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Writer of Domino Lady
Published by: Moonstone

Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur - (Posted: 2/17/2008)


Gail McAbee

Richard: What is your novella story in "Domino Lady" about?

Gail: It’s about fifteen thousand words. Oh, you mean…gotcha. In “The Domino Lady and the Crimson Dragon”, Ellen Patrick aka the Domino Lady gets involved in a political scandal linked to the importing of young girls from the Orient for, shall we say, less than savory purposes. She literally almost runs into a girl who has escaped, and soon finds herself on the run from a band of murderers.

Richard: Who or what exactly is the Crimson Dragon?

Gail: Well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? Let’s just say that the Crimson Dragon is smaller than you’d think, but seriously powerful.

Richard: What do you think of Ver Curtiss's artwork on this comic?

Gail: He is an amazing artist, isn’t he? I’m always impressed with any artist who can take my words and turn them into a scene, but when the scene is so close to what I originally had in mind, it’s even more impressive. Ver’s stuff is just astounding.

Richard: What about Domino Lady do you like?

Gail: She’s strong, she’s tough, she’s committed first and foremost to finding out who had her father murdered and bringing the murderer to justice. At the same time, she realizes that others are also victims, and she’ll go out of her way to protect them. Also, she looks great in an evening gown, and she can kick butt in stiletto heels; now there’s a talent anyone can appreciate.

Richard: Would you like to be involved in making more comics?

Gail: I’ve been a comic geek my entire life; writing comics is a dream.

Richard: What is the difference between writing a comic book and a book?

Gail: The interaction between illustrator and writer. Writing a book, unless you’re collaborating, is primarily a solitary thing. As a writer, you are solely responsible for the end result. A comic, on the other hand—especially when it come to someone like me, with the esthetic sense of a mole—is a group project.

Richard: What is "Startling Stories" from Wild Cat Books?

Gail: Wild Cat Books is a publisher of both classic and neo-pulp stories. They’ve recently started publishing ‘Startling Stories’, a magazine full of space opera, adventure and excitement; it’s a new version of an old pulp mag of the same title. I’m lucky enough to have had novellas or stories in each of their first four issues. Issue #1 has my ON OMEGA STATION: THE BALLAD OF MALIK BLAYNE, a novella about a rough, touch space station inside an asteroid on the very edge of the galaxy, with an interesting group of inhabitants. Issue #2 has my CAPTAIN STEVE DANGER AND THE TRILLIG FROM MARROWGAZ; pure space opera. The next issue has a short story of mine called THE SIX YEAR OLD SAVIOR OF HUMANITY, and then in #4 I go more for dark fantasy with THE BAITED TRAP.

Richard: How many books have you written and do you have a favorite?

Gail: I’m finishing up #13 right now, a dark fantasy called ARROWS OF DESPAIR. I like to write in different genres because I think it keeps my writing fresh and vibrant, plus it’s good exercise for my fingers. I’ve written dark fantasy—ESCAPE THE PAST, FLIGHT TO MALMILLARD, the upcoming BEWITCHED BY DARKNESS—light fantasy—CABBAGES AND KINGS, THE PLAUSIBLE PRINCE—historical suspense—A WILL OF HER OWN, A DOLEFUL KIND OF SINGING—science fiction—PORT NOWHERE—and pulp, such as THE DOMINO LADY and the upcoming WEIRD WESTERN TALES. My favorite book is ESCAPE THE PAST; the first one I wrote. It’s being re-released from Double Dragon soon. I’ve also had nearly seventy short stories published; thirteen of them will be in BEWITCHED BY DARKNESS.

Richard: You wrote "The Dark Legacy" what was it about?

Gail: Remember I said I like to switch genres? Well, THE DARK LEGACY is my first attempt at Young Adult fantasy. It’s the beginning of a series called THE CRYSTAL STAIRCASE. I wanted to do a fantasy that was more American that British, as so many fantasies seem to be, so the Crystal Staircase takes place in South Carolina, both in the present time and in a not quite historical 18th Century. Two kids and their dog find out they can travel between the present and 1757 by going through some strange paintings in an old house on the Carolina coast, but this particular 1757 has some rather unusual characteristics—such as, their dog Gilbert can now speak, and I’m not talking bark bark. THE DARK LEGACY available now at Calderwood Books. Book two in the series, THE ISLAND PRISON, is coming soon.

Richard: What projects do you have in the near future?

Gail: I’ve recently placed a dozen stories with the Amazon Shorts program that should start going live soon; one is the first chapter in a serial called PERIL IN PANGEA, so I’m writing new chapters of that; my plan is to have every chapter end on a cliffhanger. Other than that, I’m in the middle of ‘sequel-itis’ right now: I’m working on the sequel to THE PLAUSIBLE PRINCE, which is called THE MORTIFIED MAGE. Part three of the Crystal Staircase, THE SECRET FORTRESS, is also in the works. I like to have several projects going at once; like switching genres, I find it easier to be creative. If I get stuck on one, I’ve got another to work on.

Richard: What do you do with any free time you have?

Gail: Read. Read. Movies. Read. I also tutor English and algebra at a local community college, and give writing workshops. And I read. Oh, and of course, reading is always a favorite. Did I mention reading?

Richard: What would you like to accomplish that you have not?

Gail: My goal is to die at the age of 99, just as I type the final words of my 200th book. I haven’t accomplished it, but that’s what I’m working towards.

Richard: How can someone contact you?

Gail: Email me at: or . Or visit my ever-evolving website:

Richard: Any final words of wisdom?

Gail: If you want to write, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. But don’t think it come naturally. Study, write, and read everything you can; don’t limit yourself to one genre, because that keeps you from being rounded, both as a writer and a person. And look both ways before you cross the street.

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