Mickey Martin (Michelle Weitering) was so tired of the inadequacy of our justice system that she decided to do something about it. Something powerful. She wrote what is now known as ‘The Given Trilogy’. In 2014, Mickey found herself following the news of a woman who was failed by those whose job is to protect us. Mickey was speechless as she came to terms with the fact that all because of one judge granting a reoffender parole, a woman would never return home to her loving husband.
That was enough for Mickey. She knew the way she needed to create awareness - with the power of words. ‘The Given’ is about a justice system in which the power belongs to the victims of injustice. Alongside that, the book has plenty of love, friendship and romance. 'The Given' is a series for those who have been failed by an imperfect system but wish to stay survivors.
Mickey wrote these books to show that despite the horrific darkness we face, love and friendship are the cruces on which we need to gather. They are what conquers all. Her takeaway message to her amazing readers is simple: ‘There is always hope, no matter what, and YOU are a survivor. This world doesn’t allow many of us to escape trauma, grief, domestic violence, abuse or any other life-altering obstacles, which may lead to ongoing mental health issues. Yet, those who do have a certain superhero status to them, in my eyes.’
She would love for her readers to see themselves in the characters she has created. To know that in each of them there is a silent power that perseveres. She hopes people can learn to be kinder to themselves, as they would her characters. To make small, kind gestures, knowing they have a huge impact.
Mickey is a natural writer. Words and characters flow from her brain onto the page. There is rarely a structure involved at the beginning of each novel; Mickey honours the writing journey, and allows her characters to dictate how the story will unfold, as she creates the best content for her readers. She aims to give more. Don’t get her wrong, being a writer isn’t always easy, but knowing that her words are making an impact is what matters most. ‘The Given’ started as one thought, which turned into a storm of several hundred pages. One book, with too many ideas, turned into a trilogy - as it was intended all along, she just hadn’t realised it yet. The process allowed her to work with incredible authors, and people, such as Carolyn Wren. It was a dream.
When asking Mickey about her favourite thing to write in the trilogy, she became overwhelmed. The intricacy of her woven web of characters, plot and atmosphere is too delicate to pull apart without giving out spoilers. She said: ‘In “The Given”, Lilliana has a common enemy, which in “The Guardian” becomes one of her biggest allies, and is super delicious, but you’ll never pick it! (If you think you know who it is after reading “The Given” ... please email me.) Sorry ... I can’t give anything away, the web is thick and intact.’
Mickey Martin is a dreamer. She often wakes, heart lodged in her throat, sweat seeping into her pillow as a story forms in her brain. She saves those for her writing groups. She finds flash fiction exercises are great for memory and an overactive imagination! Her inspiration comes in many forms, for example, the demise of Mother Earth took shape in a story titled ‘Soul Keepers of Glenormiston South’. This was her way of, first and foremost, entertaining her beautiful readers with an urban fantasy romance, which was themed with ecological and environmental messages. Sharing our passions can spark others to do more through acts of kindness and consideration.
Seeing as Mickey Martin has a background in mental health work, it’s no wonder fantasy chose her as its writer. Mickey believes that we all need to give our brains a good, decent rest from reality now and then to perform at our happiest, calmest selves. It gives us an outlet for our emotions to escape, and fantasy truly does allow both the author and the reader the opportunity to explore creative approaches to all matters of faith, belief, good and evil, and right and wrong, whilst seeking the answers to everything imagined.
Right now, Mickey Martin is working hard on her latest four novels. ‘The Victoria Collection’ is a collection of four fantasy novels based in her favourite towns of Victoria. In the limited free time Mickey gets she is adding the final touches to her next novel, ‘Obsidian Souls’, before it heads off to her editor. The first novel in the series, ‘Soul Keepers of Glenormiston South’, launched in November 2021. ‘A Chilling Summer in Inglewood’ is waiting for her to resume from page 170, and she cannot wait to dive into ‘Sweet Water Creek’, set in her gorgeous seaside hometown of Frankston.
Mickey told us: ‘What I adore about this collection is having local artists from each area collaborate with me in designing unique covers for each novel. It’s been such a privilege and an honour to have artists like Jess Fowler and Lorena Carrington be as excited to work with me as I am with them. Dreams do come true.’
To keep up with Mickey’s journey, follow her social media! Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mickeymartinbooks/