Gail Z. Martin, author of The Fallen Kings Cycle series (The Sworn and The Dread) and a friend of Magical Words from way back, agreed to visit us today to unveil her sneak peek of Ice Forged, Book One in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, coming from Orbit Books in 2013. Gail’s giving everyone a first look at the cover art for Ice Forged, as well as book excerpts, author Q&A and more as part of her Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event. She’s got exclusive goodies spread out across more than a dozen partner sites, and you can find out about it all on Gail’s site, www.AscendantKingdoms.com. Welcome back to MW, Gail!
Q: You’ve got a new series launching in January, with Ice Forged, and you’re doing an online sneak peek event you call the Hawthorn Moon Event. What led you to create a new series on the heels of your successful Fallen Kings Cycle?
A: As much as I loved the world of the Winter Kingdoms, which was the setting for my Chronicles of the Necromancer series from Solaris Books and my Fallen Kings Cycle from Orbit Books, it was time to do something different. Orbit wanted a new series that was unique to their imprint, and the timeline of exciting events had reached a natural break point in my world of the Winter Kingdoms. I had the idea for a completely different series, one that explores the ‘what if’ involved in some of the catastrophes that were narrowly evaded in my first books. What if …. A society as dependent upon magic as we are upon technology were to have its magic fail catastrophically in a devastating war? What if… the only one who might be able to restore the magic is a disgraced, exiled lord serving out his life sentence on a frozen and far-away prison colony? What if… powerful immortal interests had reasons to want the magic to remain permanently out of reach? What if…your sense of honor would not let you rest until you had risked everything to restore the magic, even if it meant returning to the remnants of the kingdom that once stripped from you everything you had? Those ‘what if’ questions are the ones that motivate me to write, because they’re the ones that get inside my head and won’t go away until I answer them. I also begin with a character. In this case, it’s Blaine McFadden, who gives up his title, lands and freedom to save his sister, and is exiled to a corrupt prison colony at the top of the world, a place from which no one returns. He’s a little older than my previous main character, and he’s found his breaking point and gone past it, so he’s less idealistic. I’m having a lot of fun exploring his reactions, as well as those of the core group of characters who are central to the plot.
Q: What’s your Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event all about?
A: I started doing it back in 2007, and it’s become something my readers have come to expect. The solstice (aka the Hawthorn Moon) was an important event in my first book, The Summoner, and the name and timing just stuck. It’s my online unveiling of the cover art for the new book, along with excerpts, interviews, all-new guest blog posts and lots of fun stuff spread out over a dozen or so sites. To find out all the goodies and all the partner sites, please visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com.
Q: Can you give us a hint about what to expect in Ice Forged?
A: Here’s the story in a nutshell: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists. Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead.
Ice Forged, Book One in Gail’s brand new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, will be available in stores and online world-wide in January 2013. In addition to Ice Forged: Book One of the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, Gail Z. Martin is the author of The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven and Dark Lady’s Chosen ) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle from Orbit Books (Book One: The Sworn and Book Two: The Dread). For book updates, tour information and contact details, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com
Gail is the host of the Ghost in the Machine Fantasy Podcast , and you can find her on Facebook, GoodReads, BookMarketing.ning, Shelfari and Twitter @GailZMartin. She blogs at www.DisquietingVisions.com. Gail’s short fiction has been featured in four anthologies: Rum and Runestones and Spells and Swashbucklers from Dragon Moon Press, The Bitten Word from New Con Press (UK) and the upcoming Women’s Mammoth Book of Ghost Stores (UK). You can find Gail’s books in bookstores worldwide, as well as on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Indigo.ca, Waterstones.com and everywhere books are sold.