Tag Archives: author interview

Author Interview: J.D. Lasica

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Today I am interviewing J.D. Laica, author of the new high-tech conspiracy thriller Biohack, the first book in the Gender Wars series. Biohack was a Hot New Release in five Amazon categories in mid-June.

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

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

J.D. Lasica: Sure. I’m a journalist and nonfiction author turned thriller author in Greater Silicon Valley. I’ve spoken at the United Nations, Harvard, Stanford, and on four continents—but I mostly love interacting with readers and championing the idea that we all have stories to tell.

DJ: What is Biohack about?

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J.D.: It’s a story about a woman who loses her toddler in a swimming pool accident and wants a second chance. And a hacker with special ops skills who’s looking for her real mother and comes up against powerful forces in a biotech company that’s out to change our idea of how to have kids.

DJ: What were some of your influences Biohack and the series?

J.D.: These characters have been dancing around in my head for years, but it was only the development of CRISPR gene editing a few years back that took this from the realm of science fiction to something that could be right around the corner.

Thrillers have always been my first love, and I wanted to tackle a big subject. So Michael Crichton was a major influence, and I tried to follow his lead in weaving in some cutting-edge science without slowing down the action. There’s a Tom Clancy international vibe with scenes set in New York, L.A., Miami, Dallas, Rome, France, Belarus, and more. And you’ll find touches of a technothriller, crime thriller, science fiction, medical thriller, and even legal thriller weaved in.

My other influence was Silicon Valley, which informed the world I created for the villain and his team. I think people are becoming more skeptical of where tech may be taking us, and readers can see the upsides and downsides of artificial intelligence and reproductive technologies in the novel. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Daniel Godfrey

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Today I am interviewing Daniel Godfrey, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Synapse Sequence.

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

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

Daniel Godfrey: Hello! I am a science fiction writer from northern England. My first novel, New Pompeii, was included in both the Financial Times’ and Morning Star’s ‘Books of 2016’ lists. It was followed by a sequel, Empire of Time.

My latest novel, The Synapse Sequence, is a stand-alone SF thriller.

DJ: What is The Synapse Sequence about?

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Daniel: The novel revolves around two competing technologies that are being used to solve crime. The first, preferred by the police, uses algorithm and AI to focus resources based on likelihood and probability. The second is the newly developed ‘Synapse Sequencer’ which allows an investigator (our hero!) to explore memories via a VR-style environment.

The central crime of the novel – the catalyst for the action – is the kidnap of a teenage girl… but the only person who might know what happened has been knocked into a coma. To prove the Sequencer has a place in law enforcement, our hero has to find the girl before the AIs and their army of bots.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Synapse Sequence?

Daniel: I’ve been fascinated for a number of years about the deployment of AI technology. It seems to be everywhere in the news at the moment, from medicine, to law enforcement, to call centres. It got me thinking about what that would actually mean for policing in the future. Is there room for a traditional detective in this setting? Would there be room for alternative ways of solving crimes? Continue reading

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Author Interview: R.S. Ford

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Today I am interviewing R.S. Ford, otherwise known as Richard Ford, author of the new fantasy novel, A Demon in Silver, first book in the War of the Archons series.

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

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

R.S. Ford: I’m the author of five published novels, including the steampunk adventure Kultus, published by Solaris, and the epic fantasy trilogy Steelhaven from Headline (both published under the name Richard Ford). I’ve also written a few short stories for the Black Library and I’m currently one of the writers on the Elite: Dangerous computer game. Other than all that, just an ordinary bloke

DJ: What is A Demon in Silver about?

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R.S.: In a nutshell, it follows a young woman called Livia Harrow, who lives in a land where magic disappeared a hundred years earlier. When Livia begin to manifest strange powers that haven’t been seen for a century all kinds of nefarious characters decide they want a piece of the action. Blood, guts and adventure ensue!

DJ: What were some of your influences A Demon in Silver and the series?

R.S.: The original seed came from wanting to start at ground zero – to have a society that was bereft of magic and whose only knowledge of it was in dusty tomes – then see how the story would develop when sorcery returned. How would those in power view it? With reverence or fear? How would someone who was previously powerless react to being able to wield magic in a place where it didn’t exist? Continue reading

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Author Interview: David Wilkinson

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Today I am interviewing David Wilkinson, author of the new sci-fi murder mystery novel, Under the Shell.

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DJ: Hi 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 Wilkinson: I wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t, I’m still very early in my writing career. My first novel, We Bleed the Same was written in a series of workshops bought for me as a birthday present by my wife after she got fed up with me saying I was going to write a novel. It must have gone well though, as it was both published and short-listed for the East Midlands Book Award 2015. I love writing stories about people and my thought process always starts as dialogue. However, as a physicist by day, I’m committed to keeping the science grounded even though it remains firmly in the background.

DJ: What is Under the Shell about?

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David: Under the Shell is set in Engalise – a city under siege with no formal laws. Individuals have a few basic rights and these are upheld by Freedom Protection Agents. Jaq Pilakin is one such agent and specialises in murders. As a relatively unknown, independent agent, she has to build cases out of dead bodies that appear to be accidental and one such turns into a string of killings by someone who also then tries to kill her and has a good go at destroying the city into the bargain. Of course there are a lot of twists and turns and Pilakin herself has a dark, bloodstained past she is running away from, so plenty to keep the reader guessing.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Under the Shell?

David: Murder investigation in a closed megacity? Well, of course it all starts with Asimov’s Caves of Steel, which I read as a child. The wider world in which this book is set (the Anjelican Universe) is one I have been creating since early childhood and so many writers have influenced it along the way. I enjoy putting the odd word or half-sentence from such books into my writing here and there, as little Easter-eggs for those who may have also read them.

I had always had Engalise marked down as an ultra-libertarian dystopia and planned to have Pilakin character in it. I panicked a little, then, when Max Barry wrote Jennifer Government but it turned out he had come to the situation from the opposite direction. In his book the people are powerless without money, whereas here, it is my agent is. However, Jennifer Government certainly helped me crystallise my thoughts on how such a society might function. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Rob Boffard

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Credit: Nicole Simpson

Today I am interviewing Rob Boffard, author of the new sci-fi novel, Adrift.

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

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

Rob Boffard: I am Iron Man. Well, I would be, if Tony Stark was South African. Also if he had terrible hair, a ton of tattoos, no money, was unable to build anything without it breaking, couldn’t do math, had an accent like a Canadian being punched in the voicebox, and wrote about spaceships and explosions for a living. But other than those things, I am absolutely Iron Man. Honest.

DJ: What is Adrift about?

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Rob: OK, so you’ve been on vacation, right? And I’m guessing you’ve been on one of those terrible tour buses with the sticky plastic seats and the crackly PA system and a guide who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Now imagine that: but in space. A tiny, shitty tour ship, going around a luxury hotel in the far reaches of the galaxy, while the tourists inside gawk at the Horsehead Nebula. The hotel is attacked and destroyed by a mysterious ship, and these tourists in their little cruising vessel are the only survivors. They’ve got minimal supplies, no weapons, and nobody back home knows they’re alive…

DJ: What were some of your influences for Adrift?

Rob:  Too many trips on crappy tour buses. But in terms of books: The Langoliers, by Stephen King, and Day Four by Sarah Lotz – both stories about ordinary people trapped in a pressure-cooker situation.

This question also has a slightly weird answer, because one of the books that also influenced it was Illuminae, by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman. It’s this amazing sci-fi story with space battles and killer viruses and psychotic AI, and blew my mind. The thing is, though, I actually read it after I wrote Adrift. It definitely affected how I rewrote the book, and raised the bar for the kind of things I wanted to accomplish.  Continue reading

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Author Interview: Peng Shepherd

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Photo by Rachel Crittenden

Today I am interviewing Peng Shepherd, author of the new dystopian novel, The Book of M.

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

Peng Shepherd: Thank you for having me! The Book of M is my first novel, and it still feels like a dream that it’s actually out there. I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid, but really decided to get serious about it several years ago. I moved to New York to attend NYU’s MFA in creative writing program, which is where I first got the seed of the idea for this book, but it wasn’t until after I graduated that I finished it. Before that, I studied International Studies and Diplomacy and worked for several years in the private security industry. Very different, I know!

DJ: What is The Book of M about?

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Peng: The Book of M is about a mysterious phenomenon that first causes one person’s shadow to disappear, but then rapidly spreads across the globe, with terrifying effects—those who lose their shadows also start to lose their memories, but at the same time gain a new, dangerous kind of magic, and this begins to tear the world apart.

Husband Ory and wife Max have survived unscathed for two years, until at the beginning of the book, Max’s shadow suddenly disappears too, which forces them decide whether to keep hiding or to confront the nightmarish land outside their hideout in the hope of finding a cure.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Book of M?

Peng: I love big, sprawling stories set in our world but with some kind of fantastical or sci-fi twist, like Stephen King’s The Stand, Justin Cronin’s The Passage series, or Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. I really admire how those authors made each character feel so real, and how frighteningly possible their fictional realities seemed. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cynthia Kirkwood

BF6BFFC7-F786-471F-92B6-A8AF75A76283Today I am interviewing Cynthia Adina Kirkwood, author of the new literary, digital dystopian novel, Turn On, Tune Out.

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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 Adina Kirkwood: Thank you, DJ. I’m a former San Francisco Chronicle journalist. I’m also  a baby boomer straddling two centuries. I learned how to type on a manual typewriter. Now, I type on a computer. So, I can see both the wonder and the danger of computers and the Internet.

DJ: What is Turn On, Tune Out about?

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Cynthia: A British composer turns outlaw in Los Angeles. Angelica Morgan flouts a computer law that cripples creativity by mandating four daily hours of screen-watching. In the year 2033 in California, artists, who steal time off-line, are considered suspect, criminal, and dangerous.

DJ: If you could compare this book with any book out there that we might be familiar with, which book would it be?

Cynthia: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury introduces us to a world where people watch wall-size televisions incessantly (the novel was published in 1953 before the age of big screen TVs) and so-called firefighters burn books for peace of mind of the populace.  Over several decades, people had embraced new media – TV and films – and a quickening pace of life. Books were ruthlessly abridged to accommodate shorter and shorter attention spans, while minority groups protested against perceived controversial content. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Stephen Zimmer

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Today I am interviewing Stephen Zimmer, author of the new sword and sorcery/dark fantasy novella, Depths of Night, first book of a new novella series of stand-alone tales following the adventures of Ragnar Stormbringer.

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

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

Stephen Zimmer:  Great to be back with you and your readers!  For those that don’t know me or what I do just yet, I am a writer/filmmaker based in the heart of Kentucky.  I write primarily speculative fiction, with published works in fantasy, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, cross-genre fiction, steampunk, horror, and, very soon, young adult!  

Among other things, I enjoy broadcasting and am a regular podcast host on the Star Chamber Show on Blog Talk Radio.  I also founded the Imaginarium Convention, an annual convention that takes place in Louisville, KY themed on all-genres of creative writing.  

My interests are wide and varied, ranging from martial arts, to good Kentucky bourbons, to film, reading, travel, music, and cats such as the wonderful Dubious, who is a member of my immediate family (he even has his own Facebook and Instagram pages!).  

Above all, I’m a laid-back guy who puts 150% into my work and gets up each day with the goal of taking another step forward, no matter if that step might be large or small.

DJ: What is Depths of Night about?

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Stephen:  Depths of Night is the first published Ragnar Stormbringer Tale.   It is about Ragnar going on a sea raid to the lands of the Petranni, who are inspired by ancient Celtic cultures.  When Ragnar goes ashore, they find that the tribal people have abandoned their homes and taken refuge in a large fortress.  The story is about Ragnar’s discovery of the reason for the tribe’s abandonment of their homes, and his response to it, which brings him up against fearsome adversaries.  This is a tale that involves lots of action, supernatural elements, and plot twists.

DJ: What were some of your influences Depths of Night and the series?

Stephen:  Depths of Night and the other Ragnar Stormbringer tales bring out influences of mine such as Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell, both of whom are masters of heroic fantasy fiction.  I have a lot of influences as a writer, but these tales are definitely centered around an iconic, heroic figure, and as such they reflect my love of Howard, Gemmell, and perhaps even a little R.A. Salvatore too!

I should also mention that my readers were another influence for the decision to go forward with this series, as I wanted to be able to bring more stories to them in between my larger novel releases. Continue reading

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Author Interview: David Keck

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing David Keck, author of the new fantasy novel, In the Eye of Heaven, first book in the Tales of Durand series.

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DJ: Hi 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 Keck: Big picture, I’m a prairie Canadian. Winnipeg is where I grew up, and it’s still the place I think of when someone asks about “home” although I’ve been living in New York City for fourteen years. Somewhere along the line I got hooked on science fiction and fantasy. I remember watching Star Trek reruns after school, and playing Hoth in the snow drifts. I will also confess to playing Dungeons and Dragons too much at high school.

I did a degree in writing at the University of Sussex and snuck off to climb around castles and henges as often as I could. I am not sure how many tombs and towers and mossy stones I’ve seen. (An Ordnance Survey map can be your best friend). Now, I’m a teacher in a Washington Heights middle school. Life can be astonishing. Oh, and, when I grow up, I also want to be a cartoonist! (I love drawing monsters and things, and a few have appeared in professional spots over the years).

DJ: What is In the Eye of Heaven about?

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David: In the Eye of Heaven is the story of a real, rust-and-muscle knight who backs into the center of a civil war full of mad dukes and sorcerous horrors. It’s the first book in a trilogy, and it sees our hero, Durand Col, miss out on an inheritance and make some terrible mistakes as he tries to find his own way. Without giving away too much, Durand earns a place in the retinue of a young man who hopes to prove himself as a tournament hero. Before the end of the novel, the half-war of those early tournaments leads Durand and his friends deep into the politics that tear their nation to pieces.

DJ: What were some of your influences In the Eye of Heaven and the series?

David: I’m a huge reader of actual history and folklore. I’m deeply interested in how people actually lived and died–and what they believed while doing it. My bookshelves are crammed with the stuff. So, when I turned to writing In the Eye of Heaven, I brought with me all of the eerie folktales and grim histories I’d been reading. In some ways, what you get is an antidote to an Arthurian romance. You will find uncanny places and ancient sorceries, but the men and women you meet must deal with broken bones, grumpy horses, and at least one scrape with medieval dentistry. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nancy Springer

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Nancy Springer, “legendary fantasy writer” according to Publishers Weekly, author of long-awaited mythic fantasy novel The Oddling Prince .

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

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

Nancy Springer: Well, I’m almost seventy years old, but some things haven’t changed since I was a child. I get a lot more pleasure out of seeing a giant swallowtail butterfly than having a new bracelet. My idea of a good time is wading up a creek, especially if I find a salamander. I like to go off by myself on foot or a bike or a horse to explore the backwoods. I’m contrary; for instance, a lot of people loathe snakes, but I like them. I’ve always been an oddball. Being a social misfit gave me a difficult childhood, but now it works very much to my advantage as a writer, which has been my profession for my entire adult life. There are times when I am lonely because, as a self-employed individual, I don’t have co-workers, but thank Mothergod for my family – two brothers, two grown children, and my husband, who is my rock.

DJ: What is The Oddling Prince about?

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Nancy: Two heroes and the bond between them, which should surprise none of my longtime readers, because just this sort of thing has been a frequent theme in my writing. Why? Because vivid, compelling, almost frightening daydreams along those lines have obsessed me most of my life since I was fifteen. The first fantasies I wrote, which were also my first novels, always had two noble heroes, faithful comrades, one dark, moody, poetic and visionary, the other sunny and prosaic, gallant and steadfast. In hindsight, I can see I was working out profound psychological problems — but interestingly, the compulsion to fantasize ceased sometime after I met my second husband, the love of my life. Still, a good while later, I wrote THE ODDLING PRINCE because of one last daydream I’d kept in memory, a tale of a seemingly ordinary prince and his oddling double. This time, however, neither of my heroes is dark and moody. Devoted to each other, both are tall and fair-haired, looking nearly as alike as twins. This time the grim, stormy element comes from someone with authority over them, the king. The result is a fraught triangle of turbulent loyalties. This book is about a love worthy of legend, valor in battle, fealty threatened by jealousy and suspicion, a seemingly doomed quest for the sake of brotherhood, and the dangers come in so many forms…forgive me for being so vague. I don’t want to let go a spoiler. Continue reading

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