Tag Archives: titan books

Author Interview: G.S. Denning

Today I am interviewing G.S. Denning, author of the new fantasy novel, The Sign of the Nine, fourth book in the Warlock Holmes series.

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DJ: Hi G.S.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

G.S. Denning: Hmmm… well… I’m American. Male. My real name’s Gabe, but that’s not snooty enough so I went with my initials. I’m first-wave geek culture, meaning Star Wars came out when I was 2 and one of my earliest memories in life is the Death Star exploding. I learned to play D&D on the red-box basic set and saved my paper route money to get an original NES.

DJ: What is The Sign of the Nine and then the Warlock Holmes series about?

G.S.: The Sign of Nine is the dark middle chapter of the Warlock Holmes saga. For readers who have been following along, this is where we finally learn about Moriarty and Irene Adler. It’s where we learn the shape of the growing threat that’s going to bring humanity down and usher in the age of demons. It’s where a magical addiction drives a wedge between Watson and Holmes. And it’s funny!

The series as a whole is a direct parody of the original 60 Holmes stories. Basically, it’s Watson writing his memoirs right before the final onslaught of earth begins. He’s trying to explain to anyone who survives how he and his roommate accidentally got tricked into ending the world. Each short story is complete, but they fit together to form a much longer narrative.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Warlock Holmes series?

G.S.: Er… Well… There’s those Sherlock stories, of course. And I’m used to genre-bending stories. I spent 15 years doing improv comedy (take your first date and do it as a Mexican Soap-Opera, or your last birthday as Shakespear would have written it). Add in a lifelong love of British comedy and there you go: Warlock Holmes. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tim Major

Today I am interviewing Tim Major, author of the new sci-fi thriller novel, Snakeskins.

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

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

Tim: I’m a writer of SF and weird fiction, and I live in York in the UK with my wife and two young sons. My previous books include Machineries of Mercy, You Don’t Belong Here, and a non-fiction book about Les Vampires, an amazing silent film from 1915. My short stories have appeared in lots of places, and have been selected for Best of British Science Fiction and The Best Horror of the Year. By day I’m a freelance editor, and I’m also co-editor of the British Fantasy Society fiction journal, BFS Horizons.

DJ: What is Snakeskins about?

Tim: It’s about a group of British people whose bodies rejuvenate every seven years, and in the process they produce a sentient clone known as a Snakeskin. The trouble is, the Snakeskin lives on for a while – maybe a few minutes, maybe a few days… The novel’s about what it might feel like, coming face to face with an exact copy of yourself – and it’s also about what the effect of society might be if only some people had this peculiar power.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Snakeskins?

Tim: The central idea is based on a real fact – after seven years, every cell in the human body will have been replaced. I liked the idea of that process happening not gradually, but all in a single moment. And then that idea got all mixed up with the concept of snakes shedding their skins, obviously. In terms of fiction, Snakeskins was influenced in its structure and scope by the TV series I was binging at the time. Humans was in the mix, certainly, but an even bigger influence was Deutschland 83, a terrific political thriller about an East German spy undercover in West Berlin. There’s no SF element to it, but the pacing and set-pieces influenced the novel a lot.

John Wyndham’s novels are perennial influences on my books, and the concept of the Fall is a direct homage to the meteor shower in The Day of the Triffids, the novel that introduced me to adult SF when I was around ten years old. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Patrick Edwards

Today I am interviewing Patrick Edwards, author of the new science-fiction novel, Ruin’s Wake.

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

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

Patrick Edwards: I’m a U.K. writer and lifelong nerd. I live in Bristol, which is very rainy but has excellent breweries.

DJ: What is Ruin’s Wake about?

Patrick: It’s a three-fold story set in a future world that has lost touch with its past. An old soldier goes looking for his estranged son, a beaten wife begins a secret affair and a fringe academic uncovers a mysterious artefact deep under a glacier.  

DJ: What were some of your influences for Ruin’s Wake?

Patrick: New Wave authors like Ballard and Herbert, certainly, for setting. Iain Banks wrote the best characters in sci-fi and provided a lot of inspiration. My real world hook was my research into life in North Korea.

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? 

Patrick: Cale is the outsider, gruff and dangerous. He’s motivated by fear of losing a child but also a lot of guilt from his past. After a lifetime of breaking things in the army he’s devoted to creativity in the form of the monolithic sculptures he carves.

Kelbee is our eye on the inside – she lives and breathes the oppressive society of the novel. She discovers how resilient she is as the illusion of peaceful society cracks around her; she has to battle with her fear of her husband and her doubts about her lover. Despite being a country girl she loves the morning sun over the city.

Sulara is a woman who’s endured a lifetime of scorn from a misogynistic society and become cynical, though her passion for her work remains. She discovers something that could change the world. She uses silence as a weapon. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Aliya Whiteley

Today I am interviewing Aliya Whiteley, author of the new science-fiction and fantasy novel, The Arrival of Missives.

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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 inviting me! I like to create stories that take inspiration from lots of different genres. I live in West Sussex in the UK, on the coast, and go for long walks to find new ideas. I also write non-fiction about films, books and television for online sites and magazines such as Den of Geek and Interzone, but making up stories is my passion.

DJ: What is The Arrival of Missives about?

Aliya: It’s the story of a sixteen year old girl called Shirley Fearn who has a huge crush on her teacher, and then discovers some very confusing things about him. That sounds almost straightforward, which is unlike one of my novels! It’s set in a rural village in the UK in 1920, just after World War I, so it’s historical fiction. But it’s also science fiction, in ways that I won’t give away. But love, both familial and romantic, and notions of duty and future are all examined and turned inside out.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Arrival of Missives?

Aliya: A big influence was DH Lawrence. I’ve loved his books since I was a teenager, and there were moments in Missives where I really wanted to pay homage to his voice and themes. Also the films of David Lean were in my head when I wrote. Ryan’s Daughter – the use of landscape and also the relationship between the young woman and her teacher in that film – has fascinated me for years, so that’s definitely in the mix.

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? 

Aliya: Shirley is absolutely committed to making the world a better place, and she has ideas about how to do that which might well seem misguided or naive to us, but she believes in them totally at the start of the book. She was a wonderful character to write, with such a clear and passionate voice that smacks of youth. Everything is black and white to her, but then areas of grey begin to seep in as she spends more time with her teacher, Mr Tiller, and realises that he is a wounded man. The world becomes a much more complicated place for her, and I think we can all identify with that process of realising that we can’t solve every problem or even understand it. That’s growing up. I loved writing her, but she also broke my heart a little bit. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nick Setchfield

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Today I am interviewing Nick Setchfield, author of the new fantasy novel, The War in the Dark.

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

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

Nick Setchfield: I’m the features editor on SFX magazine and also occasionally write for Total Film. I’ve been a local journalist, a movie reviewer for the BBC and a scriptwriter for ITV’s Spitting Image. The War in the Dark is my first shot at a novel, though I’ve had the itch to write one for a while – since I was a kid, in fact. I finally nailed myself to a desk and here we are.

DJ: What is The War in the Dark about?

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Nick: It’s an espionage story and a supernatural adventure, full of spies and demons, intrigue and magic. It’s set in the earliest, chilliest days of the Cold War and races across Europe in 1963, powered by a quest for an occult secret of world-changing power. It’s also about second chances, the secrets of cities and why you should never trust a man who picks the raisins from an apfelstrudel.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The War in the Dark?

Nick: James Bond was crucial – both Ian Fleming’s original novels and the movies, though the tone of the book is closer to early Connery than Moore (I love the Moore films, in all their outsized glory, but this is a darker, icier take). Indiana Jones is another huge inspiration: I love that sense of globe-trotting adventure, the sheer pulp momentum of those Lucas and Spielberg movies. I also took inspiration from my love of Hitchcock and Hammer. And the ghost stories of MR James, which have such a lovely sense of dread to them that I thought would mix nicely with a John le Carré backdrop. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Francesco Dimitri

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Today I am interviewing Francesco Dimitri, author of the new fantasy novel, The Book of Hidden Things.

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

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

Francesco Dimitri: I am Italian. I live in London now, and I write in English, but once upon a time I used to live in Rome and publish books in Italian. At some point I decided to start from scratch in another language. The only problem being – I did not speak that language yet.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Book of Hidden Things?

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Francesco: I have very wide tastes. I think you can see traces of Robert Macfarlane, with his perfect sense of the connection between people and place, and Joe Lansdale, with his uncanny capacity to write stories you read in three hours and stay with you forever. Donna Tartt taught me the kind of magic I wanted to write about, and I regularly go back and study Angela Carter to learn new things about sensuousness in prose. That said, I try to keep the real world in mind as my main influence. I do like the real world quite a lot, with all its shortcomings.

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?

Francesco: I wanted them to act, move, and feel, like real people. Not particularly good or bad, just human, with their human foibles, incoherences, and so on. Tony is the one I feel closer to: he believes that friends and family come before everything else, and so do I. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Daniel Godfrey

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Today I am interviewing Daniel Godfrey, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Synapse Sequence.

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

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

Daniel Godfrey: Hello! I am a science fiction writer from northern England. My first novel, New Pompeii, was included in both the Financial Times’ and Morning Star’s ‘Books of 2016’ lists. It was followed by a sequel, Empire of Time.

My latest novel, The Synapse Sequence, is a stand-alone SF thriller.

DJ: What is The Synapse Sequence about?

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Daniel: The novel revolves around two competing technologies that are being used to solve crime. The first, preferred by the police, uses algorithm and AI to focus resources based on likelihood and probability. The second is the newly developed ‘Synapse Sequencer’ which allows an investigator (our hero!) to explore memories via a VR-style environment.

The central crime of the novel – the catalyst for the action – is the kidnap of a teenage girl… but the only person who might know what happened has been knocked into a coma. To prove the Sequencer has a place in law enforcement, our hero has to find the girl before the AIs and their army of bots.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Synapse Sequence?

Daniel: I’ve been fascinated for a number of years about the deployment of AI technology. It seems to be everywhere in the news at the moment, from medicine, to law enforcement, to call centres. It got me thinking about what that would actually mean for policing in the future. Is there room for a traditional detective in this setting? Would there be room for alternative ways of solving crimes? Continue reading

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Author Interview: Deborah A. Wolf

2040D016-DE0C-4F3D-94DE-CFB3ECA53A64Lisa (@ Over the Effing Rainbow), Jorie (@ Jorie Loves a Story) and imyril (@ One More) are delighted to bring you WYRD AND WONDER, where they plan to celebrate all things fantastical throughout the month of May!


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Today I am interviewing Deborah A. Wolf, author of the new fantasy novel, The Forbidden City, second book in The Dragon’s Legacy series.

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

Deborah A. Wolf: My pleasure! Thanks for having me back.

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

Deborah A. Wolf: Aw, I’m just your run of the mill ex military, martial arts studying, horseback riding, single momming, fishing, adrenaline junkie fantasy nerd.  😉

DJ: What is The Forbidden City and then The Dragon’s Legacy series about?

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Deborah: It’s about young people coming of age and having to correct the mistakes of their elders, while fucking the world up anew. It’s about friendship and love in the face of disaster. It’s about power imbalance and abuse, the absolute absurdity of war, gender norms… and, most especially, it’s about dragons.

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

Deborah: Growing up in a mostly Athabascan village in the middle of Alaska, immersion in the Arabic language and cultures, and a passion for Tolkien make for a very potent brew. Also, George R. R. Martin basically gave me permission to really fuck my characters up, so blame him.

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? 

Deborah: I love all my characters. Each of them is imperfect, and flailing through life as best they can. Sometimes they fuck up, and those fuckups can have terrible, irreparable consequences, but they keep trying. Jian, for instance, lives in a slave empire and is constrained by his half-dae heritage to become a member of Sindan’s elite military force, but he tries to create a small bubble of safety and normalcy for those he loves. Sulema is dragged into politics when all she wants to do is ride her horse and be a warrior for her people, but she tries her best to live up to her new responsibilities. And Hafsa Azeina really is trying to kill fewer people. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Roger Levy

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Today I am interviewing Roger Levy, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Rig.

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

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

Roger Levy:I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I grew up with the Alan Garner books, and Ursula LeGuin, Michael Moorcock, and lots more, of course, but these come first to mind. I love stories and reading, but somehow I became a dentist, and I’m still doing that alongside writing. I guess they use different parts of the brain. My first three books, Reckless Sleep, Dark Heavens and Icarus (which was shortlisted for the BSFA Best Novel in 2007) were followed by a long pause in writing, as a result of real life intruding rather dramatically. The Rig is my return.

Otherwise, I live in London, I’m married and have two children, and I relax listening to jazz and blues, taking pictures (mainly black and white; I’m colourblind) and watching movies. And reading, of course.

DJ: What is The Rig about?

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Roger: The premise is an organisation called AfterLife, which is to Facebook as Facebook is to smoke signalling. The novel has taken ten years to complete, and it’s an interesting happenstance that just as it comes out, social media is suddenly right in the news for its potential to be used antisocially. The Rig is also about a couple of kids who grow up to become a great deal more than the sum of their parts, building a crime syndicate that makes the mafia look like a gang of pickpockets. And that’s just the start of it.

And that’s also the surface of The Rig. It’s about how we need stories to give us meaning, and how social media fits into that. And I’ve always been interested in what makes us need or hold on to faith, since all faiths are at heart stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves. The Rig is a look at what social media might become if taken it to the ultimate degree, feeding our need for story, for structure and narrative, as well as other positive functions that faith provides. That makes it sound dry, and The Rig isn’t dry at all. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Tim Lebbon

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Today I am interviewing Tim Lebbon, author of the new urban fantasy, horror novel, The Folded Lands, sequel to Relics.

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

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

Tim Lebbon: Thanks for having me! I’ve been writing for a long time now, published for twenty years, and I’m working hard towards becoming an overnight success. I’ve had over 40 novels published (quite a few in collaboration with Christopher Golden), dozens of novellas, hundreds of short stories, and I’ve also written a few screenplays. I’ve won some awards, and I’ve been writing for a living for over a decade. I’ve also had two movies made from my books, both starring Oscar winning actors! Pay the Ghost (Nicolas Cage) and The Silence (Stanley Tucci).

DJ: What is The Folded Land and the series about?

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Tim: In the first book Relics I established a version of our world in which the relics of mythological creatures are traded, much in the way that rhino horns or tiger pelts are traded now. When my characters discover that some of these relics are fresh … we realise that some of these creatures still exist. Some people want to help them, some want to hunt them. Some creatures want to hide, and some want to rise up against humanity. In The Folded Land I expand that story, with all these separate desires causing more conflict and trouble. I really don’t want to give too much away … hope that’s intriguing enough!

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Folded Lands?

Tim: I find it really difficult to pin down influences. I guess modern-day big game hunting and the illegal trades in ivory, and the depressing fact that some amazing creatures are edged towards extinction simply so that a small part of their bodies can be used in useless ‘medicines’. Continue reading

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