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SPFBO 5 Interview - J.M. Riddles, Author of Torn Apart


Please welcome J.M. Riddles to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. J.M. has submitted her novel, Torn Apart, to SPFBO 5.



SPFBO 5 Interview - J.M. Riddles, Author of Torn Apart




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

J.M.:  The first thing I ever wrote was an 80k word high-fantasy adventure novel when I was 17 years old. Of course, that piece will never see the light of day, but it made me realize how much I love writing - especially fantasy. I've been writing ever since.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

J.M.:  About 85% plotter with just a little bit of pantsing to get me from scene to scene.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

J.M.:  Sex scenes and fight scenes tend to slow me down because there's a lot of choreography involved. You have to come up with just the right descriptions of physical actions so that readers can hopefully visualize the scene the way you do or at least emote with it the way you hope they will.



TQDescribe your Torn Apart using only 5 words.

J.M.:  Priestesses and shapeshifters versus demons.



TQWhat inspired you to write your Torn Apart?

J.M.:  All of my writing inspiration comes from dreams. The Convergence series began with a dream I had of a woman finding a dilapidated old tree house and being sad because she lost someone and that was where they used to play as children; then when she turns around, she sees her lost friend as an adult. In the dream, he was a lycanthrope, and he had also believed that she was dead and gone and was surprised to see her again. They embraced, and the dream ended. I felt like this would be an excellent premise for a fantasy romance, and so after adding a few more details and coming up with a plot, that same dream turned into the first chapter (well, technically, the Prologue) for Torn Apart.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Torn Apart.

J.M.:  The cover of all three books in my Convergence series are by Jesús García López who has had some of his work featured in Heavy Metal Magazine. The first book in the series, Torn Apart, depicts the two main characters Varg and Halea.



TQIn Torn Apart who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

J.M.:  To be honest, they were all easy. I enjoyed writing every one of my characters (of which there are many).



TQDoes Torn Apart touch on any social issues?

J.M.:  Prejudice and bullying. The love of the two main characters is forbidden due to, Halea, being a human priestess, and her love interest, Varg, being a lycan. In the beginning of the story, they must overcome their differences and misconceptions to become friends, and in time, their friendship becomes love. The theme of overcoming prejudice runs throughout the series as humans and therianthropes are often placed in situations where they have set their hatred aside to work together and defeat their common enemy. As to bullying; Halea is a character who was bullied as a child, and through the course of the story, she finds acceptance but also grows into a stronger person because of her experiences.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Torn Apart.

J.M.:  "Maybe some therians were more civilized than she had imagined? Or perhaps it was just the innocence of children; too young and uncorrupted by the ways of the world to understand hate or prejudice, but instinctually understanding love and friendship instead."



TQ:   What's next?

J.M.:  Book two of the Convergence series, Blood Bound, was just released on May the 4th, and book three, Wolfmother, should be out in 2020. After I'm done with the Convergence series, I have many more fantasy stories to write, and I'm also working on a horror anthology.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

J.M.:  Thank you for letting me participate in this interview.





Torn Apart
Convergence 1
August 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 232 pages

SPFBO 5 Interview - J.M. Riddles, Author of Torn Apart
As a priestess in the service of the dragon goddess, Halea must roam the land hunting demons and sealing tears caused by the Chaos Dimension that seeks to converge with their world. She has sworn an oath to devote herself only to her goddess, and if necessary, will even die for her mission.

One day she discovers that her beloved childhood friend, Varg, has survived the devastation of the last convergence and has since risen to become the alpha of his people, the lycans. Together they battle the forces of Chaos, but when Varg wants Halea to be his mate, she is torn between her oath and her desire to be with the Wolf King who loves her. Only a blood sacrifice can stop the coming of the next convergence, and with Halea’s life on the line, Varg will do anything to save her.

*Warning: Mature content and language not intended for anyone under the age of eighteen.

Genre: Fantasy Romance
115,000 Words





About J.M.

SPFBO 5 Interview - J.M. Riddles, Author of Torn Apart
J.M. Riddles (aka Your Humble Author, aka J) is an avid lover of science fiction and fantasy. Some of her writing also features romance, paranormal, horror, surrealism, mature, and even young adult fiction. She holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature and four Associates degrees. Some of her interests include heavy metal, rock, sci-fi, fantasy, food, art, makeup, nature, and all things nerdy. She is currently hard at work on book three of the Convergence series.

Facebook  ~  Twitter @JM_Riddles  ~  Wattpadd  ~  Goodreads

Spotlight on Myke Cole


I am very excited to see that Myke Cole, one of my favorite authors, has a new novel coming out in March 2020 with Angry Robot Books, one of my favorite publishers. This novel is Myke's first Science Fiction novel, after 2 Military Fantasy series, 1 Fantasy series, and a Military History book.

Sixteenth Watch is out in March 2020. The gorgeous cover art is by Isaac Hannaford.



Sixteenth Watch
Angry Robot, March 10, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook

Spotlight on Myke Cole
A lifelong Search-and-Rescuewoman, Coast Guard Captain Jane Oliver is ready for a peaceful retirement. But when tragedy strikes, Oliver loses her husband and her plans for the future, and finds herself thrust into a role she’s not prepared for. Suddenly at the helm of the Coast Guard’s elite SAR-1 lunar unit, Oliver is the only woman who can prevent the first lunar war in history, a conflict that will surely consume not only the moon, but earth as well.





Also by Myke Cole


The Sacred Throne Trilogy

The Armored Saint
The Sacred Throne 1
Tor.com, September 18, 2018
Trade Paperback, 224 pags
Hardcover and eBook, February 20, 2018

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Myke Cole, star of CBS's Hunted and author of the Shadow Ops series, debuts the Sacred Throne epic fantasy trilogy with The Armored Saint, a story of religious tyrants, arcane war-machines, and underground resistance that will enthrall epic fantasy readers of all ages.

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

"Cole weaves a fantasy world that feels comfortably familiar, then goes to places you’d never expect. You won’t stop turning pages until the stunning finish."—Peter V. Brett

The Sacred Throne Trilogy
#1 The Armored Saint
#2 The Queen of Crows



The Queen of Crows
The Sacred Throne 2
Tor.com, August 27, 2019
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 16, 2018

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Myke Cole, star of CBS's Hunted and author of the Shadow Ops series is here with book two of the Sacred Throne Trilogy: The Queen of Crows.

In this epic fantasy sequel, Heloise stands tall against overwhelming odds—crippling injuries, religious tyrants—and continues her journey from obscurity to greatness with the help of alchemically-empowered armor and an unbreakable spirit.

No longer just a shell-shocked girl, she is now a figure of revolution whose cause grows ever stronger. But the time for hiding underground is over. Heloise must face the tyrannical Order and lay siege to the Imperial Palace itself.

"A heart-wrenching, blood-racing, all-around page-turner. Spare, vivid and surprisingly sensual, with a small, fierce heroine who will stick in your mind and live in your soul."—Diana Gabaldon on The Armored Saint

The Sacred Throne Trilogy
#1 The Armored Saint
#2 The Queen of Crows



The Killing Light
The Sacred Throne 3
Tor.com, November 12, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The thrilling conclusion to Myke Cole's Sacred Throne trilogy

Heloise and her allies are marching on the Imperial Capital. The villagers, the Kipti, and the Red Lords are united only in their loyalty to Heloise, though dissenting voices are many and they are loud.

The unstable alliance faces internal conflicts and external strife, yet they’re united in their common goal. But when the first of the devils start pouring through a rent in the veil between worlds, Heloise must strike a bargain with an unlikely ally, or doom her people to death and her world to ruin.

Praise for the Sacred Throne Trilogy

"A heart-wrenching, blood-racing, all-around page-turner. Spare, vivid and surprisingly sensual, with a small, fierce heroine who will stick in your mind and live in your soul."—Diana Gabaldon

"Ruthless and heartwrenching." —Robin Hobb


The Sacred Throne Trilogy

The Armored Saint
The Queen of Crows
The Killing Light





Legion versus Phalanx - Military History

Legion versus Phalanx
Osprey Publishing, October 18, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder with shields interlocking, the men of the phalanx presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. Until, that is, the Roman legion emerged to challenge them as masters of infantry battle.

Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280-168 BC), Myke Cole delves into their tactics, arms and equipment, organization and deployment. Drawing on original primary sources to examine six battles in which the legion fought the phalanx - Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC) - he shows how and why the Roman legion, with its flexible organization, versatile tactics and iron discipline, came to eclipse the hitherto untouchable Hellenistic phalanx and dominate the ancient battlefield.





The Reawakening Trilogy
(Shadow-Ops Prequel)

Gemini Cell
The Reawakening Trilogy 1
Ace, January 27, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…



Javelin Rain
The Reawakening Trilogy 2
Ace, March 29, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sequel to Gemini Cell, set in the same magical and militaristic world of the acclaimed Shadow Ops series.

Javelin: A code denoting the loss of a national security asset with strategic impact.

Rain: A code indicating a crisis of existential proportions.

Javelin Rain incidents must be resolved immediately, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost…

Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded “Javelin Rain.” Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not.

Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. But what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation…



Siege Line
The Reawakening Trilogy 3
Ace, October 31, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
In Myke Cole’s latest high-octane, action-packed military fantasy, the fate of undead Navy SEAL James Schweitzer will be decided—one way or another…

The Gemini Cell took everything from Jim Schweitzer: his family, his career as a Navy SEAL, even his life. Hounded across the country, Schweitzer knows the only way he can ever stop running, the only way his son can ever be safe, is to take the fight to the enemy and annihilate the Cell once and for all.

But the Cell won’t be easily destroyed. Out of control and fighting a secret war with the government it once served, it has dispatched its shadowy Director to the far reaches of the subarctic in search of a secret magic that could tip the balance of power in its favor. Schweitzer must join with the elite warriors of both America and Canada in a desperate bid to get there first—and avert a disaster that could put the Cell in control.







The Shadow-Ops Trilogy

Control Point
Shadow Ops 1
Ace, January 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
Lieutenant Oscar Britton of the Supernatural Operations Corps has been trained to hunt down and take out people possessing magical powers. But when he starts manifesting powers of his own, the SOC revokes Oscar's government agent status to declare him public enemy number one.

















Fortress Frontier
Shadow Ops 2
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed…but not for everyone.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier—cut off, surrounded by monsters, and on the brink of being overrun.

Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place—Oscar Britton, public enemy number one…




Breach Zone
Shadow Ops 3
Ace, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Spotlight on Myke Cole
The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it…

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil…

The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner


The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner

Rosewater by Tade Thompson is the winner of the 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award. The novel is published by Orbit in the UK and Orbit in the US.
The annual Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.


Rosewater
The Wormwood Trilogy 1
Orbit, September 18, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner
Tade Thompson’s Rosewater is the start of an award-winning, cutting edge trilogy set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction’s most engaging new voices.

*Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel, winner
*Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, finalist

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again — but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.

The Wormwood Trilogy
Rosewater
The Rosewater Insurrection
The Rosewater Redemption


The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner
Book 2
March 12,2019
The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner
Book 3
October 15, 2019

NOMEN OMEN Coming in October 2019


NOMEN OMEN Coming in October 2019
DARK WITCHCRAFT & SUSPENSE COLLIDE IN NEW COMIC BOOK MAXISERIES NOMEN OMEN

PORTLAND, Ore. 07/17/2019 — Writer and RPG creator Marco B. Bucci (Magna Veritas, Memento Mori) and artist Jacopo Camagni NOMEN OMEN Coming in October 2019(X-Men Blue, Deadpool The Duck) introduce readers to—Nomen Omen—a tale filled with witchcraft and secrets that will rewire the rules of urban fantasy. The 15-issue maxiseries will launch from Image Comics this October and feature alternative covers by Olivier Coipel and Becky Cloonan.

In Nomen Omen, no matter how fast you run, sooner or later your past will catch up with you. Enter Becky Kumar, a geeky twenty-year-old from New York City who is about to cross the veil between our reality and a realm of otherworldly truths.

“This is not a comic-book, this is a ritual,” said Bucci. “It’s a story no one can protect you from. But don’t be scared: there’s power in names and by reading our book you’ll get a glimpse of how it works.”

Camagni added: “Witchcraft, loss, and inclusiveness: these are the three cornerstones of our story. Magic belongs to all of us, even to those who reject it.”

Nomen Omen #1 Cover A by Camagni, Cover B by Coipel, Cover C by Cloonan, and Cover D (blank) will hit stores on Wednesday, October 2.

NOMEN OMEN Coming in October 2019

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter


Please welcome Suyi Davies Okungbowa to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. David Mogo, Godhunter was published on July 9, 2019 by Abaddon.



Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter





TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece that you remember writing?

SDO:  Thanks! I think the first thing I remember writing was a retelling of some stories from the Christian Bible. I found some of them quite interesting, and wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall. So I rewrote a lot of the popular stories from the point-of-view of lesser characters: the owner of the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem on, the guy who owned the room where the last supper was held, etc. It was fun while it lasted, which wasn't very long.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

SDO:  Hybrid, or plantser. I tend to plot the big "waypoints" of a narrative and then write my way between waypoints. This gives me a loose structure to work with, but also the freedom to surprise myself.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

SDO:  Finishing things, which I believe is a problem for many other writers too. There are always so many ideas to explore, so many directions to go in, so many things to say. Finishing something I'm working on is something learning to do now--it used to be so bad that I'd have lots of uncompleted drafts and not one complete story. But only writers who finish get published, so I'd say things are looking up now.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

SDO:  My history, for one. Both that of the people from which I'm descended, as well as my experience as an African caught between the demands of tradition and modernity, of history and the future. Writing about existing in the middle is important to me--most of my characters are always caught between things. I'm also fascinated by What If questions within the context of the African continent.



TQDescribe David Mogo, Godhunter using only 5 words.

SDO:  Demigod sparks war in Lagos.



TQTell us something about David Mogo, Godhunter that is not found in the book description.

SDO:  There is a scene where characters watch an El Clasico football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. It makes little sense that one would tell a whole tale about Nigerians and not feature football. It's almost impossible.



TQWhat inspired you to write David Mogo, Godhunter? What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?

SDO:  I never quite thought about writing Urban Fantasy when I wrote DMG. I only wanted to tell a story about someone caught between two parts of themselves, and that character, David Mogo, was born. I also wanted to explore at least one of Nigeria's many myths, legends and cosmologies, and being set in Lagos, the story yielded itself best to the Yoruba of the Nigerian west. However, yes I do write more contemporary fantasy than anything else, and the main reason is that I like to explore how the otherworldly interacts with the...worldly, and how people change and adapt in order for them to coexist.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for David Mogo, Godhunter?

SDO:  Since I'm Nigerian, and grew up within proximity to the Yoruba-dominated west of Nigeria, I already knew about some of these deities, pantheons and myths. My own ethnic group also shares some history with the Yoruba. So, basically, it all started with first-hand experience. Then, I asked questions: talked to a few people who were well versed in Yoruba and Nigerian history. I left library and online research for last because, as I've learned over time, these are usually in danger of containing diluted versions, especially when written from a Western perspective. I was picky, but I sifted enough to find what I wanted.



TQ Please tell us about the cover for David Mogo, Godhunter. Does it depict something from the novel?

SDO:  The cover artist is Yoshi Yoshitani, and they're amazing! I think Yoshi just went with interpreting the vibes they got from the parts of the novel they read, and I'd say it captures the gritty nature of the tale itself. The meteor-like things falling from the sun likely represent The Falling, the event that brings the gods to Lagos in the first place--but you already knew that.



TQIn David Mogo, Godhunter, who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

SDO:  The easiest was probably Eshu. In large parts of Yorubaland, Eshu is placed at par with the devil, which is clearly wrong. Eshu is closer to a trickster deity, like Loki or Puck, and subverting the common narrative to reflect this was easy. The most difficult was probably the god Ogun, who I changed up in so many ways that the character could've easily become unidentifiable. I had to ensure I kept the balance between what people expect from the god Ogun, and what role I wanted the character to perform in the book.



TQDoes David Mogo, Godhunter touch on any social issues?

SDO:  Migration was a big one for me: the mass arrival of the gods was to mimic the immigration into Lagos that has left the city overpopulated (probably the most populous in the world after 2050). Then, there's gentrification and political elitism, issues plaguing the city today, where the poor and severely affected are left to fend for themselves while choice spaces are reserved for the more affluent, something which also happens in its own way in the book. And lastly, colonization, with a faction of the gods trying to decide between integrating or conquering the "lesser beings" they have encountered.



TQWhich question about David Mogo, Godhunter do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

SDO:  No one ever asks about the fictional Lagos State Paranormal Commission (LASPAC) which, if you know Lagos and its penchant for coming up with new government agencies every now and then, would feel right in place. (Heck, they might even have one right now!) In the book, they're tasked with dealing with the city's deity infestation, which they do a shitty job of, because that's the most Lagos way of things. I reckon it'll take an interviewer who's also a Lagosian to ask about the LASPAC, though.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from David Mogo, Godhunter.

SDO:  Hmm. I'd say the first is: "The thought makes me shiver, and when a demigod shivers, you know what that means." The second will be: "He is perfect in every way, except for one tiny thing: he looks exactly like a mirage, like a mirror reflection without a subject. He is either an old man or a young boy, or both at the same time; it feels almost as if his identity is a choose-your-own-adventure game, where you decide what you're seeing."



TQWhat's next?

SDO:  Well, my agent and I are working hard on my next thing, which at this point, I can only reveal is fantasy as well (but not urban fantasy) and also inspired by West Africa (but a different time). We're looking at possibly more than one book, but nothing is set in stone yet. You'll hear more as the days go by!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

SDO:  Thank you. Always a pleasure.






David Mogo, Godhunter
Abaddon, July 9, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages

Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter
LAGOS WILL NOT BE DESTROYED

The gods have fallen to earth in their thousands, and chaos reigns.

Though broken and leaderless, the city endures.

David Mogo, demigod and godhunter, has one task: capture two of the most powerful gods in the city and deliver them to the wizard gangster
Lukmon Ajala.

No problem, right?





About Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of stories featuring African gods, starships, monsters, detectives and everything in-between. His godpunk novel, David Mogo, Godhunter, is out from Abaddon in July 2019. His internationally published fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Podcastle, The Dark, Mothership Zeta, Omenana, Ozy, Brick Moon Fiction and other periodicals and anthologies. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, where he teaches writing, and has worked in editorial at Podcastle and Sonora Review. He tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies and is @suyidavies everywhere else. Learn more at suyidavies.com.





Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper


Please welcome Kerstin Hall to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Border Keeper is published on July 16, 2019 by Tor.com.



Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Kerstin:  In second grade, the teacher told us to write an original short story. I wanted to play outside instead. So I plagiarised Swan Lake, but ended it with everyone dying at the end of the first act. Miss Woods noticed and asked whether that was really how the story concluded.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kerstin:  I think I aspire to be planner. I always start projects with the best of intentions — namely that I will create a neat outline, follow it, and reach my destination in an orderly fashion. In practise, I tend to get bored and jump into the writing too early. I guess that makes me a hybrid.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kerstin:  I’m a perfectionist, so I struggle not to go back and endlessly revise the same sentences over and over. I also find killing major characters very difficult; I get far too emotionally invested in them. Oh, and structural revisions. Do not like those at all.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kerstin:  A large influence on my writing has been working for Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine. The editorial tastes of the publication have rubbed off on me, especially with regards to worldbuilding. In terms of specific writers, I greatly admire Ann Leckie and China Miéville. And I’m significantly influenced by my environment, although I wouldn’t say my work is recognisably South African.



TQDescribe The Border Keeper using only 5 words.

Kerstin:  Man inadvisably manipulates grumpy psychopomp.



TQTell us something about The Border Keeper that is not found in the book description.

Kerstin:  I think the book might be funnier than the blurb implies. There’s also a very slow-burn romance. And dangerous fish.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Border Keeper? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Kerstin:  A lot of the scenery of The Border Keeper is abstracted from places in southern Namibia. The desert and Eris’ house bear resemblance to the abandoned stations along the railway line between Aus and Lüderitz. There’s a creepy cottage that draws on the buildings in the ghost town of Kolmanskop. And the shadowline -- or border between worlds -- might owe a certain degree of unconscious credit to the Sperrgebiet. The Sperrgebiet is a vast swath of the Namibian desert owned by diamond mining companies. It’s inaccessible to ordinary people, and to enter the region requires a permit and a guide.

I love writing fantasy because I get to set all the rules, which is very convenient. I also love that I can create completely outlandish settings and characters, and readers usually just nod along. Faceless monsters playing violins? Cool. Holes in the ocean? Carry on. Evil demon cats? Maybe not even that implausible. The playfulness inherent to the genre appeals to me.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Border Keeper?

Kerstin:  This is an interesting question for me, because the honest answer is: ‘not much’. There’s the obvious small detail stuff —what trees could grow in this climate, crab anatomy, first aid 101 — but I was very deliberate and careful in not drawing heavily on existing mythologies or cultures in shaping the broader world of the narrative.

The reasons for this are quite personal, and I won’t go into too much detail. In brief, The Border Keeper was submitted during Tor.com Publishing’s open window for non-European fantasy, and I wasn’t sure the degree to which my authorial standpoint ‘counted’ as non-European. With that in mind, I felt that the most ethical thing to do would be to try and generate a narrative world that stood mostly separate from existing belief systems and communities. Basically, to invent everything I could.

Tor.com Publishing apparently liked it, but my grand effort was rendered a little redundant when I realised that I had accidentally named my female protagonist after a Greek goddess. I only realised the mistake six months after I’d submitted it!



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Border Keeper.

Kerstin:  The cover is the work of Kathleen Jennings (illustration) and Christine Foltzer (design). It’s actually very intricate cut-paper silhouettes, not digitally rendered art! Jennings hid a lot of lovely little story references in the trees; so you can see a compass, a teapot, an egret, a crab, etc. The split figure is Eris, as she passes between realms.



TQIn The Border Keeper who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Kerstin:  Both Vasethe and Eris were easy to write, especially when they were interacting with one another. A lot of tension existed between them, which lent those scenes a fun dynamic.
The hardest character to write was probably the antagonist. I have a terrible tendency to write full-blown cackling evil villains at any given opportunity, and my editor had to gently rein that in.



TQDoes The Border Keeper touch on any social issues?

Kerstin:  Yes, although I tried to approach the topics obliquely. It explores the tensions between violence, forgiveness and justice, and the way I wrote my characters was with the intention of subverting a particular gendered trope — I can’t say which one without spoilers though.



TQWhich question about The Border Keeper do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Kerstin:  This is quite specific, but: “What happened to Yett’s realm after his murder?”

Answer: Eris should have inherited it, but she couldn’t bring herself to claim it. She has, however, cared for it ever since his death and serves as its de facto ruler.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Border Keeper.

Kerstin:  Here’s one from quite early in the story:

“Here.” Eris tossed Vasethe a black bundle of velvet. He caught it.

“A blindfold?”

“You are familiar with them?” She raised an eyebrow.

He chose not to reply, running a finger along the edge of the musty ribbon.


And here’s another from the middle:

         Vasethe rowed evenly. The water scattered light as he cut through the surface, and shoals of pale blue fish swam in their wake. A flock of waterfowl watched them from the shallows before melting into the reeds, and a lone kite hovered far above, her wingtips fluttering in the cool breeze.



TQWhat’s next?

Kerstin:  I can’t be too specific, but there should be announcements soon. I’m very excited about a certain project I just handed in, and I’m furiously revising another for a deadline in November.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kerstin:  Thanks for having me!





The Border Keeper
Tor.com, July 16, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper
"Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal"—Ann Leckie

She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

In The Border Keeper, debut author Kerstin Hall unfolds a lyrical underworld narrative about loss and renewal.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.





About Kerstin

Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper
Photo by Sylvia Hall
KERSTIN HALL is a writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She completed her undergraduate studies in journalism at Rhodes University and, as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, continued with a Masters degree at the University of Cape Town. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, and she is a first reader for Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She also enjoys photography and is inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and Namibia.







Website  ~  Twitter @kerstin__hall

Mirka Andolfo's MERCY Coming in 2020


Mirka Andolfo's MERCY Coming in 2020
MIRKA ANDOLFO’S UPCOMING MINISERIES—MERCY—IS PENNY DREADFUL MEETS DARK SHADOWS

The dark new horror series will launch in 2020 from Image Comics

Mirka Andolfo's MERCY Coming in 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. 07/15/2019 — Bestselling creator Mirka Andolfo (Unnatural) teased her upcoming Image Comics miniseries, Mercy, last week with the promise to unveil more exciting details about the goth-inspired, Victorian monster series as the 2020 United States launch date approaches. The series will launch first in Italy from Panini this November, followed by 2020 releases in France from Glénat and in the United States from Image Comics.

Set in the fictional small town of Woodsburgh during the Klondike Gold Rush, Mercy introduces main character Lady Hellaine—an “inhuman” woman—who is always seen with her butler, Mr. Goodwill...

Mercy explores topics of “otherness,” damnation and redemption, and what it means to be a monster in a horror tale perfect for fans of Penny Dreadful, Crimson Peak, The Alienist, Parasol Protectorate, and Dark Shadows.

After the poignant story of inclusion and self-discovery told in Unnatural, Andolfo presents a darker story that addresses issues far beyond typical genre-related tropes. Fans excited for the new series can visit https://www.mirkaandolfo.com/ to download a free wallpaper of the Mercy artwork.

ABOUT MIRKA ANDOLFO:
Mirka Andolfo is the creator of best-selling series such as Unnatural (2016, Panini Comics, Image Comics in the United States) and Sacro/Profano (2013, Dentiblù). As an illustrator, cover artist, and writer, she works with some of the most prestigious publishing houses in the world, including Image Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, The Walt Disney Company, Éditions Glénat, BOOM! Studios, Valiant, Dynamite, and Aspen Comics.
ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2019 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on July 31, 2019, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite July 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Illustration by Kathleen Jennings
Cover design by Christine Foltzer





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover art by Yoshi Yoshitani





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Cover illustration by Karla Ortiz





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover design by Adam Auerbach
Cover photo of stars courtesy of Shutterstock





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover art by Mikio Murakami





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio
Cover illustrations by Shutterstock

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall;

Snow Over Utopia by Rudolfo A. Serna;

and

The Rage of Dragons (Burning 1) by Evan Winter.

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019The View From Monday - July 15, 2019
The View From Monday - July 15, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.   (Max Gladstone was featured in the DAC in 2012.)

and

Howling Dark (Sun Eater 2) by Christopher Ruocchio.

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019The View From Monday - July 15, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - July 15, 2019




Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

July 15, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Conversations From the Edge: The Galaxy's Edge Interviews (e) Joy Ward SF/HC/LC



July 16, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel Baoshu SF/AC/HSF - Remembrance of Earth's Past 4
Earth Ben Bova SF/HSF/AC - Grand Tour 22
Someone Like Me (h2tp) M. R. Carey PsyTh/Occ/Sup/LF/SF/SupTh
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Four Neil Clarke (Ed) SF -Anthology
The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction Neil Clarke (Ed) SF - Anthology
Vox (h2tp) Christina Dalcher CW/Dys/PolTh
Talking to Robots: Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures David Ewing Duncan Comp/Intelligence/Semantics/Robotics/Tech/Eng
This Is How You Lose the Time War Amal El-Mohtar
Max Gladstone
SF/TT
Unforeseen: Stories Molly Gloss SS - Collection
The Border Keeper (D) Kerstin Hall F
The Mere Wife (h2tp) Maria Dahvana Headley LF/CF
The Seas (h2tp) Samantha Hunt CoA
Modern Japanese Short Stories: Twenty-Five Stories by Japan's Leading Writers Ivan Morris H/FairyT/FolkT/LM/P/Japanese - Anthology
Howling Dark Christopher Ruocchio SF/SO/HSF/AC - Sun Eater 2
Snow Over Utopia (D) Rudolfo A. Serna SF/PA/Dys
Children of the Lens (ri) E.E. 'Doc' Smith SF/Classics/SO - Golden Age Masterworks
Baby Teeth (h2tp) Zoje Stage PsyTh/FL/H
Low Chicago (h2tp) George R.R. Martin (Ed)
Wild Cards Trust
SF/SH/ - Wild Cards 18
Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe Heather Webber CW/MR/ST+R
The Rage of Dragons (D) Evan Winter F/African American - Burning 1



July 17, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Absolute at Large (ri) Karel Capek SF



July 18, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Paradox of Blackness in African American Vampire Fiction Jerry Rafiki Jenkins LC - New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AA - Action and Adventure
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Eng - Engineering
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
Ke - Kindle eBook
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SS - Short Stories
ST+R - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
Tech - Technology
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2018 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners


2018 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners

The 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners have been announced.
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.


Winners are in green.


NOVEL
  • Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape)
  • In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey (John Joseph Adams Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Little Eve by Catriona Ward (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group)
  • Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (Double Day/Raven Books)
  • We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books)


NOVELLA
  • Judderman by DA Northwood (Gary Budden) (Dead Ink Books/Cinder House Publishing)
  • The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp (Tor.com)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com)
  • The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky by John Hornor Jacobs (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza (Dorothy, a Publishing Project)


NOVELETTE
  • "Adriftica" by Maria Dahvana Headley (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • "Blood and Smoke, Vinegar and Ashes” by D.P. Watt (The Silent Garden)
  • Ghostographs: An Album by Maria Romasco Moore (Rose Metal Press)
  • "Help the Witch" by Tom Cox (Help the Witch)
  • "The Black Sea" by Chris Mason (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, April 2018)


SHORT FICTION
  • Back Seat” by Bracken MacLeod (Lost Highways)
  • Hell” by David Hansen (The Charcoal Issue of Fairy Tale Review, March 2018)
  • How to be a Horror Writer” by Tim Waggoner (Vastarien: A Literary Journal vol 1., issue 2 – Summer / Grimscribe Press)
  • The Astronaut” by Christina Wood Martinez (Granta 142: Animalia)
  • "The Woman Dies" by Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton (online edition of Granta 144: genericlovestory)


SINGLE-AUTHOR COLLECTION
  • All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma (Undertow Publications)
  • From Deep Places by Gemma Files (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Garden of Eldritch Delights by Lucy A. Snyder (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Quartier Perdu by Sean O'Brien (Comma Press)
  • The Human Alchemy by Michael Griffin (Word Horde)


EDITED ANTHOLOGY
  • Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations, edited by Michael Bailey and Lucy A. Snyder (Written Backwards)
  • Robots vs Fairies, edited by Navah Wolfe and Dominik Parisien (Saga Press)
  • The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism, edited by The Silent Garden Collective (Undertow Publications)
  • This Dreaming Isle, edited by Dan Coxon (Unsung Stories)
  • Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto (Black Balloon)


The 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on Sunday, July 14, 2019, at Readercon 30 in Quincy, Massachusetts.
SPFBO 5 Interview - J.M. Riddles, Author of Torn ApartSpotlight on Myke ColeThe 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - WinnerNOMEN OMEN Coming in October 2019Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, GodhunterInterview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border KeeperMirka Andolfo's MERCY Coming in 20202019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July DebutsThe View From Monday - July 15, 20192018 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners

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