Q: What is your newest book and what inspired you to write it?
A: Ice Forged is my most recently published book, which launched in January 2013. It’s a medieval post-apocalyptic story, when war not only destroys a kingdom but also causes the magic to fail. Losing magic for the people of Donderath is a lot like it would be for us if the power grid went down permanently. Sure, there are ways to do things without magic (just like there are ways to survive without electricity), but those methods are more difficult and it’s been so long, people don’t quite remember how they worked. The only man who might be able to restore the magic is a convicted murder and disgraced lord exiled to a prison colony in the arctic. Reign of Ash is the sequel, and it will come out in April, 2014.
My inspiration was thinking about “what if a culture depended on magic the way we rely on electricity, and the magic failed?” The more I thought about it, the more ideas came to mind for where the story could go. And I liked the idea of doing a post-apocalyptic story in a medieval setting because there are so many end-of-the-world stories set in modern times. I wanted to do something different.
Q: Why a post-apocalyptic medieval setting?
A: Why not? After all, the real Middle Ages were no stranger to devastating natural disasters like famine, plague, and even volcanic eruptions and severe climate swings. For the people who lived through those hard times, I’m sure it felt like the end of the world. I’ve always been fascinated with those periods in history, so I decided to create my own!
Q: You write epic fantasy. What got you interested in sword-and-sorcery stuff?
A: As a kid, I loved anything about King Arthur, and I read every book I could find about Arthur, Merlin, Morgan LeFey, and the Round Table. I know all the words to every song from Camelot! That got me interested in real history, and I read a lot about kings, castles, wars and then of course, magic. Then I got into reading mythology and folklore, and when you put it all together, I started thinking up stories of my own!
Q: You’re very active on social media. Why?
A: My books are available internationally, and in several languages. Yet I can’t possibly be in everyone’s local bookstore. From the very first book, The Summoner, I knew I wanted to reach out to readers and make a personal connection. Social media makes that very easy. So I’m very active on Twitter and Facebook, and I love to answer questions, talk about TV shows, movies and books, and generally hang out with people who enjoy fantasy and fandom. I have a lot of fun sharing photos on Facebook and Pinterest of books I’ve read, genre conventions I’ve attended, and cool things that catch my attention. It makes writing a lot more personal when I can connect with readers, and I don’t want anyone to feel left out just because I live too far away to meet up for coffee!
Q: What’s next after Reign of Ash?
A: I’ve just signed a contract with Orbit Books for two more novels in the Ascendant Kingdoms series, and I’m hard at work on book three. After that, I’ve got some more ideas and some different directions I’d like to explore! I’ve also started writing a new short story every month for ebook in two different series. My Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures explore the back story of one of the most popular characters from my Chronicles of the Necromancer books. The Deadly Curiosities Adventures were a world I originally created for anthologies, but I started having so much fun with the characters, I wanted to write more stories. It’s essentially an urban fantasy that spans 500 years. My short stories are available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook, and they’re priced at the equivalent of 99 cents USD. They’re a cheap thrill!
The Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event includes book giveaways, free excerpts and readings, all-new guest blog posts and author Q&A on 21 awesome partner sites around the globe. For a full list of where to go to get the goodies, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com.
Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in her new The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen ) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread). She is also the author of two series on ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Series. Her books are available in bookstores worldwide and on Kindle, Kobo and Nook. Find her online at www.AscendantKingdoms.com.