Author: Martin Gibbs
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fantasy/Romance (A Dark Love Story)
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 27 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Tag Line: Love is a pale road, for Death waits at the end.
Is love blind, or a beast of convenience?
Bailey, a simple farmer, has been tasked by a dead man to murder a dangerous warlock. While he follows the guidance of this otherworldly companion, Bailey finds himself alone in a scary new world.
Only a few days into the journey, he falls in love with a stranger, which upsets the best-laid plans of the deceased. And Abigail appears to have dark plans of her own: How soon will she turn the tables upon the seemingly-innocent farm boy?
The dead man should have known that trusting the living would be a losing proposition.
Love is a pale road, for Death waits at the end.
“Safe? Safe? In this tunnel of Hell? Yeah, Bailey, I really don’t think so.” But she didn’t look back again. She looked at me, then ahead.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that I’m going back. To Hell with whatever else is back there; I’ll take my chances.” She didn’t move.
No, she couldn’t leave. “Abby, I will keep you safe.”
Let her go Bailey. Let her go back. This is too dangerous for her.
“I can’t let her go! I like her, Lyn. She’s the only girl who has ever been nice to me.”
It’s a dangerous—
“Stop it!” she hissed. “Both of you. Whatever he’s saying, I can see on your face, Bailey. I—I’m very sorry. I had thought maybe this would be some sort of adventure, and I could forget…” she wiped something from her eye. “That we would go together, keep each other safe, and warm, and you’d get to help Lyn save his son.”
“We can still do that.”
“I’m afraid that won’t work out, Bailey. Demonic bats? Warlocks? The Great Temple itself under attack? My Gods Bailey, do you even realize how mixed-up all of this is? Leave the heavy work to those who can do it! Not a young farmer!”
She said a lot more, but I don’t remember all of it. But I think she was talking about duty. And who should do the duty. Fa said that you must always put others first and take care of them. I told her that. That was why Fa was going to the Great Temple.
“Yeah, but your fa left you in charge, didn’t he? He may be brave, the bravest man in the whole world, Bailey, but—”
“He is,” I said. She was starting to make me angry.
“Fine, maybe he is. Great. Then let him do this! I’m going back, so you can come back too.”
She didn’t understand. Nobody did. Fa said that it was always their own fault if they did not understand. How could I make her understand? Lyn wanted her to go back, too; he didn’t like her—why?—and I had to tell her to keep going.
“Gods, Bailey.” She tugged at her hair. “Gods! I just—” Abby breathed loudly out her nose. Like Ugly Nose. “Don’t you get it? I don’t want to die, Bailey. I don’t. Want. To. Die!”
“You will not die with me.”
For the love of—
“You cannot die with me. I won’t let it happen.”
She smiled then, and I thought for sure she would stay. Her warm hand touched my face and I smiled back. “So sweet,” she said, still smiling, but her voice did not sound sweet. “So sweet, delusional, and crazy. Gods love ya Bailey… see you later.”
Places to find: Love's Pale Road
How did you start your writing career?
On the first day of class, my freshman high school English teacher gave our class a challenge: The first person to get published in a magazine or journal would receive an A for the quarter. I started writing poetry like a madman; it was rather quickly that I heard back from Chimera Children’s Magazine. They had agreed to publish my piece, “Don’t Patronize Me.” Mr. Poss was impressed, for he wanted to impress upon us the reality that a writer’s desk contains more rejection letters than their own material. He wasn’t wrong—it would be twenty years before a “real” publisher took any of my work!
Yet I keep writing. And reading.
Tell us about a favorite character from your book.
Bailey in Love’s Pale Road visits me from time to time. I see his innocent face, and the guitar slung across his back; he sees me but he’s talking to someone else. He’s talking to my father, who passed away several years ago: He’s talking to him, but I only get to see Bailey’s side of the conversation. Then the guitar becomes a sword—
Ah, but that would give away too much… I wonder sometimes what dreams Stephen King has. I read The Shining years ago, but still can see the Overlook hotel; I can feel the horror within; the absolute isolation.
Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Right now I don’t need to travel.
Tell us about your current release.
Love’s Pale Road is a dark love story set in a fantasy world. It has a sort-of happy ending, but things look a little bleak right up until the end.
Bailey, the main character, is slow but not stupid. He's never experienced love or the pleasures of flesh, and so when Abby talks to him, he dives right in. The problem is that Bailey is too trusting when it comes to other people; why would a young woman be hiding in a dark tunnel that is off-limits to most of society?
We are never sure of the woman's past. The story is told from the POV of the simple-minded farmer; he falls for her so swiftly--and she for him--that we're not sure about her motives until the end. She's always suspect and he's supposedly innocent.
Is love ever functional? It's often a beast of convenience, as this "love" is. They are forced together as Bailey follows along on the quest he's been given. Yes, they do love each other (well, there are doubts about whether she's just with him in order to run away from murdering her father).
It's fairly dark and perhaps a little melancholy. Bailey is lovable and sincere at the start, and there's something about Abigail that isn't quite right, or so it seems. Throughout there is a sense of: When will she drop him? When will she stab him in the back, literally?
My next book is historical fiction: A story about the three wise men and their journey to Bethlehem. It is being released this winter by Ellechor Publishing; right now I’m working through the edits.
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
I look at many successful, talented authors for inspiration. I also look at the past: writers like Proust, who basically killed themselves to finish their life’s work. Proust may be an extreme example, but he stuck to his guns and wrote his novel the way he wanted it. His fame came after death, true, but isn’t it far more important to stay true to yourself, versus selling out?
Who is your favorite author?
Modern: Stephen King/Zane Grey; Classic: Alexandre Dumas/Marcel Proust
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
I have too many ideas and not enough time! If I could do this as my “real” job I think I would get a lot more accomplished; as it is, I find that there are a lot of irons in the fire. When a book comes due for edits/revisions, I sort of go into panic mode because I don’t have time to write new stuff. That’s where the thrill is, in the new and shiny!
And I write stories under a pseudonym—these are bizarre fiction... by far the most enjoyable to write, but ones with the tiniest of markets.
Where do you research for your books?
I still use the old library, especially for my historical fiction. The Internet is great, but there’s something to be said about surrounding oneself with stacks of old books.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Well, a lot of this story actually comes from my first fantasy book, The Spaces Between: a Novel, but the names are changed and the outcome is totally different. That one starts a trilogy, while this one ends cleanly. That book had gone through a ton of revisions and changes based on reader feedback.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
I didn’t realize I had so many ideas. Sometimes there are too many, even within a single novel, that I have to save stuff for other stories. I can see how easily Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, etc. got so carried away on their books: it’s very easy to go way off.
How do you describe your writing style?
I try to find a balance between flowing prose and verbosity. While I love long books, I’m fairly new with a lower readership, so right now I have to make things go fast and yet still tell the story. I’ve become better at letting the scene, or dialogue, or character reactions, tell more than a ton of words. I love Zane Grey’s landscape descriptions, but when I tried it in my first fantasy novel, the editor told me to cut it out: Save that for later.
Martin Gibbs lives in the snow-covered paradise of Minnesota, where he writes novels, short stories, and poetry. By day he is an IT professional, though his passion for writing has led him down an intricate network of exciting roads.
Gibbs is an avid reader. He favors the classics: Dumas, Dickens, Tolstoy, Proust, Lovecraft; as well as Stephen King, Robert Jordan, George RR Martin.
He enjoys cross-country skiing, biking, and burning béarnaise sauce. He has two very active boys who share his wild imagination, and a wonderful wife who supports all the craziness.
Places to find: Martin Gibbs
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