Check out this author spotlight for Bruno Martins Soares!
You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
I don’t really know how old I was when I started writing stories. I wrote them for school, I’m certain, but the first time I wrote without any academic goal I was 12, I remember that much. I kept writing different stuff. When I was 22, a friend of mine incited me to enter one of the largest and most prestigious Young Writers’ contests in Portugal. I did and won an Honourable Mention. I tried again two years later and won it. I went to Torino and them Rome and Sarajevo, representing my country as a Young Writer. One of the best times of my life. Then, one day, I decided to write a Scifi novel I had been chewing on for some time: The Saga of Alex 9. I showed it to a publisher who’d just included a short story of mine in an anthology, and he loved it. I was a published novelist one year later, and soon was featured in a series alongside names like George R.R. Martin or Bernard Cornwell, hailed as an author to recon with in Portuguese Scifi. How about that? I wrote more novels and worked in movies, TV and plays. I’ve done a lot of things in my career, but overall, I’ve been writing professionally for 20 years.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Cat or dog? Cat. Love dogs and always had a few, but since I got my two cats I’m fascinated by that species of demon.
Tea or coffee? Hard to say. Love both. Not addicted or anything but will probably drink one or the other every day.
Morning or evening? Depends on the day. But probably morning. More productive in the mornings.
Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas. Martial arts fascinate me.
Plotter or pantser? Plotter, for sure. Love intricate plots. Love playing with the details. Love making my characters overcome the impossible.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
I like historical novels, especially about military leaders and units. Love Bernard Cornwell. But the type of story that always catches my eye is clash of cultures stories – like time-travels or space travels and foreign encounters, like Avatar, Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans, Last Samurai, Tarzan, Shogun, that type of stuff. I also like those types of stories when a team has to be at their best to survive, like Apollo XIII, or Master and Commander.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
Right now, I’m working on something completely different, my first non-militaristic novel in a long time. It’s a scifi/supernatural/horror psychological thriller about a man and his small son overcoming the terrible loss of their wife and mother – but how dead is she? ‘Family’ is a big underlying theme in most of my writing.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
I am known to write militaristic Science Fiction with strong characters and twists. My latest book, LAURA AND THE SHADOW KING is about a little girl fleeing from her cruel captors with her mother in a post-apocalyptic Southern Spain devastated by a pandemic (two, actually – one after the other). And then she is saved by Special Forces team Shadow. Laura is a special girl who can make all the difference to find a cure, so the invading Russian army will not let her go easily. People usually notice my strong female characters and the girl’s mother, Maria, is someone to be reckoned with. The second volume of this two-part miniseries will come out at the end of the year. Here’s where you can get it:
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
I grew up watching my father reading books. Every day before or after lunch or dinner he would sit in his chair and read a novel. A crime novel, as it happens. Or a spy novel. He hated SciFi («Those are things that don’t happen and will never happen.» – i.e. «old ladies solve murders all the time.»), and Fantasy was obviously (obviously!) for kids. Still, some of the first novels he gave me to read were from Edgar Rice Burroughs or Jules Verne. And that was besides all the comic books I read – the pride of my collection was a 50cm-long special edition of ‘Flash Gordon’. At 16 I read Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ for the first time, and loved it. Its intimist style still stays with me after all this time. As well as authors as Boris Vian, or Virginia Woolf.
But then, movies. I love movies. Much of my writing skills, my plotting skills, my ‘lay-down-the-scene’ skills, came from movies. I’d stay here a long time talking about it, so I’d better shut up.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I don’t. My life is a bit too chaotic for that. I do have a process and I plan and plot a lot before starting to write. But when I get to the writing, I just make sure to write every day. ‘Make sure’ is too much – I try my best. If I have time and peace, I can write 1000-1500 words a day. If I have other projects and other work, I can go as low as 200 words a day. And if I get blocked, 0 a day – which can be frustrating. But blocks aren’t there by chance and I make sure to use them to find out what I don’t like in the story so far or what is disturbing me in a sense or the other, so they’re not a waste of time. I may wake up in the middle of the night and having to write a few hundred words that popped up in my sleep. Or sit down in a coffee shop with my computer. I don’t really have a routine.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?
Be prepared for a long tortuous path. I never really wanted ‘to be a writer’, I always wanted to ‘write’. And that’s good. I tell my students and people who ask me that if you want fame and fortune, try something else. But it took me too long to really start writing what I wanted to write, anyway. Probably because I didn’t know what it was. And it’s strange and frustrating not really knowing what you want to write. But you’ll get there, eventually, just keep at it.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!