Tag Archives: william morrow

Author Interview: James Rollins

Today I am interviewing James Rollin, author of the new thriller novel, Crucible, fourteenth book in the Sigma Force series.

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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 Rollins: What many readers might not know about me is that I can still neuter a cat in under thirty seconds.  While my full-time job nowadays is writer, before that I was a veterinarian. I always resent when I’m introduced as “former veterinarian,” as I still do some volunteer work as local shelters helping with spaying and neutering.  Beyond this hobby of removing genitalia, I also enjoy a pursuit that started back in my college years, namely caving. So besides hiding behind a surgical mask, you can often find me far underground, sometimes stuck in a tunnel that was narrower than I thought.

DJ: What is Crucible and then the Sigma Force series about?

James: Sigma Force is a team of former special forces soldiers who have been drummed out of the service for various reasons. But because of special aptitudes and abilities, they’ve been recruited in secret by DARPA—the Defense Department’s research-and-development agency—and retrained in various scientific disciplines to act as field agents for DARPA. Their mission is to protect the globe against various emerging threats. Basically, they’re scientists with guns.

In Crucible, the team is faced by one of their most daunting—yet personal—adventures of the entire series. On Christmas Eve, a pair of Sigma Force teammates arrive home after a night of carousing to find their home ransacked and their respective lovers kidnapped, along with the two young daughters of one of the men. This attack is connected to a real-world threat, one that Stephen Hawking once described as the “worst event in the history of civilization.” That Elon Musk fears will lead to World War III. Even Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that whoever controls this event will control the world. That event is the creation of the first human-like artificial intelligence. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Peng Shepherd


Photo by Rachel Crittenden

Today I am interviewing Peng Shepherd, author of the new dystopian novel, The Book of M.

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

Peng Shepherd: Thank you for having me! The Book of M is my first novel, and it still feels like a dream that it’s actually out there. I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid, but really decided to get serious about it several years ago. I moved to New York to attend NYU’s MFA in creative writing program, which is where I first got the seed of the idea for this book, but it wasn’t until after I graduated that I finished it. Before that, I studied International Studies and Diplomacy and worked for several years in the private security industry. Very different, I know!

DJ: What is The Book of M about?


Peng: The Book of M is about a mysterious phenomenon that first causes one person’s shadow to disappear, but then rapidly spreads across the globe, with terrifying effects—those who lose their shadows also start to lose their memories, but at the same time gain a new, dangerous kind of magic, and this begins to tear the world apart.

Husband Ory and wife Max have survived unscathed for two years, until at the beginning of the book, Max’s shadow suddenly disappears too, which forces them decide whether to keep hiding or to confront the nightmarish land outside their hideout in the hope of finding a cure.

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

Peng: I love big, sprawling stories set in our world but with some kind of fantastical or sci-fi twist, like Stephen King’s The Stand, Justin Cronin’s The Passage series, or Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. I really admire how those authors made each character feel so real, and how frighteningly possible their fictional realities seemed. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nick Clark Windo


Photo © James Eckersley

Today I am interviewing Nick Clark Windo, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Feed.

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DJ: Hi 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 Clark Windo: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me here!
…sure. The Feed is my first published novel, though there are a few unpublished ones hanging around at home and plotting their freedom amongst themselves. I wrote one at school, another at University (where I studied English literature), another at RADA (where I trained to be an actor) and then another as I was working as an actor and starting to produce films, which is what I do as well as writing. I coach people on communication skills too. I don’t sleep much!

DJ: What is The Feed about?


Nick: It’s about two parents who are searching for their abducted daughter in an era when technology has collapsed. The Feed is the Internet directly to the brain: all knowledge, instant unfettered communication at the speed of thought. It’s great! Unfortunately, when it goes down, people find that they’re unable to make their own memories any more, or read body language, or communicate properly. Think you’d be in trouble if you lost your phone? Well this is worse. So it’s in this world that Tom and Kate fight to find their child.

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

Nick: Ah. Loads! I have quite a magpie brain, so books, films, TV shows, music, the news, they all set thoughts a-whirring. You’ll see some echoes of 28 Weeks Later in there, The Road, Station Eleven and just what’s happening in the world: the way people interact. Put on some Godspeed You! Black Emperor and some Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds while you’re reading and you’ll have a nice soundtrack. I’d love to hope that readers of David Mitchell might see some points of reference; certainly, his cross-genre boldness has been a big inspiration over the years. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nicole Galland

Today I am interviewing Nicole Galland, co-author of the new speculative-fiction, time-travel novel, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

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

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

Nicole Galland: Hi there. I’m mostly a writer of historical fiction, generally medieval and Renaissance (I’m a Shakespeare nerd). But I’m not good about “branding” myself, since I’ve also written a contemporary romantic comedy, and I write a tongue-in-cheek advice column for the Martha’s Vineyard Times (my hometown paper). Also, my background is in theatre (did I mention I’m a Shakespeare nerd).

DJ: What is The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O about?

Nicole: It’s about 740 pages. ;-P It’s about a top-secret government agency that figures out how to use magic for strategic purposes. Because Neal Stephenson is involved, there is (of course) a hard-science explanation for how magic works. Also, time travel.

DJ: Actually, where did the idea for yourself and Neal to co-author this book from? Have you done this before or had you two been joking around with the idea and finally decide to give a go for real?

Nicole: With five other writers, we worked together on a series called The Mongoliad. It started out with the six of them – all guys – and a female friend pointed out that it could use a female touch. Neal knew my historical fiction and asked me to join in since it was my general era (medieval Europe). As that project was wrapping up, he had the idea – I think the premise came to him all in a flash – for what is now The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., and he asked me to collaborate again, just the two of us this time. Continue reading

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