JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Mikki Starr Martin, author of Zella Dora
Zella Dora’s progression in life has been on hiatus for the better part of the past six years. Since losing her mother tragically and unexpectedly to a rare disease, she has inherited the duty of caring for her father who has vehemently refused to accept that his wife is forever gone. Added to that is the burden of being there for a suicidal friend who, in a quest for love, is determined to pull everyone around down with her. Not to mention her own dependence on her closest friend Darwin who, unbeknownst to Zella, is suffering from the quiet despair of unrequited love.
An instance of unintentional eavesdropping on her neighbor’s lovemaking oddly becomes the catalyst that creates the desire for Zella to break away and come into her own again. A decision she soon discovers is easier to commit to in theory than reality. When Zella becomes intimately involved with her married neighbor, her world quickly spins out of control begging the question of whether she’ll ever be able to live for herself again.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Zella Dora?
Mikki Starr Martin: Zella Dora came about approximately a year and a half before I really got into writing the story. I had some insane idea to write some twisted tale in the genre of erotica…got as far as a prelude and put it down, never thinking about it again. When I moved out to Cali and was unpacking some things, I happened across the legal pad that I’d written that prelude on. When I read it, I thought it was rather dope and very well written… I impressed myself. Immediately, I decided that something should be done with and I began outlining.
JP: You have a knack to making your novels simply complex. What was your writing process for Zella Dora?
MSM: With Zella Dora, I didn’t want to lead the story too much. I wanted to see what would happen if I gave myself minimal direction in writing. So I’d vaguely outline a few chapters at a time and fill in the blanks as I’d write. I was amazed at the things that poured out that way but scared at the same time because I didn’t know where this story was going and I wasn’t used to that lack of control.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Zella Dora getting out to the public?
MSM: I actually have yet to really push Zella Dora to the public. I’ve dropped a few breadcrumbs so her existence is known by a few but I wanted to wait until 2009 to really make her presence known.
JP: I am totally mesmerized by the book cover. Who is the model? Where did you find her? Who designed your cover?
MSM: Wow… I’m happy that you’re digging the cover. The model, I don’t know. I design all my own cover art. The image of the woman on the cover of Zella Dora is a stock photography image that I was thrilled to find. She fit my mental image of what Zella would look like and I was just so happy that the photographer granted me permission to use the image.
JP: What’s next for Miki Starr Martin?
MSM: I’ve started a couple of projects, but I’ve yet to put my heart into any of them. For now, I intend to focus on making my presence known…something that I’ve neglected doing for fear of being rejected by the masses, and finishing editing my first novel Well Runs Dry, so that I may re-release it later this month.
The biggest writing project that I am taking on right now is a 12-week short story series titled Psycho about psychotherapist Dr. Nicollet Madison Fairway who runs a lucrative business counseling fictional characters. It’s part marketing being that the fictitious characters she’s offering therapy to are my own and part writing challenge for myself as I’m allowing myself no guidance with this. I’ve got to find a way to keep it interesting, without giving away too much info about my books. I’ve gotten some love for the teaser, and even I am excited and curious to see where it goes.
Author Miki Starr Martin can be reached at email@example.com
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