Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing the fantasy author Gail Z. Martin about her new books.

Gail Z. Martin is the author of the upcoming novel Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books) as well as the epic fantasy novel Shadow and Flame (March, 2016 Orbit Books) which is the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. Shadowed Path, an anthology of Jonmarc Vahanian short stories set in the world of The Summoner, debuts from Solaris books in June, 2016.

Other books include The Jake Desmet Adventures a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin as well as Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) from Orbit Books and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities from Solaris Books.

Gail writes four series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures, The King’s Convicts series, and together with Larry N. Martin, The Storm and Fury Adventures. Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Realms of Imagination, Heroes, With Great Power, and (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) Space, Contact Light, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Click here to visit the author's official website.


Q: Your next book, "Vendetta" (Deadly Curiosities, Book 2), will be published in December 2015. Could you tell us something about it?

A: Vendetta picks up not long after Deadly Curiosities. Cassidy and Teag have gotten more familiar with their magical abilities, gaining more control and becoming better able to defend themselves. As events unfold, it becomes clear that someone has a vendetta against Sorren, and is trying to destroy him and everything he cares about. Sorren’s been around for nearly 600 years, most of that time working with the Alliance, so he’s mad a lot of enemies. He’s got to figure it out. It’s a blood feud, and the most likely person behind it is a man Sorren thought was long dead, a powerful sorcerer able to summon the tainted spirits of the Nephilim to stand in judgment of humanity.

Q: Will you continue to write more books that are set in the urban fantasy world of Deadly Curiosities?

A: I’m fleshing out the concept for a third book, but I don’t have a publication date yet. In the meantime, however, there are the Deadly Curiosities Adventures series of short stories on Kindle, Kobo and Nook that take place before, between and around the novels. There are 15 stories already out, with more coming!

Q: "Shadow and Flame" (The Ascendant Kingdoms, Book 4) will also be published soon (March 2016). What kind of a book is it? What can readers expect from it?

A: Shadow and Flame is the fourth (and last) book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series. The main character, Blaine McFadden, continues his journey from convict to warlord. Here’s the official blurb: Blaine McFadden and his allies have brought magic back under mortal command and begun to restore order to the beleaguered kingdom of Donderath. Now, new perils and old enemies gather for a final reckoning. Foreign invaders, a legendary dark mage and vengeful immortals fight Blaine's battered forces for control of the continent, and Blaine's weary army is the only thing standing between a kingdom struggling to rise from the ashes and a descent into fury and darkness.

It’s a gritty book, post-apocalyptic medieval epic fantasy, with plenty of big battles, dark magic and intrigue. I’m pretty excited about it!

And by the way....Shadow and Flame is the last novel in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, but I’m bringing out a six-part series of novellas (The King’s Convicts and The King’s Exiles) that fill a six-year gap at the beginning of Ice Forged, during Blaine’s time in Velant Prison and the Edgeland colony. The first story, Artic Prison, comes out this month.

There’s also a pivotal short story, No Reprieve, that comes out in December from Orbit Short Fiction, also on Kindle/Kobo/Nook.

Q: You recently co-wrote "Iron & Blood" with Larry N. Martin. Will you soon be writing a sequel or a companion novel to it?

A: We have plans for a sequel in process, but no firm publication date yet. In the meantime, we’ve brought out several short stories and a novella in the Iron & Blood universe, what we call the Storm and Fury Adventures featuring the two Department of Supernatural Investigation agents, Mitch Storm and Jacob Drangosavich. “Resurrection Day” is available on Kindle/Kobo/Nook and “Grave Voices” is a full novella free on Wattpad.com for a limited time. We’ve also done short stories for several anthologies including “Airship Down” for Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens; “Ruin Creek” for The Weird Wild West; and “Ghost Wolf” for The Side of Good/The Side of Evil.

Q: What can readers expect next from you when "Shadow and Flame" and "Vendetta" have been published?

A: In June of 2016, “Shadowed Path” comes out from Solaris Books, set in the world of The Summoner. It’s a collection of the first 10 Jonmarc Vahanian short stories plus an exclusive, never-before-published eleventh story, and it’s essentially Book One of Jonmarc’s back story, a prequel to The Summoner in my world of the Chronicles of the Necromancer. Jonmarc is the character everyone wanted to know more about, and so our Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures short stories fill that gap. Solaris approached me about doing a print and book anthology—with a bonus story—and I’m absolutely thrilled to see it come together!

I’m also in the process of working up a new epic fantasy series, as well as a sci-fi series co-authored with Larry. We’re bringing out new stories on ebook every month, and in 2016, those will shift from short stories to mainly novellas to give us a chance to tell bigger stories. In addition, we’re slated for stories in several anthologies launching in 2016 including Alien Artifacts, Hell Hath No, Robots, and an alternative Sherlock Holmes project!

Q: You started your writing career by writing epic fantasy (Chronicles of the Necromancer). Now you also write urban fantasy and steampunk fantasy. Does writing urban fantasy and steampunk fantasy feel different from writing epic fantasy?

A: I really have fun with all of the genres. I love epic fantasy because the stories are just so big and sweeping (that’s the ‘epic’ part). They are big tales with the fate of the kingdom, or the continent, or the world hanging in the balance. Everything is larger than life. And, being a history geek, I enjoy the research piece as well!

Urban fantasy is fun because modern language and references make it a little less restrictive. I have more humor in the urban fantasy and steampunk because the sub-genres lend themselves to it, although there are humorous moments in the epic books as well. I love Charleston, SC where the Deadly Curiosities series is set, so it’s also been fun exploring its history and lore. Plus I really enjoy working with the Voodoo elements and other supernatural traditions!

Steampunk is also fun because of the New Pittsburgh setting. We lived in Pittsburgh for a decade, and I am very fond of the city. Making it our own in our alternative history scenario is so much fun. We’ve really loved doing the research, going to the landmarks to block out action scenes, and digging deep into the history and urban myths. And the characters and setting lend themselves to a cheeky sense of humor that is a blast to write!

Q: You're a versatile author who writes about many different worlds, places, happenings and characters. How do you find inspiration to write about new worlds and characters? Is it challenging to create new worlds and write about new places?

A: Both the Deadly Curiosities series and the upcoming sci-fi series came about because of anthologies that challenged me to write to a particular prompt. That forced me out of my comfort zone, and I was so thrilled with the way the stories turned out that they naturally grew into a bigger vision. With Iron & Blood, Larry and I knew we wanted to do a steampunk story and we had the Pittsburgh connection, which was just perfect for the setting since the real Pittsburgh was the epicenter of American manufacturing and steam-driven ingenuity during the Victorian era. Another influence is travel. I came up with the concept for the original Deadly Curiosities story because I went to Charleston on a business trip and fell in love with the city. It was so perfect for urban fantasy, I couldn’t believe someone hadn’t already snapped it up, and immediately began to develop something that felt very Charlestonian.

Q: Because you've been working hard on writing new books and stories, how do you relax?

A: Believe it or not, I read! (Stuff someone else has written!) I also really enjoy cooking. Larry and I have been taking cooking lessons at a local kitchenware store and we are working our way through a series of cookbooks. It’s also fun to take long walks with our two dogs. And I’ll get sucked into the occasional TV series. And if I can go somewhere (preferably a historic site) on the weekend, that’s bliss!

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here: www.AscendantKingdoms.com

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! Grab your envelope of book swag awesomeness from me & 10 authors http://on.fb.me/1h4rIIe before 11/1!

Trick or Treat! Excerpt from my new urban fantasy novel Vendetta set in my Deadly Curiosities world here http://bit.ly/1ZXCPVS Launches Dec. 29

Trick or Treat! New Blaine McFadden (Ascendant Kingdoms Saga) short story set in Velant Prison http://amzn.com/B0151YRCPA No Reprieve

Trick Or Treat goodies! Double-Dragon Publishing sampler#5 http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/sample/DDPSAMPLE005.mobi

Treats not Tricks! An excerpt from Alice by my friend Christina Henry http://www.christinahenry.net/?p=875

More Halloween freebies! Excerpt The Shitck by my friend Aaron Rosenberg https://especbooks.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/sneak-peek-the-schtick-by-aaron-rosenberg/

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