Monthly Archives: January 2014

Getting Graphic: Or My Chance at Being Part of a Really Cool Graphic Novel

Icarus cover w words-1by Gail Z. Martin

If you like graphic novels and comics, please check out Silence in the Library’s newest Kickstarter project, Icarus: A Graphic Novel.

The book is by Gregory A. Wilson, with art by MARVEL artist Matt Slay, and it’s pretty awesome. You can see by the cover, it’s got some eye-popping art.

Icarus follows the adventures of Icarus and Jellinek, two beings who are, on the surface, as different from one another as they can possibly be. Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned young man with wings, incredible powers, and no memory of anything other than his name. Jellinek is a short, flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a general dislike of everyone around him, and a major attitude. Together, they must defeat a race of tyrants that has enslaved the world of Vol. Through the course of the story they find out that they are more alike than they can possibly imagine.

I’m one of the stretch goal authors for the Kickstarter, and if we reach my funding goal, LucasArts artist Joe Corroney will illustrate by story (along with colorist Brian Miller)!  I really hope we make it to my goal, because I’ve always wanted to be part of a graphic novel!

Some of the other stretch goals include illustrated short stories written by authors like Forgotten Realms creator Ed Greenwood, Michael A. Stackpole, Jean Rabe, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and Aaron Rosenberg. Illustration for these stories will be done by artists like Cyril Van der Haegen and Jason Engle.

There’s even an absolutely free 3d Icarus RPG at the highest stretch goals.  Plus, there are cool rewards at a number of affordable pledge levels.

$10 and up gets the graphic novel plus most of the stretch goals, so if this is up your alley, please consider chipping in to make a cool project happen!  And thanks to all the funders so far, who have gotten us past the first several goals! But hurry: Kickstarter ends Feb. 12

Here’s that link, so you can check it out:


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Book Signings, Kickstarters, New Conventions and the Cover for Deadly Curiosities!

by Gail Z. Martin

Lots of good stuff coming up in 2014!

April 1, Reign of Ash comes out from Orbit Books.  It’s the immediate sequel to Ice Forged, so it picks up right where the action left off.

Then June 25, my new urban fantasy series launches with Deadly Curiosities, a new novel from Solaris Books.  Deadly Curiosities (the novel) takes place in modern-day Charleston, SC and introduces you to Cassidy Kincaide, owner of Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop that exists to get magically dangerous items out of circulation.  If you’ve read any of my Deadly Curiosities Adventures short stories, you’ll know that Cassidy is the latest in a long line of Trifles & Folly owners with a dangerous supernatural history.

I love the new cover, by artist Chris McGrath, who also does the Dresden Files covers.

Kickstarters have opened up some additional anthology fun. Through Feb. 12, I’m part of the Icarus: A Graphic Novel Kickstarter for Silence in the Library Publishing.  The graphic novel is written by Gregory A. Wilson and illustrated by Matt Slay. I’m a stretch goal author, meaning that if we reach my stretch goal with funding, LucasArts artist Joe Corroney will illustrate my story! Please consider funding:

Icarus cover w words-1The Athena’s Daughters Kickstarter anthology, which features my story “Retribution” (also for Silence in the Library Publishing) funded at over 500%, meaning we blew through 30 stretch goals, added a bunch of additional short stories to the anthology, and rewarded funders with a ton of e-stories, ebooks, music CDs, art and other goodies.  Athena’s Daughters is all about adventurous female characters written by kick-ass women authors. The Kickstarter even spawned a companion volume, Apollo’s Daughters! While the Kickstarter is over, you can still order the ebook and trade paperback here for both anthologies:

Speaking of short stories, I’ll be continuing to bring out a new short story on ebook every month.  Look for more in the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures as Jonmarc heads toward Principality and a chance to join up with the mercenaries.  In the Deadly Curiosities Adventures, expect more about Sorren, Dante, Coltt and Cassidy across the centuries as they battle magically malicious heirlooms.

I’m excited to be in seven new anthologies in 2014, with some storytelling that is going in totally different directions!  I’m in the British Fantasy Society’s “Unexpected Journeys,” and “Athena’s Daughters,” as well as “Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens” for Zombies Need Brains Press, and a superhero story for “With Great Power.”  Plus I’ve just promised a new steampunk story and an urban fantasy story to Dark Oak Press, and a monster story to Big Bad2!

And stay tuned, because I’ve got some surprises coming up that I can’t talk about just yet!

Expect to see a lot of me at conventions in 2014!  Here’s the list of cons plus book signings for the two new novels:

•            Jan 10-12 Illogicon, Cary, NC

•            Jan 17-20 Arisia, Boston, MA

•            Feb 21-23 Mysticon, Roanoke, VA

•            March 23-24 Arizona Renaissance Festival, Apache Junction, AZ

•            Apr. 5 Book signing at Barnes & Noble, Birkdale Huntersville, NC

•            Apr. 12 Book signing at Barnes & Noble Morrison (South Park), Charlotte, NC

•            Reddit Featured author set up for April

•            Reddit Ask Me Anything for April pending

•            Apr. 18 – 20 Awesomecon, Washington, DC

•            April 25-27  Ravencon, Richmond VA

•            May 3 Book signing Books A Million, Concord Mills

•            May 10 Book signing Books A Million, Carolina Mall, Concord, NC

•            May 21-23  Book Expo, New York City

•            May 23 – 25 Balticon, Hunt Valley, MC

•            May 30 – Jun 1  ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC

•            June 21 Hawthorn Moon Online Event

•            Jun 27-29 LibertyCon, Chattanooga, TN

•            Reddit Featured author set up for July

•            Reddit Ask Me Anything for July pending

•            Book signings in stores July/Aug.

•            Jul 11-13 Congregate, Winston-Salem, NC

•            Labor Day Weekend DragonCon Atlanta, GA

•            Oct. Carolina Renaissance Festival, Charlotte, NC (dates TBD)

•            Oct. ContraFlow, New Orleans, LA

•            October  Days of the Dead Online Event

•            Nov. 7-9  World Fantasy

•            Nov. 14-16 Atomacon, Charleston SC

Please join me on Twitter @GailZMartin, and on

I also host a live Meetup group every month in the north Charlotte area where we talk about writing and publishing.  It’s free and lots of fun—come join us!

If you don’t like to drive or don’t live near Charlotte, I host a monthly discussion on Goodreads that lurches from fandom to fantasy and sometimes into writing and publishing—always something new!

If Pinterest is more your style, I’ve got a couple of boards you might like: Sci Fi Convention Memories with the photos I take in my travels ( and Abandoned Places

And look for excerpts and maybe an original full-length piece or two on Wattpad:

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Q&A with Gregory Wilson

Bio-Pic-for-Readercon--Gregory A. Wilson

1. What is the title of your newest book or short story?  What’s it about?  Where can readers find it?

            My latest work is Icarus: A Graphic Novel, a graphic novel based on my novel of the same name being published by Silence in the Library Publishing–a story which follows the adventures of Icarus and Jellinek, two beings who are, on the surface, as different from one another as they could possibly be.  Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned young man with wings, incredible powers, and no memory of anything other than his name; Jellinek is a short, flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a two-tailed lava resistant creature called a “solar” for a companion, and a general dislike of everyone around him.  Together, they must defeat a race of tyrants that has enslaved the world of Vol. Through the course of the story they discover that they are more alike than they can possibly imagine.   Based on my novel of the same name, Icarus is illustrated by the insanely talented Matt Slay, a professional comic artist.

2. How did you choose to become a writer?

That’s an excellent question, and I guess the answer is twofold.  First, I’ve always been interested in communication, and I love the idea of being able to reach out to people in many different mediums.  I spent a lot of time in college and graduate school, especially later on, doing speech and debate at a high competitive level, and I’ve never grown tired of the thrill I get from being able to reach people and (with luck) bring them together.  Writing gave me the opportunity to do that in a more permanent form, where people can go back to that form of communication over and over again.  Second, I love literature, and within that broad field I particularly enjoy speculative fiction–books like The Hobbit fired my imagination when I was young, and having the chance to contribute to that experience in others–and being able to publicly share a world I’ve imagined and developed privately–is incredible.  Writing was a logical way to make that possible.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing a new book or story?  What do you like the least?

My favorite part is the sense of discovery as I bring imagined worlds to life in prose–there are often moments that come off somewhat different on the page than I had imagined them in my head, and those are great experiences for me.  Of course, those different moments are sometimes unsuccessful ones, when I have to go back and reconceptualize the scene in question, and those times are…less fun, to be charitable!

4. What inspired your new book or story?

My first novel, a work of epic fantasy called The Third Sign, came out in 2009 from Gale Cengage, and I wrote Icarus because I wanted to do something still fantastical but very different.  My original inspiration was actually a Cirque du Soleil performance in which a winged creature confronts many bizarre and fantastic creatures in another world, and that experience combined with an interest in mythology (including, of course, the Icarus one) led to the writing of Icarus.  I’ve always thought Icarus is a very visual story, so when I saw some of Matt Slay’s illustrations for Silence in the Library’s Time Traveled Tales anthology–including the one for the prologue to Icarus, which I had originally submitted to that antho–I knew I had found someone who could bring the story to pictoral life. I spoke to Ron Garner at SitL about the idea, and the rest is history.

5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

            A few things: read widely, in many genres (and forms) outside of your favorite ones.  Write widely, going outside your comfort zone when you can, building on your strengths and trying to improve your weaknesses.  Listen to and learn from others–not just friends and family, but colleagues and experts in your discipline and others.  Be persistent, be confident, be humble, and most of all, be patient, with the process and yourself.  It will serve you well in this business.

Click here to listen to a special read of Icarus.

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Cover Art Alert

I have a confession to make.

(Note: If you are impatient, like me, you can click here to go ahead and check out the fricking amazing artwork for the cover to my new novel Grudgebearer…)

(Additional note: If you love me or are as excited about the new series as I am, you can preorder it from Amazon here or from Barnes and Noble here… I'd be happy to link to other preorder sites, but those are the only two of which I am currently aware.)

Are you back now? Isn't it great?! 🙂

Now back to our story…

Long before the idea for Void City landed in my addled noggin, the first book I can remember buying with my own money was the Hobbit. I remember it so distinctly because I used my lunch money to buy the book and kind of had to smuggle the purchase into the house. I still got into trouble (not much) and I will never forget the look on my mother's face when I said, “I know that money was for my lunches. I'm not asking for more lunch money; I'd just rather have books than food.”

I was nine.

My opinion on the matter has only slightly changed.

What attracted me first to The Hobbit was the 1982 cover by Darrell K. Sweet.

Much like Derek Riggs's cover art drew me to Iron Maiden, Darrell Sweet's cover art drew me firmly into the world of fantasy literature via the Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings. I bought and read the Silmarillion that same year, but that another story for another time.

Covers draw in the reader. It's not about making the author happy, so much as it is about catching the eyes of internet denizen's and book store browsers. Making people pick up the book and flip through it… or click download a free sample to your e-reader of choice.

When an artist does both, it's a kind of magic.

Now on to the confession… eventually.

I love the Void City books. I want to write more of them, but long before the vampire-novel-which-shall-remain-nameless angered me to the point that I threw it across the room and started penning Staked, I wanted to write a fantasy novel. I simply didn't know how to go about it.

The world-building for the Grudgebearer Trilogy started in 1997. I started writing it the same year and failed. I wrote two and a half novels in the process of figuring that out, one set in the future and the other a kind of urban fantasy thing I'd like to revisit eventually. First I started with the wrong character. Then I started in the wrong part of the story… Then I had to do more world building…

It took writing well over a million words before I was ready to write the Void City novels and it took that million plus the roughly half a million word that comprise the Void City books to date before I could write a fantasy novel. Along the way, I have fantacized about having an awesome cover.

I got one.

Cover Art by the incomparable Todd Lockwood for Grudgebearer by J. F. Lewis

(Yet Another Additional note: Did I mention you could preorder it from Amazon here or from Barnes and Noble here… ? Oooh! I bet you could ask your favorite local indie bookstore to order it for you, too. One of my favorites is )

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