Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Gail Z. Martin



Martin authorpic
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, a genre that has traditionally been the domain of male authors; it always fascinates me to hear how authors get drawn to a genre that has dominated by the other gender and what crossing the gender boundary has been like.





This is part one of a five-part interview. Be sure to check out the other BRoP sites for the rest of the interview: 
Part 1 with Terri - Wednesday, January 23
Part 2 with T.W. - Thursday, January 24
Part 3 with me (waves)

Part 4 with Sandra - Monday, January 28
Part 5 with Dean - Tuesday, January 29

Let's get right down to our chit-chatting with Gail about the Creative Process.  I'll admit, it's my favorite part to learn about! 

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?

Gail:  I like to ask, “What if?”  What if…a society depended on magic the way we depend on the power grid.  What if…a war was settled by a doomsday magical strike, a Weapons of Magical Destruction (WMD) scenario? What if…the magic “broke” and became uncontrollable?  What if…the only person who might be able to restore the magic was a convict exiled to the far reaches of the world?

I also like to ask, “And then what?”  So there’s a battle—and then what?  The good guys win (or lose)—and then what?  Magic becomes uncontrollable—and then what?

Those two questions have never let me down!

BRoP:  How do you deal with writer’s block?

Gail:  I don’t get writer’s block much, but when I do, I find that it helps to sit down and read what I’ve written so far.  That often jogs something loose.  Or, I’ll go back to my original outline and try to do a more detailed outline of the next few chapters.  Or, I’ll go research an element like battle strategies or weapons or even food—or I’ll watch the History Channel.  Those are the things that help me.

BRoP:   How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Gail:  No “formula”, but I find that outlining, at least at a mid-level of detail helps me figure out how the plot will advance between the major milestones.  I spend a lot of time thinking about the plot, characters and world during times when I’m waiting in line, driving in the car, or on hold.  As for characters, I usually come up with a story either by getting a character in mind and then figuring out what kind of trouble he or she would get into,  or by getting a story in mind and figuring out what kind of characters are needed to make the story unfold.  The characters tend to reveal themselves to me as I write—they do some pretty surprising things!

BRoP:   Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

Gail:  A little of both!  I have to begin with an outline (it makes my editor happy, and it really does help).  But the outline tends to be rather vague about things that aren’t major milestones, so I have to “pants” my way to get through those sections.  If I’m not sure what I’m going to write, I make myself sit in front of the computer and write, promising that I can delete it all if it turns out not to be good.  Most of the time, when I read what I’ve written later, very little needs to be deleted, but telling myself that I can delete if I want to takes the pressure off.

BRoP:   Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?

Gail:  Battle scenes.  They’re important and necessary, but tedious to write.  I’d rather just say, “and then they fought!”



Gail Z. Martin’s newest book, Ice Forged: Book One in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), launched in January 2013.  Gail is also the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series (Solaris Books) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (Orbit Books).  For more about Gail’s books and short stories, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com. Be sure to “like” Gail’s Winter Kingdoms Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @GailZMartin, and join her for frequent discussions on Goodreads.
Read an excerpt from Ice Forged here: http://a.pgtb.me/JvGzTt

Where can readers can stalk you: 

Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon | Ghost in the Machine Podcast


GAIL Z. MARTIN'S newest book, Ice Forged: Book One in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), launched in January 2013.  Gail is also the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series (Solaris Books) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (Orbit Books).  For more about Gail’s books and short stories, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com. Be sure to “like” Gail’s Winter Kingdoms Facebook page, follow her on Kingdoms Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @GailZMartin, and join her for frequent discussions on Goodreads.

Martin iceforgedcover 
ICE FORGED: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…





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