By Steve Lang, News and Publications
Sul Ross State University student Alouy Martinez believes he possesses sufficient imagination – and collected background information – to write more than 20 novels.
He has at least 19 to go, including a goal of finishing three more in the coming year.
Martinez, Presidio, recently published “The Shadows: The Return Has Begun,” a young adult novel that explores the supernatural. The book debuted Oct. 27 and is published by CreateSpace, the publishing engine of global online retailer and publisher Amazon. _Createspace offers on-demand manufacturing of books, DVD’s and music formats for independent artists and businesses.
Martinez’ book is described online as “a tale of mystery, suspense, action, and romance that charts the perilous course of six young characters as their fates unfold, and their true identities are revealed as the formidable entities known as The Shadows.”
Sul Ross Student Publishes Novel
Sul Ross student Alouy Martinez, Presidio (right), presents copy of his novel, “The Shadows: The Return Has Begun,” to President Ricardo Maestas. Martinez’ novel was released in October by CreateSpace, the publishing arm of Amazon. (Photo by Steve Lang)
The Shadows, beings created more than 2,000 years ago, seek “to restore order to the unbroken rules of the Heavenly Laws,” the summary continues. The book shares the points of view of six primary characters and describes an on-going battle of good and evil between angels and demons.
For Martinez, a Sul Ross freshman majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis, the novel culminates seven years’ work, begun at the age of 13. In the interim, he shifted from third person to first person narrative and at one point, re-started the project when his computer crashed, erasing his first draft.
“It was a difficult time, especially since my first language is Spanish,” he said, “but it was fun. The book went through a lot of changes and revisions, but I also got to know a lot about the publishing world.”
Martinez did not originally intend to seek publication of his work, but later changed his mind. He wrote numerous query letters to publishing houses, contacted agents and authors, endured numerous rejection letters and gathered useful information.
“When I decided to look into publishing, I was not aware of how the publishing world works,” he said. He did learn that some publishers were reluctant to consider “The Shadows” when Martinez said that the book would be the first in a series of seven novels.
“Of 16 agents I contacted, just one got back to me,” he added, but said he gained some valuable knowledge from some authors who responded to his questions, particularly those who self-published. Eventually, he contacted CreateSpace and found a willing publisher.
In working with CreateSpace, Martinez edited his manuscript to 82,000 words and 283 pages. In addition, with the encouragement of his Presidio High School art teacher, he included his own illustrations for each chapter. He has also sketched the characters he has created.
“I have all these characters in my head,” he said. “When I’m walking around, I am thinking of what they do. I wonder what they look like and how they behave. (Sketching profiles) helps me understand them,” he said.
His inspiration for his book stems from an interest in the supernatural and a study of Greek mythology. In addition, Martinez has studied political science, government, religion and history to provide authenticity to time periods addressed in his writing. He has developed a flowchart of time lines and details for future subject matter.
Martinez averages about 2,000 words of fiction per day, in addition to maintaining a full academic schedule that includes online courses in creative and technical writing, history, botany and a botany lab.
“I have to write every day,” he said, adding that he draws inspiration from his classes as well.
“Creative writing has also helped me to step away (from “The Shadows”) and to work on other genres, such as historical fiction and contemporary subjects.”
At present, though, he is working on three more novels, a second in “The Shadows” series and two “spin-offs,” which feature minor characters from “The Shadows.” His goal is to publish all three in 2013.
“I am working on all three,” he said. “I jump from one book to the other.” He added that he has not experienced difficulty in writing his second book of “The Shadows” series.
“Many writers have said it’s hard to write a second book. I find it easy…maybe because I spent so many years on the first book that I know now how the story is going to go.”
For future books, Martinez plans to title, outline and sketch an illustration for each chapter. “I want to incorporate my love of art and writing,” he said.
Meanwhile, “The Shadows” is being marketed through Amazon, both in the U.S. and Europe. Martinez has his own website, alouymartinez.com, and has also sent copies of his book to bloggers for reviews.
“It has been a fun experience,” Martinez said, adding that the end of the month will be even more enjoyable.
That’s when his first royalty checks are scheduled to arrive.
Courtesy of © Steve Lang Sul Ross State University News and Publication
Destiny is about to change.
What lurks in the shadows may change the destiny of six young lives forever. That is, if they can survive at all. The Shadows: The Return Has Begun, the heart-pounding young adult debut novel by Alouy Martinez, is a tale of mystery, suspense, action, and romance that charts the perilous course of six young characters as their fates unfold, and their true identities are revealed as the formidable entities known as The Shadows. Dramatic, dark, and alluring, this enthralling work of fiction goes where no vampire or werewolf novel has ever gone before.
Follow them all as they journey together to Paris, France, where it soon becomes chillingly evident that someone is in bloodthirsty pursuit of them all. They soon realize their destiny as The Shadows, beings created over two thousand years ago to restore order to the unbroken rules of The Heavenly Laws. Upon their demise in 486 AD, a prophecy was born as they took their lives into their own hands, marking their return. However, this time destiny won’t control them.
Will they overcome forces that are primed to wage deadly battle against them all? And can they face their own demons as they do? The Shadows: The Return Has Begun creates a new legion of deadly foes that rages through every gripping page of this wildly inventive, gripping new novel.