Tag Archives: defcon one

Author Interview: Nathan Crowder

Today I am interviewing Nathan Crowder, author of the new novel, Ties that Bind.

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

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

Nathan Crowder: I started off writing poetry. Just awful poetry. From there, I tried writing horror short fiction. Now, to be fair, I was in junior high/high school, and it was all bad and not remotely scary. I’m thankful my parents gave me encouragement and freedom to suck at something for a while so I could learn how to be GOOD at it. Everything I’ve achieved as a writer has been a result of that, despite the fact I don’t think they ever really got what I was writing about.

DJ: What is Ties that Bind about?

Nathan: Short answer, Ties that Bind is about human trafficking. Fun! Longer answer, it is about three women: one a wealthy dilettante hero, one a compromised, hard-scrabble vigilante trying to make up for her father’s sins, and one is the right hand for Cobalt City’s premier crime family. It’s about them confronting their privilege and complicity in the very real world of human trafficking, and how they can make a stand.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Ties the Bind?

Nathan: A few years ago, there was a flurry of news articles and first-person narratives from people who had escaped human trafficking. I was troubled that the reality of trafficking and human slavery was far more widespread and ignored than I’d ever realized. It’s an institution, a multi-billion dollar industry, and it’s right under our noses but we never think to question it. As is often my way, when I find out about this kind of injustice, my brain wishes there were heroes to step up and fight it head-on. It’s kind of a central theme of mine. So I considered which heroes I had kicking around Cobalt City who would make the most compelling lenses to view the situation through. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nathan Crowder

Today I am interviewing Nathan Crowder, author of the new novel, Ride Like the Devil, second book in the De la Vega Mysteries series.

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

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

Nathan Crowder: I’m a child of the deserts of the southwest, living I exile in the Pacific Northwest. My love of music, books, film, and history are all intermingled into a huge stew of influences that has driven my writing. Another huge influence is gaming. I started playing D&D when I was twelve, and it has taught me a lot about compelling story structure, and has helped inspire several of my more memorable characters. Though many of my novels take place in the Cobalt City universe of superheroes that I created, my better known novels are more traditional contemporary or Gothic high fantasy, and my short fiction tends towards horror.

DJ: What is Ride Like the Devil and then the De la Vega Mysteries series about?

Nathan: The De la Vega Mysteries follow former homicide detective Manuel de la Vega and Snowflake, his panda sidekick, as they leave the stability of Cobalt City to travel the backroads of North America fixing problems. Manuel had been a motorcycle-riding vigilante named Gato Loco before an accident savaged his legs a year earlier, leaving him with a long period of rehab. This series gives him a reluctant second act to reinvent who he is both as Manuel de la Vega, but also as his mysterious alter ego.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the De la Vega Mysteries series?

Nathan: The huge central influences on de la Vega himself would be Zorro by way of Batman in many ways, with the motorcycle out of Akira and smart-assed panda sidekick to give him someone to talk to. As for the series, I’m heavily influenced by a lot of the episodic hero television programming of my youth, like the A-Team, Knight Rider, the Incredible Hulk, and Kung Fu, where someone goes from place to place righting wrongs around the country. It’s a fun formula that lets me tell all kinds of stories wherever I want without being tied down to a single location. 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: Amanda Cherry

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Today I am interviewing Amanda Cherry, author of the new contemporary fantasy/super villain novel, Rites & Desires.

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

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

Amanda Cherry: I’m a Gulf Coast native and UNLV alum who’s spent the last dozen or so years trying to keep warm in the Pacific Northwest. My first career was as an actor & entertainer, and I’m still an active member of SAG-AFTRA and can be found performing in variety shows throughout the region. I’ve been happily married to my husband for eleven years and we have a four-year-old son who’s gearing up for Kindergarten. I’m a staff writer for the Star Wars and geek culture site ToscheStation.net and contributed to the 2018 Role Play Game Acute Paranoia. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, DisneyBounding, and a well-crafted villain. I’ve written as a hobby all my life and have an intense love for fanfiction—a fact which has served me well as I join the broad and incredible Cobalt City universe as a professional author.

DJ: What is Rites & Desires about?

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Amanda: By Day, Ruby Killingsworth is the billionaire CEO of Goblin Records—a multi-million-dollar worldwide entertainment conglomerate. By night, she’s a magic wielding super villain. Her worst day happened in Cobalt City Christmas, Christmas Harder when a ritual gone wrong robbed her of her power. Rites & Desires is the story of how she will stop at nothing to get it back. With the help of Loki (yes, that Loki!) and the band of supernatural minions he sends to her aid, Ruby sets out to unlock the secrets of an ancient African gem—a task that proves easier said than done.

She takes on this monumental undertaking while also working to seduce her neighbor, Jaccob Stevens; also known as Stardust, the Cobalt City’s preeminent super hero, also known as the City’s least eligible man. Did I mention he hates magic?

And she’s dealing with it all while having to manage the unwanted attentions of a certain Lyle Prather—one-time avatar of Loki, notorious former reality TV star, and recently inaugurated President of the United States.

What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading

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