by Blake Herzog
Authors L.J. and Kat Martin share a life and a profession, and now they share a home in Prescott.
Between them they’ve churned out about 150 titles (estimates vary) in their respective genres, which for Kat is primarily romantic thrillers and for L.J. is western fiction and nonfiction and thrillers.
Kat is ahead by about 10 books and has made the New York Times’ Top 10 list with several of her recent releases, including several entries in her “Raines of Wind Canyon” series.
L.J. is hardly slacking — he co-founded Wolfpack Publications, where he helped to market 450 books, including his own. He’s written several fiction series plus nonfiction about everything from writing fiction to cooking to his two battles with cancer.
Recently he’s seen success with a couple of young adult volumes, he says.
“They were No. 1 for 15 weeks on Amazon lists. Both of them were. I didn’t realize I touched young people as much as I did. That was kind of an epiphany. It’s a fun business from that standpoint, you can change things.”
The Martins moved from Missoula, Montana to their new winter home on the west edge of town in November.
“We started coming down here the last couple of years, and once we found Prescott, we felt really comfortable here because it has a Western cast, more Western than Montana is, really,” Kat says. “The east side of Montana’s cowboy country, but where we are in the mountains, there it’s really logging and loggers.”
“So, you don’t see cowboy hats as much, but you do see them here, which is nice,” she says.
The couple share a love of the West rooted in their upbringing in Bakersfield, California, where Kat’s father worked for the rodeos and L.J. on farms and ranches.
Both ended up in real estate and met over a deal. A few years into their marriage, Kat, a voracious reader throughout her life, felt like she’d gone as far as she could in residential real estate.
“And then we started writing, messing around with it. And I thought, this is what I really want to do. So I had made my mind up to stick with it no matter what. And I really believed I could make it, which is now as I look back at it, it’s funny. Now I see how hard it really is,” she says.
It took five years to secure their first book deal, but then they started to flow more quickly and each built up a following. Taking many of the lessons learned about marketing from their previous career, they traveled extensively for book tours and pleasure until the pandemic brought that to a halt a year ago.