Tag Archives: titan books

Author Interview: James Brogden


Today I am interviewing James Brogden author of the new supernatural thriller, The Hollow Tree.

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

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

James Brogden: In my day job I’m an English teacher which means I am simultaneously deluded enough to believe that I can create Great Literature whilst being surrounded by so much of it on a daily basis that I know I never will. I write mostly horror and contemporary fantasy, and while I have been tempted to stray into science fiction occasionally I’m basically too lazy to make the science bit of it fit together. This is my second book for Titan and my fifth overall. I like to set my books in the Midlands, where I live. I am a cat person, a Scorpio, and I possess more lego than is reasonable for a grown man.

DJ: What is The Hollow Tree about?


James: When Rachel Cooper loses her left hand in a boating accident, she experiences phantom pains in her missing limb, as many amputees do. But her sensations develop into an ability to touch the shadowy realm of the umbra which lies behind reality. She discovers that she can bring things through from the umbra – usually it’s just junk (things like dead leaves and bits of rubble, basically the detritus of the living world), but every time she does it she disturbs the balance between life and death and the umbra lashes back in reaction. Then she encounters a human hand, and accidentally pulls through a woman who has no memory beyond that her name is Mary, at which point hell literally breaks loose. Figures emerge from the umbra to reclaim Mary, and the only way they can be defeated is if Rachel can help Mary to figure out who she is and how she died, but the answers lie in a dark secret buried in the past of Rachel’s own family. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Gareth L. Powell


Picture © Gemma Beynon

Today I am interviewing Gareth L. Powell, author of the new science-fiction novel, Embers of War, first book in the Embers of War trilogy.

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DJ: Hi Gareth! Welcome back again for another interview

For readers who aren’t familiar with you or may have missed our previous chat, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Gareth L. Powell: I’m a novelist. I mostly write science fiction, but I’m also trying to branch out into crime/thrillers. I’ve been lucky enough to win a BSFA Award and be a finalist for the Seiun Award in Japan. I’m the author of the novels Embers of War, Ack-Ack Macaque: The Complete Trilogy, and The Recollection, among others.

DJ: What is Embers of War about?


Gareth: At its heart, Embers of War is the story of a group of misfit characters searching for atonement and meaning in the wake of a particularly brutal war. It’s also a story about loyalty, forgiveness, and the families we create for ourselves. And it features some insane space battles.

DJ: What were some of your influences when writing Embers of War and the trilogy?

Gareth: I wasn’t consciously channeling any particular influences while writing the books, but I’m certain books such as Nova by Samuel Delany, the entire Culture series by Iain M. Banks, and maybe Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice unconsciously influenced them.

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? 

Gareth: The main character is the sentient warship Trouble Dog. During the war, she was a heavy cruiser—a machine with the capacity for unimaginable destruction. Unfortunately, because part of her neural architecture runs on cloned human cells, she accidentally grew a conscience. And following a devastating war crime, she turns her back on the military and sets out to do some good in the world. However, she’s still a warship t heart and has to contend with her military conditioning and conflicted loyalties. One the one hand, she’s this incredibly powerful weapon, and on the other she’s like a confused fourteen year-old girl. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Aliya Whiteley

Today I am interviewing Aliya Whiteley, author of the new horror, sci-if novel, The Beauty.

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

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

Aliya Whiteley: Hi, and thanks for hosting me! I write mainly speculative fiction that can include science fiction, fantasy, horror and the weird, as well as literary fiction every now and again.

DJ: What is The Beauty about?

Aliya: It’s about the end of the human race. A disease has killed all the women, and the men are living out their lives with no hope. In one small community in rural North Devon, one of the youngest men notices strange mushrooms sprouting on the graves of the women. Then these mushrooms start to take on familiar forms…

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Beauty?

Aliya: John Wyndham’s ability to evoke growing strangeness was a huge influence, as was Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy. I’ve always loved post-apocalyptic tales, so that whole genre was floating around in my mind.

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? 

Aliya: Nathan, the young man who first discovers the mushrooms, is a storyteller, and he really loves his job. He tries to keep the memories of the women alive for their husbands, fathers, sons, but he is aware that his stories keep changing. He can’t help it. When he starts to tell the group about the mushrooms, he uses his way with words to influence them, and this creates tensions that lead to violence. He’s a very slippery narrator! Readers have to make their own decisions about the morality of his actions. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Mark A. Latham

Today I am interviewing Mark A. Latham, author of the new Victorian SF novel, The Legion Prophecy, third book in The Apollonian Case Files.

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

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

Mark: Thanks very much for having me. I’m a nineteenth-century-obsessed book nerd from Staffordshire, UK, and writer primarily of science fiction and Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Before that some people might know me from my time in the tabletop wargames industry – I was editor of Games Workshop’s White Dwarf magazine for a few years. I still do a sideline in games design now, working mainly on licensed products like Batman and The Walking Dead. I’ve been editing a Harry Potter game recently, which is seriously cool. But my main job is writing, which I’ve been doing full-time since Titan published the Lazarus Gate. I mention the previous jobs for two reasons: firstly, the discipline I gained from being a magazine editor has proved invaluable in managing my writing workload. Secondly, everything I’ve ever worked on in my adult career has been in some way related to sci-fi, fantasy and horror, which is a lifelong passion.

DJ: What is The Legion Prophecy and then The Apollonian Case Files about?

Mark: The actual Legion Prophecy of the title is actually a massive spoiler, so I won’t give away what it actually is, except to say that it was set up in book one, and is essentially the payoff I think a lot of readers have been waiting for. I like to horrify my readers and torture my characters a bit though, so don’t expect roses and birdsong on the way.

The casefiles are the records of the Order of Apollo, which is a secret agency based in the Apollonian Club, one of London’s exclusive gentlemen’s clubs. The Apollonian is fictional, but the idea came to me when I was reading the history of Athenaeum and the Reform clubs. With their exclusivity and secrecy, as well as high-ranking members of government within their membership, it seemed like the perfect recruiting ground for spies. The Order of Apollo basically recruits agents of the Crown, with a remit to investigate and combat threats beyond the capabilities of the Army or Special Branch – esoteric threats, in this case, from a parallel universe called the Otherside.

The first two books sort of set up this mythos – The Lazarus Gate was set in 1890, and introduced my hero, John Hardwick, who gets recruited by the club, manipulated at every turn, and ends up fighting threats he’s really not equipped to deal with. The second book, The Iscariot Sanction, was a bit of a curveball I think – it was a prequel, set in the Otherside, and ten years earlier. I like to make things difficult for myself! This was the story of how the Othersiders came to be bad, and is more of an action-driven tale rather than the investigative mystery of book one. It introduces the key threats: the Riftborn, who’re these Cthulhu-esque, world-eating demons, and the vampires.

Fast forward to the Legion Prophecy, and we’re back with John Hardwick, who is now a very bitter and twisted man, moulded by the things he’s seen, and the dark things he’s  done in the name of Queen and country. He has to reconcile that pretty quickly, because the latest threat is a very personal and very deadly one. Continue reading

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Author Interview: James Bradley

Photo by Nicholas Purcell

Today I am interviewing James Bradley, author of Clade.

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

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

James Bradley: That one’s easy! I’m the author of four novels for adults, Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, as well as a book of poetry and a lot of shorter things. A few years back I edited The Penguin Book of the Ocean, and more recently I’ve been working on a series of young adult science fiction novels, the first of which, The Silent Invasion, was published in Australia earlier this year. I’m based in Sydney, where I love with my partner, the novelist Mardi McConnochie, and our two daughters.

DJ: What is Clade about?


James: It’s the story of three generations of a family set against the backdrop of ongoing climate change, and exploring the ways that process shapes their lives and occasionally intersects with them. But although it assumes the world is going to be profoundly altered, it’s deliberately not apocalyptic. Instead it tries to think about what happens if the world doesn’t end, and if we have to live with the mess we’ve made. So it’s about family and love and kids and all the messy business of life, but it’s also about the line between the virtual and the real and time and deep time and a series of other questions about loss and grief and extinction. And perhaps most importantly it’s a book that emphasizes possibility, both personal and planetary.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Clade?

James: One of the problems with writing about climate change is that its scale and complexity make it really difficult to get a handle on. In the real world that means people tend to feel overwhelmed, and to either give way to despair or just shut down or ignore the problem. Something similar is true if you’re trying to write about it: the scale of the problem, the non-human scale of the time frames, even the nature of the novel, and its need to set up spatial and temporal boundaries to tell a manageable story make it tough to talk about. I suspect that’s one of the reasons there are so many apocalyptic narratives around at the moment: it’s just too hard to imagine a future as complex as the one we’re heading into.

They were all things that were on my mind when I started the book. It seemed to me I needed to write a book about everything and everyone if I was going to talk about climate change. But then one day I realized I could come at it from a different direction, and write quite a confined story and use that to look outward, and think through what the experience might be like. Once I decided that the structure came quite quickly, but I also found myself looking for tools that would let me talk about the sorts of questions about deep time and extinction that underpin the book conceptually. I suppose those came from a series of places – I read a lot of nature writing, which informs the book’s interest in the natural world, but I also drew upon science fiction, and the sorts of tools it has to talk about technology and time and transformative change. And there are nods to other things in there, like John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, and some of the writing about  the Antarctic by explorers like Shackleton. Continue reading

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Author Interview: William Sutton

Today I am interviewing William Sutton, author of the new historical mystery novel, Lawless and the House of Electricity, third book in the Lawless series.

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

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

William Sutton: Thanks for asking me. I’m a tall messy writer from Scotland living in Portsmouth, England. I began my creative endeavours putting on plays and singing songs at open mics. After deciding I wasn’t going to be the next Tom Waits or Tom Stoppard, I began writing novels. But I still love performing and I put on story/song nights all over town with writer friends. When not writing, I play music in bands. I’m also journalist and Latin teacher.

DJ: What is Lawless and the House of Electricity and also the series about?

William: Lawless and the House of Electricity interweaves a private tale of romance and loss with international conspiracies around military-industrial business. Family secrets, mental health, plus espionage and immigration intrigue. This collision offered me a chance to combine a gothic country house novel with a techno-thriller where Europhobia causes nationalistic panic and terror on the streets. Sound familiar?

The series explores the amazing developments of the 1860s: the Metropolitan underground, the London sewers preventing cholera, new power and communications from the telegraph to pneumatic trains to hydraulic lifts. In amongst this high-power technology, I explore stories of love, loyalty and loss. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tim Akers

Today I am interviewing Tim Akers, author of the new fantasy novel, The Iron Hound, second book in The Hallowed Wars series.

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DJ: Hey Tim! Thanks for agreeing to do this interviews! ☺

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

Tim Akers: I’m excited to be here! First off, I grew up in the mountainous bits of North Carolina, but moved to Chicago for college back in the 90s. My first professional writing credits were for various role playing games while I was still in college, but after graduation I focused on paying bills and having food to eat, so didn’t get much writing done for a while. I turned that around in my early thirties, started writing short stories, and eventually found my way into novels. I’ve been at this professionally for almost fifteen years now, and The Iron Hound will be my fifth published novel.

DJ: What is The Iron Hound and also The Hallowed Wars series about?

Tim: The overall series is about a conflict between two countries and two religions, focusing on the lives a handful of people most affected by the schism. The series follows Malcolm Blakley, a duke of the north, and his son Ian, as they try to unravel an ancient conspiracy aimed at destroying both their country and the church. The story is also told from the perspectives of an inquisitor of the church, Frair Lucas, and his ass-kicking companion, the paladin Elsa LaFey. The final character is Gwendolyn Adair, whose family has been hiding a generations long heresy from the church. Her story is the focus of book one, so I won’t say much to spoil it. Suffice to say, her already complicated life gets much more interesting in book two.

Like all second books, The Iron Hound picks up on the tensions introduced in the first novel in the series (The Pagan Night) and escalates them toward the final conflict, which will occupy the final installment, The Winter Vow, due next summer. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Lois H. Gresh

Today I am interviewing Lois H. Gresh, New York Times Best Selling Author of the new mystery paranormal novel, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions, first book in the brand new series, Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu.

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

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

Lois H. Gresh: Hi, and thanks for having me here. When I was a child, the first adult book I read was a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ve always loved thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and stories with odd twists. I wanted to be a scientist, and I ended up both reading and writing a lot of science books. While attending night college in science, I worked during the day as an engineer and programmer and spent my spare time (including during class!) writing books and stories.

I tend to write mysteries and thrillers with a science edge. When I shift into the supernatural, as I do in Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions (Titan Books, July 2017), I typically know the science underpinning the bizarre. I may not explicitly define the science in the story, but in my mind, what I’m describing could actually happen.

DJ: What is Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu: The Adventures of the Deadly Dimensions about?

Lois: Here’s the official description: A series of grisly murders rocks London. At each location, only a jumble of bones remains of the deceased, along with a bizarre sphere covered in strange symbols. The son of the latest victim seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes and his former partner, Dr. John Watson.

They discover the common thread tying together the murders. Bizarre geometries, based on ancient schematics, enable otherworldly creatures to enter our dimension, wreaking havoc and destruction.

The persons responsible are gaining so much power that even Holmes’s greatest enemy fears them—to the point that he seeks an unholy alliance.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu: The Adventures of the Deadly Dimensions and the series?

Lois: As mentioned above, the first adult book I read was a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I read the collection over and over again–along with Frankstein, Dracula, Conan, and starting in my teens, Lovecraft’s work. Also in my teens, I read constantly–mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction novels. Because my dream was to be a scientist–specifically, a geneticist or biochemist, but in general, a person immersed in facts and deductions–I greatly admired Sherlock Holmes.

Lovecraft was one of the first fiction writers to explore concepts such as multidimensions, existentialism, the futility of anthropomorphic thinking, and a host of other ideas, including crygenics and genetics. The core of the Cthulhu mythos actually has a scientific underpinning.

Having written both Sherlock Holmes stories as well as Cthulhu mythos stories, I thought the time was right to merge the two. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Dana Fredsti

Today I am interviewing Dana Fredsti, author of the new dark urban fantasy novel, The Spawn of Lilith, first book in the series.

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

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

Dana Fredsti: Hi there! Thanks for having me as your guest! Let’s see… a little bit about myself. First of all, to quote my official bio: Dana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical combat (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a sword-fighting Deadite and fight captain). Through seven plus years of volunteering at EFBC/FCC, Dana’s been kissed by tigers, and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. She’s the author of the Ashley Parker series, touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, the zombie noir novella, A Man’s Gotta Eat What a Man’s Gotta Eat, and the cozy noir mystery Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon.

And that’s enough of talking about myself in the third person. 🙂

I love writing, reading, wine-tasting, am involved in animal rescue, and live in San Francisco with my husband, a horde of cats, and our dog Pogeen (which means “little kiss” in Gaelic). David, my husband, is also a writer and we’re co-writing a science-fiction series for Titan Books called Time Shards.

DJ: What is The Spawn of Lilith about?

Dana: Well, for a short and spoiler-free answer, it’s about Lee Striga, a stuntwoman who discovers there’s more in her family tree during a film shoot that’s plagued by demons. Supernatural creatures of all sorts are a part of the world of Spawn of Lilith, although they go under the radar for the most part.

It’s hard for me to give a detailed response because the story arcs of each book are, to some degree, intertwined with the series arc and we all hate spoilers. Each book stands on its own as far as wrapping things up for that particular piece of the series arc, while also giving a little more of Lee’s background and family history. So hopefully readers will not finish any of the books with Empire Strikes Back syndrome. My second book in the Ashley Parker series really did end on a “Han frozen in carbonite” cliffhanger, but I ran out of my allotted word count. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Ren Warom

Today I am interviewing Ren Warom, author of the new science-fiction, cyberpunk novel, Virology, follow up novel to Escapology.

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

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

Ren Warom: Hi, it’s a pleasure to be here!

Well, I’m a mum of three teenagers, herder of a multitude of cats, I’m a Film and TV Masters student, hopefully going on to do a PhD, and a multi-published writer of weird sci fi with quite a few stories out there, a psychological literary novella called The Lonely Dark, and of course Escapology and Virology, two gonzo-weird cyberpunkafunkadunk novels which came about from a mixture of frustration with the subbing process and needing to just let loose on something crazy.

DJ: What is Virology about?

Ren: Set four weeks after the events of Escapology, it follows my little ragtag crew of hackers kids, who have gone into hiding to keep Shock from all the criminals (gang and corporate alike) who want him so they can control what he controls, until the doubled horns of a dilemma throw them out of hiding (somewhat brutally) and up to the hubs to stop a horror far worse than Hive Queens and to save the Patient Zeros from the grip of a virus that may or may not be connected.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Virology?

Ren: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, just a beautiful book about consciousness that helped me form my ideas of AI life. Imaginary Cities by Darren Anderson, a sort of exploration of the weirdness of cities. I wanted the hubs to have their own sort of insular quirks—they needed to be recognisably the cities of earth but decades of floating semi-isolation has also remade them strange little worlds of their own. Gibson’s Blue Ant trilogy is my biggest influence fiction-wise, for his brilliant depictions of the messiness and insanity/normality of the world—the lovely mix of tech and art and commerce. I also watched lots of movie action sequences because I hate writing action and the visuals help. So (amongst many others) I watched John Wick, The Raid 1&2, Oldboy, As Above, So Below (for the great shots of the Paris catacombs) and some heist movies. Continue reading

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