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Why I love the Blood Council by Gail Z. Martin

In my Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle series, there is a ruling council of vayash moru (vampires) called the Blood Council.  At least in the seven lands of the Winter Kingdoms, the Blood Council forces vayash moru to play relatively nicely with each other, at the risk of sanctions including permanent destruction.

Not surprisingly, every now and then, some vayash moru decide that immortality means never having to follow the rules.  That’s when it gets interesting.

The original Blood Council had five members:  Gabriel, Rafe, Uri, Riqua and Astasia.  Each of the Council members was chosen for the Council because (at least for now), they represent the strongest and eldest of the immortals.  They and their broods agree to abide by Council rulings and to punish those who go rogue or refuse the Council’s discipline.

It’s a good idea; too bad it doesn’t work as well in practice as it does on paper.  The seeds of conflict are sown right in the personalities of the Blood Council themselves.

Lord Gabriel, one of the Council’s eldest members, a one-time war lord who is also a mystic and a man of many interests, and who has deep devotion to Istra, the Aspect of the Sacred Lady who is the patron of Those Who Walk the Night.  The Blood Council also enforces the Truce between mortals and the vayash moru that enables the vayash moru to exist with relatively little wide-spread persecution in five out of the seven of the Winter Kingdoms.

Lord Rafe was an ascetic and a scholar in life.  He thirsts for knowledge, and tends to favor the rational even when circumstances prove that rationality is not going to carry the day.  Rafe has retained his idealism, which is both a good point and a flaw.

Lord Uri gained his wealth and title after his death as a card sharp who lost money to the wrong vayash moru and took blood as a substitute for gold.  Uri is cynical, jaded, motivated by money, and yet intensely loyal to his own brood, even when they go astray, as several of his get did during the insurrection (Dark Haven/Dark Lady’s Chosen).  Uri likes being underestimated, but there’s more to him than meets the eye, including a dollop of thieves’ honor.

Lady Riqua was the wife of a wealthy merchant, and she retains a bourgeoisie practicality after death.  She is fiercely protective of her brood, and has been known to adopt the get of other vayash moru if she believes they are being mistreated.  Unlike Uri and Rafe, Riqua sees value in continued interaction with mortals, and sees value in peaceful coexistence beyond the terms of the Truce.  She and Gabriel willingly create vayash moru-mortal alliances out of practical considerations, regardless of the scorn this earns them from Uri and Astasia.

Lady Astasia is the youngest of the Blood Council, and the most unpredictable.  Having gained her title, power and wealth through highly questionable means while alive, Astasia plays by her own rules after death.  Seduction, betrayal, and games for the sake of games amuse her.  She loves intrigue and politics, as well as the sheer excitement of setting mortals against each other just to watch the outcome.  Astasia bet on the vayash moru Insurrection and lost.  Much of her brood was destroyed, either in battle or by the other members of the Council who became Bloodsworn against her and her get.  In the Fallen Kings Cycle, Astasia allies with the Temnottan invaders, hoping to see the thrones of the Winter Kingdoms fall in flames.

Really, with all of those personalities in the same room, how could I not love writing about the Blood Council?  (Maybe I’ve been on too many nonprofit and corporate committees.)  Just among the five of them, you get the best and worst of immortality, the promise and the failure of human nature.  I have a blast writing about the Blood Council, even though they aren’t actually main characters, because they’re so deliciously “real”, and they give me the sandbox to explore the good, the bad and the ugly parts of immortality.  But don’t take my word for it—take a look at my books and get to know them for yourself!

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Catch me at a con!

Fall is just around the corner, and that means that I’ll be back on the convention circuit.  If you’re headed to one of these conventions, please stop by one of my panels/readings or catch me in the hall and say hello!

Dragon*Con—Labor Day Weekend

Here’s my official panel schedule:

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Breaking In: How it’s Done Description: Trying to break into the SF/Fantasy/Dark Fantasy/Urban Fantasy markets? Fri 01:00 pm : Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Broad Universe Reading Description: Quick cuts read by some up and coming female authors; their own works or works they find influential. Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: Greenbriar – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: 101 Fascinating/Gruesome Ways to Kill a Character Description: What’s the most fascinating way to kill a character? Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Podcasting Writers Roundtable Description: Join popular Podcast authors to discuss the changing face of books and online media. Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: 204 – Hilton

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Broad Universe Reading Part 2 Description: Quick cuts read by some up and coming female authors; their own works or works they find influential. Sun 01:00 pm Location: Fairlie – Hyatt

My #DragonCon schedule: Title: Down and Dirty Internet Marketing Description: How to get your stuff noticed. How to interest potential readers, viewers, listeners, etc. Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: 201 – Hilton

Then Oct 14-16 I’ll be at Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD.  The week of Halloween, Samhain, Dia De Los Muertos and All Hallow’s Eve is my Days of the Dead online blog event, Oct. 24 – 31.

Nov            18-20 I’ll be at Philcon in Cherry Hill, NJ, and then I hope to be in several Charlotte-area bookstores in early December.

Next year is already shaping up.  Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come:

I’ll be chillin’ in Boston for Arisia in January!

I’ve accepted invitations to SheVaCon and Mysticon (both in Roanoke) in February, and should be back in Charlotte book stores with the launch of The Dread, Book Two in The Fallen Kings Cycle.

In March I’ll be at Ravencon as well as at the Arizona Renaissance Festival outside of Phoenix.

I’ve also been invited to Book Expo (BEA) in June, although I don’t have a schedule of events yet.

That’s what’s solid so far—I’ll add dates as I get confirmations.  And if you just like to talk about the craft and business of writing, please join me in person for my monthly Meetup, the  Thrifty Author Publishing Success Network!

 

 

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Welcome to the 2012 Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek of The Dread!

Still reeling from plague and civil war, the Winter Kingdoms face an invasion force from across the Northern Sea led my a dark spirit mage in the name of ancient, vanquished gods. Summoner-King Martris Drayke and an untested generation of new rulers must stand against an unholy alliance of shadowy invaders.  To prevail, Tris must win the uncertain support of the Dread, spirit-beings that stand guard within the sacred barrows over an even more fearsome threat imprisoned within.  In the balance lies not only the freedom of the Winter Kingdoms, but Tris’s life and the soul of his young son, whose untested magic might be the biggest spoil of war.

The Dread is Book Two of The Fallen Kings Cycle, and it picks up the adventures of Tris, Jonmarc and the Winter Kingdoms gang immediately after the events in The Sworn.

The Dread will be available in stores and online world-wide in February, 2012.  But you can read an excerpt here, plus get exclusive Q&A, interviews and other online goodies by visiting the partner sites, which are listed on my web page.

During the Hawthorn Moon event, you can find never-before-released excerpts, interviews, audio, video, and goodies, plus book giveaways on a variety of great fantasy sites that have agreed to be part of this debut party.

Here’s where to find the goodies:

OrbitBooks.net—First look at the cover art for The Dread plus a Q&A with Tris Drayke.

SFSignal.com—Contest to win a free autographed copy of The Sworn plus an exclusive excerpt from The Dread

BookLoons.com—Three times is a charm—get lucky and win a free autographed copy of The Sworn!

http://epheros.livejournal.com/—Can a female author write a believable male character?  Can a mortal write a believable undead, or shapeshifting creature?  Read my exclusive blog post and find out!

Twitter.com/GailZMartin—Get the first look at Chapter 1 of The Dread on my Twitter feed before it posts to my web site

Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms—A different exclusive excerpt (there are three completely different excerpts in all) from The Dread plus an interview with Jonmarc Vahanian (Please “like” the page while you’re there!)

DisquietingVisions.com—Are magical objects a cheat?  Find out what I think in my special blog post!

http://uparoundthecorner.blogspot.com/–All-new Q&A with me talking about writing, passion and the love of magic.

GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com—Brand new audio of me reading an excerpt from The Dread

MySpace (GailZMartin) and my ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer newsletter—an interview with Adaine, the Ghost Whore

And on my ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com web site, you’ll find the following “party favors”:

  • Another exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Dread  (one of three different excerpts)
  • An interview with Kiara, Queen of Margolan
  • An all-new author video message with hints about the new series after The Dread!

Thank you for checking out my Hawthorn Moon sneak peek party.  Enjoy!
Listen here:

 

Watch here:
http://youtu.be/DrpyY7McXgg

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Interview with Tris Drayke

Q:  Are you worried about rumors that Temnotta has sent a dark summoner after you?

A:  Sure.  But I’ve always known there were dark summoners.  My grandfather, Lemuel, was possessed by the spirit of a dark summoner, the Obsidian King.  I know that this type of magic makes it very tempting to use the power for personal gain.  I didn’t think I’d be the only summoner of power around forever.  But I have to say, I wouldn’t have minded it if it had been many years in the future before I had to deal with such a thing.

Q:  The Temnottan invasion appears to be as much magic as military.  Given the recent plague and unrest, can Margolan stand against that?

A:  By the Dark Lady, I hope so!  We’ve seen more than our share of sorrows, and now this.  The Margolense are a proud people, and they’re strong.  I believe they’ll rise against the invaders.  I pray to the Lady that I don’t let them down.

Q:  How does the civil war in Isencroft affect you?

A:  On a personal level, King Donelan is my wife’s father, and a man for whom I have great respect.  I would not like to see him come to harm.  Isencroft has been a peaceful neighbor, and although the history of our kingdoms has sometimes been turbulent, throughout my father’s reign relations were good.  The betrothal contract my father and Donelan agreed to years ago averted a war, but caused new problems later on.  Some in Isencroft still view Margolan with suspicion, and the Divisionists don’t like the idea of a joint crown until Kiara and my children are of age to take the crown and return a sovereign king to Isencroft.  The troubles in Isencroft affect me very personally.

Q:  What about the Dread?  Are they enemies or allies?

A:  They are more powerful than anything we’ve seen in a thousand years.  By the Crone!  I hope they’re allies, or there may be no one left alive.

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Interview with Kiara, Queen of Margolan

Q.  This war is forcing hard choices on its rulers, and dangerous times are on the horizon.  Isencroft has experienced terrible turmoil.  The Winter Kingdoms have been scourged by plague and famine.  Your husband, Tris Drayke, suspects that a dark summoner may not only be behind the invasion, but instrumental in the attacks on your son, Cwynn.  What is your biggest worry?

A.  My dreams are dark.  I fear for the people I love, and for both my homeland of Isencroft and my new home of Margolan.  People have already suffered so much, and it looks as if there will be many dark days before all is well again.

Q:  Do you think Isencroft will survive what is shaping up to be a civil war?

A:  I pray to the Lady that the conflict does not become a true civil war, but I can’t deny the signs.  Although father has tried to spare me, I’ve heard the news from my homeland and it’s frightening.  I grieve knowing that although my marriage was one of both love and necessity, it has been a cause of this conflict.  And I pray that my children will see a better future.

Q:  You’re married to the most powerful mage in the Winter Kingdoms, but your own magic has been limited.  No one can be certain of Cwynn’s magic.  What of the regent magic that is part of the heritage of Isencroft’s monarchs?

A:  My own magic is very limited, especially compared to Tris’s power.  Perhaps someday when I inherit the crown, the full measure of regent magic will come to me, but I sincerely hope that day is far in the future.

Q:  Your son, Cwynn faces dangerous enemies.  Can you protect him?

A:  The most terrifying truth any mother faces is that there are no guarantees.  Even with the resources of the crown and the power of Tris’s magic, it is impossible to assure Cwynn’s safety.  But we’re surrounded by loyal friends and powerful allies, and although I’m a queen and a mother, I’m also a trained warrior, able to use at least some of my skills to protect my family.  Yet there are threats both seen and unseen, and new terrors that have risen with the invaders.  I fear for us all.

 

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Excerpt from The Dread

http://www.4shared.com/document/aypH5jjv/An_excerpt_from_The_Dread_chp_.html

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Bravo for Balticon—Hawthorne Moon Sneak Peek is Coming Soon!

I spent most of Memorial Day weekend in Hunt Valley, MD at Balticon—and what a great weekend it was!

Despite a few scheduling speed bumps (panelists didn’t find out their panels until a few days prior), everything eventually went just fine.  Many of us had some kind of transportation challenge, whether we came via plane, train or automobile.  I got grounded on the tarmac in Charlotte for an hour due to thunderstorms.  Jean  Marie Ward got stuck on the highway for five hours.  Lots of people got stuck behind a funeral procession.  Even folks who came via train had problems.  Ah, holiday traffic.  It made for missed panels and sparse audiences early on Friday, but gradually worked its way out and everything went well later on.

The panels were a lot of fun, as always, packed with lively audiences and feisty panelists.  We had an especially good turnout on Books You Loved as A Kid That You Still Love.  That seemed to really strike a chord with a lot of people.  Philcon, Capclave, and the Texas NSFIC bid all held very nice parties, and the SFWA get-together for members was very nice as well.  In addition, the movie and science tracks had a very strong schedule, and while I didn’t get a chance to see as many of them as I wanted, I was happy to note that the programming was there for others to enjoy.

And now for the Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek!

Long-time readers have heard about my June 21 sneak peek online event, but for folks just finding out, here’s the scoop.  Every year on June 21 (the summer solstice), I post the new book cover for my upcoming book, plus I hold an online sneak peek with content, giveaway contests and online goodies spread across my web site, blog, social media pages and also on the sites of my publisher and other media partners.  It’s your first look at the first chapter of The Dread, the gorgeous cover, and some can’t-get-it-anywhere-else extras like interviews with me and my characters.

Why is it called The Hawthorn Moon event?  Because in The Summoner, the big event in the plot happened on the summer solstice, which was called the Hawthorn Moon.  I called the first online event that, and it just stuck.

Where do you get the details?  Watch this blog on June 21 and you’ll see where to find all the goodies.  I’ll also send out an announcement to my Chronicles of the Necromancer newsletter list.  Stay tuned—it’s always a real good time!

Book News

If you are a frequent con-goer, Larry Smith Books also has signed copies of my stuff., so look for his booth at conventions.

Have you read my short stories?  If not, check out Rum & Runestones or The Bitten Word for a totally different world and set of characters!

Signings and Events

I will be in stores doing book signings and at genre conventions throughout 2011, and I love to meet readers, so please stop by and say hello!  Here’s the list of events so far (we’ll keep a running list posted on the Events tab).

Can’t make it when I’m at the store?  Most stores have signed copies of all the books after the event, so be sure to stop in!  If you call ahead before a signing, many stores will let you buy the book(s) over the phone so I can sign them when I’m there, and you can pick them up later.

June 4 – 6:   ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC

June 21:  Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event

September:  DragonCon, Atlanta, GA

October:  Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD

October 24 – 31:  Days of the Dead Blog Tour

November:  Philcon, Cherry Hill, NJ

December:  Watch for new in-store dates in the Charlotte area

Ghost in the Machine Podcast

I host a podcast called The Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast (www.GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com) where I introduce my listeners to authors, artists, publishing pros and other interesting folks show up on the podcast, so please check it out!

In  May guests were Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of over 80 novels, on making a long series work and paranormal mystery writer Casey Daniels (Pepper Martin mysteries) about merging magic with mystery. June guests are: Shirley Damsgaard (Abby and Ophelia mysteries) on creating new series and Juliet Blackwell author of the Witchcraft Series (Hexes and Hemlines) on using witchcraft and the supernatural in fiction.

Coming in 2011 on Ghost in the Machine, guests include Karen Miller, MaryJanice Davidson, Shirley Damsgaard and more!

Disquieting Visions—my “other” blog

Disquieting Visions is co-hosted by J.F. Lewis (Staked, Revamped, Crossed), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal romance), Tina McSwain (Charlotte Area Paranormal Society) and me.  Podcast guests are also invited to post a guest blog on my Disquieting Visions group blog (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).

May guests are: Janny Wurts, Lori Handeland, Chris Jackson, Danielle Ackely-McPhail, David Coe, Michael Ventrella and Pam Cable.

For June, my blog post topics include: Con-going 101; Why published authors love cons; Why aspiring authors (should) love cons; Advanced con-going for dedicated fans

If you like the books, “Like” WinterKingdoms on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, the place to talk about The Winter Kingdoms books is at Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms.    I do a monthly Q&A and love to get comments and questions.

This month’s topics include: the Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek

Join the conversation!

I’m also on Twitter @GailZMartin, and be sure you check out my shelf of books I’m reading and just finished on Shelfari!

 

 

 

 

 

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Report From Ravencon

What a great time at Ravencon in Richmond!  This is always one of my favorite conventions because it’s big enough to have a lot to do and small enough to spend quality time with friends, readers and other authors.

For once, Michael Ventrella and I weren’t on every single panel together, although Michael graciously asked me to join hin on two books marketing panels.  Alan Wold did his wonderful writing workshop, and then Alan, Peter Prellowitz and I were together on a new two-session workshop on plot and character.  That was really a lot of fun, and there are plans to do the plot/character workshop again next year!

One of my favorite panels was with Toni Weisskopf (Baen Books) along with the cover artist for John Ringo’s books, where we were talking about everything that goes into making a great cover.

Coyote Run played a concert (alas, I had a reading during the first hour), and I caught the last half—they are always fantastic.

Kudos to the con suite team admirably headed up by Leigh and Alexis Gilliland.  A con moves on its stomach (and on caffeine).

We shared the hotel with a high school prom.  I don’t think it occurred to the seniors at the prom that they were every bit as much in costume as we were, or that it was just as much of a fantasy for them as for us.  (I was, however, very impressed by the Klingon in a formal purple outfit with a parasol.  Nice touch.)

My next convention is Balticon on Memorial Day weekend—hope to see you there!

Book News

The Sworn is in bookstores and online now!  Also in Kindle and Nook, with audiobook coming soon.

Thanks for your patience—Dark Lady’s Chosen is finally available for Nook!

Just signed contracts for Dark Lady’s Chosen to be translated into French and for  The Sworn and The Dread to be translated into Polish.  The first three Chronicles of the Necromancer books came out in French last year, and I felt bad that French readers had to wait for the resolution to Dark Haven’s cliffhanger ending, but publishing is not a quick business!

Remember—all the books are available in Nook, Kindle and audiobook, so tell your alternative-format friends!

If you couldn’t be at one of my recent signings, you can stop by any of the stores where I’ve just been to pick up signed copies of all the books!  Barnes & Noble, Pineville, NC; Barnes & Noble, Colony Rd, Charlotte, NC; Books A Million, Concord Mills; and Barnes & Noble, Huntersville, NC.  If you are a frequent con-goer, Larry Smith Books also has signed copies of my stuff.

Signings and Events

I will be in stores doing book signings and at genre conventions throughout 2011, and I love to meet readers, so please stop by and say hello!  Here’s the list of events so far (we’ll keep a running list posted on the Events tab).

Can’t make it when I’m at the store?  Most stores have signed copies of all the books after the event, so be sure to stop in!  If you call ahead before a signing, many stores will let you buy the book(s) over the phone so I can sign them when I’m there, and you can pick them up later.

May 27 – 29:  Balticon, Hunt Valley, MD

June 4 – 6:  ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC

June 21:  Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event

September:  DragonCon, Atlanta, GA

October:  Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD

October 24 – 31:  Days of the Dead Blog Tour

November:  Philcon, Cherry Hill, NJ

December:  Watch for new in-store dates in the Charlotte area

Ghost in the Machine Podcast

I host a podcast called The Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast (www.GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com) where I introduce my listeners to authors, artists, publishing pros and other interesting folks show up on the podcast, so please check it out!

In  April/May, guests include: April guests included Brian Kosciencki, Chris Pisano of Fortress Publishing and author Alexander Jablokov (The Day the Wires Came Down).

Alexander Jablokov talks about introducing pros/cons of literary elements in sci-fi/fantasy, while Brian Kosciencki and Chris Pisano talk about their experiences running a small press in today’s publishing economy.

In May, guests are Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of over 80 novels, on making a long series work and paranormal mystery writer Casey Daniels (Pepper Martin mysteries) about merging magic with mystery.

Coming in 2011 on Ghost in the Machine, guests include Karen Miller, MaryJanice Davidson, Shirley Damsgaard and more!

Disquieting Visions—my “other” blog

Disquieting Visions is co-hosted by J.F. Lewis (Staked, Revamped, Crossed), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal romance), Tina McSwain (Charlotte Area Paranormal Society) and me.  Podcast guests are also invited to post a guest blog on my Disquieting Visions group blog (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).

In April guests are Michael Ventrella, Charles E. Gannon, Gail Carriger and Michele Lang.  May guests are:  Lori Handeland, Chris Jackson, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and David Coe

For March/April, my blog post topics include What Writers Wish Readers Knew; Fandom Needs its Glee; Tribal Markings; Cons in Pop Culture.

If you like the books, “Like” WinterKingdoms on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, the place to talk about The Winter Kingdoms books is at Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms.    I do a monthly Q&A and love to get comments and questions.

This month’s topics include: Small cons vs. large; Short fiction vs. long; Get more from your cons; Thoughts from the con suite.

Join the conversation!

I’m also on Twitter @GailZMartin, and be sure you check out my shelf of books I’m reading and just finished on Shelfari!

 

 

 

 

 

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On the Convention Trail (A Writer on the Move Part II)

It’s spring, and conventions are in bloom.  I’ve just gotten back from Lunacon up in New York.  This was Lunacon’s 54th year, and it didn’t disappoint, though attendance was down a bit from prior years.  The programming track was robust and varied, panels had a good number of panelists as well as good attendance by attendees, and the vendor room had a great selection of items for sale.

I was on about 12 panels—I lose track after a while—and had fun with all of them, although I have to admit that I’m a little fuzzy on the details about the panels that ended around midnight due to sheer exhaustion.  There were also several launch parties for new books of authors such as GOH Lawrence Schoen and Joshua Palmatier.  Plenty of great conversations continued at all hours in the dining room, bar, corridors and room parties.  A good time was had by all.

My assigned panels were a lot of fun.  Titles included Developing Believable culture and Religion, Urban Fantasy, Creating Heroic Characters, Incorporating the Supernatural, The Essential Sidekick, Ghosts and Witchcraft, Folklore and Mythology in Fantasy, Skeptics and the Paranormal, Writing a First Chapter that Sells and Writing Battle Scenes.  Whew!  Thanks to all my fellow panelists and to the lively audiences we had at every panel.

Next up is Ravencon in Richmond, Va.  Ravencon has such a great, friendly vibe and also boasts a fantastic con suite.  Ravencon is also usually a popular place for book launch parties, making it a great place to meet new people and chat in a relaxed setting.

After Ravencon comes Balticon, another very well-run convention with a fantastic con suite.  If I seem a bit obsessed with con suites, it’s because writer guests often are scheduled on back to back panels and we don’t have time to grab a bite to eat in a restaurant between panels.  A good con suite means the difference between getting “real” food and living off the vending machine, so the committed con suite volunteers are near and dear to my heart.  They’re also often unsung heroes, so hug a con suite volunteer and be sure to say ‘thank you’.

Catch my new interview on kick-ass women characters  on #BroadPod: Broad Pod.  Click this link http://broadpod.posterous.com

Book News

The Sworn is in bookstores and online now!  Also in Kindle and Nook, with audiobook coming soon.

Thanks for your patience—Dark Lady’s Chosen is finally available for Nook!

Just signed contracts for Dark Lady’s Chosen to be translated into French and for  The Sworn and The Dread to be translated into Polish.  The first three Chronicles of the Necromancer books came out in French last year, and I felt bad that French readers had to wait for the resolution to Dark Haven’s cliffhanger ending, but publishing is not a quick business!

Remember—all the books are available in Nook, Kindle and audiobook, so tell your alternative-format friends!

If you couldn’t be at one of my recent signings, you can stop by any of the stores where I’ve just been to pick up signed copies of all the books!  Barnes & Noble, Pineville, NC; Barnes & Noble, Colony Rd, Charlotte, NC; Books A Million, Concord Mills; and Barnes & Noble, Huntersville, NC.  If you are a frequent con-goer, Larry Smith Books also has signed copies of my stuff.

Signings and Events

I will be in stores doing book signings and at genre conventions throughout 2011, and I love to meet readers, so please stop by and say hello!  Here’s the list of events so far (we’ll keep a running list posted on the Events tab).

Can’t make it when I’m at the store?  Most stores have signed copies of all the books after the event, so be sure to stop in!  If you call ahead before a signing, many stores will let you buy the book(s) over the phone so I can sign them when I’m there, and you can pick them up later.

Apr. 2 – Carolina Writers Conference

Apr. 8 – 10 – Ravencon, Richmond, VA

May 27 – 29 – Balticon, Hunt Valley, MD

June 4 – 6  – ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC

June 21 – Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event

September –  DragonCon, Atlanta, GA

October – Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD

October 24 – 31 – Days of the Dead Blog Tour

November – Philcon, Cherry Hill, NJ

December – Watch for new in-store dates in the Charlotte area

Ghost in the Machine Podcast

I host a podcast called The Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast (www.GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com) where I introduce my listeners to authors, artists, publishing pros and other interesting folks show up on the podcast, so please check it out!

In March/April, guests include: March guests include Kelly Armstrong (The Reckoning) and Jennifer Pelland (acclaimed short stories).  April guests include 4/1 Brian Kosciencki, Chris Pisano of Fortress Publishing and author Alexander Jablokov (The Day the Wires Came Down).

Alexander Jablokov talks about introducing pros/cons of literary elements in sci-fi/fantasy, while Brian Kosciencki and Chris Pisano talk about their experiences running a small press in today’s publishing economy.

Coming in 2011 on Ghost in the Machine, guests include Karen Miller, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro,  Casey Daniels, MaryJanice Davidson, Shirley Damsgaard and more!

Disquieting Visions—my “other” blog

Disquieting Visions is co-hosted by J.F. Lewis (Staked, Revamped, Crossed), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal romance), Tina McSwain (Charlotte Area Paranormal Society) and me.  Podcast guests are also invited to post a guest blog on my Disquieting Visions group blog (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).

In March our guests included: Benjamin Tate/Joshua Palmatier, Terry Ervin, Jeffrey Thomas and Mur Lafferty.  In April guests are Michael Ventrella, Charles E. Gannon, Gail Carriger and Michele Lang.

For March/April, my blog post topics include:

If you like the books, “Like” WinterKingdoms on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, the place to talk about The Winter Kingdoms books is at Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms.    I do a monthly Q&A and love to get comments and questions.

Join the conversation!

I’m also on Twitter @GailZMartin, and be sure you check out my shelf of books I’m reading and just finished on Shelfari!

 

 

 

 

 

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On the Road with The Sworn: A Writer on the Move (Part I)

January saw me at two conventions, Arisia in Boston and Chattacon in Chattanooga, TN.  Both were first-time cons for me, and I really had a great time at both of them.  Arisia is big and jam-packed with panels.  Despite the fact that the con was in a brand new hotel, everything ran very smoothly.  I met some fun people, including Guest of Honor Kelly Armstrong (who will be a guest on an upcoming segment of my Ghost in the Machine podcast later this spring).  Kelly and I were on several vampire panels, and I somehow ended up on several urban fantasy panels. (I figure that since my books take place in city settings, they’re just medieval urban fantasy, right?)

Arisia also had me on several awesome myth, fantasy and religion-in-fantasy panels that were loud, noisy and fun.  I love it when the audience is well-versed in a subject and passionate in their beliefs, and when they actually participate instead of watching the panel do silly author tricks.  Arisia also had a very nice anime track and some interesting choices for the film track.  The vendor room/art show was pretty awesome, as was the extra floor of suites with additional vendors offering predominantly steampunk outfits and accessories.

Chattacon was smaller but also amazingly friendly.  It’s held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel, a converted Victorian railway station, and it looks like the kind of place where steampunk is totally at home.  In fact, there was a big turnout of steampunk costumes, including an organ grinder with a darling “monkey”.  (Gee, I never made my kids dress like a monkey.  But she was cute!)

Chattacon does a great job with gaming and its con suite, as well as the ops/green room for guests.  The vendor room was very friendly also.  I had the opportunity to meet Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (another upcoming Ghost in the Machine guest) and K.K. Rusch (ditto), as well as to get some quality chat time with Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf and my good friend (and Artist Guest of Honor) Ruth Thompson.  Another friend, J.F. Lewis, showed up, and joined in the conversation.

My next con will be Lunacon in Rye Brook, NY March 18 – 21.  Lunacon has a long and storied history, as this will be it’s 54th convention.  It’s known for its mindbendingly difficult to navigate hotel (dubbed the Escher), as well as its diligent lineup of great panels and a fantastic vendor room.  I’m thrilled to be going back!

I’m spending every weekend in February in bookstores with the launch of The Sworn.  Signings are fun because I get to reconnect with long-time readers as well as getting the chance to introduce new readers to the books.  I’ve gotten to know many readers who have been showing up to my signings since the beginning, and it’s great to see them again and hear their news.  I always get into some fun conversations with readers and with the bookstore staff, who know everything about everything!

If you’ve been to one of my signings, you know my style is to greet everyone who comes into the store, offer a free bookmark, and engage them with the new book.  Most people think it’s pretty cool to have an author in the store, or at least they’re polite enough to let me finish my greeting before telling me that fantasy isn’t there thing, which is OK, too.  When I mention the words “fantasy adventure” I can tell pretty quickly whether someone is interested or not by whether their pupils dilate or contract.  Well, that and the few people who have made a cross with their fingers and backed away, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Longtime readers, take note—I will not be at the Arizona Renaissance Festival this year due to a calendar mix-up. (Likewise, a prior commitment forced me to cancel my appearance at StellarCon and I was unable to appear at SheVaCon.)  Normally both the Arizona Ren Fest and StellarCon are part of my March line-up, but this year it didn’t work out.  I’ve already scheduled a 2012 date for Arizona, and I’m hoping the programming gods will invite me back next year for StellarCon and SheVaCon.

Book News

The Sworn is in bookstores and online now!  Also in Kindle and Nook, with audiobook coming soon.

Thanks for your patience—Dark Lady’s Chosen is finally available for Nook!

Just signed contracts for Dark Lady’s Chosen to be translated into French.  The first three Chronicles of the Necromancer books came out in French last year, and I felt bad that French readers had to wait for the resolution to Dark Haven’s cliffhanger ending, but publishing is not a quick business!

Remember—all the books are available in Nook, Kindle and audiobook, so tell your alternative-format friends!

If you couldn’t be at one of my recent signings, you can stop by any of the stores where I’ve just been to pick up signed copies of all the books!  Barnes & Noble, Pineville, NC; Barnes & Noble, Colony Rd, Charlotte, NC; Books A Million, Concord Mills; and Barnes & Noble, Huntersville, NC.

Catch my new interview on #BroadPod about fear and faith: Broad Pod
Click this link http://broadpod.posterous.com/rss.xml

Coming in March—a BroadPod reading from The Sworn on women warriors.

Signings and Events

I will be in stores doing book signings and at genre conventions throughout 2011, and I love to meet readers, so please stop by and say hello!  Here’s the list of events so far (we’ll keep a running list posted on the Events tab).

Can’t make it when I’m at the store?  Most stores have signed copies of all the books after the event, so be sure to stop in!  If you call ahead before a signing, many stores will let you buy the book(s) over the phone so I can sign them when I’m there, and you can pick them up later.

  • Feb. 19 – Books A Million, Concord Mills
  • Feb. 26 – Barnes & Noble, Birkdale Village (Huntersville NC)
  • Mar. 25  – Park Road Books, Charlotte NC
  • Apr. 2 –  Carolina Writers Conference
  • Apr. 8 – 10  –  Ravencon, Richmond, VA
  • May 27 – 29 – Balticon, Hunt Valley, MD
  • June 4 – 6  – ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC
  • June 21 – Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event
  • September –  DragonCon, Atlanta, GA
  • October  – Capclave, Gaithersburg, MD
  • October 24 – 31 –  Days of the Dead Blog Tour
  • November – Philcon, Cherry Hill, NJ

Disquieting Visions—my “other” blog

Disquieting Visions is co-hosted by J.F. Lewis (Staked, Revamped, Crossed), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal romance), Tina McSwain (Charlotte Area Paranormal Society) and me.  Podcast guests are also invited to post a guest blog on my Disquieting Visions group blog (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).

In February our blog guests include:  Novelist James Maxey on Your Book Would Make a Great Movie! (And Why I Know It Wouldn’t), podcaster and Escape Pod editor Mur Lafferty on The Birth of Ideas, author Jeffrey Thomas on Creating A Healthy Future. Don’t forget to check out the Freebie Fridays for excerpts and other downloadable giveaways.

For February, my Disquieting Visions topics are: Vampire Trends, Wither the Werewof?, Which Witch is Which, and Give Me That (Really) Olde Tyme Religion

If you like the books, “Like” WinterKingdoms on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, the place to talk about The Winter Kingdoms books is at Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms.    I do a monthly Q&A and love to get comments and questions.

This month’s topics include: What’s new after The Sworn?;What I love about fandom; Why I think conventions rock; and more.  Join the conversation!

I’m also on Twitter @GailZMartin, and be sure you check out my shelf of books I’m reading and just finished on Shelfari!

 

 

 

 

 

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