GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Paranormal Urban Fantasy Author Martin J. Best + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Interview: Paranormal Urban Fantasy Author Martin J. Best + giveaway

Where do you live?
I was born, and have mostly lived, in the English Riviera town of Torquay, in the county of Devon, England. It’s an interesting place: the oldest human skull in North West Europe, dating from forty-four thousand years ago, was found in our local limestone cave system, Kents Caverns; author Agatha Christie was born here in eighteen ninety; occultist Aleister Crowley founded his second Abbey of Thelema here in nineteen forty; and in twenty twenty-one it was named the most likely place in the UK to see a ghost!

In keeping with this reputation, I grew up in an actively haunted house, where apparitions were seen, things inexplicably moved, and disembodied voices heard. The former owner, a Victorian era widow, practiced Spiritualism, and regularly conducted séances. In a similarly macabre vein, not far from where I live now, stands Gallows Gate. It marks the boundary of four Parishes, and served as a place of execution for over a thousand years. I suppose it’s no wonder that I like it here!

Tell me about you, and why you write.
I was born in Torquay, England, in nineteen sixty-five, and, for those of you to whom it matters, I’m a Sagittarius. I’ve always had an (over) active imagination, which wasn’t encouraged by my parents. I am a voracious reader, and as a child worked my way through all the Doctor Who books and Alan Garner’s novels, amongst others, quickly graduating to adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror. A significant moment was reading Clark Ashton Smith’s Lost Worlds, and he has remained a firm favourite of mine.

Feeling compelled to translate my thoughts into something more palpable, I quickly discovered that I wasn’t an artist, so set about using words to bring my stories to life. Over the years, I’ve written on and off as time and circumstances permitted, and have piles of handwritten A4 paper to prove it. It’s only relatively recently, when I gave up work to care for first my elderly mother, then my mother-in-law, that I found time to devote solely to writing. I published short stories The Moth Trap - which had been kicking around for over twenty years - The Novice Ghost Hunter, and A Step Aside. My daughter told me that The Novice Ghost Hunter deserved a sequel, and the six novel Ghost Hunter series was conceived, followed by the Carolyn Hunter Stories. I take so much pleasure from writing that it’s difficult to describe it as work. That said, it can be incredibly frustrating when the right words won’t come, it’s remarkably time consuming, and difficult to make a living from.

Do you have a favourite movie?
It’s difficult to choose just one, but the two thousand and two film Dog Soldiers, starring Sean Pertwee, is definitely up there. A grimly humorous, blood drenched, werewolf epic!

Who is your hero and why?
Ian Fraser Kilminster, better known as Lemmy, the bass player and vocalist of Motörhead. I’ve seen Motörhead play quite a few times, always a great show; consummate professionals. Lemmy lived his life, and played his music, without compromise; I admire that.

What are you passionate about?
Apart from writing, and the paranormal, I have always been passionate about music, and enjoy a wide variety of genres; I ran my own mobile DJ business for many years. In the last few years I have become captivated by throat singing, particularly Mongolian folk rock bands such as The Hu, Nine Treasures, Tengger Cavalry, and Suld, the Siberian shamanic duo Nytt Land, and Pagan folk band Heilung.

A complex and engaging blend of paranormal urban fantasy and occult horror!

A Matter of Faith (Ghost Hunter I )
by Martin J. Best
Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
Fledgling Ghost Hunter Malachi Hunter is back with a vengeance in the first full-length novel of the macabre Ghost Hunter series!

Lonely paranormal investigator Mal yearns to find some direction and true happiness in his life. His world is rapidly changing- and not necessarily for the better. That is until he receives a fateful call which will once again put his eerie expertise into play. Fiercely independent single parent Teena Maunder is determined to handle anything which dares to cross her path. She is resolute and determined. However, when her home becomes the scene for a terrifying and baffling haunting, Teena appears to have met her match. Turning to Mal for help, the scene is set for a deadly paranormal onslaught. Mal quickly finds himself embroiled in a supernatural battle unlike any he has faced until this point. He could very well be out of his league this time. Be that as it may, the stakes could not be any higher as a blossoming romance has ignited between Mal and Teena. This could finally be his chance to claim the love and happiness he so desperately craves. All that stands in the way is a hideous entity which has entirely different plans!

Come join Mal as he continues his journey to become an elite paranormal investigator. When you have managed to regain your composure, be sure to check out the other chilling titles in the Ghost Hunter series!

The sound of someone moving around downstairs focussed Teena’s attention. Carolyn’s best friend Emily was staying over, and the sounds likely meant that one, or both, of the teenagers were raiding the kitchen for an illicit snack. She glanced at the bedside clock; it was after two in the morning. Teena smiled in the darkness. Let them have their fun, there might even be an innocent explanation such as fetching a glass of water. She closed her eyes and relaxed. A moment later, she sat up in bed and switched on the light; footsteps were coming up the stairs. Concerned now, Teena waited for her bedroom door to open, prepared to diagnose and remedy an ailment. Instead, she heard the door to the spare bedroom open. Puzzled, she searched for an explanation. Perhaps Emily, unfamiliar with the house, was half-asleep and confused? Sleep-walking even? Teena quickly left the bed, put on her dressing gown, and hurried out onto the landing. The door to the spare bedroom was open, and she could just make out movement within. With a half-formed notion about not startling sleep-walkers, she crossed the landing and peered in through the doorway. The curtains were open, and there was sufficient ambient light that it was obvious the room was unoccupied. Uncertainly, Teena stepped back onto the landing. How could she have been mistaken? Before she could ponder any deeper, she heard footsteps in the kitchen. “Carolyn? Emily? Is that you?” There was no answer, but footsteps started up the stairs. Thoroughly disconcerted, Teena reached out and switched on the light. The footsteps stopped. The staircase was empty. An icy chill ran up her spine, and she stood petrified for several seconds, before racing back to her bedroom.

With the door shut, she switched the main light on, picked up her phone and dialled the police. Assured that they were on their way, she summoned the courage to go downstairs and check on the girls. The house was quiet as she made her way nervously downstairs. She turned on the front room light and looked inside before entering; it was untenanted. Teena entered and crossed to the door that led to Carolyn’s basement bedroom, opening it quietly. She walked down three steps of the steep wooden staircase and looked across the room. Enough light was coming from above that she could clearly see that Carolyn and Emily appeared to be sound asleep. Satisfied that they were alone, she retraced her steps, closed the door, and went to the window to await the arrival of the police.

As Teena waited, she attempted to rationalise what had happened. She was convinced that an intruder had been in the house, and that they had probably been scared off when she switched on the light. However, that didn’t explain the opening of the spare bedroom door. It occurred to her that she hadn’t checked the back door. Perplexed now rather than frightened, she saw the police patrol car pull up outside, and went to open the front door. The two male constables introduced themselves as PCs O’Brien and Stevens, listened to Teena’s account, and joined her on a tour of the house. Back in the front room, the two officers sat on the settee, Teena in an armchair. “As far as we can tell, Miss Maunder, your property is secure,” O’Brien said, “there’s no evidence of a forced entry, and the only keys are accounted for.” He leaned forward, hands clasped. “I don’t mean to doubt your story, but is it possible that you made a mistake?”

“I’m starting to believe that I must have, but I don’t understand how.”

“Perhaps the noises came from one of the adjoining properties,” Stevens suggested. “When everything’s quiet at night, sounds that you would normally hardly notice seem much louder; particularly if you’re half-asleep.”

“Perhaps you’re right.” Teena was sure that he wasn’t, but was starting to feel embarrassed. “I’m sorry for wasting your time.”

“You haven’t,” O’Brien said firmly, “far better to be safe than sorry.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that.”

The two men rose and made ready to leave; Teena showed them to the door. O’Brien paused, his hand on the latch. “Your surname sounds familiar, have we met before?”

“No, I don’t think so, but you may know my brother, Bradley Maunder, he’s a detective constable in Torquay.”

O’Brien nodded. “That’s it. I knew I recognised the name. Well, we’ll bid you good-night, Miss Maunder.”

“Good night, and thank you.”

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About the Author:

Martin J. Best was born in Torquay, England, in 1965, where he lives with his wife, Kim, and their dogs, Shadow and Raven. Dubbed the Prince of Paranormal by antipodean author Mark Carnelley, Martin grew up in an actively haunted house, which probably accounts for his abiding interest in all things supernatural. He has had a varied work life, and spent many years running his own mobile disco business. He now writes full-time, and when not working, is a keen walker, music enthusiast, and ghost hunter.

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  1. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dog Soldiers is a favorite of mine also. Looking forward to getting out this books series.

  3. This looks really good. Thanks for hosting this tour.

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  5. This sounds like an excellent series. Great covers.