shivering).

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for giving HBO writers yet another great idea for a hit show.

At its core, Publishing is about getting HBO screenwriters to read the books you're putting out.

As opposed to Editing, which is the art of making a 600 page book into 250 page book.

A Publisher should always overuse key phrases from a book in promoting that book, like "'Winter is Coming' ... so buy this book for Christmas."

As opposed to an Editor, who should always rip out useless paragraphs like so many insolent tongues. An editor should make the page bleed.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is 600 pages.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be read by others, which is absolutely no more than 300 pages.

A Manuscript should always be as hopeful as a whore heading to the big city.

As opposed to a Book, which should always expect to be stabbed in the back by a reviewer.

At its core, Bookselling is as thankless as taking The Black, and about as profitable.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is much like a Game of Thrones, you win or you die.

The smallest unit of narrative is, I expect, much smaller than George R.R. Martin thinks it is.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is that Heather Reisman doesn’t command literal dragons.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is that dragons are metaphors for much more frightening realities that face writers today.

In the future we will all forget the Long Summer before e-publishing.

At his/her core, a Reader is a Stark of Winterfell.

However, the ideal Reader is Ned Stark... and we all know what happened to him

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website Bookninja.com.

Go to George Murray’s Author Page