Monthly Archives: August 2017

Author Interview: Joshua Palmatier

Today I am interviewing Joshua Palmatier, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Reaping the Aurora, final book in the Ley series.

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

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

Joshua Palmatier:  Certainly.  I’m a fantasy author with DAW Books who also happens to have a PhD in math.  I teach at a college in upstate New York and write the fantasy novels on the side.  At this point, I have three complete trilogies out—the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy, the “Well of Sorrows” trilogy, and the just finished “Ley” trilogy.  I also have some short stories published in various anthologies and edit themed anthologies as well.  I formed a small press called Zombies Need Brains in order to continue editing anthologies.

DJ: What are Reaping the Aurora and the Ley series about?

Joshua:  REAPING THE AURORA is the third and final novel in the “Ley” series.  The basic premise is that humans have tapped into the power of the ley lines—the magical lines that connect stone monuments (such as Stonehenge)—and they are using the ley lines sort of like how we use electricity.  In the first book, Kara learns that she’s a Wielder, one of those that can manipulate the ley.  Allan, a guardsman, learns that he somehow disrupts the ley lines.  In the first two books, due to the abuse of the ley, it shatters, basically creating a catastrophe that thrusts the relatively advance society of the city of Erenthrall (and the rest of the world) into chaos.  Kara, Allan, and the rest of those they gather around them fight for survival while attempting to repair the damage that’s been done.  REAPING THE AURORA focuses on their last ditch efforts to repair the ley before it rips the world—and reality—apart. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Taylor Brooke

Today I am interviewing Taylor Brooke, author of the new Contemporary Romance, Fortitude Smashed.

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

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

Taylor Brooke: Thank you for having me! Well, I’m a Queer author and I write for teens as well as adults. I grew up in Southern California, but I currently live in Central Oregon. I’m a Special Effects Makeup Artist, a tea lover, and a traveler. If I’m not scheduled at the little metaphysical shop I work at, I’m usually planning my next adventure. I’ll be in Cambodia in January which is super exciting.

DJ: What is Fortitude Smashed about?

Taylor : Fortitude Smashed is a Contemporary Romance with a little bit of science fiction flare. It’s about a reckless, young art thief named Aiden Maar, and the Detective who tries to catch him, Shannon Wurther. In the reimagined modern world that I built, the Camellia Clock – a timer implanted under the thumbnail of every infant at birth – counts down to the moment someone will meet their soulmate/soulpartners. When Aiden Maar and Shannon Wurther come face to face with the startling fact that they’re fated, they have to learn how to deal with one another.

The story is extremely character driven and unpacks some heavy issues, but is tender at heart. High emotional stakes, introspective conflict and lots of kissing. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Eric Brown

Today I am interviewing Eric Brown, author of the new science-fiction novel, Binary System.

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

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

Eric Brown: Hi DJ; many thanks for asking me. I’m a SF writer active in the field for thirty years (I sold my first tale to Interzone in 1987, and my first collection, The Time-Lapsed Man and other Stories in 1990; my first novel was Meridian Days, in 1992.) Since then I’ve sold over sixty books and a hundred and fifty short stories in the UK and US. My work has been translated into nineteen languages. I live in Scotland, in the Borders, in a quiet little village that suits me fine. I’m married, and have a twelve year-old daughter.

DJ: What is Binary/System about?

Eric: It’s an action-adventure novel about a spacer, Delia Kemp, whose starship undergoes a catastrophic blowout while transiting a wormhole. She finds herself as the only survivor on a hostile alien world which orbits a binary system, suffering extreme winters and summers. Added to the difficulty of surviving on such an inimical word, a race of hostile aliens, the Skelt, want her blood. The novel is about her attempts to survive their attentions and escape from the planet.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Binary/System?

Eric: Jack Vance, certainly – not so much his ornate prose-style as his planet of adventure novels. I read them in my late teens and loved them – and I’m a sucker for crashed-starship-hostile alien tales! I wanted to tell a fast-paced story about a likeable, resourceful woman, aided by some friendly aliens. I suppose every crashed-starship novel I’ve ever read has fed into the writing of Binary System. Continue reading

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Author Interview:Daniel H. Wilson

Today I am interviewing Daniel H. Wilson, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Clockwork Dynasty.

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

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

Daniel H. Wilson: I’m a science fiction writer who lives in Portland, Oregon. I started out as a roboticist, then I wrote a novel called Robopocalypse that did well and I’ve been a full-time writer ever since.

DJ: What is The Clockwork Dynasty about?

Daniel : It’s a thriller that imagines an ancient race of humanlike robot that has been blending into humanity and serving the great empires of antiquity for centuries. In the present day, these robots are running out of power and cannabilizing each other to stay alive. When an anthropologist named June Stefanov discovers the existence of these creatures, she is thrown into an adventure in which she must learn where they came from and how to replenish their power to save her own life.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Clockwork Dynasty?

Daniel : I’ve always loved the high-stakes you get from eternal enemies in movies like Highlander, and that’s certainly present. And the organic descriptions of Victorian London in Interview with the Vampire were inspiring as well. And I was definitely inspired by a lot of cool history, like the ancient dynasties of China, the reign of Peter the Great in Russia, and the battles of the East India Company in colonial India. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Sandra Unerman

Today I am interviewing Sandra Unerman, author of the new fantasy novel, Spellhaven.

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

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

Sandra Underman: Thank you for asking me. I live in London, in the UK. Until a few years ago, I had a career as a Government lawyer. I’d been trying to write fantasy fiction for many years but my output had been very small. When I retired, one of my ambitions was to work seriously at my writing. So I undertook an MA in Creative Writing and have since had a number of short stories published, as well as Spellhaven. I am a member of the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society, as well as the London Clockhouse Writers’ Group. My interests include folklore and history.

DJ: What is Spellhaven about?

Sandra: It begins in England, just before the outbreak of the First World War. Jane, a young musician, is kidnapped and sent to Spellhaven, an island city ruled by magicians. Her music is wanted to help entertain the Unseen Spirits, who must be kept in good humour to maintain the peace and prosperity of the city. Jane is offered a contract for three years to play music for her kidnapper, Lucian, but she refuses to co-operate. She agrees instead to undertake an apprenticeship with another magician lord, provided she is taught magic in return. Her rivalry with Lucian and her struggles to learn magic lead her into conflicts which shake the city to its foundations.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Spellhaven?

Sandra: A great mixture. I’d been reading a lot about the history of theatre and ballet in England and Russia and I’m sure that went into the idea of the Unseen Spirits and the shows, including puppet shows, which fill the life of Spellhaven. Medieval legends about the sea and about the heroes who lived in the gaps of history have also caught my imagination over many years. I have a book called The Lost Literature of Medieval England by R.M. Wilson, which is full of fascinating hints. So far as fantasy writers are concerned, some of my favourites are Tolkien, T.H. White, Patricia McKillip, Frances Hardinge, Susanna Clarke and Ellen Kushner but I don’t set out to write like any of them. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Spencer Ellsworth

Today I am interviewing Spencer Ellsworth, author of the new science-fiction novel, A Red Peace, first book in the Starfire trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Spencer Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Spencer Ellsworth: Hi DJ!

I’m a lifelong science fiction and fantasy writer. It started when I read The Hobbit at the age of six. I currently work for a tribal college in the Pacific Northwest, and have previously worked in the publishing industry, along with stints in wilderness survival and special education.

The most interesting thing I’ve ever done was probably when I lived off crayfish and rattlesnakes for three days.

DJ: What is A Red Peace about?

Spencer: A galactic empire falls, the Resistance sweeps into power, and their first order is “kill all the humans.”

I like to think of it as a kind of Russian Revolution—or pick your other idealistic-revolution-gone-wrong—in space. Our main characters are a smuggler who helps some humans on the run, and a soldier dealing with internal conflict over his orders.

We’ve been trained by Star Wars to identify with a plucky rebellion, often forgetting that such plucky rebellions usually become demagogues clamping down on free speech.

DJ: What were some of your influences A Red Peace and the series?

Spencer: On the respectable end, I’ve always loved how Octavia Butler could write a serious social critique with all the high energy and pace of a pulp novel. My favorite novel of all time is Wild Seed. Every time I reread it I just get pulled in and totally caught up and I find new dimensions to the ending. 

On the less respectable end, I will consume any Star Wars or Transformers comic book. I tend to like my cheesy sci-fi franchises a lot more in comic book form. I love a big planet-eating robot or weird insectoid creature, limited only by the artist’s imagination. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Ken Scholes

Today I am interviewing Ken Scholes, author of the, Psalms of Issak series, whose first four book are being re-released in a bundle for Nook, Kindle, and Kobo on August 15. The first volume of the Psalms of Isaak, Lamentation, was published by Tor in 2009 and the fifth anf final volume, Hymn, comes out in December.

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DJ: Hey Ken! Thanks for agreeing to do this interviews! 🙂

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

Ken Scholes: Thanks for interviewing me, DJ. My name is Ken Scholes. I’m a speculative fiction writer among other things. I broke into print back in 2000 through the short story market and then, after winning Writers of the Future, I started writing novels. My series, The Psalms of Isaak, is what I’m best known for – I’ve been working on it for over a decade and the final book comes out in just a few months.

DJ: What is Psalms of Issak series about?

Ken: The world’s largest, most important city is suddenly destroyed and a key group of witnesses to that city’s fall are pulled into a labyrinth of intrigue as war erupts and various factions seek to solve the mystery of Windwir’s destruction. As the series progresses, the characters learn that they are part of a larger world – and a broader web – than they realized as they are changed by their experiences. Of course, it starts with a king finding a metal man weeping in an impact crater and goes from there….

DJ: What were some of your influences for Psalms of Issak series?

Ken: I was heavily influenced by more writers than I could list – Bradbury certainly at the top of that list. And in the early years of the series, watching Ron Moore’s re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, J.J. Abram’s Lost and Joss Whedon’s Firefly all had impacts on me when it came to storytelling. I was also influenced a great deal in my early years by Dungeons and Dragons and a host of other TSR role-playing games. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Ivan Ewert

Today I am interviewing Ivan Ewert, author of the new horror omnibus, Famished: The Gentleman Ghouls Omnibus.

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

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

Ivan Ewert: Thanks so much for having me! By day I sit in a cube and alternate between watching the screen for trouble and looking out the window, dreaming of more interesting trouble. By night I cook delicious meals, then write delicious nightmares. I’m lucky to be seventeen years married to the same wonderful artist and to be part of a small but supportive family – even if they can’t enjoy reading my horror, they always support my writing.  

DJ: What is The Gentleman Ghouls series about?

Ivan: At its heart, the series is about insatiable hunger, isolation, and body horror. It follows our protagonist, Gordon Velander, across the breadth of the United States in a passionate hunt for both self-redemption and terrible vengeance.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Gentleman Ghouls series

Ivan: The idea started with Lovecraft’s The Picture in the House. I was asked to write the most horrible things I could imagine, and the subject, restraint and localization of that short story has haunted me since I was a child. An interest in Goetic magic and a strong distaste for authoritarianism influenced the world, while the small towns around which I grew up informed the environments. I don’t read much horror, to be honest, but I can’t help being influenced by writers like Chuck Wendig and Catherynne M. Valente. I wouldn’t dare compare myself to them, but the default style I aspire to straddles theirs. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tim Akers

Today I am interviewing Tim Akers, author of the new fantasy novel, The Iron Hound, second book in The Hallowed Wars series.

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DJ: Hey Tim! Thanks for agreeing to do this interviews! ☺

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

Tim Akers: I’m excited to be here! First off, I grew up in the mountainous bits of North Carolina, but moved to Chicago for college back in the 90s. My first professional writing credits were for various role playing games while I was still in college, but after graduation I focused on paying bills and having food to eat, so didn’t get much writing done for a while. I turned that around in my early thirties, started writing short stories, and eventually found my way into novels. I’ve been at this professionally for almost fifteen years now, and The Iron Hound will be my fifth published novel.

DJ: What is The Iron Hound and also The Hallowed Wars series about?

Tim: The overall series is about a conflict between two countries and two religions, focusing on the lives a handful of people most affected by the schism. The series follows Malcolm Blakley, a duke of the north, and his son Ian, as they try to unravel an ancient conspiracy aimed at destroying both their country and the church. The story is also told from the perspectives of an inquisitor of the church, Frair Lucas, and his ass-kicking companion, the paladin Elsa LaFey. The final character is Gwendolyn Adair, whose family has been hiding a generations long heresy from the church. Her story is the focus of book one, so I won’t say much to spoil it. Suffice to say, her already complicated life gets much more interesting in book two.

Like all second books, The Iron Hound picks up on the tensions introduced in the first novel in the series (The Pagan Night) and escalates them toward the final conflict, which will occupy the final installment, The Winter Vow, due next summer. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Stephen Zimmer

Today I am interviewing Stephen Zimmer, author of the new sword and sorcery, fantasy novel, Thunder Horizon, second book in the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Stephen! Welcome back to MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape!

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

Stephen Zimmer: Great to be back at MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape! I am a pretty laid back fellow, residing in Lexington, Kentucky, who has a passion for storytelling. I am an author and filmmaker, with 12 books in print, and several short films, one feature, and now a TV Pilot in development. As far as interests, I love music, martial arts, guitar, traveling, movies, the outdoors, and good bourbon!

DJ: What is Thunder Horizon and also the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy about?

Stephen: Thunder Horizon and the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy is a Rayden Valkyrie adventure that follows her as she returns to her adopted homelands to help the Gessa confront a rising threat stalking the forests around them. Along the way she has aided a slave uprising in the growing Teveren Empire, whose shadow is spreading toward the lands of the Gessa and other tribes. Rayden has many harrowing encounters while uncovering more about the Teveren Empire and the deadly threats in the forest. Along the way, she has to confront some of her greatest fears and most formidable adversaries. It is a story of self-determination and courage above all.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy?

Stephen: My interests in ancient empires and civilizations, the stories of uprisings such as those conducted by historical figures like Spartacus, Vercingetorix, and Boudicca , and icons of sword and sorcery such as Robert E. Howard are all inspirations and influences for a storyline such as this. It is a very action-driven plot line that focuses upon a single character, though it is set within a fairly large scale with a clash of Empires and armies. Continue reading

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