Tag Archives: author interview

Author Interview: Aliya Whiteley

Today I am interviewing Aliya Whiteley, author of the new horror, sci-if novel, The Beauty.

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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 hosting me! I write mainly speculative fiction that can include science fiction, fantasy, horror and the weird, as well as literary fiction every now and again.

DJ: What is The Beauty about?

Aliya: It’s about the end of the human race. A disease has killed all the women, and the men are living out their lives with no hope. In one small community in rural North Devon, one of the youngest men notices strange mushrooms sprouting on the graves of the women. Then these mushrooms start to take on familiar forms…

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Beauty?

Aliya: John Wyndham’s ability to evoke growing strangeness was a huge influence, as was Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy. I’ve always loved post-apocalyptic tales, so that whole genre was floating around in my mind.

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? 

Aliya: Nathan, the young man who first discovers the mushrooms, is a storyteller, and he really loves his job. He tries to keep the memories of the women alive for their husbands, fathers, sons, but he is aware that his stories keep changing. He can’t help it. When he starts to tell the group about the mushrooms, he uses his way with words to influence them, and this creates tensions that lead to violence. He’s a very slippery narrator! Readers have to make their own decisions about the morality of his actions. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gareth L. Powell

Picture © Gemma Beynon

Today I am interviewing Gareth L. Powell, author of the new omnibus, Ack-Ack Macaque: The Complete Trilogy, a collection of the three books in the sci-fi trilogy, Ack-Ack Macaque trilogy.

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

Gareth: I’ve written eight novels and two collections of short fiction. I’ve won the BSFA Award for best novel, and been a finalist for the Seiun Award in Japan. I live in Bristol, in the South West of England, and enjoy reading, tea, and the smell of bookshops.

DJ: What is the Ack-Ack Macaque trilogy about?

Gareth: Put simply, it’s an alternate history thriller in which a handful of unlikely characters set out to investigate a murder and end up having to save the world.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Ack-Ack Macaque trilogy?

Gareth: While I was writing, I wasn’t particularly aware of any specific influence, but looking back after the fact, I’d have to say that you can definitely see traces of influence from Michael Moorcock’s Cornelius Quartet, which I read at an impressionable age, as well as work by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson.

DJ: Could you actually tell us a little about the first book in the trilogy, Ack-Ack Macaque, too? (Seeing as how this is where readers will be starting) 😛

Gareth: The first book introduces us to the setting, which is a Europe in which the UK and France agreed a political merger in the late 1950s, following an unexpected victory in Suez. The action takes place a century later, and follows former journalist Victoria Valois as she tries to discover why someone killed her ex-husband and scooped out his brain. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Robert J. Barlow

Today I am interviewing Robert J. Barlow, author of the new dark fantasy novel, The Laughing Man.

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

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

Robert J. Barlow: I’m a Brisbane based author trying to make it on the indie scene. I’ve loved telling stories since I was a kid, and I’ve finally realised I can actually get paid for it.

DJ: What is The Laughing Man about?

Robert: It’s a dimension hopping urban fantasy about going to a world stranger than ours, stealing superpowers, and foiling a god.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Laughing Man?

Robert:Neil Gaiman was my biggest influence. Derek Landy and Jim Butcher were also a huge part of things. Honestly though, I’ve been reading everything I could since I was six..

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?

Robert:Adam is the person the world happens to, but he responds to being out of his depth with flair. Pan and Annabelle are both strangers in a strange land, especially since Annabelle was raised by magic spiders. I feel like Xavier will be the most immediately compelling though. He’s a stylish sarcastic violent madman with a magic top hat. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kate Murdoch

Today I am interviewing Kate Murdoch, author of the new fantasy novel, Stone Circle.

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

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

Kate Murdoch: I’m an artist turned writer. I exhibited as a painter for fourteen years before writing crept up on me seven years ago. I’ve been very focused on writing ever since. At the moment, I’m writing my third novel about a girl orphaned during the 1908 earthquake in Sicily and adopted by a wealthy family in Palermo.

DJ: What is Stone Circle about?

Kate: Stone Circle tells the story of Antonius, who wins a competition to be an apprentice to the town seer, along with the son of a nobleman. There is intense rivalry as they compete for the attention of their mentor and the affection of his daughter whilst learning about magic and alchemy.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Stone Circle?

Kate: I have had a lifelong interest in the unseen and unknown. I began looking into Eastern spiritual traditions such as Mahayana Buddhism and the Tao in my late teens. As I wrote ‘Stone Circle’ I was working with a Reiki master who took me to level two, giving me the ability to heal others. Trying to make sense of the world through the lens of different spiritual philosophies has shaped my life and writing. Along with this, there are parallels between my main character Antonius’s ability to inhabit two worlds and reinvent himself, and my own experience as an adopted person. Adopted people are self-invented because they don’t have the information about who they are as they grow up. So there is often a search for identity. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kari Maaren

Photograph courtesy of Phil Mills

Today I am interviewing Kari Maaren, author of the new YA fantasy novel, Weave a Circle Round.

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

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

Kari Maaren: I’m a Canadian writer, cartoonist, musician, and university English instructor. I live in Toronto and basically do all the things. Weave a Circle Round is my first novel, but I also have a couple of webcomics, West of Bathurst and It Never Rains, and a couple of independent albums, Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off and Everybody Hates Elves. I am not fond of puns or elves, not necessarily in that order. I grew up in Vancouver, so whenever someone in Toronto complains that it’s “too rainy,” I laugh.

DJ: What is Weave a Circle Round about?

Kari: It’s an old-fashioned kids’ adventure story about a girl named Freddy who is just generally mad at the whole world, herself included. She wants to stay under the radar at high school, but her weird stepbrother and super-smart little sister draw attention to themselves and, peripherally, to her. Then a couple of bizarre new neighbours move in next door, and the weirdness begins to surge out of control. Saying too much more would constitute a huge spoiler, but basically, with WACR, you’ve got a mystery wrapped in a fantasy adventure sprinkled over with references to mythology and Romantic poetry, all tied up with a bow made of creepiness. Continue reading

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Author Interview: G.D. Penman

Today I am interviewing G.D. Penman, author of the new urban fantasy novel, The Year of the Knife.

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

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

G.D. Penman: Hi DJ. I am afraid there isn’t much to tell; I am pretty much a hermit except for the whole “writing” thing. I’ve been writing professionally for about a decade, and unprofessionally for a decade more, although the book I wrote at age 10 doesn’t really hold up very well.

DJ: What is The Year of the Knife about?

G.D.: The Year of the Knife is a hardboiled detective story that just happens to be set in a world where magic exists. It follows Agent Sullivan of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation as she tries to stop a body-hopping serial killer, avoid assassination attempts, deal with her boss being turned into a parrot and navigate her love life, something slightly complicated by the fact that her girlfriend is a little bit undead.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Year of the Knife?

G.D.: Urban Fantasy books are like candy for my brain, I gobble them up at an appalling rate, but something that always bothered me about them was that the world was never substantially different; the existence of magic and monsters didn’t seem to change anything. The Year of the Knife is a bit of a rebuttal to all those worlds where everything was identical except there were vampires and wizards hanging around. Reading American history was also a big inspiration for the more political aspects of the story. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jared Barlament

Today I am interviewing Jared Barlament, author of the new literary fantasy novel, The Plight of a People.

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

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

Jared Barlament: Of course! I am a self-published author of, so far, only one novel. I’m a student living in the rural Midwest, and manage my writing time in between school, soccer and marching band. I live on a bit of a tight schedule, but I make it work.

DJ: What is The Plight of a People about?

Jared: It’s what I like to call a literary fantasy epic. The book is split into three separate parts, each of them set at a different time period in the history of the Roesanian people on a fictional secondary world. The book follows them and their struggles through the eyes of three of their leaders, and is a show of the inner workings of ever-advancing governments and the spirits of righteous and corrupt men alike that run these governments.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Plight of a People?

Jared: I’ve read many classical works, and although modern fiction has found its influences in my work, most of my influence comes from the stories of many years ago. Tolkien’s and Homer’s sagas have probably had the biggest effect on me as a writer, as have philosophical writers such as Plato. Continue reading

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Author Interview: James Parsons

Today I am interviewing James Parsons, author of the new horror novel, Northern Souls.

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

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

James E. Parsons: I went from working in art and film and animation production to writing screenplays and then fiction a few years ago. I’ve previously had two SF novel published since 2013.

DJ: What is Northern Souls about?

James: The story focuses on a young man named Eric after his girlfriend has mysteriously died. His feels that he is suspected of killing her and goes to jump from the Tyne bridge. Her ghost comes to him and tells him about demonic tribes which control the people of the North East and have done for a long, long time. This is how she died. She begins to lead him toward how to stop them, save others and her soul.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Northern Souls?

James: Some of the long standing influences on my horror fiction include the early works of Clive Barker, the books of Graham Masterton, Poppy Z Brite besides Poe and Lovecraft an others. Also many horror films such as Hellraiser, the films of Dario Argento, Carpenter, Romero, Hammer horror and more. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Excerpt: Connie Corcoran Wilson

Today I am interviewing Connie Corcoran Wilson, author of the paranormal-thriller series, The Color of Evil, whose first three books are currently being released as a box set.

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

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

Connie Corcoran Wilson: I am a graduate of the University of Iowa who has also attended Berkeley, NIU, WIU and the University of Chicago. I’ve taught writing at 6 IA/IL colleges and taught from 1969 to 1985 before going to work writing a book for Performance Learning Systems, Inc. (“Training the Teacher As A Champion” published in 1989). I founded 2 businesses in Bettendorf, Iowa (Sylvan Learning Center #3301 and a Prometric Testing Center) and, when I sold them in 2003, I began writing “long.” I have always written “short” (i.e., newspapers and blogs), since I was 11 years old. I’ve now published about 35 books or contributions to anthologies by other publishers and began self-publishing more in the last few years. I also am married, have 2 grown children (Scott and Stacey) and move between the Quad Cities of Illinois, Chicago and Austin, Texas, where I will be covering film festivals for www.TheMovieBlog.com, www.Quadcities.com and www.WeeklyWilson.com from now until November 3rd.

DJ: What is The Color of Evil series about?

CW:  As the Amazon lead-in says, “In the 3 novels that comprise THE COLOR OF EVIL SERIES, we follow the adventures of Tad McGreevy, the young boy who can see auras around others and, from this, dreams of the crimes of the evil-doers in vivid nightmares. We take Tad and his best friend Stevie Scranton and their high school friends through their junior and senior years of high school, when evil stalks the land and Pogo, the Killer Clown, terrorizes the small Midwestern town of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Color of Evil series?

CW:  I am most often compared to Stephen King, Philip K. Dick and Dean Koontz—although I protest that what happens in my books could REALLY happen. It’s good company to be in, so I won’t deny their influence. I was probably influenced by early TV shows like “Twilight Zone,” “Thriller” and the like. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gavin Reese

Today I am interviewing Gavin Reese, author of the newl released Alex Landon Thriller series, which already includes a novel, Enemies Domestic, a novella, Room Number Three, and a short compilation called Alex Landon Starter Library.

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

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

Gavin Reese:  Yes, thanks for having me, DJ.  As you said, I recently had my first novel, Enemies Domestic published and released on 3 July.  I’m a full-time cop and, among other things, a part-time author, so my stories and the Alex Landon Thriller Series are all based on cases that I and my partners have worked.  During my cop career, I’ve had assignments in Patrol, Field Training, Narcotics, SWAT, and Special Investigations.  I’ve been blessed with great partners, and am grateful to have had tremendous professional opportunities.

DJ: What is Enemies Domestic about?

Gavin: I wrote it based on some real-world events in the Phoenix area, and it details the efforts of Alex Landon, a suburban police detective in fictional Dry Creek, Arizona, and a civilian informant to investigate a white-supremacist hate group after they are suspected of attempting to acquire explosive materials and bomb-making components.  What Landon and his informant don’t realize is that the group’s leader, effectively a silent partner in the organization, has much greater aspirations and the intended physical destruction is only the beginning of their plot and long-term objectives.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Enemies Domestic and the series?

Gavin: I grew up writing.  Starting in about fourth grade, my dad would make us write essays as punishment rather than resorting to corporal measures.  We’d turn in an essay on “Responsibility” and he’d grade it with a red pen, give it back for corrections, and we’d lather, rinse, and repeat as necessary.  This continued until both he was satisfied with the product and we were determined NOT to recommit the original offense, which, in hindsight, was likely his objective all along.  After I’d been working as a cop for a while, the cop shows, books, and movies that I loved so much as a civilian had suddenly become two-dimensional, inaccurate half-truths about police work.  By that point, writing had grown cathartic for me, and was just as therapeutic as running.  So, I got hurt at work, was frustrated with a lot of different aspects of my personal life at that point, and started writing a realistic police story, as at least I now see them, to deal with my stress while I worked on my physical recovery.  I should also give a friend and editor, Vivian Caethe, credit where it’s due here as an “influence” for this specific novel.  The original text was over 700 pages and 184,000 words, and she recommended rewriting it in first person and breaking the text into two novels. Continue reading

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