# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi! Gary Martine (https://garymartine.yolasite.com/garymartine.php) here, author of the decidedly “naughty” KINGSLEY & I series, originally published from 2008 through 2010 by ManLoveRomance (MLR) Press. Gary Martine is my man-love-romance pen name, my sometimes equally naughty thriller pen name being Raymond Gaynor and my “real” author name being Daniel S. Janik (https://janik.yolasite.com). Why the different pen names and reveal? With over sixty published books and articles spanning fiction to non-fiction and from children’s books to erotica, I find many readers just feel more comfortable dealing with a genre pen name that matches the book that they’re reading. In fact, the pen name situation has just entered a new realm with my acting debut as lead character Will Gardner in the upcoming made-for-television movie, “Static” (https://kspllc.media/the-static-movie).
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
The KINGSLEY & I series (KINGSLEY & I; KINGSLEY & I TOGETHER; KINGSLEY & I RELOADED) is written as if ripped directly from “I’s” diary, and, yes, there was and is a “real” Kingsley, though the name was changed to “protect the innocent,” of which, admittedly, in the books, there are none. Innocent — Not. But curious and Wiling to Explore — Definitely. The synopsis for the first book pretty much says it all: “It is said that in a lifetime, a person may be lucky enough to experience true love, greater than that of the physical body, that eventually evolves into lifelong companionship. This is the electrifyingly erotic love story of two men, one gay, the other hesitantly bisexual, that would irrevocably dominate the rest of their lives.”
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
The books were inspired from the sometimes joyful, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes painful events while exploring the gender roles and sexual preferences that resulted from the “real life” experience upon which the series is based. Since their publication, I’ve come to realize that they’ve served many readers in the same way, opening a “closet” door that otherwise sadly might have remained closed.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I can’t say that I’ve ever actually experienced creative block. My greatest hindrance to authoring is that I simply don’t have enough time to put to pen all that’s aching to be released inside.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
THE biggest mistake I think an author, myself included, can make is hubris. A story is meant to be at the very least enjoyed, and maybe even informative and broaden one’s world point-of-view. But it’s not a forum for self-aggrandizement. Readers can tell when that’s happening. In the KINGSLEY & I series, the closest, like Icarus, I came to being called out, was expressed in a comment by a reader who mentioned that so much sex simply wasn’t possible. Hubris? Nope. It was the way it all happened. Who’s to say what’s possible unless you try?
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Titles are, of course, the the final prevue of the publisher, and should, I believe, be “catchy,” that is, memorable while revealing the genre and gist of the story. Covers should reflect the genre and story in visual format, what “in the business” publishers often call commercial rather than fine art mode. I believe in transparency, not baiting. Potential readers should know what’s inside, so they’re not likely to be disappointed as when fooled into making a purchase based on a deceptive title or cover.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
My experience is that there are no “bad” reviews (other than perhaps poorly written ones grammatically speaking). And the only negative ones, I have found, are “milquetoast” reviews. Who want’s to read something that’s uninspiring — the “same old, same old?” Sometimes a strong “bad” review is what it takes to kick off a book, as readers sometimes are inspired to check out a work based on what may seem an inappropriately scathing or intriguingly dark review.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
The creative process, for me, grows with each new life experience and publication. What is equally, if not even more important to becoming an outstanding author, is continuing to develop one’s word craft. After all, for authors, it’s all about words, whether in dialog or narrative.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The KINGSLEY & I series, inspired by the New Millennium award-winning short story of the same name, was a challenge to expand first into a full novel (and later a trilogy), the principal hurdle being, however, learning how to write openly and yet empathically while keeping in touch with my own feelings about love and erotic man-love sex. A second one surrounded writing about violation and violence. While the KINGSLEY & I series focuses almost completely on love and sexuality, learning to write about violence and it’s lifelong effects gave me a fuller appreciation of how it felt to be invited by a loving individual to openly explore sexuality. I was surprised how writing and dealing with the publicity surrounding publication affected my relationship both positively and negatively with “Kingsley.”
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
It’s my experience that writers write for themselves (who sometimes prove to be the greatest critics), while authors write for a target audience. I made the leap from writer to author about 40 years ago when I decided I wanted to be a professional author and began the long process of bridging the chasm that exists between the two.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
It may sound a bit analytic, but I have always thought that if something is too complex for logic and reason, emotions are one’s best guide. Given that most situations, from deciding what groceries to buy, whether to go on a date with someone, or whether to accept an offer or proposal be it, business or social, are far beyond any worldly logic and reason — usually given “insufficient information” — that emotions play a major role in life and creativity.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
My greatest creative authoring “trick” is to try to always remain true to myself and follow my gut instincts, except when they might cause another harm. My instincts are usually right, but they actually are or not, the result will make a poignant story.
# What are your plans for future books?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my recently released book, THE EDGE OF MADNESS (Aignos 2020) by Raymond Gaynor – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999693859 – tentatively called “Prophecy.” In this third book of what will be a trilogy beginning with TOTAL MELTDOWN (Borgo/Wildside 2009) co-authored by Raymond Gaynor and the incomparable William Maltese – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434403556. “Prophecy” digs deeper into the histories of the three protagonists in THE EDGE OF MADNESS bringing their hedonistic adventures to a surprising conclusion. I’m also slowly working on a sequel to my non-fiction educational tome, UNLOCK THE GENIUS WITHIN: Neurobiological Trauma, Teaching, and Transformative Learning (Rowman & Littlefield Education 2005) by Daniel S. Janik – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1578862914 – tentatively called “Nurturing the Genius Within.” Early this year, I finished three years of research in Japan and Hawaii, and finally begun writing “The Sword of Kamehameha,” an historical thriller set in 1260 A.D. feudal Japan that follows a “national treasure” katana (samurai sword) to Maui and plays a pivotal role in the consolidation of the islands under King Kamehameha I. The Maui portion is loosely based on King David Kalakaua’s THE LEGENDS AND MYTHS OF HAWAII (Mutual, 1990). As an actor, I’m considering writing what would be my first screenplay, a work I have been thinking about for some time about the always exciting, sometimes transformative, sometimes sordid life of an international DanceSport competitor.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m often asked who, given my wildly eclectic mix of interests, I “really” am. My public bio says it well: “a reclusive author, actor, artist, dancer, photographer, and videographer who ‘lives and breathes’ San Francisco. His primary genres are sci-fu (science-based futuring) and socio-political techno-thrillers often with an LGBTQ slant.” As for a unique quirk, how about that I have always been interested in 3-D photography and videography, and had the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity of meeting face to face with Yuri Nikolaevich Denisyuk, creator of normal light holography, a topic touched upon in my latest book, THE EDGE OF MADNESS.