Monthly Archives: November 2017

Author Interview: Kari Maaren

Photograph courtesy of Phil Mills

Today I am interviewing Kari Maaren, author of the new YA fantasy novel, Weave a Circle Round.

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DJ: Hi Kari! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Kari Maaren: I’m a Canadian writer, cartoonist, musician, and university English instructor. I live in Toronto and basically do all the things. Weave a Circle Round is my first novel, but I also have a couple of webcomics, West of Bathurst and It Never Rains, and a couple of independent albums, Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off and Everybody Hates Elves. I am not fond of puns or elves, not necessarily in that order. I grew up in Vancouver, so whenever someone in Toronto complains that it’s “too rainy,” I laugh.

DJ: What is Weave a Circle Round about?

Kari: It’s an old-fashioned kids’ adventure story about a girl named Freddy who is just generally mad at the whole world, herself included. She wants to stay under the radar at high school, but her weird stepbrother and super-smart little sister draw attention to themselves and, peripherally, to her. Then a couple of bizarre new neighbours move in next door, and the weirdness begins to surge out of control. Saying too much more would constitute a huge spoiler, but basically, with WACR, you’ve got a mystery wrapped in a fantasy adventure sprinkled over with references to mythology and Romantic poetry, all tied up with a bow made of creepiness. Continue reading

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Author Interview: G.D. Penman

Today I am interviewing G.D. Penman, author of the new urban fantasy novel, The Year of the Knife.

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DJ: Hey G.D.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

G.D. Penman: Hi DJ. I am afraid there isn’t much to tell; I am pretty much a hermit except for the whole “writing” thing. I’ve been writing professionally for about a decade, and unprofessionally for a decade more, although the book I wrote at age 10 doesn’t really hold up very well.

DJ: What is The Year of the Knife about?

G.D.: The Year of the Knife is a hardboiled detective story that just happens to be set in a world where magic exists. It follows Agent Sullivan of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation as she tries to stop a body-hopping serial killer, avoid assassination attempts, deal with her boss being turned into a parrot and navigate her love life, something slightly complicated by the fact that her girlfriend is a little bit undead.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Year of the Knife?

G.D.: Urban Fantasy books are like candy for my brain, I gobble them up at an appalling rate, but something that always bothered me about them was that the world was never substantially different; the existence of magic and monsters didn’t seem to change anything. The Year of the Knife is a bit of a rebuttal to all those worlds where everything was identical except there were vampires and wizards hanging around. Reading American history was also a big inspiration for the more political aspects of the story. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jared Barlament

Today I am interviewing Jared Barlament, author of the new literary fantasy novel, The Plight of a People.

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

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

Jared Barlament: Of course! I am a self-published author of, so far, only one novel. I’m a student living in the rural Midwest, and manage my writing time in between school, soccer and marching band. I live on a bit of a tight schedule, but I make it work.

DJ: What is The Plight of a People about?

Jared: It’s what I like to call a literary fantasy epic. The book is split into three separate parts, each of them set at a different time period in the history of the Roesanian people on a fictional secondary world. The book follows them and their struggles through the eyes of three of their leaders, and is a show of the inner workings of ever-advancing governments and the spirits of righteous and corrupt men alike that run these governments.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Plight of a People?

Jared: I’ve read many classical works, and although modern fiction has found its influences in my work, most of my influence comes from the stories of many years ago. Tolkien’s and Homer’s sagas have probably had the biggest effect on me as a writer, as have philosophical writers such as Plato. Continue reading

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Author Interview: James Parsons

Today I am interviewing James Parsons, author of the new horror novel, Northern Souls.

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DJ: Hi James! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

James E. Parsons: I went from working in art and film and animation production to writing screenplays and then fiction a few years ago. I’ve previously had two SF novel published since 2013.

DJ: What is Northern Souls about?

James: The story focuses on a young man named Eric after his girlfriend has mysteriously died. His feels that he is suspected of killing her and goes to jump from the Tyne bridge. Her ghost comes to him and tells him about demonic tribes which control the people of the North East and have done for a long, long time. This is how she died. She begins to lead him toward how to stop them, save others and her soul.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Northern Souls?

James: Some of the long standing influences on my horror fiction include the early works of Clive Barker, the books of Graham Masterton, Poppy Z Brite besides Poe and Lovecraft an others. Also many horror films such as Hellraiser, the films of Dario Argento, Carpenter, Romero, Hammer horror and more. Continue reading

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