Monthly Archives: July 2017

Author Interview: Lois H. Gresh

Today I am interviewing Lois H. Gresh, New York Times Best Selling Author of the new mystery paranormal novel, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions, first book in the brand new series, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu.

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

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

Lois H. Gresh: Hi, and thanks for having me here. When I was a child, the first adult book I read was a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ve always loved thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and stories with odd twists. I wanted to be a scientist, and I ended up both reading and writing a lot of science books. While attending night college in science, I worked during the day as an engineer and programmer and spent my spare time (including during class!) writing books and stories.

I tend to write mysteries and thrillers with a science edge. When I shift into the supernatural, as I do in Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions (Titan Books, July 2017), I typically know the science underpinning the bizarre. I may not explicitly define the science in the story, but in my mind, what I’m describing could actually happen.

DJ: What is Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu: The Adventures of the Deadly Dimensions about?

Lois: Here’s the official description: A series of grisly murders rocks London. At each location, only a jumble of bones remains of the deceased, along with a bizarre sphere covered in strange symbols. The son of the latest victim seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes and his former partner, Dr. John Watson.

They discover the common thread tying together the murders. Bizarre geometries, based on ancient schematics, enable otherworldly creatures to enter our dimension, wreaking havoc and destruction.

The persons responsible are gaining so much power that even Holmes’s greatest enemy fears them—to the point that he seeks an unholy alliance.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu: The Adventures of the Deadly Dimensions and the series?

Lois: As mentioned above, the first adult book I read was a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I read the collection over and over again–along with Frankstein, Dracula, Conan, and starting in my teens, Lovecraft’s work. Also in my teens, I read constantly–mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction novels. Because my dream was to be a scientist–specifically, a geneticist or biochemist, but in general, a person immersed in facts and deductions–I greatly admired Sherlock Holmes.

Lovecraft was one of the first fiction writers to explore concepts such as multidimensions, existentialism, the futility of anthropomorphic thinking, and a host of other ideas, including crygenics and genetics. The core of the Cthulhu mythos actually has a scientific underpinning.

Having written both Sherlock Holmes stories as well as Cthulhu mythos stories, I thought the time was right to merge the two. Continue reading

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New-Release Spotlight: 51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade

About the Book:

Horror/Thriller Stories Collection

A diverse collection of horror stories including the grizzly confessions of a serial killer, parallel dimensions, becoming trapped in a virtual world, and encountering ancient aliens buried beneath the Earth’s crust. Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad experiments and paranormal – no matter what makes your heart race, you’re guaranteed to face your fear with these terrifying stories.


I felt her arms around me, but she wasn’t trying to choke me or restrain me. She was… hugging me. It was such an alien sensation that I immediately opened my eyes. That’s when I saw them. Hundreds – no thousands of gossamer spider webs holding up her body like a marionette doll. I recoiled immediately, and she let me without the slightest resistance.

The spiders were everywhere. Crawling across her face, through her hair. When she opened her mouth, I saw more of them inside her, pulling the threads to work her jaw. Her throat pulsed, and I knew more must be further down to vibrate her vocal chords.

“But he’s never going to hurt you again. You have our word.”

I was too shocked to fully understand what was happening. The alarm in my mind wouldn’t stop, and I still felt like I was about to pay for my rebellion. I didn’t want to stare, but couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to go and see, but my feet carried me there anyway.

I opened Jeff’s room and found him on his bed. His hands and feet were bound with countless loops of spiderweb. More of it was across his face, tying his tongue securely to the roof of his mouth. His skin was perforated with a thousand holes, and spiders were crawling in and out of them as they carefully partitioned and wrapped each piece for consumption. His eyes blinked at me, although I don’t know if that was a sign of life or simply the successful attachment of yet another internal strand. I quietly closed the door and let them finish their work.
-My Mother the Spider Queen

Early reader reviews:

– Well, that was horrifying, twisted, and great! (r/shortscarystories reader of the month April 2017).

– -~STANDING OVATION~- Well done, Good Man. (Anon. Reader).

– Excellent series! You need to contact a producer! (A. Dinozzo)

– Surreal, beautiful, haunting. (M. Ravin)

– I love how they don’t follow the normal horror cliches. Great twists, kept me guessing till the end! (T. Wilson) Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gabrielle Russo

Today I am interviewing Gabriele Russo, author of the new satirical fantasy novel, Inclement Gods, second book in the Gods Inc. series.

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DJ: Hey Gabriele! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 🙂

For readers who might have missed previous interviews and aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Gabriele Russo: Sure. I am a French-Canadian who loved the English language so much she just had to write in it J Seriously, I tried writing novels many times, but until I was introduced to British humorous fantasy, it never quite clicked. While cynical, I prefer to have an optimist outlook on life and I think laughter is the best medicine for the world’s woes – evil never fares well against ridicule – and also the best way to show its absurdities.

DJ: What is Inclement Gods and also the Gods Inc. series about?

Gabriele: The running theme of the series as a whole is man’s complicated relation with his gods, especially in regards to the mercantile aspects of religion. In Inclement Gods, I poke at ideological extremism, the kind that leads to terrorism; except I flip it around from what’s happening in this world and give the role to atheists (my world being full of actual gods – they are the minority rebelling against the status quo). I also explore the politics that come from fighting such a foe.

And that sounds soooo serious – it isn’t really. By focusing more on the heroes’ bumbling efforts to stop the terrorists, I tried to keep it light and funny.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Gods Inc. series?

Gabriele: Always I must mention Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, as they are the two authors who made me want to write. Then there’s my usual suspects list: Goscinny, Umberto Eco, Rabelais, Lewis Carroll, Christopher Moore, and Joss Whedon. And above all, Scott Adams and Tom Holt deserve special mention for the spirit of the series. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jay Posey

Today I am interviewing Jay Posey, author of the new science-fiction novel, Sungrazer, second book in the Outriders series.

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DJ: Hey Jay! Welcome back to MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape! This is actually your third time here 🙂

For readers who might have missed previous interviews and aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jay Posey: Hi DJ, thanks for inviting me back!

I’m Jay Posey, author of the post-apocalyptic Legends of the Duskwalker trilogy, and the military SF Outriders series. For my day job, I’m a writer and game designer for Ubisoft/Red Storm Entertainment, where I’ve worked on things like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises, and most recently the VR game Star Trek: Bridge Crew.

DJ: What is Sungrazer and also the Outriders series about?

Jay: The Outriders series is about Captain Lincoln Suh and his 519th Applied Intelligence Group (aka “the Outriders”), an elite team of death-proofed special operators who go do all of the jobs that no one is supposed to ever find out about. To this point in the series, most of their time has been spent trying to prevent the outbreak of the first interplanetary war, between Earth and Mars.

In Sungrazer, Lincoln and his team have to track down a missing city-killing space-based weapon before its deployed. Naturally, it’s even harder than it sounds.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Outriders series?

Jay: The biggest influence is undoubtedly the work I’ve done in game development, particularly on the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchise. I’ve had the genuine privilege of getting to meet and interact with a number of special operators over the years from a variety of branches, and that’s played a big part in informing the series and the kinds of stories I wanted to tell.

There’s so much more to special operations forces than kicking doors and pulling triggers, but often that’s the only part we focus on in video games. So the Outriders series is, for me, a way to look at other aspects of that world.

There was also an old pen-and-paper RPG called Living Steel back in the late 80s that I discovered when I was a kid. It was my introduction to the idea of powered armor, and it left quite an impression on me (even though I never actually played a campaign, because the rules were so complex!).

The Outriders have extremely advanced power armor, but it’s designed primarily for reconnaissance and infiltration rather than full-on assault, so that’s been a fun concept to play with. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kay Kenyon

Today I am interviewing Kay Kenyon, author of the new historical fantasy novel, At the Table of Wolves, the first book in her Dark Talents series. It’s published by Saga Press and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

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

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

Kay Kenyon: Thanks for inviting me, DJ! I live in Washington state on the sunny side (yes, there is one!) with my husband Tom. I’ve written 14 science fiction and fantasy novels including The Entire and The Rose quartet. Last year, I served as a judge for the World Fantasy awards and lost about three months of my life living in other people’s universes. I came out the other side, amazed and addicted to caffeine. Tom and I have three children and a tabby cat. The cat is still bunking with us.

DJ: What is At the Table of Wolves about?

Kay: It’s a spy thriller of dark powers, Nazi conspiracies and espionage set in 1936 England. In this alternate history, the Nazis have been weaponizing psi-Talents in preparation for the next war. England’s Secret Intelligence Service is desperate to uncover the details of an invasion plot that may be based upon a newly-discovered super power. It’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets X-men, with a strong female hero commanding psi powers both subtle and scary.

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? 

Kay: My major character is Kim Tavistock, a woman with a super power that is valued by the secret intelligence service: a gift for hearing truths people want to hide. (A Talent called the spill.) Raised in America but born in England, Kim is now back in the country of her birth, struggling to reconcile life with a Talent that most people resent and one that could get her killed. Having lost her beloved older brother in World War I, she is disturbed to find that the English–and particularly in the salons of aristocratic fascists–seem blind to the Nazi threat. When she meets a charming and dangerous German intelligence officer, Erich von Ritter, she is on her own in combating a looming invasion. Other characters: Julian, her father, who may be a traitor; Alice, whose Talent of trauma view exposes the dark side of peoples’ lives; and Rose, a developmentally disabled young woman who may hold the key to a mysterious power over ice and cold. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Vivian Shaw

Today I am interviewing Vivian Shaw, author of the new paranomal fantasy novel, Strange Practice, first book in the Dr. Greta Helsing series.

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

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

Vivian Shaw: My pleasure! I’ve been writing books since I was probably about eleven years old, and I’ve been an active fanfic author since the early 2000s, but this is the first time I’ve ever been actually published and I could not be happier. I’m the daughter of a couple of British scientists, born in Kenya, and we moved around a lot chasing the postdoc funding when I was little, but we moved to Maryland in 1987 and I’ve been here ever since. I have a BA in art history and an MFA in creative writing, and I live in Baltimore with my wife, the author Arkady Martine.

DJ: What is Strange Practice about?

Vivian: The very short version is this: Dr. Greta Helsing sees dead people, from ten to four on weekdays and by appointment, at her Harley Street clinic. Dead people and other individuals who might not generally be considered people at all: mummies, were-creatures, banshees, barrow-wights, ghouls, etcetera. Greta inherited the practice from her father, and she’s just pretty much getting on with things and living her normal supernatural-adjacent life when a new threat emerges – a sect of murderous monks apparently intent on dispatching both the quick and the dead – and she and her friends (and patients) have to figure out how to stop the monks if she wants to save both her practice and her life.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Strange Practice and the series?

Vivian: Well, directly, the source material: Varney the Vampyre, or The Feast of Blood; John Polidori’s The Vampyre; and the somewhat-apocryphal story of the vampire of Croglin Grange. (Dracula and Carmilla both showed up in a previous draft, but they’ll be part of this universe later on.) I read a fantastic book called Prisoner of Vampires, by Nancy Garden, when I was just a kid – and that not only introduced me to a lot of more esoteric vampire stories but did a little bit of what I’m doing here, bringing together the various classic tales into a coherent and cohesive single canon. Stylistically I think my main influences are and always have been Mervyn Peake, Robin McKinley, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gareth Worthington

Today I am interviewing Gareth Worthington, author of the new science-fiction novel, Children of the Fifth Sun.

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

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

Gareth Worthington: Hey! Okay, well, I’m 37 years old, father of two living in Switzerland. I currently work for the pharmaceutical industry bringing new cancer medicines to patients. In my life I always try to improve on myself, and so attempt to achieve a lot. I have a degree in Marine Biology, a PhD in endocrinology, have lived in the USA, all over Europe and in Asia; play guitar; draw; have trained in Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai and MMA; hand tagged sharks; and been a model. I’m also the Director of Business Development for a new books-to-TV/film company called the Vesuvian Media Group. I keep busy, LOL.

DJ: What is Children of the Fifth Sun about?

Gareth: Children of the Fifth Sun is an action adventure story with a dash of science fiction thrown in. Think Indiana Jones meets the Abyss!

The main premise is that in the late 1940s, Chinese explorers found the frozen corpse of a strange animal in Siberia. The US government stole it and for more than 60 years have been conducting experiments. In the last few years, they managed to clone it and create a live specimen.

The animal, known as K’in, is believed to be part of a race of beings that evolved alongside humans, even giving our kind science, math and civility. But many millennia ago, we killed them all.

Now, there is a covert war between various governments, and even cults, who want to harness the intelligence/power K’in is believed to have locked inside.

When a mission goes wrong in the South China sea, the US government is forced to recruit a civilian to help. This civilian, Kelly Graham, will change everything – in ways no one could have guessed.

It’s one hundred and forty thousand words – because there is a lot of story! I hope that readers will think I’ve done the topics justice. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Wendy N. Wagner

Today I am interviewing Wendy N. Wagner, author of the new sci-fi novel, An Oath of Dogs.

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

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

Wendy N. Wagner: I live in Portland, Oregon, and my day job is working as the managing/associate editor of Lightspeed and Nightmare magazines. I also used to write tie-in fiction for the Pathfinder role-playing game, including two novels. That was a great way to get free RPG materials! Everyone in my whole family is obsessed with games (role-playing, board, and video–it doesn’t matter), so that was a nice perk.

When I’m not writing or gaming, I’m usually puttering in my garden. I’m a total dirt nerd!

DJ: What is An Oath of Dogs about?

Wendy: It’s about a woman and her therapy dog who move to a new planet. When they get there, she begins to suspect her company killed her boss–and that it’s part of a much larger corporate cover-up.

DJ: What were some of your influences for An Oath of Dogs?

Wendy: It’s mostly inspired by my experiences growing up in southern Oregon in the early ’90s. We lived in a beautiful area where it rained more than 100 inches a year, and beautiful mossy forests stretched everywhere. The planet in Oath is very much like that: giant trees, lots of moss, constant rain.

But since there are lots of trees, the timber industry is very powerful. My hometown was entirely dominated by the timber industry–everything depended on those companies. Not just the loggers and the millworkers, but the restaurants, the churches, the schools, local law enforcement. When the timber industry dried up, my hometown essentially died. I wanted to write about what it was like to live in a town where one industry could dominate not just the economy but the entire culture and landscape of a community. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Richard Martins

Today I am interviewing Richard Martins, author of the new epic fantasy novel, The Trench.

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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 Martins: Thank you for inviting me DJ. I’m a retired pharmacist. I was in the business for 35 years but have been retired for the last 11 years. I’ve been married to my wife Diana for 46 years and we have a son who’s a journalist in Los Angeles.

DJ: What is The Trench about?

Richard: It’s a young man’s quest to save his mother. Fifteen-year-old Seth Tyler has spent his entire life on the run with his parents. Who they are running from and why he is kept in the dark are only two of the mysteries he has learned to live with. Tragedy strikes when first his grandfather, then his

father is murdered and his mother poisoned. Seth sets out to find the cure for his mother and the truth about his parent’s past. A misstep in the mountains of Germany drops him into a primitive underworld peopled by strange creatures and gifted humans. The Trench is a feral land where danger lurks for the unwary and Seth finds himself immediately fighting for his life. When he discovers that this underworld is the birthplace of his parents and the truth about their heritage he knows the answers he seeks lie here below.

But the people of the Trench still value that sixth sense lost to those on the surface and they see something unique in Seth. With the help of a huge dog who adopts him and a growing menagerie of companions Seth must travel the length of the Trench to confront the evil lurking at the bottom. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Edward Willett

Today I am interviewing Edward Willett, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Cityborn.

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

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

Edward Willet: Sure! I’m the author of more than fifty books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages. I was born in New Mexico, started school in Texas, and then moved to Saskatchewan when I was a kid. I grew up in the small city of Weyburn, where I returned after studying journalism at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and began my writing career as a reporter/photographer and eventually news editor of the weekly Weyburn Review. I moved to Regina, the provincial capital (where I’ve lived ever since), in 1988 as communications officer for the then-fledgling Saskatchewan Science Centre, then in 1993 I quit my job to become a fulltime freelance writer. My first book was the riveting Using Microsoft Publisher for Windows 95. (My second book was the equally riveting sequel, Using Microsoft Publisher for Windows 97.) My first novel, a young adult fantasy entitled Soulworm, came out in 1997, and my fiction ever since has been a mixture of young adult and adult science fiction and fantasy, while my non-fiction has run the gamut from children’s biographies (of people as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Johnny Cash and the Ayatollah Khomeini), to science books and books about Saskatchewan history. I won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2002 for my YA fantasy Spirit Singer (Tyche Books), and in 2009 I won the Aurora Award for best Canadian science fiction novel in English for Marseguro, which was my second science fiction novel for DAW Books, after 2005’s Lost in Translation. The Cityborn is my eighth novel published by DAW, but only the fourth under my own name: I wrote the steampunkish adult fantasy novel Magebane as Lee Arthur Chane, and the YA/adult crossover fantasy trilogy The Masks of Aygrima as E.C. Blake. I’m married to an engineer (a good career move for a freelance writer) and have a brilliant and talented teenaged daughter. Oh, and in addition to being a writer, I’m an actor and singer who has performed in numerous plays, musicals, and operas, both professionally and just for fun.

DJ: What is The Cityborn about?

Edward: The Cityborn takes place in the mountain-ringed Heartland, which is split down the middle by the great Canyon. At the center of the Heartland, straddling the Canyon, stands the towering, dripping, corroding and crumbling metal City, divided into thirteen Tiers. The City is ruled by the First Officer in the name of the semi-mythical Captain, who supposedly lives on the top Tier but nobody has ever seen. The First Officer’s rule is enforced by the ruthless armed Provosts and enabled by the other Officers, who live luxuriously in the Twelfth and Eleventh Tiers. Meanwhile, at the base of the City, the poor struggle just to get by in the First and Second Tiers. (The middle class lives, appropriately enough, in the middle Tiers.)

The City has stood above the Canyon so long that it has filled the chasm with rubbish, a dangerous, gang-ruled wasteland called the Middens, where criminals and outcasts are trapped, scavenging to survive. When Alania, raised by cold, distant Officer on the Twelfth Tier, is unexpectedly attacked, she flees into a nearby trash elevator, and to her horror finds herself dumped into the Middens. There she is rescued by Danyl, a young man who has lived his whole life in the the Middens and dreams only of finding valuable salvage he can barter for entry into the City. He thinks Alania might be just what he’s looking for—except almost at once they find themselves pursued by Provosts, for reasons they can’t imagine. As they flee deep into the Canyon, then into the Heartland, to the mountains of the north and back to the City again, the secrets they discover about who and what they really are, and the decisions they make because of those secrets, will determine not only their fates, but the fate of everyone in the Heartland. Continue reading

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