Monthly Archives: April 2018

Author Interview: David Thomas Moore

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Today I am interviewing David Thomas Moore, editor of the new fantasy anthology, Not So Stories.

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DJ: Hi David! Thanks for stopping by to do an interview!

David Thomas Moore: Hi DJ! Thanks for having me.

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

David: Hello readers! I’m the recently-promoted fiction commissioning editor at Rebellion Publishing (that’s Solaris and Abaddon Books, chiefly). As well as being one of those shadowy, behind-the-scenes editors who decide what gets published, I’m also one of the other type, whose names appear on the front of anthologies (specifically, Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, Monstrous Little Creatures and Dracula: Rise of the Beast, inspired by the Sherlock Holmes books, the works of Shakespeare and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, respectively).

DJ: What is Not So Stories about?

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David: It’s an anthology of short stories inspired by and responding to Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 children’s classic Just So Stories, written entirely by authors of colour from around the world.

DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Not So Stories?

David: As you can probably tell from the list above, my anthologies are generally about dusting off and playing with the classics. Just So Stories came up in conversation in the office, and I thought about how important the collection had been to me as a kid, inspiring a fascination with etiological stories that played a large part in my engagement with mythology later in life.

But it’s also, frankly, pretty problematic stuff! Even leaving aside the outright racism found in, say, “How the Leopard Got His Spots” or “The Crab Who Played With the Sea” (and by all means let’s not leave that aside), Kipling’s complacency and imperialism are on show on every page. Inviting writers of colour to interrogate that seemed like the right step.

It also meant keeping myself out of it as much as practical: I’m white, I’m Australian/British, I’m not the person this anthology’s about. I invited Nikesh Shukla – whose The Good Immigrant was one of the standout releases of 2016 – to write a foreword. I provided the platform, but I left it to others to use it. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jonathan Fesmire

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Today I am interviewing Jonathan Fesmire, author of the new steampunk western zombie novel, Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, first book in the The Adventures of Bodacious Creed series.

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

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

Jonathan: Sure! I’m a professional writer and steampunk enthusiast. So, it should come as no surprise that I now write steampunk novels, specifically Wild West steampunk. And, for good measure, I throw in my own brand of zombies. In addition to writing fiction, I’m a full-time copywriter, so I’m lucky enough to get to write for a living. I’m a single dad, and my awesome son lives with me full time.

DJ: What is Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western and The Adventures of Bodacious Creed series about?

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Jonathan: The first novel is about a U.S. Marshal, James Creed, already somewhat of a legend when the story begins, who goes to Santa Cruz, California, to track down and arrest a serial murderer. Instead, that killer, Corwin Blake, shoots him dead. Creed wakes up in a laboratory where a woman in her early twenties has brought him back to life using steam-era technology. Creed resumes his mission to stop Blake. Of course, there’s much more to it, but that’s a good summation!

The rest of the series will cover his further adventures. Honestly, I don’t know where it will go. My stories shape themselves as I write them. Or, more specifically, my characters guide my stories, so it’s tough to come up with a long story arc, though I do have the broad strokes of the next two books in my head.

Like the first book, I plan for each to be a complete story, but with an obvious opening for the next book. The second novel, Bodacious Creed and the Frisco Syndicate, picks up the important threads left open by the first novel. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Thomas Locke

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Today I am interviewing Thomas Locke, author of the new Christian fiction novel, The Golden Vial, final book in the Legends of the Realm series.

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

What is The Legends of the Realm series about?

Thomas: The series centers upon life choices, and how so often what we see as a burden can in time become the source of our greatest opportunity. Hyam is basically a hard-luck kid, whose only real talents lie in eaking out crops from unwanted fields, and in languages that haven’t been used for generations. He’s poor, he’s alone, and there’s not much chance for doing what he most wants, which is to escape.

Then a series of events sweep him up, showing him that all the fragments of his life actually fit together in a powerful fashion. But first he has to cast aside all the reasons he’s built up within himself to fail.

To succeed, he must accept the challenge of growth, and learn to live for more than just his next good time.

DJ: Can you tell us a little about The Golden Vial?

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Thomas: The realm is under threat both from within and without. The Lady Shona, crowned queen of the realm in the last pages of Alyss, is a leader without a throne. She and her small contingent of loyalists are pursued relentlessly. Rather than try to flee, however, they decide to seek out the enemy and attack them head on.

This leads them back to the region known as Three Valleys, birthplace of Hyam and where the Emissary novel began. But Hyam is not with them; he has been felled by an ailment that is sweeping through the realm with the silent force of a true epidemic, only one for which the healers have no cure. They know it simply as, the wasting disease.

Help comes from the most unlikely of sources, a young orphan serving in the kitchen of Norvin, mayor of Hyam’s home village. Her abilities, though untested and largely untrained, could well hold the last remaining hope of the human realm. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jeremy C. Shipp

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Today I am interviewing Jeremy C. Shipp, author of the new horror novella, The Atrocities. 

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

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

Jeremy: Hey DJ! Thanks for having me. I like what you’ve done with the place. 

I am a professional geek, a yard gnome enthusiast, a spork collector, a cat whisperer, and a taqueria frequenter. My writing swirls together elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and magic realism. I’ve published over 10 books and baker’s dozens of short stories. I live in Southern California in a semi-haunted Victorian farmhouse alongside a few lackadaisical ghosts.

DJ: What is The Atrocities about?

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Jeremy: Here’s what the back cover has to say: 

When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn’t suffer.

But Isabella’s parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella’s… condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.

Or is there…?

In a recent review, Mallory Heart writes, “If Agatha Christie had fallen through a Lovecraftian Portal, and then penned a locked room mystery, with illustrations by William Blake, the result might resemble the vast estate, ‘The Atrocities,’ and its family, in this stunning Gothic panorama.” Continue reading

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Author Interview: Ilana C. Myers

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Today I am interviewing Ilana C. Myer, author of the new fantasy novel, Fire Dance, sequel to Last Song Before Night.

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

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

Ilana C. Myer: Thanks, it’s my pleasure to be here!

I’m the author of Fire Dance, a standalone sequel to Last Song Before Night. My books are set in a world where poets have power, and are rife with dark magic, twisty psychological conflicts, intrigues, and betrayals. Because those are things I enjoy.

I’ve also written about books–often fantasy–for various places such as the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Huffington Post, as Ilana Teitelbaum.  

DJ: What is Fire Dance about?

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Ilana: Last Song Before Night was about rediscovering lost enchantments. Fire Dance explores the consequences of that power. As a mirror to this theme, the protagonist herself, newly powerful, must come to terms with the challenges of her new position.  

DJ: Fire Dance is the sequel, but the first novel, Last Song Before Night, is actually a stand-alone; Does this mean that Fire Dance can be read as a stand-alone as well, or will readers need to be familiar with event in  Last Song Before Night before jumping in?

Ilana: I wrote Fire Dance with new readers in mind. Because Last Song ties up everything at the end, Fire Dance could have a truly new beginning, even as it takes up threads from the previous book for its backstory.

I was also determined, while I was at it, to write something completely different. I see a trilogy as an opportunity to tell a new story with each book, even if the stories are linked. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Leo Carew

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Today I am interviewing Leo Carew, author of the new fantasy novel, The Wolf, first book in the Under the Northern Sky trilogy.

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

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

Leo Carew: My pleasure, thanks for having me! I am 26, from London, and aside from writing, I spend most of my time training to be an army doctor. My real passion though is in wilderness and exploration. I’ve spent a lot of my life in very cold or wild places, and most recently overwintered alone in a cabin on an abandoned island, writing the sequel to The Wolf.

DJ: What is The Wolf about?

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Leo: It imagines a world in which more than one species of human survived the Ice Age, and went on to set up their own society. At the beginning of the book, the leader of the Anakim (the main alternate race of people) is killed, and his untested son Roper is dropped into a power-struggle. The Wolf follows his struggle to survive, and simultaneously secure his kingdom from an invasion.

DJ: What were some of your influences The Wolf and the series?

Leo: My genre of choice is historical fiction, which is where I get my main literary influences. I love authors like Bernard Cornwell and Hilary Mantel and their ability to submerge you in a lost world which you can smell and touch. I very much wanted that for The Wolf. I drew a lot from fantasy too. The Golden Compass is one of my favourite ever books, and I loved the imagination of the different worlds, and how they’re used to explore our own. Philip Pullman has such a great understanding of tone as well, which allows his books to say a lot without having to spell it out.

Lots of my inspiration also came from real history. Roman politics was splendidly twisted and underhanded, and provided endless ideas for evil machinations. The Spartans also made a big contribution for their social structure, which was extraordinary. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alice Henderson

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Today I am interviewing Alice Henderson, author of the new science-fiction novel, Shattered Roads, first book in The Skyfire Saga.

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

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

Alice Henderson: Hi DJ! Thank you for having me here. I’ve written officially licensed novels for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, and The Ghost Whisperer, and have written material for Star Wars video games. For my own original work, I feel very strongly about including themes about wildlife and climatology. I do pro-bono work for a number of wildlife non-profits, including bioacoustic wildlife surveys and mapping. I was selected to attend the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, the NASA-funded writing workshop devoted to bringing accurate science to science fiction, and strive to uphold that in my work.

DJ: What is Shattered Roads about?

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Alice: In a future laid waste by environmental catastrophe, a menial laborer discovers an ancient alarm system warning of an asteroid on an imminent collision course with Earth. Science has long since been abandoned, and she must journey across a storm-ravaged landscape to find a legendary group of people who held onto science and are humanity’s only hope.

DJ: What were some of your influences Shattered Roads and the series?

Alice: I’ve always been inspired by books that recognized unsettling traits in our society and projected them out into the future, portraying how our society would develop if we stayed on the current path. Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent example of this. I also loved books in which characters wander through a world where history has been forgotten, exploring crumbling cities that the reader can recognize, like The White Mountains by John Christopher. That’s also a great example of a story in which characters start out isolated and ignorant and end up fighting for altruistic reasons. That’s always appealed to me. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Patrick W. Carr

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Today I am interviewing Patrick W. Carr, author of the new fantasy novel, The Wounded Shadow, final book in The Darkwater Saga.

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

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

Patrick W. Carr: DJ, thank you for having me and hello to all your readers. I’m a public school teacher by day and epic fantasy author by night. I have an awesome wife, Mary, who is a nurse, and four amazing sons. Mary and I are mostly empty-nesters at this point, but we do have a dog, Mr. Fruffles.

DJ: What is The Wounded Shadow and then The Darkwater Saga about?

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Patrick: The inspiration for the entire series came from my desire to take the traditional epic fantasy and weld that with the mystery genre. I tell people that it’s like Sherlock Holmes meets Lord of the Rings. The main character was inspired by my dad. He was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and flew combat in Korea and Vietnam. Like a lot of people, he came back from Vietnam with PTSD and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve taken a lot of courage from the way he struggled with the injuries from war that no one could see. I made my main character, a reeve (detective) name Willet Dura, a war veteran who bears those kinds of scars, but it’s a fantasy, so there’s quite a bit more to the story than just that.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Darkwater Saga?

Patrick: I’d never published a mystery novel before and thought it would be a good idea to read the masters. I’d read Sherlock Holmes from the time I was a boy, but I wanted more of the “hard-bitten” detective feel from the noir movies of the 30’s and 40’s, so I went back and read everything from Raymond Chandler I could get my hands on. He’s the author of all the “Phillip Marlowe” novels. I also read a mix of more contemporary books before I put words to the page of the current series. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kim Wilkins

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Today I am interviewing Kim Wilkins, author of the new fantasy novel, Daughters of the Storm, first book in the Blood and Gold trilogy.

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

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

Kim Wilkins: I’m a writer and an academic. My first book was published 20 years ago, but I’ve written across a range of genres and also under a pseudonym. I have thirty books under my belt now. Fantasy has always been my first love, so it’s exciting and wonderful for me to be back here. As an academic, I teach writing and publishing studies, and run a research grant on popular fiction.

DJ: What is Daughters of the Storm about?

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Kim: It’s about the five daughters of a king in a vaguely Anglo-Saxon fantasy world. The king gets sick from bad magic, and they have to go on a quest to find the cure. Only trouble is, being five very different women, shenanigans ensue.

DJ: What were some of your influences Daughters of the Storm and the series?

Kim: Tolkien, of course. I studied medieval literature and was particularly taken with Anglo-Saxon literature. I can read Old English and in fact I convened a reading group that read the entirety of Beowulf in the original language. One of the defining intellectual achievements of my life.

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? 

Kim: Bluebell is a great character to write. I wish she was my big sister (although I suspect my feeling wouldn’t be shared with her actual sisters in the book). She is in some ways the stereotypical warrior chick; but I wanted to mess with that a bit so she’s tall and gangly and ugly, and she is fiercely fiercely loyal to her family and her duty. Like,to a fault. So she can kick the butts, but sometimes she kicks the wrong butts or doesn’t kick them hard enough. Oh, and she always thinks she’s right, which is super-annoying for everyone else. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Bryan Camp

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Today I am interviewing Bryan Camp, author of the new fantasy novel, The City of Lost Fortunes, which has earned starred reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal.

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

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

Bryan Camp: Sure! I’ve lived in and around New Orleans my whole life, and for most of those thirty-mumble years, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I studied creative writing in undergrad, earned an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and was a member of the Clarion West class of 2012. I’m married to a lovely high school math teacher without whom I would have accomplished approximately zero of the goals life goals I just mentioned. For the six years before I sold my novel I was a high school English teacher, and before that I taught community college, worked in an office in an oil refinery, and once, for a single weird, desperate week, was a parcel delivery driver in Alabama.

DJ: What is The City of Lost Fortunes about?

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Bryan: It’s a murder mystery set in a post-Katrina New Orleans where the gods, magics, and monsters of various world mythologies exist. The story follows Jude Dubuisson, who is a demi-god, though he doesn’t know which deity is his father. He gets pulled into a tarot card based poker game along with Thoth, the Egyptian god of scribes, Legba, the voodoo loa of the crossroads, a vampire, an angel, and Dodge, the Fortune God of New Orleans. When Dodge is murdered immediately after the game, Jude must discover who killed him, and why.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The City of Lost Fortunes?

Bryan: Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World was a major influence on this novel. It’s scholarly study of the roles Trickster figures play in the cultures where their stories are still shared. He argues that they’re far more than mere stories, that they influence the psyche of the cultures that tell them. His work wasn’t my introduction to Trickster stories or to syncretic myth, but the way Hyde tied it all together in a tight, compelling package really helped me get my head around some of the themes at the center of the book. Continue reading

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