Erik Christopher Martin writes books for young adult and middle-grade readers, and also short stories, particularly horror, for older readers. He is an indie author who publishes under the imprint name of In A Bind Books. In A Bind Books was also the name of the bookstore that Erik opened and ran with his soon-to-be wife, Toni a long, long time ago (2000, almost another century ago!). The bookstore closed (Thanks, Amazon. Remember when Amazon was an online bookstore? If you do, you’re old like Erik), but the name lived on.
Erik spent his childhood and twenties in Cleveland, Ohio. Sometime after that, he moved to North Carolina and then California, where he remains. About Cleveland, he misses a good pierogi, but not all of the snow.
In order to improve his craft, Erik studies writing a lot. He doesn’t believe that one needs a degree in writing to be a good writer, but he does believe that one needs the knowledge someone gains in obtaining a degree in writing to be a good writer. There are many paths to obtaining this knowledge. If you’re not going to complete a degree program in writing (he didn’t. It’s okay) then read about story structure. Some excellent books to start with are Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, Dynamic Story Creation in Plain English by Maxwell Alexander Drake, and The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. Also, read books on grammar. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style remains an excellent resource. And then read for fun, but do it using a writer’s lens. Read in the genre you plan to write. See what you enjoy and figure out what the writer did that you liked. Read what you don’t like, and then ask yourself where the writer went wrong. And finally, find other people who are writing and talk to them about writing. Form critique groups, support groups even. Writing can be a solitary endeavor. Get out amongst people.
Another means to work on craft is to join professional organizations and take classes. Erik belongs to the Society for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA), and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild (SDWEG).
When not reading and writing Erik likes playing games. He has a lifelong passion for roleplaying games, especially Dungeons & Dragons. RPGs are a great resource for anyone who wants to develop their creativity. They are interactive games that involve group storytelling and acting, with plenty of opportunity for the visual creatives to practice their art as well.