Tag Archives: titan books

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?

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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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Author Interview: Andy Lane and Nigel Foster

Photo Credit: Helen Stirling

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Today I am interviewing Andy Lane and Nigel Foster, authors of the new fantasy novel, Netherspace, first book in the Netherspace series.

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DJ: Hey Andy and Nigel! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Andy Lane: I took a degree in Physics and spent twenty seven long years working for the British Ministry of Defence, largely providing scientific advice and analysis to the Army and the Air Force and working on predicting the shape of future warfare. In my spare time I’d been building up a parallel career as a writer, given my life-long love of writing science fiction. A few years back I left the Civil Service and went freelance, which was (next to asking my then-girlfriend to marry me) the best decision I’ve ever made.

Nigel Foster: Former soldier, Intelligence Corps, then advertising, PR, tv and radio all over the world, then journalist and author. So your average media gypsy. Wrote a best-seller about the Royal Marines Commandos, also developed and launched OK! Magazine. Weird combination, I know.

DJ: What is Netherspace about?

Andy: It’s about 90,000 words. No, I kid. It’s about a universe where communication between races is impossible – we’re all just too different. It’s about the various accommodations that have to be made in order for us all just to get along, and what happens when we reach the limits of those accommodations. It’s also about the J.B.S.Haldane quote: “It is my supposition that the Universe in not only queerer than we imagine, is queerer than we can imagine.” How do we, how can we, live in a universe that we don’t, can’t, understand?

Nigel: What happens when we can’t communicate with aliens; and Earth gets colonised by their technology, curiously exchanged for common household items. It’s about what lies and what lives beneath the space-time continuum. It’s the story of three humans reluctantly sent to discover how Earth can regain control Continue reading

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Author Interview: Deborah A. Wolf

Today I am interviewing Deborah A. Wolf, debut author of the new epic fantasy novel, The Dragon’s Legacy, first book in The Dragon’s Legacy series.

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

Deborah A. Wolf: Hi, thanks for having me!

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

Deborah: I had kind of a weird life; I grew up on wildlife refuges until my family moved to a small village in the middle of Alaska and settled down. I’ve been an underwater photographer on Maui (did not hate that job), an Arabic linguist (the dating pool was exemplary) and a single mom (best gig yet). I’m fond of animals, less than fond of crowds, and have the attention span of—SQUIRREL!

DJ: What is The Dragon’s Legacy about?

Deborah: THE DRAGON’S LEGACY is almost as strange as its author. It’s about the threat to human survival by ecological forces–huge ecological forces, in this case, with wings and scales and all—and how different societies react to that threat. It’s bout indigenous societies caught between warring empires, and a struggle to maintain cultural identity. Mostly it’s about the small human stories of everyday people trying to go about their lives and loves while these events are taking place.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Dragon’s Legacy and The Dragon’s Legacy series?

Deborah: George Martin was definitely an influence in that he opened the door for stories that don’t follow a predictable path. Martin, Steven Erikson, and probably even Robert Jordan, whose work isn’t much like mine, showed me how much I like epic sagas that tell myriad stories of human-ness. Anne McCaffrey made me want dragons, and Pat Rothfuss made me want to make it all pretty.

Growing up in an indigenous society, being a soldier, and immersion in the Arabic language and Middle East cultures made me want to tell stories of desert warriors in a tribal society.

And you can blame it all on Tolkien in the first place. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kieran Shea

Today I am interviewing Kieran Shea, author of the new science-fiction novel, Off Rock.

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DJ: Hey Kieran! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Kieran Shea: Speculative fiction author, crime fiction and gallows humor fan. Mildly off-center about most things.

DJ: What is Off Rock about?

Kieran: Essentially it’s a black comedy about temptation, bad choices, and the things that, even when you think you have it all figured out, inevitably go wrong. There’s more than a dash or two of satire regarding corporate downsizing.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Off Rock?

Kieran: Well, a lot of places. Caper comedies for one. Two, I’d have to say Gerry Anderson. I watched a lot of Space:1999 and UFO and all that “Supernarionation” stuff. Journey to the Far Side of the Sun freaked me out when I was a kid.

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?

Kieran: Jimmy Vik is an everyman who’s a bit bewildered by what’s become of him after a couple of decades of blue collar work in the interstellar mining industry. Having little to show for his efforts, he’s aware his days are numbered and he wants out for good. When he discovers an unexpected gold pocket, Jimmy decides to thumb his nose at the status quo and rip off the company. Like anything worth doing in life, he needs to take an enormous risk. As for Jimmy’s quirks, he builds models and raises terrarium plants in his idle time. Picture a breezy, bohemian gent that likes rugby and partying who’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Continue reading

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