Category Archives: Interview

Author Interivew: Jon Ray

Today I am interviewing Jon Ray, author of the new fantasy novel, Gorp: Dungeon Overlord, second book in the Gorp the Goblin series.

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

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

Jon Ray: I recently moved to Sydney, Australia from Los Angeles, California. As of last year, I published my first novel and became a fantasy author with the Gorp the Goblin series. The following is my About the Author you’ll currently find on the back of my books: Jon Ray is a writer, director, and actor in film along with a large assortment of other titles when it comes to entertainment. Since the age of 13, he has played and enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons normally running his own games as the Dungeon Master for others. Originally from Tyler, Texas in the U.S., Jon currently resides in Sydney, Australia where he prospects for gold in the outback when not writing.

DJ: What is Gorp: Dungeon Overlord and then the Gorp the Goblin series about?

Jon: In the first book, “Gorp: Goblin Janitor”, a small goblin named Gorp goes in search of better employment. As in his homeland, raids on human villages have gotten a bit tiresome and Gorp doesn’t really hate the humans as much as other goblins. *Spoiler Alert for the first book* Gorp ended up getting made the Dungeon Overlord at the end of the first book. This is where book two picks up in “Gorp: Dungeon Overlord”, a few months after the first book ends. In this book, Gorp rules over Ye Olde Dungeon and all the monsters inside. Just as life seems to be going good for Gorp, a new threat from the west arrives in the form of a full scale orc invasion. This green force threatens not only the human settlements in the area, but Ye Olde Dungeon, as they make their living off the misfortunes of unlucky adventurers. Without them, the balance and tide of power would shift unfavorably too all within. In this book Gorp eventually meets both the human and fae kings of the realm and together they fight back the orc forces to save the world as they have known it. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nathan Crowder

Today I am interviewing Nathan Crowder, author of the new novel, Ties that Bind.

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

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

Nathan Crowder: I started off writing poetry. Just awful poetry. From there, I tried writing horror short fiction. Now, to be fair, I was in junior high/high school, and it was all bad and not remotely scary. I’m thankful my parents gave me encouragement and freedom to suck at something for a while so I could learn how to be GOOD at it. Everything I’ve achieved as a writer has been a result of that, despite the fact I don’t think they ever really got what I was writing about.

DJ: What is Ties that Bind about?

Nathan: Short answer, Ties that Bind is about human trafficking. Fun! Longer answer, it is about three women: one a wealthy dilettante hero, one a compromised, hard-scrabble vigilante trying to make up for her father’s sins, and one is the right hand for Cobalt City’s premier crime family. It’s about them confronting their privilege and complicity in the very real world of human trafficking, and how they can make a stand.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Ties the Bind?

Nathan: A few years ago, there was a flurry of news articles and first-person narratives from people who had escaped human trafficking. I was troubled that the reality of trafficking and human slavery was far more widespread and ignored than I’d ever realized. It’s an institution, a multi-billion dollar industry, and it’s right under our noses but we never think to question it. As is often my way, when I find out about this kind of injustice, my brain wishes there were heroes to step up and fight it head-on. It’s kind of a central theme of mine. So I considered which heroes I had kicking around Cobalt City who would make the most compelling lenses to view the situation through. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Marshall Ryan Maresca

Today I am interviewing Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the new fantasy novel, The Way of the Shield, first book in the Maradaine Elite series.

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

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

Marshall: Hi, I’m Marshall Ryan Maresca, I’m a fantasy author living in Austin, and I’m the author of the Maradaine Saga, which consists of four different series set in the same magical fantastical city of Maradaine, the latest of which is The Way of the Shield, which is the first of the fourth series, The Maradaine Elite.

DJ: What is The Way of the Shield about?

Marshall:  The Way of the Shield follows Dayne Heldrin, a pacifist warrior who is part of the Tarian Order, elite order who study defensive combat arts.  He returns to Maradaine after a costly error involving an influential family could lead to his expulsion from the Order, and he finds his principles put to the test as he tries to stop an insurgent plot to assassinate members of Parliament.

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

Marshall: I’ve been calling it Fantasy Captain America Meets Les Miserables, which should give you some sense of where it’s coming from.

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? What makes them compelling?

Marshall: The two main characters, Dayne and Jerinne, are both people who have a lot of doubts about their future, but they’re also people who immediately step into action when people are in danger. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nathan Crowder

Today I am interviewing Nathan Crowder, author of the new novel, Ride Like the Devil, second book in the De la Vega Mysteries series.

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

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

Nathan Crowder: I’m a child of the deserts of the southwest, living I exile in the Pacific Northwest. My love of music, books, film, and history are all intermingled into a huge stew of influences that has driven my writing. Another huge influence is gaming. I started playing D&D when I was twelve, and it has taught me a lot about compelling story structure, and has helped inspire several of my more memorable characters. Though many of my novels take place in the Cobalt City universe of superheroes that I created, my better known novels are more traditional contemporary or Gothic high fantasy, and my short fiction tends towards horror.

DJ: What is Ride Like the Devil and then the De la Vega Mysteries series about?

Nathan: The De la Vega Mysteries follow former homicide detective Manuel de la Vega and Snowflake, his panda sidekick, as they leave the stability of Cobalt City to travel the backroads of North America fixing problems. Manuel had been a motorcycle-riding vigilante named Gato Loco before an accident savaged his legs a year earlier, leaving him with a long period of rehab. This series gives him a reluctant second act to reinvent who he is both as Manuel de la Vega, but also as his mysterious alter ego.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the De la Vega Mysteries series?

Nathan: The huge central influences on de la Vega himself would be Zorro by way of Batman in many ways, with the motorcycle out of Akira and smart-assed panda sidekick to give him someone to talk to. As for the series, I’m heavily influenced by a lot of the episodic hero television programming of my youth, like the A-Team, Knight Rider, the Incredible Hulk, and Kung Fu, where someone goes from place to place righting wrongs around the country. It’s a fun formula that lets me tell all kinds of stories wherever I want without being tied down to a single location. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tom Vater

Today I am interviewing Tom Vater, author of the new detective novel, The Monsoon Ghost Image, third book in the Detective Maier series.

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

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

Tom: I am a writer based in Asia. I’ve been on the road for the past 25 years, mostly in South and Southeast Asia. I am a freelance journalist and write feture stories for a wide varietyof publications including The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, The Nikkei Asian Review, CNN etc. I am the author or co-author of numerous non-fiction books including the best-selling Sacred Skin- Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos ( am the co-owner of Crime Wave Press (, a small crime fiction publishing imprint which has published 32 titles to date.

I am the author of four novels, the most recent of which The Monsoon Ghost Image will be out with Crime Wave Press in November 2018.

DJ: What is The Monsoon Ghost Image and the Detective Maier series about?

Tom: Maier is a former conflict journalist turned detective. Based in Hamburg, he solves crimes involving Germans who have gotten in trouble in Asia. The first two books in the series, The Cambodian Book of the Dead and The Man with the Golden Mind were published to great critical acclaim by UK/US publisher Exhibit A which unfortunately went out of business after a short run of titles. The third Detective Maier mystery, The Monsoon Ghost Image is a taut and crazy spy thriller for our disturbing times.

When award-winning German conflict photographer Martin Ritter disappears in a boating accident in Thailand, the nation mourns the loss of a cultural icon. But a few weeks later, Detective Maier’s agency in Hamburg gets a call from Ritter’s wife. Her husband has been seen alive on the streets of Bangkok. Maier decides to travel to Thailand to find Ritter. But all he finds is trouble and a photograph.

As soon as Maier puts his hands on the Monsoon Ghost Image, the detective turns from hunter to hunted – the CIA, international business interests, a doctor with a penchant for mutilation and a woman who calls herself the Wicked Witch of the East all want to get their fingers on Martin Ritter’s most important piece of work – visual proof of a post 9/11 CIA rendition and the torture of a suspected Muslim terrorist on Thai soil. From the concrete canyons of the Thai capital to the savage jungles and hedonist party islands of southern Thailand, Maier and his sidekick Mikhail race against formidable foes to discover some of our darkest truths and to save their lives into the bargain.
Continue reading

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Author Interview: Victor Godinez

Today I am interviewing Victor Godinez, author of the new science-fiction novel, The First Protectors.

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

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

Victor Godinez: Well, I’m a longtime newspaper reporter who made the switch over to public relations several years ago in the telecommunications industry. I grew up all over the world: Dallas, Boston, New York, Venezuela, Indiana, France, Belgium, Brazil, then back to Dallas, which is home for me now, with my wife and three kids. Believe it or not, Belgium has better French fries than France!

DJ: What is The First Protectors about?

Victor: The First Protectors is my vision of what an alien invasion could realistically look like and how we might realistically fight back against it. It opens with the last survivor of a conquered alien race called the brin trying to warn mankind against the coming invasion of another species called the mrill. The last brin alien crashes on Earth, with a mrill attacker in hot pursuit. The brin survivor is killed, but not before he meets our hero, Ben Shepherd, and injects him with alien nanotechnology that just might give humanity a fighting chance against the imminent mrill invasion.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The First Protectors?

Victor: As a kid, I was a big fan of a mix of novelists, from Stephen King to Louis L’Amour to Tolkien to T.H. White. Plus, whatever pulpy sci-fi novel I happened to stumble across. As I got into high school, Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series made a tremendous impression on me, with its mix of absurdist humor, adventure, and an exasperated love of humanity in all our ridiculousness, stupidity, and sheer bloody-mindedness. In fact, I reread the entire series every couple of years. And lately, I’ve been a big fan of Ted Chiang. Stories of Your Life and Others is haunting in ways that are so subtle that you seem to feel them under your skin. Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly is also a good reminder that, ultimately, people just do dumb things, no matter how smart they seem to be. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Aliya Whiteley

Today I am interviewing Aliya Whiteley, author of the new science-fiction and fantasy novel, The Arrival of Missives.

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

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

Aliya Whiteley: Hi, and thanks for inviting me! I like to create stories that take inspiration from lots of different genres. I live in West Sussex in the UK, on the coast, and go for long walks to find new ideas. I also write non-fiction about films, books and television for online sites and magazines such as Den of Geek and Interzone, but making up stories is my passion.

DJ: What is The Arrival of Missives about?

Aliya: It’s the story of a sixteen year old girl called Shirley Fearn who has a huge crush on her teacher, and then discovers some very confusing things about him. That sounds almost straightforward, which is unlike one of my novels! It’s set in a rural village in the UK in 1920, just after World War I, so it’s historical fiction. But it’s also science fiction, in ways that I won’t give away. But love, both familial and romantic, and notions of duty and future are all examined and turned inside out.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Arrival of Missives?

Aliya: A big influence was DH Lawrence. I’ve loved his books since I was a teenager, and there were moments in Missives where I really wanted to pay homage to his voice and themes. Also the films of David Lean were in my head when I wrote. Ryan’s Daughter – the use of landscape and also the relationship between the young woman and her teacher in that film – has fascinated me for years, so that’s definitely in the mix.

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 will sympathize with them? 

Aliya: Shirley is absolutely committed to making the world a better place, and she has ideas about how to do that which might well seem misguided or naive to us, but she believes in them totally at the start of the book. She was a wonderful character to write, with such a clear and passionate voice that smacks of youth. Everything is black and white to her, but then areas of grey begin to seep in as she spends more time with her teacher, Mr Tiller, and realises that he is a wounded man. The world becomes a much more complicated place for her, and I think we can all identify with that process of realising that we can’t solve every problem or even understand it. That’s growing up. I loved writing her, but she also broke my heart a little bit. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Betsy Dornbusch

9e7061_a2b48a17b2ac4aceaea60a4d5fbefa19Today I am interviewing Betsy Dornbusch, author of the new science-fiction, fantasy novel, The Silver Scar.

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

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

Betsy Dornbusch: Hi, Thanks for having me.

I’m a SFF writer with five novels, three novellas, and a bunch of short stories. I live in Colorado with my husband, two teenage kids, two dogs, and a ball python called Vatican.  I like to go to conventions, punk rock concerts, travel, snowboard, and watch football. Go Broncos!

DJ: What is The Silver Scar about?


Betsy: It’s about a Christian soldier who tries to stop a crusade in 2160 Boulder Colorado. The US balkanized after protracted wars over scarce resources. In Colorado Territory the Christian Church runs the walled cities. Christians live relatively safely inside and anyone of other religions live outside the walls. Trinidad is a converted Wiccan who abandoned magic and his coven as a child to soldier for the Church. But when his Bishop turns up with a silver scar she says is proof of Heavenly orders to crusade, Trinidad knows it’s a lie. He knows where the scar really came from: an otherworldly graveyard filled with silver sand that heals wounds, reached only with Wiccan magic. But proving her lies means committing heresy and being executed for treason. So he has to choose between friends and enemies, and heresy and faith to try to stop the war from happening. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Miles Cameron

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday I am interviewing Miles Cameron, author of the new fantasy novel, Cold Iron, first book in the Masters & Mages series.

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

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

Miles Cameron: I’m fifty-six years old.  This morning I ran seven miles, did a ballet class, and then taught a class on sixteenth century swordsmanship.  I have a degree in Medieval history, a suit of armour, a family and a cat. I strive to be a history nerd.

DJ: What is Cold Iron about?


Miles: It is about our world.  It’s about making choices, whether they are choices about violence or about politics.  It is about Aranthur Timos, who is not really the best at anything; in another way, it is about how someone might become a fantasy hero; not ‘the chosen one’ but the right person in the right place. It is also about adolescence and growing up and changing goals and sexuality and all that stuff.  I know, I’m old, but I’m not that old, and I have a fifteen year old daughter to remind me how it all works…

DJ: What were some of your influences for Cold Iron and the series?

Miles: What a great question!  In no particular order, Ellen Kushner’s ‘Swordspoint’ and the old ‘Thieves’ World’ books and C.J. Cherryh’s ‘Angel with a Sword’ and an incredible non-fiction book called ‘Agents of Empire’ and all the historical events of the Greek Revolution (1821-28) and even Lord Byron. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Beth Cato

BethCato-steampunk-headshot600x900Today I am interviewing Beth Cato, author of the new fantasy alt-history novel Roar of Sky, final book in the Blood of Earth trilogy.

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

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

Beth Cato: I’m the Nebula-nominated author of two series out with Harper Voyager, the Clockwork Dagger duology and now the Blood of Earth trilogy. I also have quite a reputation for my baking, especially my cookies. I have a food blog called Bready or Not, and I post new recipes every Wednesday! I’m a California native who has lived near Phoenix, Arizona for over a decade now. I’m a wife, a mom, and usually covered in a rainbow assortment of cat hair.

DJ: What is Roar of Sky and then the Blood of Earth trilogy about?


Beth: Roar of Sky is the grand finale. Ingrid has been on the run for her life since the first book, Breath of Earth. She’s a profoundly gifted geomancer in a world where women–and especially women of color–should not have power of any sort. This is a 1906 where world war has started on the Pacific side of the world, with America and Japan allied to take over mainland Asia. Against her will, Ingrid is deeply entangled in the war, and if she’s caught by the military, her incredible magic could be used as a weapon.

DJ: What was the inspiration for the Blood of Earth trilogy?

Beth: When I talk about the start of the series, I like to joke, “Spoiler alert: there’s an earthquake.” That’s because there’s no denying that the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire was the inspiration for the series, though the disaster happens for very different reasons in my telling! The plot emerged as I strived to explain how geomancy fit into this world. Continue reading

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