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Interview with Leanna Ellis and Giveaway - August 22, 2012

Please welcome Leanna Ellis to The Qwillery. Forbidden, the second novel in Leanna's Plain Fear series, was published on August 1, 2012.


Interview with Leanna Ellis and Giveaway - August 22, 2012


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Leanna:  Hi, thanks so much for having me here today! I love that word ‘quirk’. Don’t you? I just love the sound of it. And quirky often fits my writing because I tend to write quirky characters or situations. It’s because I think outside the box. Sometimes waaaaay outside the box.


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers?

Leanna:  I have a wide assortment of favorites, and lots of bookshelves stuffed to the brim. Yes, I still like actual books even though I have an e-reader. There’s just something magical about holding an actual book, thumbing back to reread a wonderfully written section or peeking ahead. I wouldn’t do that though. There are so many wonderful writers, but one of my latest favorites is Geraldine Brooks. I loved her book The Year of Wonders. I also love Linda Castillo. Have you read her Amish thriller series? And then there’s southern fiction, which I adore and makes my Texas accent thicker by the page. I loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett and also Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Leanna:  I’m a little of both. When I first started writing, twenty years ago, I was much more of a plotter. But over the years, I’ve learned to let go and trust my instincts. I like to have a destination in mind for my books, but I don’t always know how I’ll get there through the course of the book. It keeps me somewhat on track and yet it allows for surprises along the way.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Leanna:  The initial draft is usually the hardest part for me. Once I have something on paper, then I can fix it. But getting those first words on paper is so hard.


TQ:  Describe Forbidden (Plain Fear 2) in 140 characters or less.

Leanna:  Rachel Nussbaum, an Amish widow, blames herself for her husband's death, but redemption may lie in her ultimate sacrifice at the hands of a vampire.


TQ:  What inspired you to write the Plain Fear series?

Leanna:  Plain Fear actually began as a joke. I was at a book signing and another author and I made a joke about we should write an Amish/vampire story because those were the two genres that were selling so well. It really was a joke. I didn’t rush home and start writing the book. But I suppose some seed was planted in my warped little brain and took root. Soon a character was speaking to me about her story and wanting me to write it. I resisted. But there was a very intriguing element that I couldn’t ignore. But why Amish and vampire together? Besides the superficial reason I already gave, the two really work well together with my story. The image we have of the Amish is of a simple, innocent, wholesome way of life, which is a perfect environment to place a dark, frightening, evil entity. The juxtaposition between the two works so well. In fact, part of my inspiration for this story came from The Phantom of the Opera, and how innocent Christine is and how trusting of this voice she hears in her head—the angel of music. So an Amish heroine, sheltered by the world we know, seemed perfect. Except the Amish world isn’t always as sheltered as we think. Doors can be opened to evil forces. The Plain Fear series is about good versus evil. So often we just think of evil as being dark and scary…well, it is that but it’s also alluring and appealing and attractive. If you just saw the dark, ugly, scary side of evil, who would go there? Each of the main characters in Forsaken and now Forbidden have to make tough choices.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Plain Fear series?

Leanna:  I couldn’t write about the Amish without doing a lot of research. I have stacks and stacks of books, many of which I found when I visited Amish country. Ultimately, the best way to research is to go visit, and so for the first book in the series, Forsaken, I traveled to Pennsylvania. My critique partner and I had a great time peering into the lives of the Amish and sampling their incredible food. Whoopie pie. I’m telling you I gained ten pounds on that trip. Then for the second book, Forbidden, I traveled to Ohio and a smaller Amish community. My friend, Shelley Shepard Gray took me around, because she lives in the area. The atmosphere was exactly what I needed for this book! And thankfully, I wasn’t there long enough to gain ten pounds. But I brought a bunch of Amish pretzel mixes back with me. Homemade pretzels. Yum!


TQ:  In the series so far who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Leanna:  Roc was not easy but he was a lot of fun because he always surprised me. At first, it was hard to write from the different Amish characters’ points of view until I got past the clothes and to the heart of the characters. People are people.


TQ:  Which character in the series has surprised you the most?

Leanna:  Rachel, who is one of the main characters in Forbidden, has an Amish façade but inside she is struggling with some issues that are very much what you or me might struggle with. I worried a bit about remembering what it was like to be pregnant as it’s been a few years since I was. But I really enjoyed writing from Rachel’s perspective. She was fascinating to me. A reviewer called her a lioness at heart, and I loved that. She is. I’m not sure I ever saw her that way because I was more focused on her flaws and fears but she is definitely a lioness.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Forbidden?

Leanna:  Oh that is such a hard question. There are so many that I could pull out but ultimately my favorite is the climax, and I cannot say a word about it. ;) I always love when everything culminates in a story and decisions have to be made and the choices characters made have severe consequences. I love that!


TQ:  What's next?

Leanna:  I’m working on book #3 of the Plain Fear series called FORGIVEN. It releases in August 2013.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Leanna:  Thank you so much for having me here! I appreciate it and had fun answering your questions. If your readers have any questions, please ask away and I’ll try to answer them.



About Plain Fear

Forbidden
Plain Fear 2
Sourcebooks, August 1, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Leanna Ellis and Giveaway - August 22, 2012
How Long Must We Pay for the Sins of Our Past?

She blames herself for her husband's death. But for Rachel Schmidt Nussbaum, redemption may only lie in the ultimate sacrifice.

When a stranger arrives claiming only she can save him, Rachel's impulsive instincts lead her on a perilous journey, one that leads her to a battle that will decide both the fate of her soul and the life of her unborn child.

A far–from–ordinary story of love and desperation, sin and sacrifice, Amish faith and vampire lore, Plain Fear: Forbidden is an imaginative thrill ride that's like nothing you've ever read before.


Forsaken
Plain Fear 1
Sourcebooks, August 2, 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Leanna Ellis and Giveaway - August 22, 2012
Hannah cannot move on.

She pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her.

But Jacob is gone now, buried.

Levi’s love for Hannah burns just as strong. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives. And he lives with that lie every day.

So when a stranger named Akiva comes to their community, he carries with him two secrets that will change their lives forever: he is in fact Jacob, whom Hannah had lost. And he is now a vampire.

When passions stir and secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love. But it’s more than a choice of passion; it’s a decision that will determine the fate of her soul.




About Leanna

Interview with Leanna Ellis and Giveaway - August 22, 2012
Leanna Ellis is the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award and Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award. She has written numerous books for Harlequin/Silhouette and has published four books with B&H Publishing. With her husband, two children, and wide assortment of pets, she lives in Texas. For more information, please visit www.leannaellis.com, follow her on Twitter, @LeannaEllis, and “like” her on Facebook.







The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Forbidden (Plain Fear 2) from Sourcebooks! US/Canada ONLY

How:  Leave a comment OR ask Leanna a question.

Please remember - if you don't comment OR ask a question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and, Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a United States or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Ben H. Winters - July 23, 2012

Please welcome Ben H. Winters to The Qwillery. Ben's most recent novel is The Last Policeman, a police procedural set 6 months prior to the end of the world. The Last Policeman is the first in a trilogy.




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery!

Ben:  Hey, well, thanks for having me.


TQ:  Writing quirks! What are some of yours?

Ben:  For many years I made my living as a transcriptionist, so I type very quickly. This doesn’t mean I write very quickly, necessarily, but I do tend to bang out the words onto the page at a very rapid rate. I have at various times shared a writing space, and I always wondered if other people thought I was showing off, because it sounds like tappa-tappa-tappa-tappa, ninety miles an hour. Trust me, a huge amount of those words are nonsense, but they do come out fast.


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers?

Ben:  The all-time favorite is Charles Dickens, the current favorite is Patricia Highsmith. But I could answer this question forever; PD James, Ruth Rendell, George Elliot, JD Salinger, David Foster Wallace, Ira Levin. What writer doesn’t have a thousand favorite writers? Gerard Manley Hopkins, Philip Larkin, Tom Waits. The list goes on.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Ben:  I don’t care what writer you’re talking to, the answer to this question has to be “some mixture of the two”; the only real question is as to proportion. As I’ve grown as a writer, my level of advance plotting has risen, as I’ve learned that A) knowing your own intentions in advance is more useful than waiting for some abstract force of divination to discover them for you, and B) having an outline does not force you to abide by it.

So what I do is, I have a very strong outline as I begin, and then, where the process of writing reveals interesting information—as it does in that magical way from time to time—I revise the outline.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Ben:  Finishing. Ideas, frankly, are the easy part. You find ideas in the newspaper, walking down the street, eavesdropping on conversations at the food court. The hard part is once you’ve got that idea, taking it and living with it until you see whether there’s a real story there—and then building it out, adding characters, figuring out the structure, and sticking with it till it’s done.


TQ:  What inspired you to write The Last Policeman?

Ben:  I’ve always loved mysteries set in surprising times and places, or speculative universes, like Isaac Asimov’s robot mysteries, or Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. All great mystery stories set up a devilish puzzle and then present a series of challenges to keep the hero from solving the puzzle. If nothing else, the impending end of the world creates some serious challenges for Detective Palace.


TQ:  Tell us something about The Last Policeman that is not in the book description.

Ben:  In the book, because of infrastructure failure and mass retirements, cellular and digital technology are starting to become unreliable, and will soon disappear entirely. If this scenario were really taking place, this would be, for me, a silver living. I am, personally, deeply ambivalent about our total reliance and obsession with our machines, and it’s fun for me to imagine a world without them.


TQ:  What is the oddest bit of information that you came across in your research for The Last Policeman?

Ben:  I learned a lot of fascinating tidbits about forensic pathology, some of which turns up in the book and some of which does not. Forensic pathologists are incredible. They can tell if someone was murdered or committed suicide based on the angle of the neck bruise; they can tell what drugs someone took, and when, by analyzing a single strand of hair.


TQ:  In The Last Policeman who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Ben:  The easiest was the hero, Detective Henry Palace, once I figured out—after many months of not figuring it out—that I wanted this to be in the first person. Then I really got a handle on his voice and style, and could see and write the world from his POV. The hardest character might have been JT Toussaint, the burly quarryman who was the victim’s childhood friend; I wanted him to be roughhewn and working class, without being a stereotype of those things.


TQThe Last Policeman is set 6 months prior to asteroid 2011GV1 (Maia) smashing into earth in an extinction level event. While you give glimpses into what is going on worldwide, you chose to set the novel in small-ish town New Hampshire. Why did you choose to set the novel primarily in New Hampshire rather than a large metropolitan area?

Ben:  The fancy-author reason is that my narrative conceit required a small-but-not-too-small setting, so I could show how the impending doom affects an “average American city”, its economy and sociology. Plus I wanted this to be neither a big-city crime novel nor a small-town sheriff kind of crime novel.

The real reason is that my brother lives in Concord and this gave me an excuse to see him a bunch of times.


TQ:  Which character in The Last Policeman has surprised you the most?

Ben:  Probably Nico Palace, Hank’s sister. She kept evolving as I was writing, becoming less and less of a zany-screwup type and more and more of a complex human being.


TQ:  Without giving anything away what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the novel?

Ben:  I love the two scenes featuring the Coffee Doctor, a completely ancillary character. Just as Detective Palace is determined to stay on the job until the end, solving crimes, the Coffee Doctor is determined to run his espresso kiosk in Harvard Square until doomsday. If there was any way to write a spinoff of this novel, where people just come in and the Coffee Doctor offers them sage-but-eccentric advice, I would totally do it.


TQ:  What's next?

Ben:  Right now I’m working on two things—the first sequel to The Last Policeman, as-yet-unnamed, and a book of scary poems for kids, called Literally Disturbed. Both of these things are due out in summer 2013, so I better get back to work on them.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ben:  My pleasure. Thanks so much for your questions!



The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman
Quirk Books, July 10, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die? Detective Hank Palace has asked this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. Several kilometers wide, it’s on a collision course with planet Earth, with just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. Industry is grinding to a halt. Most people have abandoned their jobs. But not Hank Palace. As our story opens, he’s investigating the latest suicide in a city that’s full of suicides—only this one feels wrong. This one feels like homicide. And Palace is the only one who cares. What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die?

The Last Policeman offers a story we’ve never read before: A police procedural set on the brink of an apocalypse. What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?







About Ben

Ben H. Winters is the author of five novels, including the New York Times bestseller Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and the middle-grade novel The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, an Edgar Award nominee and a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2011. Winters’ other books include the science-fiction Tolstoy parody Android Karenina, the Finkleman sequel The Mystery of the Missing Everything, and the supernatural thriller Bedbugs.

Winters also wrote the book and lyrics for three musicals for young audiences: The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, A (Tooth) Fairy Tale, and Uncle Pirate, based on the award-winning children’s book by Douglas Rees.

Ben’s new novel, The Last Policeman, is forthcoming from Quirk Books in July of 2012; he is at work on a book of scary poems for kids, to be published by Price Stern Sloan in spring, 2013.




Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012

Please welcome K.E. Mills to The Qwillery. Wizard Undercover, the 4th novel in K.E.'s Rogue Agent series, was published on May 1, 2012.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

K.E.:  Unless panic stations demand otherwise, I write in a windowless room with one small lamp and low soundtrack music playing. I need to be in a kind of sensory deprivation cocoon, or else I go nuts with distractions.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

K.E.:  Both. The intricacy of the pre-plotting is dictated by the complexity of the story. So for the current project I've got maps, visual references, paintings, photos -- and a fairly comprehensive idea of the main events of bk 1. But I also need to leave lots of blank space so I've got somewhere to play during the journey from idea to execution. Otherwise my brain doesn't start firing. For me, the discovery as you write is the most exciting part of the process. If I over-plot ahead of the writing process, I kill the spark.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

K.E.:  Completing that first draft, getting the story out of my head and onto paper. It's daunting, exhausting, terrifying. Switching off the critical voices in my head so I can just write ... that's hard. Also, living life while writing is hard. Having to do all the day to day stuff gets in the way of the inner journey. It's a constant juggling act, and that gets me frustrated a lot of the time. I tend to work best when I can immerse myself for hours on end - but then other stuff gets neglected (like my health, and paying the bills, oops) so sometimes I get a little crazy. But you have to be crazy to do this in the first place, I think! *g*

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Rogue Agent series?

K.E.:  Honestly, I don't know. All I can tell you is that one day a few years ago I sat up in bed out of a sound sleep and said to the dog, I have to write a story about a wizard named Gerald and his best friend, Reg, who's a witch who got turned into a bird. Seriously. And the ball started rolling from there.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the series?

K.E.:  My research is always ongoing, no matter what I'm writing. In general, I read up and watch dvds on the late Victorian/Early Edwardian period in Britain, which is the 'real world' inspiration for the culture/society of the Rogue Agent series. Then if I need to, I do specific research - about airships, for example, which feature in Witches Inc.

TQ:  Describe Wizard Undercover (Rogue Agent 4) in 140 characters or less.

K.E.:  Gerald must prevent the sabotage of an important international marriage. To succeed, he goes undercover with Bibbie as Melissande's attendants - and mayhem ensues.

TQ:  Tell us something about Wizard Undercover that is not in the book description.

K.E.:  Monk and Reg get to spend some quality time together - which threatens to turn Monk grey before his time.

TQ:  In Wizard Undercover, who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

K.E.:  Honestly? This time around every single character was a gift to play with. But, as usual, it's Reg who leaps out of me with the greatest ease. She's the most fun ever, I just sit back and take dictation when she's on stage.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Wizard Undercover?

K.E.:  All of the scenes between Monk and Reg - especially the one where she's questioning his mission-planning abilities. And all of the scenes between Sir Alec and Dalby. I love the relationship between those two.

TQ:  Which character from the four Rogue Agent novels has surprised you the most?

K.E.:  Emmerabiblia. There are some twists with her character in this book that I wasn't expecting. But as the story unfolded, they become inevitable, really. I think she's going to be even more fun to play with in the future.

TQ:  You also write the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series (as Karen Miller). Are there any themes that you explore in both the Rogue Agent series and the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series? How are the series different?

K.E.:  Well, to take the last question first -- while at the end of the day I always write drama, the Rogue Agent series definitely has a seam of lightness running through it that you won't find in the epic historical fantasies I write as Karen Miller. And that's purely a function of the characters -- their dynamics, their relationships, just lend themselves to what I call situational humour. It's not comedy, where the purpose of the characters is to drive the humour. In this case, the humour arises out of the characters and the situations in which they find themselves. I think it also makes a difference that this is a series - you can build in long-running jokes and references into a series that adds to the humour, which is a part of life.

But even though the Rogue Agent series has humour threaded through it, and my work as Karen Miller tends to be more serious -- the Mage quartet, the Godspeaker trilogy, even the work I've done in the Star Wars and Stargate worlds -- as I say, at the end of the day I write drama. And for me, one of the enduring themes of interest you can explore in fantasy is the use and abuse of power - be it personal or political. How that manifests itself depends on the individual story, but it's an over-riding theme in all my work. Another theme would be the challenge of living honourably in a world that rewards dishonour. Friendship, and what a difference it can make. I think these themes run through everything I write, no matter which name I'm using.

TQ:  What's next?

K.E.:  Next is a new epic fantasy series called The Tarnished Crown. It's the biggest, most frightening thing I've ever attempted. Huge canvas, lots of characters, high stakes, and pirates. I'm writing the first book now, and it releases next year. And then there's the next adventure in the Rogue Agent series, also out next year. That one's got a basic plot organised, and I'm really looking forward to it. There are some big things ahead for our friend Gerald!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K.E.:  Thank you so much for asking me! It's been great.



About Rogue Agent

Wizard Undercover
Rogue Agent 4
Orbit, May 1, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012
There may be trouble ahead ...

Wedding bells are ringing for the constantly battling nations of Splotze and Borovnik, and the upcoming royal nuptials could at last put an end to their dangerous hostilities. But in a development that hardly bodes well, one of Gerald's fellow janitors goes missing - after delivering a dire warning of danger surrounding the marriage treaty. So Gerald must embark on a dangerous mission to uncover the troublemakers, before wedded bliss becomes international war.

But going undercover isn't as easy as it looks, even with Melissande and Emmerabiblia for camouflage. Soon Gerald finds himself fighting for his life as well as world peace.


Wizard Squared
Rogue Agent 3
Orbit, July 1, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 560 pages

Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012
When the staff of Witches Incorporated receive a visitor from an alternate reality, they are shocked to learn that life in the parallel world next door is anything but a bed of roses ... and it's all because of Gerald Dunwoody.

At a crucial moment in time, their Gerald turned left ... but the alternate reality Gerald turned right. Now the parallel world next door is in the grip of terror, staring down the barrel of a thaumaturgical war -- a war that threatens to spill across the dimensions and plunge every reality into a nightmare.

The only person who can stop a rogue wizard gone mad is another rogue wizard. But what do you do when another rogue wizard can't be found?


Witches Incorporated
Rogue Agent 2
Orbit, July 1, 2009
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 576 pages

Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012
It's a case of espionage, skullduggery and serious unpleasantness

And it's also Gerald's first official government assignment. He's hunting down a deadly saboteur, and time is quickly running out. Old enemies and new combine forces to thwart him. Once again, innocent lives are on the line. He needs his friends. He can't do this alone.

But Princess Melissande and Reg have troubles of their own. With the help of Monk Markham's brilliant, beautiful sister, they've opened a one-stop-shop witching locum agency, where magical problems are solved for a price. Problem is, the girls are struggling to keep the business afloat. Things are looking grim for Witches Incorporated - and that's before they accidentally cross paths with Gerald's saboteur.

Suddenly everybody's lives are on the line and Gerald realizes, too late, that there's a reason government agents aren't supposed to have friends ...


The Accidental Sorcerer
Rogue Agent 1
Orbit, January 1. 2009
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 560 pages

Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012
Gerald Dunwoody is a wizard. Just not a particularly good one. He's blown up a factory, lost his job, and there's a chance that he's not really a Third Grade wizard after all. So it's off to New Ottosland to be the new Court Wizard for King Lional.

It's a shame that King Lional isn't the vain, self-centered young man he appeared to be. With a Princess in danger, a talking bird who can't stay out of trouble, and a kingdom to save, Gerald soon suspects that he might be out of his depth. And if he can't keep this job, how will he ever become the wizard he was destined to be...


Some Books by Karen Miller

Kingmaker, Kingbreaker
Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012


Godspeaker
Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012


Fisherman's Children
Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012




About K.E. Mills

Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012
Karen Miller was born in Vancouver, Canada, and raised in Australia where she lives today. Before she realised her dream of becoming a professional writer, she studied for and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) degree and a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature, and worked in a wide variety of jobs, including: horse groom, college lecturer, PR officer in local government, publishing assistant, and owned a specialist science fiction, fantasy and mystery book shop. She has been writing professionally since 2005, and since the publication of her first fantasy novel ‘The Innocent Mage’ has written 17 novels. They cover epic historical fantasy, media tie-in work for Star Wars and Stargate SG-1, and the Rogue Agent fantasy series under her pen name K E Mills. Her work has been shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr award and the Aurealis Award. When she’s not busy at the computer, Karen enjoys acting and directing at her local theatre company.

www.karenmiller.net
karenmiller.livejournal.com



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win his/her choice of one of the Rogue Agent novels - The Accidental Sorcerer, Witches Incorporated, Wizard Squared, or Wizard Undercover - from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who is/are your favorite wizard(s), witch(es) OR socerer(s)? 
You can list one or many!

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Ted Kosmatka - March 11, 2012

Please welcome Ted Kosmatka to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Games, Ted's debut novel, will be published on March 13, 2012 by Del Rey.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Ted:  I tend to get very caught up in the rhythms of the sentences and the specific structural composition of the story, not just as scaffolding for the conveyance of ideas but also, to some extent, as a physical image on the page. At least for short stories, I’m always trying for a certain aesthetic balance, and if I lay the pages out on the floor end to end, I can get a sense of the shape of what I’ve written. It’s not until that moment that I can understand the story as a whole, rather than as a series of discreet scenes that may or may not gel into a single rhythmic piece. It’ all madness, of course, and I have no idea to what extent it actually serves the writing, but walking the story on the floor is sort of this ritual thing I do, so that’s certainly a quirk of mine. I also tend to revise and revise and revise; and the end product is always shorter than what I started with as a first draft. It’s a horrifying moment to realize that you’ve made progress on a story by cutting out two thousand words.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Ted:  I can’t get enough of Will McIntosh’s writing right now, and I’m always first in line to read China Mieville’s latest. I think Jack Skillingstead has been producing great stuff for years, as has J. A. Pitts, Eric James Stone, and Camille Alexa. I recently started reading George R.R., just to see what all the hype was about, and now I wonder where he’s been all my life. His writing just sings. There’s a newer writer Kelly Swails who has written stories I really liked a lot. I wish I wrote as well as Daryl Gregory. People who like my stuff should go read him instead. Rachel Swirsky has had another great year in short fiction. It’s also nice to see David W. Goldman getting recognition. Two excellent writers I’d love to see more from are Joy Marchand and Lon Prater. One of my favorite short story writers is Michael Poore, and his first novel UP JUMPS THE DEVIL is coming out in a few months. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy, and it’s amazing.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Ted:  I’m a combo platter. I pant the beginnings, just to see if anything interesting develops. If the beginning is good, I’ll then panic and realize that I have to actually turn it into a story somehow, and then the logical, plotting side of my brain kicks in and starts putting up walls and support pillars, trying to actually build something useful out of what I’ve already laid down. I couldn’t imagine pantsing an entire story.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Ted:  That has changed over the years. It used to be not having enough time to write because of my job--having to work swing-shift and double shifts. Always being sleep deprived. Years ago, there was even a time when the lack of a working computer put a serious cramp my progress. Now my biggest challenge is probably still time management, but I no longer have a seventy-hour work week that gets in the way. My work hours at my day job are now very reasonable. Instead, the main competitor for time is the two pre-school age children at home who miss me during the day and want me to spend time with them in the evening. It is still all very much a juggling act. In regard to challenges more specific to the writing itself, I will admit that I’ve come to accept that there are certain aspects of writing that I’m just not good at, and will never be good at. I’m no grammar ninja, for example. It’s embarrassing to admit. It’s like being a physicist who was a C student in math. The details and terminology of high-level grammar just won’t stick in my brain. What’s a gerund, you ask? Or a dangling participle? I have no idea. I’m actually kind of impressed that I remembered those terms, if only to identify them as a grammar words I can’t remember the meaning of. I have to keep reading The Elements of Style every six months, and still I tend to ignore it, or forget it, and allow my own personal grammar to shape the stories, sacrificing everything for a line that sounds right to my ear. I pity my editors.

TQ:  You are also a writer in the video game industry. How is writing a novel similar (or not) to writing for video games?

Ted:  They’re totally different. The kind of writing that writers do at video game companies is extremely varied, but almost none of it is in the same wheel-house as novel writing. It pulls from different source in your head. Game writing involves a lot of idea generation, and meetings, and collaboration. There is a lot of writing that doesn’t end up in an actual game. And nothing is done in isolation. There is a team of smart people who have your back on everything you do, and most of the time they’re coming up with better ideas than you could think of by yourself anyway. But with novel writing, it is totally different. It’s just you and the blank page, and it’s all about the disgorgement of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of words that somehow get laid down in a way that doesn’t repel a reader. With a novel, you’re on your own, and the medium you’re working with is intrinsically, by its nature, boring as hell. It’s just letters and marks on a white background, after all. Somehow the writer has to make the reader want to sit there and stare at that for hours on end. It’s an almost insurmountable obstacle, and every time it happens, and the reader keeps reading, it is a little miracle, I think.

TQ:  Describe The Games in 140 characters or less.

Ted:  My elevator pitch you mean? Here goes: "In the future, genetic engineering becomes an Olympic event, and the decision to trust a rogue AI has disastrous consequences." I think that’s less than 140 characters.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Games?

I’d written lots of short stories where the ideas were based around these little twists in science that allowed me to explore one idea very deeply. But when I thought of the premise for The Games, I knew that this was different. It was a bigger idea that I could take my time in exploring. I wanted to look at the idea of bloodsport from several different angles and explore ways in which science and sport might intertwine. Also, I’m very interested in the concept of artificial intelligence. I’ve been reading for years about future AI’s that seem now to be inevitable. But a part of me wonders if it isn’t more interesting to ask, once we’ve created them, what might they create?

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Games?

Ted:  Like most writers’ first novels, I think my whole life was research for this book. Every class I ever took in school. Every interest I had as a child. I studied biology in college and spent a lot of my free time reading about genetics. So all of that went into the book. I even bred mice for a while as a kid as way to sort of dip my toe into the idea that one can do more than study genetics as a system; one can be a practitioner of it. All of that worldview found its way into the book.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Ted:  The easiest character to write was Evan, for some reason. I think he represents that selfish facet that I imagine exists within the mind of anyone who cares deeply about some intellectual pursuit—the part that wants to allow yourself to become obsessed with your interests to the exclusion of all the other aspects of your personality that make you human. The hardest character to write was Ben. He was funny and witty; and those funny, witty characters are hard to write unless you happen to be one yourself, and I’m not. (though that doesn’t stop me from trying to be; my lame jokes are legend in my family)

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Games?

Ted:  There was a scene that I wrote very late in the process of editing—and I mean very late—after the book had already been accepted, and I was doing a final clean-up of the manuscript, where I suddenly understood something about Baskov that illuminated his entire character and motivation for me. It struck me like a bolt, and it was suddenly there, and it came out in a really short exchange between him and another character. Just a few sentences. But those sentences explain everything to me about Baskov. So that is one of my favorite scenes. And then, of course, there are the fight scenes. Some film directors are in love with big explosions, but I’m in love with creatures fighting. Huge, unnatural beasts smashing together in impossible violence. The bigger the better. The bloodier, the better. I just love action scenes set against a scientific backdrop.

TQ:  What's next?

Ted:  I’m working hard on video games. I'm also almost done with a new novel called, for now, The Prophet of Bones. It’s an alternate history where science has proven that the Earth is only 5,000 years old.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ted:  Thanks for having me. I appreciate you taking the interest in my work.


The Games

The Games
Del Rey, March 13, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.

Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.

Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and—most disquietingly—intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.






About Ted

Ted's work has been reprinted in eight Year's Best anthologies, translated into a dozen languages, and been performed on stage in Indiana and New York. He's been nominated for both the Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and is co-winner of the 2010 Asimov's Readers' Choice Award. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest, not far from the water.

Website

Interview with Adam Christopher and Giveaway - February 11, 2012

Please welcome Adam Christopher to The Qwillery as part of the 2011/2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Adam's debut, Empire State, was published on December 27, 2011 (US/Canada) and January 5, 2012 (UK/RoW).


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Adam:  Y'know, I'd love to say I get up at 3am, pour a shot of single malt, and write on yellow legal pad in red pen until the cat needs to be fed at 9am... but I suspect I'm the most unquirky writer around. I write to a routine, a couple of hours in the morning, a couple of hours in the evening. I write my drafts in Scrivener on my Macbook Air downstairs in the library, then I do the edits and rewrites upstairs at my desk in the office. I drink lots of tea. The cat is usually on hand to provide moral support by sleeping next to me/on my lap as I type.

I think I need to invent a quirk. Does writing in a superman bathrobe count? Because I totally do that. Hey, it's comfortable, and when you work at home you can wear your pyjamas all day if you want.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Adam:  Stephen King, Lauren Beukes, Robert McCammon, Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Erin Morgenstern, Diana Rowland, Kurt Busiek, Gail Simone, Dan Abnett, Paul Cornell - actually I'm influenced probably in equal parts by prose and comic writers, and of course many write in both forms. I certainly split my reading between them.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Adam:  Sort of half-half, I think! I think outlines are very important, although I tend not to write ones that are very detailed because when I start the actual writing, characters tend to take on a life of their own and do their own thing. Often, this isn't quite what I had in mind during the planning, so for me there is no point spending a lot of time writing a very detailed outline when I'm going to go off tangent anyway. Non-writers tend to think it's a little weird - how can a character do their own thing? You're the writer! - but when that happens, you (as a writer) know things are working well!

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Adam:  Ha, sitting down and writing! Again, that's the same thing for lots of writers I think - it's very hard work. When it goes well, it's a dream. When it doesn't, it's like getting blood out of a stone. But that's the way it always will be, I know that! But there's no better feeling in the world than the satisfaction that comes from a good day's work.

TQ:  Describe Empire State in 140 characters or less.

Adam:  Rescued from masked agents by a dead superhero, PI Rad Bradley is called to find a missing person, but finds an alternate universe.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Empire State?

Adam:  I had several different ideas - I'm a fan of period science fiction, and wanted to write something set in the 1930s. I'm a fan of American superhero comics, and am fascinated by their weird and wonderful Golden Age of the late 1930s. Then around 2009 I discovered Raymond Chandler while on a long-haul flight from the UK to the US. Long-haul flights are, well, long, and things can get a little weird. I remember being blown away by Chandler's prose and after maybe a few too many free champagnes I remember thinking how great it would have been if Chandler had written science fiction too.

That was the seed, I think. I already had a character knocking around, this tough pulp PI called Rad Bradley - slightly down on his luck, slightly gone to seed and perhaps he's only just realising this. He was ready-made for the story; I think I even made some notes about the book on that flight! "Raymond Chandler meets the Rocketeer in Gotham City" was perhaps a little wordy for an elevator pitch, but that was what I was aiming for. A fun pulp adventure combining all that period detail - detective fiction, Golden Age comic books, with a dash of Art Deco and Prohibition. Oh, and a load of parallel universe weirdness!

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Empire State?

Adam:  I've always had an interest in Prohibition and the 1920s and 1930s, but for Empire State I did a fair amount of digging into Prohibition particularly in New York. It's a fascinating and bizarre period of history, and really it's amazing Prohibition even went ahead. I also had to educate myself a little on New York geography, although setting the book as I did in an alternate universe I was able to quite deliberately fudge details (the differences between the real Manhattan and the Empire State are part of the story). New York is about my favourite place in the whole world - a feeling helped, I think, by writing a book about an alternate version of it!

One of the aspects of the book that plays a major part in the plot was actually an accidental discovery made while researching. I was looking for a historical figure to use in the alternate universe, and - without wanting to go into any spoilers here - I actually found one who really did go missing in the early 1930s. I could hardly believe my luck... and so the course of the novel was changed, based on this stroke of serendipity.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Adam:  Rad and Captain Carson were both very easy to write - Rad because he was doing his best to work out what was going on, and I basically just had to follow him around the story. It's a wonderful thing when characters take on a life of their own. Carson was another who wrote his own story, but in a different way to Rad. Carson was a lot of fun, being an odd eccentric old man who perhaps likes the sound of his own voice. He pulled a few tricks on me too, including one in particular that was quite a surprise, even for me!

I'm not sure any character was particularly difficult to write. Both the Pastor of Lost Souls and the Chairman of the City Commissioners were tricky to balance within their own story threads - and they actually needed to follow my outline perhaps more than Rad or Carson anyway - which didn't make them hard to write, but certainly they required a different approach.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Empire State?

Adam:  I love everything set in Carson's house - it's very weird and somehow disconnected from the rest of the city (at least that's what Rad thinks), and Carson is such a hoot. But my favourite scene in particular is Rad's unexpected trip that happens at the end of Chapter 28!

TQ:  What's next?

Adam:  My second novel, a spandex-clad superhero epic called SEVEN WONDERS, is out from Angry Robot in September 2012. Aside from that, I've got a number of projects on the go - more information on those when I have them!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Adam:  My pleasure!


Read Adam's Guest Blog - In Blackest Night: blending science fiction and noir - here.



About Empire State

Empire State
Angry Robot Books, December 27, 2011 (US/Canada); January 5, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Trade Paperback, 416 pages

Interview with Adam Christopher and Giveaway - February 11, 2012
It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State - a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New York.

When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened, and both must fight for the right to exist.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Pocket Universe | Heroes or Villains | Speak Easy | Loyalties Divided ]


About Adam Christopher

Interview with Adam Christopher and Giveaway - February 11, 2012
ADAM CHRISTOPHER was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and grew up watching Pertwee-era Doctor Who and listening to The Beatles, which isn’t a bad start for a child of the Eighties. In 2006, Adam moved to the sunny North West of England, where he now lives in domestic bliss with his wife and cat in a house next to a canal, although he has yet to take up any fishing-related activities.

When not writing Adam can be found drinking tea and obsessing over DC Comics, Stephen King, and The Cure. His first novel, EMPIRE STATE, is out from Angry Robot books in January 2012. For more information, please visit angryrobotbooks.com.

Adam can be found online at adamchristopher.co.uk and on Twitter as @ghostfinder.


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Empire State from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who or what are your favorite superhero(es) or supervillain(s)?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, February 18, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011

Please welcome Dani Harper to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Dani's debut novel, Changeling Moon (Changeling 1), was published in May 2011 by Kensington Brava. Changeling Dream (Changeling 2) was published in June and Changeling Dawn (Changeling 3) was published yesterday, December 27, 2011.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Dani:  I talk to myself. A lot. And I often don’t realize I’m doing it. I don’t know how interesting it is – my husband thinks it’s amusing, and strangers just give me odd looks.

Also, I must have peace, quiet, no distractions and nothing on my household to-do list in order to write. Bahahahahahahaha - snort! Okay, I just THINK I need that, as I’m struggling to get focused. Once I’m in the zone, however, Martians could land in the front yard and I wouldn’t notice a thing.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Dani:  I’m a big fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. Kevin Hearne writes the amazing Iron Druid Chronicles and I love Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Patricia Briggs’ shapeshifter stories rock and I will stop everything to read Karen Chance.

Of all writers, I probably admire Stephen King the most. King’s ability to get inside his characters’ heads – and take you with him – is simply stunning. By the end of the story, you’re half certain everything happened to YOU.

TQ:  Tell us about your Changeling series? Are your shifters a new breed?

Dani:  My main characters are werewolves, but don’t call them that. They prefer the term Changelings, and they live right here among us. Your boss could be a Changeling. So could the gal that does your pedicure. The coach of your company baseball team or even the cop that gives you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt again could have furry tendencies. Your BFF could run on four feet at night and you wouldn’t know. Changelings hide in plain sight and live very human lives most of the time.

Love, however, complicates their lives wildly.

My Changeling series revolves around the Macleod family of shapeshifters. Each book focuses on one of the siblings - four brothers and two sisters. However, characters from earlier books are never gone completely and pop up to support (or annoy) members of the family and the Pack.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Changeling series?

Dani:  As far as I’ve been able to figure out, my new Changeling series was probably inspired by REAL wolves! One bright sunny morning when I lived on my little farm in northern Canada, I was stunned to see a pack of wolves – about 7 or 8 – lope leisurely across the yard not far from the house. They were amazingly beautiful creatures, but what struck me most was the feeling I had that they were happy together. It remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

However, I really didn’t sit down and plan the Changeling series. I started writing a story one day and the entire Macleod family turned up in my head. What a noisy, demanding bunch they were too! And then they all turned into wolves. I told them not to, but my characters never listen.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Changeling series?

Dani:  I’m always, always, always doing research as I write. I’m a closet geek to start with because I love science and history, and my newspaper background makes me a fanatic for details and facts. What I write about Changelings may be fiction, but I want every word I write about real wolves to be absolutely true.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Dani:  Both. I start as a plotter, then the characters run off in a completely different direction and I’m left to try and catch up. No matter how much I try to plan, my characters have their own notions of how the story is supposed to go. We argue a lot.

TQ:  In the first 2 books, Changeling Moon and Changeling Dream, who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Dani:  Birkie Peterson is probably my favorite character to write, in the sense that she steps right up and says what’s on her mind, and it’s always just the right thing. I love that about her.

The hardest character to write? Any of them when they’re not talking to me!!! Sometimes I have a scene I need to get done and the characters are conspicuously absent. I don’t know where they go or what they’re doing – hang gliding, playing video games, scarfing down fries at Mickey D’s or what. All I know is that I can threaten, coax, yell, cry and beg but until my characters are good and ready to talk, I get nothing. That’s usually when I go write a blog or an article instead, sort of a writing-while-I’m-waiting-to-write kind of thing.

TQ:  Describe Changeling Dawn (Changeling 3) in 140 characters or less.

Dani:  Never judge a man by his species. Love, danger and archeology combine as human Josh and werewolf Kenzie work to rescue a shapeshifter child.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is your favorite scene in Changeling Dawn?

Dani:  I have a lot of favorite scenes in that book – like when the hero, Josh Talarkoteen, blackmails Kenzie Macleod into a date. And later in the book, when Birkie Peterson finally takes off the gloves, it’s a heckuva surprise and very satisfying.

TQ:  Which character in the series has surprised you the most?

Dani:  I get LOTS of surprises from my characters – they always have their own ideas about where the story should go. There are things in Changeling Moon that still surprise me, and I may never recover from one of the revelations in Changeling Dream.

The character who consistently surprises me is Culley Macleod. I never know what he’s going to do or say, and I never, ever, know when he’s going to show up. Or not. He’s like a wild card – or a bad penny.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.


About the Changeling series

Changeling Dawn
Changeling 3
Kensington Brave (December 27, 2011)
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
Run

Shadow and moonlight merge beneath her bare feet, the forest floor blurring as she flees the dogs and torches. Werewolf, monster—those are the names given her kind by the humans who hate them.

Hunt

Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding what she is, and she’s not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen. But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska.

Mate

An isolated archeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a shadowy research facility—as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own…


Changeling Dream
Changeling 2
Kensington Brave (June 28, 2011)
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It’s almost as if he’s alive…

Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs. With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.


Changeling Moon
Changeling 1
Kensington Brave (May 31, 2011)
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything—until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf's vicious attack.

As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside. With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw. . .and ultimate evil.


About Dani

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
Dani Harper is a newspaper editor turned paranormal author. There isn’t anything she likes better than exploring the supernatural — unless it’s writing sizzling and suspenseful romance. Of course, all of her stories have at least one foot in the netherworld.

A Canadian who spent many years in northern Alberta, Dani now lives on an island in Alaska! She and her husband operate a commercial fishing boat and her stories are written on land or at sea, with the help of her executive secretary, Fiona the Pug.

Dani currently has a hot new shapeshifter series from Kensington Brava. CHANGELING MOON and CHANGELING DREAM are available now in trade paperback and ebook. Her latest novel, CHANGELING DAWN, was just released yesterday, December 27th.


Dani's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Dani’s new release, Changeling Dawn, plus a Dani Harper tote bag from Dani!  US and Canadian Mailing Addresses Only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question posed by Dani:

Who is your favorite shapeshifter character from a book, movie or TV series? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, January 15, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Sabrina Benulis - December 20, 2011

Please welcome Sabrina Benulis to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Archon (The Books of Raziel 1), Sabrina's debut novel, will be published on December 27, 2011.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Sabrina:  My most interesting writing quirk is that I'm developing the bad habit of needing to be in my pajamas when I sit down at the computer. The weather also affects my writing. When it is sunny, I tend to be more enthusiastic, and, well . . . cheerful!

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Sabrina:  Some of my favorite writers include Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn), Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. I also love the classics The Lord of the Flies, Wuthering Heights, and anything by Edgar Allen Poe. H.P. Lovecraft has also influenced any creepiness in my stories. Besides books, a lot of inspiration comes to me from movies, and also from Japanese anime and manga which is a personal hobby of mine.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Sabrina:  I'm a mix of plotter and pantser. I need to know the overall framework of the plot, and most especially the end or goal I am working toward, but I find that the small details tend to develop best spur of the moment. In that sense, my subconscious tends to do a lot of the work.

TQ:   Describe Archon.

SabrinaArchon is the first installment of a trilogy called The Books of Raziel, a gothic paranormal fantasy series centering around the existence of a dark messiah known only in higher occult circles as the Archon. This person is suspected to be the reincarnation of a vengeful angel who created an artifact that could determine the ultimate victor in Heaven and Hell's eternal battle. The story begins in Luz, the Vatican-owned island city of a future where people with red hair are suspected to be this dark messiah. My protagonist Angela Mathers has suffered for her red hair all of her life, and arrives in Luz to begin a new life after the untimely death of her family. Little does she know, she is about to enter a world of dangerous intrigues and shifting alliances, where even angels are not quite what she has been led to believe.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Archon?

Sabrina:  I first began Archon six years ago in college, merely writing for the love of it. I always wanted to write a story about angels, but I knew it was going to be drastically different than anything that had been done before. Once I thought of my characters and fell in love with them, the story continued to evolve into its present form.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Archon?

Sabrina:  I have always loved reading about mythology and different religions of the world, so much of that was in the back of my head when I wrote the book. I did, however, do a lot of reading on angels in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and then created my own world from that and ran with it.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Sabrina:  The easiest character to write was Troy. She sprang fully formed into my head from the first instant. Unfortunately, you only get a small glimpse of her in the first novel. Her role increases drastically as the story continues. Angela--the main character--was the hardest at first. It took me a while to really get into her head and figure out just what made her tick. She is a very reserved person, guarded, and admittedly damaged. Perhaps it is very similar to getting to know such a person in real life. They make you work for it.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Archon?

Sabrina:  I love the scene where Angela and Troy finally meet. There, the terrible beauty that is the supernatural is in full display. Archon is not a book the glorifies the supernatural as much as it reminds us just what makes angels and demons so alien, powerful, and perhaps dangerous to humans in the first place.

TQ:   How many books are planned for The Books of Raziel series?

Sabrina:   Two more books are planned in the series. The story should be complete by book number three, but I suppose prequels and separate sequels are always a possibility. I like tightly contained stories where most of the sub-plots are resolved by the last book.

TQ:  What's next?

Sabrina:  I have just finished the first draft of Book 2, and I am very excited about where the story is going. The Books of Raziel are like nothing you will have read. Archon is a very gothic, dark novel, but the progression toward the light is becoming an amazing journey. I can promise you'll have no idea what will happen next.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sabrina:   Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure!


About Archon

Archon
The Books of Raziel 1
Harper Voyager, December 27, 2011
Hardcover, 400 pages

Interview with Sabrina Benulis - December 20, 2011
Angels and demons do battle for a girl possessed by the spirit of a powerful, dead angel in this fabulous paranormal debut by Sabrina Benulis. Archon is the first of the Books of Raziel, a truly fantastic and very hip new take on heaven’s warriors that readers of the angelic novels of Danielle Trussoni, Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Alexandra Adornetto are sure to adore. Archon is new wave urban fantasy, a tale of the supernatural that brilliantly blends passion, obsession, horror, and suspense in a way that will appeal to dark fantasy fans and paranormal romance readers equally. Sabrina Benulis’s angels are creepy, sexy, and totally awesome—and, like Anne Rice’s amoral, ambiguous, and addicting vampires, they will seduce and terrify you at the same time.


About Sabrina

Interview with Sabrina Benulis - December 20, 2011
Sabrina Benulis lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, a scruffy cockatiel, and a yard full of adorable wild birds. Peacocks from a nearby farm have also made an appearance. Sabrina loves fantasy that makes you think and challenges the norm. Unable to visit the worlds she imagines, she often resorts to letting her typing fingers do the dreaming for her.

Sabrina's Links

Website
Blog
Facebook

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011

Please welcome Amanda Bonilla to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Amanda's debt, Shaedes of Gray, was published on December 6, 2011 by Signet Eclipse.


Amanda:  Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be a guest on The Qwillery today!

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Amanda:  This is going to be disappointing, because I don’t really have any writing quirks. I’m a little boring. I prefer quiet, and no distractions. I’ve been known to keep a Coke Zero close by and sometimes I like to sprawl out on my couch when I write. That’s about as quirky as I get. ;)

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Amanda:  I could probably generate a mile-long list of my favorite writers. I’d say my most favorite authors are Bernard Cornwell, Anne Rice, and J.R. Ward just to name a few. Honestly, I think I’d have to say that Bernard Cornwell has influenced my writing the most which is strange since he writes historical fiction. He writes the most wonderful protagonists, multi-dimensional and honorable. Men who do what has to be done, no matter what. He has a way of weaving ancient religion into his stories that gives them a mystical quality. And his battle scenes are epic.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Amanda:  I’m a little of both. I used to be a strict pantser. But now that I have outlines that need to be turned in before I write the book, I’ve become more of a plotter. I don’t do much in the plotting department. I usually use a few words to describe each chapter on a sticky note and put it up on my wall. That way I still have room to write from the hip.

TQ:  Describe Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) in 140 characters or less.

Amanda:  Okay, this is hard! My short game isn’t great. I think I went over by a few characters. Here goes: Darian, Shaede & assassin must face the ghosts of her past & reality of her future while navigating a supernatural world she never knew existed.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  I was sort of thinking about guilt, actually. The decisions people make to protect the people they love and the consequences of those actions. Sometimes you make a bad choice for the right reason and it becomes a muddled gray area between right and wrong. When Darian first popped into my head, she was standing on the roof of a building in the middle of the night, considering the moral gray area that she’d slipped into.

TQ:   What sort of research did you do for Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  Most of my research involved the supernatural. I couldn’t find a specific legend or story that meshed with my vision of my characters and so I decided to start from scratch and create my own mythos while still keeping with some of the legends and traditional characters out there. My Shaedes and Lyhtans are my own creation. And I didn’t like any of the Jinn mythology either, so I wrote my own. But I also have Oracles, Fae, Sylphs, and other creatures that are pretty standard. Aside from my creatures, I did a lot of research on swords, daggers, guns, weaponry and combat. You know, the fun stuff.

TQ:  Why did you set the series in Seattle?

Amanda:  Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to keep with locations that I was familiar with. I’ve visited Seattle and the city has a certain energy that struck a chord with me. It’s big enough for a supernatural creature to hide out undetected. It’s a beautiful city with plenty of hustle and bustle. Seattle has a rich history. I’ve spent hours looking at old pictures of the city, reading articles. It’s fascinating.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Amanda:  Darian was by far the easiest character for me to write. She’s got this jaded outlook and sarcastic attitude that comes out in me more often than I’d like to admit. She’s also very introverted, like me, and doesn’t particularly like to share her feelings. I think the hardest character for me to write is Tyler. That man is a mystery to me. More times than not I have to have a “talk” with him and ask, Okay, buddy. What do you WANT? He’s open about how he feels, he’s protective to the nth degree, and he’s so damn patient! He drives me crazy.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  I think my favorite scene in the book is the first time Darian ever sees a Lyhtan. And I owe that to my agent, Natanya Wheeler. When we were working on revisions she asked me, “What does a Lyhtan eat?” And when Darian stumbles upon the Lyhtan…let’s just say he’s enjoying his meal.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Shaede Assassin series?

Amanda:  So far, I’m contracted for three books and a novella that is a prequel to SHAEDES OF GRAY. But I have ideas for at least three more books in the Shaede Assassin Series, and a couple of spin-offs as well. Hopefully, I’ll get to put those ideas to paper soon!

TQ:   What's next?

Amanda:  Next up is the novella that I mentioned above. It will be available for download in June and I’m really in love with the story. Readers will get to see how Darian’s journey began and you’ll get a lot of Azriel, a character who will always be in Darian’s thoughts. The novella will also have a preview for book 2, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, which releases July 3rd, 2012.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Amanda:  Thanks again for having me!


About Shaedes of Gray

Shaedes of Gray
Shaede Assassin 1
Signet Eclipse (December 6, 2011)
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

You can read my 5 Qwill review here.

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...


About Amanda

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011
Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. When she’s not writing she’s either reading or talking about her favorite books.

Amanda's Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog









The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) from Amanda. US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What creature or being is your ideal paranormal best friend?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a USA or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, December 19, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Mazarkis Williams and Giveaway - December 9, 2011

Please welcome Mazarkis Williams to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Emperor's Knife (The Tower and Knife Trilogy 1), Mazarkis' debut novel, was published on December 6, 2011 by Night Shade Books in the US and in October 2011 by Jo Fletcher Books in the UK.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Mazarkis:  I'm starting to realize I don't enjoy the painful process of writing. Perhaps that's a strange thing, for a writer.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Mazarkis:  Almost every writer is my favorite. I've been a reading maniac since I learned how to do it. As a child I read Madeleine L'Engle, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, and many others. When I got a bit older I enjoyed E.M. Forster, Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and--really, all the books they ask you to read at university, except that it never seemed a chore; I always loved the books. As for current mainstream authors I am a fan of Kazuo Ishiguro, Gail Godwin, Khaled Hosseini, and a few others. I didn't start reading fantasy until I was much older, as I was a bit of a literary snob (I am embarrassed about that now). When mainstream fiction started to get a little bit "navel-gazy" to me, I turned to other genres.

My favorite fantasy authors are Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Carol Berg, George R. R. Martin, J.V. Jones, Scott Lynch, and Guy Gavriel Kay. In science fiction I like Gene Wolfe and C.S. Friedman.

I wouldn't be able to say who has influenced me the most out of all the authors listed. I try to make my prose as clean and shiny as Gaiman's and as rich with meaning as Wolfe's; but I don't come anywhere close.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mazarkis:  Neither, but if I have to pick one, I am more of a plotter.

TQ:  Describe The Emperor's Knife (The Tower and Knife Trilogy 1) in 140 characters or less.

Mazarkis:  TEK is about damaged people reaching deep inside themselves to find the strength, smarts, and self-forgiveness to fight an all-powerful foe.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Emperor's Knife?

Mazarkis:  A historical account of an imprisoned prince. In his case, he was completely mad by the time they let him out, and they eventually killed him. Hopefully Sarmin will be a bit luckier.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Emperor's Knife?

Mazarkis:  None, except that which I had done previously, at university. For the second book I've had to look up a number of things including how ancient sewer systems worked.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Mazarkis:  I found Eyul the easiest. He's older and carries a lot of guilt and I can relate to that. I found Mesema the hardest, as she is so strong and at the same time, innocent. It's hard to remember how that feels.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Emperor's Knife?

Mazarkis:  I love it when the two brothers get together for the first time. There is so much love there, but also pain and resentment.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Tower and Knife series?

Mazarkis:  Three. The second is Knifesworn.

TQThe Emperor's Knife is a fantasy novel, are there any other genres in which you'd like to write?

Mazarkis:  Not really. I like the broad range that fantasy allows me.

TQ:  What's next?

Mazarkis:  Well, right now both of my publishers have exciting things going on. Jo Fletcher Books is doing lots of giveaways. I would check their website www.jofletcherbooks.com or their twitter feed. Sometimes it's as easy as answering a trivia question to get a free book.

Night Shade is putting up a lot of book excerpts right now. There have a great author line-up including Courtney Shafer, Teresa Frohock, Martha Wells, and Bradley Beaulieu. People really need to go out and buy these books! They're great.

I'm very much looking forward to next year's releases, including Martha Well's Serpent Sea and Carol Berg's Daemon Prism (both in January). Crossing my fingers we'll see Scott Lynch's Republic of Thieves in 2012. I'm still just a big fan.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mazarkis:  Thank you for inviting me!


About The Emperor's Knife

The Emperor's Knife
The Tower and Knife Trilogy 1
Night Shade Books, December 6, 2011 (US)
Hardcover, 300 pages

Interview with Mazarkis Williams and Giveaway - December 9, 2011
There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon's law...but now the pattern is running over the Emperor's own arms.

His body servants have been executed, he ignores his wives, but he is doomed, for soon the pattern will reach his face. While Beyon's agents scour the land for a cure, Sarmin, the Emperor's only surviving brother, awaits his bride, Mesema, a windreader from the northern plains. Unused to the Imperial Court's stifling protocols and deadly intrigues, Mesema has no one to turn to but an ageing imperial assassin, the Emperor's Knife.

As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the invincible Pattern Master appears from the deep desert. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who saw a path in a pattern once, among the waving grasses - a path that just might save them all.


About Mazarkis

Interview with Mazarkis Williams and Giveaway - December 9, 2011
Mazarkis Williams is a writer with roots in both the US and UK, having worked in and been educated in both countries. Each year is divided between Boston and Bristol and a teleport booth is always top of the Christmas wish-list. Mazarkis has degrees in history and physics with a diverse set of interests accumulated while misspending a hectic youth. Cooking has always been a passion and in addition to feeding six children and a sizable herd of cats Mazarkis regularly caters for crowds of permanently hungry friends.

Mazarkis' Links

Blog
Facebook
Twitter


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of The Emperor's Knife (The Tower and Knife Trilogy 1) from Mazarkis Williams!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is/are your favorite Fantasy novel(s)?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, December 16, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Boone Brux and Giveaway - December 6, 2011

Please welcome Boone Brux to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Shield of Fire (Bringer and the Bane 1) will be published later this month by Entangled Publishing.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Boone:  Hmmm, just one? I have so many. I guess my personal favorite is that I use a five foot piece of plexiglass, mounted to my wall, as a plotting board. I tried to find one of those ginormous dry erase boards they use in boardrooms, but I needed to take out a second mortgage for the shipping alone. So I improvised and took a little trip to Home Depot. I love that place.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Boone:  For pleasure reading I love Janet Evanovich, Karen Marie Moning, and my new favorite is Darynda Jones. I wish they’d all write faster.

I wish I could spout eloquently about some influencial writer, but my children have been the biggest influence to my writing. I have twin girls and I started writing when they were three years old. Every Sunday morning I’d lock myself in our bedroom for four uninterrupted hours of sanity. Okay, sometimes I was shopping on Ebay, but mainly I was writing Shield of Fire. Writing became my drug of choice. I needed it to silence Dora the Explorer’s voice in my head. If I hadn’t started writing I’d probably be an alcoholic or a prescription drug abuser now. Just kidding…well kind of..actually, I’m not kidding. Don’t judge, you haven’t met my kids.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Boone:  I was a complete panster, a fly by the seat of my trousers gal. That’s why I have editors who make me do outlines and force me to look at the story threads I need to pull through the series. Otherwise the last book would be a thousand pages long, most of it back story I forgot to put in the previous books. Oops. So now I’m a planster, a bit of both. Still, I can’t crush the creative process if my story veers wide of its target.

TQ:  Describe Shield of Fire in 140 characters or less.

Boone:  Lots of running, screaming, demon blasting, hot lovin’, magic, a classic good vs evil story with suspense, humor, and a happily-ever-after for Rhys and Ravyn.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Shield of Fire?

Boone:  I won’t rehash the kid issue again. Besides them, I wanted to write a big story. This was during that innocent phase of my career when I was oblivious to the fact I didn’t know how to write. I was living in bush Alaska with no connection to any other writer or group. I don’t recommend epic for a first book attempt, but that’s just my opinion.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is your favorite scene(s) in Shield of Fire?

Boone:  My new favorite scene, meaning after all the edits were finished, is when Rhys and Ravyn are entering the city of Alba. I added a lot detail that wasn’t originally there.

Would I be telling too much about myself if I said I also like the sex scene a lot? It was the one chapter with the least amount of edits. I’m just saying.

TQ:  In Shield of Fire, who was the most difficult character to write and why?

Boone:  OMG, Ravyn. She went through as many transformations as the book. At first she was too wussy, letting Rhys save her all the time. So I tried to make her more kickass. I really wanted her to kill somebody at this point in my writing. Sadly, she turned into an unlikable b***h. Then I tried a combination, tough and determined. Nope, that didn’t work well with her background of being raised in an abbey. Hopefully we’ve gotten it right. She’s innocent, but still independent, and she does get to do serious damage to the demons.

TQ:  The easiest and why?

Boone:  Icarus, Captain of the Demon Bane army. He walked onto the page fully formed. He is by far my favorite character. His story, which is the last book, is the story I look most forward to writing. I’m going to start a Redeem Icarus campaign with t-shirts and interviews with him. Maybe he’ll get groupies. That would be cool.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Bringer and the Bane series?

BooneShield of Fire’s first draft was written as a historical romance, set during King Henry the Eighth’s reign. During that time I researched England and the Reformation of the church, clothes, etc. When I decided to rewrite it as a fantasy set in a more medieval time period, I researched by mostly watching movies, trying to get the feel of alternate worlds, dialogue or fight sequences. I like this method a lot.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Bringer and the Bane series?

Boone:  Right now five.

TQ:  What’s next?

Boone:  I just finished book two, which is scheduled to release in June. 2012. I also have a story coming out in an anthology from Entangled called Tweet. It’s about a woman who follows Satan on Twitter. 100% of the proceeds go to Autism Awareness. It’s a great cause and a fantastic project. Then I’m going to eat a lot and relax during the holidays before starting book three.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Boone:  Thank you so much for having me. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays.


About Shield of Fire

Shield of Fire
Bringer and the Bane 1
Entangled Publishing, December 13, 2011
Trade Paperback and Ebook
Historical Fantasy Romance

Interview with Boone Brux and Giveaway - December 6, 2011
Protecting humans is the Bringers’ duty. Sending demons to the Shadow World is their pleasure.

In one night, Ravyn’s life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she’s known, she stumbles headlong into the clutches of Icarus, a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating.

When Rhys realizes the woman he’s rescued from the Bane Demon is no mere human, his obligation as a Bringer dictates he protect and train her in the ways of his people. But he’s unprepared for the intense desire he feels for the fiery Ravyn. To surrender to his need may mean her death.

As the Demon King’s desire for ultimate power escalates, fathers are slated against sons, and foes are made allies. The Bane threat upon them, Rhys and Ravyn must quest to unite the last of the Bringers—and explore a passion too powerful to ignore.


About Boone

Interview with Boone Brux and Giveaway - December 6, 2011
Boone has lived in the beautiful state of Alaska for nearly two decades. She spent many of those years in the bush, where the internet and flush toilets were a luxury. Boone’s motto? “Have laptop, will travel.” It’s not uncommon to see her pounding away at her computer during camping trips, fishing expeditions, or in their family plane as they fly over the open tundra.


Boone's Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Blog 


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win an ebook of Shield of Fire (Bringer and the Bane 1) from Boone!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who is your favorite Happily Ever After couple (or couples)?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with an emailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, December 13, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Interview with Leanna Ellis and Giveaway - August 22, 2012Interview with Ben H. Winters - July 23, 2012Interview with K.E. Mills and Giveaway - May 10, 2012Interview with Ted Kosmatka - March 11, 2012Interview with Adam Christopher and Giveaway - February 11, 2012Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011Interview with Sabrina Benulis - December 20, 2011Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011Interview with Mazarkis Williams and Giveaway - December 9, 2011Interview with Boone Brux and Giveaway - December 6, 2011

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