Angel Martinez talks 10 Favorite GRL Memories and Gravitational Attraction ~ Guest Blog, Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Angel Martinez for taking the time to talk with us today. There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.


Ten Favorite GRL Memories

I was late to the party, which isn’t really a new thing for me. Not actually being late to an event, because that just ties my stomach up in Gordian knot fashion, (put the sword down and back away slowly) but it took me a couple of years to get to a GRL. Which ones did I get to? Albuquerque and Atlanta. This year, I’ll be breaking the A cycle and flying out to Chicago.

You’d think with my love of science fiction and superheroes and all things geeky that I’d be a convention girl, right? Nope. Never went to a convention of any kind prior to GRL in ABQ. Crowds, parties, talking in general are not my thing. Sure, I can do public speaking and I can successfully interact with other adults. But it’s a matter of turning on a switch, and if the connection is faulty that day, the lights may or may not go on. At some point, I desperately need to escape and turn the switch off again.

This is probably why some of my favorite moments are quieter moments, more private moments. I’ve told some of my favorite memories several times (my first Amy Lane moment, Edmond and the elevator ride) so I’m trying for some different ones here.

  1. Sara York reader ambushes: GRL in New Mexico was at the Hard Rock Café and Casino. Nice rooms, lovely staff, but it was out in the middle of nowhere. Breakfast and coffee options were therefore limited, but there was a lovely little coffee shop just off the lobby. Retreat goers would congregate here and one could meet all sorts of interesting people. Unlike me, Sara can actually converse with other humans naturally, so it was positively wonderful to tag along sometimes as Sara introduced herself to readers and got even the most reticent to chat. Faces lit up, people smiled and obviously felt special. Those were lovely moments.
  2. The lobby at the Hard Rock and the gathering couches: This is probably the first time I looked up over my glasses at a group of people I had nothing to do with and said, “There’s no such thing as just a reader.” While waiting for friends to wander down, the couch grouping in the lobby was the most obvious place to wait. People would spot you right through the glass elevator as they rode down. In my usual “I’m not here, don’t look at me” way when I’m alone, I sat hunched in one of the couch corners, reading emails, most likely waiting for Silvia. A group of readers occupied most of the other chairs, laughing and talking about people they had read and books they wanted signed. One of them said something to the effect of “but I’m so nervous coming up to her, I’m mean, I’m just a reader…” Cue the looking up over the glasses. “No one is just a reader,” I said, my heart racing because maybe it was obnoxious to interrupt a group of people I’d never met. “We can’t survive without you. You’re our reason for existence.” There was silence. Then they asked me my name, and some of them knew me. I think I left part of my smile there that day as an afterimage.
  3. My first public reading. Ever: Mind you, I think I was close to a coronary. I’ve spoken and taught in front of groups, but I’d never read my OWN stuff before. It could have gone badly, and I’m so glad I rehearsed so much. I was shaking. Two things helped mitigate that blindingly terrifying moment. One was that my cohort and partner in crime, Freddy MacKay, was in the front row taking a video of the reading and her irrepressible grin is enough to calm a Jack Russell. She was also taking pictures of her feet just to make me laugh, which, yes, helped a lot afterward. The other thing that happened was after the reading, a lovely woman I’d never met took the time to tell me how much she enjoyed it and how well I did “cat.” That was Eden Winters and I’ll never forget the huge difference a few kind words made. (It wasn’t a disaster! *muppet arm flail!*)
  4. The Heaven and Hell Masquerade in Atlanta: ye gods, I was six years old again. I had my demon kitty costume on and my camera and I pestered everyone to see their costumes, squealing and giggling and making people stand still for pictures. I even hunted people down whom I’d seen and wanted pictures (Edmond Manning, Suzette “Captain Jack” Hullette, Lily Velden.) It was ridiculously fun.
  5. The fancy dancers in Albuquerque: The lovely and ever-vivacious Deanna Wadsworth wanted to leave the drinking and go outside to watch the dancers. I think she may even have grabbed me and taken me with her, lol. I was waffling – wanted to talk to friends and so on. But I’m so glad we went. The dancers were so beautiful and it was such a wonderful performance. If Deanna takes your hand and drags you somewhere, go.
  6. Sex in Space: This was the first un-moderated panel I’ve ever been on and honestly, I was having fits. Nothing was planned, we had met over breakfast to talk over some possible topics, but it felt so…spontaneous (shudder.) Yes, that little touch of control freak kicks in at the worst times. I shouldn’t have worried. Belinda McBride, KC Burn, and I meshed perfectly and the audience was amazing. You have no idea how my heart soared to have people there who read Science Fiction, who liked Science Fiction, it was more like a coffee klatch with a large group of friends instead of a panel. Serious and funny, we laughed and debated, and we didn’t miss a beat. It was fabulous.
  7. Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion: If you’re in Atlanta and have time for dinner, see if you can get over to Poor Calvin’s. The listings say it’s American and Asian Fusion, but the Fusion leans mostly toward Thai. We did terrible things to the staff there since we kept adding to our party and they kept having to change table configurations to accommodate us (which they did without batting an eye.) Then Pearl Love was there finishing her dinner on her own and we absorbed her as well like some giant dinner-guest amoeba. The food was amazing. Panang to die for, I kid you not. Everything was so freaking yummy and the company couldn’t have been better.
  8. The signing in Atlanta: My first signing in Albuquerque had been stressful. I didn’t know what to expect, hardly anyone stopped at my table. I was just a wreck. In Atlanta, my readings and panels were all finished, all the stress was over, and I felt free. Ally Blue and her critters sat on one side, Kaje Harper, lovely to talk to, sat on the other, Lynn Lorenz across the aisle. It didn’t matter who stopped where, we had so much fun. People did stop this time, though, maybe because I was having a good time and not looking about to fly to pieces.
  9. The Metro in Atlanta: Okay, for anyone who lives somewhere with a good transit system, this is going to sound ridiculous. But I loved the Metro. It goes right to the flipping airport for all the gods’ sakes. I would love to be able to hop on the Metro and zip right into Philly or BWI, but no, we don’t get that here. So if you have a lovely transport system like that, cherish it. You don’t know how good you have it.
  10. Breakfast with Silvia: this is not a single moment, but an amalgam of moments. I don’t sleep well at these things. I’m nervous. It’s not my bed. There are too many strange noises. When I’m home, I don’t sleep much past 5 am as it is, so this doesn’t change at conventions, but I don’t stay up late, either. Let’s face it. Eleven is late for me these days. So having a friend and fellow early bird who is willing to meet me for coffee and/or breakfast in the morning is priceless. Someone to plan the day with and strategize and recap-it’s really the only way to start the day. Silvia Violet has always been so gracious with my neediness for quiet company in the mornings and I’m very grateful for that.

That’s my ten. They may not be the most exciting things to other people, but everyone experiences these events in their own way. The parties get a lot of press and camera footage, but it’s often the quieter moments that resonate with you at a bone-deep level.


Title: Gravitational Attraction
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain


2nd Edition

A mysterious distress call draws the crew of courier ship Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting troop vessel–empty except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and a lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced.

Isaac knows firsthand what it’s like to be different and an outcast, and this cements their bond. Once a promising pilot, Isaac was left with a damaged body when his brain didn’t meld with the high-tech implant needed to fly fighter ships. Turk’s brain is no better. The result of a military experiment gone wrong, his natural abilities have been augmented to a dangerous degree.

When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.

1st Edition published by Silver Publishing, February 2012

About the Author:

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.

Author Links:

Facebook Author Group:
Twitter: @AngelMartinezrr

#TeamPrism GRL 2014 Tour Stops:

Carol Lynne 15-Apr
Eden Winters 2-May
Rowan Speedwell 13-May
J. P. Barnaby 23-May
Toni Griffin 6-Jun
Kindle Alexander 20-Jun
Zathyn Priest 4-Jul
Diana Copland 18-Jul
Angel Martinez 23-Jul
Sara York 31-Jul
Jeff Adams 5-Aug
Brandon Witt 14-Aug
Deanna Wadsworth 21-Aug
Shira Anthony 28-Aug
Ethan Stone 1-Sep
Jamie Lynn Miller 11-Sep
Lori Toland 29-Sep
Freddy MacKay 2-Oct
Erica Pike 6-Oct
Kendall McKenna TBD


Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

All Romance eBooks


Angel Martinez has kindly offered 1 lucky commenter a copy of Brimstone: Demon Owned and Operated (the brimstone story omnibus)

Contest will end 5 days from original posting date at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

32 thoughts on “Angel Martinez talks 10 Favorite GRL Memories and Gravitational Attraction ~ Guest Blog, Giveaway

  1. Thanks for the great post about GRL. I have never been, but agree with you about these types of events in general that it is usually the smaller, quieter moments that resonate with you. I hope you have a wonderful time in Chicago. Thanks also for a chance to win one your your books I don’t have yet. 🙂

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  2. Hi Angel,

    this year will be my first GRL and I heard so many things about the previous ones. Can’t wait to meet a lot of my online friends for the first time. Will arrive earlier so that the jetlag won’t knock me out. Looking forward to meet you there.

    dannyfiredragon @

  3. Thank you, Debra – we make our own moments sometimes 😉

    Hi Danny! Oh, yes, I like getting there early so one doesn’t feel all rushed and anxious when the craziness starts, lol Hope to see you there!

  4. I’ve never been to a GRL but reading through the list it sounds like you can have a really great time, I envy people going to this years GRL.


  5. It seems like a lot of special moments that you had at GRL especially with good friends to support you or be with you.

  6. I’d like to go to GRL someday. It sounds like Brimstone is sort of humorous? Is it?

    penumbrareads {at} gmail {dot} com

    • They do have an annual Aussie Gay Fiction meet somewhere – but GRL (Gay Romance Literature Retreat) is the US version. Toni Griffin and several other Aussie authors will be with us in Chicago this year ;D

  7. Thank you for a chance to win one of your books and sharing some of your experiences with various GRL meets you have attended. One day I would love to attend GRL and meet some of those authors you mention, as well you of course, as everyone seems so friendly and accommodating. <3

  8. Every time I read a blog about GRL it makes me want to go even more. Thanks for the little “slices” of GRL. 🙂

  9. Every time I hear about someone’s experiences at a GRL, I want to go more. While it sounds like a lot of things were nerve wrecking, you did great! I’m glad that you have Silivia Violet to do things with, I hate doing new things on my own all the time.

  10. Oh, my those sound like really fun and exciting moments. Thank you for sharing those stories and memorable moments.

  11. Those sound very similar to my favorite moments from my first con (last year, not GRL). I was so unbelievably nervous. I sat out in my car for a half hour before I finally got the courage to even go inside! Then I was lucky enough to get adopted by some awesome people who saw me looking anxious and lost, and I had a blast. Of course, I’m still nervous as all get out for the upcoming GRL, but I’m excited too!

  12. Ahh, the good old couches in Albuquerque. I actually liked that we were so isolated because it brought everyone together. People were more scattered last year in Atlanta.

    Please don’t add me to the contest. I already have this book ^.^

  13. I’ve never had the pleasure of attending GRL, but your post made me want to go! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

  14. Thanks for sharing your experiences at GRL. It sounds like a fabulous event. Thanks for the giveaway.

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