1. Deadly Curiosities is your first foray into urban fantasy, after writing very successfully in the epic fantasy genre. What were the challenges of writing something completely different?As a writer, it’s always fun to switch things up a bit to avoid getting stale or burned out. So while I love epic fantasy, and will continue to write new epic fantasy novels and short stories, it was time to add something new to the mix.
With urban fantasy, one of the challenges is that you’re writing in the modern day, in an existing city where real people actually live. So you’ve got to give people a reason to believe that magic and supernatural things are real in your book, and you’ve got to get the details right about the city.
While quite a bit of the Charleston in Deadly Curiosities really exists, I have added fictional businesses and locations just because it’s easier that way and sidesteps some hassles. Understandably, real businesses don’t want to be linked to supernatural mayhem, so I’ve created some fictional stand-ins. Likewise, I do my best to check on character names to avoid accidentally getting the same name as someone locally well-known. It’s a whole new twist to writing!
2. There are lots of ghosts in Deadly Curiosities. Have you ever had a ghostly experience yourself?
I have not, although I know a lot of people who have had some very intense experiences. I’ve loved ghost stories since I was a very small child, and have read a lot of them. I’m a huge ghost fan!
3. One of my favorite things about Deadly Curiosities is the authentic southern feeling I got while reading the book. The Charleston, SC setting is steeped in history and ghostly lore. What sort of research did you do for the book?
I’ve been to Charleston a number of times and fell in love with the city. It’s absolutely beautiful, with so much history and so many ghosts. Visiting the city absolutely helped me to get it clearly in mind. Also, I’ve done a lot of research into periods in the city’s history, specific buildings—I’m always looking information up to try to get the details just right.
4. Deadly Curiosities ends very neatly and all the plot points seem to be wrapped up. (And by the way, thank you for that! Cliffhangers are so overrated…) But are you planning other books set in the world of Cassidy, Teag and Sorren?
Yes. We’re talking about a series, with a second book in 2015. In the meantime, you can read more about Cassidy, Teag and Sorren in my Deadly Curiosities Adventures—short stories on Kindle, Kobo and Nook, plus my free novella The Final Death on Wattpad. Some of the short stories are further adventures of Cassidy and the gang in modern times (either before the novel or between the novels) and some are about Sorren in centuries past, always working for the Alliance to get rid of dangerous magical objects!
5. What’s a “Day in the Life” of Gail Z. Martin like? Do you write full time, and if so, what sort of writing hours do you keep each day?
I get up, work out, usually take care of errands in the morning, and then get down to writing in the afternoon through early evening. I can do things like email and social media in the morning, but the creative brain doesn’t really kick on until around 2 pm, and goes to around 8 pm or so.
6. I noticed that your touring schedule on your website is very busy, and includes lots of stops at various Cons. (although I sadly noticed that Comic Con isn’t on the list! The one Con I’ll be attending…). What is your favorite part about attending Cons? And I’ll ask the question that I know everyone is thinking about: when you attend Cons, do you have a special costume that you wear?
I would love to go to Comic Con sometime! And no, when I go to Cons I’m not in costume, but catch me as guest author at the Arizona Renaissance Festival or the Carolinas Renaissance Festival, and I’ll be in full medieval garb!
My favorite part of attending Cons is seeing old friends and making new friends. It’s a time for me to connect with other authors, to hear publishing news and maybe get invited to anthologies or promotional events, to hang out with long-time readers, and to introduce new people to the books. Plus, I was a fan long before I was a pro author, so I’ve been attending Cons as a fan since I was in high school. And sometimes, I have a total fangirl moment. Like the first time I met Katherine Kurtz, or when I met the actresses who played Angelique and Josette on the original Dark Shadows. You never know who you’ll meet in the elevator!
7. I know from your website that you have pets. I’m an animal lover myself, and I’d love to share some pet photos with my readers! (Only if you want to, disregard this question if you aren’t interested)
I have a Maltese and a Golden Retriever, and a Himalayan cat. The cat is rather grouchy about photos, but I’m attaching a couple of the dogs—they think they’re brothers.
8. Please tell my readers three things about you that can’t be found on your website.
I absolutely love going to museums—and usually find my way to their creepiest collections. I enjoy cooking when I’m not in a rush. I once went parachuting and fell off the airplane.