The Long, Short and Just Right

By Gail Z. Martin

Since January, I’ve been publishing a new short story on Kindle, Kobo and Nook every month.  Some are in the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series, and some in the Deadly Curiosities Adventures series.

How do the short stories fit with the novels? Will there be an Ice Forged series of short stories?  What’s the connection between the short stories and the anthologies I’ve been in? If there’s a Steampunk short story, is there going to be a book?  Will they ever come out in anthologies or in print? Am I crazy?

Let’s start with the last one first.  Yes, I probably am crazy.  The short stories run about 30 pages a piece, so 12 of them add up to nearly a whole book on its own.  That’s a lot of writing, but fortunately it’s fun and almost counts as recreation.

How do the stories fit with the books?  The Jonmarc Adventures take place more than a decade before Jonmarc meets Tris in The Summoner.  The short stories let you experience events in his past that get mentioned in passing in the books, milestones that made Jonmarc the man he is.  You can think of the stories as a serialized novel, since each story builds on the ones that came before.  I’ve got the equivalent of three books worth of back story, so this series will be running for a while.

The Deadly Curiosities Adventures are part back story, part between-the-books stories for the new urban fantasy novel.  The short stories begin in 1565, where we first meet Sorren, the vampire who becomes the patron behind Trifles & Folly.  So far, we see Sorren and the Alliance at work in 1560s Belgium, in 1780s South Carolina and in modern Charleston.  Don’t rule out stories set in other historical periods as well as more stories, and maybe a novella (hint) in the modern setting.

Will there be an Ice Forged series of short stories?  Probably, but I’m not sure when.  I’d like to revisit the six years Blaine spends in Velant and Edgeland, which gets mentioned but not told in depth in Ice Forged.  Sooner or later, I’ll get around to it.

What’s the connection to the anthologies?  Most anthology contracts require a certain period of exclusivity, after which the story is mine again to do what I please.  That means once the anthology has had its contractual period, I can post those stories as ebooks, which is why some of the stories may look familiar if you’ve read any of the anthologies where I’ve been an author.

I’ll be doing a Steampunk short story and a superhero story.  Does that mean there might be books?  The superhero story may not lend itself to an ongoing series—I’ll have to think about that.  As for the Steampunk, could be!

A lot of people have asked whether I’ll be collecting the short stories into anthologies and or releasing them in print.  Perhaps, but it won’t be any time soon.  I need to write quite a few more stories in both short story series to have enough for a compilation to make sense.  At that point, I’ll see whether a print version makes sense and go from there.  But that’s probably at least a year away.  Why wait when you can get the stories for .99 now!

I also get asked what order to read the short stories in to get them chronologically.  Here you go.

Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures: Raiders’ Curse, Caves of the Dead, Storm Surge, Bounty Hunter, Blood’s Cost, Stormgard

Deadly Curiosities Adventures: Vanities, Wild Hunt, Steer a Pale Course, Among the Shoals Forever, The Low Road, Buttons

Thanks for reading!

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