Katie Gilmartin


Katie Gilmartin received a Ph.D. in cultural studies from Yale, with an emphasis in queer history. After teaching the history of sexuality and queer studies for a decade at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of California, Berkeley, and The New College, she became a printmaker. Her prior publications are academic essays based on interviews she conducted with lesbians about their lives in the 1940s and 1950s. This is her first work of fiction. Gilmartin lives in San Francisco.

Blackmail, My Love

"Blackmail, My Love is a cross-genre softcover: murder mystery, pulp fiction, historical fiction, romance, picture book. In her protagonist, author and illustrator Katie Gilmartin has cut a fearless, peerless figure who is realistic but not fatalistic, sharp as a fedora, and grittier than the underworld.Joe’s delight in transposing genders invites readers into the gay areas shadowing and overshadowing San Francisco’s black-and-white heat. The nuanced nonchalance of the narration is juxtaposed with the desperation and determination experienced by our hero, whose straits will Mildred Pierce your soul. Fast-paced, this story puts the “out” in “out of the past,” a past that, according to the author, “inhabits the future.” If you like your gumshoes with gumption, this novel is right up your alley. Just keep an eye out for suspicious characters who may be lurking?and smirking?in the shadows."
Curve Magazine

"I loved this book because of its writing and the cinematic vividness with which Gilmartin creates a believable, authentic historical setting. Beyond that, I think that every LGBTQ person under 40 ought to read “Blackmail, my Love,” because this well-crafted novel is also a healthy, if painful, history lesson."
–Prism Book Alliance

“This is the Katie Gilmartin’s first work of fiction, and she clearly drew on her academic work: interviews she conducted with lesbians about their lives in the 1940s and 1950s. That work paid off. Her future in fiction is bright.”
New York Journal of Books