Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Taboo Tens: Day Fourteen Angel Martinez

Greetings fans! Welcome to day two of the Taboo Tens celebration.

Today, I have great author, Angel Martinez on the blog with a guest post. She's also giving away her book, Boots.


Please give her your attention!


Sub-genres, Sub-sub-genres, and How Many Fathoms Do Your Genres Go?

The human mind has a tendency to categorize. We can’t help it. We want to put labels on things so they fit our understanding of the world. To some extent, everyone does it.

What does your son do? He’s a student. Oh, yes, where does he go to school? What’s he studying? University. Biology.

What’s that? Cake. What kind? Chocolate, chocolate chip with fudge, butter cream icing.

What do you do?

“I write.”

Full stop. Screeching brakes and all. If we listen closely, we now hear the questioner’s gears grinding.

Oh? You write articles? Essays?

“No. Fiction.”

More grinding. Like James Patterson?

“No. I write romance.”

The gears sound in desperate need of some oil now. Like, um, what’s her name, Nora Roberts?

“Well, no. I don’t think Nora’s ever written gay romance.”

Now, if we make it past this point, here’s where it gets really interesting. There’s already smoke rising from the gears, and we’re about to throw some peanut butter in there just to foul up the works completely.

Oh, that’s…that’s cool. Sort of like Queer Eye meets Sex in the City?

Yes, someone really asked me that once. Bless her poor little traumatized heart.

“Um, not as such. I write fantasy. With magical beings. And science fiction. You know, futuristic stuff.”

Watch, ladies and gentlemen, as the eyes glaze over. That’s it. I’ve broken another poor sod’s brain. Sorry.

It’s difficult enough to write romance, category wise. The author is immediately tossed into the “genre fiction” bin. This is where all of the titles not considered “serious” fiction go, you see, all those separate sections in your local big box bookstores, the ones with labeled shelves too tall for someone like me to see. Mystery/Thriller! Science Fiction/Fantasy! Horror! Romance!

Good. Wonderful. We found the right shelf because the nice, six-foot college student helped us. Now what? Ah, now it’s time for the sub-genre. Is your desired romance old-school het, or is it gay, lesbian, transgender, bi, ménage, a combination? You won’t find anything but frumpy, het novels in your big box store romance section, so we’ll do a quick translocation to an online store.

Hooray! A whole section for gay romance! But wait…there are still so many choices. Time for the sub-sub genre. Contemporary gay romance or historical? Fantasy or paranormal? Mystery or action? But this is online, where you don’t need to see the shelves to know where you’re going. Time for those fingers to roll up their proverbial sleeves…

Search: romance, gay, fantasy…

What? What the heck is all this? Urban fantasy… shifters… dark fantasy… magic… fairies… fairy tales… I just wanted fantasy. Like it used to be in that nice little bookstore down the street, all on one wall of the store. Damn. So we need a sub-sub-sub genre.

romance, gay, fantasy, dark…

Uh-oh. Dark fantasy has subdivisions, too. Vamps. Weres. Ghosts. Zombies. We’ve gone so sub, we’re forty fathoms deep and still diving. Gay romance, fantasy, dark, historical, medieval…

All kidding aside, of course it’s not that difficult to find the books that fill your particular craving, but it does seem the classifications become more specific and more sectioned each year, like a mutating grapefruit, the pink kind that’s not so bitter, one hopes.

So when you ask a fiction writer what they write, please be patient and bring your genre compass. It may take some explaining and you owe it to the writer to follow along. After all, you did ask.

Angel Martinez is the erotic pen name of a writer of several genres (and sub-sub-sub genres) who, when she remembers, lives in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, and spends the rest of the time inside her head. Work in various fields has left her with a tilted, jaundiced view of the world, but she still believes in sappy things like love and redemption.

Her next release, on August 14th, 2011, will be part of the Amber Pax: The French Connection from Amber Allure

Fortune’s Sharp Adversity – a Gay Fantasy/Historical novella

A young nobleman living atop an unfinished tower is odd enough. One who talks to stone gargoyles is truly strange.

For more information on this and other upcoming Angel Martinez works, visit:


What a great post! It is true. So many subgenres and places where a book could go. The world of fiction is fascinating. :)

Thanks so much Angel.

And fans, you can comment and win a copy of Angel's book, boots. 

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping in. 

Please join us tomorrow for my good friend and fellow IRM'er, SL Danielson!


LB said...

great post, Angel! I love all the sub sub genres...

LaviniaLewis said...

Love the post Angel, and so true! You wouldn't believe the raised eyebrows I get when I tell people I write about gay, cowboy, werewolf shifters. Lol! I say it on purpose now just to see 'that look', never fails to amuse me.

Angel Martinez said...

Hi, LB! Thanks for stopping in - and, yes, I love the variety we have these days :) So much fun.

*waves to Lavinia* Thank you! Oh, I know that look well *g* Though I do tailor the answer to my audience. Probably not the best thing to discuss with my prim and proper boss, lol

Rawiya said...

TY for stopping in everyone! :)

and thx Angel for a great post!

Kellie Kamryn said...

It is interesting to get people's reactions when you tell them you're a writer. They are either interested beyond belief or they brush it aside. Your writing sounds fantastic! Good luck to you with it all :)

Anonymous said...

Love love love the looks I get when I tell people I write gay male erotica. It's as if they break down the three words in their head and think gay.... male.... erotica.... then, they whip their little eyeballs back up and either laugh or gasp... it's never anything in between. Amazing. Great post Angel

Damon Suede said...

SO TRUE!! I too am pretty much a genre whore. If it's great, I want it.

Oddly enough, even in GAY bookstores people look askance at you when you say you write ROMANCE, let alone steampunk homo romance, or M/M/M were-weasels or whatever. I mentioned to a group of gay friends that I had written a gay romance and there were nervous chuckles and dead silence. Of course 2 hours later, I get home and every one of them has emailed me from their iphones to ask the damn title "but didn't wanna say anything at the table" because they feel funny reading romance.

Yet another closet for peopl to come out of! LOL

Angel Martinez said...

TY, Kellie - appreciate it - more to come!

Patti, doll, you love the shock value and you know it, lol.

Oh, Damon, I've been a genre whore almost as long as I could read. You said it. And you're right, many educated and/or cultured people see more shame in reading romance than they do in reading violent, twisted "literary" fiction. It's an old stigma. But I think we're doing just fine, eh? :D