Monthly Archives: August 2017

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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Author Interview: Matt Doyle

Today I am interviewing Matt Doyle, author of the new urban science-fiction/tech noir novel, Addict, first book in The Cassie Tam Files.

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

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

Matt Doyle: Hey there! So, my name’s Matt, and I’m a UK based author. When it comes to fiction, my work tends to fall loosely into the hybrid genre classification. The reason for that is that while my tales tend to be speculative fiction at their core, I personally enjoy a lot of different types of story (spanning pretty much any type of media you can think of) and I like to mix different elements in as I go. In the case of Addict, it has a near future sci-fi setting, was influenced by urban fantasy, but is written to in part be a homage to crime noir.

When I’m not working on fiction, I also run a pop culture site, Matt Doyle Media Dot Com. If that sounds a little narcissistic as a site title, it’s because it was intended to be a central hub for my various projects. Over time though, it’s grown to not only give me a platform for my own work, but to allow me space to blog about everything from anime and video games to cryptozoology and random nonsense. At time of writing, I’m working on doing at least one post a day Mon-Fri every month, so there’s a lot of material coming out!

I mentioned projects plural there because I like to keep myself pretty busy. I’m an avid cosplayer, with a focus on crossplay, and have at least one new costume to plan and build every year. Thus far, they’ve varied from building a full fursuit of Renamon from Digimon Tamers to modifying a motorcycle helmet to play Celty Sturluson from Durarara!! On top of that, I have been known to occasionally produce physical art. I mostly work digitally, but the odd ink or pencil doodle does appear. I actually have a RedBubble shop with some of my current art plastered over a ton of different stuff.

I also occasionally write a little about past experiences. For example, I spent ten years working in the UK pro wrestling industry, not only as a wrestler but also as a referee, ring announcer, on screen manager, booker, promoter and liaison between workers and management. That comes up once in a while if I have a story to tell. I cover certain events like Bi Visibility Day each year too.

Outside that, I have a ton of social media accounts linked on my site. I’m most active on Twitter at the moment, as well as a few Facebook groups. In a way, it’s good for me, I think. I’m in that unfortunate position where I like the company of others, but I’m not very good at real-life socializing. Connecting with people online is a useful way to get around that.

DJ: What is Addict about?

Matt: OK, so as it says above, Addict is the first book in The Cassie Tam Files. Cassie herself is a PI working in a fictional city called New Hopeland, and the book follows her latest case. In this instance, she’s visited late at night by a lady named Lori Redwood who wants Cassie to look into her brother Eddie’s death. Eddie was a Virtual Reality Junkie, and the police have already declared his death to be an accidental overdose on the synthetic stimulants that most VR Junkies use, but Lori insists that this is impossible as he never used stimulants. Cassie believes that the police were probably correct, and she makes that clear to Lori, but takes the case anyway. The more that Cassie digs though, the more that things don’t seem to add up, and she soon finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. To make matters worse for our intrepid PI, she also has to deal with the fact that Lori is fast becoming the first person that she’s been attracted to since splitting with her ex-girlfriend. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tyler Wandschneider

Today I am interviewing Tyler Wandschneider, author of the new science-fiction novel, LOCKHEED ELITE.

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

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

Tyler Wandschneider: Hi DJ! Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure being here and sharing my story with you all. I’m a Seattle-based author breaking into the published world this year. I have been figuring out this writing thing for almost a decade now with a serious case of the 9-5ers that I would love to shed. 😉 By trade I am a structural engineer but really my passion is creating stories. Before Lockheed Elite, I wrote my first novel, Pandora’s Chase. I decided not to publish that one but it is available on Instafreebie for those that may be interested in reading a first novel. As my second novel, Lockheed Elite is far better, hence sending it out into the world. (I still love the story of Pandora’s Chase).

DJ: What is Lockheed Elite about?

Tyler: Lockheed Elite is about the survival of a tight knit crew who have chosen a life in space. I’m not talking about surviving the elements of space, because that doesn’t interest me. Well, surviving interests me but I think a story about people surviving other people is a much more engaging and satisfying story than man vs. nature (elements of space). I’m talking about navigating the duplicitous nature of life in space. I see there being a difficulty to police the vastness of the big and black so when we have a setting where space travel is as abundant as cars on the road are to you and I, I see flight crews banding together and adopting a kind of career doing what they need to get paid and eat. So, we zoom into Anders Lockheed and his crew. By trade, they are scavengers. They’ll get wind of an abandoned ship or something left out somewhere and they’ll head out and scrap the thing and sell the parts. They’re known for being the best at everything they do, so naturally, they become the target of the military for use as bait/puppets/decoys for a much larger target. They are drawn into a monster job where a trap is set and they take the bait. And therein starts the story and the rest of it is Anders and crew doing what needs to get done to survive and break free from the arm of both the law and the underworld. In it we have a life ransomed, secret operatives infiltrating our crew, tension, mystery and there’s even a heist, though sadly it’s not the champion of the story. You’ll also see a genious mechanic whose creative inventions help the crew in and out of trouble so that’s a bit of fun. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Margaret Killjoy

Today I am interviewing Margaret Killjoy, author of the new fantasy novella, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

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

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

Margaret Killjoy: Sure! I’m a writer, which I guess is obvious. I’m also a weirdo punk anarchist transwoman and all sorts of other descriptors. I used to self-publish everything I did out of DIY ethos, but more recently I’ve moved into traditional publishing.

DJ: What is The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion about?

Margaret: It’s about Danielle Cain, a punk wanderer in search of a home and in search of answers about her best friend’s suicide. She goes to visit Freedom, Iowa, a squatted town run by anarchists, and discovers they’ve summoned a three-antlered, blood red deer to protect the town. And that hasn’t gone so well.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion?

Margaret: Most immediately, I’d probably point to the personal zines put out by people with lives like my protagonists and my own. I can think of the book I Wish There Was Something I Could Quit by Aaron Cometbus and the zine series No Gods, No Mattress by Enola Dismay off the top of my head. And there’s nothing I can write about squatters and punks that doesn’t, on some level, hearken back to reading the books Elsewhere and Never Never by Will Shetterly when I was a kid. They’re about punk rock magic in a way I’d never seen before, a way that really opened my eyes to the beauty one can find in desolate spaces. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Anna Smith Spark

Today I am interviewing Anna Smith Spark, author of the new grimdark, fantasy novel, The Court of Broken Knives, first book in the Empires of Dust series.

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

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

Anna Smith Spark: Hello DJ, and thank you for asking me! I’m a British fantasy novelist with a background in classical history and mythology. I’m a (sadly, ex-) D&D player and Warhammer fan – for a couple of glorious years, I studied the Iliad and the campaigns of Alexander the Great all day, then played David Gemmell based D&D all night. In my past lives I’ve been an English teacher, a petty bureaucrat and a fetish model. I have dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s Syndrome.

DJ: What is The Court of Broken Knives about?

Anna: Aha ha ha. The big question. Broken Knives is my response to the hero myths and legends that I’ve loved since childhood – the Iliad, the Eddas, Beowulf, the Tain, Tolkien. It’s about violence and the cult of the war leader. Why we fight and die, why we follow someone to death. Why human society has always fetishized violence, seen prowess in war as admirable.  

It’s basically a fairly standard fantasy set-up: in a decadent city, a nobleman schemes to save his world through violence, hires a company of mercenaries to do the changing. But a member of the company has a dark secret. And violence has a way of getting out of control.

It’s grimdark epic fantasy with poetry, Joycean stream-of-consciousness battle scenes, and rude jokes. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Leonie Postma

Today I am interviewing Leonie Postma, author of the new dystopian sci-fi novel, Samir.

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

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

Leonie Postma: Thanks DJ, for inviting me here. Sure. I’m Dutch, and grew up in Amsterdam and some years in France. After my studies, I worked for a number of years in Namibia and Angola, after which I came back to the Netherlands again. Currently, my base is Amsterdam, but I stay several months a year in Portugal, which is for me the perfect place to write, while helping out on a farm. Besides writing and farming, I work as a trainer and project evaluator on freelance basis, and love to go for long walks.

DJ: What is Samir about?

Leonie: Samir is the story of a refugee in what seems to be a beautiful and peaceful place, a place I refer to in the book as the Centre. The story explores our desire to create and believe in utopia, beautiful places where all is good, and where, sometimes, we can forget that what is good for one, is not always good for the other. It’s also a story that question’s the manufacturability of a society: is it possible to create what we want? Are we, as humans, able to control it all? Or will there always be a dark side in whatever we make – whether it is new technology or a new type of society – a side we didn’t want to see, or which we forgot to take into account?

DJ: What were some of your influences for Samir?

Leonie: Maybe it sounds a bit clichéd, but Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall between the US and Mexico and the current influx of refugees in Europe inspired me to write Samir. When reading about all this, I was wondering: what would happen if someone decides to set up safe heavens, where refugees can live in peace and get everything they need: food, facilities, clothes, in return for forty hours of labor. And what will happen if we make everyone practice mindfulness and meditate at least once a day, so that they can experience living in the here and now. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Wendy Hammer

Today I am interviewing Wendy Hammer, author of the new urban fantasy omnibus Cross Cutting.

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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 Hammer: Hi! Sure thing. My go-to three word introduction is: Reader, Writer, Weirdo. It covers most of the bases. I’ve been a voracious reader almost my whole life and I love to write. This is handy because I teach English at a community college for a living. The weirdo part speaks to personality, I suppose. I like eccentrics, oddities, and quirk. I’m a geek. I will talk about Dragon Age, Hannibal, Nimona, and other favorites all day long. 

DJ: What is the Cross Cutting series about?

Wendy: It’s about Trinidad O’Laughlin, a woman who can magically bond with a territory in order to protect it, and her search for a home to call her own. She comes to Indiana in response to a cry for help and in hopes of reconnecting with an old friend. There, she confronts waves of murderous monsters who travel through cuts between our world and their own. Each major story in the collection focuses on a different cut and a new piece of the puzzle. The second section of the collection is from her friend Ache’s point of view, but Trinidad never takes a backseat. In the end, it’s her story.  

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Cross Cutting series

Wendy: A mishmash of RPG warden/bard/ranger character classes, Irish and Trinidadian culture, classic punk music, my favorite horror movies, and likely all the other media I’ve consumed over the years.  Continue reading

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