Marty Connor and Rosie May – Awake (Are We)

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Awake (Are We?) part 1 and 2

Awake is a series of five books, four of which are completed and two that have been published.

Part one and two begins the saga as two young men, Will and Connor brought up together since birth in a foster home are thrown into the Dream World known as Sublin. This world is in turmoil as the evil Shadow Night Lord is draining the Wake World of its energy and using it to create an army, an army so powerful that the other realms of Sublin are unable to defeat him. Their only hope is pinned upon a prophecy, written hundreds of years ago of the arrival of the One Dream and his Protector. Only they can beat the Dark Lord but how?

As soon as Will and Connor arrive in Sublin they are chased by the Metalmares, the warrior leaders of the Dark Lord’s army. Only Kustos of the Waterfall Kingdom’s timely intervention prises them away from the clutches of this evil adversary.

With Kustos’s help the young men soon discover they are blessed with skills of their own, hidden since birth but waiting to be used. By tapping into their own dream energy they quickly learn how to protect themselves . . . and others.

The adventure is a whirlwind of events. Monsters created from their worst imagination, friends who are prepared to lay down their lives without a second thought and wars and battles so devastating that courage is the only thing left standing.

Will, Connor and the Shadow Night Lord’s destiny all hangs on a thread but which one of them will be victorious?

Only time will tell.

Tell us something about yourself.

My name is Marty Connor I am 30 years old soon to be 31. I live in city in England called Portsmouth. It has a natural harbour. Portsmouth is 5 miles away from the Isle of Wight made famous by a couple of Beatles song one titled She’s got a ticket to Ryde.

My first love as a young boy was drawing. I used to create my own cartoon characters and comic strips but as I got older, I found it harder and harder to contain the talent and began writing poems to help express the way I was feeling and what was on my mind. As time went on this developed and I began seeing worlds and story lines in my mind. From here I began to write them down and from this my series of books were created Awake (Are We)?

My associate that channeled my inspiration was my mother. I can’t tell you her age because like all Mum’s she wouldn’t be happy but she’s been writing socially since before I was born and free lanced for a Girls’ Magazine with humorous short stories in her early twenties. She also lives in Portsmouth and has a varied range of hobbies from sport to travelling, gardening and writing stories of a different genre. With a full time job as well this keeps her busy but I know she wouldn’t want it any other way.

What inspired you to write this book?

It’s funny I used to work nights many years ago and I remember on a really quiet night, I heard a song with the line “All the dream stealers are lying in wait…” As I played that line in my mind about 3 am at this point all the ideas I had floating around and the storylines that were vivid in my mind began to come together and from there the World of Sublin was formed. From that point I had my series born all from one line in one song.

How did you choose the title?

This came down to my Editor, King bad dog. At the time of the first part I was not sure about copyright laws and the original title I had once, appeared everywhere in Google. It was time to change my tact and so I turned to my editor who happens to be a family member as well. Some passing glib remark caught our attention and it seemed quite quirky. We always knew we had more than one book in mind and needed a common title that would relate them all and Awake (are we?) was born.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Many, many times I was ready to give it all up. It’s hard taking so many rejections and although you are told not to take it personally how can you not? After all it’s your story they are rejecting. In the end it was just constant perseverance and learning to develop a very tough skin that got the book noticed by a New York Agent and then by my current publisher’s which I thank very much for taking a chance on us.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I never knew I wanted to be a writer as such. I guess I like the art stuff more than the numbers and things. I like to draw and write poems. That’s more my thing. When Awake was being written down I just enjoyed do it. I am currently on my 5th and final part and I still love trying to find new ways of storytelling. To me writing is the best part of it all.

Do you have any writing rituals?

When it comes to writing and creating I don’t really have any rituals. I very rarely write notes down. I live the whole story in my head at all times so when in my writing phase It’s very hard to hold my attention as I feel I am there with my characters like I am a camera man following them around in a documentary reality type show.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Again I was never really sure of copyright so I used names of things and ran it through a few translations on the first couple of books. It’s mainly old street Latin and normal everyday names mixed up with half of one name with another. For instance, one of monster in ‘Awake’ is called a Byack. This is basically bird and snake mixed together and then change a letter here and there.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I have learnt how hard and how slow this process is and that if you have an idea and you truly believe in it, whether you have a degree in English or not you just need to be able to capture the imagination of people. I am still learning how hard it is once you have the book published, it does not end there. You then have to somehow get the attention of the public which is not an easy thing to do when you have to hold down a full time job as well.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

In this industry I don’t think you can do anything differently other than your best and make the most of what you have by gaining as much public attention as possible. The most important thing though is that the few people that purchase your book or read it from a library or wherever, enjoy the world you have created for them.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

This is a hard question. I like fantasy and sci-fi as Awake is a cross breed of both but I at the same time I try not to read to many of them as I do not want to be to influenced by their work. I love action, adventure books which is something that shows in Awake. As well as that I think people like Matthew Riley create fast pace action books. Of course I like Tolken and C.S Lewis as well.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

My co writer and I currently have two books out to buy Awake part 1 and 2. We are currently editing Awake part 3 with our editor. This year I we have written Awake part 4 and I am currently half way through the first draft of Awake part 5 the final part. The story gets more and more exciting as the series go on and I hope that shows if you are lucky enough to have all 5 published.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Never give up. No matter how many time you get rejected. A wise person once told me that you may get rejected by hundreds of people but it only takes one yes!

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Well from our facebook fan page it appears mainly 13 to 20 year old enjoy the idea of Awake but for anyone who loves a fantasy and sci-fi.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Awake (Are We?): Part 1, Journey to the Waterfall Kingdom
Awake (Are We)? Part 2 The Rebirth of Sublin