Monthly Archives: December 2016

Author Interview: Simon Bestwick


Today I am interviewing Simon Bestwick, author of the Black Road series of novels, and his latest book, The Feast of All Souls.

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

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

Simon Bestwick: Hi there. Sure – I’m based in the North-West of England. I grew up in Manchester and lived in Salford until a couple of years ago, until I moved to Liverpool with my then-girlfriend. Now I still live around Merseyside, on the Wirral. And the girlfriend? Reader, I married her…

The Feast Of All Souls is my fifth novel; I’ve also published four story collections and a chapbook. Most of my work tends to fall into the horror category, with occasional forays into urban fantasy, dystopian/post-apocalyptic SF, and crime.

DJ: What is The Feast of All Souls about?


Simon: It’s about 400 pages long. Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s about Alice Collier, who moves back to Crawbeck, a part of Salford where she used to live, when her marriage breaks up following the death of her daughter Emily. Strange things start happening in the house she moves into: ghostly children, a mysterious figure in red, and sometimes when she looks out of the windows or goes out through the door, the world outside the house is a different one – somewhere far in the past. Because she’s had mental health issues since losing her daughter, she’s afraid she’s going mad, and eventually contacts an old boyfriend, John Revell, who’s a paranormal investigator, in the hope of getting to the bottom of things. And that’s when stuff gets really weird.

Meanwhile, there’s another storyline, from nearly two hundred years earlier, in the same location: Mary Carson, on her own following the death of her father, comes to Springcross House in Crawbeck to work as a secretary to a mill-owner called Arodias Thorne. She gets drawn into a relationship with him – and all of this connects both with what Alice is going through in the present day and with the various legends and bits of folklore that have surrounded Crawbeck for centuries. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jonathan Oliver


Today I am interviewing Jonathan Oliver, editor of the new horror anthology, Five Stories High.

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DJ: Hey Jonathan! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Jonathan Oliver: Hello. So, Five Stories High is my seventh horror anthology and my sixth for Solaris. I’ve always been a huge fan of short stories and novellas, and horror is my first genre love. So, right from the start with Solaris I wanted a shot at producing original horror anthologies. I get to work with the best writers around and all of the anthologies have been very well received. I’ve twice been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, I’ve won the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology twice and I’ve been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award.

I’ve been the Editor-in-Chief of fiction publishing at Rebellion for eleven years, and helped found the Abaddon line of books. As well as editing, I also do a bit of writing on the side. I’ve recently put together a collection of my short stories called The Language of Beasts, which I will be shopping around publishers in early 2017.

DJ: What is Five Stories High about?


Jonathan: Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas, each set in the same house, Irongrove Lodge, which is home to many different entities. In itself Irongrove Lodge is also something of an enigma, and there are those who say the house itself may be a haunting. Basically, these are five modern horror novellas playing with that classic horror trope—the haunted house. There is also a linking narrative between the five novellas, written by myself.

DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Five Stories High?

Jonathan: I’ve always loved ghost stories and tales of haunted houses. I love a traditional gothic pile, peopled by tortured spirits and melancholy wraiths. But I also love the way in which horror tropes can be subverted. So, while M.R. James, Arthur Machen, Oliver Onions and Algernon Blackwood would certainly feel right at home in Irongrove Lodge, the collection is more in the wheelhouse of those innovators of the supernatural such as Shirley Jackson, Ramsey Campbell, Robert Aickman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Thomas Ligotti. Continue reading

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Giveaway! Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

About the Book:

Twenty-four authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

Join Elizabeth Vaughan, Fiona Patton, Jennifer Brozek, Brenda Cooper, Rosemary Edghill, and others in twenty-two original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, to Valdemar, where:

A Herald must crack an ancient code in a historic tapestry in order to arbitrate a dispute over land and lineage…

A Healer’s daughter flees the noble family that has trapped and enslaved her mother, and must seek help to free her mother…

A young woman who hides her clairvoyant powers from her town’s Karsite priests ForeSees a threat, and must risk revealing her Gift to save her community…

A Herald finds his assistant has been abducted by a man upon whom he had levied a heavy fine, and must foil the kidnapper’s plans to save his charge…

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*** Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar is published by DAW and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads | Kobo

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The publisher was kind enough to provide two (2) free copies of Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar!!!


Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win one of two (2) copies of Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar! Good luck!:)

Runs through December 13, 2016 (12/13/2016)

*US and Canada residents only


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Photo: © Patti Perret

About the Author:

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at or on Twitter at @mercedeslackey.


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Author Interview: Michelle E. Lowe



Today I am interviewing Michelle Lowe, author of the new steampunk, fantasy novel, Legacy, first book in the Legacy series].

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DJ: Hey, Michelle! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Michelle Lower: Hi, DJ! Thanks for having me. Well, for starters, I’m an author at Nordland Publishing. I have several novels out, such as The Warning, Atlantic Pyramid, Cherished Thief, children’s books, Poe’s Haunted House Tour and The Hex Hunt series. I keep myself busy raising two girls, writing and taking care of my seventeen year old cat, October. I’m a total nerd at heart who enjoys watching science fiction, fantasy, adventure and horror films. History piques my interests, especially European. Other interests include oil painting, arts & crafts and collecting knick-knacks. I love books and some graphic novels, and I’ll play old Atari games when given the chance. Listening to music is a must for me when reading, writing, or plotting evil deeds.

I’m a Georgia born native and had spent most of my life near Atlanta before pulling up stakes and moving clear across country to California with my husband, Ben.

DJ: What is Legacy about?


Michelle: As you mentioned, Legacy is the first of a six book series. It’s a rollicking adventure that takes place in the Victorian era, during the rise of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a mesh of both steampunk and fantasy with a cast of colorful characters within a plot that is fast-paced and original. Here’s a quick blurb.

A thief, a lover, and a toymaker; drawn together by fate, unlikely champions against a powerful and remorseless enemy. When not fighting each other, they must defeat the powerful Lord Norwich, and end his plan to unleash global violence and crown himself emperor of the world.

No problem.

But behind the scenes, the Trickster god is manipulating men like puppets, changing history to his own ends and for his own amusement. As an ancient plan is set into motion, the trio are face with events they do not understand and may not survive. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Una McCormack

Una McCormack talks to Paul Kirkley at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

Una McCormack talks to Paul Kirkley at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

Today I am interviewing Una McCormack, author of the new science-fiction novel, Weird Space: The Star of the Sea.

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DJ: Hey Una! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Una McCormack: Hi there! Thanks for asking me! For readers who don’t know me, I’m a science fiction writer based in Cambridge, UK, who mostly writes tie-in fiction based on shows such as Doctor Who and Star Trek. My first book for the Weird Space universe, The Baba Yaga, was my first non tie-in novel.

DJ: What is Weird Space: The Star of the Sea about?


Una: The book is an action-adventure space opera in which a group of characters band together to fight off the threat from some all-consuming, dimension-hopping aliens, while trying not to get arrested by their own government.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Weird Space: The Star of the Sea?

Una: The first couple of books in the Weird Space series, of course, which are by Eric Brown (Satan’s Reach and The Devil’s Nebula). I was also influenced by ensemble shows like Firefly and Blake’s 7, and by classic feminist SF by writers like Joanna Russ.

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 will sympathize with them?

Una: The main characters are all struggling to protect themselves and their nearest and dearest from the threat from the Weird, who are Lovecraftian aliens intent on consuming everything in their path.

My main characters are Maria, a young mother who fled the Expansion after discovering a secret about a massacre carried out by her government. She’s inexperienced but brave, and she learns a lot about looking after herself and her little girl in this book.

There’s also Yale, who ran away from the Expansion some years ago for reasons that are made clear in the book. She’s been hiding away on a remote world called Stella Maris, where a Weird portal has opened, but hasn’t tried to destroy the locals. Yale is fast-talking, likes a fight, and is mostly out for herself – but she ends up having to return to the Expansion to fight the Weird.

The other main character is called Eileen O’Connor. She’s a scientist who comes to Stella Maris to learn more about this special portal, and who learns that her government have been guilty of terrible crimes. This makes her question which side she’s on. Continue reading

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Author Interview: S.K. Dunstall

Photo credit: Andrew Kopp

Photo credit: Andrew Kopp

Today I am interviewing S.K. Dunstall, author of the new science-fiction novel Confluence, third book in the Linesman series.

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DJ: Hey S.K.! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

Let’s start with you; for readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

S.K. Dunstall: Hi DJ. Great to meet you. Thank you for having us.

S.K. Dunstall is the pseudonym for two sisters, Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall. (If you could actually call it a pseudonym.) We’re from Australia, and we both live and work in Melbourne, which is the capital of Victoria, a state in the south-eastern part of the country. Melbourne is famous for being the city of four seasons in one day. And sometimes yes, we really do have four seasons in one day. We have saying, if you don’t like our weather, wait five minutes.

We both work full time, and nowadays, outside of work, most of our life is consumed by writing. We write on the train, in food courts and cafés, on park benches, and anywhere else we have five minutes to spare. (That’s when we’re not reading.) If we are not writing, we are often talking about writing.

DJ: What is Confluence and also the Linesman series about?


S.K.:The Linesman series came about as a ‘what if’ question. What if humans had discovered faster than light travel from ‘lines’ in an abandoned alien space ship they found? They used that technology to spread out into the galaxy, without fully understanding how it worked. (Although they thought they did.)

Five hundred years later they find another alien ship (yes, only the second in all that time). The two major galactic powers are about to go to war, and each side wants that ship, for they believe the weapons on it can help them win.

Enter our protagonist, Ean Lambert, self-taught linesman, who sings to the lines, and is uniquely positioned to communicate with the new ship. Who finds that maybe the lines aren’t just ‘technology’ after all.

Being space opera this is all mixed in with politics, war, battles, power struggles and, we hope, a dash of humour.

Confluence is the third book in the series. It’s the end of a major political story, and the lines are starting to take a more active role.

It stars Ean’s bodyguard, Radko, as a main point-of-view character. We learn a lot more about her (and her family), and she gets a mission (no spoilers, but there’s a reason), while Ean’s left to manage a volatile situation where it seems that someone in the New Alliance is not working for the side they should be. Lancia is being pushed further out of the political mainstream. And the alien ships are behaving strangely. Continue reading

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