Category Archives: Interview

Author Interview: Elle Katharine White

Today I am interviewing Elle Katharine White, author of the new fantasy novel, Flamebringer, final book in the Heartstone series. 

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DJ: Hi Elle! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Elle Katharine White: Hey there! Thanks so much for having me here. I’m Elle, I write sci-fi and fantasy books and love all things nerdy, especially things with dragons.

DJ: What is Flamebringer and then the Heartstone series about?

Elle: Flamebringer is the final book in the Heartstone trilogy, which started as a reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in a fantasy world with dragons and dragon-riding monster hunters. I’d always wondered what life looked like for Elizabeth and Darcy after their happily ever after, and if they had to work as hard to keep their HEA as they did to find it in the first place. For the characters in Flamebringer, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Unfortunately for them, they have the added pressure of saving their kingdom from a monstrous invasion, which will make for some very interesting marriage therapy sessions later in life.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Heartstone series

Elle: The first book began with a mash-up of Pride & Prejudice and the movie How to Train Your Dragon, but in the second and third books I wanted to expand the world of Arle, giving it depth and history beyond its Regency counterpart. For that I turned to mythology. (I was and still am a huge myth nerd.) Many of the non-human characters were inspired by creatures I’d met in folklore. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kaaron Warren

Today I am interviewing Kaaron Warren, author of the new horror novel, Into Bones Like Oil.

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

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

Kaaron Warren: I’m an Australian writer of short and long fiction. I grew up in Melbourne, but I’ve also lived in Sydney, Fiji and Canberra. I wanted to be a writer from the start, as soon as I learned how to read. This is my bio:

Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She was recently given the Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award and was Guest of Honour at World Fantasy 2018, Stokercon 2019 and Geysercon 2019. 

She has published five multi-award winning novels (Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, The Grief Hole and Tide of Stone) and seven short story collections, including the multi-award winning Through Splintered Walls. Her most recent short story collection is A Primer to Kaaron Warren from Dark Moon Books. Tide of Stone recently won the Aurealis Award and the Australian Shadows Award, and was shortlisted for the Locus Award and the Ditmar Award. She has won the ACT Writers and Publishers Award four times and twice been award the Canberra Critics Circle Award for Fiction.

Kaaron was a Fellow at the Museum for Australian Democracy, where she researched prime ministers, artists and serial killers. In 2018 she was Established Artist in Residence at Katharine Susannah Prichard House in Western Australia. She’s taught workshops in haunted asylums, old morgues and second hand clothing shops and she’s mentored several writers through a number of programs.

DJ: What is Into Bones Like Oil about?

Kaaron: The novella is set in a rooming house, the sort of place where people live for a few years or a few months. The Angelsea sits above a beach, looking over the site of a long-ago shipwreck, and the building is haunted by the people who drowned at sea. The main character, Dora, has left her life behind after a terrible tragedy. She is driven by grief and guilt; these things direct everything she does. The ghosts and the living inhabitants connect in ways that will cause irreparable damage.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Into Bones Like Oil

Kaaron: This story came from many, many places and has been percolating for a long time. I stayed in a rooming house in Melbourne about 25 years ago and was fascinated by the daily routines, and by the relationships that formed in the dining room and the hallways. I was struck by how transient many people are in life, how we are who we say we are in new places where others don’t know us.

I also gathered stories of disappearances and murders where a rooming house was mentioned. “Last seen near…” There are quite a number of these. I’ve always been fascinated in the possibility of ghosts, and of messages from the ‘other side’. The possibility of absolute proof of an afterlife is interesting, and I like to explore that in different ways. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Trevor B. Williams

Today I am interviewing Trevor B. Williams, author of the new science-fiction novel, Eternal Shadow, first book in the Fall of Gods series.

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

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

Trevor B. Williams: I’m very happy that you connected with me!  I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but soon followed a job to Washington, DC. Today I presently live in Oakland, CA with my wife and three-year-old girl. When I’m not writing, I’m working for a healthcare tech company as a Senior Salesforce Administrator. And when I’m away from computers altogether I tend to go hiking or exploring museums with my family.\

DJ: What is Eternal Shadow about?

Trevor: Eternal Shadow is a story about perseverance in the face of the unknown, passion toward the sciences, and learning about what drives humanity – both the individual and as a species. This story focuses less on the threat to Earth, but how humanity copes with first contact and the existential crisis that is forced upon them. 

DJ: What were some of your influences Eternal Shadow and the series

Trevor: The idea of a planet-destroying object was certainly molded by both cinema and TV shows alike, from the famous Death Star in Star Wars to the Doomsday Machine in Star Trek: The Original Series. I’ve found such devices to be truly fascinating concepts. I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for such ideas have only driven me to look deeper into the fantastical plot device. My studies in behavioral psychology, too, played a large role in my wanting to explore this particular “what-if.” Understanding human behavior can be simultaneously quite simple but also terribly complex.  Continue reading

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Author Interview: Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Today I am interviewing Bryan Thomas Schmidt, editor of the new science-fiction anthology, Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, second  book in the Infinite Stars series

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

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

Bryan: I am primarily known as the first editor of Andy Weir’s The Martian and numerous anthologies. I have also edited books by Alan Dean Foster, Tracy Hickman, Mike Resnick, Frank Herbert, Angie Fox–all bestsellers–and numerous others. I am also a national bestselling author and was a Hugo-nominee for short form editing. I have written official tie-ins in The X-Files and Predator for Fox, as well as bestselling literary series Monster Hunter International and Joe Ledger, and my first novel, The Worker Prince, made Barnes and Noble’s Year’s Best Science Fiction in 2011. My latest novel is Simon Says, my first thriller

DJ: What is Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers about?

Bryan: The Infinite Stars concept is to collect the best of space opera and military science fiction past and present. I collect stories going back to the 1930s through present day. About half are reprints and half are brand new stories in popular existing universes. With a few new things mixed in here or there.

DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers

Bryan: Space Opera and Military Science Fiction are mainstays of speculative fiction. Star Wars, Star Trek, The Orville, The Expanse, Killjoys, Firefly–these are all examples of popular culture written in this subgenre. It may well be the most familiar of all subgenres of science fiction to audiences, the face of science fiction even, if you will. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Steven Govorchin

Today I am interviewing Steven Govorchin, author of the new pre-historical fiction novel, Plateau Dwellers. 

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

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

Steven Govorchin:  Thank you very much for extending this interview to me and taking an interest in Plateau Dwellers.  I was born in 1955 and grew up in Michigan. My great, eclectic journey began with military service in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, continued with a career in science and eventually expanded into the arts, including filmmaking, composing music and writing books.

DJ: What is Plateau Dwellers about?

Steven:  “Plateau Dwellers” is the story of a boy who comes of age in a primitive, unchanging culture that might have existed during the Neolithic Period of a hypothetical, alternate universe. His knowledge comes from the lore he has inherited and what his senses have told him about his surroundings. As he progresses through his teen years, he begins to question the validity of everything his society accepts as true, so he sets out on a long expedition to learn about the human condition and his world. Along the way, he builds the foundation for the most unexpected discovery of all: his own true nature.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Plateau Dwellers

Steven:  Like “Clan of the Cave Bear,” the adventure (in Part One) takes place in a primitive world.  Similar to “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” the main character is an alter ego of the author, who must figure out where knowledge comes from and its significance to his life.  As in “Atlas Shrugged,” a protagonist must acquire information and then struggle to overcome the limitations imposed by society.   Continue reading

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Author Interview: Christopher Hinz and Etan Ilfeld

Today I am interviewing Christopher Hinz and Etan Ilfeld, co-authors of the new fantasy novelette, Duchamp versus Einstein.

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DJ: Hi Christopher Hinz & Etan Ilfed! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Christopher Hinz: I’m the author of seven novels as well as screenplays, graphic novels, short stories and comics for DC and Marvel. As well as Duchamp Versus Einstein co-written with Etan Ilfeld, I also have a new novel, Starship Alchemon, coming out in November.

Etan: I’m a publisher, chess player and serial entrepreneur. I studied physics at university so this book brings together many of my passions: chess, art, physics, sci-fi and history.

DJ: What is Duchamp versus Einstein about?

Christopher: An ethereal female, able to move freely through space and time, arranges for the artist Marcel Duchamp and the scientist Albert Einstein to play a surreal game of chess that could have a major impact on world history. 

DJ: What were some of your influences for Duchamp versus Einstein?

Christopher: I’ve always been fascinated by Einstein, whose pivotal theories have so strongly influenced scientific and technological development. For instance, our modern-day GPS wouldn’t be accurate unless the underlying math took into account Einstein’s theory of general relativity.  

Etan: I’ve always been inspired by both Duchamp and Einstein. Duchamp was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and a master provocateur. For a decade he gave up art and became a master chess player–representing France in several chess olympiads. Both had failed first marriages and stable second marriages. Duchamp’s first wife was so jealous of his passion for chess that she glued his chess pieces to the board, which made him furious and precipitated the end of their short lived marriage. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jay Allen

Today I am interviewing Jay Allan, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Emperor’s Fist, fourth book in the Far Stars series.

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

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

Jay Allan:Sure.  I’ve been writing since 2012, mostly military science fiction and space opera, though I do have a fantasy novel floating around out there, too.

DJ: What is The Emperor’s Fist and then the Far Stars series about?

Jay:  The Far Stars series is set in a universe dominated by a brutal empire.  The Far Stars is a distant cluster of roughly 100 systems, separated from the empire by a vast navigational hazard called The Void.  For this reason, it is a wild frontier, and also the only place in the galaxy where people are not under the emperor’s boot. At the end of the last book (Funeral Games) the people of the Far Stars drove the emperor’s forces out of the sector.  The Emperor’s Fist is about the response to that.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Far Stars series

Jay:  Well, there’s a little Star Wars in it, I suppose, more in superficial ways.  There’s definitely some influence from pirate movies and the like, things like Captain Blood.  A lot of my stuff is pretty gritty military SF. Far Stars is definitely more space opera (though not without some grit). Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cat Rambo

Photos from the World Fantasy Convention 2011 in San Diego, CA

Today I am interviewing Cat Rambo, author of the new fantasy novel, Carpe Glitter.

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

What is Carpe Glitter about?

Cat: Carpe Glitter is about a woman who, while clearing out the detritus left by her hoarder stage magician grandmother, finds a magical artifact that has drastically affected her family’s history.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Carpe Glitter

Cat: The story grew out of the title, which was a play on the Latin phrase, “carpe diem,” or seize the day. I made Gloria Aim a stage magician, because I love the glitter and theatrics of stage magic, and I also used the story as a way to explore female lineage and mentorship.

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? 

Cat: Persephone Aim is determined to be neither like her mother or her grandmother, but she’s been a pawn between them in their ongoing battle all her life. In cleaning out her grandmother’s belongings, packed into three Las Vegas houses, she finds out unexpected things that shed new light on that battle. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cynthia von Buhler

Today I am interviewing Cynthia von Buhler, author of the new graphic-novel, The Illuminati Ball. 

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

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

Cynthia von Buhler: Hello! I’m an artist and writer. I’ve shown my 3-D and interactive paintings/sculptures in galleries and museums worldwide. I’ve also illustrated for most well-known magazines, newspapers and publishers –and won awards for that. For the past ten years I’ve been focusing on writing and illustrating graphic novels and staging interactive theater based on them. 

DJ: What is The Illuminati Ball about?

Cynthia: It’s is a warning call about new scientific discoveries, human greed, and corrupt governance on our planet subversively hidden in a provocative book about joining the Illuminati.  In real life I have been holding Illuminati Balls of varying sizes for the past four years (with the same premise). Guests need to apply in order to attend. They take part in a variety of rituals, anthropomorphic escapades and morality tests. My hope is for humans to stop being a cancer on earth and live harmoniously with nature.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Illuminati Ball

Cynthia: Several years ago, my choreographer, Delysia La Chatte, sent me intense photographs of the Rothschild’s Surrealist Illuminati Ball from 1972 as inspiration. Audrey Hepburn, one of the attendees, wore a birdcage over her head and the Baroness de Rothschild wore a stag head mask with diamond tears. These images made me think about the sadness of animals. I thought about global warming, factory farming, vivisection, hunting and so many other ways humans hurt animals. I decided to create an immersive play combining a Surrealist Eyes Wide Shut-type party with a story about non-human animals. I was also inspired by The Georgia Guidestones, a monument erected mysteriously in the eighties in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. The commandments engraved in it’s massive granite stones struck me as deeply pertinent advice for our times. At one point some thugs spray painted “Die Illuminati Pigs!” on one of the stones. This made me think, what if the Illuminati was an organization of pigs? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jason Arnopp

Today I am interviewing Jason Arnopp, author of the new horror novel, Ghoster.

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

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

Jason Arnopp: Hi there DJ! Thanks for having me here. I’m a writer of scary novels, who also tries to make you laugh from time to time. My background’s in journalism, originally rock journalism for the weekly UK magazine Kerrang! The exclamation mark is in the mag’s title, by the way. My first novel for Orbit Books was 2016’s The Last Days of Jack Sparks, about an arrogant celebrity who sets out to prove that the supernatural doesn’t exist and ends up in trouble with certain parties when he laughs during the exorcism of a teenage girl. And now here we are with Ghoster.

DJ: What is Ghoster about?

Jason: It’s about a paramedic called Kate, whose boyfriend Scott disappears on the eve of her moving across the country to live with him. When she breaks into his apartment, all his possessions have disappeared too… except for his mobile phone. As a self-identified phone addict, should Kate crack into Scott’s phone to find out where he’s gone and why he’s done this to her. Why do scratches keep appearing on the inside of the front door? And why does she feel so very watched? 

Beyond that summary of the premise, Ghoster is about modern dating, digital addiction and exactly what the hell the internet might have done to our brains.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Ghoster

Jason: In terms of real-world influence, as with The Last Days of Jack Sparks, the story was driven by my concerns about the dark sides or consequences of all this hyper-connectivity. I certainly feel like my attention span has reduced a fair bit over the last 10 years and I’m none too sure of how I feel about that. Continue reading

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