The past bites: what has Deadly Curiosities author Gail Z. Martin been up to?

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin is one of our big release this summer - a dark urban fantasy with a dark of magic and a smidgeon of the arcane. Gail is one of our bestsellers at Solaris and it's a delight to welcome her back to the fold...

Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up

So that's Deadly Curiosities, but what has Gail been up to?

Last week she appeared over on Reddit for an AMA where she answered, well, anything - including a question about why we appear to be obsessed with the undead...
I've read a bunch of theories ... everything from being a reaction to an economic recession to a way of dealing with global uncertainty and rapid culture change. Maybe. I don't know. 
I have liked vampires since I was about 5 years old and watched the old Dark Shadows soap opera back in the early 1960s. (Not sure why my mom let me, but hey, it shaped my life!) I was totally hooked. I even dictated a story for my grandmother to write down (I couldn't spell yet) about a vampire. I playacted vampires (seriously--some kids made a race car out of a big cardboard box. I made a coffin and then practiced sitting up with great style.) 
I wouldn't say that I'm any more concerned about death/dying/afterlife than anyone else. I have my beliefs, but I'm not in a hurry to test them out. I didn't have any really early childhood trauma of losing someone. I just always thought that ghosts, vampires, werewolves and magic were super cool, and that's what I liked to read/watch so it's what I wanted to write. But you're right--the undead certainly do show up in my writing!

She's written a blog post for SFX magazine about how the book was written in the wake of her father's death and features a great passion for the past, as well as a love of its setting - the American city of Charleston (our PR guy and history nerd, Mike, just got all excited because Charleston was founded in 1670 as 'Charles Towne' in honour of King Charles II).

She also talked to Bull Spec about her use of language and how even fitting words can lift a reader right out of the story:
There are a couple of etymology web sites that have become bookmarks on my computer because I am frequently checking to see when a word or phrase was first used, and how it was used. For example, people have been puking since the Middle Ages, but they didn’t barf until recently. And while they have been pissing for hundreds of years, it’s only in the last few decades that anyone has been pissed off.

She's also talked about how writing Deadly Curiosities as a novel has whetted her appetite for further adventures in the same world and what it's like jumping between genres in her writing.

The reviews have already started to trickle in too over on Goodreads and Bibliophile's Diary gave it a five out of five, adding:
No spoilers guys, but I really enjoyed the plot and how the story turned out. Along with the great setting the magic is fascinating. There are magics we’ve all heard of, such as Cassidy’s ability to read objects she touched, but then there were ones I was unfamiliar with such as Weaver magic and the system created for it. Can we also talk about the Voudon (Voodoo) in the novel? I have such a love for that particular character, Lucinda, you wouldn’t believe. I really wanted more about that side of the world, I’m hoping we see more about the Voudon or local magic in future books.

Deadly Curiosities is out in print and ebook for North America on 25th June and in print and ebook for the UK and Ireland on 3rd July.

But if you can't wait, Gail is offering an online multi-part novella FOR FREE that's set in the same universe. The Final Death is a prequel to Deadly Curiosities and here's the blurb:

Vampires, vengeful ghosts and Voodoo are all in a day's work for Cassidy Kincaide, owner of Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio store in historic, haunted Charleston, SC whose real mission is to get dangerous magical objects off the market and out of the wrong hands. When developers disturb old graves, Cassidy and her team land in the middle of big trouble as the restless dead return to finish old business and feast on the blood of the living. A novella in 5 parts--watch for new additions!

You can read The Final Death right here - enjoy!

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