Gail Zehner Martin began writing fiction as a child (her first story was about a vampire), and says she does not remember a time when she was not enthralled with ghost stories. A voracious reader since childhood, she frequently chose to read books with a supernatural slant, including folktales, compilations of regional ghost stories and gothic mysteries. She credits the TV show Dark Shadows with her life-long fascination with vampires.
Martin discovered science fiction in middle school. The combination of Star Trek syndicated re-runs (the original 1966 series) and A. E. van Vogt's Destination: Universe! made a profound impact. Martin frequented Great Lakes-region Star Trek and science fiction conventions near her childhood home in Meadville, Pennsylvania. One of her favorite memories of growing up was watching black and white monster movies and 1950s science fiction re-runs on the local UHF channel. Other influences included The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Another deep early influence was the premier of A New Hope. Martin says that she watched the movie 15 times in the theater, going alone after exhausting friends’ willingness to watch the movie multiple times.
In high school, Martin discovered The Lord of the Rings and role playing games.Martin graduated from Meadville Area Senior High School in 1980. At Grove City College she majored in history, and graduated in 1984. For a short time in the early 1980s, Martin also edited and wrote for Lodestar, a small fanzine.
Martin graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with an M.B.A. in Marketing and Management Information Systems. For 17 years, she worked on fiction projects while employed in marketing roles. After achieving the career goal of becoming Vice President of Corporate Communications, Martin started her own company, DreamSpinner Communications, in 2003 to pursue her love of a broader range of writing.
Martin is a frequent contributor of non-fiction articles for local, regional and national magazines. She is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and teaches adult continuing education for Central Piedmont Community College.
Married to Larry Martin since 1987. The Martins have three children: Kyrie, Chandler, and Cody.