Cristina Martin: Author Interview

30 11 2012

Hello, readers!

This week Charles Henry Editing is interviewing Cristina Martin, author of The Automat.

What inspired you to write your first book?

When I was a teenager, I had three goals for my life: move out of Miami, show my art in a gallery, and write a book. I wrote a lot of poetry as a teenager, but I wanted to write an entire story. I have always been fascinated by the history of automats, so I wanted to incorporate one into a book. I started writing “The Automat” when I was living in New York, and a lot of the descriptions of the fictional city backdrop were from my own personal experiences walking around New York. New York, in and of itself, was very inspirational to me.

Do you have a writing routine?

I like to be comfortable when I write, so I do most of my writing in bed on my laptop. It doesn’t hurt to have some wine beforehand. It’s important to have an environment that is conducive to the flow of your story. The Automat has dark undertones to it, and I wrote it in the dark for the most part. I also prefer to have music on when I write. Sometimes I listen to movie soundtracks such as “Atonement” or “There Will Be Blood” to aid a certain scene in a chapter, other times I’m listening to artists like Jason Molina or Ryan Adams. Their lyrics may inspire me to write a certain sentence or two. I give a literary head nod to Jason Molina’s song, “Coxcomb Red” in my first chapter where I describe Horace living in a pale world.

Can you give a brief overview of what The Automat is about for my readers?

The Automat is a story of a man named Horace Gray, who lives his life according to a strict routine. Part of that routine is going to an automat before work. One day, he takes notice of a mysterious set of eyes that stare at him from behind the automat wall. Horace sets out on his own adventure to meet the woman (Millicent) behind the automat wall, and ultimately understand her motives. He finds himself obsessed with Millicent, and everything else around him becomes inconsequential. The story is a psychological thriller, mixed with romance and crime.

What drives Horace’s obsession to understand Millicent?

Horace represents those people who become trapped in their daily routines. Sometimes we don’t even notice that our lives become so repetitive and dull. The introduction of Millicent in Horace’s life is symbolic of that change in our lives that we secretly desire. Horace is faced with following his heart or remaining stagnant. Some people choose to avoid change because they’re afraid, but others take the risk and adventure into things that are unknown. The fact that he becomes obsessive helps the reader to show how truly deprived of love he was.

Is Millicent obsessed with Horace or does she just enjoy playing with him?

Without giving away too much of the story, I think she enjoyed playing with him at first, but  her actions caused unintended consequences, which changed her perception at the end.

Did you do a lot of research to write the character, Detective Bones?

Not much. I work as an investigator for a university, and I have spent the last 10 or so years working closely with LAPD and NYPD detectives on certain cases. When I first started my career, I was taught investigative techniques by a retired NYPD detective who I worked with.

Which character was the most fun to write?

I would probably have to say Horace, only because I modeled him after Crispin Glover’s character in the film, Willard. I’m a huge Crispin Glover fan, so when I wrote about Horace, I had Crispin Glover in my imagination, playing him in my mind’s film adaptation.

Several other reviewers have commented that your work is “Kafkaesque.” Is Kafka an author you like?

The last time I read Kafka was in high school, but I do remember enjoying his works. I didn’t intend to make my story “Kafkaesque,” but I can see how Horace could be a character in one of his stories. He’s alienated, has Kafka’s boring day job at an insurance company, is a psychological masochist, and eventually transforms. I seem to like authors who have main characters who are literary underdogs such as Goethe’s “Sorrows of Young Werther” or Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” Horace, Werther, or Gatsby are characters that may be hard to love at first, but after you get to know them, you want them to succeed.

What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on two books. The first one is titled “A Face for Reuben Hill” which is based on a dream I had about a man who was born without a face. Long story short, he finds a doctor who creates a mechanical façade for him in order for him to woo a girl. The story centers on how we tend to want to change ourselves for others, but should focus on accepting ourselves for who/what we are.

The second book I am writing is a departure from the dark literary fiction I’ve written. Instead, it’s an autobiographical piece interlaced with humor. It’s called “Life with Alvy: Memoirs of a Real Life Annie Hall.” It chronicles my time dating a man in NYC who was an avid Woody Allen fan. Our relationship closely resembled the film, “Annie Hall.” Every time I start writing a new chapter, I find myself laughing at my laptop and copy/pasting paragraphs on my tumblr blog. Even though my book is humor-based, it is still difficult to re-live a past relationship. I’m lucky to have a husband who sees what my book is about and who gets my sarcastic sense of humor.

Where can my readers buy The Automat?

Amazon for Kindle and paperback. (paperback)

Barnes and Nobles for Nook

Sony eReader


Apple Bookstore

You can also download it directly from

Want to learn more about Cristina Martin and The Automat



Twitter: hornandhardart




Novel Synopsis Made Easy

29 11 2012

Anyone beginning a novel, or who has completed a novel needs a synopsis.

Writing a synopsis before you write your novel will help you with your plotting and the synopsis can be a guide for you while you write. It is easier to write a synopsis before you write your novel because you don’t get bogged down details. When the book is completed just go back and revise your synopsis to make sure it reflects the novel you wrote, instead of the novel you intended to write. A synopsis is a handy tool to send to an agent as well.

A synopsis is:

A narrative summary of your book. That doesn’t mean that it is a grocery list of what happens.It should have emotional impact!

Written in present tense.This is a must, they aren’t interested in what you will be doing or what you will one day be doing. Write the letter in the here and now.

It’s written in third person.Think back to when you were writing essays in school and cut out all I’s and We’s.

Write in the style of your book. Remember the synopsis is a reflection of the best parts of your novel. Think of the synopsis as a first date. That means keep it brief; stay true to who you are; keep your negative self loathing locked up until they commit to loving you forever. 

A synopsis weaves together your main characters and their main conflicts in the narrative. This is where you show your craft by being interesting and brief. It took you a year to craft your novel; make sure your synopsis is equally thoughtful. One paragraph should flow logically to the next. If you are switching ideas, you need to make sure you build in a transition to connect your paragraphs.

Don’t include every character or every scene, plot point, or subplot in your synopsis. Give a nice gloss over of what your book is about and what drives your characters.No teasers. Remember, they can only judge your manuscript on what they are given- not what they are promised will be good.

Need someone to polish your synopsis? Charles Henry Editing does Synopsis editing and evaluations for $250.00. Email to get a professional editor to polish your synopsis today!

Book Review Promotional: The Dawn Herald

29 11 2012

On Saturday, November 30th, Charles Henry Editing will be reviewing The Dawn Herald by LB Mara.


“Charis is a solitary child. Everyone suspects that her mother, Isolde, is a witch. Both have magical powers they hide from their ordinary, stuffy neighbours. But when Charis begins to glow brightly at night, Isolde has no choice but to tell her that they hail from another world entirely – and that without Charis’s powers their world will vanish from existence.
The Dawn Herald is a tale of fantastical creatures, broadswords and battles, princesses and angels, ancient evil and extraordinary bravery.”

You can buy LB Mara’s book: The Dawn Herald here:

Learn more about LB Mara here:

Happy reading and we’ll see you Saturday, December 1st for the full review.

Professional Book Editing Services Starting at $199.99

28 11 2012

Every writer needs a professional editor. Charles Henry Editing is offering professional book editing starting at $199.99!

Book Copy Editing:  $199.99

Copy Editing makes the copy clear, concise, comprehensible and consistent. It involves correcting spelling, terminology, punctuation, grammatical, semantic, and factual errors

Book Content Editing (substantive editing):  $199.99

Content Editing analyzes the broader story elements such as organization, plot, character development, and structure.

Book Proofreading: $199.99.

Proofreading includes checking for typographical, spelling, and formatting errors using standard proof marks set forth by the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition.

Want a to get more than one service at a low price? Check out our package deals!

Author’s Delight (Best for submitting to traditional publishers)

Services include: content editing, copy editing, and proofreading.

  • 50,000 words and Under: $299.99
  • 50,001 to 100,000 words: $399.99
  • 100,001 words and Up: $499.99

Publication Ready (Best for self publishers)

Services include: content editing, copy editing, proofreading, formatting; creating front matter, and creating back matter.

  • 50,000 words and Under: $599.99
  • 50,001 to 100,000 words: $799.99
  • 100,001 words and Up: $999.99

Go to http://www.charleshenryeditingblog or to learn more about services provided by Charles Henry Editing. Email Carolyn Elias at to get started on the professional edit of your book!

Promotional: Cristina Martin, Author Interview

28 11 2012

Cristina Martin, the author of The Automat is stopping by this week to do an author interview at

Cristina Martin was born in Miami, Florida in 1978. When she was 10 years old, her goals were to write a book, show her art in a gallery, and move out of Miami. She accomplished all three goals by the age of 32, and then some!

Cristina spent 5 long and arduous years living in New York City, where she showed her artwork and began writing “The Automat.” She moved to Los Angeles, where she currently resides with her husband and son.  Her hopes are to one day become a writer for a sitcom with a memorable theme song featuring a strong bass guitar.

The Automat is a fictional story exploring the dark side of human nature and the innate desire of being loved. It is a story of unexpected change in the routine of one’s simple life, of obsession, guilt, and the consequences of betrayal. The Automat will appeal to readers of literary fiction with dark undertones.
The Automat is a story of Horace Gray, a dispirited introvert, who takes notice of a mysterious set of eyes that stare at him from behind the Automat wall. Horace sets out on his own adventure to meet the woman behind the automat wall, and ultimately understand her motives. He soon finds himself obsessed with his new pursuit as everything else around him becomes inconsequential.

You can buy her book here:

Amazon for Kindle and paperback. (paperback)

Barnes and Nobles for Nook

Sony eReader


Apple Bookstore

You can also download it directly from

Learn more about Cristina Martin here:



Twitter: hornandhardart



Upcoming Book Reviews Calendar

27 11 2012

Since so many readers are loving the book review posts on We decided to post a calendar of upcoming book reviews and hopefully you will read the books along with us!

December 1st- LB Mara, The Dawn Herald, which is available for purchase at and

December 8th- Dante Craddock, A Love Beyond Time, which is available at

December 15th- Sally Bellerose, The Girls Club, which is available at

December 22nd- Chris Martin, The Stranger, which is available at

December 29th- T.W. Dittmer, The Valley Walker, which is available at

January 5th- Nate Perkins.

January 12th, Gretchen Elhassani.

Want to have your book reviewed? Email Carolyn Elias at to schedule a date for your book review!

Looking for guest bloggers!

26 11 2012

Charles Henry Editing is looking for guest bloggers to post on our site We’d like to offer a trade: You do a blog post for us and we’ll do one for you. We like meeting new people and creating deep, meaningful relationships with authors, editors, publishers, agents and writers. So, if you’re looking for a fresh audience and want someone else to write a blog post for you, it is your lucky day.

We’re looking for posts about writing, editing, and publishing. We’re not looking for advertisements and authors using the post to promote their work. We have weekly author interviews and book reviews, which means we’re already pushing a lot of products besides our editing services and don’t need more. We are looking for 500 words about a topic of your choice, told in an interesting way. We’ll promote the fact that you will be writing for us and direct people to your blog, which is probably fabulous.

If you would like to trade blog posts, please email Carolyn Elias at to schedule a guest post slot.

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