Tag Archives: saga press

Author Interview: Kay Kenyon

Today I am interviewing Kay Kenyon, author of the new historical fantasy novel, At the Table of Wolves, the first book in her Dark Talents series. It’s published by Saga Press and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

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

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

Kay Kenyon: Thanks for inviting me, DJ! I live in Washington state on the sunny side (yes, there is one!) with my husband Tom. I’ve written 14 science fiction and fantasy novels including The Entire and The Rose quartet. Last year, I served as a judge for the World Fantasy awards and lost about three months of my life living in other people’s universes. I came out the other side, amazed and addicted to caffeine. Tom and I have three children and a tabby cat. The cat is still bunking with us.

DJ: What is At the Table of Wolves about?

Kay: It’s a spy thriller of dark powers, Nazi conspiracies and espionage set in 1936 England. In this alternate history, the Nazis have been weaponizing psi-Talents in preparation for the next war. England’s Secret Intelligence Service is desperate to uncover the details of an invasion plot that may be based upon a newly-discovered super power. It’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets X-men, with a strong female hero commanding psi powers both subtle and scary.

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? 

Kay: My major character is Kim Tavistock, a woman with a super power that is valued by the secret intelligence service: a gift for hearing truths people want to hide. (A Talent called the spill.) Raised in America but born in England, Kim is now back in the country of her birth, struggling to reconcile life with a Talent that most people resent and one that could get her killed. Having lost her beloved older brother in World War I, she is disturbed to find that the English–and particularly in the salons of aristocratic fascists–seem blind to the Nazi threat. When she meets a charming and dangerous German intelligence officer, Erich von Ritter, she is on her own in combating a looming invasion. Other characters: Julian, her father, who may be a traitor; Alice, whose Talent of trauma view exposes the dark side of peoples’ lives; and Rose, a developmentally disabled young woman who may hold the key to a mysterious power over ice and cold. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Theodora Goss

Today I am interviewing Theodora Goss, author of the new fantasy novel, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

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

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

Theodora Goss: I have red hair, a cat named Cordelia, and a PhD in English literature. I found the cat as a stray kitten, wandering around the streets of Boston. The PhD I actually had to work for, but that’s where the idea for my novel came from. What else? I was born in Budapest, I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl writing fantasy stories in a unicorn notebook, and I now teach writing at Boston University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program. This is my first novel, but I’ve been publishing short stories, essays, and poems for about ten years.

DJ: What is The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter about?

Theodora: It’s about the adventures of Mary Jekyll, Diana Hyde, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein in late 19th- century London. Mary is of course the daughter of the respectable Dr. Jekyll, who had a disreputable assistant, Mr. Hyde. She helps Sherlock Holmes solve a series of gruesome murders, and in the process she finds the other girls, who have all been created by mad scientists in some way—including Diana, who claims to be her sister. As the girls talk, they start to put together their own histories and realize that there is a bigger story for them to uncover . . .

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter?

Theodora: My doctoral dissertation was on late Victorian gothic fiction, so I was researching and writing about texts such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Island of Dr. Moreau. My influences were really those 19th-century gothic texts, as well as the stories of Sherlock Holmes. I love all that material—technically, I’m a Victorianist, which means I’m supposed to be an expert in 19th-century literature, although I find that the more I learn, the more there is to learn. Those stories about monsters and mad scientists were my main influences. I wanted to explore them further, but from the point of view of the female characters who were destroyed or killed in the originals. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cassandra Rose Clarke

Today I am interviewing Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of the new space opera novel, Star’s End.

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

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

Cassandra Rose Clarke: I’m a writer living in Houston, and I love to write across genres and age groups. I have two cats named Robert and Cheeto. I’m also a teacher.

DJ: What is Star’s End about?

Cassandra: Star’s End is a space opera crossed with a family drama. The main character, Esme Coromina, slowly uncovers some dark family secrets related to her father and her youngest sister, and she has to learn how to deal with the ramifications. And all of it takes place in space!

DJ: What were some of your influences for Star’s End?

Cassandra: The biggest influence was actually the Alien movies! One of the recurring themes in those movies is the way Weyland-Yutani, the evil corporation, is always trying to weaponize the xenomorphs. This is such a clearly terrible idea that I always wondered why there pursued it so relentlessly. Then I started imagining what might happen if they were successful. And that was the seed for Star’s End.

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? 

Cassandra: Esme is a pretty flawed character. She is pulled between doing what she feels is right and fulfilling her father’s expectations for her. She cares deeply about her sisters but often struggles with showing that in any meaningful way. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kameron Hurley

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Today I am interviewing Kameron Hurley, author of the new space opera, The Stars Are Legion.

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

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

Kameron Hurley: I’m a fantasy and science fiction writer, but I’m probably best known for an essay that won a Hugo Award. That essay is “We Have Always Fought,” and it’s part of a collection that came out last year called The Geek Feminist Revolution. I also write a lot of fantastic worlds. I’ve got an epic fantasy series about polyamorous matriarchies and parallel universes colliding, which starts with The Mirror Empire, and an SF-noir bugpunk series, the God’s War Trilogy. I’m known for writing wild, cool worlds inhabited by badass women.

DJ: What is The Stars Are Legion about?

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Kameron: It’s a space opera set among a legion of organic starships where two women struggle to escape a perpetual war and literally save their worlds. It’s a living, breathing adventure novel that a lot of folks have said is… very visceral!

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Stars Are Legion?

Kameron: I enjoy really weird fiction, that gooey, body horror stuff where people transform into who-knows-what, like China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station and KJ Bishop’s The Etched City. I also love space opera, though my influences in that vein are films as opposed to novels. There are fewer novels that do gooey spaceships. I watched a lot of Pandorum, Farscape, Babylon 5, and some really weird stuff I can’t remember. I also spent a lot of time researching microbes, parasites, and symbiotic creatures and ecosystems. I wanted these worldships to be living ecosystems, and for the humans inside of them to be part of those systems. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Rachel Neumeier

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Today I am interviewing Rachel Neumeier, author of the new fantasy novel, The Mountain of Kept Memory.

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

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

Rachel Neumeier: Thanks for asking me over, DJ! It’s a pleasure to be here.

You know how so many authors started writing stories when they were very young, teenagers, perhaps? Not me. I’ve been a *reader* all my life – definitely in a “My Life My Books My Escape” kind of way, in fact (that’s a great motto). But I didn’t start writing until grad school. I started then because I’d just read a book where the protagonist annoyed me and partly to improve my typing speed, but mostly because I needed a hobby that was completely separate from my research project.

Eventually I completed a giant fantasy trilogy. This taught me how to write. After that I wrote a much (much) shorter standalone fantasy novel that I hoped would be publishable. That book, The City in the Lake, was the one that was my debut sale. After City was accepted by Random House, I kind of rearranged my life to accommodate my hobbies instead of the other way around. Now I work part time, but I make sure I always have time for writing and for my herd of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Mountain is my eleventh novel to hit the shelves, but I’ve got a very busy schedule for 2017. If I manage to finish the third Black Dog novel in January, I’ll self-publish that as my twelfth. Then my next YA will come out in March from Random House, and my next adult fantasy next November from Simon and Schuster.

So far all my books are fantasy, but on my agent’s advice, I just finished my first space opera, so I’m hoping to see that find a home. I’m hoping to be like CJ Cherryh, one of my favorite authors, with tons of books published in both fantasy and SF.

DJ: What is The Mountain of Kept Memory about?

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Rachel: Mountain is a traditional fantasy . . . or not quite! But it *reads* like a traditional fantasy. Mostly.

Mountain alternates points of view as Oressa and Gulien deal with their rather ambiguous father, the powerful woman he has offended – she used to be a goddess, or so people say – and a foreign invasion. Enemies may not quite stay enemies, friends may not necessarily stay friends, and the truth about the Kieba may be even stranger than the stories people tell about her.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits?

Rachel: Well, Oressa spends a good deal of time finding all the secret panels and passages in the palace and ferreting out everyone’s secrets. She learned young that it’s important to know everything and never reveal how much you know! She’s one of my favorite protagonists ever, in fact.

Oressa’s brother Gulien is in a tough spot, torn between loyalty to his father and the awareness that his father is almost certainly catastrophically wrong this time.

Osir himself – their father — is one of the most ambiguous characters I’ve ever written. Oressa is terrified of him, Gulien loves him and wants to earn his good regard, and the complexity of relationships that results is one of the things I enjoyed most about writing this book. I think Osir came out just as I hoped.

Gajdosik, one of the foreign princes who is invading, is actually a very important character. He’s not precisely quirky, but he’s determined, ruthless, clever, and above all steadfast. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Brian Lee Durfee

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Today I am interviewing Brian Lee Durfee, author of the new fantasy novel, The Forgetting Moon, first book of the Five Warriors Angels series.

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

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

Brian Lee Durfee: I am an artist and writer who was raised in Fairbanks Alaska and Monroe Utah. I’ve done illustrations for Wizards of the Coast, Tolkien Enterprises, Dungeons & Dragons, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (Denali National Park) and many more. My art has been featured in SPECTRUM: Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #3 and Writers of the Future Vol 9. I won the Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Award and the painting is in the permanent collection of the Grand Canyon Visitors Center-Kolb Gallery. I am also the author of the fantasy series Five Warrior Angels. I currently live in Salt Lake City. I work in Law Enforcement as a day job. Reading is my first passion. Writing my second. Watching the Oakland Raiders third. Painting fourth. In fact, I might put watching football first because everything stops on NFL Sunday for me.

DJ: Now, I love epic fantasy – it is my favorite genre – and The Forgetting Moon is a massive book and solely from the book’s intro, I’m getting the feeling the Five Warriors Angels series is going to be quite vast! While that is so awesome(!), that means there is so much to cover! So, I will do my best to ask you questions that will cover as much as possible 😛

Let’s start with the basic one: What is The Forgetting Moon about?

Brian: I am assuming you have a link to Simon & Schuster’s description so we needn’t re-hash that here. So I am going to paraphrase what one Goodreads reviewer (a good friend of mine who gave me permission) wrote, because she did a good job of describing the novel in a different way than what you will find on the back-jacket. “It has been nearly a thousand years since the death and supposed ascendency to heaven of Laijon, King of Slaves, one of five legendary Warrior Angels; history is mute on the fates of the other four: the Princess, the Thief, the Assassin, and the Gladiator. Since Laijon’s death, nations have divided into warring factions worshipping either Laijon, his son, Raijael, or his wife, The Blessed Mother Mia. Now, prophesies near fruition as the followers of Raijael plow a bloody track across the Five Isles, and the infamous weapons of the Five Angels have been rediscovered. (The doctrines and religious fervor that fuel the war remind one of the endless schisms and wars fostered by the Abrahamic religions of our world.)

The story follows those who may or may not be the prophesied descendants of the Five Warrior Angels: Aeros Raijael, the White Prince, sociopathic leader of the invading army; Nail, an orphan from a remote fishing village; Jondralyn Bronachell, sister to a cruel and paranoid king; their sister, Tala Bronachell, who is following an anonymous assassin’s clues to save her cousin from poison; Gault Aulbrek, a disenchanted knight; Ava Shay, prisoner of war and Nail’s one-time girlfriend; Hawkwood, a deadly Bloodwood assassin; Squireck Van Hester, a political prisoner forced to fight in the gladiatorial arena; siblings Zane and Liz Hen Neville, Nail’s hometown friends; and their dog, Beer Mug. The reader should heed the motto of the Brethren of Mia: “Trust no one.” Continue reading

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