christine alexis virgins of the screen. fuqvids.com

There are many models for how to write intentionally, and I am so excited to showcase Cory Martin’s today. Cory is an experienced writer (like wow!) and decided she wanted to not only write with intention, but publish with intention. To do that, she created her small press and donates a portion of profits to charities. Enjoy!Interview with Cory Martin

Tell us a little about you.

Well, let’s see, I’m a writer, yoga teacher and entrepreneur. I have written for television (The O.C), and published a variety of books. I am also the writer behind the documentary Titans of Yoga and my essays have appeared online with XOJane, Elephant Journal, and The Mighty. My latest book is my memoir, Love Sick, which chronicles my adventures in dating, a career in Hollywood and an incurable diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I am also the founding editor of Write Out Publishing, an independent press that publishes books and short stories and is committed to giving 10% of the profits to a charity of the author’s choice. [Editor’s note: I’m totally going to submit some shorts here…and you should too!]

But that all sounds like a giant resume introduction, so here’s the real me.

I’m a Midwestern girl who came to Los Angeles via college, USC to be exact. I majored in Creative Writing and graduated with no honors whatsoever, but I did get a nice job after school so my parents were excited for that. I have spent the last fifteen years living on the Westside of LA – Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and now Venice. I have a thing for the ocean, and surfers. What can I say? I grew up with cornfields in my back yard so the ocean is like a whole new world to me. I have definitely assimilated into the Cali lifestyle and yes, I do eat kale and practice yoga often. However, I have never had Botox and have no plans to inject myself with the poison anytime in the near future. My mom says, if you start to feel old just tell people you’re ten years older than you actually are and they’ll tell you, you look great. How’s that for an idea? Anyway, I guess I’m just a normal girl who’s living out her dreams in a city by the sea, taking it day by day.

When and why did you start writing?

I’ve always been an avid reader and when I learned to write I loved the idea of creating worlds and making up stories. In school I was always turning regular assignments into creative writing pieces even if they didn’t need to be. I remember we had an assignment once to write a paper about fate and free will. I compared the idea of fate and free will to a Choose Your Own Adventure book and wrote the whole paper in a similar style. In high school, my parents let me paint my bedroom walls red and write poetry on them in silver marker. When I got to college, I had no clue what I wanted to major in. I considered Communications and Journalism, but then I found out that you could major in Creative Writing and that people actually made ivings as writers and I was sold. I declared my major the next day and have never looked back on the decision since. I know it’s cliché, but I think it’s true – if you can’t imagine yourself doing anything other than writing, if it torments you to write, if you have to write all the time, then you were meant to be a writer.

Why did you choose to write your memoir?

I chose to write my memoir Love Sick, because when I was diagnosed with MS there were no other young people out there sharing their stories. I was twenty-eight at the time and the only people who were really sharing their stories in a public manner or in memoir form were all men who were at least fifty years old and were either married or had been married. There was no one who was young and single and trying to navigate the dating world, and focus on their career all while having to deal with a life-altering event. Because writing was such a big part of my life, I thought, this is a story I have to write. Because I knew that while maybe not everyone could relate to the MS, they could relate to navigating your twenties while dealing with something or someone that was telling you were not good enough, or smart enough or simply not enough. I wrote the book because I wanted to give voice to the fears in my head and let others have a chance to relate. I did it in the most honest way I knew how and while it’s scary having my life out there for others to read and judge, I know it is worth it if it helps at least one person.

If there is one thing you’d want people to do after reading this book, what would it be?

I want people to know that no matter what someone says, or what happens to you in life, you are always lovable. This was a big fear of mine when I was diagnosed with MS – I thought, no one is ever going to love me or take me in sickness and health when the sickness is inevitable. But what I found is that when you open yourself up to others, you find that everyone has this fear. It may not be MS, but it’s something that plays in the back of their heads that says, that says, “I am unlovable.” So here’s the truth, we are all worthy of love and we can give it and receive it no matter what has happened to us in the past.

Why did you create Write Out Publishing and why did you decide to publish your memoir through it?

I created Write Out Publishing first and foremost as a way to bring back the short story. I had so many writer friends that had great short stories lying around that had never been published and I thought here’s a void in the market that could easily be filled. I know there are great Literary Magazines out there that publish short stories but I wanted to bring them back to the mainstream. I don’t believe short stories always need to be literary. Those are great, but sometimes I want to read for fun, or I want to be sucked into the head of a crazy narrator and that’s what Write Out is about. Putting voices and stories out there that may not be heard otherwise. But more than that, I truly believe we can “write out” the world’s problems one story at a time and that’s why every author has to choose a charity to which we donate ten percent to.

As for Love Sick and publishing it through Write Out, I did it because I want to be able to publish other books as well, and before I take on another author’s work I want to make sure I can publish successfully with my own. (So far, I’m doing it) Even though I have been published by other mainstream publishers in the past, I chose to set up an entire publishing company and publish the book myself because I wanted to be able to give back and I saw that that was going to be near impossible based on the current publishing model. So I created my own. Because I was so interested in doing good with the book, I didn’t want a publisher to take it, promote it for a month and have it disappear from anyone’s radar. I wanted to be in full control and have the ability to really make a difference. That’s why 10% of the profits from the book are being donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

What is the best way to connect with you online?

You can find me on Facebook,  Instagram (@corymartinwrites)

and my website.

And you can check out Write Out Publishing at: http://writeoutpublishing.com/ We’re always looking for short stories, so if you’ve got one you want to publish check out the submissions section and send them my way.

What’s next?

I’m so impressed and humbled by Cory’s awesomeness. Please check out her memoir and if you want to see some of her other books (apart from her small press), you can check out her Amazon author page. And of course, if you have some short stories lying around, SUBMIT TO HER PRESS!

Have you told your story? Why or why not? Leave a comment below!

Intentional Writer Interview: Cory Martin

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