Tag Archives: author interview

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?

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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?

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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?

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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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Interview: WorldsWithoutEnd.com

WWEndLogoToday I am interviewing Dave, Administrator of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror website, WorldsWithoutEnd.com.

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

For readers who aren’t familiar, could you tell us a little about yourself and what your role at WorldsWithoutEnd.com is?

Dave: Thanks for having me on, DJ.  Worlds Without End is a fan site dedicated to helping genre fiction fans find the best books to read.  As one of those fans my job at WWEnd (we say “dub-dub-end”) is site design, day to day running and data updates, and interacting with members etc. Chris is our coding guru and he makes it all work on the technical side.  Rico is our social media guy and takes care of Twitter and Facebook. Together we plan new updates and features to keep improving the site for our members. After us three we have a crew of Uber User volunteers who help us with data entry to get all those authors and books added.  We could never keep up with demand without them.

DJ: What is WorldsWithoutEnd.com? When was it first created? What was the original goal of the site?

Dave: Back in 2006 I was getting into web design and thought it would be fun to put up a little site for my friends and I to track the Hugo Award winners — it was our goal to read them all.  Then I found out about the Nebula… and Locus… and Clarke and decided to start adding those as well. Pretty soon we had enough content to be of interest to others and WWEnd was born. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Steve Rasnic Tem

61on5hfkhul-_ux250_Today I am interviewing Steve Rasnic Tem, author of the new horror novel, The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack.

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

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

Steve: I’m a transplanted Southerner from Lee County Virginia, now a long-time resident of Colorado. My collaborative novella with my late wife Melanie Tem, The Man On The Ceiling, won the World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and International Horror Guild awards in 2001. I have also won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, and British Fantasy Awards for my solo work. My last novel UBO (Solaris, January 2017) is a dark science fictional tale about violence and its origins, featuring such historical viewpoint characters as Jack the Ripper, Stalin, and Heinrich Himmler. My novel Blood Kin (Solaris, March 2014), won the 2014 Bram Stoker Award. A handbook on writing, Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing, also written with Melanie, appeared in 2017 from Apex Books. I’ve also published over 430 short stories. The best are collected in Figures Unseen: Selected Stories, which came out this year from Valancourt Books.

DJ: What is The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack about?

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Steve: The Mask Shop of Doctor Blaack is a middle-grade novel set during Halloween, about a strange shop and its stranger proprietor. Now that she’s a teen, Laura wants to skip trick-or-treating to go to this year’s Halloween party with her classmates. But Mom insists she take her 7-year-old brother, Trevor, trick-or-treating first. The two travel to a new shop at an otherwise abandoned old mall–Doctor Blaack’s Mask Shop, overflowing with masks and costumes of all kinds, many of them quite peculiar. Trevor wanders off and when she and Blaack finally find him he is wearing a mouse mask that refuses to come off. Doctor Blaack reassures them it will fall off precisely at midnight tomorrow—Halloween. But all the next day the mask gradually takes over Trevor, talking on its own and dragging Trevor wherever it wants to go. And if Trevor isn’t in a specified place by midnight, the mask will stay on his face forever. Continue reading

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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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