For the 5th year running – and the 1st since moving to WordPress – I am once again delighted to welcome Gail Z. Martin for a stop on her annual Days of the Dead blog tour. The tour is a great time to catch up on her latest titles, find out what’s coming soon, and get a behind-the-scenes peak at the characters and the series.
But don’t take my word for it, let Gail tell you herself!
Taking Characters in New Directions
By Gail Z. Martin
I’ve watched TV shows and read long series where the plots were engaging, but the characters never changed or grew. No matter how good the stories were, that lack of growth always left me feeling like something was missing.
One of the challenges of writing a series with ongoing characters is deciding how and when and how much characters get to evolve. Sometimes, the answer is clear, since the crux of the story involves self-discovery, change, or redemption. But when the focus is on action, adventure, or mystery, those milestones of personal evolution are harder to fix in time, because they aren’t the main goal.
Still, I think it’s important to show characters moving on with their lives, forging relationships, settling old scores, coming to new perspectives. For me as a reader or viewer, those help to make the character more real, and set up other twists in future stories that arise from the character’s different way of dealing with challenges. I cheer for characters that show new insight and self-awareness, or demonstrate a different level of maturity, even when those gains are tangential to the main plot.
Inheritance is the fourth and newest book in the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series. Cassidy Kincaide can read the history and magic of objects by touching them. She runs Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio store in Charleston, SC which really is a front for an Alliance of mortals and immortals who protect the world from supernatural threats. Over the course of the previous three novels and two (large) collections of short stories and novellas, we see Cassidy and her collection of friends and allies gain more control over and insight into their magic, see those friendships deepen, and see characters learn to trust and depend on one another. And while personal relationships are far less of a focus than the action and magic of the plot, over that time we’ve seen those change and evolve, too.
In Inheritance, several characters have turning points and decisions to make, both major and relatively minor, that affect their future. They’ve been a long time coming, and speak to both character growth and the passage of time. The outcomes of the decisions will have an impact on how the stories will unfold going forward. So both the characters and the author will be affected, because the choices change the status quo.
As an author, this keeps the world and characters from becoming static and predictable. As I reader, I like to see new dimensions to characters as they grow and change. Letting characters evolve also opens new opportunities for storytelling, as they not only grow in terms of their supernatural abilities, fighting prowess, alliances or knowledge, but also in their wisdom, insight, internal strength and perspective. When we see a character be confronted with a challenge similar to something faced in the past, but now evaluated from a different and more mature way of seeing things, it means all bets are off and that we don’t know how new reactions will change the outcome. In other words, growth allows for more exciting stories, and I’m all for that!
My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new guest blog posts, giveaways and more! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour at www.GailZMartin.com
Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Prize Package with a free ebook copy EACH of Tangled Web and Assassin’s Honor http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9751c04224/?
About the Author
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk 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. Newest titles include Inheritance, Vengeance, Convicts and Exiles, and Assassin’s Honor. Together with co-author Larry N. Martin, new books include Spells Salt and Steel: Season One, Night Moves (Spells Salt and Steel #5), Wasteland Marshals and Cauldron: A Joe Mack Shadow Council Archives Adventure. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series.
Find her at www.GailZMartin.com , on Twitter @GailZMartin, on www.Facebook.comWinterKingdoms , at www.DisquietingVisions.com blog, on www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com Never miss out on the news and new releases—newsletter signup link http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj