Spotlight on Changeling Press: Marteeka Karland
Changeling Press turns 20 in 2024. To celebrate, we’re featuring Changeling Press authors all month at TRS.
Meet Marteeka Karland
International bestselling author Marteeka Karland leads a double life as an erotic romance writer by evening and a semi-domesticated housewife by day. Known for her down-and-dirty MC romances, Marteeka takes pleasure in spinning tales of tenacious, protective heroes and spirited, vulnerable heroines. She staunchly advocates that every character deserves a blissful ending, even, sometimes, the villains in her narratives. Her writings are speckled with intense, raw elements resulting in page-turning delight entwined with seductive escapades leading up to gratifying conclusions that elicit a sigh from her readers.
Away from the pen, Marteeka finds joy in baking and supporting her husband with their gardening activities. The late summer season is set aside for preserving the delightful harvest that springs from their combined efforts (which is mostly his efforts, but you can count it). To stay updated with Marteeka’s latest adventures and forthcoming books, make sure to visit her website. Don’t forget to register for her newsletter which will pepper you with a potpourri of Teeka’s beloved recipes, book suggestions, autograph events, and a plethora of interesting tidbits
An Interview with Holly Hewson at TRS
HH: What inspired you to start writing and how did your journey with Changeling Press begin?
Marteeka: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in the 3rd grade (also after I figured out I could never be a stripper because being a stripper is BAD.) I submitted my first manuscript to Changeling in October of 2004. It was the first book I’d ever submitted anywhere. My editor at the time (Katriena Knights) asked me for the full book and I was like — big bright smile… “Sure! I’m all over that!” Not because I was excited to have had a callback, but because the book wasn’t finished and… yeah. I had the weekend to finish. (Portent of things to come.) I turned it in and she requested revisions and I made it, turned it in, and the book was accepted. I’ve been here ever since. Sure, there were a few years (maybe 3 or 4?) where I didn’t actively write for Changeling, but I’ve always come back home. This last time to stay. Self-publishing it too hard and why reinvent the wheel when Changeling works so well for me? I guess now, I’m a lifer. Up until April 2023, writing was my side bitch. Now, it’s my main bitch and I get to stay home during the bitchass cold instead of getting out and going to the hospital to be yelled at by people who didn’t get their tomato soup and grilled cheese sammich.
HH: Can you walk us through your creative process? How do you go from an initial idea to a finished manuscript?
Marteeka:I’m supposed to have a process? *blink* oops? I usually start typing and shit comes out. Sometimes it takes a little more. Sometimes I get caught up in the process and forget to write the story. So, my process is I have no process. LOL
HH: How do you develop your characters? Do you draw inspiration from real-life experiences or pure imagination?
Marteeka: I do draw inspiration from real life sometimes. Sometimes it’s a song or movie that triggers something. Sometimes a conversation. Example, I had a conversation with a scammer on facebook (whole other story) and that conversation will work it’s way into a character’s personality. (Remember this when I mention the Purple Penis Award later…)
HH: Of all the books you’ve written for Changeling Press, which one is your favorite and why?
Marteeka: Wylde (Iron Tzars MC 9) , Mars (Iron Tzars MC 10), and Rocket (Grim Road MC 1) are my current faves. I’m also found of Twelve Days of Christmas, El Segador (Black Reign MC 8), Warlock (Black Reign MC 9), Black Star, Illicit, and the collaboration between me and Shelby Morgen (Margaret Riley) Memphis Heat. Each of these books I was able to explore a theme or develop characters that inspired really exceptional stories. Black Star and Illicit are Science Fiction romances while Memphis Heat is a paranormal romance. Twelve Days of Christmas is a Billionaire romance that I thoroughly loved writing. Rocket… well. He’s new. Wylde, Mars, and Rocket all go together and the one resounding character in all three of them is a girl named Lemon. She has a sister named Apple. Hilarity ensues.
HH: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your writing career and how did you overcome them?
Marteeka: Marketing was a huge challenge, but very necessary. I am not a social butterfly by nature, so I’ve always struggled with marketing and actually connecting with readers. I find having a separate social media presence for my writer persona helps a lot with that. If I say or do something silly, it’s not me. It’s that darn author! I guess I’ve developed a split personality which has helped with social situations, at least online ones.
HH: Can you share a memorable experience or feedback from a reader that particularly touched or surprised you?
Marteeka: The feed back and response I’ve had from Mars’s book… I dealt with some particularly nasty topics and my readers told me I dealt with them beautifully. By readers I mean three or four. I’m sure there are those who were turned off by it or didn’t approve, but the letters and DM’s I received privately were so touching. Yeah. I might possibly maybe have had a leak from my eye… MAYBE. But I’m not owning up to that.
HH: Changeling Press is known for its diverse genres. Is there a genre you haven’t written in yet but are curious to explore?
Marteeka: Not off the top of my head. I’ve pretty much written in all of Changeling’s themes. I think I even have a lesbian fairy couple. Over the last 19 years, I’ve reinvented myself more times that I care to think about. Here’s to hoping my current genre is around for a VERY long time…
HH: Do you have any unique writing rituals or habits that help you stay focused and creative?
Marteeka: I like turning my lights blue in my office. I like having a movie on in the background I’ve seen a bazillion times. I do my best work at night. I also have to lay off the pot when I’m writing, but when it’s over, I take a couple days to chillax. 🙂
HH: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who dream of being published by Changeling Press?
Marteeka: Just keep hittin’ it! Don’t stop. Take criticism well and revise when asked. Write the next book. The last is the most important part.
HH: How do you see the future of digital publishing evolving, and what role do you think Changeling Press will play in it?
Marteeka: Well, considering Changeling seems to have always been there, I’m sure we’ll figure out our role. As to the next chapter in digital publishing? Not really sure. It’s why I’m an author and not a publisher. I put the pretty words on paper and leave the other stuff to Margaret. When everyone was jumping on the KU bandwagon, she didn’t. I thought it was a horrible idea, but she was right. So I do what she tells me and try not to let my deadlines pass me by like Maverick buzzing the tower too often. Yeah. I have trouble with that last one but she’s not killed me yet.
A SPECIAL STORY ABOUT CHANGELING PRESS CEO, MARGARET RILEY
About a year or so after I first signed with Changeling, Margaret gave me the Purple Penis Award. Which, you’ll have to get you to tell you what it is an how it got started, but it’s basically for the author who is the biggest bitch at the time. 😀 I was proud of my award! I still have it somewhere.