The art of writing fiction does not lend itself to collaboration. It is hard for two people to write in the same voice and share the same vision for the unfolding of a story. Every once in a long while, however, two fiction writers are so in synch with each other that they are able to create stories together. Such is the case with Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin. This married couple collaborates on every aspect of fiction writing, from constructing initial plotlines and envisioning central characters all the way down to revising individual sentences.
Known for their fantasy adventures novels, Gail and Larry are among Charlotte’s most prolific writers. Together or separately, they have published in the neighborhood of fifty books. Both Gail and Larry have written successful novels on their own. Gail Martin’s first big success came in 2007 with the publication of the epic fantasy novel The Summoner, the first of the four novels in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series. She then went on to write many more fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories. Larry is the author of Salvage Rat, a science fiction novel published in 2018 as well as other works. Together, however, they have written dozens of fantasy books, including the recently released Wasteland Marshals: Volume One, a collection of four related novellas set in a post-apocalyptic world.
I recently contacted Gail and asked her for more information about her collaborative writing with Larry. Here is what she sent to me:
Larry N. Martin and I are a married writing team. I have been writing all my life and Larry has always been a very important behind-the-scenes part of the writing process since before my first book, The Summoner, was published in 2007. We’ve been “officially” co-authoring series since Iron & Blood in 2015. He took on a full-time role in 2011 when he left his corporate job, and since then writing and publishing is the Martin family business. We now have four series under the Gail Z. Martin/Larry N. Martin flag.
Regardless of the name on the cover, the process is the same for all the books. I usually do the first draft, and then send it to him for revisions, questions, ideas, and refinement. We trade the manuscript back and forth until it’s in the final format (which can be a dozen or more revisions) and then on our self-published books he handles the formatting while I contract the editing and cover art, and handle the marketing/advertising. Since we average publishing a book a month among the differing cover names (Gail Z. Martin/Morgan Brice/Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin), that keeps us pretty busy! We have 12 active series that span epic and urban fantasy, steampunk, post-apocalyptic adventure, portal fantasy, space opera, and MM paranormal romance.
The Wasteland Marshals series is “Boondock Saints meets The Walking Dead” with a dash of Supernatural (only oddly enough, a bit more hopeful). It’s an action-packed near-future post-apocalyptic thriller full of grim ghosts, legendary creatures, shifters and elemental spirits, brave survivors, loyal friends, and found family.
Shane Collins and Lucas Maddox are the last two US Marshals after a global cataclysm that destroyed most of modern civilization. They’re still on the job, fighting the good fight, although they’re no longer fully human and maybe not entirely sane. Their territory is primarily Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. The books frequently happen in places where Larry and I grew up, so it’s fun to work in those familiar spots with a whole new twist.
Wasteland Marshals: Volume One came out on February 1 and includes the first four novellas: Wasteland Marshals, Witch of the Woods, Ghost of the Past, and Shutdown Crew. Each of those novellas was originally published individually in ebook and paperback. The omnibus is available in ebook, paperback, hardcover, and–hopefully in the near future–audiobook, from Falstaff Books. We have a new contract with Falstaff for two longer books in the Wasteland Marshals series in 2022-2023.
For readers who want to know more about Gail and Larry and their various books, please click on the following link: https://ascendantkingdoms.com/ For a guided tour of the places used in the Wasteland Marshals series, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/ni-4uvsOuIU Larry talked about the Wasteland Marshals series on a panel discussion as part of the ConTinual online convention. To hear his comments, click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/1340269512/videos/419561259954889/
The collaborative work of Gail and Larry Martin is one of the reasons why Storied Charlotte is known as a center for fantasy and science fiction writing.