Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, November 09, 2020

Liftoff! for Sci Fic Lovers

I still remember falling in love with science fiction when I was a teenager. I was staying with a family and discovered boxes -- yes, boxes of science fiction paperbacks. Aliens! Space ships! Intergalactic battles! I used to stare at the stars and moon and wonder if someday we would travel far beyond our universe.

Today's treat introduces Tyrean Martinson's new book, Liftoff! which launches today. What a treat for Young Adult readers (and the rest of us, too).

Liftoff begins with a literal lift-off of a movie theater! Seventeen-year-old Amaya, snuggled in the darkness with two good friends, complete with popcorn, is shaken into a new world when the movie theater transforms into a spaceship. 

Torn from home, Amaya faces one challenge after another as she comes to terms with who she is and what her place will be in an almost believable series of alien worlds who co-exist in a state of undeclared war. Surrounded by people who don’t quite reveal all, feisty Amaya finds her own independence in this completely satisfying read. 

And now for a few words from the author, Tyrean Martinson, about her writing process. 

For me, this is how the writing process generally works, from beginning through stuck points, and onto the end. 

I’ll have an idea. A story spark, or a character idea, or I’ll hear a snippet of conversation, or a song, or something will jump out at me in a newspaper article, or I’ll see a photograph or a piece of artwork or read a poem that just stirs something creative in me.

I’ll feel an urge to write. I’ll ask myself “what if?” and I’m off and writing. Sometimes, it’s a sentence, sometimes it’s pages.

Then, I stop. I read over a few paragraphs. I decide to follow up with the story idea or shelve it, or just wait on it. I keep journals of story ideas and if I’m feeling dry, even if I’m mid-project, I’ll open up a story journal and either read over old ideas or work on something new and completely different to loosen up my imagination. I use writing prompts sometimes, and sometimes I have something swirling around in my head.

So, in the beginning, I am always a pantser.

With any project I decide to work with, I sketch out five to nine plot points in notation style writing. Lately, I’ve been coming up with a more specific plot outline, up to twenty-six points, all falling within nine overarching plot areas: introduction, inciting incident, the plot thickens, muddy middles and mirror moments, dark night, climax, falling action, reward/justice, and horizons. In many ways, this follows a plot pyramid or a story circle, with a little Save the Cat! Writes a Novel thrown in for extra, if I need to work out details.

I don’t like to spend too much time on outlines, plot points, and scene lists, so after a few days of that, I start writing. I adjust the outline or the draft, as needed to get to the main nine points, always asking myself:  Is my heroine/hero being active enough?

The first draft has always been my favorite part, but I’ve been enjoying the second and third drafts more this last year, especially with the help of trustworthy beta readers and a great editor, Chrys Fey.

I felt like the story was done before I sent a draft to my editor, but she asked so many good questions, I realized it needed a few more chapters and about 8K more words. The novella continued to feel new to me, until one day it didn’t. Then, I knew it was “done” after another edit for proofreading. 

I celebrate every time I write a few sentences. I celebrate bigger when I finish a project. I haven’t been sure how I’ll celebrate my book launch this time because of COVID, and I’m still mulling it over just a few days before it happens! I’m thinking both take-out coffee in the afternoon, with take-out dinner in the evening, and maybe a short “Happy Book Birthday” in the middle somewhere – maybe even posted on social media. Hmm. Yes, that sounds good. 😊

Why not visit Tyrean's page for Liftoff! over at Amazon? I think you'll be glad you did. Or, stop by Tyrean Martinson's blog for more information!


  1. Thank you for hosting me, Beth!

    1. Truly a pleasure, Tyrean. Write on!

  2. Good to see Tyrean here, Beth. I wish her a lot of success with the release of her book. It sounds appealing. As for her writing approach, I wonder how I’d do it if I were to write fiction. Probably something similar - I’d have to outline a few things, for sure, to help me on the right track. I didn’t do that for my memoir and it ended up twice as long as it should have been. So then I had to cut, cut, and cut. For me, to feel happy about the end result, if need multiple drafts, editors, proofreaders, and editing rounds myself. A lot of work! :-)