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

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 ( 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 (

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    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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