Friday, 25 October 2013

Guest Post | Gail Z. Martin Explains "Days of the Dead"

Today on The Speculative Scotsman, it's my pleasure to make warm and welcome the one and only Gail Z. Martin, author of any number of novels, not least two complete series, namely The Chronicles of the Necromancer and The Fallen Kings Cycle. She's also at work currently on two very different texts: Reign of Ash — the sequel to Ice Forged, which began The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga — and Deadly Curiosity, an urban fantasy novel based, as Gail explains below, on the bones of the short story she wrote for Solaris' Magic anthology.

She is, in short, an abominably busy sort, which is why it's such a treat for me to be participating in her annual Days of the Dead blog tour. Here, in fact, are a few words from the author on what has become a Halloween habit:
I’ve always thought this week is the best time of the year. Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos all in one week — what’s not to love? And since I write epic fantasy and urban fantasy with lots of supernatural happenings, ghosts, and magic, it just seemed like a good week to come out to play.  
This is the biggest year ever, with over 40 participating sites. I’m on blogs all over the world as a guest on a variety of topics, at least six sites are doing give-aways of several of my books, there are plenty of excerpts of my books and short stories as well as excerpts from some of my author friends. It’s all here.
That wasn't all she wrote, either. Gail also answered a couple of questions for me, about her work past, present and future, too.


Tell us a little about how you came to write Ice Forged.

I’d been playing with the idea of what if magic broke (as it nearly did in the Chronicles books), and what if we had a post-apocalyptic medieval world, and what if a world sent its convicts to the northern rim (instead of, in our world, Georgia or Australia)... and I had an idea of where I wanted to go.

I like stories that test the mettle of a character and reveal what he/she is made of. In Ice Forged, the main characters have lost everything when they were disgraced and sentenced to a harsh prison colony. When the magic dies and the Continent is destroyed in the war and the resulting apocalypse, the life they’ve made for themselves as colonists is jeopardized. The discovery that Blaine is the only one who can restore the magic set him and his friends on a dangerous journey that will pit them against powerful immortal enemies. The fate of their world rests in the hands of a group of convicts. Succeed, and they win not only their freedom, but the ability to shape the future of the world. Fail, and face the wrath of the gods knowing you have condemned your world to darkness.

What inspires you to write?

There are stories I want to read that no one else has written, which means it’s my job to tell them. That’s my strongest inspiration. I want to get to read the stories once I’m done!

Tell us a little about your upcoming books.

Here’s the recap for Reign of Ash, the second book in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga and the sequel to Ice Forged (coming in April, 2014 from Orbit):
Disgraced lord Blaine McFadden returned from exile to restore magic after a mage war devastated his homeland of Donderath. The king is dead, the army is scattered, and the once-powerful kingdom has been reduced to chaos and rubble.  Blaine may be the only one who can bring back the magic, so it’s up to Blaine and his small group of ex-convicts to save the kingdom, but the price might be their lives.
Deadly Curiosities is something a little different for me. It’s an urban fantasy set in modern-day Charleston, South Carolina. Cassidy Kincaide is the proprietor of Trifles and Folly, an antique shop with a difference that continues a family tradition begun in 1670 — acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market.The novel arose out of a short story I wrote for Solaris Books’ Magic anthology. I had created the world of the stories for several anthologies I’d been asked to participate in, and I also write new short stories for ebook with those characters. Solaris like the short story so much, they asked for a full novel!


Thanks, Gail, for stopping off at The Speculative Scotsman.

And the fun is far from done, because tomorrow, I'll be publishing the first in a series of exclusive excerpts taken from the author's next novel, Reign of Ash. Keep your peepers peeled, readers!

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