Martha Stromberg on Writing and the Hulder-Kin

Writer/Author Martha Stromberg

Today, we hear from writer Martha Stromberg, as she answers some fascinating questions about her writing and her process. The floor’s all yours, Martha!

Susan. Where do your ideas come from? 

Martha: I think all my best ideas come from my subconscious. It helps to think of them a little bit like lost children. Some are too shy to surface, some are silly and just want to play with you, others are bold. They march right up, stamping their feet and demand their own importance. Those ones, I try to be careful with. But the ones I find the most endearing are the ones that start off shy but over time, gathering strength and courage, and allow me to catch them. They usually have something important to say. 

S. Who is your favorite antagonist in your stories and why?

M: My favorite antagonist is my aged rock star named Alexander. He’s brash and full of himself and used to getting any girl he wants. But he has a tender spot for his teenaged son—and his son’s girlfriend. I admire him because it’s not easy to fight one’s own nature, but he will try for the sake of his son. 

S. Are any of your characters based on people you know? How do you keep them from recognizing themselves?

M: The only “real” person who is in danger of seeing themself in my writing, is me. LOL. 

S. Have you written or are you writing a series? Why or why not?

M: I would like to one day. 

S. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Or a combination? Why?

M: I am a pantser. Owing to the huge respect I pay my subconscious when I write, pantising is the best way to keep the trap-door open. I outline after the fact. The great and powerful content of the subconscious must still pass through the door or logic and reason. 

S. Does one of your characters have a unique feature or ability? How did you come up with that unique feature/ability?

M: My debut novel is featuring the Hulder-kin. The Scandinavian myth creatures. She’s both seductive and dangerous, but she’s also highly misunderstood. She hides a secret., you see. Within her skirts sways a long tail. My Huldras have many powers, one being the power of “supernatural-persuasion.”

S. What time of day is your most creative time? Do you get to utilize that time to the fullest or does other stuff get in the way?

M: I will noodle around all day at the keyboard if life allows me. 

S. How do you decide where your stories start?

M: I pinpoint the inciting incident, then take two steps back. 

Martha, thank you for your insightful responses. I, for one, can’t wait for the first Hulder-Kin book to come out! I’m sure all my readers feel the same. And here’s a little bit more about Martha…

Bio: Guided by her passion for a good story, Martha attempted her first novel at the age of twelve and never stopped. She earned a B.A. in English Literature and her writing community is SLO NightWriters in San Luis Obispo. 

She has published several short stories in local publications, and her current project is a young adult paranormal romance featuring the Hulder-kin. 

Her writing is heavily inspired by other art forms, especially music. From the grit and grandeur of Rock ‘n’ Roll to the sublime of Classical. 

Favorite authors include Marissa Meyer, Laini Taylor, John Green, Anne Rice, Donna Tartt, Truman Capote, and Vladimir Nabokov.

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.