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Friday, May 12, 2023

Interview: Gama Ray Martinez, author of the Defenders of Lore series

Interview: Gama Ray Martinez, author of the Defenders of Lore series

Gama Ray Martinez author photo

Buy Queens of Wonderland, book two in the Defenders of Lore series here

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Enter through the looking glass into  Queens of Wonderland,  Book Two in the Defenders of Lore series, in which Knights of the Round Vanessa and Michael must follow Captain Hook into Wonderland alongside Alice to crush his treacherous plan  and  deal with an ongoing war between power-hungry queens

After saving reality and overcoming the numerous challenges that Neverland threw at her, Vanessa has been tasked to save Michael Darling from himself: he’s grown obsessed in his role as a Knight of the Round and will stop at nothing to find the ghost of James Hook, nearly getting expelled from the Knights in the process. It’s up to Vanessa to keep him safe, she can’t lose her partner to Hook’s sword. So together it’s off to Wonderland in pursuit of the pirate. Except, unlike Neverland, neither Vanessa nor Michael have ever been there before. But someone they know has: the Lady who leads the Knights…who turns out to be none other than the legendary Alice. Her extensive knowledge about the land could change the game and bring them one step closer to finding Captain Hook…and in a world where games are taken quite seriously—and no less than six queens are vying for power—it will take them putting all their heads together to make it through. Or they just might find them lopped off.

FORMAT/INFO: Queens of Wonderland is the second book in the Defenders of Lore series, and was published by Harper Collins on May 9th, 2023, in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats.


Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and welcome to the Fantasy Book Critic! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and your ongoing series, Defenders of Lore?

I am a writer, obviously, a runner and somewhat of an adventurer. I enjoy reading the classics, which is where Defenders of Lore came from. I read the original Peter Pan and I just felt that there was more of the story left to tell.

god of neverland by gama ray martinezqueens of wonderland by gama ray martinez

Covers of the books in the Defenders of Lore series

If you had to summarise the premise of your upcoming book QUEENS OF WONDERLAND in five words or less (no spoilers please!), what would you say? 

Captain Hook fled into Wonderland.

In the same vein, what three adjectives would you choose to describe your series to the uninitiated?

Fun, Fast-paced, quirky

Before the Defenders of Lore, you have worked on Goblin Star, Nylean Chronicles, and Pharim War. How have you treated this series differently, and what are common elements of them all?

The main difference between any indie project and traditionally published book the amount of input other people get. Additionally, I had a fairly good idea where other series were going to end, but this one allows me to be much more open with where I’m going. As for commonalities, I love bringing in different mythologies, and that’s something you’ll generally see, in one form or another, in all of my books.

You write epic fantasy about dragons, magic, and adventure. What inspired your foray into the genre? Epic fantasy is bigger than ever. What do you think keeps it going, and getting bigger?

I’ve always loved magic, so when I started writing, that was a natural place to go. I think it keeps getting bigger because people are increasingly looking for a way to escape. People don’t want to see something that reminds them of the world they are trying to get away from for a little while, so it’s natural that epic fantasy is a place they look.

Speaking of inspirations, who were your favourite writers growing up, and how have they influenced your process? What of their work do you think readers will find on the pages of your latest book, QUEENS OF WONDERLAND?

Growing up, I loved Bruce Coville’s Magic Shop books. I read Jeremey Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher so many times the cover fell off. What readers will find is the main characters. discovering that the world is even stranger and more amazing than they had imagined. While they are familiar with the supernatural, Wonderland takes everything to a whole new level.

Peter Pan is one of my favourite classic stories. When was the first time you read it, your favourite part of the book, and how has the way you look at it changed, over the years?

What I loved about it was Peter’s almost casual cockiness. It made me laugh so often. There are much darker aspects the story that I’ve found as I read it over and over again. Think about it. Peter is essentially kidnapping children.

Given a choice, would you like to accompany Peter into Neverland? If yes, what changes would you make to the place, and if no, what would have to happen to get you to go there?

I definitely would. I would have loved to go there as a kid. As for what I would have changed,
well it may be a little cliché, but…dragons.

Thank you for answering all these questions! If there is one thing you’d like our readers to take away from this interview, what would it be?

Adventure is out there for you to find. Adventure for your mind, which you can get in reading, is just as real and just as thrilling.



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