What I’m Up To

by Gail Z. Martin

I often get asked, “what are you up to now”—and here are the answers, as I gave them to Solaris books for the launch of a new anthology, Magic, which features one of my short stories, “Buttons.”

1] What was the idea that inspired you to write this story?

I’ve been writing in my Deadly Curiosities universe for a couple of years now—it’s the setting for all of my short stories to date. The stories I’ve written so far in my short stories range in time from the 1500s to present day, and focus on Sorren, a vampire thief, and his immortal colleagues in a secret organization that makes sure that cursed and malicious magical objects stay out of circulation.  Sorren works and his human partners risk everything to steal dangerous items and secure them before they can cause damage or death.

2] What do you think about the short story form in general?

It scares me—I’d much rather face a contract to write 150,000 words than 8,000 words!  There’s a little more elbow room in a full novel—especially an epic-length novel.  Short stories are a lot more precise.  I enjoy writing short stories because they are a challenge for me, and because I have a lot of fun with them.  I really admire the writers who have established themselves as grand masters of the short story!

3] What does your writing process involve?

I’ll get the germ of an idea—it could be a setting, or an object, or an action—and then everything gradually coalesces around that core.  Sometimes the story comes to me all at once, and sometimes it reveals itself one page at a time as I sit at the computer and sweat it out.  I usually work from a loose outline, but it’s really more of a few jotted notes than a real outline.  So my process is a little loose, to say the least!

5] Are you reading anything at the moment and if so, what?

I try not to read within the genre when I’m writing (which these days, is most of the time), so I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal mystery.  They’re fun, relatively short, and very different from what I write.

6] Why were you attracted to contributing to the ‘Magic’ anthology?

I’m always open to opportunities to write a new instalment in my Deadly Curiosities series!  And it’s always nice to work with Solaris.

7] What are your upcoming projects after ‘Magic?’

I’m in another UK anthology, The Mammoth Book of Women’s Ghost Stories, with another Deadly Curiosities story, and I have a new epic fantasy book, Ice Forged, coming out in January.  I’m also bringing out more short stories on my www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com web site, so stay tuned!

8] If you had the ability to cast one spell, what spell would it be?

I’d make sure there were enough hours in the day to get everything done!  (Was I supposed to say “world peace”?)

And please enjoy an excerpt from “Buttons”, my short story in the Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and https://www.4shared.com/office/20nwnf1S/Buttons_excerpt_1.html



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