Interview with Martin Brant

Question:  Five Married Men is your second novel?  Then The Partisans?
Brant:  That’s right.  A Song in the Park was the first.  It came out in Spring 2005, but I haven’t promoted it
because it was so poorly edited by the original publisher.  I am promoting the revised edition.

Question:  So is the revised edition available?
Brant:  Yes.  It’s now available on Amazon.  It’s a lot more fun to see your book in print when you can be proud of
it.  I got a lot of positive feedback from the first edition.  Now people can read it without the distraction of sloppy
editing.

Question: Sounds like you’re ready to see it sell.
Brant: I am.  It’s a fun story about two men who cross paths while trying to straighten out their lives.  Lots of
emotion and soul searching.

Question: Your main characters are bisexual or gay.  Does that put your novels in a gay/lesbian genre?
Brant: Perhaps, or adult fiction; but I don’t exclude anyone who enjoys a thoughtful romantic adventure, or
anyone intrigued by the mystery of male sexuality.  Straight men and women were moved by
 Brokeback
Mountain as well as gay men.
  There are many kinds of gay fiction.  You’ll find humor, mysteries, horror, erotica
–the list is endless.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of thoughtful masculine romance.  My novels are written to
appeal to anyone who enjoys a character driven story with intriguing characters who get into interesting situations
and predicaments.  We follow along on the path they’re walking, feel their anger and pain and joy, see their
surroundings and how they interact with others and the situations they’re in.  There’s no reason fiction can’t
validate gay men who lead sexually quiet lives and identify in every other way with their straight brothers.

Question:  You write in a mainstream style.  What does that mean?
Brant:  The characters lead mainstream lives.  Their trials and tribulations, their victories and failures, and their
interactions are those anyone can identify with.  Most gay men are discreet about their sexuality–they’re basically
mainstream.  You would never guess they’re gay until you realize they’re living or want to live with another man.
They’re the guys I write about.

Question: So anyone might enjoy a Martin Brant novel?
Brant:  Almost anyone.  They’re human dramas.  Like in any fiction, you find yourself on a road you may never
walk, but you follow along because you’re curious about the roads others walk everyday.  In the comfort of your
favorite chair, you escape to another world.  We’re entertained in a way only the written word can entertain us, by
calling on our imagination and provoking thought, and allowing time to contemplate a scene we just read.

Question: By “adult fiction” do you mean sexually explicit scenes?
Answer: I mean fiction that appeals to people on an adult level.  But yes.  Some writers leave scenes of physical
expression to your imagination, others don’t.  When the main characters crawl up into the loft together, some
readers want to go with them, while others would just as soon skip over those pages.  I believe physical
expression in its many forms is not only a natural expression of our feelings for another, but also an important
aspect of two people in love.

Question: Why base your novels on gay characters?
Answer: Gay men and women contribute another example of the power of love in our world.  They contribute
another element to our wonderful human diversity.  Their provide an excellent format for engaging stories and
characters.  In other words, for a writer, it’s like having a broad brush to paint with, and when you dip the brush
into this particular paint can, you come up with some very interesting colors.  Even though there are many good
works of gay fiction out there, it can be difficult to find a mainstream novel with gay characters.  My guys are
masculine and lead the same kinds of lives average Americans do.  They just prefer sleeping with another man.
They are basically positive about life, but can find themselves in some real dilemmas.

Question: How long have you been writing?
Answer: Most of my life.  After fifteen years in manufacturing, and nine years in the food service industry, I’ve
shifted my primary focus to writing.  There’s nothing I’d rather be doing, though it took a while to realize that
Hemingway was right when he said: “The first draft of anything is crap.”

Question: What do you hope to achieve with your novels?
Answer: A dear friend I haven’t seen in a long time was gay.  We used to go out and have a couple of beers
together.  I could sit and listen to him for hours, he was that interesting.  The thought of a beautiful human being
like him being victimized or discriminated against in any way is anathema to me.  If my work in some way
influences those with bias, I’ve achieved something.

Question: People who read your novels are going to think you are gay or bisexual.  Are you?
Answer: Does Stephen King have to go out and kill someone to write about murder?  I’m happily married.