Let us know about Martyn Blunden and his book “Charlie Green and The Pirate’s Treasure” in his own words:
I am a flying instructor and examiner at Shoreham Airport in West Sussex. I normally teach commercial pilots to become flying instructors, but currently I am teaching theoretical knowledge subjects for pilots to acquire their commercial pilot’s licence at Flying Time Aviation.
I attended Steyning Grammar School and studied to ‘A’ level in sciences.
The first twenty years of my working life was in Agricultural Engineering, ultimately running my own business and I also sat on the National Agricultural Engineering Education Advisory Council. I had learnt to fly at the age of eighteen, but did not follow a professional career until nearly the age of forty. Since achieving my commercial and flying instructors licence, for the past eighteen years, I have been a flying instructor. For many years now I have also been an examiner and a few years ago I became one of the few flying instructor examiners (FIE) in the UK. I was the Chief Flying Instructor and Head of Training at a flight school until unfortunately losing aviation medical last year. Currently I am teaching Theoretical Knowledge subjects to student pilots studying for their Commercial Pilot’s Licence.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have written many technical manuals over the years and had two aircraft technical books published about ten years ago. I also wrote regular newsletters for the flying school and as well as technical information I injected my own style of humour – where it was appropriate – which seemed to go down well with the readers. Playing and conversing with my two young daughters (at the time I started, about 7 years ago, they were 3 and 7 years old) with their amazing imagination, got me thinking about writing a story myself. It reminded me of my childhood and how your imagination can take you anywhere.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
When I was young I didn’t actually read a lot – certainly not as much as my daughters do – but one story did hold my fascination, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Stig of the Dump was also another story that stuck in my mind, also a sort of time travel experience! So I think my adventure novel was destined to involve time-travel!
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Because I wrote the first book over a period of about six years – written mainly whilst on holiday and the occasional weekend – the greatest challenge was maintaining continuity, I often had to re-read what I had written to ensure I used the correct names, as some were changed during the process. Later I made more notes to help me!
How much research do you do before writing the book?
After I had started to write and construct the outline of the story, research was a continuous process, as I use real people from history to interact with my fictional characters. Some of historical characters and places have been slightly realigned to make my story work, but they are essentially things that could have possibly happened. Research was important, I spent many hours reading books and searching the internet for facts and learnt a lot myself in the process! History fascinates me and through my stories I hope to encourage young and old readers to find out more about the characters in my books – references as where you might find out more are given in notes at the end of the books.
What motivated you to write the book “Charlie Green and The Pirate’s Treasure”?
I was motivated to write my first adventure novel partly by a desire to achieve something I hadn’t done before, yet had a notion that I could write a full length book. My mantra was given to me by my father many years ago when he said, “If some man has made it, work out how it works and then you can repair it!” What he was talking about, was fixing things, but the same applies to most things in life – you can do it if you try. Never be daunted by the whole take it one step at a time – like the words of a song in the musical Barnum, you, ‘build a wall one brick at a time’.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Charlie Green and The Pirate’s Treasure”?
Charlie Green and his family move to an isolated house in the country next to a deserted airfield. The Victorian house has been empty for many years following the mysterious disappearance of the former owner. Although the house was cleared out for the sale of the property, sheds in the garden, which harboured an emporium of odd artefacts, were left untouched in the wilderness that the garden had become. One local man and his wife know the truth surrounding the disappearance and the Green siblings start to discover some weird goings on in the sheds and more remarkably a magical aeroplane that has remained hidden in an old hangar on the airfield.
Although their mother had given strict instructions not to go wandering onto the airfield and around the dilapidated hangars – they did! After discovering the time-travelling abilities of the aeroplane the eldest, Ben, reckons he’s worked out – from notes written in some old books – that they need to track down the notorious pirate, Captain William Kidd. Charlie is particularly interested in the idea of laying his hands on some treasure – to this day there are stories of unfound treasure that Kidd buried – so they go back to the seventeenth century on a quest to find him! Not everything goes quite according to plan as the irrepressible Charlie often causes havoc.
How did you came up with the idea of writing adventure fiction genre book?
I enjoy writing, but the technical stuff can be tedious, so being able to create characters and construct a story of my pure imagination lets the child in me out! I also still enjoy a good kid’s adventure story myself.
Who are your favourite authors?
One of my favourite authors is Terry Pratchett, but sometimes I find his tales hard to follow. I also very much enjoy Peter James, particularly where his characters communicate with the past – a touch of which seems to strangely surround the former owner the Green’s new home.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
When I’m ‘in the grove’ I like to keep on writing and have to remember to take a break! Re-writing the first draft can be done in short periods (an hour or so) but for original writing I have to be left alone for at least four or five hours, which is not easy to get unless on holiday or on days off and the family are either still in bed – some of my best writing I do early in the morning – or have gone out without me!
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
The only words of wisdom I can give to potential authors is just to get on with it and write – whatever it is that you have in your head to write about. It is not easy and at times your thoughts will dry up – I’m sure it does for everybody – I know it happens to me! Don’t worry during the first draft too much about the grammar and literacy, you will have to go back and re-write it anyway to make it the best you can and anyway, editors will do that for you – it’s their job! I am no English scholar, as my editors will testify, but that shouldn’t stop you writing down your story, but it will take time – a lot of time. When I read other author CV’s I could get intimidated by the Oxford and Cambridge or other university graduate types, which is all credit to them, but it’s not my background. As many may see, if they read this, there are more than likely grammatical mistakes – this hasn’t been to an editor. So don’t let anything stop you from having a go either!
You can buy his book now: