Last week, entertainment news buzzed with reports of actress and rapper Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) starring in the film adaption of the fantasy novel, The Last Adventure of Constance Verity (Simon and Schuster). The man behind the trilogy, A. Lee Martinez, chatted with So Booking Cool on a Monday afternoon about the announcement. “A big part of this business is just waiting and seeing,” he says. “So I’m cautiously optimistic. That’s the way I kind of survive mentally.” He laughs.
Martinez started writing at 17-years-old, which is close to how long he’s been writing professionally (his career spans sixteen years). It would be thirteen years before he’d become a published novelist. He’s written twelve books and is currently penning the final installment of the Constance Verity series. His debut published novel, Gil’s All Fright Diner, won an Alex Award in 2006.
The Texan native, who is a longtime member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop, has become more confident in his writing and storytelling, but he firmly believes in improvement and luck.
“Even in my writing workshop, I always downplay what level of success I’ve gotten because I don’t want someone to think ‘I didn’t like that advice, but I should take it from him because he knows what he’s doing,’” Martinez reveals. “Because at the end of the day, there’s still a ton of luck. I mean, even this movie stuff is a ton of luck…there’s a lot of things that went on behind the scenes that have nothing to do with me…I think anytime you say ‘I’ve mastered this,’ you’re probably in a bad spot.”
Check out the interview to learn more about Martinez and his characters, the career challenges he overcomes, how he sometimes feels like an outsider in the industry, what he enjoys reading in his spare time, his opinion on some of the best film adaptations, his insight on executing realism in fiction, the list of writers he’d love to dine with, and more! For more information, visit his official website and Twitter.