Author Interview: Marshall Ryan Maresca

Today I am interviewing Marshall Ryan Maresca, debut author of the new fantasy novel, The Holver Alley Crew, first book in The Streets of Maradine series.

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DJ: Hey Marshall! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Marshall Ryan Maresca: Hi! I’m Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the Maradaine novels, which are actually three different series all set in the same fantastical city. The Maradaine novels are The Thorn of Dentonhill, The Alchemy of Chaos and The Imposters of Aventil, which comes out in October. The Maradaine Constabulary novels are A Murder of Mages, An Import of Intrigue and the upcoming A Parliament of Bodies. Finally, the Streets of Maradaine novels are the newly released The Holver Alley Crew and Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, which comes out next year.

DJ: What is The Holver Alley Crew about?

Marshall: The Holver Alley Crew is about two brothers, Asti & Verci Rynax, who used to be thieves but are trying to live a straight-and-narrow life, until a fire destroys everything in Holver Alley and ruins their lives and livelihood. With no other options and a mounting debt, they fall back on the old ways.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Holver Alley Crew?

Marshall: I’ve been saying that, in a lot of ways, it’s OCEANS 11 meets THE COMMITMENTS. The latter is really a thing that was on my mind as I wrote it, as it’s about a group of people in the impoverished part of Dublin who team up to find hope and joy and a possibility of a future. Of course, they do it with soul music, rather than pulling a heist, but the principle is the same. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jay Allen

 Today I am interviewing Jay Allan, author of the new military science-fiction novel, Flames of Rebellion, first book in the Flames of Rebellion series.

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DJ: Hey Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jay Allen: Absolutely. I write science fiction and fantasy novels, published through a variety of outlets, including my good friends at Harper Voyager. It’s somewhat of a second career for me, and I started doing it after I retired early from real estate development and investment, which I tend to consider a pretty weird origin story for a sci fi writer. I live in New York, and I’ve been writing for about five years now. I’m getting close to a million books sold in that time, which certainly exceeds any expectations I had going in.

DJ: What is Flames of Rebellion about?

Jay: Flames of Rebellion is the story of a revolution. I’ve been told I tend to have a dark view of things, and I’m inclined to see technology in many ways as the totalitarian’s dream. Can you imagine dictators of another era having the ability to track everyone wherever they go, or to listen in on virtually every conversation? So, I wrote a story of a new colony on another planet, one where the surveillance superstructure isn’t as developed as it is on Earth. Add adventurous colonists grown accustomed to a level of freedom beyond that available on Earth, and a home government looking to tighten the screws, and conflict is inevitable.

I read a lot of history, and I often incorporate it in my work. For Flames, I wanted to explore multiple aspects of revolution, and I used bits and pieces of three historical conflicts, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Russian Revolution. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Thomas Heasman-Hunt

Today I am interviewing Thomas Heasman-Hunt, debut author of the new science-fiction novel, Legacy.

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DJ: Hey Thomas! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Thomas Heasman-Hunt: No problem. I’m a 31-year-old part-time author (in other words, like most writers, I have a day job…) living in Cambridgeshire in the UK. I’ve been writing, telling stories, playing make-believe and so forth for as long as I can remember, but I started doing it in earnest and trying to make a career out of it perhaps seven or eight years ago. I first tried writing a novel, which was a long slog to get finished and, once it was done, failed to win over any agents or publishers. I’m quite grateful for that now because it was very much a ‘first novel’ and had no business seeing the light of day! But it kind of got it out of my system and I started to try my hand at short fiction instead. I put it all on a blog (theserialwritist.wordpress.com), just so I could amass a portfolio of work, and it ended up being a multi-year odyssey of fiction writing that birthed dozens of short stories, novellas and a handful of full novels, totaling over a million words altogether. Legacy was one of those novels (well, actually, six short stories that have been edited and combined into one work). I’m very glad that, out of everything I’ve done, that’s the one I’ve managed to get to a wider audience.

DJ: What is Legacy about?

Thomas: It’s pure space opera – a fun, free-wheeling adventure across interstellar space that gradually raises the stakes until the future of the entire galaxy hangs in the balance. The hero, Emily Ajax, is the daughter of a legendary starship captain and has spent her whole life living in his shadow. When he dies unexpectedly, she’s left trying to figure out some interstellar legalese regarding ownership of a remote moon base that her father’s former executive officer is strangely intent on keeping from her. What starts as a bunch of rich kids going off on a jaunt across space ends up uncovering a galactic conspiracy that the late Captain Ajax was at the very heart of. Emily has to grapple with uncomfortable truths about her father and the stories she’s grown up hearing about him, as well as try to stop a tyrant who’s all-too-familiar to her while commanding The Sunskimmer, her father’s old ship. At the same time, her friends and crew must grow into their new lives as outlaws, and a bounty hunter with a dark secret and a very strange connection to Emily comes aboard. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Giveaway: Black City Demon by Richard A. Knaak

The pubsliher was kind enough to provide one (1) free copy of Black City Demon (Black City Saint #2) to go along with this interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview:)

Today I am interviewing Richard A. Knaak, NY Time & USA Today bestselling author of the new urban fantasy novel, Black City Demon, second book in the Black City Saint series.

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DJ: Hey Richard! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Richard A. Knaak: Well, I’ve written about 50 novels and numerous short pieces, plus other material. I’m probably best known for my Dragonlance work — including the LEGEND OF HUMA — or my Blizzard novels, especially the WAR OF THE ANCIENTS trilogy for Warcraft — not to mention my Dragonrealm saga. Been a lifelong fan of SF & fantasy, with some of my biggest influences Roger Zelazny, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Andre Norton, among others.

DJ: What is Black City Demon about?

Richard: BLACK CITY DEMON is the second in my BLACK CITY SAINT series and continues the saga of Nick Medea, who is actually Saint George from the legend. When he slew the dragon, it not only became part of him — against both their wills — but made the saint the guardian of the vast magical Gate — permanently situated in Chicago since the Great Fire — between our world and that of Feirie. As Nick, he tries to keep threats from both sides from endangering matters and in this case the threat is a serial killer apparently risen from the dead who is seeking to use the power of the Gate to fully resurrect himself… at the cost of perhaps all of Prohibition Chicago. All this while Nick must also deal with the woman he loves coming to grips with the fact that she is not only the latest incarnation of the princess St. George saved long ago, but that every previous incarnation has perished violently.

And then of course there’s the machinations of Her Lady, ruler of Feirie, who, now that her dreaded mate is dead, is determined to cleanse her kingdom of any resistance…efforts of which are spilling into Chicago at the height of the bootlegger war between Capone and Bugs Moran.

But wait…there’s more…in the book. Continue reading

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Book Review: Into the Fire (Samantha Kane #1) by Patrick Hester

The Into the Fire (Samantha Kane #1) by Patrick Hester

Publisher: WordFire Press

Publication Date: January 20, 2017

Edition: ebook

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5


Detective Samantha Kane just saw a ghost, a werewolf eviscerated her partner, and she burned down a building with magic. But not a bad day…all things considered.
Continue reading

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Author Interview: Joseph Helmreich

Today I am interviewing Joseph Helmreich, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Return.

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DJ: Hey Joseph! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Joseph Helmreich: Sure! I’m a New York-based writer and The Return is my first novel. When not writing, I work in film distribution and play with an alternative folk band called Honeybrick.

DJ: What is The Return about?

Joseph: The Return is about a washed-up physicist who gets abducted by an alien ship during a live TV broadcast. Years later, he turns up in the desert and claims the whole thing never happened. The story focuses on the physics grad student who tries to track him down and get to the bottom of it.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Return?

Joseph: Quite a few writers were influential for me while I was writing, among them Harlan Coben, Lee Child, David Mitchell, Bruce Coville and, though it might not be obvious, Tom Wolfe. Also, the great sci fi Spielberg movies of the 70’s and 80’s were always on my mind. And music played a huge role, especially Arcade Fire, Okkervil River, and Joseph Arthur.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

Joseph: I think my favorite character is Andrew Leland, the physicist at the center of the story. There’s an ambiguity to him and to his motives where you’re kind of always left guessing. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Brian McClellan

Today I am interviewing Brian McClellan, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Sins of Empire, first book in the Gods of Blood and Power series.

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DJ: Hey Brian! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Brian McClellan: Hi there! I’m a thirty-one year old author living on the side of a mountain in Utah. I’m a full-time author, writing flintlock epic fantasy for Orbit books. In my books, my heroes include soldiers, government agents, convicts, and everything in between–all of them operating in a world something akin to our Napoleonic era. There’s magic, flintlock rifles, bayonet charges, duels, gods, sorcerers, political intrigue, and massive battles.

DJ: What is Sins of Empire about?

Brian: Sins of Empire is the first novel in my next trilogy. This is the second series to take place in the Powder Mage Universe, and a new entry point for curious readers looking to explore that world. While my first trilogy dealt with a very old-world, European-style conflict, this second one has more of a new-world feel to it on the largely-unexplored continent of Fatrasta. There are vast frontiers, native populations, technological advancements, and unknown sorcery. Sins of Empire begins with the discovery of a sorcerous object of ancient origins, and follows the consequences of its unearthing as this new world grapples with old secrets, and powerful people maneuver for a coming conflict.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Sins of Empire?

Brian: It’s hard to talk about Sins without talking about my first trilogy (because that’s what set the stage for the world). My initial influences were Count of Monte Cristo, Les Mis, Three Musketeers. These were my favorite adventure books as a child, and I wanted to combine them with my favorite genre–epic fantasy. Throw in the visual influences of shows like Sharpe’s Rifles and Fullmetal Alchemist, and I had a book to write! Sins, to me, is the extrapolation of the world I initially created. I started in the old world, and I wanted to move toward something new. What happens when I explore the results of colonialism and industrial greed? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alex Bledsoe

Today I am interviewing Alex Bledsoe, author of the new fantasy novel, Gather Her Round, fifth book in the Tufa series.

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DJ: Hey Alex! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Alex Bledsoe: Thanks for having me, DJ. I’m a southern writer who now lives in Wisconsin, and the stay-at-home dad of three children. I’ve been writing my whole life, around stints as a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. I write primarily fantasy and horror.

DJ: What is Gather Her Round about?

Alex: It’s the fifth novel in my Tufa series, about an isolated Appalachian town whose citizens are all descended from Celtic faerie folk. In this one, a wild hog kills a young woman, and the pursuit of it brings out the best and worst in those who knew her.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Gather Her Round?

Alex: After four prior novels, I wanted to do something new, and I hadn’t yet done a monster story. I wanted the monster to be something reasonable, not supernatural or cryptozoological, so I considered a giant wild boar. Then I found out that Tennessee, where the novel is set, really does have an elite task force for dealing with the wild hog infestations, which gave me a sort of “Avengers, assemble” moment. Once I knew about that, the rest of the story was a snap. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Steven Burgauer

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Today I am interviewing Steven Burgauer, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Grandfather Paradox: a time-travel story, as well as any number of historical fiction novels. He is perhaps best known for his book Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou, historical fiction set during World War II in the colorful river town of New Orleans

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DJ: Hey Steve! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

Could you tell us a little about yourself? I understand that you became an author later in life. What led you to make the unusual switch from successful investment broker and mutual fund manager to author?

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Steve Burgauer: Hello, DJ. It is so nice to be invited to be part of your show. There is not a lot I can tell you about myself that is James-Bond-exciting. I am a life-long Boy Scout; I have two grown children; a wonderful wife of more than forty years; and I love to travel. The magic of modern medicine and the promise of clean-living has allowed me to enjoy a long and productive life. If a person is willing to take the necessary risks, there are enough years in a life today to enjoy more than one career. I felt that after twenty years of stock brokering that I had accumulated enough wherewithal to see me through to the end and yet, I had an unmet need to say something and to leave behind a written legacy. So I quit my job when I was about forty and took the plunge. Writing allows me to talk about some of humanity’s possible futures, one in which we might settle other planets or tame wildernesses far away, one in which we have to build entire new societies from scratch, exploring, harvesting asteroids, terraforming, corralling comets to bring cold water to hot places like Venus. Likewise, I still enjoy learning about past events, reading biographies and learning about often unsung heroes who have made a difference to our way of life. Continue reading

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