Tag Archives: solaris

Author Interview: Guy Adams

Today I am interviewing Guy Adams, author of the new fantasy novellas, London Orbital, The Queen of Coney Island, and A City of Fools, the first three books of The Change series.

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

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

Guy Adams: Always happy to talk to people. I’m a writer, it doesn’t happen often. Occasionally, when I’m dragged, screaming, into the light to meet actual human beings I forget how to use my mouth, hands uselessly twitching, trying to tap out a reply on my nonexistent keyboard. This is why, if you want to meet writers at parties, you should go and find the table with the food on it, you’ll find them underneath it, building a nest out of half-chewed breadsticks and old notebooks.

So, yes, Guy Adams. Me. I’m the author of a frankly ridiculous number of books, including the Clown Service series of weird spy novels from Del Rey UK, Deadbeat from Titan Books and The Heaven’s Gate trilogy from those lovely enablers at Solaris. I also write comics, mainly 2000AD although I also co-created Goldtiger with artist Jimmy Broxton.

For the last couple of years, The Change aside, I’ve mainly been writing scripts for Big Finish, a lovely company who make excellent audio dramas here in the UK. I’ve written hours and hours of Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Torchwood and sundry other ranges. Nothing beats putting words into the mouth of the likes of David Tennant, Alex Kingston, Tom Baker, David Warner, Sir John Hurt, Sir Derek Jacobi… I’ve started writing a list, oh God… never start writing lists, they always get out of control. Suffice it to say I’ve been working with amazing people and having an amazing time.

DJ: What are the first three books and The Change series about?

Guy: The Change is far harder to explain than it is to experience – a fact that I can only imagine has driven my poor publicist to tears.

As a series it will view a potential extinction event globally. Imagine if The Walking Dead was actually several series all set in different locations with different characters, all facing the results of something terrible.

Like that. Sort of. But weirder, with no zombies and with more fun bits. And without characters just glowering at one another simmering like a pan of rice on the stove that someone has forgotten.

The Change itself is a moment in the early hours of a winter morning when creatures appeared above the world. Strange, Lovecraftian things. Creatures so unimaginable that looking at them was enough to kill you. It took six minutes to break the world. When they left, the world’s rules had changed. Reality has taken a beating and our cities and towns can now harbour the most impossible, terrifying and beautiful things.

It’s heavily inspired by the idea of psychogeography – a word my auto-correct refuses to acknowledge, such a joy when even my software becomes a critic. I love the notion that not only can we colour our environment but that it can colour us. Do buildings and streets hold on to the things that happened there? Do cities dream of their history? Do cities go mad?

Possibly not. But they do when I’m writing them. So my characters have to face a world where nightmare logic has taken the place of rational science. A creature made from a grotesque stew of machinery and flesh stalks the motorway surrounding London; New York’s Coney Island is alive with the dreams of the amusement parks that used to stand there; Paris is patrolled by The Impressionists, creatures made of paint. These are stories full of mad ideas sprayed all over the world in which we live.

The first three books are set in London, New York and Paris, the second three continue the adventures in London and New York (both ongoing narratives) and add a look at Tokyo.

Should the series continue beyond these first six books – which is entirely down to how many people jump onboard this strange idea of mine – I’ll continue the stories of my characters in London and New York and keep adding one-off books that look at other locations. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gail Z. Martin

Today I am interviewing Gail Z. Martin, author of the new epic fantasy novel, Scourge, first book in the Darkhurst series.

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

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

Gail Z. Martin: Hi DJ! Thank you for having me as a guest! I write epic and urban fantasy, and steampunk, mostly for Solaris Books and Orbit Books. My epic series include the new Darkhurst series with the first book, Scourge, that is just coming out in July, as well as my Chronicles of the Necromancer/Fallen Kings Cycle and my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. The urban fantasy includes the Deadly Curiosities novels, and the Steampunk is co-written with my husband, Larry N. Martin, and includes the novel Iron & Blood and the Storm and Fury Adventures short fiction/collections.

DJ: What is Scourge about?

Gail: Here’s the short answer: Three undertaker brothers in a medieval trading town battle monsters to protect their family and neighbors, only to discover that the monsters have masters and the stakes are higher than they dreamed.

Here’s the book cover answer: In a city beset by monsters, three brothers must find out who is controlling the abominations and stop the carnage.

Corran, Rigan, and Kell Valmonde are Guild Undertakers, left to run their family’s business when guards murdered their father and monsters killed their mother. Their grave magic enables them to help souls pass to the After and banish vengeful spirits. Rigan’s magic is unusually strong and enables him to hear the confessions of the dead, the secrets that would otherwise be taken to the grave. When the toll exacted by monsters and brutal guards hits close to home and ghosts expose the hidden sins of powerful men, Corran, Rigan and Kell become targets in a deadly game and face a choice: obey the Guild, or fight back and risk everything.

And here’s the Hollywood pitch summary: Supernatural meets Game of Thrones. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Weston Ochse

Today I am interviewing Weston Ochse, author of the new SF military novel, Grunt Hero, final book of the Task Force Ombra trilogy.

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

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

Weston Osche: I’m a military veteran with 35 years of service and counting. I’ve written about 30 books and won a few awards. One of my books has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. I have three Great Danes and am married to the author, Yvonne Navarro.

DJ: What is Grunt Hero and then the Task Force Ombra trilogy about?

Weston: The Task Force Ombra Trilogy is about the lowest ranking soldier there is—the grunt. No admirals or generals here. It’s also about PTSD and how different people deal with it. In Grunt Life aliens come to Earth to try and destroy it. In Grunt Traitor, they basically destroy everything we know and love. And in Grunt Hero, we finally figure out why they did what they did and it pisses us off so much all we want is revenge.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Task Force Ombra trilogy?

Weston: There’s a section in the first book where everyone is locked up and forced to read all the great sci fi books that have been published and critically answer questions about them before they can be released. That listing contains all of my influences and I thought to myself, if we knew there was going to be an alien invasion, how could we study for it? Read what’s already been written and pay attention to the techniques, tactics, and procedures that those great authors had already gamed. Some of the authors include Joe Haldeman, David Gerrold, John Scalzi, and John Steakley. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Titus Chalk

Today I am interviewing Titus Chalk, author of the new non-fiction novel, Generation Decks: The Unofficial History of Magic: The Gathering.

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

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

Titus Chalk: Sure – I’m a British writer living in Berlin, who’s spent most of the past decade or so writing about sport and culture for outlets in the UK and here in Germany. At the moment, I’m trying to work on my fiction-writing chops, whilst also doing some news writing to pay the bills. Oh – and of course, I play a highly addictive fantasy game called Magic: The Gathering!

DJ: What Generation Decks: The Unofficial History of Magic: The Gathering about?

Titus: As the name suggests it’s the story of Magic – an iconic card game that came out in 1993. But more than that, it’s also a memoir of my time playing the game. It might sound like a very specialist subject, but really it’s as much a history of the birth of the internet age as anything else, just told through a specific lens. It’s the story of how one business grappled with the rapidly changing world – and how a whole community was suddenly formed by it and thrived, myself included.

DJ: How long have you been playing Magic for?

Titus: I’ve been playing since roughly late 1994 or early 1995 – the exact date is a little foggy at this point. My family were going through a tough time, had left England and had washed up in New Zealand. I had to start at a new school – a daunting prospect when you’re 13 – and I hit upon the game as a way to make a new friends. I wouldn’t have survived that time in my life without it and in fact, I’m still good friends with one of the guys I used to play with back then. I think many Magic players have a similar experience in their past – the game helped a whole generation of awkward teens make friends, get good at something and garner a little self-esteem in the process. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Steve Rasnic Tem

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Today I am interviewing Steve Rasnic Tem, Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Award-Winner, and author of the new science-fiction horror novel, UBO.

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

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

Steve Rasnic Tem: I’ve been publishing professionally since the early 80’s. In that time I’ve published over 400 short stories, 10 collections, 6 novels, and a large number of poems, articles, essays, plays, etc. I’m a past winner of the Bram Stoker, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and International Horror Guild awards. Most of what I’ve learned about writing over the years will be collected soon in Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art and Practice of Writing (Apex Publications), the last project I completed with my late wife Melanie.

DJ: What is UBO about?

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Steve: At its heart, UBO is a meditation on violence. A blend of science fiction and horror, the novel utilizes such historical viewpoint characters as Stalin, Himmler, Charles Whitman, Jack the Ripper, and Gilles de Raiis to explore humanity’s propensity for violent acts. Every resident of this prison located in a future Boston ravaged by riots and climate change has a similar memory of the journey to Ubo: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects dropping swiftly over the houses of the neighborhood, passing through walls and windows as if by magic. Once there they are watched over by alien creatures who resemble giant roaches, and each day these roaches force them to relive the memories of some of history’s most violent figures. It’s a dark journey, but also an exploration of the things which make us human, with a ray of hope at the end. Continue reading

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Author Interview: K.M. McKinley

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Today I am interviewing K.M. McKinley, author of the new fantasy novel, The City of Ice, second book of The Gates of the World series.

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DJ: Hey K.M.! Thanks for stopping to do an interview!

For readers whoa aren’t familiar with you, cold you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

K.M. McKinley: You can call me Kay. I’m a writer. I have been for several years now. Before that I worked as a journalist and editor for fourteen years or so. I live in Yorkshire, in the UK. The Iron Ship book bio is out of date, as I wrote it before moving back to where I grew up.

DJ: What is The City of Ice and The Gates of the World series about?

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Kay: What is any book about? I think that’s more a question for the reader. Books are collaborations between the imaginations of the writer and the reader, what I say it’s “about” might not be what you say it’s about. On a basic level, it’s an epic, multiple point of view fantasy set in a world undergoing an industrial revolution fuelled by the science of magic. Like our world went down the road of Paracelsus in the 16th century rather than Newton. At least, that was my original thinking. It didn’t work out quite that way… I won’t be so cocky as to say it’s unique, as there are a number of good industrial fantasies out there right now. Industrial fantasy doesn’t quite get all of it. Some people say it’s steampunk, though I would say it isn’t, though it has steampunky elements.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main character(s)? Does they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

Continue reading

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Author Interview: Hillary Monahan

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Today I am interviewing Hillary Monahan, author of the new urban fantasy novel, Snake Eyes, third book in the Gods & Monsters trilogy.

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

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

Hilary Monahan: Why sure. I’m a New York Times bestselling author for my horror YA MARY: THE SUMMONING duology which is out with Disney Hyperion. I’m also Eva Darrows, and I wrote THE AWESOME for Rebellion to some critical acclaim and have DEAD LITTLE MEAN GIRL coming out with Harlequin Teen in March. I do romance, too, under a third name—Thea De Salle—and those books will be out with Simon and Schuster starting in February. Basically if it involves words, I probably write it.

DJ: What is Snake Eyes about?

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Hilary: Women. It’s a love letter to women. Queer women and old women and strong women and fat women and thin women and any kind of woman you can think of. Also snakes. I’m terrified of snakes and what better way to wrestle that demon than to write an entire novel about them. It didn’t work, by the way–I’m still afraid of them–but at least I got a very cool Greek mythology UF out of the deal.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Snake Eyes?

Hilary: Mad Max: Fury Road for sure. I loved how the film featured female characters who are often reduced to supporting cast for male centered stories. Also that absolutely atrocious Clash of the Titans movie—the 1981 version (so the less atrocious of the two, sorry Hollywood.) For reasons I do not know, my grade school insisted on showing us that film annually. The artful Claymation of Medusa stuck with me, I guess.   Continue reading

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Author Interview: Simon Bestwick

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Today I am interviewing Simon Bestwick, author of the Black Road series of novels, and his latest book, The Feast of All Souls.

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

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

Simon Bestwick: Hi there. Sure – I’m based in the North-West of England. I grew up in Manchester and lived in Salford until a couple of years ago, until I moved to Liverpool with my then-girlfriend. Now I still live around Merseyside, on the Wirral. And the girlfriend? Reader, I married her…

The Feast Of All Souls is my fifth novel; I’ve also published four story collections and a chapbook. Most of my work tends to fall into the horror category, with occasional forays into urban fantasy, dystopian/post-apocalyptic SF, and crime.

DJ: What is The Feast of All Souls about?

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Simon: It’s about 400 pages long. Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s about Alice Collier, who moves back to Crawbeck, a part of Salford where she used to live, when her marriage breaks up following the death of her daughter Emily. Strange things start happening in the house she moves into: ghostly children, a mysterious figure in red, and sometimes when she looks out of the windows or goes out through the door, the world outside the house is a different one – somewhere far in the past. Because she’s had mental health issues since losing her daughter, she’s afraid she’s going mad, and eventually contacts an old boyfriend, John Revell, who’s a paranormal investigator, in the hope of getting to the bottom of things. And that’s when stuff gets really weird.

Meanwhile, there’s another storyline, from nearly two hundred years earlier, in the same location: Mary Carson, on her own following the death of her father, comes to Springcross House in Crawbeck to work as a secretary to a mill-owner called Arodias Thorne. She gets drawn into a relationship with him – and all of this connects both with what Alice is going through in the present day and with the various legends and bits of folklore that have surrounded Crawbeck for centuries. Continue reading

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