Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have spent decades as a commercial real estate agent in Vancouver, Canada, but always dreamed of being a writer. There was always a reason to procrastinate until the death of Helen Gurley Brown triggered an idea for an unconventional love story focused on the swinging sixties. The coming of age drama grew to span almost two decades. My research of the controversial topics of that time – gay rights, church sexual abuse, paedophilia, and many more, drove the family saga breathlessly forward until what had started out as my first book became six books. I thought the story might end there but realised that there was a lot more to tell about the second half of the twentieth century – a time that most people remember only vaguely now. I have now started a second series and have completed drafts of three more books that will continue the story. I live amongst numerous other writers and artists on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, with my partner of more than twenty years, Paul, and my dog, Alfie. I encourage you to visit www.martinhumphriesauthor.com for more information about me and my books.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The latest book. that I have almost finished the first draft of, is called 'Family Matters' and is the latest in the second series that I have called 'The Plague Years' because the context is the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic that began to frighten everyone so much in the eighties. I am planning a total of six more books in this second series all to be released by the end of 2019.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing unusual really. I try and set myself a monthly target of words and, fortunately, I find I am very prolific once I start and writer's block has never been a problem for me because there's so much to tell in this complex world.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I loved 'Lord of the Rings' as a teenager, then I loved 'The Front Runner' as a young gay adult discovering that gay fiction actually existed. Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City' series of books were a joy as well in exploring how straight and gay peoples' lives intertwine; I think my books are, in many ways, a British version of that series. After visiting the Indian Subcontinent as a young man, I found that 'The Raj Quartet' by Paul Scott delighted me in the nineties as did Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy', both bringing back memories of that amazing country. I have to say that Brian Francis' 'Natural Order' still haunts me because it changed my perceptions about how people could abandon their gay sons to a death from AIDS. Immensely tragic but, for the first time, I got an appreciation of just how complex that must have been.
What are you working on now?
I have just finished a 'novella' that is a prequel to 'The Cost of Loving' series and is available free to anyone who buys any volume in the series. They just have to click one of the links in the books. I am about to start the third volume in 'The Plague Years' series which is tentatively called 'Homo Erectus'. The initial years of AIDS were such a scary place for so many people, gay and straight alike, and so there is a lot to tell.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am just discovering this as my books have only just been launched and I am learning to be a promoter and marketer as well as a writer and loving every minute of it, I have to say!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write – just sit down and write. I ignored myself for many years and once I had the courage to try it, I found I couldn't stop.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never say you can't do anything until you've tried to do it first.
What are you reading now?
'To Leave A Memory' by Pat Dunlop Evans . I thoroughly recommend it and have already done so on Amazon.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have to finish the second series and then I can think about different stories, of which I have many outlined and waiting to start. I have far more book ideas than time to write them, sadly. I should have started writing earlier.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I think it has to be Tolkein's 'Lord of The Rings', but of the lesser known books, I would say 'Natural Order' by Brian Francis had the biggest impact and it sticks with me always.