Monthly Archives: July 2018

Author Interview: Rich Larson


Today I am interviewing Rich Larson, author of the new science-fiction novel, Annex, first book in the Violet Wars trilogy.

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

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

Rich Larson: I was born in Galmi, Niger and now live in Ottawa, Canada. My work has been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, Czech, French and Italian. I write a lot of short stories: I was the most prolific author of short science fiction in 2015, 2016 and probably 2017 as well. My debut novel, Annex, comes out from Orbit Books in July 2018, and my debut collection, Tomorrow Factory, follows in October 2018 from Talos Press. Alongside writing, I like travelling, learning languages, playing soccer, watching NBA basketball, shooting pool, and dancing kizomba.

DJ: What is Annex about?


Rich: Annex is about kids fighting aliens, but also about loyalty, family, and outsiderhood.

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

Rich: Annex is heavily influenced by Garth Nix’s Shade’s Children, Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord and K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs. It also has shades of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket / Daniel Handler. Basically, it’s a love letter to all the books I devoured as a kid.

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?

Rich: The two main characters are Bo and Violet. Bo is single-minded when it comes to playing rock-paper-scissors and has an alien parasite in his stomach that gives him superpowers. Violet hates baseball but is talented at maiming biomechanical othermothers with a baseball bat. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nick Setchfield


Today I am interviewing Nick Setchfield, author of the new fantasy novel, The War in the Dark.

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

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

Nick Setchfield: I’m the features editor on SFX magazine and also occasionally write for Total Film. I’ve been a local journalist, a movie reviewer for the BBC and a scriptwriter for ITV’s Spitting Image. The War in the Dark is my first shot at a novel, though I’ve had the itch to write one for a while – since I was a kid, in fact. I finally nailed myself to a desk and here we are.

DJ: What is The War in the Dark about?


Nick: It’s an espionage story and a supernatural adventure, full of spies and demons, intrigue and magic. It’s set in the earliest, chilliest days of the Cold War and races across Europe in 1963, powered by a quest for an occult secret of world-changing power. It’s also about second chances, the secrets of cities and why you should never trust a man who picks the raisins from an apfelstrudel.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The War in the Dark?

Nick: James Bond was crucial – both Ian Fleming’s original novels and the movies, though the tone of the book is closer to early Connery than Moore (I love the Moore films, in all their outsized glory, but this is a darker, icier take). Indiana Jones is another huge inspiration: I love that sense of globe-trotting adventure, the sheer pulp momentum of those Lucas and Spielberg movies. I also took inspiration from my love of Hitchcock and Hammer. And the ghost stories of MR James, which have such a lovely sense of dread to them that I thought would mix nicely with a John le Carré backdrop. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jane O’Reily


Today I am interviewing Jane O’Reilly, author of the new sci-if novel, Deep Blue, second book in the Second Species trilogy.

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

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

Jane: Sure! I live near London in the UK. I used to be a teacher, but these days I’m a full time writer. I knit a lot, and I like Captain America and biscuits.

DJ: What is Deep Blue and then the Second Species trilogy about?


Jane: Deep Blue is the second book in the trilogy. I don’t want to give too much away (spoilers!) but in this book, the heroine, Jinnifer Blue, has to travel to a violent and dangerous alien planet to rescue the man she loves. Things don’t quite go according to plan however, and the consequences of her actions are far worse than she could possibly have imagined.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Second Species trilogy?

Jane: I have always really loved high octane space opera, with lots of adventure and romance. I’m pretty sure it started with Star Wars. I was born the same year that New Hope was released, so I’ve lived with Star Wars mania my entire life. I was also obsessed with the original BattleStar Galactica, and then Star Trek, and then programmes like Farscape. Other influences included writers like Elizabeth Moon and Lois McMaster Bujold. I love the StarDoc series by S.L Viehl, the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre, the Torin Kerr books by Tanya Huff. Basically, anything with tough women fighting their way through space. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Craig DiLouie


Today I am interviewing Craig DiLouie, author of the new dark fantasy novel, One of Us.

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

Craig DiLouie: I’m very happy to be here!

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

Craig: I’m what’s called a hybrid author, meaning I publish through traditional publishers, usually big standalone novels, while also self-publishing, typically pulpy series of dime novels. I’m prolific as to genre, playing with dark fantasy, horror, apocalyptic, and military historical fiction. What I think my signature is for these very different works is putting ordinary people you care about in extraordinary situations, and putting fantastic elements–whether it be monsters, what have you–in a very realistic, gritty world. Otherwise, I was born in America, live in Canada, and I’m a proud dad of two wunderkinds.

DJ: What is One of Us about?


Craig: One of Us is a dark fantasy novel about about a disease that results in a generation of monsters who are now growing up in poverty-stricken and abusive orphanages in the rural South. As they come of age, they must find a way to fit in–or fight for what’s theirs. Author Claire North called it “The Girl with All the Gifts meets To Kill a Mockingbird,” which I think nails it.

DJ: What were some of your influences for One of Us?

Craig: I wanted to write a novel about prejudice in all its forms–societal, institutional, and individual–while taking it to its extreme. What if humanity produced a generation of frightening monsters who had the hearts and minds of children? What if these children achieved extraordinary powers as they grew up–would we admire or fear them even more? If Spider-Man half looked like a real spider, would he still be a hero? If Superman had horns and a tail?

My goal wasn’t to preach or offer a single solution but instead entice readers to experience the topic in their gut and reflect on what they felt. In its basic concept, the story is reminiscent of The Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men. Otherwise, the story screamed for a Southern Gothic treatment, with influences ranging from Carson McCullers to Cormac McCarthy. Violent and over the top, the Southern Gothic lit tradition often features a society in decay, taboo, the grotesque, prejudice, and larger than life characters. In my view, combining monster fantasy and Southern Gothic wasn’t a mashup but a natural fit. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Sebastien De Castell


Today I am interviewing Sebastien de Castell, author of the new fantasy novel, Spellslinger, first book in the Spellslinger series. Some readers might know him from the swashbuckling fantasy series, The Greatcoats.

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

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

Sebastien de Castell: I’m one of those terribly confused individuals who reads a book as a teenager and then tries to pattern his life around an unfeasible profession. In my case, when I was fifteen I read a book called BARD by Keith Tailor and decided I wanted a life of music, adventure, swordfighting, and storytelling. Over the years that ambition translated into a string of odd careers from being a full-time musician, a fencer and fight choreographer, and, of course, a novelist.

DJ: What is Spellslinger about?


Sebastien: Spellslinger is a series about magic and what price we’re willing to pay to have it. The books are full of wondrous spells and mysterious playing cards, but they’re also about the forms of magic that are available to all of us. Music can be a kind of magic, as can dance, or even human decency . Oh, and there’s a talking squirrel cat whose favourite pastimes are thievery and blackmail.

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

Sebastien: Oddly, in many ways SPELLSLINGER was driven not so much by influences as a desire to look at the other side of many of the fantasy novels I loved years ago. The Harry Potter series is terrific, for example, but I wanted to explore what it’s like to not be the chosen one – to in fact discover you’re the weakest of your people and your family, and to have to go out in search of other ways to make yourself special. That’s true of so many of the books that influenced me when I was a teenager. I loved the stories, but I knew I wasn’t the chosen one, so the question became: what do I do now? I was fortunate to have people in my life who – instead of assuring me that I was special – suggested I go out and find ways to make myself unique. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gabriel Madison

FC6E565F-B6CC-4D43-AFD8-E6F52DADC9B1Today I am interviewing Gabriel Madison, author of the new mystery novel, Now Introducing, The New Age.

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

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

Gabriel Madison: Sure. I began writing to entertain my mother, but became quickly passionate about it. Although I’ve never entered a writing contest, I’ve written a few screenplays and short stories that have gotten me praises from several of my professors (including a short vampire film I wrote and directed for school called ‘Midnight Diner’). While attending film school, my love of the written word began to surpass my affinity for the ‘motional art’ (as a few of my friends and I call movie making). Over the last fifteen years of writing in almost every genre, I’ve had a few small press releases. One is still available, Dayling, my different take on the vampire mythology. Truthfully, all of the books I’ve had published over the years were either fantasy, urban fantasy or sci/fi fantasy. The New Age is the first book from me that has no fantasy elements in it. I’m excited about that. Also, I think of myself as a storyteller instead of a writer. My opinion on the difference between the two is a long conversation maybe best for another day! hahaha.

DJ: What is Now Introducing, The New Age about?


Gabriel:Now Introducing, The New Age is about four disadvantaged teens from different backgrounds and different ethnicities are accepted into an elite private college, only to be pulled into a mystery surrounding the expulsion and arrest of a previous student, and an escalating war between the scholarship kids in the Prodigy Program and the affluent students known as the Legacies. The teens team up with an outcast Legacy to find out what really happened, while trying to stop the war between the Prodigies and Legacies from exploding. They quickly realize the pretty exterior of the school is only hiding the ugly atmosphere inside.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Now Introducing, The New Age?

Gabriel:Really what influenced me to write this book is what’s going on in the world right now. How people are separating themselves into different groups and almost demanding that other people pick a side. My story deals with an incident that causes students to draw lines and pick sides, even though they have no idea of what truly happened. They side with the students that are like them, instead of seeking out the truth. Also, a theme in The Count of Monte Cristo I found interesting and wanted to explore a little. Continue reading

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Book Collecting: Update #28


More books I got when I was at school!!!

Continue reading

Author Interview: Francesco Dimitri


Today I am interviewing Francesco Dimitri, author of the new fantasy novel, The Book of Hidden Things.

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

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

Francesco Dimitri: I am Italian. I live in London now, and I write in English, but once upon a time I used to live in Rome and publish books in Italian. At some point I decided to start from scratch in another language. The only problem being – I did not speak that language yet.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Book of Hidden Things?


Francesco: I have very wide tastes. I think you can see traces of Robert Macfarlane, with his perfect sense of the connection between people and place, and Joe Lansdale, with his uncanny capacity to write stories you read in three hours and stay with you forever. Donna Tartt taught me the kind of magic I wanted to write about, and I regularly go back and study Angela Carter to learn new things about sensuousness in prose. That said, I try to keep the real world in mind as my main influence. I do like the real world quite a lot, with all its shortcomings.

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?

Francesco: I wanted them to act, move, and feel, like real people. Not particularly good or bad, just human, with their human foibles, incoherences, and so on. Tony is the one I feel closer to: he believes that friends and family come before everything else, and so do I. Continue reading

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