Tag Archives: orbit books

Author Interview: David Dalglish

David Dalglish author photo 2021

Today I am interviewing David Dalglish, author of the new fantasy novel, The Bladed Faith, first book in the Vagrant Gods series.

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

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

David Dalglish: Hello! I’m the somewhat prolific fantasy author of a bunch of different series, from the very D&D influenced the Half-Orcs and the Paladins, the assassin focused Shadowdance series, the anime inspired Seraphim Trilogy, and the overall bonkers Keepers Trilogy. I was there at the start of the self-publishing boom on Amazon, and also been traditionally published with Orbit Books for years now. With all this experience, you might think I know what I’m doing, but that’s still debatable.

DJ: What is The Bladed Faith about?


David: The island of a young prince, is invaded by the Everlorn Empire, a sprawling power on the mainland ruled by their God-Incarnate, who is determined to slaughter all other ‘heathen’ gods and establish himself as the sole idol of worship. With his family executed, his gods slain, and his army crushed, any resistance seems hopeless. But then a core group of resistance fighters from the mainland arrive, rescue Cyrus, and offer him a chance to fight back. Using his ties to the throne, and their money and experience, they can create a new resistance, spearheaded by Cyrus himself. He will be their figurehead, trained to fight, to kill. He’ll become an assassin known as the Vagrant, and through rumors and subterfuge become a new hope for the island so they might believe this overwhelming, unstoppable empire can still be beaten.

DJ: What is the world and setting of the Vagrant Gods series like?

David: The vast majority of the Vagrant Gods takes place on the island of Thanet. It’s a fairly small island, ruled over by two gods, the butterfly goddess Lycaena and the winged lion Endarius. Due to the cooperation of the gods, their earlier squabbles and fractured regions have united under a single royal family blessed by the gods themselves. Given their lengthy distance from the mainland continent of Gadir, the people of Thanet have mostly known peace…until that massive fleet arrives at their shores at the beginning of the novel. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jon Skovron

Today I am interviewing Jon Skovron, author of the new fantasy novel, The Ranger of Marzanna, first book in The Goddess War trilogy.

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

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

Jon Skovron: Hi DJ! I live just outside Washington DC with my two teenagers and two cats. My first novel was published way back in 2009. It was a YA novel from Amulet called Struts & Frets. I went on to write three other YA novels before deciding to switch to writing “adult” novels. Well, not really deciding, I guess. I just started writing it and after about six chapters realized it was not YA. That ended up becoming Hope and Red, my debut adult fantasy novel, and the first book of the Empire of Storms trilogy from Orbit Books, which was completed back in I think 2017? Or thereabouts. My editor wanted me to release them nine months apart, so that whole period in my life is a little bit of a blur… 

DJ: What is The Ranger of Marzanna about?

Jon: The Ranger of Marzanna is set in a wintery fantasy landscape inspired largely by my ancestral Poland and Czarist Russia. It’s a land that was conquered two decades before by a vast empire. Those who tried to stop the empire from their conquest, the fabled and mysterious Rangers of Marzanna, were nearly exterminated in the aftermath. Only one elderly Ranger managed to escape the purge but he manages to pass on his mystical secrets to a young woman named Sonya. When Sonya’s father is murdered by the empire, she resolves not merely to get revenge, but to liberate her people from the empire. Unfortunately, her younger brother Sebastian, a profoundly gifted wizard, becomes enthralled by the charismatic imperial commander and decides to join the empire instead, setting the siblings on a collision course that gets very messy indeed.  Continue reading

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Author Interview: Matthew Ward

Today I am interviewing Matthew Ward, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Legacy of Ash, first book in the Legacy trilogy. 

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

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

Matthew: I’m English – a Midlander by birth, for my sins. Though I love cities (especially ones steeped in history) I’m much more at home a footstep away from the wilderness. In a past life, I was employed at Games Workshop, building the Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings game worlds through rules writing, range planning and fiction. These days, I split my time between being an author and working as a creative consultant.

DJ: What is Legacy of Ash about?

Matthew: Legacy of Ash is a tale of a new generation fighting the mistakes of the one that came before. The decaying Tressian Republic faces an invasion from the Hadari Empire to the east and strife from within – for the first time in a generation, long-held truths are ripe for challenge. Gods are stirring. What comes next turns on the actions of a handful of characters and their choices – whether they’ll uphold the enmities and compromises of the past, or set aside old quarrels and build something greater for the future.

It’s epic fantasy shaped by the choices of its characters. Lots of action, intrigue and impossible choices. 

DJ: What were some of your influences Legacy of Ash and the series? 

Matthew: The Lord of the Rings has always been a huge influence on my writing, though these days it’s present much more in ‘behind the curtain’ disciplines like worldbuilding and mythology. More direct influences spring from television shows like Babylon 5 and Jack Pulman’s I, Claudius and the works of Bernard Cornwell.

Visually, I draw a lot from Britain’s wealth of historical sites – particularly North Wales and Cornwall, as well as older cities like York. I like places where you can close your eyes and feel the past resonating around you. That sense that there’s something vast lurking somewhere just out of sight. Continue reading

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Author Interview: David Dalglish

Today I am interviewing David Dalglish, author of the new fantasy novel, Soulkeeper, first book in The Keepers series.

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

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

David Dalglish: I’m a dad to three wonderfully nerdy girls, I’ve been playing games of Dungeons and Dragons since middle school, I started self-publishing my fantasy novels thinking maybe a small audience out there would appreciate a return to orcs and elves, and am bewildered by how well everything has gone since.

DJ: What is Soulkeeper about?

David: It’s about the world known as the Cradle, where humanity has always viewed themselves as the precious children of the three sister deities. Only the Cradle didn’t always belong to them, and marked by a surge of black water across the landscape, a previously banished world of magic, dragons, and monsters returns to throw everything into chaos.

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

David: The world itself is an amalgamation of my various interests over the years, plus tons of playing D&D. A lot of the series takes place in a single city, Londheim, and that place in particular was heavily inspired by the gothic masterpiece that is the city of Yharnam from the game, Bloodborne. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Miles Cameron

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday I am interviewing Miles Cameron, author of the new fantasy novel, Cold Iron, first book in the Masters & Mages series.

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

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

Miles Cameron: I’m fifty-six years old.  This morning I ran seven miles, did a ballet class, and then taught a class on sixteenth century swordsmanship.  I have a degree in Medieval history, a suit of armour, a family and a cat. I strive to be a history nerd.

DJ: What is Cold Iron about?


Miles: It is about our world.  It’s about making choices, whether they are choices about violence or about politics.  It is about Aranthur Timos, who is not really the best at anything; in another way, it is about how someone might become a fantasy hero; not ‘the chosen one’ but the right person in the right place. It is also about adolescence and growing up and changing goals and sexuality and all that stuff.  I know, I’m old, but I’m not that old, and I have a fifteen year old daughter to remind me how it all works…

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

Miles: What a great question!  In no particular order, Ellen Kushner’s ‘Swordspoint’ and the old ‘Thieves’ World’ books and C.J. Cherryh’s ‘Angel with a Sword’ and an incredible non-fiction book called ‘Agents of Empire’ and all the historical events of the Greek Revolution (1821-28) and even Lord Byron. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Rich Larson

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Today I am interviewing Rich Larson, author of the new science-fiction short-fiction collection Tomorrow Factory.

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DJ: Hi Carl! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

Rich: Hi DJ, I’m not actually Carl. I snuck in using his badge. My name is Rich Larson and I write speculative fiction. I was born in Galmi, Niger, have studied and worked in a variety of places, and now live in Ottawa, Canada. Besides writing, I enjoy playing soccer, watching basketball, learning languages, shooting pool, and dancing kizomba.

DJ: What is Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction about?

Tomorrow Factory - Rich Larson

Rich: The stories in Tomorrow Factory are about humanity’s interaction with technology and the strange places it might lead us.

DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction?

Rich: Glancing through the table of contents I see stories inspired by:

-LEGO’s Bionicle toys

-an article about muti, the trade in albino body parts for folk medicine

-a walk to the gym in winter under a perfectly blank sky

-vacationing in Thailand

Dead Space and that one Halo 3 level with all the sphincters

-NBA lottery hype and He Got Game

-the 90s Spider-Man cartoon

Mario Kart 64

-Penny Arcade’s Automata webcomic

-a vivid dream I had during a hot night in Seattle

-Instagram and my time in Portugal

Superbad Continue reading

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Author Interview: K.B. Wagers

Author_pic_smallToday I am interviewing K.B. Wagers, author of the new science-fiction novel, There Before the Chaos, first book in the Farian War trilogy.

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DJ: Hi K.B.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

K.B. Wagers: Thanks for having me, DJ! I’m a science fiction author living in Colorado. My first trilogy the Indranan War came out in 2016-2017. I’ve got four very strange cats, a house that’s way too big for just my partner and me, and more books than I know what to do with even after downsizing them. I’m a minimalist and photographer who loves macro photography especially.

DJ: What is There Before the Chaos about?


K.B.: There Before the Chaos is about gunrunner turned empress Hail Bristol’s attempt to stop a pair of technologically advanced alien races from going to war with each other in humanity’s backyard. She’s fresh off a victory in a civil war that threatened her empire, has just signed a peace treaty with a neighboring government, and is settling into her new role as empress when things go sideways. The aliens specifically request her help with the negotiations, which is a tall order, but if anyone’s up to the challenge, it’s our recently crowned empress.

DJ: What were some of your influences There Before the Chaos and the series?

K.B.: Anything and everything? *laughs* I do a lot of binge watching/reading between books because I don’t tend to take in a lot of outside media while I’m working, so honestly stuff blurs together so much it’s hard to remember what, if anything, has directly influenced a book.

Continue reading

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Author Interview: Rena Rossner

rena-16-low-resToday I am interviewing Rena Rossner, author of the new fantasy novel, The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

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

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

Rena Rossner: I work as a literary agent, based out of Jerusalem, Israel, but I grew up on Miami Beach, Florida. I have 5 kids, and a pug named Pablo Picasso Neruda, and when I’m not writing or reading (which is almost basically never) you can find me crocheting, doing pottery, or baking (and making slightly more than the occasional cocktail…)

DJ: What is The Sisters of the Winter Wood about?


Rena: The Sisters of the Winter Wood is a fairy tale retelling of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market poem, set in the town of Dubossary (where my great-grandfather came from) on the border of Moldova and Ukraine. It’s the story of two sisters, one that can turn into a swan and the other that can turn into a bear, and what happens when their parents go away and strange things start to happen in the nearby town.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Sisters of the Winter Wood?

Rena: Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market poem has always been one of my favorites, but I was also inspired by the Jewish/Hassidic Folktales that I grew up on, and their confluence with many Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldavian myths and legends. There are many swan-maiden and swan-prince folk tales, and the bear is one of the symbols of Russia, and the folk tale of the Shpoler Zaidy tells the story of a man who dances in a bear cloak to save a fellow Jew. It wasn’t too much of a jump to turn him into an actual bear, and so, parts of my story started to tell themselves. I also always wanted to read a fantasy novel with elements of the Yiddish language in it – which is a very colorful, and also sometimes magical language – and I knew that the only way that would happen is if I took the reigns and wrote one myself. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jon Hollins

Author_Photo_TwitterToday I am interviewing Jon Hollins, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Bad Faith, final book in The Dragon Lords trilogy.

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

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

Jon Hollins: Hi! Thanks so much for having me here.  As for who I am… well, probably the first thing to reveal is that the name Jon Hollins is a lie.  Or as some people would call it, a pseudonym. My real name is Jonathan Wood, and I’m an Englishman living in New York.  I work in advertising by day, and write by… well, “night” would be the cool way to finish that sentence, but mostly it’s on my commute each day.  Prior to writing The Dragon Lords, I wrote four urban fantasy novels under my own name.  The first of that series is No Hero.

DJ: What is Bad Faith and then The Dragon Lords trilogy about?


Jon: Bad Faith is the story of a group friends (of questionable morality and intelligence) most of whom have found themselves dead at the hands of a despotic and chronically drunk deity.  It charts their journey all the way from the underworld to the heavens themselves as they struggle to get revenge, and to free their homeland from tyranny. There are hijinks and mishaps along the way—as there tend to be in these sorts of things—including their decision to team up with a small army of dragons, which simplifies attacking a god, but complicates pretty much everything else.

This being the third and concluding volume of The Dragon Lords, these events obviously building on a lot of things that have happened before.  The first book, Fool’s Gold, charts the way the friends come together, initially as little more than a group of wannabe thieves, and then as accidental leaders of a revolution against evil dragon overlords.  Then in False Idols, the same bunch of fools find themselves in an expanded fight for their whole world as the dragons come back in a bid to rule not just the land, but the very heavens.  That’s when the gods start to get involved, and things go rapidly downhill for everyone from there. Continue reading

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Book Collecting: Update #26

When I came home from school this winter, there was also one special package from Orbit. What was so special about? Well, when I opened the box, there was a gift wrapped package in there?!

What was inside when I opened the package…?

Continue reading

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