In addition to answering my interview questions, Gail has also contributed a special guest post titled "2009 Days of the Dead Cons,Tribes and Fantasy". I hope you enjoy Gail's stop on the tour and take the time to leave a comment or ask a question. Gail will be dropping by from time to time to respond.
Of course that is not all. We are also having a contest. Gail has generously contributed a signed ARC of The Blood King and a signed copy of Dark Haven to be won by one lucky winner. Contest Guidelines are at the end of the post.
If you would like to read my review of Dark Haven you can check it out here or if you would like to read an excerpt from the forthcoming Dark Lady's Chosen, you can read Chapter 1 here.
SFG: For those unfamiliar with the Chronicles of the Necromancer, can you give us a brief overview of the series and where Dark Lady’s Chosen fits in the scheme of things?
SFG: The series includes the vayash moru (vampires) and vyrkin (shapeshifters). Can you tell us something about the origin of the names and how they are the same/different from other vampires and shapeshifters?
SFG: You feature strong relationships in the series with King Martris and Kiara, Jonmarc and Carina and others. How important is romance to your writing and what is your view on its application in fantasy?
SFG: What are your plans for the Chronicles beyond Dark Lady’s Chosen?
GAIL: I’ve just sold a new series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, to Orbit Books, and it will be set in the world of the Winter Kingdoms. Book One: The Sworn, picks up not long after Dark Lady’s Chosen with a whole new set of adventures. In the Fallen Kings, there’s a whole new focus as the world changes around the characters. So just as in real life, once you overcome one hurdle, there are several new ones to jump. The events in the first four books shape the future for my characters, but the Fallen Kings Cycle will take those characters forward into dealing with brand new threats as the whole fabric of society in the Winter Kingdoms begins to change.
SFG: Do you have other projects you’d like to tackle after the Chronicles concludes?
GAIL: Well, I’ve given my publisher about 20 new story arcs set in the Chronicles universe, so I don’t have any plans for it concluding any time soon. However, I am working on several totally new series that aren’t quite ready for prime time yet. And I have a new non-fiction series for writers with the first book coming out in January, 2010. The Thrifty Author’s Guide to Launching Your Book Without Losing Your Mind is the first in a series of books on book marketing that I’m writing for Comfort Publishing.
SFG: What genres/authors do you like to read when you have time? What are you reading now?
GAIL: I have a lot of favourite authors and a lot of friends in the business whose books I enjoy reading. I can tell you that this year, I have done a lot more escapist reading. Early in the year we lost both my mother and my mother-in-law (I was very close to both of them) and the entire family seemed to crawl into books to cope with it. So I’ve been plowing through Laurel K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Charlaine Harris (the entire series for each of them), plus recently Revamped by JF Lewis, Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready, and others. I’ve actually made time to read more this year because of the whole stress thing. However, I’m still far behind the books-per-week read by everyone else in the family due to the commitments involved in writing.
SFG: If you could be a supernatural creature, which one would you be?
GAIL: Well, after three kids, I could say that I’m already a “mummy.” However, I’d probably say a ghost, preferably a poltergeist, just so I could keep everyone on their toes.
2009 Days of the Dead Cons,
Tribes and Fantasy
Tribes and Fantasy
I really love going to sci fi conventions. That’s a good thing, because as an author, I attend 12 or more conventions each year. Some of the authors I know attend 30 or more. And I can’t help noticing that not only do I run into many of the same authors from con to con, but I also see a lot of the same readers/fans as well, even at cons separated by several hundred miles and multiple states.
There are few places where I feel as at home as at a convention—any convention. I was a Guest of Honour at this Fall, and I have to say it’s the first con in a while where I didn’t know a lot of people on sight. (I knew quite a few people from email, but that doesn’t help the first time you walk into the bar.) But it only took an hour or so to feel right at home.
Long ago, people defined themselves by their tribe or their village. Now, we move around too much for that. But we’ve developed other ways to find our tribal identity.
I watched a family that was all decked out in their Hokie colors as they moved through the lobby. They huddled together, glancing nervously at the “strange” people all around them who were wearing unusual clothing. Little did they know, we thought they were the ones who dressed funny!
I’m sure when they got to their game, they’d think nothing of people with painted faces or body paint in team colors, wild wigs, big foam #1 hands, and funny hats. It would make them feel at home and remind them that they were with their tribe.
It was funny to see our two “tribes” run into each other. But it also got me thinking about how our interests define who we are, and how that, in turn, defines who we know. Now I’m sure there were some football fans among the DragonCon folks, and maybe even some sci fi fans who turned out for the big game. Our modern tribes often let us have multiple memberships.
I’ve had the chance in my books to approach the idea of tribes with the dividing line of living and undead. Most of our real-world tribes split along less fundamental differences than heartbeat vs. flatline. It’s been interesting for me to think through identity and community from the point of view of my vayash moru (vampires) and vyrkin (shapeshifters) and how immortality could change those perspectives. It’s also always fascinating for me to imagine the outcasts from those tribes, the people who are caught between, or who don’t quite fit.
I’ll admit that I’m partial to the outcast, because I find it much more interesting when someone has to think through their identity (or recreate it after breaking from expectations) than when someone just accepts where they land by accident of birth. So several of my main characters have to decide where their identity lies and to which “tribes” they give their allegiance. Not fitting into one tribe is painful and awkward, but finding your true tribe feels wonderful.
So the next time you’re at a con, look me up! (I’ll be at Philcon Nov. 20 – 22) After all, we’re from the same tribe.
Check out my site at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com, for all the downloads and more Days of the Dead stuff. Also, please find me on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace as well.
Thank you Gail! That is exciting news about the new series and it is good to know we can expect lots more adventure in the Winter Kingdoms. And to the giveaway details to give our readers a chance to win some books and get a taste of this terrific series.
- Leave a comment/question for Gail or tell us which "tribe" you belong to or would like to belong to (the Cleveland Indians doesn't count).
- Open to everyone.
- Remember to leave a way to contact you.
- Blog, tweet, post, etc., about the guest spot and contest for an extra entry.
- Giveaway ends Monday, November 2 at 11:59 PM EST.