Tag Archives: talos press

Author Interview: Victor Godinez

Today I am interviewing Victor Godinez, author of the new science-fiction novel, The First Protectors.

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

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

Victor Godinez: Well, I’m a longtime newspaper reporter who made the switch over to public relations several years ago in the telecommunications industry. I grew up all over the world: Dallas, Boston, New York, Venezuela, Indiana, France, Belgium, Brazil, then back to Dallas, which is home for me now, with my wife and three kids. Believe it or not, Belgium has better French fries than France!

DJ: What is The First Protectors about?

Victor: The First Protectors is my vision of what an alien invasion could realistically look like and how we might realistically fight back against it. It opens with the last survivor of a conquered alien race called the brin trying to warn mankind against the coming invasion of another species called the mrill. The last brin alien crashes on Earth, with a mrill attacker in hot pursuit. The brin survivor is killed, but not before he meets our hero, Ben Shepherd, and injects him with alien nanotechnology that just might give humanity a fighting chance against the imminent mrill invasion.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The First Protectors?

Victor: As a kid, I was a big fan of a mix of novelists, from Stephen King to Louis L’Amour to Tolkien to T.H. White. Plus, whatever pulpy sci-fi novel I happened to stumble across. As I got into high school, Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series made a tremendous impression on me, with its mix of absurdist humor, adventure, and an exasperated love of humanity in all our ridiculousness, stupidity, and sheer bloody-mindedness. In fact, I reread the entire series every couple of years. And lately, I’ve been a big fan of Ted Chiang. Stories of Your Life and Others is haunting in ways that are so subtle that you seem to feel them under your skin. Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly is also a good reminder that, ultimately, people just do dumb things, no matter how smart they seem to be. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Betsy Dornbusch

9e7061_a2b48a17b2ac4aceaea60a4d5fbefa19Today I am interviewing Betsy Dornbusch, author of the new science-fiction, fantasy novel, The Silver Scar.

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

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

Betsy Dornbusch: Hi, Thanks for having me.

I’m a SFF writer with five novels, three novellas, and a bunch of short stories. I live in Colorado with my husband, two teenage kids, two dogs, and a ball python called Vatican.  I like to go to conventions, punk rock concerts, travel, snowboard, and watch football. Go Broncos!

DJ: What is The Silver Scar about?

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Betsy: It’s about a Christian soldier who tries to stop a crusade in 2160 Boulder Colorado. The US balkanized after protracted wars over scarce resources. In Colorado Territory the Christian Church runs the walled cities. Christians live relatively safely inside and anyone of other religions live outside the walls. Trinidad is a converted Wiccan who abandoned magic and his coven as a child to soldier for the Church. But when his Bishop turns up with a silver scar she says is proof of Heavenly orders to crusade, Trinidad knows it’s a lie. He knows where the scar really came from: an otherworldly graveyard filled with silver sand that heals wounds, reached only with Wiccan magic. But proving her lies means committing heresy and being executed for treason. So he has to choose between friends and enemies, and heresy and faith to try to stop the war from happening. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Paul Tassi

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Today I am interviewing Paul Tassi, author of the new science-fiction novel, Herokiller.

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

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

Paul Tassi: I’ve been writing about video games, movies, TV and tech for about a decade now. I’ve been writing for Forbes specifically for eight years. Herokiller is my fourth book, where my first three are a different science-fiction series called The Earthborn Trilogy. I work from home so I’m able to find a lot of time to write, which is fantastic, and what helps me finish these books, even if it’s not my full-time job.

DJ: What is Herokiller about?

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Paul: It’s the year 2035 and a televised TV deathmatch, the first of its kind between death row inmates, has just been ruled illegal. Its founder, media mogul Cameron Crayton, decides to form a new kind of tournament called The Crucible, one that operates on a volunteer basis with competitors signing up to win a billion dollar first prize if they can survive. They fight with armor and medieval weapons, updated for modern day use in a shining new Colosseum that Crayton builds in the Las Vegas desert.

Mark Wei is a former CIA operative who was instrumental in crippling China during the second Cold War, but lost his family due to Chinese retaliation. His old handler calls him back into the field to sign up for The Crucible, infiltrating the contest to get close to Cameron Crayton, who the US government believes is a puppet for a foreign power. As he trains and fights he befriends some of the other combatants he’s supposed to kill, but runs into others that are among the most dangerous men and women on earth. If he can reach the end, he might learn the truth about Crayton, but the road to get there is a razor’s edge, and his past demons haunt him as he tries not to lose his mind the way America itself has seemed to, reveling in the bloodlust of the tournament. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Michael R. Fletcher

Today I am interviewing Michael R. Fletcher, author of the new fantasy novel, Swarm of Steel, a stand-alone story in the Manifest Delusions series.

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

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

Michael R. Fletcher: Hi! Thanks for having me. I do love being had. I could tell you about myself but I’d likely lie.

Oh what the hell, let’s give it a go.

After a long career as a wandering door-to-door used grilled-cheese sandwich salesman I decided it was time for a change. I saw four life paths that really appealed to me: Race car driver, rock star, ninja, and writer. Since being a writer seemed like a lot of effort and unlikely to end in the fame, fortune, and worshipful adoration I crave, I decided to focus on being a rock star ninja. For a decade I toured the world with the goth metal band, Sex Without Souls. It really was a great cover for a ninja, what with the goth addiction to black clothing. Eventually, however, the adoration of bajillions of screaming fans grew hollow. I wanted more. Worship wasn’t enough, I needed mindless devotion. With that thought in mind I reevaluated my life-choices. The answer was clear. Only one career path offered the slavish devotion and staggering riches I desired: Science fiction and fantasy author.

DJ: What is Swarm of Steel about?

Michael : After the grit and filth of Beyond Redemption and The Mirror’s Truth, I wanted to write something different. I wanted to write a love story filled with puppies and hugs and the kind of romancey smoochie smoochiness that leaves a warm feeling deep in the cockles of your soul. A cockle, of course, being a small, edible, marine bivalve mollusk. Why you have these in your soul is beyond me. You should prolly see a doctor. Anyway, I totally failed. Instead I somehow ended up with a gritty filthy love story between a cannibal and a dead woman. I don’t understand what went wrong. Surely I am not the problem.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Swarm of Steel?

Michael : I exist in a vacuum of ignorance and wanton stupidity. If something had influence on me, I am blissfully unaware. I do listen to a lot of skull-crushing death metal when I write. That may have flavored things a little. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cat Sparks

Today I am interviewing Cat Sparks, author of the new science-fiction novel, Lotus Blue.

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

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

Cat Sparks: Sure thing, DJ, I’ve been a rabid science fiction fan since I was a kid, growing up on a steady diet of Doctor Who, Thunderbirds, Star Wars and everything else in between – and I do mean everything… I wrote so much sci fi when I was a teen that an English teacher actually banned me from writing it in her class. You can see for yourself how well that plan turned out…

I have a BA in Visual Arts and have had some interesting (and not so interesting) jobs across the years: media monitor, political and archaeological photographer, graphic designer, Fiction Editor of Australia’s Cosmos Magazine and Manager of Agog! Press. In 2012 I was privileged to score and Australia Council grant, which sent me to Key West, Florida to participate in Margaret Atwood’s brilliant The Time Machine Doorway workshop.  

I am currently finishing up a PhD examining science fiction and climate fiction and its potential responsibility to the future. My first short story was published in 2000. Lotus Blue took 10 years to complete, a process in which over 300,000 words ended up in the bin. I’m not sure if that checks the box for stubbornness or crackpot perseverance.

DJ: What Lotus Blue about?

Cat: Lotus Blue is the story of Star, a girl who can’t remember her past. The tough life she shares with her elder sister as part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic Sand Road traders changes forever when the Van witnesses a relic-Angel satellite plummeting to Earth, kick starting a chain of events that send Star on a perilous journey that makes Van life seem comfortable by comparison.

Slowly she’s forced to come to terms with the horror of her unfolding destiny—as the terrible secret her sister had been desperate to protect her from begins to unravel.

Meanwhile, something old and powerful has woken in the desert. A Lotus Blue, deadliest of all the ancient war machines. A warrior with plans of its own, far more significant than a fallen Angel. Plans that do not include the survival of humanity. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gabriel Squailia

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Today I am interviewing Gabriel Squailia, author of the new dystopian fantasy novel, Viscera.

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

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

Gabriel Squailia: I’m the author of Dead Boys and Viscera, two dark and decidedly odd fantasy novels. I make a living as a dance-floor DJ in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, and I greatly enjoy naps.

DJ: What is Viscera about?

Gabriel: It’s a brutal swords-and-sorcery fantasy with a twisted sense of humor. It’s a quest for vengeance that gets tangled up in the intestines of a number of strangers. And it’s about our deepest selves and the thorny paths they travel while they’re emerging.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Viscera?

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Gabriel: Most obvious are the fantasy influences, from China Miéville’s Bas-Lag novels to GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire. (I also took a lot of cues from Jack Vance and Dungeons and Dragons on this front.) But the secret source of this novel was Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, a brilliant nonfiction book that argues that people are often at their noblest and most utopian in the midst of great catastrophes. So many of our tales of war, disaster, and dystopia present humanity as being perpetually on the verge of regression into animal chaos, and I think this is a lie we’ve swallowed too long. So I wanted to write a story that shows the hope on the other side of tragedy—which meant dragging my characters through the muck first.

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 will sympathize with them?

Gabriel: Everything after the first few pages constitutes a spoiler, so I’ll stick with the first characters we meet. Rafe Davin has recently joined a Fortune-worshiping cult of gamblers called the Assemblage, and he’s following his Ace, Jassa Lowroller, through the woods outside of Eth. The two of them are decidedly Up to No Good, but Rafe is struggling with all of it—the bizarre tenets of the cult, the existence of Fortune, and the radical changes in his life that led him here—and that makes him very compelling to me. Mostly because I think too much, too, and spend a good deal of my life doing things I’m constantly questioning. Continue reading

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