William, Chip, Martin, writing as Martin Kerkhof, was
born in Los
California and now resides in Orange County, California
with his wife and mentally challenged dog, Goofy. He
studied philosophy in college and upon graduation put
his education to work in an ice cream parlor making
banana splits for people who didn't need them. As
intellectually satisfying as that career promised to be,
he moved on to the transportation industry where he has
been employed for the last 35 years--serving time for
his past karmic sins. He writes stories that nobody
reads and prefers to see this as his glass being half
full. That is not the only reason he drinks, but it's a
good one--right up there with going broke working for a
living and walking through life the invisible man.
Kerkhof is his wife's maiden name, which he uses as his
penname out of respect for her enduring support
throughout the years.
Books-and-Authors.net: Where did you grow up and was
reading and writing a part of your life? Who were your earliest
influences and why?
William Martin: I grew up in Redondo Beach,
California., Reading didn't become a part of my of life until high
school, serious writing didn't start until after college, but story
ideas and life observations have always been with me., As far as
reading, my earliest influences were Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut, Carlos
Castaneda, and Saul Bellow. Tolkien introduced me to fantasy and
adventure, Vonnegut introduced me to science fiction and the absurd,
Castaneda opened my eyes to see life differently, in the shadows so
to speak, and Bellow made me laugh to find humor in life's petty
Books-and-Authors.net: Discuss your book " CHAKA " A
Taut Suspense about Mayan Culture Past and Present. Did you research
for this book?
William Martin: CHAKA began as a short story, which
I subsequently developed into a novel after encouragement from an
agent I had at the time., The storyline counterpoises the ancient
Mayan culture with the present allowing the reader to glimpse both
realities through the characters' experiences framed by their
beliefs., The storyline intersects at a Mayan tomb discovered in the
present, which the Mayan timeline explains and produced., To the
ancient Mayans it is a horror story of god's retribution--Chaka--and
to the modern it is a biological outbreak of pandemic proportion., I
researched the Mayan culture, religious practices and beliefs, and
architecture and cites for the book, striving for accuracy, and then
invented my story from there.
Books-and-Authors.net: Who is Dr. Ean Stromberg?
William Martin: As the archeologist who discovers
the Mayan tomb in the present timeline, Dr. Ean Stomberg is one of
the principal characters., Books-and-Authors.net: If Hollywood
called and asked you to cast " CHAKA " , Who would you cast and
why?, Harrison Ford would be a natural for Ean Stromberg, not so
much that he has played similar roles as that he brings the sort of
passion that drives the character., Carl Stromberg, Ean's brother,
could be well played by Tommy Lee Jones or Scott Glenn because each
imparts a reclusive and potentially explosive personality., For
Gladis, the busybody neighbor in the present timeline, I would cast
Sigourney Weaver for her unflappable demeanor and comedic undertone.
Books-and-Authors.net: Discuss your book "The
Unfortunate Wedding: Or Fat Willy's Rant (Me being Fat Willy)".
Where did this title come from as associated with the story?
William Martin: The Unfortunate Wedding is an in
your face, an irreverent romp in which the main character, Fat
Willy, ridicules everything and everybody, but especially himself
unknowingly, as he experiences a very difficult period in his
business and personal life, centered around attending a wedding on
Catalina Island., The story was loosely inspired by real life
events, and I actually wrote the role of Fat Willy with John Goodman
in mind because of his gullible, love of life, and bull in a china
cabinet personality., The title refers to the wedding that Fat Willy
attends and singlehandedly destroys as he rants his way through life
and the wedding in which he is both the victim and cause of all that
Books-and-Authors.net: What should readers learn
from reading your books?
William Martin: The message that I try to impart in
my writing is that everything is relative, that life is
unpredictable, tragic, funny, and absurd, and most of all entirely
seen and experienced through our individual belief sets., The world
was once flat and now it's round, one man's ceiling is another man's
floor, and this too shall pass., I suppose I like the idea of
perseverance--that as crazy, unjust, and inexplicable as life can be
as we ride it to our grave, we just have to live it one day at a
time with hope and an open mind.,
Books-and-Authors.net: What are readers saying about
your books ?
William Martin: The reader feedback on CHAKA
has been great. All thoroughly enjoyed it, finding it exciting how
it gets under the skin. It is a very visual work and most readers
said it woult make a great movie., The reader feedback on the
UNFORTUNATE WEDDING has been black and white--either smirking and
chuckling how funny it is or polite silence--suggesting I somehow
insulted their beliefs or stepped on their toes.
Books-and-Authors.net: What do you hope to achieve
with your books ?
William Martin: Although I would love to secure a 6
or 7 figure publishing deal, what writer wouldn't, I have already
achieved from my books which I set out to do--the sheer pleasure of
Books-and-Authors.net: What was the last book you
William Martin: The last book I read was GAME OF
THRONES and I intend read the series.
Books-and-Authors.net: What's next?
William Martin: I am currently writing a story about
a man who grew up in Nazi occupied Holland and then immigrated to
Canada and later the United States after the war. All he wanted from
life was to be a simple farmer, but things didn't turn out like he
planned. The story is about hopes and dreams, simple survival, the
consequences of decisions, and making the best of evolving