Genre Hopping

DEADLY CURIOSITIESby Gail Z. Martin

I’ve been writing epic fantasy all my life, and had seven epic fantasy novels published, with more in the pipeline.  I write big, fat fantasy books with plenty of sword and sorcery, with sweeping plotlines (that’s the epic part) that consume kingdoms and dynasties.

I also write urban fantasy, both in short stories and with a new novel coming out in 2014.  Magic, modern times, supernatural creatures and a first-person narrative.

So why, when Joshua asked me to be part of a Steampunk anthology, did I jump up and down and squeal like a little girl? (Ok, I exaggerate on the squeal but I think I did hop a bit.)

As a writer, I’ve found that while a certain amount of familiarity with a topic breeds proficiency, staying only with that topic starts to make fresh ideas flow more slowly.  I was a little concerned initially when I started to write a monthly ebook short story, whether or not I would get “tired” of writing so much, on top of my book commitments.  The answer turned out to be, I had a bigger flow of new ideas because I was doing new things.

Writing something in a different genre makes you look at the world a different way.  Writing in a different style, like moving from third-person narrative to first-person, stretches different creative muscles.  It’s like switching exercise routines or weight machines at the gym.  All of a sudden, you realize that you’ve got a whole new goal to strive for.  It makes it fun and puts a little mystery back in the process.

Besides, I’ve loved Steampunk since before it had a name.  As a kid, I watched Wild Wild West, full of James Bond gadgets during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.  I loved Jules Verne and any movie based on his books.  The idea of gears and gadgets instead of rockets and ray guns made sense to me.  So when Joshua asked if I’d be interested, the answer was a fan-girl squee.

What Joshua didn’t know was that I’d already begun working on a concept for a Steampunk novel.  That project is still in development, but the short story for Steampunk vs. Aliens will be a little sneak peek.  And it’s fun working on the short story because it helps me develop some of the ideas better that might find their way into the novel.  Creativity works on a winding, circuitous route.  I’m having fun.

See you in the Clockwork Universe!

Reign of Ash, book two in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga launches in April, 2014 from Orbit Books.  My new urban fantasy, Deadly Curiosities, comes out in July, 2014 from Solaris Books. I bring out two series of ebook short stories with a new story every month for just .99 on Kindle, Kobo and Nook—check out the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures or the Deadly Curiosities Adventures.

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