Monthly Archives: February 2019

Author Interview: Jenn Lyons

Today I am interviewing Jenn Lyons, author of the new fantasy novel, The Ruin of Kings, first book in the A Chorus of Dragons series.

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

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

Jenn Lyons: You’re quite welcome. It’s a pleasure to talk to you! I suppose I could start by pointing out that I am coming to this whole writing business quite late: I was a graphic artist and illustrator for twenty years, worked in video games for another ten, and now here I am. (Add that all up and you’ll start to see I may not be a millenial.) Also–and this is important–I can’t make jello.

DJ: What is The Ruin of Kings about?

Jenn: It’s about a young man—adopted, poor—who daydreams he’ll find out that he’s a long-lost prince, which will naturally solve all his problems. Except when it happens, it’s horrible. It turns out that ‘rich’ and ‘nice’ aren’t synonyms, his new family is cruel, and he’s replaced his old problems with a whole new list of much more dangerous problems. He finds himself caught up in schemes and machinations of some astonishingly evil and powerful beings, who all want to use him to their own ends.

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

Jenn: I was influenced a somewhat unusual juxtaposition of cultures. My step-father was Assyrian and so I grew up in a household with a lot of very middle-eastern food, clothing, stories, but then I also have a strong love of mythology of all sorts, particularly celtic. If you look close, I think both those influences come through very clearly in different ways. And I was a complete D&D nerd as a child–I still am–so that can’t help but have had an impact. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Joe Ollinger

Today I am interviewing Joe Ollinger, author of the new science-fiction novel, 10,000 Bones.

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

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

Joe Ollinger: I’m an author. I’m a lawyer. I live in Los Angeles. I grew up in a small town in eastern Florida. I went to USC, where I studied screenwriting and psychology. I worked as a script reader for a while and read a lot of screenplays and some books in that role. Personality-wise, I take The Beatles over Elvis, coffee over tea, pizza over burgers, Batman over Superman, and Kirk over Picard. It’s a narrow margin for all of those except that first one.

DJ: What is 10,000 Bones about?

Joe: 10,000 Bones is a sci-fi thriller set on a world where calcium is used as currency. It follows a Collections Agent named Taryn, whose job it is to hunt down black market calcium to bring it back into the currency system. A job recovering the corpse of a little girl leads her onto the trail of a dangerous conspiracy, which threatens her life and forces her to confront her conflicted emotions toward the world she wants to leave.

DJ: What were some of your influences for 10,000 Bones?

Joe: In terms of literary influences, I grew up reading the classic sci-fi authors. Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Dick. Larry Niven came a bit later, but he’s my personal favorite, and his body of work is comparable to those guys. Years later, I read a lot of thrillers and became interested in the unique challenges of telling an emotional story in that mode of storytelling. In terms of real-life influences, the germ of the idea came from an academic interest in the power of money: the ability or inability of governments to control its value and manipulate it to their ends, the consequences of the use of the power. Continue reading

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Author Interview: S. Andrew Swann

Today I am interviewing S. Andrew Swann, author of the new fantasy novel, Marked.

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DJ: Hi S. Andrew! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Andrew Swann: I’ve been writing SF and Fantasy for a little over 25 years now, averaging a book a year during that time. I live in the Cleveland area, the setting for a number of my stories, including MARKED. I’m married and share a small sort-of farm with my wife, a horse, three sheep, two Boxers and a pair of cats.

DJ: What is Marked about?

Andrew: It’s about a woman, Dana Rohan, who has a tattoo-like mark on her back that allows her to go to various alternate pasts and futures. She doesn’t know the source of the mark or its powers, and she’s kept it hidden from those around her. She’s built a life as a police detective, where she’s secretly used the mark’s powers to help her in her job. Her life is upended when an apparently crazy man accosts her speaking a language she doesn’t know and is abruptly killed by an armored swordsman coming out of nowhere. The dead man bears a mark like her own. Soon after she’s chased by zombie-like creatures bearing their own perverse marks, and is racing through myriad alternate worlds in a quest to find out about the mark and her own past.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Marked?

Andrew: The most direct and obvious influence is Roger Zelazny’s AMBER series which I read in high school. It gave me the seed of the idea that would eventually become MARKED. But there are a lot of other influences, from various police procedurals, to the more recent DAWN OF THE DEAD and WORLD WAR Z. We can also blame the airships on GIRL GENIUS by Phil and Kaja Foglio. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Eyal Kless

Today I am interviewing Eyal Kless, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Lost Puzzler, first book in The Tarakan Chronicles.

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

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

Eyal Kless: I am a performing classical violinist and a teacher (currently teaching violin in Tel Aviv University). The fact that I can now add the title ‘Author’ to my name is still mind boggling and I always hesitate when I tell it to people who ask me “what do you do for a living”

“Eh, I am a violinist… and an author”

The usually response is” wow, how interesting and exciting, but what do you do for a living?”

I am a devoted father to my four years old, I love martial arts and train MMA in a very sporadic way. I used to play D&D way too much and I still dream up new adventures in old rules. 

DJ: What is The Lost Puzzler about?

Eyal: Okay, it is a reasonable enough question, but to summarize 550 pages of exciting adventures, fights, chases, mysteries and fun dialogues to several sentences is quite a challenge for me, especially since I do not want to throw in spoilers (deep breath), right:

Four generations after a Catastrophe killed most of civilization, the survivors are spread thinly around the globe. Some are reduced to “sticks and stones” other still know how to use technology but not how to produce it (like most of us today). The only way to get your hands on high-tech is to raids the ruined cities of the mysterious Tarakan empire and brave its dangers. The mercenary groups sent to those cities are called Salvationists.

In the relative safety of the City of Towers, a secondary scribe is sent on a close to impossible mission: he must locate an elusive and dangerous Salvationist mercenary, Vincha, and convince her to tell the story of Rafik, a boy-mutant who disappeared long ago. This boy, now long dead, might be the key to yet another  dramatic change in human history, either bringing civilization back to the age of light or giving it one final, deadly blow. Continue reading

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