MAIL-ORDER GROOM, a debut romantic comedy novel by Cindy Flores Martinez, is a clean romance about an American woman who marries a stranger from Poland after her fiancé leaves her right before the wedding.
Lisa is about to marry her first real love and have the wedding of her dreams, but her world is shattered when she finds her fiancé, Jeff, in the arms of another woman. When he calls the wedding off, Lisa is heartbroken.
In a twist of fate, she meets Krzysztof Zielinski from Poland on Mail-Order-Grooms.Com. He needs to marry an American woman so that he can stay in America, and he’s willing to pay money for it. His reason for needing to stay is what tugs at Lisa’s heart and convinces her to say “I do” to him. After all, it’s going to be strictly a business deal. She won’t even have to live with him, and marrying another man would be the perfect revenge on Jeff.
Lisa races to the altar with her stand-in groom, but she soon learns that she actually does have to live with him. Things become even more complicated when she finds herself falling for him, and he’s not planning to stay in America forever. Will Lisa’s heart break all over again or will she find love and happiness in the end?
Interview with Cindy Flores Martinez
1. Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles. I have an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Before I started writing fiction, I wrote screenplays and I helped people with their screenplays.
2. Which project are you currently promoting?
Mail-Order Groom, which is a romantic comedy and clean romance.
3. Can you tell us what the book is about?
The story is about Lisa, an American woman, who marries Krzysztof, a Polish stranger, who needs a green card in order to stay in America. She’s just about to marry her fiancé Jeff when he calls the wedding off and breaks her heart. In a twist of fate, she meets Krzysztof on a website that her friend Daphne shows her, and she recognizes him as the man she has seen in town. He and his uncle Jerzy convince Lisa to marry him. It’s strictly a business deal, but she finds herself falling in love with Krzysztof. The problem is that he’s not planning to stay in America forever. She faces the risk of being heartbroken all over again.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
I thought of the idea for Mail-Order Groom in 2006 after I read a discussion online about Polish men who marry for green cards. At the time, I was an aspiring screenwriter, so my imagination ran wild and I came up with a story about Lisa and Krzysztof who get involved in a fake marriage. I wrote the screenplay within weeks and eventually tried to have it made into a movie. I took on the role of producer, creating business plans and budgets, seeking financing, and reaching out to directors, co-producers, and actors. I personally hand-delivered the screenplay to a major talent agency in Los Angeles for a famous director to read. Eventually, I decided to turn the screenplay into a novel because I felt that the story needed to be told. The idea of two strangers finding themselves in a fake marriage and falling in love was just so fascinating.
5. What genre do you generally write?
Mail-Order Groom was my first attempt at writing a novel. Since then, I’ve written a sweet romance story that’s going to be published in an anthology in October. I find that romance stories are the easiest for me to write. I believe in love, and I enjoy expressing that in fictional stories. I plan to keep writing more of them.
6. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It took me about 3 years to write Mail-Order Groom because I wrote it on a very part-time basis. Sometimes, I couldn’t write for weeks. In addition to that, I had never written anything like it before. I had to learn how to write fiction as I went along. My first draft took three months to finish, and I went through many revisions before completing the final one.
7. How do you deal with negative reviews?
I pay attention to what people say about my stories, whether the opinions are positive or not. Sometimes readers find flaws in my writing that I wasn’t aware of, and the information is helpful. I can become a better writer because of it. I appreciate all of my reviews and the time people take to write them.
8. What other projects are you currently working on?
I’ve gotten started on a new romantic comedy. Like Mail-Order Groom, it’s a wedding story, but it will probably be shorter than a novel. I’m aiming for a novella or novelette.
9. When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?
My stories always start with an idea first. From there, I go through a process of developing the storyline and characters, but I never do it on paper. I do it all in my head. When I sit down and start writing, I develop everything further. I find that the end result is always a much bigger and fuller story than what I had first envisioned.
10. What is your least favorite part about getting published?
I self-published Mail-Order Groom, and I have nothing to complain about. I think it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to write and publish stories. I’m grateful for every part of the experience.
11. Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
I use my real name, but I’ve thought about using a pen name that sounds less ethnic. I always end up changing my mind. I plan to keep writing as Cindy Flores Martinez and fighting to succeed with a name like that.
12. Where do you see yourself in five years?
If I’m still alive and well in five years, I hope that I can look back and see that I wrote all of the stories that are in my mind right now. I especially hope that I will have become a better writer.
About the author:
My name is Cindy Flores Martinez. I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles. I have an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. I have been a screenwriting instructor, screenplay consultant, script reader, and screenplay collaborator. My debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, which was inspired by my own Polish ancestry, started out as a screenplay and movie project. I spent years shopping it around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world and had two well-known actors, one of them Academy Award nominated, interested in portraying the lead character’s parents. After not finding the success I wanted, I officially canceled my film production company in November of 2009 and embarked on the journey of turning my screenplay into a novel.