Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the popular Cosa Nostradamus books for Luna (the “Retrievers” and “Paranormal Scene Investigations” urban fantasy series), and the Nebula award-nominated The Vineart War trilogy from Pocket, as well as the YA trilogy GRAIL QUEST for Harper. Her first story collection is DRAGON VIRUS and she continues to write and sell short fiction in a variety of genres. Follow her at @LAGilman or www.lauraannegilman.netBECOME A FAN
A. Oh, that’s one of those “you’re not going to believe this” stories. I was on the phone with my agent and fellow foodie/wine nerd one day, talking about a food expo we wanted to go to that weekend, and we finally decided the ticket price was too high.
“It needs to be a work deduction, somehow,” I said.
“So,” my agent said, “write me a food or wine based fantasy.” And she meant it as a joke, but when we ended the conversation and I went back to sit at the computer – working on one of the Retriever books -- something clicked. And I grabbed my pad and pen and started jotting notes, and the next day I e-mailed her to say “I know you were kidding, but…”
Winemaking has always fascinated me, from my very first trip to the California wine country region back in the early 90’s. The idea of a winemaker as magician… it was completely natural. And the fact that wine is both an intoxicant and a shared social event [we generally drink it with meals, not sitting alone in the dark] made it an interesting thing to base a civilization on.
It seemed as though everything—my love of epic fantasy, my interest and experiences with wine, the things I wanted to say, story-wise, at that moment… all came together in what I referred to as ‘the project that ate my brain.”