Sunday, February 26, 2012

Monday Author Interview with Angel Martinez

This week, I’d like to welcome the dear friend of the Menagerie, Angel Martinez. Now because I got a nasty case of Daytona 500 Fever...I sorta forgot that I posted the book video (see yesterday’s post) for Angel posted for today. Yeah, I know. Less race cars, more concentration. Anyway, since the video is up, I thought we’d start the interview as well. Hi Angel! So glad you’re here! Tell us your latest news?

Oh, my, there’s a bit of it. 2012, which is a dragon year, my birth year, is shaping up to be a busy one. The release schedule so far:
• 2/25/12: Gravitational Attraction (M/M SF Novel, Silver Publishing)
• 3/7/12: The triumphant return of Finn!! Finn: Endangered Fae #1 (M/M Fantasy novel, Silver Pub.)
• 3/10/12: Finn's Christmas: Endangered Fae #1.5 (M/M Short Story, Silver Pub.)
• 3/24/12: Diego: Endangered Fae #2 (M/M Fantasy novel, Silver Pub.)
• 4/1/12: the brand new, revised edition of Aftermath (M/M Contemporary, Romance First Publishing)
• 4/21/12: Vassily the Beautiful (M/M SF novel/ A Science Fiction Fairytale, Silver Pub.)
• Sometime later in the year will see another AmberPax release, Sub Zero (M/M SF Novella, Amber Allure)

Goodness! You’ve got a lot going on! How much of the book is realistic?

I’ve always thought this a loaded question to ask a SF/Fantasy writer. On the one hand, of course, none of it is realistic. I write about magic and the fae, non-Earth planets and author-engineered alien societies, dream-tech and imaginary critters.

On the other hand, all of these creations must be believable, so realism inasmuch as it means sticking to the created rules and fashioning worlds and characters that the reader can believe in is vital. There’s nothing more disappointing or created-world shattering than an author who says “this only works this way” only to say later, at a plot-convenient moment “Oh, wait, we forgot this one exception, that will only work right this minute.”

Yeah, I can see where that might be a bummer. I’ve written myself into a couple corners before. What is the hardest scene you have had to write (published or not)? Why?

That was probably the scene in Diego where our intrepid Diego believes he’s inadvertently killed his beloved Finn during a magical duel. He was so upset that I became terribly upset. It’s hard to write when you’re crying. The letters tend to blur. Characters aren’t merely constructs of the moment for me; they become all too real, my imaginary friends. Yes, grownups have them, too. (Ever watch Foster Home for Imaginary Friends? That’s kinda what my brain looks like.)

I’ve never watched that show, but I understand. Do you see writing as a career?

If you’re asking people to shell out money for your work, you sure as rain in Portland better see it as a career. The writer might not be able to take it on full time, at least at first, since we have families to support, health insurance to purchase, and so on. But that doesn’t excuse the paid writer from a disciplined, technically sound approach. It might not be a full-time career, but it’s still a career.

True enough. If you slap it together, it will show. Good thing we don’t. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

One? I might have to cheat here. I have the most fabulous critique partner in the known galaxy, who has supported me through all my ups and downs, who believed in my when even I didn’t. I also have to give a shout out to the lovely folks over at It’s Raining Men who welcomed me with open arms, (bizarre quirks and all) and are an endless source of both information and inspiration, naughty pics and a good laugh when I’m feeling blue.

Gotta have a great crit partner. Kealie works best for me. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Oh, fine, twist my arm :D

Gravitational Attraction
A M/M Science Fiction novel

A distress call draws the Hermes to a drifting ship, empty except for the gore-spattered corridors and one survivor. Drawn to the traumatized man, Isaac offers the kindness he needs. But Turk harbors secrets, his brain a dangerous military experiment. It will take more than kindness to save them all.

Unedited excerpt:

While Isaac couldn’t run in the heavy exo-suit, he did pick up the pace. Unlike his first foray with the remote, now he knew exactly which cross-corridors and doorways to use. Within three minutes, he had them in the lift, headed toward the holding block. The heavy blast door slid aside to show the gruesome tableau at the comm console. A catch of breath in his pickup told Isaac that Rand had probably missed this the first time through. He couldn’t be sure, but their nervous scan tech had most likely been one of the bridge officers throwing up.

“Still only showing one heartbeat,” Isaac said to distract them all. “This way.”

He led them down a corridor marked “A-block” where they passed one empty cell after another, not empty because the occupants had been torn to pieces but entirely empty.

“What kind of Jud ship carries one prisoner?” Sylvia asked.

“Maybe they were trying to evacuate before…” Lester’s deep voice trailed off.

“Don’t waste time on speculating,” Travis cut in. “We’re close.”

The last cell held an occupant, it’s transparent, electrified door still intact and locked tight. The man lay curled in a tight ball against his air pallet, dazed eyes half open.

“Hey,” Travis shouted through the door. “Can you hear me?”

The man didn’t move, though he shivered violently, hard spasms running along massive arms and a broad back. Probably in shock.

Isaac found himself staring. Dark shadows marred the prisoner’s skin, but the strong jaw and even features spoke to a devastatingly handsome face when he was well. Even curled up so tightly, he could see the man was huge, easily two meters tall, maybe more. Golden-blond stubble atop his head indicated a recent shaving, though Isaac had no idea if he wore it that way out of choice or if prisoners were routinely shorn. He wore only a sleeveless, mid-thigh shift, which caused anger to rise in Isaac’s chest. Bad enough they locked him up, but to take away a man’s pants? Such calculated humiliation seemed cruel.

“Get the damn door open,” Travis said, bringing Isaac back to the task at hand.

Rand plugged into the wall jack, and all his uneasy sounds ceased as he concentrated on hacking the door code. The door whispered open on Rand’s triumphant cry.

“Attaboy,” Travis said. “Now go back out to the console and download the logs.”

“Out there? Alone?” The audio picked up Rand’s hard swallow.

“Dammit, son, they’re just pieces of meat out there. Nothing’ll hurt you.”


Travis sighed. “Sylvia, go with him so the ghosts don’t eat him.”

Distracted by Rand’s fears, Isaac had missed the moment their rescuee began to move. He had pushed up on trembling arms, hard muscles corded with the effort, and turned his head to face them, teeth bared in a snarl.

“Shchfteru scum,” he whispered in a cracked, ruined voice. “Damn you…”

He’s going to hurt himself. Or lunge at Travis, and then someone’s going to panic and shoot him… “Humans.” Isaac held the hands of his exo suit wide. “We’re not some damn chuff, we’re humans.”

A low growl came from the man’s chest, a sound Isaac had never heard from a person before. The man was obviously too far gone and the suits looked too menacing. He reached up, undid his helmet latches, and lifted the whole assembly off his head. “See, human. We’re here to help you. Get you out of here.”

The man stared at him, something flickering in his eyes through the rage. During his moment’s distraction, Travis and Lester grabbed him and pinned him so Dr. Varga could get him sedated.

Isaac caught a whiff of the foul air and slammed the helmet back on his head, coughing fitfully as he got the latches secured. “Oh, shit…that’s horrible…how was he still breathing?”

“Don’t know, bud.” Travis stood his suit back up for the return walk. “But the shchfteru, if they were here, it explains a hell of a lot.”

“Explains why the crew’s in shreds,” Lester rumbled. “Doesn’t explain why the ship’s whole and the boards are untouched. Or why this guy survived.”

Lester was right there.

“We need to get the Hermes away, Trav,” Isaac said softly. “The chuff don’t leave things half done. They’re bound to come back to finish.”

Great excerpt! When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I’ve written and told stories all my life, but my first novel length? Didn’t get around to that until I was thirty-five, a fantasy for young people called The Magic Brush. That manuscript will never see the light of publishing day, most likely, but the completion of it showed me I could do it, the novel-length story was possible for me. And then I wrote another…and another…

It’s always good to have some of those practice novels. I’ve got a couple practice novellas lying around. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

At this writing, I’ve completed twelve novels, three novellas, a number of single short stories and an anthology. I think Finn might always be my favorite, though ask me again in five minutes and I’ll say something else. I wrote my stories with different goals in mind and in different states of mind, so to pick a favorite is rather like trying to pick a favorite breath in one’s life.

Grin. What is your heritage?

Mutt. Like many Americans, I can’t claim one or two bits of ancestry. It’s a little on the scattered side. My mother is German. She came over from Schleswig-Holstein in 1959. My father had a Norwegian father, but his mother’s side is a bit messy, with no two relatives able to agree on exact ethnicities. He’s a retired professor of Spanish Language and Literature, so we grew up in a linguistic varietal garden. Hubby is Slovak-Polish. One sister in law is Dominican-Italian, though she grew up in Puerto Rico. One brother in law is Mexican-American. We have Catholics and Lutherans, Evangelicals and Atheists, Buddhists and Pagans. Sort of a cultural buffet, my family.

Mutts unite! Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

During a movie? Just one? I’m a terrible sap during movies. I cried at the beginning of Up, for gosh sakes. Get me involved with the characters, make me care, and heck, yes, I’m gonna cry. I’ve watched Dracula a couple dozen times now and I still cry. (Oddly enough, I didn’t cry at the end of Black Swan, though I was completely shattered. Different sort of emotional catharsis.)

Nothing wrong with getting involved with characters. I’ve had some books make me cry. What stereotype would you label yourself as?

My son calls me a hipster geek. I guess that’s better than being a hipster doofus. Yes, yes, I’m a little on the artsy side, love museums, turn my nose up at pop music, and can’t stand being “in fashion.” That would be the hipster side. Geek wise? Seriously? Star Trek, old Dr, Who, Star Wars, shelves of fantasy novels, learned to write in elvish when I was young, played D&D – doesn’t get much geekier…

I’m going to show my ignorance, but I didn’t know there was an elvish language, so you taught me that. Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

I did when I lived alone. My fear of the dark was sometimes paralyzing. Most people outgrow the monsters under their beds. Mine kinda followed me around from domicile to domicile. But once I had a warm body to snuggle up to every night, I didn’t need it any more. The dark’s all right if you don’t have to be in it alone.

Yep. It’s odd how the simple things in a room become somehow scarier in the dark. How many fingers am I holding up?

Twelve. I figure you’re an alien. Which also means you’d count in base twelve and wouldn’t know what I was talking about. (…eight…nine…glink…florst…ten….)

Now that’s not fair. I’m human and I’m not wearing gloves. Snort. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

TIME. That whole sand through the hourglass thing? That’s me all the time, with just a couple grains left up top. I’m not so cruel as to kill time, and I’m too frugal to waste it, but it’s constantly slipping through my fingers. Maybe I need chrono-velcro instead. That might work.

Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you could make it. Now, do you want to know more about Angel? Check out these links!

Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of an author of several genres. She currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate. Her books currently live at Amber Allure and at Silver Publishing.

Angel Martinez: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind


Catherine Bybee said...

*waving* Great interview ladies. I loved this book... but then, I love all of Angel's work.

Angel Martinez said...

Thank you, Catherine! And thanks for stopping by!