A day in the life of an ex-journalist turn author, Martin Roth,

Two years ago I had the pleasure of getting to know author Martin Roth, through the John316 network I belong to. Since then I’d had great fun reading his thrillers–all with a Christian twist. Personally, I love reading suspense and thrillers but have always struggled having to read all the profanity and just immoral stuff that goes on even in a book!  Thankfully, Martin’s books have all the thrills without all of the unpleasantness of mainstream thrillers. Yeah!

So, folks, meet Martin, an author from Down Under.

A Day in the Life of Author, Martin Roth

Martin - Photo1

Last year I felt God quite definitely guiding me into a new phase of my writing, and my day now is rather different from before. Let me explain.

More than twenty years ago I quit my job as a newspaper reporter on a Sunday newspaper here in Australia and set myself up a freelance writer, dreaming about eventually become a full-time novelist. That has never happened. But earlier, while living in Tokyo, I had jumped from journalism into investment banking, and thus had expertise in the finance sector. So as a freelancer that became my bread and butter.

I write a book each year for Australian investors called “Top Stocks,” now in its twenty-first edition. And for many years I was also writing regularly about financial matters for daily newspapers.

So my day was governed by deadlines. Usually a newspaper article had to be done within a day or two. My book “Top Stocks” also has a very tight deadline. And even when there was no deadline – as with other finance books that I wrote over the years – I would give myself one. Having been a journalist on daily newspapers, I know I work best when forced to meet a deadline.

It meant that I threw myself into the particular job at hand, to the exclusion of all else, often working ten or twelve hours a day – longer sometimes – until it was done.

The rest of the time I devoted to my novels, and over sixteen years I wrote ten of these.

Actually, that’s not quite correct. I wrote my first novel, “Prophets and Loss,” a private eye mystery, about sixteen years ago, and it then took me ten years to find a publisher – a small Christian house here in Australia.

I subsequently wrote nine more novels over the next five years. Two of these went to the same Christian publishing house. The others I have self-published.

Talking about how I order my day, I should say that I also used to devote a fair amount of my time to my three sons. I came to fatherhood a little later than many others – I was thirty-nine when our first son was born – and another reason for leaving my job on a newspaper and going freelance was to spend more time with my kids, especially driving them to school, to sports and to after-school activities.

Changes came last year. Since the global financial crisis I was being asked less and less to write for newspapers, and by last year this work had dried up altogether. But I also turned sixty-five, and having lived and worked in four countries – New Zealand (where I was born), Australia, England and Japan – I found myself entitled to small government pensions from each place, and that pretty much made up for the lost writing income.

At this point, I should mention my novels. I have written five that I call my “Brother Half Angel” series. They are thrillers that focus on the issue of Christian persecution, something that deeply concerns me. They feature a rough-diamond ex-military man – nicknamed Brother Half Angel – who travels the world to fight for the persecuted church.

And last year, with the persecution of Christians clearly on the increase around the world, I felt God leading me to write articles on this theme for Christian readers. So now, that’s how much of my day is spent.

I have a regular column for a European news service, BosNewsLife (www.bosnewslife.com), which has a focus on the persecuted church. I write for my own website (www.authormartinroth.com). And I have just started a second website (www.brother-half-angel.com) that will feature stories on Christians fighting back against (mainly) Islamist terror.

Hot Rock Dreaming - Cover

For example, most recently I did a Skype interview with an American guy who has been to Iraq three times and is now helping Assyrian Christian groups establish defense forces in the region to fight ISIS. I also recently interviewed a Syrian filmmaker, living in Los Angeles, who returned to his home country to make a passionate movie about the suffering of Assyrian Christians.

So in a way I have started a mini-news service, specializing in Christian persecution, as I interview people and report on their activities, though right now I am writing for just a very modest audience. So I am actively looking for more websites that might publish my articles (and would welcome any suggestions). But I do place a plug for my books at the bottom of my articles, or on my websites, and I am noticing a very small uptick in sales.

I wrote my last novel, “The Coptic Martyr of Cairo,” a couple of years ago. It featured my hero Brother Half Angel traveling to Egypt to help defend persecuted Coptic Christians. I am not planning another novel until sales of the existing ones pick up. Sadly, I feel I am going find plenty to write about.
Festival in the Desert - Cover new

My Books

My first published book, “Prophets and Loss,” features private eye Johnny Ravine and is set here in Australia. It was followed by two more in the series, “Hot Rock Dreaming” and “Burning at the Boss.” All three were published by Ark House Press, a small Australian Christian publisher. “Hot Rock Dreaming” was one of seven finalists – and the only novel – for the 2011 Australian Christian Book of the Year award, chosen from sixty-seven entrants.

My Brother Half Angel series of five international thrillers focuses on the issue of Christian persecution. The books feature an abrasive ex-military man nicknamed Brother Half Angel who travels around the world with his team to help churches in trouble.

With the two most recent of these I have found myself reflecting real events. “Festival in the Desert” is about Christian missionaries in Mali, West Africa, trying to resist Islamist attacks. Soon after the book was published Al Qaeda-linked Islamists actually seized control of parts of the country.

“The Coptic Martyr of Cairo” features Egypt’s Coptic Christians and their continuing struggle against persecution from radical Islamists in their own country.

I have also written two short devotionals, mainly intended as a means of publicizing my novels. “A Psalm for the Battle” is a reflection on Psalm 18 and Christian attitudes to war. “Love, Justice and Power” teaches Christians about the Jewish Passover.

In addition, I have written what I call a spiritual odyssey, “Journey Out Of Nothing: My Buddhist Path To Christianity,” which tells about my deep involvement with Zen Buddhism when I lived in Japan.

You can find more about my books at my website (www.authormartinroth.com/index.php/my-books/) and my Amazon page (www.amazon.com/author/martinroth).

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About The Author

emma right

Multiple award-winning author and copywriter. Children young adult fiction best sellers.

4 Comments

  • Lisa Lickel

    Reply Reply March 30, 2015

    Love the title of that first book, Martin!

  • Lorilyn Roberts

    Reply Reply March 30, 2015

    I’ve enjoy Martin’s books also. His background is fascinating, and I believe God is using his writings to help Christians become more aware of what is happening in the world with Christian and Jewish persecution. We live in dangerious times, like before the Nazi era. Only Muslim extremists are even more dangerous. Thanks, Martin, for helping me to remember to pray for fellow believers and Jews.

    Emma, I am really enjoying your series here.

  • Carole Brown

    Reply Reply March 30, 2015

    Always enjoy reading your visits to sites, Martin. Much success wished for you! Great books!

  • Katherine Harms

    Reply Reply April 1, 2015

    Martin, I thought I knew a little about your life, but I didn’t know much at all. I very much enjoyed reading more about your work. You reveal a great deal of truth in your fictional stories of Christian persecution. Many American Christians suffer from complete ignorance of the way persecution develops and the many insidious ways it manifests itself. Please keep writing on this subject. The world needs this information.

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