Like many published authors, Martine Chevry devoured tome after tome as a kid. Her favorite author during that time was the author Judy Blume. Born in Queens, New York to Haitian parents who immigrated to Harlem in the 1960s, Chevry is a graduate of CUNY School of Professional Studies. She currently holds an editorial position at a publisher in New York that specializes in global science, technology and medical sciences. Her debut into the publishing world isn’t in those fields, however. It’s a sizzling piece of urban fiction entitled Life Interrupted that chronicles the lives of Magdalena, Bryce and Ebony, three strangers whose harrowing, devastating secrets unravel as the book progresses.
In addition to her career in publishing, Chevry is the mother of a teenage daughter and is expecting her second child this year. The BA in Communications she earned from CUNY has served her well, as she heads her own publishing company, Jewel Publications.
How did the inspiration for your debut novel come about?
I was inspired to write a novel because I read so many great novels from authors like Crystal Lacey Winslow, Treasure Blue, Edwidge Danticat and so many others; that one day I was sitting at my computer at home and decided to just start writing a story of my own. At first, it was supposed to be a short story, but the story grew into so much more.
You ended up self-publishing this first novel. What are some of the things you have learned along your self-publishing journey?
A few things that I learned were: Always have your final manuscript professionally copyedited. Don’t short change yourself just to “get your name out there”. If you don’t hustle and market yourself and your book it will reflect in your book sales.
What advice would you like to give to those wanting to write and publish a book?
What I think is really important for writers to hold on to is: that you should never compare yourself to another writer. Your writing is just that—your writing. Just write your story and make sure you have it edited before it goes to print. There are too many self-published books out there with so many typos, and inconsistencies that it’s hard to get into the story and take it seriously.
When was the last time you went to Haiti?
I haven’t been to Haiti since I was a newborn baby and that was 42 years ago.
What’s next for you?
More writing…A follow up to my first book—as well as a self-help book. Also I want to expand my company Jewel Publications and sign writers who want to publish under my imprint.