Today, I have author Gail Z. Martin in the interview chair. We discuss her latest release Inheritance, book four in the Deadly Curiosities series, an urban fantasy mystery with romantic elements. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. Hi, Gail. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?
I’m married with three adult children and two dogs. My husband, Larry N. Martin, is also an author and we collaborate on everything behind the scenes. I love traveling and good food. And I’m a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural.
2. I’ve been perusing your Goodreads page, and see you are drawn to science fiction, urban fantasy, and fantasy. What draws you to these genres?
I love the idea that magic and the supernatural could be real, which is the underpinning of fantasy and urban fantasy. With science fiction, it’s the lure of new places and exploring things no one has seen before.
3. Your latest book for the Deadly Curiosities series is Inheritance. Can you tell me more about the series, and what inspired its creation?
Deadly Curiosities is one of three urban fantasy series I write. The series is based in Charleston, SC, and it’s all about getting cursed and haunted objects out of the wrong hands and saving the world from supernatural threats. The main character, Cassidy Kincaide, has the ability to read the history and magic of objects by touching them, and she runs Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop that is really a front for an alliance of mortals and immortals who protect the world from dark magic. The series was inspired by a trip to Charleston. I was so impressed by the history and the reputed hauntedness, and decided it would be the place I would set my own urban fantasy series.
4. Your latest release, Inheritance, is the fourth book in the series. Can you share your writing process? Did the plot come first or the characters?
The main characters and most of the secondary characters in the Deadly Curiosities series are the same from book to book, although they do meet some new people in each book, some of whom stick around and become recurring characters in future books. So the characters definitely come first. I really enjoy exploring different magical traditions and mythologies, and in Inheritance, the focus is on Caribbean ghosts and legends.
5. How much research goes into your novels since you lean towards urban fantasy and fantasy?
I do a fair amount of research into urban legends, ghost stories, local haunted places, and local history depending on the area in which the book/series is located. I want each urban fantasy series to feel organic to its location, where the place is character in itself, and it couldn’t happen the same way anywhere else. With the epic fantasy stories (which don’t take place in our world or our history), I still do research to keep them rooted in a roughly late fifteenth-century level of technology, and I look for inspiration in real history.
6. Let’s talk about the main characters for Inheritance. What do you love most about Cassidy Kincaide and what makes you want to shake her?
Cassidy Kincaide can see the history of an object by touching it because she’s a psychometric (touch magic). She can also tell if it’s haunted or cursed. I think that’s a really cool talent, although I’m not sure I’d want it for real. I don’t know that I’ve ever wanted to shake her, because I do my best not to write situations where characters do impetuous or headstrong things without thinking. She’s certainly not perfect, but she does try to learn from her mistakes.
7. The same for Beckford Pendlewood. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?
Beck is the last direct heir of a dark magical dynasty, and he wants to break the family curse, which has given his family wealth and power at the cost of their souls. So I give him a lot of props for going against the family history and being his own person. If anything would make me want to shake him, it’s because he sometimes wants to go it alone when he really needs his friends.
8. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Inheritance and why?
There’s a birthday party scene early in the book that was so much fun to write, so I’m going to go with that.
9. What makes the Deadly Curiosities series different from other urban fantasy series?
Deadly Curiosities isn’t (and never will be) a romance series. It’s solid adventure. No love triangles. Neither of the main characters is ever going to be romantically involved with the vampire, who looks to be their age but treats them as equals and thinks of them more like grandchildren. Having said that, people do have relationships (there’s a long-established MM couple and a developing MF couple) but it’s not the focus of the book and there’s no on-screen sex. The emphasis is on the magic, the supernatural elements and the action/adventure, as well as the ‘found family’ of friends.
10. If a reader asked you why they should read Inheritance, what would you tell them?
If you like stories with a lot of ghosts, magic, legends, and haunted places set in a beautiful old city, with characters who are friends and allies and who have each other’s backs, then this is the series for you!
11. You can only recommend one of your novels to a reader, which would you choose from the books you’ve written so far, and why?
That really depends so much on what the reader likes. I’d probably steer them toward Deadly Curiosities, which is the first book in the series, since it’s a good starting point, although all the books in the series can be read as standalone.
12. Which novel was your personal favourite to write, and why?
I had a lot of fun with Inheritance because the Caribbean legends were so different and the style of magic was also unusual. I love learning new things while I’m working on a book!
13. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Doing the research and having unexpected ideas show up while I’m in the process of writing the story.
14. What do you enjoy least about writing?
Proofreading and editing! By that point, I want to be done and move on to the next project, but it’s an important process.
15. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:
- What’s your favourite movie?
The Princess Bride
- What book is currently in your e-reader?
I’ve been reading a lot of MM paranormal romance lately, including the Cold Case Psychic series by Pandora Pine.
- Who’s your favourite musical group?
Depends on my mood!
- What song puts a smile on your face?
On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons
16. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Here’s where you can find a free complete short story, Catspaw, here: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/UAjd6
Series: Deadly Curiosities, #4
Author: Gail Z. Martin
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Genre/s: Urban fantasy with romantic elements.
Heat Rating: 0 – 1 flame (No sex, kissing/hugging for MF and MM characters)
Length: 66 000 words/ 222 pages
Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?
Blurb: Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curio shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them, and she teams up with friends and allies who use magic and paranormal abilities to get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
Caribbean ghosts terrorize Charleston and start racking up a body count. Then Beckford Pendlewood, the heir to a powerful family of dark warlocks, shows up raving about a bound demon locked in a lost box and begs sanctuary. Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?
Note—Characters from my Morgan Brice (MM paranormal romance) books make several key appearances in this book. Also, a long-time committed MM couple figure prominently in the plot).
This book can be read as a standalone.
Buy Links – ebook and paperback
“I have a problem antique I’d like you to take a look at.” The man on the other end of the call sounded rattled. I recognized his name—Alfred Stone, from Stone Auctions—but I didn’t think we had ever spoken, let alone met.
“What kind of ‘problem’ does it present?” I asked. A number of possibilities came to mind. “Questionable provenance? Not sure how to authenticate?”
“I think it’s trying to kill me.”
Well, damn. That kind of problem. “All right, Mr. Stone. Try to stay calm.”
“I just told you, it’s trying to kill me. I heard you…know…about these things. Please, help me.”
Across the store, Teag Logan glanced up to make sure everything was all right. I nodded, and he went back to helping a customer.
“I can come now. Are you at the showroom?”
“Yes. Thank you. And…please…hurry.”
I ended the call and sighed. This might be the first time Alfred Stone had an antique try to kill him, but that made it just another day here at Trifles and Folly.
I’m Cassidy Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina. The shop has been in my family for more than three hundred years. While we’re known as a great place to buy high-quality antiques, the shop is also a cover for the Alliance, a coalition of mortals and immortals who save Charleston—and the world—from supernatural threats. I’m a psychometric, which means I can read the history and magic of objects by touching them. Teag is my assistant store manager, best friend, and sometimes bodyguard—and he’s also a talented Weaver witch. Sorren, my business partner, is a nearly six-hundred-year-old vampire. Together with some other friends with very specialized abilities, we do our best to keep the world safe from dark magic and things that go bump in the night.
“Problem?” Teag asked when the customer left.
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Alfred Stone just called—from the auction house. He says he’s got an item that’s trying to kill him.”
“You want me to go with you?” Teag pushed a lock of dark hair out of his eyes. His skater-boy haircut and skinny jeans made him look younger than his late twenties. “Maggie can handle the store.”
On cue, Maggie—our lifesaver of a part-time associate—waved to agree from the other side of the store. She was sporting a new bright pink streak in her short gray hair, and it matched her sweater, a reminder—as if I needed one—that she believed in taking risks and living large.
I reached up to slick my humidity-frizzy strawberry blond hair back into a ponytail and shook my head. “Let me go see what the problem is, and I’ll figure out what to do from there. It’s not far away, in case I need to give a shout.”
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and Exiles, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising, Flame and Ash.
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