Tag Archives: daw books

Author Interview: Mike Resnick

Today I am interviewing Mike Resnick, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Master of Dreams, first book in The Dreamscape trilogy.

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

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

Mike Resnick: I’m the author of about 80 novels – all of them science fiction except for three mysteries, 10 non-fiction books,  and some 280 short stories. According to Locus, the trade paper of the science fiction field, I’m the all-time leading award winner for short fiction, and 4th on the list when you add in novels. I have 5 Hugo Awards (science fiction’s Oscar) from a record 37 nominations.

DJ: What is The Master of Dreams about?

Mike: About a normal man who finds himself in totally un-normal (not quite abnormal) circumstances – as the owner of a bar in Casablanca, as a Munchkin helping a girl reach a  Wizard, and as a citizen of Camelot.

DJ: What were some of your influences The Master of Dreams and the series?

Mike: Well, clearly Casablanca and The Wizard of Oz were two of them. Any book or story that had the protagonist inadvertently changing bodies, identities, or venues would certainly count as a less immediate but valid influence.

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? 

Mike: Eddie Raven and his girlfriend Lisa are, on the surface, a very normal young man and woman. It is precisely because they seem (note that: seem) to have nothing unique or special about them that will cause the readers to sympathize with them. By the conclusion of the trilogy the readers will realize that first impressions can be misleading. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Suzanne Palmer

Today I am interviewing Suzanne Palmer, author of the new science-fiction novel, Finder.

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

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

Suzanne Palmer: Hi! Thanks for talking to me! I write mostly space opera-style science fiction, with occasional fantasy and horror, and I won a Hugo last year for my novelette, “The Secret Life of Bots”. I’m also a linux system administrator, so I definitely may just possibly be a bit of a geek.  

DJ: What is Finder about?

Suzanne: It’s the story of Fergus Ferguson, who is an interstellar repo man of sorts and has gone off to a backwater deep space settlement named Cernee to find and take back a stolen space ship. He gets caught up in a local civil war and also attracts the interest of the not-so-friendly aliens in the neighborhood, so it does not go at all smoothly for him.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Finder?

Suzanne: I’ve been reading science fiction my whole life, and while I love a lot of different types of stories, for me the ones I like reading the most, and want to tell, are the ones where the main characters are sort of ordinary people, with their own hangups and histories, who get put into a situation where they just have to do the best they can. I prefer stories where we can like the characters, and no matter how dark the story gets feel left with some spark of hope or justice or satisfaction at the end. So, authors like John Scalzi and Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, and Martha Wells for just a few examples. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Dan Stout

Today I am interviewing Dan Stout, author of the new fantasy thriller novel, Titanshade.

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

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

Dan Stout: Thank you so much for having me! I write quirky noir mysteries, often with a genre-bending twist. I’ve had a number of short stories published over the last few years, and my debut novel Titanshade, has just been released into the world!

DJ: What is Titanshade about?

Dan: It’s a noir fantasy thriller, set in a city on the edge of economic collapse. The story follows a homicide detective as he works a high-profile case, weaving his way through corrupt politicians, indifferent system, and dangerous street thugs. All of this plays out on a backdrop of magic and 1970s technology. In Titanshade there’s dirt in the gutters, disco on the radio, and a vicious killer on the loose.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Titanshade?

Dan: Oh, man—everything! I’m influenced by everything I consume, from books and comics to movies and TV. Even things that I don’t read or watch influence me, because they’re part of the cultural conversation. One great example is a series of books from TSR back in the 90s that were murder mysteries set in D&D campaign settings. I never read them, but I remember seeing them and thinking what a great idea it was. That kind of thing sat in the back of my head, combining with everything from Alien Nation to The Black Dahlia and The French Connection. The result is this book that’s a blend of all kinds of stories that I love, letting me explore what a fantasy world would look like after an industrial revolution. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Sara Hanover

40671029Today I am interviewing Sara Hanover, author of the new fantasy novel, The Late Great Wizard.

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

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

Sara Hanover: I’m a reader who loves books, and a writer who loves to write. I’m an only child and my parents, separated early, moved a lot. Custody went back and forth, so my most reliable friends were books. In real life, I’m rather shy and all that moving proved very difficult for me. But books! I could be anyone, do anything, dream forever. I have a family now and two precocious cats who think my writing desk is merely an extension to the best window in the house. They haven’t occupied my keyboard yet but they do push my monitor out of the way to get the sunniest spots. My children are some of my beta readers but are wary of being co-opted as characters. We travel and some of our best friends live in Australia and New Zealand, and you’ll see my new book is dedicated to them.

 DJ: What is The Late Great Wizard about?


Sara: This book has been described as a portal fantasy, but I wrote it as an urban fantasy and intended it to be a light-hearted romp, although it does touch upon serious issues. Tessa Andrews has a gambling addicted father who leveraged the family out of a financial future and then disappeared. They lost everything and became persons of interest in his disappearance. She’s had to struggle to find footing and move forward, and partners with her mother in a new house which seems to have poltergeists, and takes on a charity meals run to bolster her resume for future college years. One of her meal recipients is crusty old Professor Brandard with whom she establishes a tentative friendship. Then one night she gets a frantic call from the professor. “Help! Fire!” and when she answers it, her life takes another drastic and fantastic turn. She finds the home in flames, the professor gone, and a handsome young man cowering in the back yard who may–or may not– be the reincarnation of Brandard as a phoenix wizard. Tessa doesn’t believe in magic, but it believes in her. Without his proper memory, the soul of the professor and the soul of young Brian inhabit the same body but they could both be in danger and are needed to face the return of a great evil. Tessa throws in her lot to save them, and her world. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Bradley P. Beaulieu


Today I am interviewing Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of the new epic fantasy novel, A Veil of Spears, the latest installment in the The Song of the Shattered Sands series.

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

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

Bradley P. Beaulieu: Hello, and thanks for having me by for a chat!

I’m a software engineer by training, and until recently worked in that field full time since graduating from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. I got the itch to start writing somewhere along the way, though it wasn’t something I took seriously until I looked at a novel project that was about six years old and still unfinished. I figured it was time to either finish it or give up on writing.

Since then I’ve published over two dozen short stories and seven novels, with five more novels under contract. I largely write epic fantasy, but like to dabble in science fiction in short form. For five years I also ran Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans, with Greg Wilson, a project I was and still am proud of but that I eventually had to step away from due to time constraints. But the old episodes are still live, and people should definitely check out the new ones as well.

DJ: What is The Song of the Shattered Sands series about?


Bradley: The series follows the exploits of Çeda, a young woman whose mother was mysteriously killed by the twelve kings who rule the desert city of Sharakhai with a collective, iron fist. What began as a quest for revenge turns into a journey of discovery for Çeda when she comes across one of the miserable asirim, creatures who steal into the city to take tributes each night of the twin full moons. Çeda is not killed as she feared, and uncovers a wondrous secret. Her mother left clues to her heritage and the history behind the kings’ power in a book of poems she left for Çeda when she died. As Çeda begins to unlock the secrets of the kings’ past, she discovers more about her mother, their people, and the dark bargain the kings made with the gods of the desert to secure their power.

The Song of the Shattered Sands is epic fantasy told largely through the lens of our hero, Çeda. In fact, when I began writing it, I wanted to tell it only through Çeda’s point of view. I ended up expanding the POV characters, but this is still first and foremost Çeda’s tale. It’s also a tale of how culture and customs can be lost, how the victors write the history books, and how those written out of it struggle to uncover the truth and right the wrongs committed along the way. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Marshall Ryan Maresca


Today I am interviewing Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the new fantasy novel, Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, second book in The Streets of Maradaine series.

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

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

Marshall Ryan Maresca: Hi! I’m Marshall Ryan Maresca, fantasy writer. I’m the author of the multiple series that make up the Maradaine Sequence, the latest book is Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, the second book of the Streets of Maradaine series.

DJ: What is Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe and then The Streets of Maradaine series about?


Marshall: The Streets of Maradaine follows Asti and Verci Rynax, two brothers who live in the poorer neighborhood of North Seleth. That neighborhood was the target of deliberate arson, which lost them their home and business. In the first book, The Holver Alley Crew, they learned the forces behind the fire are even wider and further reaching than they suspected, so Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe continues their investigation into what caused the fire, and going after who was behind it.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Streets of Maradaine series?

Marshall: So much of its DNA comes from heist and crime stories– things like Firefly and Oceans Eleven. But I also found a lot of inspiration in the kinds of stories where a rag-tag team of underdogs pull together to get something done, and through that, forge intense bonds of loyalty– be that a heist, or winning the sectional championships, or tearing down a corrupt alliance. Did I mention Firefly? Continue reading

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Author Interview: V.M. Escalada


Photo: © Jessica Kennedy

Today I am interviewing V.M. Escalada, author of the new paranomal fantasy novel, Halls of Law, first book in the Faraman Prophecy series.

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DJ: Hey V.M.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

V.M. Escalada: Happy to do it, DJ, you can call me Vee.

DJ: Okay, Vee! 🙂 For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Vee: I’m Canadian, but I identify culturally as Spanish. I think you can see some Spanish influence in the names I choose, and particularly in their pronunciation – at least, if you could hear them the way they are in my head.

DJ: What is Halls of Law about?

Vee: Boy, do I suck at this part. I either say too much or too little. On a large scale, it’s about the Faraman Polity being invaded by the Halians, a radically different society with strong patriarchal leanings, and a particular animosity for Talents – the psychics that form the Halls of Law. On a more personal scale, it’s about Kerida Nast, a Talent in training, and Tel Cursar, a young military officer, who join forces first to escape the invaders, and then to help put their world back together.

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

Vee: My writing in general is influenced by some great fantasy writers, especially people like Fritz Leiber, Barbara Hambly, R.A. McAvoy, Robin Hobb, Tanya Huff, Kari Sperring, Laura Anne Gilman . . . and the list could go on and on, and I’d still leave someone out. I’m also an 18th-century scholar, so I’m well versed in the classics, Homer, Virgil, and so on, with all the attendant mythology.

As for Halls of Law in particular, believe it or not, I first got the idea for the story watching the forensics shows that were all the rage for a while. I thought, what if psychics were used as crime scene investigators? They could just walk into the crime scene, touch things, and know immediately what had happened. I really liked the notion, but I figured out pretty quickly that it wouldn’t make a story – at least not a crime-based story, since the psychics would just say “he did it” and the story would be over. So then I wondered, what if being a psychic was the problem? What if they were going about their lawful business when their country was invaded by people who thought Talents were witches that had to be destroyed? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Joshua Palmatier

Today I am interviewing Joshua Palmatier, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Reaping the Aurora, final book in the Ley series.

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

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

Joshua Palmatier:  Certainly.  I’m a fantasy author with DAW Books who also happens to have a PhD in math.  I teach at a college in upstate New York and write the fantasy novels on the side.  At this point, I have three complete trilogies out—the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy, the “Well of Sorrows” trilogy, and the just finished “Ley” trilogy.  I also have some short stories published in various anthologies and edit themed anthologies as well.  I formed a small press called Zombies Need Brains in order to continue editing anthologies.

DJ: What are Reaping the Aurora and the Ley series about?

Joshua:  REAPING THE AURORA is the third and final novel in the “Ley” series.  The basic premise is that humans have tapped into the power of the ley lines—the magical lines that connect stone monuments (such as Stonehenge)—and they are using the ley lines sort of like how we use electricity.  In the first book, Kara learns that she’s a Wielder, one of those that can manipulate the ley.  Allan, a guardsman, learns that he somehow disrupts the ley lines.  In the first two books, due to the abuse of the ley, it shatters, basically creating a catastrophe that thrusts the relatively advance society of the city of Erenthrall (and the rest of the world) into chaos.  Kara, Allan, and the rest of those they gather around them fight for survival while attempting to repair the damage that’s been done.  REAPING THE AURORA focuses on their last ditch efforts to repair the ley before it rips the world—and reality—apart. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Edward Willett

Today I am interviewing Edward Willett, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Cityborn.

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

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

Edward Willet: Sure! I’m the author of more than fifty books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages. I was born in New Mexico, started school in Texas, and then moved to Saskatchewan when I was a kid. I grew up in the small city of Weyburn, where I returned after studying journalism at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and began my writing career as a reporter/photographer and eventually news editor of the weekly Weyburn Review. I moved to Regina, the provincial capital (where I’ve lived ever since), in 1988 as communications officer for the then-fledgling Saskatchewan Science Centre, then in 1993 I quit my job to become a fulltime freelance writer. My first book was the riveting Using Microsoft Publisher for Windows 95. (My second book was the equally riveting sequel, Using Microsoft Publisher for Windows 97.) My first novel, a young adult fantasy entitled Soulworm, came out in 1997, and my fiction ever since has been a mixture of young adult and adult science fiction and fantasy, while my non-fiction has run the gamut from children’s biographies (of people as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Johnny Cash and the Ayatollah Khomeini), to science books and books about Saskatchewan history. I won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2002 for my YA fantasy Spirit Singer (Tyche Books), and in 2009 I won the Aurora Award for best Canadian science fiction novel in English for Marseguro, which was my second science fiction novel for DAW Books, after 2005’s Lost in Translation. The Cityborn is my eighth novel published by DAW, but only the fourth under my own name: I wrote the steampunkish adult fantasy novel Magebane as Lee Arthur Chane, and the YA/adult crossover fantasy trilogy The Masks of Aygrima as E.C. Blake. I’m married to an engineer (a good career move for a freelance writer) and have a brilliant and talented teenaged daughter. Oh, and in addition to being a writer, I’m an actor and singer who has performed in numerous plays, musicals, and operas, both professionally and just for fun.

DJ: What is The Cityborn about?

Edward: The Cityborn takes place in the mountain-ringed Heartland, which is split down the middle by the great Canyon. At the center of the Heartland, straddling the Canyon, stands the towering, dripping, corroding and crumbling metal City, divided into thirteen Tiers. The City is ruled by the First Officer in the name of the semi-mythical Captain, who supposedly lives on the top Tier but nobody has ever seen. The First Officer’s rule is enforced by the ruthless armed Provosts and enabled by the other Officers, who live luxuriously in the Twelfth and Eleventh Tiers. Meanwhile, at the base of the City, the poor struggle just to get by in the First and Second Tiers. (The middle class lives, appropriately enough, in the middle Tiers.)

The City has stood above the Canyon so long that it has filled the chasm with rubbish, a dangerous, gang-ruled wasteland called the Middens, where criminals and outcasts are trapped, scavenging to survive. When Alania, raised by cold, distant Officer on the Twelfth Tier, is unexpectedly attacked, she flees into a nearby trash elevator, and to her horror finds herself dumped into the Middens. There she is rescued by Danyl, a young man who has lived his whole life in the the Middens and dreams only of finding valuable salvage he can barter for entry into the City. He thinks Alania might be just what he’s looking for—except almost at once they find themselves pursued by Provosts, for reasons they can’t imagine. As they flee deep into the Canyon, then into the Heartland, to the mountains of the north and back to the City again, the secrets they discover about who and what they really are, and the decisions they make because of those secrets, will determine not only their fates, but the fate of everyone in the Heartland. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Marshall Ryan Maresca

Today I am interviewing Marshall Ryan Maresca, debut author of the new fantasy novel, The Holver Alley Crew, first book in The Streets of Maradine series.

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

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

Marshall Ryan Maresca: Hi! I’m Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the Maradaine novels, which are actually three different series all set in the same fantastical city. The Maradaine novels are The Thorn of Dentonhill, The Alchemy of Chaos and The Imposters of Aventil, which comes out in October. The Maradaine Constabulary novels are A Murder of Mages, An Import of Intrigue and the upcoming A Parliament of Bodies. Finally, the Streets of Maradaine novels are the newly released The Holver Alley Crew and Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, which comes out next year.

DJ: What is The Holver Alley Crew about?

Marshall: The Holver Alley Crew is about two brothers, Asti & Verci Rynax, who used to be thieves but are trying to live a straight-and-narrow life, until a fire destroys everything in Holver Alley and ruins their lives and livelihood. With no other options and a mounting debt, they fall back on the old ways.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Holver Alley Crew?

Marshall: I’ve been saying that, in a lot of ways, it’s OCEANS 11 meets THE COMMITMENTS. The latter is really a thing that was on my mind as I wrote it, as it’s about a group of people in the impoverished part of Dublin who team up to find hope and joy and a possibility of a future. Of course, they do it with soul music, rather than pulling a heist, but the principle is the same. Continue reading

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