Tag Archives: tor books

Author Interview: Marie Brennan

Today I am interviewing Marie Brennan, author of the new fantasy novel, Within the Sanctuary of Wings, the fifth and final book of The Memoirs of Lady Trent series.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

For readers who aren’t familiar with the series, what is Within the Sanctuary of Wings and then the Memoirs of Lady Trent about?

Marie Brennan: The series as a whole is about a lady adventurer and dragon naturalist in a setting based on our own world in the nineteenth century. Each book describes a particular expedition she went on to study dragons in different regions, eventually building up to an explanation for why she’s one of the most famous people in the world. The foreword to the very first book mentioned a great discovery; this is the book where that discovery happens!

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Memoirs of Lady Trent?

Marie: I’d read a fair bit about the Victorian period for With Fate Conspire, the final book of my previous series (the Onyx Court), so I very much had that in mind. In particular, there’s a tremendous number of fascinating women intellectuals and adventurers who fed into my conception of Lady Trent — Mary Kingsley, Freya Stark, Gertrude Bell, Isabella Bird, and more. I suspect some of Elizabeth Peters’ heroine Amelia Peabody crept in there, too, though I haven’t read any of those books in years.

DJ: Lady Trent is easily one of my all-time favorite female protagonists! Could you briefly tell us a little about her and your other main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Author Interview: Robyn Bennis

Today I am interviewing Robyn Bennis, author of the new steampunk novel, The Guns Above, first book in the Signal Airship series.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

Robyn Bennis: Let’s see… I’ve been a biologist for nearly 20 years now and a writer since I could first hold a pencil. That’s been the one constant in my life, even as I move from place to place and job to job. Even in school, I was always the kid who was coming up with weird tales during recess, or drawing spaceships in my notebook. I’m still that kid, in a lot of ways.

DJ: What is The Guns Above about?

Robyn: The book follows the travails of Josette Dupre, Garnia’s first and much-maligned female airship captain, and Lord Bernat, the sexist fop sent to undermine her command. Along the way, you’ll get airship combat, heroic last stands, and badass ladies who shoot people.

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?

Robyn: I think readers will appreciate their wit. Although my characters are put into tough situations that might inspire sympathy, they are not fundamentally sympathetic characters. They’re bad people, perhaps made even worse by the courage of their convictions—that belief that they’re doing the right thing. But they’re funny and not afraid to bite, which can endear a reader to almost any character. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Interview: Randy Henderson

Today I am interviewing Randy Henderson, grand prize winner of the Writers of the Future, 2009 Clarion West graduate, and author of the new urban fantasy novel, Smells Like Finn Spirit, final book of the Finn Fancy trilogy.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

Randy Henderson: So if I do this interview, you release me from the binding circle, that’s the deal, right? Fine. I wouldn’t call that “agreeing” exactly.

A little bit about me? Well, interestingly, I only exist as long as you are reading something I’ve written. And you can either measure how fast I am writing, or where I am at in my writing, but not both.

DJ: What is Smells Like Finn Spirit and then the Finn Fancy Necromancy trilogy about?

Randy: I guess if you mashed up Dresden Files and the Addams Family, you’d be pretty close to the Finn Fancy series. I tried for a balance of dark fantasy adventure, and humor.

Finn is from a quirky family of magic users, and was framed for a crime back in 1986, at the age of 15, and his spirit banished to a Fey Other World while a changeling took his place here. At the start of the series, he is just returning to our world 25 years later to his 40-year-old body and immediately framed for a new crime.

The series follows his adventures as he tries to stop the people who framed him from ruining his life and from starting a magical race war. Along the way, he deals with his comically dysfunctional family, sasquatch mercenaries, gnome mobsters, unwanted body hair, a crazed jorōgumo, gets involved with some feyblood activists, starts a matchmaking service for magicals, and tries to figure out the whole dating thing himself.

In Smells Like Finn Spirit, everything comes to a head when the bad guys hatch a plan for a Feypocalypse. Finn, his family and his girlfriend are caught right in the middle of it. Book 3 also features some 90s humor and a couple of scenes inspired by 90s video games. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Interview: Alex Bledsoe

Today I am interviewing Alex Bledsoe, author of the new fantasy novel, Gather Her Round, fifth book in the Tufa series.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

Alex Bledsoe: Thanks for having me, DJ. I’m a southern writer who now lives in Wisconsin, and the stay-at-home dad of three children. I’ve been writing my whole life, around stints as a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. I write primarily fantasy and horror.

DJ: What is Gather Her Round about?

Alex: It’s the fifth novel in my Tufa series, about an isolated Appalachian town whose citizens are all descended from Celtic faerie folk. In this one, a wild hog kills a young woman, and the pursuit of it brings out the best and worst in those who knew her.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Gather Her Round?

Alex: After four prior novels, I wanted to do something new, and I hadn’t yet done a monster story. I wanted the monster to be something reasonable, not supernatural or cryptozoological, so I considered a giant wild boar. Then I found out that Tennessee, where the novel is set, really does have an elite task force for dealing with the wild hog infestations, which gave me a sort of “Avengers, assemble” moment. Once I knew about that, the rest of the story was a snap. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Interview: Thoraiya Dyer


Today I am interviewing Thoraiya Dyer, author of the new fantasy novel, Crossroads of Canopy, first book in the Titan’s Forest series.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

Thoraiya Dyer: Thanks for having me!

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

Thoraiya: Greetings unfamiliar readers! I’m Australian and I used to be a veterinarian with a special interest in birds. Now I’m a science fiction & fantasy writer. I live in a beautiful beachside suburb of Sydney, I’ve won awards for my short stories in venues such as Clarkesworld and Analog magazines, and my first novel, due out from Tor in the US, Crossroads of Canopy, is imminent. Eep!

DJ: What is Crossroads of Canopy about?


Thoraiya: An enormous, magical rainforest, some 300 stories high, hosts a vast city in its canopy, with dark, unknown depths below. Unar, our stubborn protagonist, loses her sister into those depths, and the action kicks off with her heading to the Garden to avoid being sold as a slave.

DJ: What is the “Garden” and what does a “Gardener” do?

Thoraiya: There are thirteen goddesses and gods in Canopy. One for each of the thirteen Kingdoms that make up the vast, treetop city. Incarnated as humans, they need homes as well as worship. They live in their Temples. The Garden is the Temple of Audblayin, the goddess of birth and new life. It’s a walled precinct with all the rare flowers, vines and green things from the far reaches of the world, cultivated and irrigated by Gardeners. They are servants of the Temple. They tend the Garden using magic that stems from their connection to the goddess. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Guest Post: Writing Through Hurricanes, Grumpy Spouses, And Maniacal Bosses: Finding Your Default Self by Edward Lazellari


Born and raised in New York City, comic books were an important part of Edward’s youth and he spent many years working for Marvel Comics. He wrote his first professional story for Marvel Comics Presents starring Namorita (a.k.a. Kymaera) and illustrated the tale as well. After years as an illustrator, Edward returned to school to study English literature and creative writing at Rutgers.

His first published prose story, “The Date,” a dark comedy about a gigolo hired by conjoined twins, appeared in the October 1999 issue of Playboy magazine. This was an important boost to any budding writer’s confidence and contributed to his finishing his first novel, “Awakenings.” Edward has just completed the third book in the Guardians of Aandor series, “Blood of Ten Kings,” which is pending revisions.

His genre influences include: Stephen King, Roger Zelazny, Alan Moore, George R.R. Martin, Ann Rice, John Grisham, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Jean M. Auel, Ben Bova, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, and Glen Cook.

Literary influences include: William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Jonathan Franzen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ayn Rand, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austin, Frank McCourt, Mary Shelley, John Irving, Aldous Huxley, Homer, Dante, and Voltaire.

Edward enjoys playing with his new baby daughter as well as his many hobbies such as poker, bike riding, playing softball, and pissing people off on social media through the use of rational thought and common sense.

Writing Through Hurricanes, Grumpy Spouses, And Maniacal Bosses: Finding Your Default Self

by Edward Lazellari

The universe is trying to keep you from your writing. It will throw all manner of distraction and chaos at you, and bind you with obligations–girlfriends who cry neglect, boyfriends who threaten to step out on your monogamy, bosses who insist that your not getting the work done in 40 hours is your fault not the workload. You will try to reason with the universe, work out a mutual arrangement where you borrow three hours here and two hours there to ply your craft; but the universe is a fickle bitch that knows full well you need uninterrupted blocks of time with which to craft your tales–time to let your story ferment and then time for revisions. You need a thousand hours to write two hundred decent pages. Lie back to the universe, steal the time you need, sacrifice personal pleasure and socializing, and then maybe…maybe, you will have a story of note at the end of the run. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Author Interview: Marc Turner


Today I am interviewing Marc Turner, author of The Chronicles of the Exile series. The second book, Dragon Hunters, is out now, and features Chameleon priests, dimension-hopping assassins, and sea dragons being hunted for sport.

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey Marc! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview! I want to ask you several specific questions about Dragon Hunters, but first, let’s take care of some of these mandatory questions: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Marc Turner: Hi, thanks for inviting me. I’m Marc Turner, and I write epic fantasy books with a dark edge and a liberal sprinkling of humour. I live in Durham in the UK, and when I’m not writing, I’m doing more writing, reading, escaping into the countryside, and trying in vain to keep up with my seven-year-old son.

DJ: What is Dragon Hunters about?

MT: At its core, Dragon Hunters is about a military coup led by Imerle Polivar, the head of a group of powerful water-mages called the Storm Lords. Imerle’s five-year tenure is about to end, but she has no intention of stepping down graciously. As part of her plot to hold on to power, she tries to sabotage the annual Dragon Hunt, and thus unleash chaos on her rivals. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Author Interview: Edward Lazellari

71+6EG2OjqL._UX250_Today I am interviewing Edward Lazellari, author of the urban/epic fantasy novel, Awakenings, first book of the Guardians of Aandor trilogy.

◊  ◊  ◊

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

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

Edward Lazellari: I don’t like cauliflower. (It looks like albino broccoli.) I think the original Galactica from the 1970’s show is a more beautiful design than the recent one, even though the latter show was better written.

I grew up in the Bronx. I started my genre career at Marvel Comics in the late 80s as an artist–I discovered that I enjoyed writing stories more than drawing them. I was a mediocre illustrator, but I’m a good writer. I have five more sci-fi/fantasy series to get out of my brain, and at least one literary novel.

DJ: What is Awakenings about?

EL: It’s about a group of refuges from a medieval alternate reality that end up in modern day New York as a way of escaping their war. They are guardians protecting an infant prince. It’s as if Bran and Arya Stark of in Game of Throne were able to cross dimensions to avoid their enemies in Westeros. Except they and their guardians get amnesia. Their enemies discover the ruse and send assassins here to kill them. It’s thirteen years later, and the guardians are awakened to their true identities and the dangers that come with it. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Backlist Burndown: Dragon Hunters (The Chronicles of the Exile #2) by Marc Turner


Backlist Burndown is a monthly meme hosted by Lisa from Tenacious Reader where you put aside at least one book from your blacklist every month to read, and then post a review of it on the last Friday of that month.

Dragon Hunters (The Chronicles of the Exile #2) by Marc Turer

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Edition: Hardcover, 464 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5

I have yet to come across a book that has given the same feeling that A Game of Thrones did when I first read it, but Dragon Hunters is closest I have found.
Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,