Tag Archives: fiery seas publshing

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: J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

Today I am interviewing J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison, author of the new YA, horror/comedy novel, Demon Freaks.

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

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

J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison: Demon Freaks is my second novel novel (I wrote a graphic novel, The Helm, for Dark Horse Comics). My first novel novel, was the epically silly epic fantasy Fish Wielder, which was released by Fiery Seas Publishing in 2016.

I’ve worked as a writer, screen writer, animator, film editor, producer and director in comics, commercials and entertainment since graduating from film school. I started my professional career by co-writing, producing, and even acting in a low-budget direct-to-video feature, The Creature From Lake Michigan. That movie turned out to be so bad, it was actually kind of hilarious, but it also almost ruined my plans to work in film. I guess every cloud has a stupid lining though. Making a bad film can be a crash course in the essential elements of good character and story, and The Creature From Lake Michigan was such a tremendously bad film that I learned A LOT. After a brief stint recuperating as a freelance writer and film editor, I founded my own production company. After seven years of wearing myself out doing that, I shifted my focus entirely to animation and joined Will Vinton Studios. They’re the guys that did the California Raisins and most of the animated M&M’s commercials. While I was there, I directed animated commercial and entertainment projects, including some M&M’s, as well as episodic television (UPN’s Gary and Mike). While working at Vinton, I also co-wrote the television special Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy with actor Paul Reiser (many people know him as the guy from Mad About You, but I prefer to think of him as Carter Burke from Aliens).

After that, I got very interested in story theory and co-founded a company (Character) to help the people who work on brands and entertainment properties understand how to more effectively work with story. While doing that, I appeared on NBC’s The Apprentice (although I didn’t get to meet The Donald) as an expert advisor on brand characters. I also did character development work and wrote the pilot episode for the PBS children’s television series SeeMore’s Playhouse, and I authored that previously mentioned graphic novel, The Helm (which was named one of 2010’s top ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens by YALSA, a branch of the American Library Association—just to slip in a little bragging).

These days, I live in Portland, Oregon, with my lovely wife, my two charming daughters, one smart dog and one stupid dog.

DJ: What is Demon Freaks about?

J.R.R.R.: On the eve of their SAT tests, identical twin brothers, Bing and Ron Slaughter, along with the members of their high school band, the Ephits, have to battle a cult of insane golfers who are trying to summon a demon in order to rule the world. You know, pretty typical experience everyone has been through at some point in their life. If I had to compare the book to something, it’s kind of like punk rock Hardy Boys versus monsters and demons. Oh, and it’s funny.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Demon Freaks?

J.R.R.R.: My influences go way back. When I was a kid, I used to read the Hardy Boys novels and watch a lot of Scooby Do. While I enjoyed both, I used to think they would have been better if they were mashed together into the same story. Then, as I got older, my tastes turned more to fantasy and horror. While I read and loved most of the serious stuff, I was particularly influenced by horror that had comedic overtones. For example, I looooooved Evil Dead 2, which had a huge impact on me, as well as Fright Night, Tremors and Shaun of the Dead. Book-wise, I’d say the works of Christopher Moore (especially the Blood Sucking Fiends trilogy), Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files series), and David Wong (the John Dies at the End series) have all been influences. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Donna Migliaccio

Today I am interviewing Donna Migliaccio, author of the new fantasy novel, Kinglet, first book in The Gemeta Stone series.

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

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

Donna Migliaccio: I’m a professional stage actress with 30+ years in the business. I make my home in the metro Washington, DC area, but am currently in New York City, where I’m understudying legendary actress Patti LuPone in the musical WAR PAINT at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre. Yep, it’s a crazy life!

DJ: What is Kinglet about?

Donna: It’s the story of Kristan Gemeta, a gentle young prince who loses his father, his crown and his family’s legendary Gemeta Stone when his kingdom is overthrown by the Wichelord Daazna. He must regain the Stone and learn to be a leader before he can take back his crown and free his people.

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

Donna: A big influence was T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. I was intrigued by the story of a young man coming into power who must learn to balance the need for control and strength against his natural inclination toward kindness and compassion.

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?

Donna: Kristan’s innate gentleness is often viewed as a weakness by those he needs to lead so he can regain his throne. His journey is all about finding the confidence and courage to lead while still remaining true to his nature. Another major character is Heather Demitt, a reckless young woman who thinks she’s found the Stone and sets off to find its owner so he can help free her homeland from Daazna’s rule. And Daazna himself is a fascinating study – someone who feels he’s been wronged and will go to any lengths to get revenge. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gabrielle Russo

Today I am interviewing Gabriele Russo, author of the new satirical fantasy novel, Inclement Gods, second book in the Gods Inc. series.

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DJ: Hey Gabriele! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 🙂

For readers who might have missed previous interviews and aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Gabriele Russo: Sure. I am a French-Canadian who loved the English language so much she just had to write in it J Seriously, I tried writing novels many times, but until I was introduced to British humorous fantasy, it never quite clicked. While cynical, I prefer to have an optimist outlook on life and I think laughter is the best medicine for the world’s woes – evil never fares well against ridicule – and also the best way to show its absurdities.

DJ: What is Inclement Gods and also the Gods Inc. series about?

Gabriele: The running theme of the series as a whole is man’s complicated relation with his gods, especially in regards to the mercantile aspects of religion. In Inclement Gods, I poke at ideological extremism, the kind that leads to terrorism; except I flip it around from what’s happening in this world and give the role to atheists (my world being full of actual gods – they are the minority rebelling against the status quo). I also explore the politics that come from fighting such a foe.

And that sounds soooo serious – it isn’t really. By focusing more on the heroes’ bumbling efforts to stop the terrorists, I tried to keep it light and funny.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Gods Inc. series?

Gabriele: Always I must mention Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, as they are the two authors who made me want to write. Then there’s my usual suspects list: Goscinny, Umberto Eco, Rabelais, Lewis Carroll, Christopher Moore, and Joss Whedon. And above all, Scott Adams and Tom Holt deserve special mention for the spirit of the series. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Neal Chase


Today I am interviewing Neal Chase, author of the new middle-grade fantasy novel, Worthy of Song and Story, first book in the Stain the Viking series.

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DJ: Hey Neal! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Neal Chase: The easiest way to sum me up is that I’m an author, lawyer, basketball coach, and PS4 player extraordinaire. I’m married to my wife Karen and have two sons, who really inspired me to write Worthy of Song and Story.

DJ: What is Worthy of Song and Story about?


Neal: It is about a twelve year old boy named Stian who wants to be the greatest Viking ever. Unfortunately, a couple things stand in his way: he is too young to go on Viking raids and he may be the son of Loki, the same Loki who is foretold to bring about the end of the world. Stian sets off to find out the truth, the only way he knows how, by freeing Loki from the gods’ prison. If he succeeds, he’ll become the world’s greatest Viking, but if he fails, he’ll fall victim to the gods’ merciless justice.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Worthy of Song and Story?

Neal: My two sons are probably my biggest influence in writing Worthy of Song and Story. With all the electronic distractions in the world, it is real hard to get them to sit down and read, especially the older one. If they are going to read something, it needs to have action and get their attention right away. Other than the big name block busters, it was hard finding books that did that, so I decided to write one. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gregory L. Hall


Today I am interviewing Gregory L. Hall, author of the new YA dark-fantasy/horror novel, At the End of Church Street.

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DJ: Hey Gregory! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Gregory L. Hall: I live a complicated life. During the day I work for the CIA as an undercover operative. Obviously I can’t discuss much but I will say I get to visit amazing places all across the world. It can be difficult though because at night I’m a pole dancer over at TTOC (Turn the Other Cheek), a club near my house. So no matter where I am for the CIA, I have to get back for my evening shift. Actually pays more than being a spy so I can’t quit. My dancer name is Naughty Yum Yums. Same as my spy name.

Man, that sure sounds better than being a stay-at-home dad folding laundry!

DJ: What is At the End of Church Street about?


Gregory: Church Street focuses on a ‘family’ of homeless Goth kids who live the vampire lifestyle. They all have broken pasts. Society didn’t want them so they created their own. In a twisted way, they feel being vampires gets them respect. Of course, no one believes they’re real, except for one sick individual, who just happens to be a vampire hunter. The Family tries to survive as they’re murdered one by one by someone who won’t let them run back into the shadows. There are so many surprises, it should be a pop-up book.    

DJ: What were some of your influences for At the End of Church Street?

Gregory: It’s actually based on real Goth kids I knew when I worked at a haunted house attraction in Orlando. I was the ‘barker’ for the tourists outside and the Goths would come around every night like Hallmark executives to a Christmas party. I got to know them well and learned their stories. Sad stuff but they were entertaining as hell too. They made a lot of mistakes but deep down they were good kids. When I thought about writing a vampire novel with a fresh twist, my old Orlando buds came to mind. Continue reading

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Author Interview: J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

41dHsvxyUKL._UX250_Today I am interviewing J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison, author of the debut comedic epic fantasy novel, Fish Wielder, book one of the Fish Wielder trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Jim! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview! Before we actually start this interview, I want to tell you, that strictly from reading the back of your book, it sounds so freaking hilarious and awesome!

But let’s start off with some introductions: for readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

J.R.R.R (Jim) Hardison: Thank you for the kind words about Fish Wielder, DJ. Way back in Ancient Times, when I was in first grade, my teacher Miss Rainwater (I’m not making that up) gave an assignment to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “I am gong to be a wrytr” (spelling wasn’t my thing…still isn’t). Since then, I’ve been trying to make good on that claim. While Fish Wielder is my first novel novel, over the years I’ve written a comedy horror movie (The Creature from Lake Michigan), a TV special (Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy), the show bible and an episode of the PBS TV show SeeMore’s Playhouse (Basil’s Surprise) and a graphic novel (The Helm) which was named one of YALSA’s Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2010.

DJ: What is Fish Wielder about?

JIM: It’s an epically silly epic fantasy novel about a muscle-bound barbarian warrior and his talking fish who stumble their way into a quest to recover the lost Pudding of Power and destroy it before the forces of evil can use it to take over the magical world of Grome. It’s more convoluted than that, but that’s the gist of it. Continue reading

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