Me: First, thank you for talking with me.
Martin: No worries. It's my pleasure.
Me: So, you've been writing for how long now?
Martin: Actively, about eight years.
Me: And how many books have you published?
Martin: To date, just two. There's my first, Common Knowledge, and its sequel Macy's Day. I'm currently working on a third in that series while putting the final clean up touches on an unrelated novel called Herman's Cafe and a one act play tentatively entitled Shots Fired.
Me: What led you to writing?
Martin: Epilepsy, believe it or not. Before that, I was mainly a performer, plays, rock and roll bands, you-name-it. But I started having seizures and that put a damper on my career as an entertainer. I was also growing tired of working with other people. Writing gives me more creative control.
Me: What would you say you write about the most?
Martin: Hmm... Probably overcoming adversity. That seems to be a common theme in my work. The characters are often finding themselves in some fashion. I also try to put social issues in my stories. Corporate America is a big boogeyman a lot of the time.
Me: You're characters have a lot of sex too.
Martin: Do they? I guess. Not like yours do, but yeah. Some of them. The Rachel Anderson character in the Alexandria series (Common Knowledge, Macy's Day, etc.) is certainly sexually compulsive. But I don't actually show it much.
Me: Yeah, you told me your characters have, what you called, Captain Kirk sex.
Martin: Right. They just start kissing and then, in the next scene, they're getting dressed. I don't really follow them into the bedroom much.
Me: Why not? I mean, at the risk of sounding trite, if sex sells, why not show more of the details?
Martin: For one thing, I'm not good at it. I'm not good at writing action like sex or fights. Dialogue is my strength.
Me: But your characters fight a lot too, don't they?
Martin: Some. Rachel and her best friend David have started a couple. Tammi, the main female character of Herman's Cafe attacks some people with a fire extinguisher. It's just really hard to write because you're having to depict stuff that takes place in a matter of seconds by describing it over the course of several paragraphs or even pages. It's hard to show it realistically and still keep the pace up. Same with sex.
Me: I hope that doesn't happen for you in real life in a matter of seconds.
Martin: (laughs) No. Currently it's not happening at all.
Me: Unfortunate. When it does happen, is it ever kinky?
(It's important to note here that this interview was conducted online. And yet, I could still feel him glaring at me across the web in response to my question.)
Martin: You're seriously asking me that?
Me: I'm asking because of little remarks you've made in your writing. If I recall, one section of your upcoming Alexandria novel that you shared with me made reference to one character using a strap-on on another one.
Martin: Yeah, again, that was Rachel. And, yes, she is a pervert. But that scene is at the beginning of the book. I usually put something shocking in the first scene or two to let the reader know what they're in for. Give them a chance to put it down if they're going to be offended.
Me: Do you think any of your other characters are kinky?
Martin: I'm pretty certain David Holsombeck is. Josie, who Rachel has a FWB relationship with...Tammi from the new book, definitely...
Me: What about Samantha, the main Alexandrian character?
Martin: Sam's not experienced enough. Maybe once she is, she might be talked into some stuff. She'd have to fight through a lot of Catholic guilt, though.
Me: We're you raised Catholic?
Martin: No. Southern Baptist. I converted to Unitarian Universalism in my twenties, though.
Me: What's the kinkiest thing you ever did?
Martin: I'm not telling you that.
Me: Come on...
Martin: Forget it, Kelly.
Me: Must have been pretty epic then.
Martin: Next question.
Me: Okay. So what advice would you give to new writers?
Martin: Join a writers group, for one. That helped me immensely. Also, don't stop writing. One thing I've said for a while is that if you want to be a writer, then do what writers do. Get off of your ass, put pen to paper and write. That's the only difference between writers and people who are not writers. Writers write. During the twenty-five years I played rock and roll, it didn't matter that I had only minimal success. I practiced, I played gigs, I recorded... That made me a musician. When I was acting, I auditioned, I did shows. That made me an actor. Now I'm always working on new fiction. That makes me a writer. If you want to be one, then write. Plain and simple. But the second you stop, or worse yet, if you never start, then you'll never get anywhere.
Me: Okay, back to this blog's theme, BDSM. Are there any books like that that you enjoy?
Martin: I liked that Sophie Morgan book you loaned me (Diary of a Submissive) a lot. She knows how to write sex. Um...let's see. Anne Rice's stuff isn't bad. Mostly though, I don't read stuff like that.
Me: So what's your opinion of the 50 Shades collection.
Martin: It's trash.
Martin: Yep. Both as erotic fiction and in general. Unrealistic characters and dialogue mostly. At least with the movies I don't have to listen to the main character's dumb inner monologue. ...And Dakota Johnson's pretty hot. Sam Jones is a great director too. Took some nauseating garbage and made it into something I could watch without throwing up in my mouth a little.
Me: Ouch. I think you hate it almost as much as I do.
Martin: It's not hard. You just have to have an I.Q. higher than that of a sock puppet.
Me: (laughs) True. Okay, I appreciate you doing this. Any last words?
Martin: What? You mean like, "Live long and prosper?"
Me: I don't know. Anything else you'd care to tell my readers?
Martin: Yeah. Buy my books. ...Oh, and I guess they should buy yours too. It's pretty decent.
Me: Gee, thanks...
Martin: Any time.
Gregory Wayne Martin is the author of Common Knowledge, Macy's Day and the upcoming Herman's Cafe. He currently resides in Murfreesboro, TN where he also leads the Murfreesboro Writers Group. His first two books are available on Smashwords.