Tag Archives: del rey

Author Interview: Kim Wilkins


Today I am interviewing Kim Wilkins, author of the new fantasy novel, Daughters of the Storm, first book in the Blood and Gold trilogy.

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

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

Kim Wilkins: I’m a writer and an academic. My first book was published 20 years ago, but I’ve written across a range of genres and also under a pseudonym. I have thirty books under my belt now. Fantasy has always been my first love, so it’s exciting and wonderful for me to be back here. As an academic, I teach writing and publishing studies, and run a research grant on popular fiction.

DJ: What is Daughters of the Storm about?


Kim: It’s about the five daughters of a king in a vaguely Anglo-Saxon fantasy world. The king gets sick from bad magic, and they have to go on a quest to find the cure. Only trouble is, being five very different women, shenanigans ensue.

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

Kim: Tolkien, of course. I studied medieval literature and was particularly taken with Anglo-Saxon literature. I can read Old English and in fact I convened a reading group that read the entirety of Beowulf in the original language. One of the defining intellectual achievements of my life.

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? 

Kim: Bluebell is a great character to write. I wish she was my big sister (although I suspect my feeling wouldn’t be shared with her actual sisters in the book). She is in some ways the stereotypical warrior chick; but I wanted to mess with that a bit so she’s tall and gangly and ugly, and she is fiercely fiercely loyal to her family and her duty. Like,to a fault. So she can kick the butts, but sometimes she kicks the wrong butts or doesn’t kick them hard enough. Oh, and she always thinks she’s right, which is super-annoying for everyone else. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alan Smale

Today I am interviewing Alan Smale, author of the new alternate history novel, Eagle and Empire, the final book in the Clash of Eagles trilogy.

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

Alan Smale: Sure, and thanks for having me on! I’ve spent all my life in the sciences, and by profession I’m an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. But I’ve also been writing fiction for as long as I can remember; at high school, I used to stay inside and write during the lunch hour instead of going out.

I made my first professional short fiction sale in the early 1990s and have been going strong ever since. When people first meet me, they expect me to be a hard SF writer because of the physics background, but I’ve always been a history buff as well, and when it comes to fiction I’ve been gravitating to the past rather than the future for many years now. I did write some SF early on, as well as some straight fantasy and horror, but these days my output is solidly alternate history, twisted history, historical fantasy.

I’m originally British, and grew up in Yorkshire. I went to Oxford, and then came to the U.S. in my late twenties, and somehow I never went back again. I’ve been a U.S. citizen since 2000.

DJ: What is Eagle and Empire and then the Clash of Eagles trilogy about?

Alan: It’s the thirteenth century A.D. in a timeline where the classical Roman Empire never fell. The Emperor Geta managed to defeat his brother Caracalla in a bloody civil war, and then brought in reforms that staved off the Crisis of the Third Century A.D. As a result, the Empire managed to remain strong and repel the “barbarians” that assaulted it, to remain a world power. Now the Norse have discovered North America, and Rome is moving in.

That’s where the first book begins, with Roman general Gaius Marcellinus marching his legion in from the Chesapeake Bay in search of gold and glory in this brave New World. What they find is completely different to what they expected. In the early 1200s A.D. the Mississippian Culture is at its height. The city of Cahokia, on the Mississippi close to where St. Louis is now, is a dominating force. Cahokia was a mound-builder city, a Native American metropolis of some 20,000 people. When Marcellinus’s legion smacks up against Cahokia, the Romans come off worst.

Now we’re in the third book, and three more crack Roman legions are in Nova Hesperia – North America. They’ve made an alliance with the Hesperian League of tribes, an extension of the Haudenosaunee League of our world, that’s been building up over the years since Marcellinus arrived. And over on the western coast, the Mongol Horde of Genghis Khan has landed. The battle for Nova Hesperia will take place on the Great Plains of North America, with the various Native American nations and tribes making their own necessary alliances, trying to survive while trapped between these two powerful invaders. Continue reading

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Today I am interviewing C.A. Higgins, author of the new science-fiction novel, Radiate, final book of the Lightless trilogy.

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DJ: Hey C.A.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

C.A. Higgins: Lightless was my first book, written while I was in college studying physics. After I graduated I decided to write novels and work in theater, just like my parents always hoped, but I still have a great interest in both science and science fiction.

DJ: What is Radiate and then the Lightless trilogy about?

C.A.: In the first book, Lightless, the small crew of a top-secret and highly advanced military spacecraft (the Ananke) discover a stowaway aboard their ship. They quickly learn he has connections to a terrorist (the Mallt-y-Nos) determined to overthrow their dystopian society, but the stowaway—Ivan—isn’t as helpless as he may seem. Meanwhile, the Ananke itself has been acting strangely, almost as if it were trying to communicate.

The second novel, Supernova, is about the Mallt-y-Nos herself; the heroine of Lightless, Althea; and Ananke, now a sentient machine; as they navigate the chaos of the solar system resulting from the end of Lightless. Radiate follows two characters who were missing from the events of Supernova: Ivan and his companion Mattie. In contrast to the heroines of Supernova, who all have a great deal of influence, for better or worse, over the state of the solar system, Ivan and Mattie are almost swallowed up in the chaos of the civil war. They’re desperately trying to survive, to catch up to the Mallt-y-Nos, to maybe right some of the wrongs they’ve caused—and to avoid the Ananke, who’s hunting them across the solar system and drawing ever closer. And, despite the immense loyalty and affection we saw between the two men in Lightless, their relationship has a number of unresolved tensions that the stress of their situation starts to bring out. Continue reading

Author Interview: C.A. Higgins

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