Interview: Martha J Allard

Today we’re joined by Martha J Allard. Martha is a phenomenal author who writes various kinds of fantasy. She writes both short stories and novels. Her work is mostly dark and contemporary fantasy. Her novel is entitled Black Light and it sounds fascinating. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I write fiction, mostly dark and contemporary fantasy. I
write both short stories and novels. My first one of those came out a two years
ago called Black Light. It’s about
rock and roll and finding yourself in what you want.

What inspires you?

I always try to look for the magic hidden in normal life. I
believe it’s always there, but we can’t always see it. I try to put that in my
writing.

What got you interested
in your field?  Have you always wanted to
be an artist?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I grew up with a
book in my hand. I traded Laura Ingles Wilder for Anne of Green Gables, for the
Nine Princes in Amber and on. I loved all those stories and more, but there
were no characters that I could identify with.

I grew up in a small town in Michigan, in the late 70’s. It
was miles and miles away from any queer culture. I didn’t know it existed, much
less that I could be a part of it.

One night I waited until my parents were asleep and snuck
back downstairs to the TV to watch videos. This was pre-MTV. They played a
video by David Bowie called I Am A DJ. I was riveted, never having seen him
before. In the video, a man comes up to Bowie on the street to kiss him. This
opened my small-town brain up to the possibilities that lay beyond my tiny
borders. Somehow those possibilities got my pen moving.  

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

Well, yes. Or I think of them as Easter eggs, really.
Because of my connection to Bowie, I always put something of him in my work.
Sometimes it’s small, something nobody but me will notice, and sometimes it’s
bigger, for example the entire plot of Black Light started out with one of his
songs.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t write what you know. Write what you want to discover.
Write the things that scare you and let your words be wild.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I came to asexuality late in life. In the past I’ve also
identified as Bi and Lesbian. I feel that I can only speak for right now, and
right now I feel Panromantic.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I write queer fiction, and so I rub shoulders with other
queer writers. When I first came out as Ace, some of them advised against it. I
was surprised, because I had already identified as queer, and had for years.
I’ve found that some people think of Asexual as “damaged,” and I didn’t want to
be thought of like that, did I?

No. I didn’t. So when I came out to people, I armed myself
with explanations, reasons for my sexuality. But finally, I stopped myself. Now
I deal with push back by not apologizing, but it took a while.  

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

As I mentioned above, it’s that somehow, I became asexual
because of damaged I’ve suffered.  Also
that I’m wasting myself? That one always makes me laugh. It feels just the
opposite to me.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

I would say, it’s a journey, not a destination. For me, each
day is different, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and as David Bowie
famously said once, “All I can tell you is what I feel right now.”

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

My website: https://www.marthajallard.com/
My Facebook page: marthajallard
Amazon link to Black Light: http://a.co/d/bT1PCsp

Thank you, Martha, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.