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Monday, June 24, 2024

Fantasy Author Gail Z. Martin: It’s a Wrap—Writing the Final Book in a Series

It’s a Wrap—Writing the Final Book in a Series
By Gail Z. Martin

As a reader, I love series. When I find characters and a world that I really love, I want to pitch a tent, move in, and stay for a long time. I’ve always loved immersive fictional worlds and characters with sufficient depth that you learn new things about them and see new angles as you get to know them better.

So it made sense that as an author, I wanted to create those detailed worlds and characters so I could share that kind of experience with readers. I knew that, as a reader, finishing a series left me with ‘book drop’, a sense of loss and emptiness, missing and even grieving fictional characters. I hadn’t realized that the same would be true, even more so, as an author.

I’ve wrapped up two fantasy series recently, Darkhurst and Assassins of Landria. On one level, they couldn’t be more different. Darkhurst is dark and gritty. Assassins of Landria is epic fantasy bromance, Butch and Sundance as medieval assassins. I loved writing both series, and the characters will always live in my mind.

The Darkhurst trilogy is the story of the Valmonde brothers, undertakers who become tangled up in much bigger issues when monsters start killing their family and friends. Once they begin fighting the monsters, they realize that the stakes are higher, the lies bigger, and the reality much darker than they ever imagined. While Darkhurst is a bit darker than my other series, there is always hope and the bonds of family and friendship are strong enough to overcome all obstacles. Although I don’t have plans at the moment for anything else in this universe, I never say never!

The Assassins of Landria is different from my other epic fantasy series in that the books are shorter (about 250 pages), fewer point-of-view characters (two instead of four or five) and a little more humorous. I have had so many people come up to my table at conventions and heft one of my doorstopper books in hand and tell me that they used to love to read epic fantasy but no longer have the time.

So I wrote Assassins to be a little shorter and funnier than my regular epics, but with all the feels and worldbuilding of the longer books. It’s buddy-flick epic fantasy. Orphan best friends Ridge and Rett rise through the ranks of the army to become the most feared assassins in the land, tasked with protecting the king. But when a wandering mystic foments treason among the aristocrats, Ridge and Rett go rogue to save the kingdom—and find themselves on the most-wanted list!

Over their six-book series, Ridge and Rett stop the bad guys, protect Landria, and redeem their reputation, with a lot of humor and swashbuckling adventure along the way. There will be four more series-adjacent books set in the same world as prequels that tell the stories of two important pairs of allies. The books will be released under my Morgan Brice pen name.

I love my characters even as I put them through all sorts of anguish on their path to triumph. Now that these series are finished, I have plenty more tales to tell and worlds to build that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Be sure to watch for my new books coming soon in the Deadly Curiosities and Night Vigil worlds, as well as the Joe Mack Chronicles, Wasteland Marshals, and Spells, Salt and Steel series that I co-write with Larry N. Martin!

And please check out the newly updated Chronicles of the Necromancer books (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) now in trade paperback and hard cover (for the first time!) as well as ebook and audiobook. Two different limited-edition seventeenth anniversary editions with new cover art are available only on our Square store.

The Darkhurst Series

Assassins of Landria Series

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Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, steampunk and more for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria.

Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series, the Roaring Twenties monster hunter Joe Mack Shadow Council series, and the Wasteland Marshals near-future post-apocalyptic series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with the Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series. Gail is also a con-runner for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends.

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