Monthly Archives: December 2019

Author Interview: Rachel Atwood

Today I am interviewing Rachel Atwood, author of the new fantasy novel, Walk the Wild with Me.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

Rachel Atwood: I fell in love with history as a small child. At first it was the costumes and horses; knights in shining armor, enchanted me. Then I saw the old Disney cartoon “The Sword in the Stone,” and I became enchanted with the whole Arthurian adventure. Somewhere in there I was introduced to the highly romanticized adventures of Robin Hood and his Merry Men with Richard Greene on TV. I’ve written straight historical works, (Magna Bloody Carta: A Turning Point in Democracy, under my legal name Phyllis Irene Radford) but I much prefer writing history with enchantments. Currently I live in the foothills of Mt. Hood in Oregon with protected wetland forest ten feet outside my office window. It is not hard for me to imagine myself on the edge of Sherwood Forest looking in on the adventures I write.

When I’m not writing I enjoy line dancing. Having grown up in a ballet studio, I cannot, not dance, so if we are at the same SF/F convention you might find me dancing in a local fountain. In another lifetime I was a seamstress and a lacemaker. Who knows what hobby I’ll fall into next. It’s all fodder for the fiction mill.

DJ: What is Walk the Wild with Me about?

Rachel: 1208-1215 A.D. the Church in Rome divorced King John of England, and King John divorced the Church. There was no one tell people that the fae Wild Folk of the forest did not exist, so they are free to come out and play. Our hero, Nicholas is an orphan who knows no other life than in an abbey. He frequently gets into trouble because when helping illuminate manuscripts he can’t help adding weird faces into the flowing illustrations. Then, with the help of a pagan goddess enshrined in an ancient cup, he stumbles into the woods one day and discovers another whole aspect of life. He makes friends with the wild folk and has adventures while exploring.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Walk the Wild with Me?

Rachel: I’ve studied British Folklore forever. The Green Man, dryads, sylphs, water sprites, and even trolls feel like my neighbors. I’ve also sung some Gregorian Chants in church choirs. Why shouldn’t I combine the two? Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Author Interview: David Steffen

Today I am interviewing David Steffen, editor of the new science-fiction anthology, The Long List Anthology: Volume 5, fifth book in the Long List Anthology series, who is also editor the webzine Diabolical Plots, and co-founder and administrator of the Submission Grinder website for writers. 

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

David:  I’m an erstwhile writer and current editor and publisher, and a software engineer by day.  I’m probably most well-known in writing circles for co-founding and administering a tool for writers called The Submission Grinder.  I run the Diabolical Plots, LLC publishing house, although its Twitter feed is probably cross-stitch photos by volume.

DJ: What is The Long List Anthology: Volume 5 about?

David:  The Hugo Awards are a fan voted award, nominated and voted by whoever pays a supporting membership to WorldCon that year (you don’t need to physically attend).  There’s often great stuff on the final Hugo Award ballot that gets a lot of attention, and deservedly. After the Hugo Award ceremony, the WSFS (the organization that runs the Hugo Awards) publishes a longer list of nomination statistics, including a ranked list of works that weren’t on the ballot.  I had used this list for years as a recommended reading list, but those stories didn’t get anywhere near the attention of the works on the ballot, so I wanted to help get them some wider exposure. This anthology each year is entirely composed of stories that were on the longer nomination list that year in the Short Story, Novelette, and Novella categories.

DJ: What kinds of stories can readers expect in the anthology?

David:  They’re all science fiction/fantasy/horror of some kind, but it’s a very ecclectic mix, because it’s whatever an amorphous fan group of varying size and composition decided they liked in a particular year.  Usually there’s not a huge amount of horror, but usually one or two solidly in that category. There can be some trends in a particular year (i.e. this year there are quite a few science fiction mystery stories) but as a whole I think this anthology is probably one of the most varied in type of story out there because it’s not a single person picking the stories. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Interview: Kristyn Merbeth

Today I am interviewing Kristyn Merbeth, author of the new science-fiction novel, Fortuna, first book in the The Nova Vita Protocol series.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

Kristyn Merbeth: Hi! Thanks so much for having me (again!). I’m the author of the post-apocalyptic Wastelanders series as K.S. Merbeth, and Fortuna is my first step into the space opera genre. I love video games, Dungeons and Dragons, cooking, and my bulldog, Albus. Since the last time you interviewed me here, I moved from northern California back to my hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

DJ: What is Fortuna about?

Kristyn: Fortuna is about the Kaisers, a family who smuggles contraband between five human-settled planets. After the family matriarch takes a risky job, the smugglers are drawn into the system’s first interplanetary war. The story is told from the alternating points of view of Scorpia, the pilot and family screw-up, and Corvus, who was the favorite child and intended heir before he left the family three years ago.

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

Kristyn: The story began as a mash-up of the real-life discovery of Trappist-1 and the idea of a family of criminals from the show Animal Kingdom. Beyond that, it’s always hard for me to draw direct lines of influence, since I feel like I’m always subconsciously absorbing inspiration from all of the stories I read, watch, and play, across a variety of genres – from fun space opera jaunts like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, to games like Starcraft II and Frostpunk, to the work of my favorite authors, such as Kameron Hurley, V.E. Schwab, Paul Tremblay, and Riley Sager. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Author Interview: Paradox Delilah

Today I am interviewing Paradox Delilah, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Race.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

Paradox Delilah: I’m an Australian-Canadian writer, currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Other than writing, I love eating vegan food, reading, hanging out with my partner and our cats, and my day job — I work as a boom operator in the film and television industry.

DJ: What is The Race about?

Paradox: Here’s my teaser for it… Ikka’s days are consumed with speeding across the endless desert, competing against other racers in her colossal eight-wheeled X-Runner. She is aware that she can only remember one day at a time, but she doesn’t know why. But one night, Ikka witnesses another X-Runner disappear, and her repressed memories begin to resurface in terrifying fragments. Soon she remembers being held captive, chained in a glass-walled cage. She doesn’t know who put her there, or how she ended up in the competition, but now she is faced with a choice. Hide and protect herself, or risk everything to uncover the true purpose of The Race…

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Race

Paradox: Coming from a film background, I must admit that the story is more heavily influenced by movies than by other books. Mad Max: Fury Road, The Matrix, and even Star Wars: A New Hope were strong influences in terms of world building, pacing and tone. Thematically, the story takes cues from the novels The Handmaid’s Tale and The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,