Happy Summer Solstice! As a writer, what I’ve found most fascinating is how other writers work—why they write what they write, how they live, what inspires them. Gail Martin, author of Ice Forged, Book One in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga coming from Orbit Books in 2013, shares some all-new information about the book—as well as providing a glimpse into her writing life.
Q: Tell us a little about how you came to write Ice Forged.
A: I’d been playing with the idea of what if magic broke (as it nearly did in the Chronicles books), and what if we had a post-apocalyptic medieval world, and what if a world sent its convicts to the northern rim (instead of, in our world, Georgia or Australia)….and I had an idea of where I wanted to go.
I like stories that test the mettle of a character and reveal what he/she is made of. In Ice Forged, the main characters have lost everything when they were disgraced and sentenced to a harsh prison colony. When the magic dies and the Continent is destroyed in the war and the resulting apocalypse, the life they’ve made for themselves as colonists is jeopardized. The discovery thatBlaine is the only one who can restore the magic set him and his friends on a dangerous journey that will pit them against powerful immortal enemies. The fate of their world rests in the hands of a group of convicts. Succeed, and they win not only their freedom, but the ability to shape the future of the world. Fail, and face the wrath of the gods knowing you have condemned your world to darkness.
Q: What’s the highest compliment someone could make about your writing?
A: When the characters and the world have become real to them, so that they don’t want to say good-bye at the end of the book, that’s a real compliment. I’ve also been so pleased and humbled when readers tell me that my books got them through a rough time in their lives, because I’ve sought refuge in books myself, and I’m happy to be able to provide that for others.
Q: Is there a different genre or type of book you’d love to try to write?
A: My main writing will stay with epic fantasy, but in my Trifles & Folly short stories universe, I play with historic/modern urban fantasy. I’m working on some short stories in a steampunk universe as well. I also write two non-fiction series: The 30 Day Results Guide series on social media and new media marketing, and the Thrifty Author’s Guide series on book marketing for authors.
Q: What’s your favorite writing accessory or reference?
A: Google! It’s so handy for quick fact-checking, verifying that a name I’m thinking of using for someone or something is unique, or looking up a spelling or a word origin. My second-favorite accessory is a full coffee cup.
Q: What is your favorite writing/editing/query-reading snack?
A: I try really hard not to eat while I write, but if I do, I try to choose carrots or cut up fresh veggies. When I read for pleasure, I’m trying to break a bad habit of snacking while I read—trying to shift to popcorn instead of other bad-for-me salty snacks!
Q: If you could borrow one person’s zest for writing and/or life, whose and why?
A: My heroes are the people who spark our imaginations, like Walt Disney, George Lucas, Jim Henson, and Steven Spielberg. I’m also in awe of explorers, like the people who were first to the North Pole, or are cataloging the bottom of the ocean, or dared to go into space. I love watching extreme sports, mostly because I’m pretty happy just to make it through my daily workout without injuring myself, and watching those people do what they do just blows my mind.
Q: What is your Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event?
A: I started doing the Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event back in 2007, and it’s become something my readers have come to expect. The solstice (aka the Hawthorn Moon) was an important event in my first book, The Summoner, and the name and timing just stuck. It’s my online unveiling of the cover art for the new book, along with excerpts, interviews, all-new guest blog posts and lots of fun stuff spread out over a dozen or so sites. To find out all the goodies and all the partner sites, please visit http://www.AscendantKingdoms.com.