Today we are interviewing Angel Martinez.
Welcome to A History, Angel. Let’s start with some random questions.
What kind of music do you like?
It might be easier to ask what kinds of music I don’t like. I grew up on Classical and on old Broadway musical soundtracks, but I tend to like music that’s a little off the beaten path. Intelligent lyrics, real musicianship, creative arrangements, those are the things that attract me. I will always adore David Bowie, love Natalie Merchant, have an ongoing soft spot for singer-songwriters like Jonathan Richman and Richard Thompson, will be going to see Cracker in January and have even developed a fondness for the White Stripes, just to give you a feel for how all over the boards my tastes run.
What is the most memorable book you’ve read?
Not a fair question—books affect me in different ways for different reasons, and there are so many I would consider memorable. We’d be here for a few months for an honest, complete answer. Maybe it would be best to answer which books were most influential early on, much more manageable. The ones that lit the sparks, the ones which have stayed with me all these years? Short stories from Poe, Lovecraft and Bradbury, the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, and, of course, even though it sounds cliché these days, Tolkien. The world would be a much more drab and dreary place without Tolkien.
Do you have any pets?
I have two cats who like to sit with me when I write. Isis, my grand dame tortoise-shell, and Bella, my black and white tuxedo cutie. Perhaps it’s some kitty magic emanating from them, but I find writing easier with cats in the room.
Now on to some personal questions related to your writing
How did you get started writing?
I think a more appropriate question would be: when have I not written? Stories came to me at a very young age, before I could even read, tales told to stuffed animals and whispered to the dark at bedtime. As I grew older, various sources convinced me that fiction was not a ‘real’ job, and the stories lay dormant for many years. But when you are a storyteller, they don’t go away. Eventually, they clamor loud enough to wake the dead. It was during a stint in a particularly soul-crushing corporate position that I began to pour them out on paper, oh, about ten years ago now, before meetings and at lunchtime, longhand, in notebooks and the back pages of day runners. The desperation of those days has worn off, the need to write before all was lost, but the joy only grows.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love character interaction; I love the organic growth of a character. They begin as a shadow, a notion, a figure glimpsed in passing. Then they start to whisper to you, what they like, what they fear, how they feel about others, how they move and speak. Eventually they blossom into fully-formed people who, nutty as it sounds, often become more real to authors than the flesh and blood people in their lives.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Getting up every morning and facing the day? No, seriously, I’ve always been a bit superstitious about the word ‘pride’. To be too proud of something, to brag about it, is to invite disaster. I derive great satisfaction from the fact that there are people out there who enjoy my work, though.
Just a few professional questions about your writing.
How would you describe your love scenes?
Love scenes are first and foremost about the inner workings of a character’s mind. It’s as much about getting there as it is the actual act, about the connection between two people more than the physical mechanics. Yes, many of my love scenes are heated and definitely not behind-closed-doors, but I don’t like intimate scenes for the sake of tossing them in.
How would describe your voice?
Since I have dozens of voices competing in my head for space, it’s difficult to think of having one ‘voice’. I do write about some dark and difficult subjects at times but, for me, life isn’t something to be taken too seriously, too short for that. There is always humor running alongside my heaviest subjects, and, I hope, an ultimate sense of optimism despite the dark moments.
What are you working on now?
Let’s see–I’ve just finished the manuscript for Finn’s sequel, the working title is Diego, where we get to see more of the non-human world. I do have several releases coming out next year, starting with the re-release of Aftermath, (newly edited, with a powerful new Missy Lyons cover) and the anthology Lioness on the Knife. My other persona, Sandra Stixrude, who writes the non-erotic Science Fiction, has a series seven of novels starting to release in March as well, the Anchorage Series.
Where can fans follow you?
Most of my books live over at Red Rose Publishing – watch for releases there.
Angel’s website – with news, excerpts, and other fun stuff (Angel Martinez – Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind)
Sandra’s website—which includes the informational blog for writers ‘Writer’s Habitat’ (Sandra Stixrude – Cold Facts Meet Flights of Fancy)
I’m also on Facebook, Myspace, Goodreads and Twitter, if anyone cares to stop by – I do post news to all of these sites as well.
Any professional advice for other authors?
Two words: Read and Write. You must feed your own head to fire your imagination and the only way to improve your writing is…to write.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Angel.