Adriana here with another interview from S. Alex Martin, author of Embassy
Could you tell us a bit about your novel?
Embassy follows Arman Lance, a 20 year old guy who’s down on life because he’s sick of where he lives, where he works, and having next-to-no friends. He wants to join the galaxy’s Embassy Program, which will let him board an expedition to Belvun, a forested planet where the girl he used to love lives. But when Arman enters the Embassy and journeys across the galaxy, he learns how he’s held himself back from appreciating his life.
What inspired you to write Embassy?
It began as a short story that I wrote for a magazine back in 2012. Though the magazine didn’t accept the submission, the editor encouraged me to broaden the story and turn it into a novel. I didn’t start writing the novel until January 2013, but it’s nothing like the original. Now it’s loosely based on a true story.
Did you write an outline before writing the novel?
Nope. I’m a pantser, not a plotter. I have vague ideas of what direction to head, but for the most part it’s trial and error.
What was the hardest part of writing your novel?
Honestly, coming up with names for fictional foods. It’s much more difficult than it sounds. The food isn’t a large part of the story, but my longest pauses were when I had to think of what to name a food Earth wouldn’t have.
What is one way you relate to your main character(s)?
As I said, Embassy is loosely based on a true story. The core themes are all things I learned in real life. So in that respect, I relate to Arman. The rest of the characters are all pieces of me. Glacia Haverns is my adrenaline-rush side, Victoria Hofhen is my responsible side, Officer Remmit is my brainiac and talkative sides, Orcher is my quiet, deep-thinking side…etc, etc. Combine all the main characters, and you have me.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Live life and enjoy it. Take the next step. Be who you want to be. As Glacia says, “It doesn’t matter what we think we deserve. All that matters is what we choose.”
Did you learn anything from writing Embassy? What was it?
In real-life, Embassy helped me get out of a very deep hole. My mental rock bottom. I don’t think anything could’ve tied me down the way Embassy did. I make a note of this in the dedication: ‘To anyone who needs a second chance.’ Knowing where I was just days before writing this novel, I think it’s the perfect dedication for this book. Even now I’m getting a little teary-eyed thinking about it, hahaha.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Thematic-wise, I think John Green is my biggest influence. I love his style and his stories. I almost ran into him at the Pittsburgh Pirates playoff game back in 2013. Almost.
What is one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?
My friends were there from the start. They’d come hang out as I sat and typed or edited for hours upon hours every day for months on end. I appreciate their patience and support, even now, almost two years after I started writing Embassy.
Do you have any advice for other writers out there who are looking into publishing or just writing a story in general?
Don’t just sit down and think you have something to say. Go out and live. Explore. Do something you’ve never done before. Go swimming in a lake, go climb a mountain, go walk through a forest. Volunteer somewhere. Cry over someone. Be human and experience your humanity. Then you’ll have a story to tell.
Where can we as readers stalk you on social media? (Pinterest, Goodread, FB, Blog etc etc.)
You can buy Embassy on that website, too, and all my social media links are in the header of the site.