Tag Archives: ace books

Author Interview: Anna Mocikat

Today I am interviewing Anna Mocikat, author of the new fantasy novel, Shadow City. 

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

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

Anna Mocikat: Hi DJ! Thank you for your interest in me and my work. I’m excited about this interview.

I studied screenwriting at Film School Munich and worked in the German movie and videogames industry as a screenwriter and game writer for more than ten years before I made my childhood dream come true and published my first novel. I had four books published by a traditional publisher before I left Germany for the US to continue my writing career here. Although I have published before, my recent book Shadow City is in a way my debut since it’s my first book in English for the US market.

DJ: What is Shadow City about?

Anna: Shadow City is Sci-Fi/Dark Fantasy story set in post-apocalyptic LA. 

It’s about a tiny human community that must take a stand against super-vicious creatures from another dimension who feed on suffering and violence. Larger-than-life heroes emerge, willing to sacrifice everything in a final clash with the way more powerful enemy. But heroes and villains are not what they seem in Shadow City, and in the end, there is no light and there is no dark, only shadows.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Shadow City

Anna: I’m an avid video gamer, and fans of the “Fallout” series will surely recognize the influences these games had on Shadow City. Besides, I took inspiration from pen&paper PRGs such as for example Shadow Run. In my book, the city is divided between different factions and inhabited by humans and non-humans, which is very typical for RPGs.
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Author Interview: E.E. Knight

Today I am interviewing E.E. Knight, author of the new fantasy novel, Novice Dragoneer. 

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

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

E.E. Knight: I’m a born-and-raised Upper Midwesterner, if you don’t count some brief stints in San Diego, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada as a child.  I’m married and we have three kids of elementary school age, currently living one block from the Chicago city limits. I’ve been a novelist since Way of the Wolf was published in 2001.

DJ: What is Novice Dragoneer about?

E.E.: It’s about a 14-year-old dragon-loving girl who has been fascinated by dragons since first meeting one as a child.  She runs away from her orphanage and tries to win an apprenticeship with an order of dragonriders famous throughout her little mountain republic.

DJ: What were some of your influences Novice Dragoneer and the series

E.E.: Anne McCaffrey was the original touchstone for so many of us, the Dragonlance books.  There are some early-aviation influences as well, like the Blue Max and Biggles books and the air warfare pulps.

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? 

E.E.: Ileth is a girl mixing with the upper crust.  Rich and powerful families in her land like to have a connection to the Dragoneers and they’ll send off sons, and once in a while, daughters, to make connections, much as you used to sort your children into lawmaking, army and naval service, or the priesthood.  On paper her republic is egalitarian, but there’s a lot of institutional memory from when the dragoneers were limited to the aristocrats. She has speech processing issues (a challenge I faced and my eldest son as well), and while the dragoneers admit both men and women – because that’s the way the dragons like it – she’s a poor minority in a wealthy man’s world. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jack Campbell

Today I am interviewing Jack Campbell, author of the new science-fiction novel, Triumphant, third book in The Genesis Fleet series.

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

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

Jack Campbell: Jack Campbell is my pen name (I’m really John Hemry).  I’m a retired US Navy officer who writes the best-selling Lost Fleet series (and its tie-ins Beyond the Frontier, The Lost Stars, and The Genesis Fleet) as well as science fantasy set on the world of Dematr (The Pillars of Reality, Destiny of Dragons, and Empress of the Endless Sea).  My YA novel The Sister Paradox won the 2018 EPIC YA ebook award. After retiring from the Navy I became full-time caregiver for my wife’s and my children, all three kids being on various parts of the autism spectrum, as well as trying my hand at writing.

DJ: What is Triumphant and then the The Genesis Fleet series about?

Jack: The Genesis Fleet series shows how humanity first exploded into nearby regions of space when the jump drives that allowed fairly quick interstellar travel were discovered.  As everyone on Earth and nearby colonies in space who wanted to escape the rules and laws and pressures of those old worlds raced to find homes of their own, they wanted nothing more than to be left alone and not get involved with other people’s problems.  But soon enough some worlds decided to lean on other worlds, demanding tribute in exchange for peace, or outright trying to take over weaker neighbors, because even though we’d left Earth behind humans hadn’t left their problems behind. The series shows how the first victims of aggression fight back, managing to barely defend themselves, while also trying to convince other worlds that haven’t yet been attacked to help.  Triumphant is the culmination of this, as defenders on the worlds of Kosatka and Glenlyon try to keep their worlds free without letting the fighting warp their ideals, and other worlds weigh whether to offer help and form an alliance to protect them all. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Mark Lawrence

Today I am interviewing Mark Lawrence, author of the new fantasy novel, Holy Sister, final book in the Book of the Ancestor series.

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

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

Mark: I’m a former scientist who tried his hand at writing. The Book of the Ancestor is my third trilogy. My first book, Prince of Thorns, is the work I’m most known for.

DJ: What is Holy Sister and then the Book of the Ancestor series about?

Mark: They’re about the same thing, which is the story of Nona Grey after she’s taken to a convent aged around 8. She spends the next 10 years there and, along with a religious and secular education, the nuns also train her in such things as armed combat, poisoning, and shadow weaving. These are troubled times and Nona’s personal difficulties with the land’s high and mighty lead into a larger story of war and a doomed world.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Book of the Ancestor series?

Mark: Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers. I basically added knives, murder, magic and ice sheets.

DJ: What is the world and setting of the Book of the Ancestor series like? 

Mark: The world of Abeth is almost entirely covered by miles-thick ice sheets. Only a 50 mile wide corridor around the equator is kept clear, and this is achieved using a huge mirror in space (they call it a moon) that focuses the light of their dying sun into the region. Even so the ice is continuing to close from both sides and, as the corridor narrows, inevitably there’s war for the diminishing resources. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Angus Macallan

Today I am interviewing Angus Macallan, author of the new fantasy novel, Gates of Stone, first book in the Lord of the Islands series.

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DJ: Hi 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: Hi DJ! I’m Angus Macallan. I’m an Englishman, of Scottish descent, 53, married, two kids: a girl, 10, and a boy 7. I live in the UK, in Kent, about 30 miles outside London. When I’m not bashing out adventure stories in my garden office, I like travelling, reading, drinking, country walks, watching rugby on TV, and cooking for my family. I’m making my debut this month as an epic fantasy novelist with my Indonesian-inspired yarn Gates of Stone. This will be the 12th novel I’ve written: I usually write historical fiction under the name Angus Donald.

DJ: What is Gates of Stone about?

Angus: Gates of Stone is a 500-page epic fantasy novel set in an imaginary world that resembles Indonesia about two or three hundred years ago. It depicts a cut-throat pirate society in the warm southern tropical ocean called the Laut Besar. The chief cut-throat is the Lord of the Islands and he loosely controls the trade in obat – an opium-like drug, that can only be cultivated in this region. Two great world powers – the Celestial Republic to the north (a sort-of China) and the Indujah Federation to the west (a sort-of India) are vying for control of this very lucrative yet addictive and deadly drug trade in the Laut Besar.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Gates of Stone and the series?

Angus: The main influence for the book was reading George RR Martin’s brilliant series A Song of Ice and Fire. But I had wanted to try my hand at epic fantasy for years before that – since reading Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings as a boy, I guess. The specific inspiration for the extraordinary world of the Laut Besar came from a time in the late 1980s when I worked at an anthropologist in Indonesia. I was studying magic, witchcraft and sorcery in a remote village in Bali as part of my field work for a Masters degree. I spent five months in a remote rice-farming village on the slopes of Bali’s sacred mountain, a lovely, tranquil place but without electricity, or shops or restaurants, and with almost no residents who spoke English. I had an extraordinary time there, living in a bare room above a chicken house, and witnessed some incredible things. The magical parts of Gates of Stone are based on my weird and sometime very scary experiences there. I hung out with the local witch-doctors, known as balian, and came away a changed man. I didn’t believe in magic then, and I still don’t, but I saw things which were hard to explain rationally. I witnessed exorcisms of demons who were infesting sick people, and went to ceremonies at which people became possessed by gods and spirits. I thought I saw – or perhaps I hallucinated – a lot of very strange things. It was absolutely fascinating – and I knew that one day I would have to write a novel about my time there. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Genevieve Cogman

Today I am interviewing Genevieve Cogman, author of the new epic fantasy novel, The Lost Plot, fourth book in The Invisible Library series].

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

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

Genevieve Cogman: I live and work in the north of England, and I’m over 40: my day job is Classifications Specialist for NHS Digital. (It involves working with the medical codes that are used to record diagnoses and operations in hospitals in the UK. I’ve written the ongoing Invisible Library series, and have also done some freelance writing for roleplaying games (the pen-and-paper sort, such as Exalted and GURPS).

DJ: What is The Lost Plot and then The Invisible Library series about?

Genevieve: It’s a series about a mysterious interdimensional Library, and the Librarians who work for it, collecting unique works of fiction from alternate worlds in order to support the structure of reality, and dodging both dragons (creatures of order) and Fae (creatures of chaos) in the process. The Lost Plot involves Irene (the protagonist) having to investigate Library involvement in lethal dragon politics, and ending up in a 1920s America world dodging guns, gangsters, and bootleg gin. (Actually, the bootleg gin isn’t that bad.)

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Invisible Library series?

Genevieve: There are a lot of sources for mysterious libraries out there, but I’d include Pratchett’s L-Space from Unseen University, Neil Gaiman’s library of Dream, the library of the Archangel Yves from the In Nomine roleplaying game; magic and naming in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books, and the Speech in Diane Duane’s Wizardry books; dragons from Chinese mythology and legend, and a lot of other places; and Sherlock Holmes. To name a few. There are lots more. Continue reading

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