Hi all! A big thank you to Charlie for having me over for tea. (Oolong is lovely, thank you.) Angel Martinez here—I’ve been writing Fantasy and Science Fiction for, oh, quite a while now, closing on ten years now as a published author. Over the years, several questions have come up repeatedly. Where do you get your ideas? (From the idea of the month service. Sometimes I end up with unusable ones but they’re such a pain to ship back.) Which one of your characters is your favorite? (The one I just wrote—really? Would you ask a mom to pick her favorite kid?) And because I write SFF: How does the genre affect how you deal with LGBT issues? (Or some variation thereof.)
Very often, I don’t.
Before anyone gets out the pitchforks and torches, there’s a good reason for this. I spent decades reading books, particularly fantasy but occasionally in science fiction, where LGBT characters got to play certain limited roles. A) They were evil and/or psychos, in many cases lusting after the hero. B) They were tragic figures that often died. C) They were tragic figures who could never be happy.
I know genre fiction is full of tropes. Sure. It’s part of the charm of genre fiction, to see what the author can do with the tropes. But these were tiresome, hurtful, and horrid. Gay men need to be heroes, too, not because they’re gay, but as heroes who just happen to be gay, and so on. I want a world where that’s normal. That’s what I write, because it makes sense to me that everyone should get to be heroes. Everyone should get a chance at real love. Everyone should be able to have that happy ending. Everyone should get role models in their fiction.
Lots of issues crop up in my stories. Addiction. The dangers of apathy. Institutionalized racism. Personal responsibility. Loss. Physical impairment. The heroes dealing with these issues just happen to be LGBT. Gravitational Attraction, just released at Dreamspinner this summer, is one of those stories. Heroes fighting for their lives, their loved ones, their place in the universe, and each other. They just happen to be gay.
A mysterious distress call draws the crew of the Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting ship. Empty, except for the gore-spattered corridors and one survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his responsibility, offering him kindness and warmth after the horror he experienced.
Turk longs for Isaac, a desperate, hopeless ache he’ll always carry with him.
But Turk’s brain harbors dangerous secrets, a military experiment gone wrong. When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac to convince Turk to become the weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the Hermes crew’s ingenuity, the enigmatic Drak’tar’s help, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.
Angel Martinez, the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for over twenty-five years) and gave birth to one amazing son (now in college.) While Angel has worked, in no particular order, as a state park employee, retail worker, medic, LPN, call center zombie, banker, and corporate drone, none of these occupations quite fit.
She now writes full time because she finally can, and has been happily astonished to have her work place consistently in the annual Rainbow Awards. Angel currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.
Facebook Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/495188947277007/
Angel Martinez is offering one lucky winner an eBook copy of their choice from her backlist. Giveaway ends Friday, August 22nd at midnight. To enter just leave a comment below sharing your favorite science fiction or fantasy book, movie, or TV show.