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On the Road with The Sworn: A Writer on the Move (Part I)

January saw me at two conventions, Arisia in Boston and Chattacon in Chattanooga, TN.  Both were first-time cons for me, and I really had a great time at both of them.  Arisia is big and jam-packed with panels.  Despite the fact that the con was in a brand new hotel, everything ran very smoothly.  I met some fun people, including Guest of Honor Kelly Armstrong (who will be a guest on an upcoming segment of my Ghost in the Machine podcast later this spring).  Kelly and I were on several vampire panels, and I somehow ended up on several urban fantasy panels. (I figure that since my books take place in city settings, they’re just medieval urban fantasy, right?)

Arisia also had me on several awesome myth, fantasy and religion-in-fantasy panels that were loud, noisy and fun.  I love it when the audience is well-versed in a subject and passionate in their beliefs, and when they actually participate instead of watching the panel do silly author tricks.  Arisia also had a very nice anime track and some interesting choices for the film track.  The vendor room/art show was pretty awesome, as was the extra floor of suites with additional vendors offering predominantly steampunk outfits and accessories.

Chattacon was smaller but also amazingly friendly.  It’s held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel, a converted Victorian railway station, and it looks like the kind of place where steampunk is totally at home.  In fact, there was a big turnout of steampunk costumes, including an organ grinder with a darling “monkey”.  (Gee, I never made my kids dress like a monkey.  But she was cute!)

Chattacon does a great job with gaming and its con suite, as well as the ops/green room for guests.  The vendor room was very friendly also.  I had the opportunity to meet Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (another upcoming Ghost in the Machine guest) and K.K. Rusch (ditto), as well as to get some quality chat time with Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf and my good friend (and Artist Guest of Honor) Ruth Thompson.  Another friend, J.F. Lewis, showed up, and joined in the conversation.

My next con will be Lunacon in Rye Brook, NY March 18 – 21.  Lunacon has a long and storied history, as this will be it’s 54th convention.  It’s known for its mindbendingly difficult to navigate hotel (dubbed the Escher), as well as its diligent lineup of great panels and a fantastic vendor room.  I’m thrilled to be going back!

I’m spending every weekend in February in bookstores with the launch of The Sworn.  Signings are fun because I get to reconnect with long-time readers as well as getting the chance to introduce new readers to the books.  I’ve gotten to know many readers who have been showing up to my signings since the beginning, and it’s great to see them again and hear their news.  I always get into some fun conversations with readers and with the bookstore staff, who know everything about everything!

If you’ve been to one of my signings, you know my style is to greet everyone who comes into the store, offer a free bookmark, and engage them with the new book.  Most people think it’s pretty cool to have an author in the store, or at least they’re polite enough to let me finish my greeting before telling me that fantasy isn’t there thing, which is OK, too.  When I mention the words “fantasy adventure” I can tell pretty quickly whether someone is interested or not by whether their pupils dilate or contract.  Well, that and the few people who have made a cross with their fingers and backed away, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Longtime readers, take note—I will not be at the Arizona Renaissance Festival this year due to a calendar mix-up. (Likewise, a prior commitment forced me to cancel my appearance at StellarCon and I was unable to appear at SheVaCon.)  Normally both the Arizona Ren Fest and StellarCon are part of my March line-up, but this year it didn’t work out.  I’ve already scheduled a 2012 date for Arizona, and I’m hoping the programming gods will invite me back next year for StellarCon and SheVaCon.

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.  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.

Catch my new interview on #BroadPod about fear and faith: Broad Pod
Click this link http://broadpod.posterous.com/rss.xml

Coming in March—a BroadPod reading from The Sworn on women warriors.

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.

  • Feb. 19 – Books A Million, Concord Mills
  • Feb. 26 – Barnes & Noble, Birkdale Village (Huntersville NC)
  • Mar. 25  – Park Road Books, Charlotte NC
  • 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

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 (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).

In February our blog guests include:  Novelist James Maxey on Your Book Would Make a Great Movie! (And Why I Know It Wouldn’t), podcaster and Escape Pod editor Mur Lafferty on The Birth of Ideas, author Jeffrey Thomas on Creating A Healthy Future. Don’t forget to check out the Freebie Fridays for excerpts and other downloadable giveaways.

For February, my Disquieting Visions topics are: Vampire Trends, Wither the Werewof?, Which Witch is Which, and Give Me That (Really) Olde Tyme Religion

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 Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms.    I do a monthly Q&A and love to get comments and questions.

This month’s topics include: What’s new after The Sworn?;What I love about fandom; Why I think conventions rock; and more.  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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The Sworn is in bookstores and online Feb. 1!

The Sworn: Book One in The Fallen Kings Cycle is in stores and online February 1!  Keep an eye out also for the ebook and audio editions.

For those who have never read my books, The Sworn is an entry point into my world of the Winter Kingdoms.  You don’t have to read the Chronicles books to be able to jump right into the action (but of course I hope you will).  For those who have followed Tris, Jonmarc and the gang from the beginning, The Sworn is the next phase of the adventure, picking up six months after the end of Dark Lady’s Chosen with all new dangers and aventures.

Here’s the blurb from the cover:

As plague and famine scourge the winter kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods.

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living – and the dead –- as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.

Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber

beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it’s the latter, could even the Summoner-King’s sorcery prevail?

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).

Jan. 21-23 – Chattacon, Chattanooga, TN

Feb. 5 – Barnes & Noble, Pineville NC—The Sworn will be out!

Feb. 12 – Barnes & Noble, Morrocroft (South Charlotte)

Feb. 19 – Books A Million, Concord Mills

Feb. 26 – Barnes & Noble, Birkdale Village (Huntersville NC)

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

Con updates!

I was a panelist at Arisia in Boston for the first time Jan. 14 – 16, and had a wonderful con!  I was on 10 panels, so I got to meet a lot of other writers as well as some fantastic readers, and of course, to see old friends.  Several of my panels focused on myth and folklore in fantasy, and we had a very lively crowd!  Other panels touched on religion in SF/F, Vampires in Urban and Epic Fantasy, and tips to help authors use social media to reach readers more effectively.  Although one of my panels conflicted with the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, I was with the BU folks in spirit, and hope to be on one of their RFRs again soon.

Chattacon in Chattanooga, TN is another first for me.  I’m always excited when I get to go to a new convention and meet readers from a different area of the country.  Some of my panels include topics with dragons and multi-book series. A good friend of mine, artist Ruth Thompson, was guest of honor.  Now Ruth and I have known each other for several years from the Renaissance Festival circuit, and I have her fabulous paintings all over my house.  It’s always fun to be at an event with Ruth!

Longtime readers, take note—I will not be at the Arizona Renaissance Festival this year due to a calendar mix-up. (I was invited but we couldn’t get the dates to work out.)  However, we’re making plans now for 2012 with the intent for me to return, so stay tuned!

Likewise, a prior commitment forced me to cancel my appearance at StellarCon.  It’s going to be better than ever this year and I’m really sorry about having to miss.  Hopefully next year!

Ghost in the Machine Podcast

I host a podcast called The Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast (www.GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com) where I introduce my listeners to all of the cool people I meet traveling around to conventions and Renaissance Festivals.  Two audio interviews air each month (they’re about 15 minutes long).  Authors, artists, publishing pros and other interesting folks show up on the podcast, so please check it out!

In January/February, guests include: Juliet McKenna (Irons in the Fire) on the concept of  legacy in epic fantasy and author Karina Sumner-Smith about the continuing importance of short fiction in a writer’s career.  February guests are Laura Anne Gilman (the Retrievers series) and Juliet Blackwell (Secondhand Spirits: A Witchcraft Mystery).

Podcast guests are also invited to post a guest blog on my Disquieting Visions group blog (http://DisquietingVisions.wordpress.com).  Disquieting Visions is co-hosted by J.F. Lewis (Staked, Revamped, Crossed), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal romance), Tina McSwain (Charlotte Area Paranormal Society) and me.  We’ll also be inviting our friends to guest blog, so you’ll see some of the top names in epic and urban fantasy, paranormal romance and mystery, as well as psychics, clairvoyant mediums, and paranormal researchers.  Check it out!

OK, That Covers It For Now

I’m now writing two books a year (I just turned in The Dread, Book Two in The Fallen Kings Cycle), and I’m working on a whole new series for 2012, The Ascendant Kingdoms.  I do plan to return to the world of Tris and Jonmarc and the gang with more adventures after The Dread, but the plot line takes a several year break until the next big adventure, so it seemed to be a good time to let those characters rest (they’ve been through a lot) and launch a new world.  Details to come, but suffice to say that The Ascendant Kingdoms books will be a whole new world, all new characters and lots more magic and adventures.  (And yeah, there will still be ghosts and vampires and shapeshifters.)  Details to come!

Amid all of that, I will do my best to blog when I have something to say.  And to answer questions.  So keep the comments coming!

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The 2010 Days of the Dead Blog Tour is Back with All-New Extras!

What’s new this year—because it’s bigger and better than ever before!  I’m celebrating Halloween, Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve and Dia De Los Muertos—what a great week for dark fantasy fiction!  Plus, it’s time for another sneak peek at The Sworn, which will be in stores Jan. 25

  • New interviews—including a look ahead at The Fallen Kings Cycle
  • Digital Trick-or-Treat—download a new excerpt from The Sworn, a brand-new reading from The Sworn, and excerpts from 13 of my author friends, spread out across the partner sites!
  • Contests to win a signed advance copy of The Sworn
  • Contests to win a signed copy of Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen plus a Midnight Syndicate CD
  • Limited Time and Quantity!  Order a signed copy of Dark Haven or Dark Lady’s Chosen at http://www.chroniclesofthenecromancer.com/daysofthedead.html
  • Guest Blog post: SciFiGuy.cahttp://www.scifiguy.ca/ and Double Dragon excerpt (10/27)
  • Guest blog post: Orbit Books – http://www.orbitbooks.net/(two blog posts) (10/26)
  • Guest blog post: When Gravity Fails – http://solaris-editors-blog.blogspot.com/ and Solaris excerpt (10/28)
  • Register to win a free autographed advance copy of The Sworn—contest at www.Bookgasm.com
  • 13 Free chapter samples from Double Dragon, Orbit and Solaris Books authors, spread out on my partner sites so you can trick-or-treat.  http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/
  • Brand new print excerpt from The Sworn at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist and a drawing to win a free autographed advance copy of The Sworn!  http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2009/11/excerpt-from-gail-z-martins-dark-ladys.html
  • Pre-order link for The Sworn with NEW bonus goodies: www.TheWinterKingdoms.com and three Solaris excerpts
  • Brand new Q&A: www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com/DaysOfTheDead.html
  • Totally new reading from The Sworn on The Broad Pod!
  • Book and CD giveaway from Midnight Syndicate at www.MidnightSyndicate.com
  • New reading from The Sworn at www.GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com
  • Daily Q&A and Trivia questions on Twitter @GailZMartin, Facebook at The Winter Kingdoms, the Gail Martin on MySpace, and my pages on Shelfari and BookMarketing.ning
  • Downloadable free excerpts from these 13 great books as well as The Sworn—my Trick or Treat goodies spread out on partner pages:
    • The Sworn—Chapter 1 on OrbitBooks.net.  Chapters 2 and 3 at www.fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com. Reading from Chapter 1 at ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com and Reading from Chapter 4 on The BroadPod
    • Corvus by Paul Kearney (Trick-or-Treat goody#1 at SolarisBooks.com)
    • Irons in the Fire by Juliet McKenna (Trick-or-Treat goody#2 on my newsletter/blog on ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com and MySpace)
    • The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells (Trick-or-Treat goody#3 at SciFiGuy.ca)
    • Virtual Thought Stream by Lee Gimenez (Trick-or-Treat goody#4 at The Winter Kingdoms on Facebook)
    • Manchester House by Donald Allen Kirch (Trick-or-Treat goody#5 at The Winter Kingdoms on Facebook)
    • The Stanton Curse by Anita M. Whiting (Trick-or-Treat goody#6 on my author page at Shelfari.com)
    • Axes of Evil by Michael A. Ventrella (Trick-or-Treat goody#7 on GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com )
    • SilverMoon by J. Richard Jacobs (Trick-or-Treat goody#8 on Twitter @ GailZMartin)
    • Vampires Inc. by Rick Taubold & Chris R. Hosey (Trick-or-Treat goody#9 on my author page at BookMarketing.ning)
    • The Laughing Hounds by C.R. Daems (Trick-or-Treat goody#10 on Twitter @ GailZMartin)
    • Soul Poacher by James Scott DeLane (Trick-or-Treat goody#11 on Twitter @ GailZMartin)
    • Romanticism Lost by Jon Hartless (Trick-or-Treat goody#12 on Twitter @ GailZMartin)
    • And chapters from The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven and Dark Lady’s Chosen! (Trick-or-Treat goodies #13, #14, #15 and #16 at ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com and on Facebook and Twitter)
    • Plus The Spirit Thief by Rachael Aaron (Trick-or-Treat #17 at OrbitBooks.net)\
  • Bonus thank-you goodies when you pre-order The Sworn! Pre-order The Sworn on www.TheWinterKingdoms.com and get downloadable excerpts from these authors:
    • Bloodring by Faith Hunter
    • Mad Kestral by Misty Massey
    • With Nine You get Vanyr by Jean Marie Ward and Teri Smith
    • Cherry Red Rocket Ship by James Maxey
    • The Reawakened by Jeri Smith-Ready
    • Staked by Jeremy Lewis
    • Stormed Fortress by Janny Wurts
    • The Sorcerers’ Plague by David B. Coe
    • Corvus by Paul Kearney
    • The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells
    • Irons in the Fire by Juliet McKenna

Please check out all the goodies!
Here’s where to find the good stuff–the fun starts on Monday, 10/25!

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