Category Archives: Gail Z. Martin

Starting the Conversation—A #HoldOnToTheLight Update

By Gail Z. Martin

100 authors are now part of the #HoldOnToTheLight conversation! Our authors span the globe, from the US to the UK to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Even more exciting is that as the campaign picks up traction and visibility, more authors want to join, meaning a growing, vibrant dialog about mental wellness and coping with mental illness.

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

We’ve also been talking with conventions to encourage them to add, expand or promote their panel programming about mental wellness issues. ConCarolinas, GenCon, Capricon and ContraFlow have let us know that panels are in the works for 2017, and both Capclave and Atomacon are looking at options!

How can you help spread the message and broaden the conversation?

  • Read the blog posts by our participating authors and share on your own blogs and social media
  • The links below to the newest author blog posts double as tweets you can cut and paste. Easy!
  • Visit the authors’ blogs and like, comment
  • Tweet or email about the campaign and tag bloggers, podcasters and genre media
  • Ask your favorite genre convention to add panels on mental wellness
  • Volunteer with or donate to one of the campaign charities listed at the bottom of this post
  • Join the #HoldOnToTheLight Facebook group.

Latest blog posts/Tweets to share

One step at a time #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness post by RowenaCoryDaniells @Rebellionpub

Gaslighting myself #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness. @LAGilman on #PTSD

Ride the storm surge #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness. @JimMacAuth #PTSD

#HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness @GailZMartin on #PTSD in epic fantasy

Helping a loved one cope #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness @Emily_Leverett

Becoming the mean girl #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness @Jean_Marie_Ward

Fighting the urge to jump #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness @ChrisKennedy110

Anxiety & asking for help #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness @JoshVogt

The black dog of depression #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness @MistyMassey

Suicide leaves scars. #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness post by @Mudepoz

The bittersweet sustains. #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness post by  @bishopmoconnell

Focus on the good, and fight for that. #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness  post by @LS_Taylor

How do you tell someone what it feels like? #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SFF authors blog on #MentalWellness @JenniferBrozek

Identity and masks. #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness post by @RickGaultieri

Fandom takes care of its own. #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors blog on #MentalWellness post by @GailZMartin

I wrote my way out until I couldn’t. #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness post by @nataniabarron

You are not alone #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness post by @almaalexander

The courage to ask for help #HoldOnToTheLight 100+ SF/F authors on #MentalWellness post by @jreizes

Among the authors participating so far are: Robin Hobb, Jody Lynn Nye, Cat Rambo, Seanan McGuire, Laura Anne Gilman, Chuck Gannon, Kameron Hurley, Catherine Asaro, Gaie Siebold, Karen Miller, Rowena Cory Daniels, David B. Coe, Marc Tassin, Jonathan Oliver, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott, Aaron Rosenberg, Jennifer St. Giles, Mark Van Name, Juliet McKenna, Jennifer Brozek, Darynda Jones, Christopher Golden, Clay and Susan Griffith, Gregory Wilson, Josh Vogt, Darin Kennedy, Jon Sprunk, James Maxey, Karen E. Taylor, Justin Gustainis, Misty Massey, John G. Hartness, Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward, Jaym Gates, Laura Taylor, Weston Ochse, Ron Garner, Kathy Lyons, Mari Mancusi, Leanna Renee Hieber, Davey Beauchamp, Cheryl Wilson, Rod Belcher, Travis Heermann, Cara Santa Maria, Michael J. Allen, Trisha Wooldridge, Alyssa Day, J. F. Lewis, Joshua Palmatier, Keith DeCandido Mindy Mimudes, Emily Leverett, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Tera Fulbright, Tamsin Silver, Stuart Jaffe, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Eric Asher, Rick Gualtieri, Chris Kennedy, Ken Schrader, Samantha Dunaway Bryant, Valerie Willis, Alexandra Christian, Jake Bible, Matthew Saunders, Jay Requard, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly Harmon, Sascha Illyvich, Kelly Swails, Bishop O’Connell, Sherwood Smith, Peter Prellwitz, Tracy Chowdhury, Trevor Curtis, Leo Champion, Alma Alexander, Natania Barron, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Addie J. King, Joelle Reizes, Gabrielle Faust, Selah Janel, Whitney Evans, Tom Leveen Deborah J. Ross, Tally Johnson, Calandra Usher, Jada Diaz, Harry Markov, Brian Rathbone, Robert Greenberger, Linda Robertson and more.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to Recaps will also be posted on and


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Jumper–A #HoldOnToTheLight post by Chris Kennedy


I watched in horror as the girl slid between the rails of the 10th floor balcony, looking at the ground far, far below.

It was my third year of college at the University of North Carolina, and I had come back to school early after the summer break to be an orientation counsellor for the new freshman class. I had just gone to bed when one of my counselees started banging on my door. “You’ve got to help me!” the guy outside the door exclaimed when I opened it. “Sarah was drinking at one of the parties, and now she’s up on the 10th floor talking about killing herself.”

We ran up the six flights of stairs (I was in much better shape then) to find one of my other counselees forcing herself between the rails of the railing. As I raced to her, she made it the rest of the way through. I don’t know if she would have jumped or not, and looking into her eyes as her head turned back to us, I’m not sure she did either, but I could tell she was seriously contemplating it (as if being on the wrong side of the railing wasn’t giveaway enough.) It was probably the scariest moment of my life.

I grabbed her through the rails, pinning her to the railing, and after several minutes of talking convinced her to come back through to our side. While the other counselee ran to call the hospital, I talked with her to find out what drove her to step outside the rails.

She was alone at school, away from home for the first time, and her boyfriend of several years had broken up with her. She didn’t have anyone she thought she could talk to and she had several drinks at one of the parties that were being held that night. It was a bad combination, and almost a fatal one for her.

At the time, I didn’t understand why she would want to throw it all away. She was just starting college and was an attractive young lady; she would have had a number of folks interested in her. Back then, I didn’t know anything about depression…how it eats away at you from the inside, causing you to think that no one cares until you finally believe it. How the world would be better off without you. How it would be better to end it all and make the pain go away.

Having had a serious bout of depression since then, though, I do understand those things, and here’s what I know. Depression isolates you from everyone else. You don’t think that anyone else could ever understand what you’re going through. This deprives you of the one thing you need: someone to talk to. I didn’t have anyone I thought I could talk to, for a number of reasons, so I kept my problems bottled up. I could deal with them myself, I thought; better that than worrying anyone else. And that’s when the first tendrils of depression started working their way into my mind. And once they’re in, they strangle off all reason and eat you from the inside out, until you give up hope.

Alcohol is no help. As Sarah found out, it only removes that last bit of rational thought keeping you from doing something really stupid. Having seen it in action once, I knew better than to drink…even though I wanted to really badly. That kept me together, barely, until things changed a little and I found someone to talk to. Just the simple act of talking about part of my problems let me release enough of the stress to start on the way to recovery. I survived, but it was a lot closer than I liked. I heard the voices…whispering, urging…but was able to keep them at bay. I still hear them, sometimes, when things aren’t going well. Once they’re in, they never completely go away.

Not everyone is able to keep the voices at bay, though, and the only way they’re going to get better is to talk to someone. A professional, if possible, but any outlet helps. If you see a friend withdraw from society, be there for him or her; talk to them. You never know, you just may save their life.

chris-kennedyChris Kennedy is a  bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author and speaker, a former naval aviator and elementary school principal. Chris’ stories include the “Occupied Seattle” military fiction duology, “The Theogony” and “Codex Regius” science fiction trilogies, and the “War for Dominance” fantasy trilogy.

About the campaign:

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Home for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors, or reach a media contact, go to


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DragonCon is this coming weekend!

FB Tairens LareDragonCon is this coming weekend—and I’ll be there! Here’s where to find me:

11:30 a.m. Effective Promotion for Writers Embassy CD Hyatt

2 pm Signing at The Missing Volume in the Vendor Hall

2-3 pm Larry N. Martin will be signing in Booth 1223-1225 Author’s Lair

3-4 I will be signing in Booth 1223-1225 Author’s Lair

5:30  Magical Tropes Embassy EF–Hyatt

7 pm Avoiding Historical Mistakes 204J Mart2

8:30 Social Media as Tool not Trial Embassy CD–Hyatt

10 – noon Signing in Booth 1223-1225 Author’s Lair

1 pm The Craft of Dystopia Chastain F-H Westin

2:30 pm Signing at Larry Smith Books in the Vendor Hall

2:30 pm Larry N. Martin will be signing in Author’s Lair

4 pm Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading Piedmont–Hyatt

5:30 Plotting/Sustaining a Series Embassy CD–Hyatt

7 History or Alternate History 204I Mart2

shadow aliance t-shirtSunday
10 a.m. Literary Comfort Food Embassy AB–Hyatt

11:30 Awesome Women of Podcasting 202-Hilton

1:30 – 3:30 Signing in Booth 1223-1225 Author’s Lair

4 pm Niche Markets in Ebooks/Print 208-209 Hilton

10 a.m. Hiding in Plain Sight: Closed Worlds in UF Chastain DE-Westin

1:30 – 3 Signing in Booth 122301225 Author’s Lair

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

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2016 Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour is Bigger and Better Than Ever!

The Hawthorn Moon Banner
It’s time for the annual Hawthorn Moon blog tour to celebrate new books  plus share some guest posts, do some fun giveaways and online parties and connect!

The Shadowed PathWhat’s all the fuss about? Well, two new books and more! The Shadowed Path, a Jonmarc Vahanian collection (and the first new book in my Chronicles of the Necromancer series in 5 year) came out June 14 and Modern Magic: Twelve Tales of Urban Fantasy, a 12-book multi-author dark urban fantasy ebook boxed set came out June 1.

(And of course, Vendetta—the second Deadly Curiosities novel and Shadow and Flame—the fourth and final Ascendant Kingdoms novel, are still new!)

Do you need more? I’ve got new upcoming conventions and signings, new short stories and novellas, new giveaways and cool stuff! It’s a week-long party, and my readers get all the goodies!

12-book box setThe blog tour got its name from a holiday in The Summoner, my first Chronicles of the Necromancer book, which took place on the summer solstice. And the name stuck. So–celebrate the solstice with some new books, new insights, and plenty of goings-on!

On June 29, I’m hosting a Facebook Launch Party with a few dozen of my author friends. Plan to show up for some fun conversation, free excerpts and great giveaways!   23 authors are part of the Facebook launch party! That’s Christina Henry, Josh Vogt, Stuart Jaffe, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Faith Hunter, Michael J. Sullivan, Jean Marie Ward, Nancy Northcott, Jaym Gates, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Valerie Griswold-Ford, Michael A. Ventrella, Matthew Saunders, Jennifer St. Giles, Samantha Dunaway Bryant, Clay and Susan Griffith, James Maxey, Karen E. Taylor, Eric Asher, Darin Kennedy, Tee Morris, Philippa Ballantine and me! Chat with your favorite authors, meet new authors, and enjoy giveaways, goodies and surprises! Look for times on the party page!

Two awesome Goodreads giveaways for The Shadowed Path and Vendetta now through June 30!

978-1-939704-60-3What’s a blog tour without blog posts? I’ll be a guest on a bunch of blogs throughout North America and Europe over the next week or so–here are some of the sites that are hosting my posts! Check on Twitter, because I’ll add links to the posts as they go live. Some also include excerpts and giveaways!

No More Grumpy Bookseller
Fantasy Book Review
Romance Bandits
SFF World
Geek Mom
Ragnarok Publishing
Beauty in Ruins
Fantasy Book Critic
I Smell Sheep
We Geek Girls
Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s blog
Night Owl Reviews
Magical Words
Disquieting Visions
Sci Fi Bulletin
Mighty Thor
Civilian Reader
SciFi Now
Solaris Books
Fantasy Faction
Jennifer Brozek’s blog

That’s what’s coming up–you won’t want to miss a thing! And if you want to catch up with me live and in-person at a convention or signings, check out my schedule on the events page.
See you at the online party!

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The Shadowed Path is Out! New Chronicles of the Necromancer Book!

The Shadowed PathThe Shadowed Path, the first new Chronicles of the Necromancer book in 5 years, is now available in print and ebook!  It’s Jonmarc Vahanian’s back story, how he came to be the embittered warrior readers met in The Summoner, and provides eleven sequential short stories (including an exclusive story not available anywhere else) that tells the first portion of his history.

Here’s the scoop: Jonmarc Vahanian was just a blacksmith’s son in a small fishing village before raiders killed his family. Wounded and left for dead in the attack, Jonmarc tries to rebuild his life. But when a dangerous bargain with a shadowy stranger goes wrong, Jonmarc finds himself on the run, with nothing ahead but vengeance, and nothing behind him but blood.

978-1-939704-60-3Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand lord.  If you’ve met Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle books, you don’t really know him until you walk in his footsteps. This is the first segment of his journey.

Order here and read an excerpt!

And check out Modern Magic: Twelve Tales of Urban Fantasy, the new 12-full book, 12-bestselling author ebook boxed set that includes my can’t-get-it-anywhere-else collection of Deadly Curiosities short stories, Trifles and Folly—all for $1.99 for a limited time!

12-book box setDark fantasy tales from modern masters of Urban Fantasy, including: Jeanne Adams; Erik Asher; Christopher Golden; Rick Gualtieri; John G. Hartnessr; Stuart Jaffe; Julie Kenner; Nicole Givens Kurtz;  James Maxey;  Jennifer St. Giles;  Karen E. Taylor; Thomas E Sniegoski—and me!

Grab it here, only on Kindle!

That’s what’s coming up–you won’t want to miss a thing! And if you want to catch up with me live and in-person at a convention or signings, check out my schedule on the events page.

The June short story will be late! With luck, I’ll have two new short stories or novellas in July to make up for it!


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Modern Magic, Gaslight and Unlikely Heroes

Are you ready for summer reading? I’ve got some suggestions for you!

12-book box setFirst of all, check out Modern Magic: Twelve Tales of Urban Fantasy, an ebook boxed set exclusively on Kindle for a limited time. I’m talking about 12 book-length works by authors (including me) who know their way around the dark side, who can put a shiver down your spine and who dream up stories to give you nightmares. It’s a walk on the wild side, into the shadows, where things go bump in the night and the hour of the wolf never ends.

You don’t even have to sell your soul to get this deal. Just $1.99 only on Kindle, only for a limited time,

It’s the ONLY place to find Trifles and Folly, the first-ever collection of the initial 10 Deadly Curiosities Adventures stories with Cassidy, Teag and Sorren, all in one volume!

Here’s what’s included in Modern Magic:

THE TENTACLE AFFAIRE: A Slip Traveler Novel by award-winning and RT Recommended bestselling author Jeanne Adams–He doesn’t believe in aliens. She doesn’t believe in magic. They’re both wrong.

DAYS GONE BAD (Vesik, Book 1) by Eric Asher – An urban fantasy about a necromancer and his vampire sister. And chimichangas.

THE NIMBLE MAN by New York Times bestselling author and Stoker Award winner Christopher Golden, first book of The Menagerie series. They are beings of myth and legend. They FC JONMARC COLLECTIONpossess powers beyond imagining. They are our only hope.

BILL THE VAMPIRE (The Tome of Bill, part 1) by Amazon Top 100 author Rick Gualtieri – Bill Ryder was a dateless geek, but then he met a girl to die for. So he did.

HARD DAY’S KNIGHT – by award-winning author John Hartness– A pair of comic book nerds get turned into vampires, and now they have to save the world. The world is so screwed.

SOUTHERN BOUND (Max Porter, Book 1) by Top 100 Kindle author Stuart Jaffe – When Max Porter discovers his office is haunted by the ghost of a 1940s detective, he does the smartest thing possible — starts a detective agency.

TAINTED by New York Times bestselling author Julie Kenner—In the demon world it’s sometimes hard to tell your ally from your enemy… 

978-1-939704-60-3THE SOUL CAGES: A Minister Knight Novel by Nicole Givens Kurtz -Sarah risks everything to save her soul and be reincarnated back into flesh. Now, the real adventure begins…

TRIFLES AND FOLLY (Deadly Curiosities Adventures) by #1 Kindle Top 100 bestselling author Gail Z. Martin – A Charleston, SC antique store is the cover for a coalition of mortals and immortals who have sworn their lives and magic to saving the world from supernatural threats and cursed relics.

NOBODY GETS THE GIRL by 2016 Piedmont Laureate and award-winning author James Maxey — The fate of the free world is at stake as the superhuman battles escalate, wiping entire cities from the map, threatening the survival of all mankind. Who can save us from the looming apocalypse? Nobody!

TOUCH A DARK WOLF (Shadowmen Book 1) by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer St. Giles–Poisoned by evil, Jared fights to save Erin before the murderous darkness in him claims them both .

CELLAR  by Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Karen E. Taylor– If Laura Wagner’s inner demons don’t get her, the real ones just might…

So load up on your beach reading in one easy ebook boxed set for less than the price of a cup of coffee! Pre-order now and be first in line when it goes live June 2!

G&GRed-Gold LeafNow if you still like a good bedtime story, check out Gaslight and Grimm, a collection of Steampunk fairy tales including one by Larry and me, The Patented Troll, which is our clockwork retelling of the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. With tales by James Chambers, Christine Norris, Bernie Mojzes, Danny Birt, Jean Marie Ward, Jeff Young, Gail Z. and Larry N. Martin, Elaine Corvidae, David Lee Summers, Kelly A. Harmon, Jonah Knight, Diana Bastine, and Jody Lynn Nye. Order here:

Unlikely HeroesReady for some Unlikely Heroes? If you’ve heard me read from the story about the lady in the parking lot having a really bad day, this is for you. The Breaking Point, A mother has one of the worst days ever as everything seems to go against her until she finally snaps and takes charge. In Windows on the Soul you meet an unusual superhero, they call her in when they want to minimize collateral damage. She’s not showy and won’t be on the evening news but she’s the one the other superheroes fear and avoid. Finally you meet Old Nonna, part legend, part myth, no one likes to speak of Old Nonna out loud but they know she’s there – waiting for those who need to find her.  Grab it here:

And coming June 14, the first new book in the world of The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer), The Shadowed Path—a collection of the first 10 Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures short stories PLUS an exclusive 11th story you can ONLY find in this collection. The Shadowed Path will be available in PRINT as well as ebook, so for everyone who’s been asking for dead-tree edition Jonmarc stories, here it is! Pre-order here:

How do you like to connect with authors at conventions? Answer my May survey and let me know! Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win 4 ebook short stories!

And don’t forget to catch up with Gaslight and Grimm authors David Lee Summers and JeanMarie Ward on my blog, and with more authors on the blog!

I’ll be at a bunch of summer conventions, and holding launch parties at many of them. Watch for a Modern Magic/The Shadowed Path room party at Balticon on Saturday night, plus I’ll be part of the Gaslight and Grimm launch party on Sunday. Larry and I will both be at ConCarolinas and Congregate, and I’ll be at Origins Gaming Fair as well. Hope to see you soon!

And don’t forget—The Shadow Alliance is my street team of awesome readers who get insider information, extra contests and giveaways and lots of fun, and help me boost the signal about new books. Come play with us—it’s free!

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New Book Bonus–Better than Chocolate?

It’s hard to decide which is better—books or chocolate. But a free novella when you buy an awesome adventure? That’s hard to beat. Here’s your chance to buy Iron & Blood and get Grave Voices for free!I&B final cover

Buy Iron & Blood, our Steampunk adventure, anywhere from any bookseller between 2/14-2/29/16. Be one of the first 200 to sign up at this link: and follow the instructions to email a photo of your receipt for proof of purchase. We’ll send you download links to Grave Voices, a steampunk novella in our Storm & Fury tie-in series for free!Grave Voices V2

Ever wonder how other readers read? You can find out the results of my reader habit survey here:  Thanks to everyone who participated!

New February reader question! Answer it and be entered for a chance to win a prize!

Have you heard about the Shadow Alliance? It’s my street team, and Shadows get all kinds of cool stuff plus exclusive work-in-progress snippets. Free and fun—help me spread the word!


Newsletter giveaway! Join my Chronicles newsletter in February and be entered for a chance to win a Starbucks or Tim Horton’s gift card! Two winners—one from new sign-ups and one from existing subscribers mean more chances to win!

FB Chronicles NL Meme

Coming Attractions—here’s where to find me at conventions and bookstores!

  • Feb 20 Signing–Books A Million, Concord Mills, Concord NC 1-3 pm
  • Feb 26 – 28 Mysticon, Roanoke, VA (launch party)
  • Mar 5-6 AZ Renaissance Festival, Apache Junction, AZ
  • Mar. 22 Shadow & Flame comes out!
  • Mar 23   AMA on Reddit/Fantasy
  • Mar. 26 Signing–Park Road Books, Charlotte NC
  • Apr. 2   Signing–Barnes & Noble South Park, Charlotte, NC
  • Apr. 14   Broad Universe Facebook party
  • Apr. 29 – May 1 Ravencon, Williamsburg, VA (launch party)
  • Secret new project! Shhhh—details to come!
  • May 7 Book Festival in Rutherfordton, NC

And if you haven’t read Vendetta yet, my new urban fantasy set in Charleston, SC and packed full of cursed objects, haunted heirlooms, vengeful ghosts and supernatural threats, what are you waiting for?



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eSpec Books interviews Gail Z. Martin

The Side of Good/The Side of Evil is a book of superheroes and super villains by some of your favorite authors, including Larry and me! It’s available for pre-order now here: Now enjoy one of several interviews as our authors take you behind the scenes! Today it is me!

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

eSpec Books interviews Gail Z. Martin, contributor to The Side of Good / The Side of Evil, a Superhero Flipbook anthology,

eSB: What drew you to this project?
GZM: Superheroes are cool! And so are super-villains. It sounded like a fun prompt working with people I like. Always up for an adventure!

eSB: Which side are you writing for?
GZM: A villain!

eSB: What got you interested in superheroes/villains?
GZM: I watched Batman as a kid and enjoyed shows like Wild Wild West and The Avengers and James Bond movies, which had over-the-top villains. I guess it stuck!

eSB: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would it work?  
GZM: Being in two places at once, so I could get all the things done I need to do!

eSB: What would your weakness be and why?
GZM: If a super villain captured all the coffee in the world, I would ‘grind’ to a halt!

eSB: Describe your ideal super suit.
GZM: It should be a cross between Spanx and the TARDIS—bigger on the inside and yet figure-flattering!

eSB: Who is your favorite superhero and why?
GZM: I’ve always been partial to Batman, probably in part because of the 1960s TV show, but also he’s a dark and interesting guy.

eSB: Who is your real-life hero and why?
GZM: Walt Disney, because he has made so many people happy.

eSB: Who is the villain you love to hate, and why?
GZM: Politicians. Oh, you mean fictional? Delores Umbridge. Because I had teachers like her. Not so worried about the Dark Lord turning up in real life, but I’ve met people like her.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a hero?
GZM: Dedication to a cause larger than one’s own interests, that benefits all people or people who don’t have the means to get justice for themselves.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a villain?
GZM: Someone who is only out for his/her own interests and/or the interests of his/her own small group.

eSB: What is your viewpoint on Sidekicks?
GZM: Sidekicks rock! They should get better costumes, higher pay and more respect!

eSB: What is your favorite superhero movie and why?
GZM: Sky High. I loved that sidekicks made the difference.

eSB: What other comic or superhero-related work have you done in the past?
GZM: I have a story in the upcoming Icarus: The Graphic Novel illustrated by Matt Slay and Joe Corroney, a story in the Heroes anthology from Silence in the Library, and a story in the With Great Power anthology.

eSB: What was your most exciting moment working in the comic industry?
GZM: Being able to walk into a comics store with my teenage son, point to work by Matt and Joe and say—“They’re illustrating my story!”

eSB: Please tell us about your non-comic related work.
GZM: I write epic and urban fantasy, and with my husband as co-writer, steampunk and space. The epic fantasy series are the Chronicles of the Necromancer, The Fallen Kings Cycle, The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (newest book is War of Shadows). The urban fantasy series is Deadly Curiosities, with one book out and a new one, Vendetta, coming out in December. The steampunk series is co-written with my husband, Larry N. Martin, and the first book, Iron & Blood, just came out! We also do several series of ebook short stories with new stories every month including the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures (epic), the Deadly Curiosities Adventures (urban) and the Storm and Fury Adventures (steampunk) that are available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook. And we’re in a lot of anthologies!

eSB: Do you have any news you would like to announce?
GZM: Iron & Blood, our new steampunk novel, came out in July, and Vendetta, the second Deadly Curiosities novel, will be out at the end of December!

eSB: Please let us know where you can be found on social media.
GZM: You can find us at, on Twitter @GailZMartin and @lnmartinauthor, on, at blog and, on Goodreads and  free excerpts on Wattpad

eSB: Thank you for allowing this glimpse beneath your alter-ego. We’re looking forward to more super heroics and evil geniuses to come.

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Q&A with Gail Z. Martin

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

The Weird Wild West anthology from Espec Books rides into town in November looking like big trouble. Saddle up, pardner and discover strange, supernatural, otherworldly and downright weird adventures way out West from some of your favorite authors. Larry and I have a story in The Weird Wild West, so throughout November and December, we asked some of our author friends to prance their ponies over in this direction and share a few lines with us. Enjoy the blog posts—and then order the book please!

  1. What is your favorite western movie and why? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I loved the buddy-picture camaraderie and banter. For a lot of reasons, as compared to a traditional John Wayne flick, it was more accessible for a female viewer, at least in my opinion, because it wasn’t all about “manly men doing manly man things” like so many of the traditional style of Westerns.
  2. What does the wild frontier mean to you?  I’m a history major, so the Turner Thesis approach to the West resonates with me, in that the American mindset was shaped by having a huge unknown frontier where something better was always just over the next hill. It amazes me that the cowboy era lasted about 15 years in real life, and over 100 in pop culture. The whole self-sufficient lone man/outsider on a horse in the wide open space is so much a part of our cultural identity.
  3. Who would you say is your Wild West role model?  Jim West and Artemis Gordon of Wild, Wild West
  4. What is your favorite spec fic/western mash-up?  Firefly!
  5. What interested you in working on this project?  Well, my parents were adopted into the Sioux tribe in 1950, and my father met and interviewed the last living Custer Battle survivors (both Custer’s soldiers and Sioux). He was also good friends with tribal leaders and photographer Frank Fiske, whose work you’ll see in most museum collections about the Sioux. In fact, the photo of mom and dad’s adoption ceremony was taken by Fiske. I grew up with a pretty wild assortment of artifacts in the house, which just sold at auction last year. (see bio and photo)
  6. How do you research to capture that western feel?  I grew up with the stuff, so I have a pretty good inherent feel for at least the Sioux culture and territory. Otherwise, I’m a good researcher when I need to know something specific or detailed.
  7. Have you had any weird western experiences of your own? Please tell us about it.  Actually, as I was going through my dad’s collection of Native American artifacts, we had a number of strange situations where my more psychically-sensitive friends/family identified pieces that they said had very bad mojo, gave them nightmares, or sent off very negative energy. In one case, a psychic who had no specific knowledge of the collection pieces identified one piece as being too profoundly negative to remain in the house.
  8. Which Wild West archetype (Gambler, Outlaw, Saloon Girl, School Marm, Railroad Man, Pioneer, Cowboy, Lawman or Indian) would you chose to be and why?   Can I be the saloon keeper, please? The guy behind the bar who knows everyone and is very even-tempered, unless there’s trouble, and then he’s got a shotgun under the bar.
  9. Have you written/created anything else in a weird western vein? Please tell us about it. Collector, in my Deadly Curiosities Adventures short stories, is directly based on Western themes, with haunted/cursed Native American artifacts.
  10. What are some of your own works readers can look for? I write epic and urban fantasy plus steampunk. Readers can look for my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series (Ice Forged, Reign of Ash), the Chronicles of the Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen), The Fallen Kings Cycle series (The Sworn, The Dread) and Deadly Curiosities, a new urban fantasy series.
  11. What projects of your own do you have coming up?  I’ve got three new books in three different series coming in 2015: War of Shadows, epic fantasy, book 3 in the Blaine McFadden Ascendant Kingdoms series, the second Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy book, and Iron and Blood, the first in a new steampunk series I’m co-writing with my husband, Larry N. Martin.  So far I’m also in four anthologies counting this one. The others have themes of Space, Corsets and Ethical Dilemmas. And of course, I bring out a new short story each month in either the Deadly Curiosities Adventures or Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series of ebooks.  Plus I add excerpts and free stories from time to time on Wattpad!
  12. How can readers find out more about you?  You can find more about me, my books, the short story adventures, and the anthologies I’m in at

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Join the Shadow Alliance (and Other Cool Stuff)


Join the Shadow Alliance–it’s the most fun you can have without a secret decoder ring!

The Shadow Alliance is my street team. Plenty of contests, prizes, exclusive sneak peek excerpts and updates on what I’m working on next, and other secret members-only cool stuff you have to join to discover! And, oh yeah, Alliance members help to spread the word about my books. Did I mention members-only get-togethers at select cons and cookies? Join now, have fun, help get the word out! Sign up here

Next up–Holiday giveaway!  Win books and gift cards! Authors include me, Faith Hunter, David B. Coe, John Hartness, Stuart Jaffe, Laura Anne Gilman, Darynda Jones, Christina Henry, Jennifer Estep and Mindy Mymudes. Easy to enter, and the more you enter, the more chances to win! Happy Holidays giveaway

You can find the book giveaway links here where you can enter

To win the gift card, go to one of these participating blogs and comment!

Slippery Words  November 24th, 2015 I Smell Sheep  November 25th, 2015 Literal Addiction  November 27th, 2015 Cherry Mischievous November 29th, 2015 Drey’s Library November 30th, 2015 Tome Tender December 1st, 2015 London’s Scribbles December 2nd, 2015 Fantasy Fun Reads  December 3rd, 2015 Rabid Reads December 10, 2015

Shopping for the holidays? Books are the best presents! Vendetta, the new Deadly Curiosities novel, is available for pre-order now and comes out in stores December 29! Other new books this year include War of Shadows in my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series and Iron & Blood, for the Steampunk lover on your list!


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