Guest Blog from Gail Z Martin in Praise of Halloween

Please welcome Gail Z Martin back to guest on my blog on her Days of the Dead blog tour.
Gail writes…

DaysofDead Banner V1 copyI’ve been informed that the candy-fueled, commercially-costumed, liquor-infused, over-the-top-decorated celebration of October 31 is a primarily American oddity. We tend to have a reputation as a bad influence when it comes to exporting pop culture so I suspect we’ve encouraged unseemly behavior for Halloween elsewhere in the world. I hope so. If not, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Cemeteries, the supernatural, the macabre and ghost stories have fascinated me since I was a little kid. Given that I write about necromancers, cursed objects, dark magic and plenty of ghosts, I guess that’s not a surprise. My favorite TV show when I was a pre-schooler was Dark Shadows, full of vampires, werewolves and witches. I devoured books of regional ghost stories, and made off with my grandmother’s copies of Fate Magazine. When I was around 10 or 12, I would pass the time after school waiting for my mom to pick me up by wandering through a nearby cemetery, making up stories about the departed based on their epitaphs. I poured over books about monsters, myths, legends and the Apocalypse, as well as fun tomes like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.  So I guess I was either going to write epic fantasy or become a serial killer. Good thing I can type.

halloween1All that leads up to saying that I love Halloween. We decorate the house inside and out, and I have a special Halloween sweater I wear to give out candy, I enjoy going through the shops that sell uber-creepy decorations just to have the motion-sensor zombie babies jump out at me. I used to have a blast taking our kids around trick-or-treating or to the amusement park’s scare-fest back when they were of an age to do that. I pick out the Almond Joy, Mallow Cups and Tootsie Roll candy out of the mix bags. Hey, it’s a weakness.

I’m an odd duck, I guess, when it comes to things supernatural. I love dark and suspenseful movies like Woman in Black or anything by Stephen King, but slasher flicks leave me cold (pun intended). I don’t bat an eye about arranging to go on ghost tours in New Orleans or Dublin, Jack the Ripper tours in London, or a tour of the catacombs and ossuaries in Rome. Good times. Want to ramble through a graveyard anywhere in the world for fun? I’m up for it.

When it comes to ‘real supernatural phenomena, I’m oddly circumspect. Let’s just say that I’m enough of a believer to not take foolish chances. So I won’t book a room at a haunted hotel, or handle a supposedly cursed object. When I visit Voodoo shrines or museums in New Orleans, I do not touch, and I show proper respect to the spirits, just in case. I won’t use a Ouija board, although I’m fine with talking with a spirit medium or clairvoyant with whom I’ve established a level of trust. Superstitious? Maybe. I prefer to think of it as being cautious, and being humble enough to realize that there are things out there we don’t fully understand.

halloween4But for Halloweeen? Bring on the scary movie and hand me the popcorn!

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here:  http://bit.ly/2eC2pxP

Let me give a shout-out for #HoldOnToTheLight–100+ Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors blogging about their personal struggles with depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicide and self-harm, candid posts by some of your favorite authors on how mental health issues have impacted their lives and books. Read the stories, share the stories, change a life. Find out more at www.HoldOnToTheLight.com

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Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! All of my guest blog posts have links to free excerpts—grab them all!

No Tricks! An excerpt from Bounty Hunter, one of my Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures http://bit.ly/10rPQ07

Good stuff!  An excerpt from Wicked Dreams, one of my Deadly Curiosities Adventures http://bit.ly/1obkBAb

Check out the Iron & Blood book video! https://youtu.be/MZ_0Zm7OSIY

Use your free @Audible trial to get my books! The Summoner Audible https://amzn.com/B0032COUQS @rebellionpub

Trick Or Treat from John Hartness Quincy Harker series Raising Hell Chp1  http://bit.ly/1MEMFSQ

Treats! Double Dragon Sampler #2 http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/sample/DDPSAMPLE002.mobi

About the Author

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Gail Z. Martin is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Solaris Books); Shadow and Flame the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books); The Shadowed Path (Solaris Books) and Iron and Blood a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin. A brand new epic fantasy series debuts from Solaris Books in 2017.

She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities.  Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, steampunk stories set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Find her at http://www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com, on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and  free excerpts on Wattpad http://wattpad.com/GailZMartin.

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About Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford maintains this blog. She is a writer of science fiction and fantasy (www.jaceybedford.co.uk), the secretary of Milford SF Writers (www.milfordSF.co.uk), a singer (www.artisan-harmony.com) and a music agent booking UK tours and concerts for folk performers (www.jacey-bedford.com). She's also a Home Office / Border Agency licensed sponsor processing UK work permits (Certificate of Sponsorship).
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