Interview with Author Martina Boone

Friday, May 9, 2014
[I don't know the source of the original photo used above, if you do, let me know]

After having finished Compulsion by Martina Boone, I became increasingly interested in the hype of this book. The release date isn't until October, but oh my gosh, everyone should know about this gem of a book! If you are a book blogger, this is definitely something you will want to nab as an ARC. 

I connected with Ms. Martina via Twitter, and found that she was more than willing to do an interview with me. So why don't you keep reading and find out more about the author behind the story of Compulsion.

1.  How long have you been writing, and what inspired you to begin the journey?

    I've always been a reader, and I've always loved to write, but my family are all scientists and doctors. They read a ton, but writing as a career was never even something that registered on the scale of possibilitiesthey preferred  jobs that actually, you know, paid. I never considered it as something beyond the realm of wishful thinking until I discovered children’s books when my son was born. I wrote a number of picture books for him, and came very close to getting them publishedseveral failed acquisition meetings and a stellar agentand then I tried my hand at writing a very bad adult novel. When my agent dropped me, I made the mistake of giving up. We were short on money, so I started a business, and I told myself I was working eighteen hours a day and didnt have time to write. Fast forward a lot of years, and my daughter started reading young adult literature. She has a learning disability, so reading had been very hard for her, and I kept trying to find something that would ignite her interest. When YA lit did that, I read everything she read, and discovered that I loved the books even more than she did. I read voraciously, and set out in a more measured way to learn to write a novel. 
    If I can pass along one piece of advice to writers young or old, its that you should never give up if you feel you have something to say. Getting published is against the odds and it requires a lot of agonizing effort, a lot of rejection, and a lot of luck. In the end, its not about hurrying to get published, its about the story and the writing and what you want to share. You may fail, but at least you won't always wonder what if?
2. What made you want to write Compulsion?

    I wrote a short story that contained many of the seeds for the characters and the plantation that eventually became the community around Watson Island. In the course of researching some of the family history for that, I came across so many amazing legends and facts that sparked my imagination and wouldn’t let go. The pirate history of the Charleston area, the indigo, rice, and sea island cotton trades, the many battles and conflicts, and the intersection of Native American legends and the myths and legends brought from Africa and the West Indies with the slaves. Imagining all of that and how it intersected and shaped the area and might have shaped the families who lived on the plantations there, how the descendants of those families might have felt about the stains and burdens of history became fascinating to me. I imagined characters tied to their pasts and characters trying to outrun their pasts, and I fell in love with those characters. That’s where it always ends up for me—the characters.

3. How many books are you anticipating being in the series?

    We have three books definitely planned, and we may do two novellas in between books one and two and between books two and three as well.

4. On your Goodreads page, it says you were born in the Czech Republic. When did you move to America? Was it a hard transition?

    My parents and I escaped communism in what was then Czechoslovakia. We moved first to Denmark and then to Norway before coming to the United States. We left the rest of our family behind, including my father because my mother had recently remarried. So there was a lot of adjustment. Learning three languages in three years was hard, too, and the culture and general environment in the U.S. is very different than elsewhere. I feel very connected to the people who come to this country looking for hope. I think it’s a hard transition for anyone moving here, but I am proof that the American dream does exist.

5. What do you love most about Young Adult lit?

    I love that young adult literature is brave. There aren’t any topics that can’t be addressed, genres that can’t be twisted or bent, rules that can’t be broken. Sure, there are always going to be people who don’t want their kids reading things that someone has written, and that breaks my heart. But young adult literature shapes the future by shaping young minds, and the more we encourage young adults to read, think, and most importantly, to put themselves into the shoes of others and feel for and with someone else, the brighter the future will be. My favorite thing about young adult literature is that it builds empathy, and I think that’s something we very badly need.

6. If you could be an ice cream flavor, which one would you be?

    Mango with chili sea salt and maybe a drizzle of dark chocolate on top. Because I don’t want to say Nutella. (Although, nocciola gelato, just saying!) 

More about the author:

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. Her first teacher in the U.S. made fun of her for not pronouncing the "wh" sound right, so she set out to master "all the words”—she's still working on that! In the meantime she’s writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she'd love to visit. She is the author of Compulsion, book one of the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy, which will be out from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse October 28, 2014. She is also the founder of,, and the First Five Pages Workshop.

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