Author Interview: John L. Lansdale

Today I am interviewing John L. Lansdale, author of the new western-horror novel, Zombie Gold.

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

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

John L. Lansdale: My pleasure. I was born and raised with my brother Joe in rural east Texas. Our parents were the best a kid could have. They taught us how to survive and pursue our dreams to be successful in life. I have a great wife Mary and four kids. I love music and animals and after many things I begin to write some ten years ago and since then writing has become my obsession.

DJ: What is Zombie Gold about?

John: The two main characters are young cowboys in today’s time. Chris

Bain’s mother died when he was a kid his father unknown. The owner of the Flying G ranch adopted and raised him. Chris wants to be a champion bronc rider to impress his adoptive father. Will Littlefield is a college student working the summer on the ranch for extra money before he returns to college to be a lawyer. His dad is a champion bronc rider but Will has no interest in it. Chris gets in trouble trying to ride a big wild gray horse the ranch is saving for the rodeo. The foreman sends him and Will on a trip to Kaman mountain to retrieve lost cattle. They discover soldier Zombies from the civil war when they wander into a cave and the Zombies chase them into a time warp that takes them back to the civil war during the battle of Gettysburg when the Zombies are live union soldiers. From there the story unfolds. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Angus Watson

Today I am interviewing Angus Watson, author of the new fantasy novel, You Die When You Die, first book in the West of the West series.

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

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

Angus Watson: Hello DJ. I am author who lives in west London, UK. I’m in my forties and getting older. I am married to Nicola. We have two young sons, Charlie (3) and Otty (1), and two cats, Jasmine and Napa.

My first historical fantasy trilogy was Age of Iron, an epic romantic adventure set at the end of Britain’s Iron Age. I came up with the idea for West of West while driving and hiking though North America’s magnificent countryside and wondering what it was like before the Europeans got there.

DJ: What is You Die When You Die about?

Angus: You Die When You Die is an epic historical fantasy. It’s a humour-packed adventure romance, which tells the story of a mismatched group of survivors crossing a continent to fulfill a prophesy.

Ahead of them are murderous enemies and other troubles including a tornado and increasingly scary monsters, and they are pursued by a bunch of super-powered warriors. As if they didn’t have enough problems, they like to squabble amongst themselves.

DJ: What were some of your influences for You Die When You Die and the series?

Angus: Well, apart from everything I’ve ever read and seen, I guess my chief influence was the American landscape. I fell in love with the US countryside on a road trip around the western half about six years ago and have been back many times since, I decided to run an epic adventure through it so I could spend more time roaming America, and do some research on pre Columbian history.

(I’m writing this interview in the Bellagio hotel, Las Vegas. I was at Comic Con over the weekend, but am now spending two extra days looking about the desert and doing as much hiking as the heat allows. I was in Valley of Fire State Park this morning, somewhere that my characters will pass through in book three.)

So, I was set on writing a book set in a fantasy ancient America, when my editor asked if I might write a book about Vikings. I’m fascinated by Vikings, and I’d been reading a lot about them, particularly about their voyages to North America. I thought Vikings and Indians… why not? Continue reading

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Author Interview: David Mealing

Today I am interviewing David Mealing, debut author of the new epic fantasy novel, Soul of the World, first book in The Ascension Cycle.

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DJ: Hey 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 Mealing: My pleasure! Great to be here. A little about me… I’m a father of three, recently relocated from the Pacific Northwest to Utah. My hobbies include anything that doesn’t require going outside: boardgaming (especially pen & paper RPGs), videogaming (especially MMORPGs), and of course, reading as many books as I can get my hands on.

DJ: What is Soul of the World about?

David: The book started with an image in my head: a street-artist sketching the court of Louis XVI in the run-up to the French Revolution, using invisibility magic to stay hidden from the palace guards. Everything flowed from there. It’s a giant epic fantasy with world-changing stakes, set in a second-world mix of colonial France and the Americas, with a heavy dose of military, tribal politics, and magic.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Soul of the World and the series?

David: I’m a total sponge when it comes to influences. I read something and I have to do my take on it! That said, Michael Shaara’s THE KILLER ANGELS was a big influence for my military scenes and battle planning. Brandon Sanderson is a huge personal favorite; I can only hope I osmosed some of his awesomeness given how much I love his work. Jacqueline Carey’s KUSHIEL books definitely influenced the way I wrote about the French-inspired setting. And I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with France and French culture. I lived in Paris for a summer before I went to college, though my French is pretty rusty these days. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Giveaway: Krist Charish

*Kristi Charish was kind enough to provided two (2) free copies (physical or Audible) of Owl and the Electric Samurai to go along with her interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview 🙂

Today I am interviewing Kristi Charish, author of the new urban fantasy novel, Owl and the Electric Samurai, third book in The Adventures of the Owl series.

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

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

Kristi Charish: Hey DJ! Well, for starters I wear a couple of hats. For years I was a research scientist (I have a MSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in cell biology) where I used fruit flies and fruit fly genetics to questions about cell division and cell architecture, and how the two relate (it all fell under the cancer research umbrella). I also spent some of my early University days in Anthropology/Archaeology and Ecology.

So how did I go from academic research to writing SFF? I’ve always loved fiction and used to read novels in between experiments and on the bus, but I didn’t try writing until quite late – while I was writing up my PhD thesis. I figured why not finally give it a shot?

Owl was the first novel I finished, and I was lucky enough to pick up an agent. Simon & Schuster picked up the series and we’re now four books in plus another three in my other series with Random House Canada, Kincaid Strange (also UF).

DJ: What is Owl and the Electric Samurai and then The Adventures of the Owl series about?

Kristi: It is an urban fantasy/adventure series about a reluctant Indiana Jane (Owl/Alix Hiboux) who has to navigate a hidden supernatural world.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Adventures of the Owl series?

Kristi: At the top of the list is Indiana Jones, one of my all time favorite series (the first three that is). But there are also a lot of other classic 80s style adventures thrown in, including The Mummy, Big Trouble in Little China, Romancing the Stone, The Goonies, and even a bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I really loved the lighter, fun adventure movie tones that the 80s were famous for and it really informs a lot of the series.

On the book side, Ian Hamilton’s The Ava Lee series and James Clavall’s Taipan and King Rat are also heavy influences. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Bailey Ordiway

Today I am interviewing Bailey Ordiway, author of the new military novel, American Holdovers.

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

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

Bailey Ordiway: Well, to keep it simple, I am a self published author and blogger. I published my first novel, Blackout, when I was 17 and have since published two other books. American Holdover, and the first volume of Entertainment 100. Entertainment 100 is actually a collector’s edition comprised of a hundred entertainment reviews from my blog.

DJ: What is American Holdovers about?

Bailey: American Holdovers is my third published novel and chronicles not only my time, but, also my many friends and fellow holdovers during our time as a holdover at Ft. Jackson during a hurricane and the consequences and events that transpired because of this a couple years back. It is the only book ever written about holdovers actually.

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?

Bailey: Every character in the book is based off of a real person, but, I can tell you first hand that there are quite a few of them with crazy quirks! And a lot of things happen in the book that readers would sympathize with, mainly treatment of the holdovers. Because of that, though, I put in a bit of humor to balance out. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Dana Fredsti

Today I am interviewing Dana Fredsti, author of the new dark urban fantasy novel, The Spawn of Lilith, first book in the series.

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

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

Dana Fredsti: Hi there! Thanks for having me as your guest! Let’s see… a little bit about myself. First of all, to quote my official bio: Dana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical combat (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a sword-fighting Deadite and fight captain). Through seven plus years of volunteering at EFBC/FCC, Dana’s been kissed by tigers, and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. She’s the author of the Ashley Parker series, touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, the zombie noir novella, A Man’s Gotta Eat What a Man’s Gotta Eat, and the cozy noir mystery Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon.

And that’s enough of talking about myself in the third person. 🙂

I love writing, reading, wine-tasting, am involved in animal rescue, and live in San Francisco with my husband, a horde of cats, and our dog Pogeen (which means “little kiss” in Gaelic). David, my husband, is also a writer and we’re co-writing a science-fiction series for Titan Books called Time Shards.

DJ: What is The Spawn of Lilith about?

Dana: Well, for a short and spoiler-free answer, it’s about Lee Striga, a stuntwoman who discovers there’s more in her family tree during a film shoot that’s plagued by demons. Supernatural creatures of all sorts are a part of the world of Spawn of Lilith, although they go under the radar for the most part.

It’s hard for me to give a detailed response because the story arcs of each book are, to some degree, intertwined with the series arc and we all hate spoilers. Each book stands on its own as far as wrapping things up for that particular piece of the series arc, while also giving a little more of Lee’s background and family history. So hopefully readers will not finish any of the books with Empire Strikes Back syndrome. My second book in the Ashley Parker series really did end on a “Han frozen in carbonite” cliffhanger, but I ran out of my allotted word count. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Ren Warom

Today I am interviewing Ren Warom, author of the new science-fiction, cyberpunk novel, Virology, follow up novel to Escapology.

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

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

Ren Warom: Hi, it’s a pleasure to be here!

Well, I’m a mum of three teenagers, herder of a multitude of cats, I’m a Film and TV Masters student, hopefully going on to do a PhD, and a multi-published writer of weird sci fi with quite a few stories out there, a psychological literary novella called The Lonely Dark, and of course Escapology and Virology, two gonzo-weird cyberpunkafunkadunk novels which came about from a mixture of frustration with the subbing process and needing to just let loose on something crazy.

DJ: What is Virology about?

Ren: Set four weeks after the events of Escapology, it follows my little ragtag crew of hackers kids, who have gone into hiding to keep Shock from all the criminals (gang and corporate alike) who want him so they can control what he controls, until the doubled horns of a dilemma throw them out of hiding (somewhat brutally) and up to the hubs to stop a horror far worse than Hive Queens and to save the Patient Zeros from the grip of a virus that may or may not be connected.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Virology?

Ren: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, just a beautiful book about consciousness that helped me form my ideas of AI life. Imaginary Cities by Darren Anderson, a sort of exploration of the weirdness of cities. I wanted the hubs to have their own sort of insular quirks—they needed to be recognisably the cities of earth but decades of floating semi-isolation has also remade them strange little worlds of their own. Gibson’s Blue Ant trilogy is my biggest influence fiction-wise, for his brilliant depictions of the messiness and insanity/normality of the world—the lovely mix of tech and art and commerce. I also watched lots of movie action sequences because I hate writing action and the visuals help. So (amongst many others) I watched John Wick, The Raid 1&2, Oldboy, As Above, So Below (for the great shots of the Paris catacombs) and some heist movies. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Laura Lam

Photo credit: Elizabeth May

Today I am interviewing Laura Lam, author of the new sci-fi thriller, Shattered Minds.

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

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

Laura Lam: Thanks for having me! I’m a former Californian who now lives in Scotland. I write primarily SFF, and my other books include False Hearts and the Micah Grey trilogy: Pantomime, Shadowplay, and Masquerade. I also teach part-time on the Creative Writing MA at Napier university in Edinburgh. My life is reading and writing, pretty much, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DJ: What is Shattered Minds about?

Laura: When I do my elevator pitch I tend to say: “Female Dexter with a drug problem meets Minority Report. It’s about addiction, identity, and the darkness within.”

DJ: What were some of your influences for Shattered Minds?

Laura: Serial killers in general, and perhaps even vampire literature, despite the fact there are no vampires in this book. I read loads growing up and was always interested by that resistance a character shows against that desire to kill. I was also influenced by cyberpunk, government and corporate leaks, hacking, and Orphan Black.

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? (aka What makes them compelling?)

Laura: Carina has become deliberately addicted to dream drugs so she’s only killing people in her imagination instead of in real life. In these dreamscapes she crafts criminals only to kill them slowly, deliberately, in all the ways she likes best. I actually don’t care if people sympathize with Carina. She is, in many ways, unlikeable. But I do want readers to empathize with her, to put themselves in her shoes, even though that can be very uncomfortable. The villain, Roz, gets some screen time, and she’s sort of a cross between Rachel from Orphan Black and Dr. Frankenstein. She is very twisted. Dax, meanwhile, is the moral breath of fresh air. He’s one of the hackers who has a strong moral compass and knows to do the right thing. If Roz and Carina are super Slytherin, he’s more Hufflepuff. Continue reading

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Author Interview: James Morrow

Today I am interviewing James Morrow, satirist, science fiction writer, and author of a recent fantasy novella, The Asylum of Dr. Caligari.

Over the course of a long career, Jim has published ten novels, four stand-alone novellas, and three short-story collections. He has won the World Fantasy Award (twice), the Nebula Award (twice), the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, and the Prix Utopia. His work has been translated into thirteen languages.

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

JM: Within my circumscribed but loyal readership, I’m best known for my philosophical and irreverent Godhead Trilogy, comprising Towing Jehovah (a Nietzschean sea saga), Blameless in Abaddon (a modern-dress retelling of the Book of Job), and The Eternal Footman (a vision of a post-theistic world). All three books turn on the premise that God has died, leaving behind a two-mile-long corpse—a bald and arguably overbearing conceit, to be sure, but after living inside it for most of the nineties, I, for one, began to believe it.

Although I’m an atheist, I recently figured out that I don’t really write as an atheist—I write as a heretic, somebody who loves to play with grand theological and cosmological ideas. If it weren’t for God, I’d be out of a job. Most of my readers would describe themselves as nonreligious or even antireligious, but I’m always gratified when a churchgoer sends me a fan letter saying I sent his or her thoughts spinning off on unexpected directions.

DJ: What is The Asylum of Dr. Caligari about?

JM: Beyond all my scoffing at religion, much of my oeuvre critiques the popular notion that war is a good way for human beings to solve their problems. Back in 1986 I published This Is the Way the World Ends, mocking the Reagan Administration’s nuclear saber-rattling. The plot concerns “the unadmitted,” hypothetical humans whose lives were canceled when their would-be ancestors extinguished themselves in World War III. The unadmitted end up putting the perpetrators of Armageddon on trial, under the Nuremberg precedent, for crimes against the future.

Then came my stand-alone novella Shambling Towards Hiroshima, set in 1945 and keyed to the conceit that the U.S. Navy has developed biological weapon that strangely anticipates Godzilla. My hero, based on the horror-film actor Lon Chaney, Jr., must put on a lizard suit and demonstrate this horrendous biotechnology before a Japanese delegation.

In The Asylum of Dr. Caligari, I take potshots at war profiteering. Most of the action unfolds at the fictional Träumenchen Asylum during the early months of World War I. The title character, who happens to be a sorcerer, has created a jingoistic oil painting so hypnotic it can compel entire regiments to rush headlong into battle. The plot turns on the efforts of my hero, Francis Wyndham, an art therapist at Träumenchen, and his most gifted pupil, the supernaturally talented Ilona Wessels, to defeat Caligari’s wicked masterpiece with a Guernica-like painting of their own. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Today I am interviewing Pamela Schloesser Canepa, author of the new dystopian time-travel novel, Detours in Time.

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

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

Pamela Schloesser Canepa: I live in the southeast United States and have a young adult son, a patient significant other, and a cute little dog that gets me outdoors regularly. I am a teacher of Middle School English, and writing keeps me busy on the weekends and during summer.

DJ: What is Detours in Time about?

Pamela: A struggling artist and an awkward Science professor set off on a journey to the future. What was supposed to be fun soon turns quite intense when they make discoveries about their future selves and end up on other “detours,” as well as disagreeing on actions they should take when their appearance seems to threaten a life.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Detours in Time?

Pamela: Bladerunner, Back to the Future, and Fringe, the TV show. I’m quite a sci-fi fan. Yet, I’m still inspired by my nightly walks with my dog and observing his behavior. There are some interesting animals as well as people in this novel.

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? 

Pamela: The main characters are very different from each other, yet there is an attraction. They disagree on many things, but at the heart of it, they trust each other. Pinky is a petite little fireball, independent, stubborn, and unstoppable. Milt is brilliant, awkward, a little aloof, and sweet, just sweet and loyal. He is also disturbed by the fact that Pinky sometimes skips meals. He has an Italian mother and regular meals are always a necessity for him. As he would say, “A body has to eat. It’s just Science.” Continue reading

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