My friend, author Gail Z. Martin, offered to do a guest post on my blog for her Days of the Dead blog tour. She is an amazing writer and person, and I encourage everyone to check out her work.
Urban or Epic? By Gail Z. Martin
How do you like your fantasy—urban or epic?
Is that a trick question? Because my answer is, both!
I write both epic fantasy and urban fantasy and have new books coming out in both genres, so this is a question I get to think about a lot!
I love urban fantasy because it’s contemporary, and it’s cool thinking about supernatural creatures prowling modern-day cities. My Deadly Curiosities series is set in modern-day Charleston, SC which is a fantastic place for an urban fantasy series because it’s already one of the most haunted cities in North America. I do the Atomacon convention in Charleston, which provides a great chance to go down early and do some research, tour historic buildings, visit museums, and get inspiration for the next book.
Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. It’s been home to pirates and hanging judges, very wealthy families and slave traders, plenty of brothels and enough churches that its nickname is the Holy City. And it’s that friction between good and evil that I think gives Charleston a lot of its urban fantasy mojo. It’s exactly the kind of city where you’d find spirits with unfinished business or who are doomed to wander until they make atonement. It’s also chock full of antiques and odd artifacts, so the antique store, Trifles and Folly, that my main characters run seems completely at home—including its mission to get dangerous magical items off the market and out of the wrong hands.
The second Deadly Curiosities book—Vendetta—comes out in December, and I’m very excited because it’s the kind of book that could only be set in Charleston. I do my best to weave threads of the city’s history, landmarks and lore through the books, making the city a character as well as a setting. It’s also fun being able to use modern language, make some pop culture references and create characters you feel like you might just run into if you visit the city.
Epic fantasy is fun, too. The stories and the scope are big, the stakes are huge, the action is sweeping. Kingdoms and dynasties hang in the balance. Battles rage. Magic becomes a weapon of mass destruction. Shadow and Flame is the fourth (and last) book in my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, a post-apocalyptic medieval epic fantasy series. (Try saying that five times fast!) The action takes in much of one continent and ranges up to the arctic. Control of a ravaged kingdom is at stake, warlords fight over the spoils, magic is destroyed and then partially restored, and the people of Donderath struggle to rebuild after the cataclysmic outcome of a devastating war.
It’s a lot of fun to write something on that scale. Of course, it’s the characters who are the heart of a book, and Blaine McFadden and his convict friends have their work cut out for them as they return to save the kingdom that sent them into exile. So not only are the stakes big for the kingdom, they’re huge on a personal level for the people involved, the ones at the center of the action. For them, it’s the adventure of a lifetime, one for the legends—if they survive. And if they don’t, the kingdom is plunged into warfare, famine and a tug of war between mortals and immortals for the crown. No pressure.
It’s also fun switching mental gears between sub-genres, especially when you’re working on one book and have to suddenly stop to do an edit or read a galley on the other book. There’s some creative whiplash involved on those days, as you flip from modern to medieval and back again. On the other hand, writing multiple series in different sub-genres keeps it all fresh. I love each of my book worlds, but doing too much of anything in a row gets a little stale. Switching it up from urban to epic to steampunk to space means it always feels fresh and new.
So the answer to the question, epic or urban? Yes!
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
More Treats! Enter to win a copy of Deadly Curiosities! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/160181-deadly-curiosities
Treats! Enter to win a copy of Iron & Blood! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/160182-iron-blood
Treats Not Tricks! Read an excerpt from Bad Memories, one of my Deadly Curiosities stories http://bit.ly/1xigNgz
Halloween Loot! Here’s an excerpt from Bad Ass Fairies by Danielle Ackley-McPhail http://www.sidhenadaire.com/books/BAFCrossroads.pdf
Bonus Goodies! An excerpts from Bad Ass Fairies 2 http://www.sidhenadaire.com/books/BAF2GuardianEx.pdf
Win some Weird Wild West awesomeness! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/138364-the-weird-wild-west
About the Author
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.