Tag Archives: author interview

Author Interview: Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman

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383281_10150371627504300_851933735_n1Today I am interviewing Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman, co-editors of the new anthology, Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders.

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DJ: Hi Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Dawn Vogel: I’m a writer, editor, and historian who works with other historians and archaeologists for my day job as their editor, office manager, and business development assistant (basically, if there’s a hat, I probably wear it). I spend most of my spare time writing, crafting, co-editing Mad Scientist Journal, and herding our cats. I am least successful at the last of those things. My short stories are often about things that live in the water that want to kill you and siblings who fight but love each other in the end. Normally, the siblings do not live in the water and want to kill you.

Jeremy Zimmerman: I’m a bureaucrat who tells stories both on and off the job. As an author, I have a young adult superhero series that starts with Kensei. Our online magazine and anthologies are sort of my fault. It started with Mad Scientist Journal, which started with the idea of a scientific journal for mad scientists and evolved into collections of first-person stories.

DJ: What is Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders about?

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Dawn: Battling in All Her Finery is an anthology of 21 stories about women leaders. We opted for a very broad definition of leadership, so we’ve got queens and generals, but also CEOs and mages and young women on space stations. We wanted to put together an anthology of women heroes for all ages, and our authors really came through with stories that fit our call and also blew us away with their amazing takes on the prompt.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders?

Dawn: We’re often thinking about what our next anthology will be, even while we’re still wrapping up the previous one. As we were getting toward the final stages of Utter Fabrication, we had considered doing something about women leaders, but we hadn’t quite solidified it. We originally envisioned the book as being more about self-rescuing princesses, but we decided that expanding that to a broader definition of women leaders would make for a more interesting anthology.

Jeremy: That change in focus really opened up options for what people submitted. It really gave authors a chance to surprise us with what they came up with, which I don’t think we’d have gotten if we’d stuck with our original plan. It gave us a rich array of stories to choose from as we put this book together. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Rich Larson

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Today I am interviewing Rich Larson, author of the new science-fiction short-fiction collection Tomorrow Factory.

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DJ: Hi Carl! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Rich: Hi DJ, I’m not actually Carl. I snuck in using his badge. My name is Rich Larson and I write speculative fiction. I was born in Galmi, Niger, have studied and worked in a variety of places, and now live in Ottawa, Canada. Besides writing, I enjoy playing soccer, watching basketball, learning languages, shooting pool, and dancing kizomba.

DJ: What is Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction about?

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Rich: The stories in Tomorrow Factory are about humanity’s interaction with technology and the strange places it might lead us.

DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction?

Rich: Glancing through the table of contents I see stories inspired by:

-LEGO’s Bionicle toys

-an article about muti, the trade in albino body parts for folk medicine

-a walk to the gym in winter under a perfectly blank sky

-vacationing in Thailand

Dead Space and that one Halo 3 level with all the sphincters

-NBA lottery hype and He Got Game

-the 90s Spider-Man cartoon

Mario Kart 64

-Penny Arcade’s Automata webcomic

-a vivid dream I had during a hot night in Seattle

-Instagram and my time in Portugal

Superbad Continue reading

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Author Interview: Michael Zimecki

cropped-ZimeckiHeadshot_FEB14-006-copyToday I am interviewing Michael Zimecki, author of the new crime novel, Death Sentences.

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

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

Michael Zimecki: I’m an attorney by day and a writer at night.  Death Sentences was my first published novel.  My novella, The History of My Final Illness, about the last five days in the life of Joseph Stalin, was previously published in Eclectica Magazine.  I’ve also published articles and short fiction in Harper’s Magazine, The National Law Journal, Cold Creek Review, and Pittsburgh City Paper, among other publications.  Earlier this year, I won a Golden Fedora Award for Poetry from Noir Nation, an international crime fiction journal.  My award-winning poems are slated to appear in the next issue of the magazine, to be out soon.  I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my wife, Susan, and a black cat named Mr. White.

DJ: What is Death Sentences about?

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Michael: Death Sentences tells the story of Peter “Pop” Popovich, an unemployed 24-year-old.  He’s a high school drop-out who enlists in the Marines and washes out, receiving a psych discharge.  For a while, he finds work as a glazier, fitting glass into windows and doors, a strange vocation for someone so breakable, but he can’t get along with his co-workers and is soon fired.  Pop, in short, is a loser. He’s also an anti-Semite, a white supremacist, a misogynist, and a gun nut. After he has a falling out with his girlfriend, Pop ends up living with his alcoholic mother. When his dog defecates on the rug in her living room, Pop’s mother calls the cops and asks them to remove her son from her residence.  All hell breaks loose when police knock on the door and find Pop waiting for them with an AK-47.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Death Sentences?

Michael: Death Sentences is loosely based on an incident that occurred in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2009, when a gunman, convinced that the government was coming to take away his guns, engaged in a four-hour standoff with police. Continue reading

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Author Interview: K.B. Wagers

Author_pic_smallToday I am interviewing K.B. Wagers, author of the new science-fiction novel, There Before the Chaos, first book in the Farian War trilogy.

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

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

K.B. Wagers: Thanks for having me, DJ! I’m a science fiction author living in Colorado. My first trilogy the Indranan War came out in 2016-2017. I’ve got four very strange cats, a house that’s way too big for just my partner and me, and more books than I know what to do with even after downsizing them. I’m a minimalist and photographer who loves macro photography especially.

DJ: What is There Before the Chaos about?

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K.B.: There Before the Chaos is about gunrunner turned empress Hail Bristol’s attempt to stop a pair of technologically advanced alien races from going to war with each other in humanity’s backyard. She’s fresh off a victory in a civil war that threatened her empire, has just signed a peace treaty with a neighboring government, and is settling into her new role as empress when things go sideways. The aliens specifically request her help with the negotiations, which is a tall order, but if anyone’s up to the challenge, it’s our recently crowned empress.

DJ: What were some of your influences There Before the Chaos and the series?

K.B.: Anything and everything? *laughs* I do a lot of binge watching/reading between books because I don’t tend to take in a lot of outside media while I’m working, so honestly stuff blurs together so much it’s hard to remember what, if anything, has directly influenced a book.

Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jake Tringali

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Today I am interviewing Jake Tringali, author of the new poetry collection, Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse.

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

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

Jake Tringali: I run rad restaurants in Boston.  I grew up here, and then traveled around the east and west coasts of the States, and now I’m back and living in a big, creaky house next to a very old cemetery in Cambridge.

DJ: What is Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse about?

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Jake: After writing for 5 years, and being lucky enough to have more than a few poems published in literary magazines, I reviewed my portfolio.  My poems tended to fall into a few themes: sexy, science, music, apocalyptic. I focused this poetry collection on the apocalyptic side of things, as I thought it was unique in the market, and those poems have something to say about the random value of life in society.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse?

Jake: As a teenager, I once read an entire library’s science fiction collection from Asimov to Zelazny in one summer.  This collection is directly influenced by that summer. Specifically, the cyberpunk gods of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.

DJ: What type of poetry can readers expect?

Jake: Readers can expect free verse.  Readers can expect curse words. Readers can expect their some fun jabs at both religion and science. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Amy S. Foster

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Today I am interviewing Amy S. Foster, author of the new science-ficyion novel, The Rift Coda, final book in the Rift Uprising trilogy. 

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

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

Amy S. Foster: Hi! I am an author and a songwriter. The Rift Coda will be my fourth published book. I am a frequent moderator of panels at various Comic Cons (Go Intersectional Feminism!). I am married to a lovely man I met in High School. I have three kids and I live in Portland, Oregon. I’m an avid knitter and I probably watch way too much TV

DJ: What is The Rift Coda and then the Rift Uprising trilogy about?

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Amy: The Rift Trilogy follows Ryn Whittaker who is one of many enhanced teenage soldiers that guard a doorway to the multiverse. That’s the macro story. The micro story is about a girl learning how to lead like a girl and what that looks like up close day to day. 

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Rift Uprising trilogy

Amy: I’m a consumer of pop culture so everything from Twilight to the Hunger Games to X-men, Buffy the Vampire slayer and that whole slew of late nineties early 00’s WB/CW shows.

DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Rift Coda

Amy: It was definitely creating all the different versions of Earths and the species and human societies that evolved on those versions. A modern day L.A. if the Roman Empire never fell? Now that was fun. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Julie E. Czerneda

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Today I am interviewing Julie E. Czerneda, author of the new science-fiction novel, Search Image.

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

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

Julie: My pleasure. I’m a Canadian SF/F author, published by DAW Books. I’ve been doing this for a living since 1997, and love it. I’ve edited anthologies and worked in non-fiction as well. My background is biology, which tends to show up in my work and daily life.

DJ: What is Search Image about?

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Julie: Esen’s back and she, with her Human friend Paul, have opened their All Species Library of Linguistics and Culture for business. In short order, an interesting dilemma ensues. Well, more than one, all involving alien biology. Esen’s books are episodic, in that each is a complete story with a biology conundrum at heart, but there are threads from one to another.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Search Image?

Julie: Everything that lives. Really. Plus physics. A primary curiosity I have is about communication and how we—meaning anything alive—manages it, and why. Most of Esen’s predicaments, and solutions, come about through failure to understand one another. Incompatible plumbing. Often literally. There could be slime. Continue reading

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Author Interview: D.B. Jackson

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Today I am interviewing D.B. Jackson, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Time’s Children, first book in the Islevale Cycle.

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DJ: Hey D.B.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

D.B. Jackson: Gladly – and thanks so much for taking time to chat with me. I’m a veteran of the fantasy and science fiction field, having been at this professionally for over twenty years. Writing as D.B. Jackson, and also under my own name, David B. Coe, I’ve published twenty novels and at least that many short stories. I’ve written epic fantasy, urban fantasy, media tie-ins, and a bit of science fiction. I’m probably best known for the the LonTobyn Chronicle, my first series, which won the Crawford Award, and for the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy set in pre-Revolutionary Boston. I also have a Ph.D. in U.S. history. Most important, I’m married to the World’s Best Spouse, and I have two daughters, ages 23 and 19.

DJ: What is Time’s Children about?

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D.B.: Time’s Children is the opening volume in an epic fantasy/time travel series. It tells the story of Tobias a fifteen-year-old time traveler, or Walker, as they’re known in Islevale. He is sent to a royal court, where the sovereign directs him to Walk back in time 14 years to prevent a war. Just after Tobias arrives in that past, though, the sovereign, most of his ministers, and most of his family are killed by assassins. Tobias survives, as does the sovereign’s infant daughter. Tobias, with help from Mara, his friend and love, who follows him back through time, has to keep the princess safe, restore the royal line to power, and find his way back to his own time. But he’s being pursued by the assassins, and, well, it kind of takes off from there.

DJ: What were some of your influences Time’s Children and the series?

D.B.: The world itself is an homage to Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea. The original Earthsea trilogy has long been among my favorite works – along with Lord of the Rings, it’s the reason I fell in love with fantasy. I’ve created lots of worlds through my career, but I wanted this one to be different from those others, and so I made it a world of islands and seas, archipelagos and straits. As I say, similar to Earthsea, though it has plenty of unique elements.

And then, I would say that I was influenced in this project, as with all my work, by the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay. Guy may well be my favorite fantasist. I so admire the flow and beauty of his prose, the complexity of his settings and characters, the intricacies of his plotting. I strive for the same qualities in my own writing. Continue reading

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Author Interview: N.S. Dolkart

14754448Today I am interviewing N.S. Dolkart, author of the new epic fantasy novel, A Breach in the Heavens, final book in The Godserfs series.

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

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

N.S: Sure! I’m an author, Israeli Folk dancer, and cooking enthusiast from the Boston suburbs. I’ve read a lot of Torah in my time, and have many opinions about it, some of them delightfully blasphemous. I have a tremendous amount of fun and I can’t get away from myself, so I must be fun to be around, right?

DJ: What is A Breach in the Heavens and then The Godserfs series about?

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N.S: The trilogy follows a group of foreign refugees as they seek community, safety, and meaning on an unwelcoming continent, choosing which gods to appease and which to defy and just generally trying to survive when it seems like everyone in heaven and on earth might have it in for them. And that’s not to mention the fairies, who definitely want to eat them.

In the first book, Silent Hall, the main characters stuck together for safety and comfort while doing everything they could to avoid getting squashed by some god or other. They made some questionable choices, but seemed to come out of it okay.
In the second, Among the Fallen, they split up to pursue individual goals, sometimes to disastrous effect, but still managed to keep it together and even advance in the world, for all the danger that that entails.

Now, in the final book, their questionable choices from Silent Hall really come back to bite them as they seem to have unwittingly set an apocalypse in motion. They’ve all got their separate power bases and their separate ideas for how best to respond, and their allies are pushing them in different directions too. Something’s got to give, and, um, that “something” might well be the sky? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Rena Rossner

rena-16-low-resToday I am interviewing Rena Rossner, author of the new fantasy novel, The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

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

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

Rena Rossner: I work as a literary agent, based out of Jerusalem, Israel, but I grew up on Miami Beach, Florida. I have 5 kids, and a pug named Pablo Picasso Neruda, and when I’m not writing or reading (which is almost basically never) you can find me crocheting, doing pottery, or baking (and making slightly more than the occasional cocktail…)

DJ: What is The Sisters of the Winter Wood about?

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Rena: The Sisters of the Winter Wood is a fairy tale retelling of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market poem, set in the town of Dubossary (where my great-grandfather came from) on the border of Moldova and Ukraine. It’s the story of two sisters, one that can turn into a swan and the other that can turn into a bear, and what happens when their parents go away and strange things start to happen in the nearby town.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Sisters of the Winter Wood?

Rena: Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market poem has always been one of my favorites, but I was also inspired by the Jewish/Hassidic Folktales that I grew up on, and their confluence with many Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldavian myths and legends. There are many swan-maiden and swan-prince folk tales, and the bear is one of the symbols of Russia, and the folk tale of the Shpoler Zaidy tells the story of a man who dances in a bear cloak to save a fellow Jew. It wasn’t too much of a jump to turn him into an actual bear, and so, parts of my story started to tell themselves. I also always wanted to read a fantasy novel with elements of the Yiddish language in it – which is a very colorful, and also sometimes magical language – and I knew that the only way that would happen is if I took the reigns and wrote one myself. Continue reading

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