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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.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors


Welcome to the last listing of debut authors for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.  The December debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author. Please note that the debuts for December 27th will also count for January 2012. Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.



Archon
Author:  Sabrina Benulis
Series:  The Books of Raziel
Format:  Hardcover, 400 pages
Publisher:  Harper Voyager (December 27, 2011)
Price:  $22.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9780062069405

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors
There are some things worse than death . . .

For years, Angela Mathers has been plagued by visions of a supernatural being—an angel with beguiling eyes and magnificent wings who haunts her thoughts and seduces her dreams. Newly freed from a mental institution where she had been locked away for two years, Angela hopes that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican’s exclusive university, will bring her peace and a semblance of normality.

But Angela isn’t normal. With her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin, she is a blood head—a freak, a monster, and the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy. Blessed with strange, mystical powers, blood heads hold a special place in the Academy. Among them, one special blood head is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. And when the Archon arises as foretold, it will rule the supernatural universe.

Barely in control of her own life, Angela has no ambition to conquer an entire universe, not when she’s suddenly contending with a dangerous enemy who is determined to destroy her and a magnetic novitiate who wants to save her. But the choice might not be her own . . .

Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, the young blood head must soon face the truth about herself and her world. It is she who holds the key to Heaven and Hell—and both will stop at nothing to possess her.

In Archon, Sabrina Benulis has created a dazzlingly imaginative tale set in a lush, vivid supernatural world filled with gargoyles and candlelight, magic and murder, in which humans, angels, demons, and those in between battle for supremacy—and survival.



Shades of Gray
Author:  Amanda Bonilla
Series:  Shaede Assassin
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  Signet (December 6, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language: English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN9780451235299

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors
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...



Shield of Fire
Author:  Boone Brux
Series:  Bringer and Bane
Format:  Trade Paperback, 311 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (December 13, 2011)
Price:  $16.99
Language: English
Genre:  Historical Fantasy Romance
ISBN:  9781937044336

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors
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.



Empire State
Author:  Adam Christopher 
Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books (December 27, 2011)
Price: $12.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction, Noir
ISBN:   9780857661937

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors
The stunning superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York.

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.

Adam Christopher’s stunning debut novel heralds the arrival of an amazing new talent.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Pocket Universe | Heroes or Villains | Speak Easy | Loyalties Divided ].
You can read Adam's guest blog - In Blackest Night: blending science fiction and noir - here.



Babylon Steel
Author:  Gaie Sebold
Series:  Babylon Steel
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Publisher: Solaris (December 27, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781907992384

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock. She's not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it's tax time, and there's not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night's takings are at risk when Babylon's hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat.
You can read Gaie's guest blog - Things I Didn't Know - here.



The Emperor's Knife
Author:  Mazarkis Williams
Series:  The Tower and Knife Trilogy
Format:  Hardcover, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (December 6, 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Epic Fantasy
ISBN:  9781597803847

2011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut Authors
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.



Keep up to date with the 2011 Debut Author Challenge here and the 2012 Debut Author Challenge here.

Interview with Andrew P. Mayer and Giveaway - November 22, 2011

Please welcome Andrew P. Mayer to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Hearts of Smoke and Steam (The Society of Steam 2) is out today! Andrew's debut, The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam 1), was published in May.

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

Andrew:  People tell me that I have a tendency to kill off their favorite characters too quickly, but I see it slightly differently: the characters that get the most love in my stories are the dead ones. They certainly have to suffer less, and the living characters remember the departed in a way that lets me look back and deconstruct their lives.

That said, I do plan to go back and write some prequel stories so that I can return the deceased to life and make them suffer a bit more…

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

Andrew:  I've wanted to be a writer since I was 11 years old, so it's really the old school folks that inspired me to begin with: Asimov, Bradbury, Pohl, Moorecock, Gibson, Sterling, and all those 70s and 80s writers.

When it comes to modern genre writers there's a few that come to mind as strong inspirations: I really love China Mieville's worldbuilding. He's just fearless in the world he creates, and he's able to tackle big ideas. I loved Scott Westerfeld's pre-YA stuff. I think all his young adult is great, including his Steampunk. And he broke open that whole area. But the irony is that I think his adult work has a genuine maturity to it that's desperately missing right now.

Let's see… I also really like Richard K. Morgan's prose. I'm excited to see where his fantasy series is heading. And Dan Abnett's work in his Warhammer books is insanely awesome. The guy can write the hell out of an action sequence, and he's really set the bar for what's possible in licensed fiction. Even though he's playing in a pre-defined sandbox he finds a way add weight to things and make them incredibly compelling.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Andrew:  Plotter to the core: I actually tried to write novels back in the 90s, but I was completely unable to finish one. When I started again back in 2007 I began by plotting them first, and that pulled me through the book. To me a big part of the motivation for being a writer is getting to tell stories that I want to read, so if I'm not excited to see how they're going to turn out I won't be motivated to do the work.

That's not to say I don't rewrite or change things as I go along, but I need to make sure the foundation and the structure is strong.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Society of Steam novels? Why steampunk?

Andrew:  When I went out to Burning Man in 2006 I saw the Neverwas Haul (http://www.neverwashaul.com/) and the amazing devices that Kinetic Steamworks (http://kineticsteamworks.org/) folks had built. I’d also been hanging around the San Francisco metal-art scene a few years earlier, and it seemed to me like there was a genuine moment of zeitgeist happening around the idea of Steampunk

I realized we’d reached a point in our culture where small groups of people were now capable of producing what it had taken an entire factory to build in the 1800s, and that it was allowing us to reach backwards and forwards at the same time.

The Victorian Era really was the last age of genuine craftsmanship before we were overwhelmed by mass production. A lot of their legacy is still with us today, both in terms of the structure of our society. In many ways we’ve inherited their world, and when we reach back for some truth in our culture I think that it’s easy to discover a kind of kinship with the people from 100 years ago, and we can resonate with their successes, their excesses, and their failures.

That seemed like a fun place to play in… and the idea of adding superheroes to that only made it more enticing to me.

TQ:  Tell us about The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam 1) and Hearts of Smoke and Steam (The Society of Steam 2).

Andrew:  The lead character is a young woman named Sarah Stanton. Her father is a powerful hero named the Industrialist (who has a smoking top hat!). He’s a member of the Society of Paragons; New York’s greatest team of gentlemen adventurers.

Sarah has wanted to be a superhero ever since she was a child, although obviously that’s an impossibility for a woman of society in 1880. Tragic circumstances conspire to make her dreams come true, and she finds herself forced into a terrifying adventure when her mentor (Sir Dennis Darby, the leader of the Paragons), is killed in front of her on the top of the (unfinished) Brooklyn Bridge.

She soon finds herself at the center of conspiracy that most of the Paragons either refuse to acknowledge, or may actually be a part of. Helping her to uncover the mystery is a mechanical man created by Sir Dennis called the Automaton.

The first book is a bit of a mystery story, with characters crawling around secret passages and the like, but there are also some major battles, burning mansions, and some good old fashioned Father/Daughter drama.

The second book is more of a romance for the heroine, but at the same time she's discovering her limitations and how those shape her as a hero. Meanwhile it still has a lot of action, and the main villain's plan really starts coming together. I also get to create a Victorian Era steampunk puppet show, which was lots of fun for me.

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

Andrew:  I think the entire theater sequence and battle at the end of book 2 was a lot of fun to create. It's the kind of big storytelling that I've always wanted to do, but it's grounded in a character driven core.

I also love the sequence in book 1 where Nathaniel wakes up with a hangover. Getting through that scene took the most research, since I was unfamiliar with a lot of the details. But by the time I was done I really felt like I understood the world a lot better. That sequence also starts pit small and just gets bigger and bigger, and I love stuff like that.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of The Society of Smoke and Steam?

Andrew:  I've been in New York City a lot over the last year, and that's really given me a chance to walk around and visit the parts of Manhattan that still have a lot of Victorian Era buildings. Downtown below 14th street has a lot of cast-iron buildings, and as you head down to wall-street you can really feel like you're travelling back in time…

I've also done a ton of research from online and books, and I've travelled to a number of historical locations including Australia and New Zealand. There's a lot of surviving Victorian era buildings in down there, including the amazing Queen Victoria building in Sydney, and I got to visit them last year. One thing that's great about that era of construction is that they really wanted to show off the marvelous discoveries in engineering during the period, and the structures tend to really expose the ideas behind them.

All my research is in the service of reaching a point where I feel comfortable visualizing the world that I'm writing about without having to run to do research book every five seconds.

TQ:  In the series, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Andrew:  I'd say the most difficult has been Jordan Clements, The White Knight. The character is a bully and a racist, and yet I'm trying to keep him from being too broadly drawn, so I need to sympathize with him a bit.

He gets a POV chapter in book 3, and that's been the toughest so far because he's reprehensible, but he also has motivations for what he's done.

I'd say the easiest is probably Sarah. She still has her challenges, and one of the hardest parts of book 2 was making sure that she didn't become just another "gutsy heroine". But what I like best about Sarah is that she isn't trying to be a 21st century girl… She 's often conflicted because given a choice she'd rather be a girl of her era, but she's forced to take stronger measures to do what's right, and that puts her in conflict with her society. But it's often a sacrifice for her, especially because she has to do things that she sees as irreversible.

TQ:  Why did you set the series in Victoran New York?

Andrew:  I'm a native New Yorker, and New York in that period was undergoing the growth that turned it into the modern metropolis we think of today. London, on the other hand, was really just firming up, rather than being redefined.

My mother is a Londoner, so I did think about using England as a backdrop, but I was worried it was going to be overdone by the time I got finished, and it's easier for me to go visit New York. Plus I truly do have love for my birthplace, and by the end I really felt like I could make the city a character.

Also, superheroes and NY just seem to go together.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the The Society of Steam series?

Andrew:  The first series is a trilogy, but I'm going to be doing a short prequel that should be out before book 3 next year. That'll probably be an ebook with a small run print edition.

I also have some more books planned for the Society, but I'm not sure yet when I'll get to them.

TQ:  What's next?

Andrew:  I'm currently working on Book 3 of Society of Steam, and it's going to be the grand finale to this first series, so I'm working to get that finished by March so it can come out next fall.

After that I've got a head full of ideas that I'd like to explore. I also have a lot of talented artist friends, and I really want to do something that has a strong graphic component, but without going into traditional comics. I've been talking to people about that, and at the very least I'd like to try and do a heavily illustrated novel and see how the audience responds.

I can promise you that whatever I do next, it won't be a traditional genre piece. I loved bringing superheroes to steampunk, and a number of my other concepts have a similar "mash-up" feel to them.

One of my favorite things about being an author is that I can try big crazy ideas, and now that I've got a series of books out there I'm only going to go bigger.

Whatever I do next will probably (hopefully) be a standalone book, at least to start.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Andrew:  Thanks for having me!


About The Society of Steam

Hearts of Smoke and Steam
The Society of Steam 2
Pyr, November 22, 2011
Trade Paperback, 305 pages

Interview with Andrew P. Mayer and Giveaway - November 22, 2011
Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn’t finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds.

But she has her own plans for the Automaton’s clockwork heart—Sarah is trying to rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by the Children of Eschaton, the man who comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true. Emelio Armando is a genius inventor who had hoped to leave his troubles behind when he and his sister left Italy for a life of anonymity in the New World. Now he finds himself falling in love with the fallen society girl, but he is rapidly discovering just how powerful the forces of villainy aligned against her are, and that fulfilling her desires means opening the door to a world of danger that could destroy everything he has built.

The Society of Steam takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities and grants powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for, and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.
Cover Illustration ©Justin Gerard



The Falling Machine
The Society of Steam 1
Pyr, May 2011
Trade Paperback, 285 pages

Interview with Andrew P. Mayer and Giveaway - November 22, 2011
In 1880 women aren’t allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime...

But twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York’s greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes. To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies. When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.

The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, Book One) takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities and grants powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.
Cover Illustration ©Justin Gerard




About Andrew

Interview with Andrew P. Mayer and Giveaway - November 22, 2011
Andrew Mayer was born on the tiny island of Manhattan, and is still fascinated by their strange customs and simple ways.

When he’s not writing new stories he works as a videogame designer and digital entertainment consultant. Over the years he has has created numerous concepts, characters, and worlds including the original Dogz and Catz digital pets.

These days he resides in Oakland, CA where he spends too much time on the internet, and not enough time playing his ukulele.




Andrew's Links

Website
Blog
The Society of Steam Facebook Page
Twitter


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Trade Paperback copy of Hearts of Smoke and Steam (The Society of Steam 2) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

While Victorian London is the traditional setting for steampunk stories, 
in which city or place would you like to see a steampunk story set? 

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 Tuesday, November 29, 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 Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011

Please welcome Rob Ziegler to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Rob's debut novel, Seed, was published this month by Night Shade Books.


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

Rob:  This might not be a quirk so much as an affliction, but I call it the 100-word rule. If I can get 100 words down before I’m fully awake, before I do anything else, then I can keep coming back and writing all day. But if I miss that window, sometimes I can’t write at all.

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

Rob:  Some writers I love, and from whom I hope I’ve been able to take some cues...Cormac McCarthy. His novels feel like narrative poems, and I wish I could steal that lyricism for my own. His feel for the west, and for landscapes, amazes me. Dennis Johnson, also a very lyrical writer, and he writes with a lot of heart. He has this talent for imbuing even his vilest characters with enough humanity that you empathize with them. William Gibson...his precision and ability to nail a big idea with a single detail. Also his affinity for using subaltern characters as windows into big social constructs. Kerouac, Ginsberg, Bukowski, too. And Borges and Marquez. And Fitzgerald. I don’t know if I claim all these as influences exactly, but I remember specific moments with all of them when I thought, I want to do THAT. I want to write.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Rob:  Well, both. I spend a lot of time plotting and taking notes when I’m not sitting at my desk writing. And then when I do sit down and start writing, I veer off the rails and head off in directions I hadn’t planned. Which is really inefficient, because a lot of those directions don’t work out. It means a lot of rewriting, but I don’t really know how else to do it. Whatever I plot, though, is basically guaranteed not to wind up in the book.

TQ:  Describe Seed in 140 characters or less.

Rob:  Ah, the twitter pitch. Okay, I’ll give it a try: Badass commando and young immigrant outlaw join forces to try and rescue America’s future from hegemonic, living corporation. Nope, that didn’t work. Totally lame description.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Seed?

Rob:  I grew up loving sci fi, so that’s what I wanted to write. But I wanted to build a world framed by real and pressing issues. I also had Brood and Hondo in mind from a short story I’d written. I love those two. I wanted to write about them, and they inhabit a very specific kind of world. They were my point of departure.

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

Rob:  Most of the research centered on climate change and biotech. I wasn’t particularly concerned with putting technical details in the story (in fact I found that the places where I did delve too much into the technical it broke the rhythm of the story telling, so I took a lot out), but I wanted the look and feel of the world, no matter how weird or extreme, to fall within the range of what’s possible. There was also a lot of random research, like platoon-level combat tactics, military terminology, Chicano slang, MexiAmerican history. Things like that.

TQ:  Why did you set Satori in Denver, Colorado?

Rob:  I grew up in Colorado, and my feelings about Denver are deeply ambivalent. I’ve lived there several times. Sometimes I love the place, sometimes I hate it. But I know it well, and it definitely gave me a perverse thrill to envision downtown subsumed by this giant, living, sweating amoeba-like thing. It also makes sense in terms of the story. Satori needs lots of water, and Denver has good access to water, even in drought conditions, from snow runoff. Satori also gets a lot of her energy from photosynthesis, and Denver is nothing if not sunny. It’s also central, on the edge of the planes, so it made sense to think of Denver as an efficient place from which to distribute seed.

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

Rob:  Brood and Hondo Loco were a blast to write. They’re really funny when they banter, which was fun to hang out with. Doss was fun, too, because she basically kicks ass every time she’s on the page. When I came to her chapters, the question was always, “who’s she going to fuck up this time?” Sumedha was difficult, because he’s not exactly human, so I had to really work to sink into his mind. His thinking is perfectly linear, which limited the prose in his POV. I couldn’t use analogies, or if I did I had to be sneaky about it.

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

Rob:  Maybe the scene when Doss is in the Corn Mother’s oasis. Or when she goes to battle at the end. Any time she and her troops jump from the Flylights, fun stuff goes down. Also any scene where Brood and Hondo are together. Also the scene where Brood does ceremony with Anna’s crew. That’s probably the moment closest to the emotional heart of the book. Or his scene at the end. I guess I like a lot of the scenes. I can’t pick just one.

TQ:  What's next?

Rob:  I’m working on a book tentatively title Angel City. It’s about a kid, Louis, growing up in a weird future LA where media is beamed straight into peoples’ minds through neural implants called Angels. Louis is a drug dealer of sorts, but instead of a drug he sells a technique he’s discovered for tapping the Angel straight into our pleasure center. He runs afoul of a corrupt cop, and hijinx ensue

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rob:  My pleasure. Thanks for having me.


About Seed

Seed
Author:  Rob Ziegler
Format: Trade Hardcover, 350 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (November 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-1-59780-323-6

Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011
It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants--starving masses of nomads roaming across wastelands and encamped outside government seed distribution warehouses.

In this new world, there is a new power: Satori. More than just a corporation, Satori is an intelligent, living city risen from the ruins of the heartland. She manufactures climate-resistant seed to feed humanity, and bio-engineers her own perfected castes of post-humans Designers, Advocates and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori product; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use seed to the nation's hungry citizens.

Secret Service Agent Sienna Doss has watched her world collapse. Once an Army Ranger fighting wars across the globe, she now spends her days protecting glorified warlords and gangsters. As her country slides further into chaos, Doss feels her own life slipping into ruin.

When a Satori Designer goes rogue, Doss is tasked with hunting down the scientist-savant--a chance to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and undo its dominance. In a race against Satori's genetically honed assassins, Doss's best chance at success lies in an unlikely alliance with Brood--orphan, scavenger and small-time thief--scraping by on the fringes of the wasteland, whose young brother may possess the key to unlocking Satori's power.

As events spin out of control, Sienna Doss and Brood find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive finale promises to reshape the future of the world.


About Rob

Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011
Rob lives with his wife in western Colorado. He writes speculative fiction. Seed is his debut novel.

Rob's Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter








The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Seed generously provided by Night Shade Books.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which post-apocalyptic or dystopian novel would you recommend?

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 Thursday, November 24, 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 T.C. McCarthy and Giveaway - November 9, 2011

Please welcome T.C. McCarthy to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Germline, his debut novel, was published in August 2011 by Orbit.

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

T.C.:  The fact that I believe promise and hope press 44-magnums to their own heads, every day.

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

T.C.:  Michael Herr told it like it was; he trotted through the world with the likes of Tim Page and Sean Flynn, and when you read his work he brings you into an alternate reality of 1960s dope and war, protest and shit-storms. There's no point in reading the lies. I want truth -- from people who know when and where to use "fuck," how to use it as a verb, noun, AND an adjective, the same kind of people who scream "PEACE!" into cameras while swinging clubs and whose veins run with cranberry sauce. Herr influenced me to write Germline. Now I don't know who influences me.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

T.C.:  A trainwreck.

TQ:  Describe Germline (Subterrene War 1).

T.C.Germline is the understandable reaction to a decade of war. It's the future foretold by T.C. McCarthy, who can't tell the difference between a terorrist state and having to worry about who's reading his facebook page -- and who thinks that anyone who can tell the difference is the enemy.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Germline?

T.C.:  My head was rotting. Rot wouldn't have mattered except that it put me in a place where all I saw were the mold and infections in the heads of my counterparts, their words falling apart at the edges -- right at that spot where the ink meets the page. Nothing matters to most people except war, money, and politics, a fact that forced me to read the ass-end of what people call genre (if I wanted to read science fiction) where it became impossible to stomach another still-born Heinlein; happy, happy...happy, happy... and then the hero manages to kill everthing in some sterile conflict that ensures the dominance of white or blue civilization, 71A-Epsilon, just a few wormholes away from Tao-Tao-Magnificus. I wanted to eat the yellow snow; then I wanted to show everyone my grin when I swallowed.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the Subterrene War world?

T.C.:  I had to ask myself if I wanted to expose a mental battleground -- one that would make some people sick, some people happy, and make some people feel like I'd been digging through their brain with a penlight and a broken shovel. I read and read, and drew from my experiences with studying foreign militaries, before finally deciding that only one thing mattered: depth. And that required stripping naked (metaphorically) to expose what it meant to be paranoid, terrified, and tired.

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

T.C.:  I love the opening scene, in which Oscar describes the antibacterial lube; you can't read something like that without thinking that you're in for some kind of ride. That's the moment where the safety bar slams down and there's no turning back unless you want to really embarrass yourself by screaming for the rollercoaster attendant and begging him to let you out. He won't. That's why it's so embarassing.

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

T.C.:  There's really only one character in Germline, and he was the easiest and hardest to write, both: Oscar Wendell. Oscar was easy to write because it's the one character I've created that came directly from my own experiences; he was difficult to write because he wouldn't let me tell lies, and forced me at gunpoint to tell it like it is, even when I wanted to flinch and gloss over.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

T.C.:  Three books. Germline is obviously out there and for sale worldwide at all the major retailers. The other two are in the pipeline and coming soon to an outlet near you.

TQ:  What's next?

T.C.:  Book II will come out in March 2012, and is called Exogene; look out for it! I also have a short story going into the hardcopy edition of Story Quarterly (volume 45): "A.I.P." And I think Orbit will be digitally publishing one of my short stories, "A People's Army," in the near future. I keep updates at my website: www.tcmccarthy.com.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

T.C.:  Stop staring.


About Germline

Germline
The Subterrene War 1
Orbit, August 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

Interview with T.C. McCarthy and Giveaway - November 9, 2011
Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.


About T.C. McCarthy

Interview with T.C. McCarthy and Giveaway - November 9, 2011
T.C. McCarthy has two dogs, a family, and a job.  His house smells funny - old. Sometimes the antenna on that Toyota works, sometimes it doesn't, and there's a problem with his hair (it keeps falling out).

T.C. has lived in lots of places (the SF Bay Area, Australia, and places he'd rather not mention) but he always seem to wind up back in the south because it's just like the third-world - except with good barbecue. And, he's a writer; his first novel is scheduled for publication in 2011.


T.C.'s Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Pharmacon (a blog)



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Germline (The Subterrene War 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Science Fiction or Science Fact?

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 Wednesday, November 16, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - November 5, 2011

The Qwillery is happy to announce that debut author Sabrina Benulis will be participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interview series.

Sabrina's debut novel, Archon (The Books of Raziel) will be published on December 27, 2011 by Harper Voyager.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - November 5, 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.


Look for an interview with Sabrina in December. You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.

Interview with Rochelle Staab and Giveaway - November 1, 2011

Please welcome Rochelle Staab to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Rochelle's debut, Who Do, Voodoo? is published today!

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

Rochelle:  Patchouli incense and a lost sense of time. I have to have my patchouli incense or candle burning in the background, no music. And I can go through an entire week thinking every day is the day in the scene I’m writing. An overriding Sunday afternoon or Friday night frame of mind can mess with my actual Monday through Friday appointments. I use calendar alerts to shake me out of the world of the story and into the real world to keep my life in order.

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

Rochelle:  I’m an avid reader and discover new favorites all the time. Lesley Kagen has a brilliant, descriptive voice that pulls me into whatever time and place she chooses in her novels. My longtime favorite authors are Elizabeth Peters, Michael Connelly, Cleo Coyle, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and the classics by Hammett, Chandler, Poe, Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse (as you can see, I’m all over the genre and time map.) And I have to mention Carolyn Keene and Arthur Conan Doyle because my love for mystery originated with Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes. The writers who influence my writing are those who dare to show themselves. I applaud rule breakers. Cormac McCarthy may not be my genre cup of tea but he writes to please himself. I admire that.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Rochelle:  I create a plot with Post-its on a white board, write Character Profiles for the cast, and then I let the characters take me wherever they want to go. I’ll refer to my outline board if I slow down or get stuck, but the characters always come up with a better plan than mine. You could say I’m a plotter outvoted by pantser characters.

TQ:  Describe Who Do, Voodoo? in 140 characters or less.

Rochelle:  Mysterious tarot cards, a voodoo spell book, and a best friend falsely accused team psychologist Liz Cooper with professor Nick Garfield to hunt for a killer.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Who Do, Voodoo?

Rochelle:  The inspiration came after dinner with a friend in Hollywood. We stood talking outside the restaurant next door to an open but empty Psychic Reading shop, one of hundreds of psychic shops in the city. I wondered how ten-dollar psychic readings paid the rent on one of the busiest and most expensive streets in Los Angeles. Could be the owner had a real gift and loyal customers, but my imagination created charlatans and back room conspiracy theories. My curiosity that night grew into an idea for amateur sleuths investigating supernatural or occult based crimes in Los Angeles.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Who Do, Voodoo?

Rochelle:  A few of my excursions were bizarre and really fun. I signed up for tarot classes to write their definitions and symbolism accurately, took a voodoo tour of the New Orleans French Quarter for background and insight, spent hours with a LAPD homicide detective, and read a stack of books on the history of Vodoun. Chilling in parts, but so interesting. But there were so many times I wished I had married a detective or my brother had gone to law school. Murder and voodoo are a complicated subjects. I had so many questions!

TQ:  Why did you set the novel in Los Angeles?

Rochelle:  Los Angeles has a rich and fascinating culture, including a wide variety of alternative belief systems. The large geographical area and dense population makes it easy for subcultures to sprout and thrive unnoticed. One of my interviews for the novel included a Hollywood occult shop owner who happened to mention that she was invited to a local crucifixion. I was shocked but not surprised. I won’t ever forget that conversation. The downside of the L.A. setting is the amount of time my characters must spend in their cars. We count distance here in freeway time—rush hour versus non-rush hour.

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

Rochelle:  The easiest character was Liz’s mother, Vivian Gordon, who is outspoken and self-obsessed. Viv always steps to the forefront of my imagination when I need her. The hardest character was LAPD Detective Carla Pratt whose professional ambitions tended to mask her human qualities. It was tough finding a softer side to her.

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

Rochelle:  Not fair, they’re all my favorites! The most colorful and fun scenes to write were the séance and the voodoo ceremony. I’ve been to a few séances led by mystics with a sixth sense for hustle. The experience was good theater. The voodoo ceremony wrote itself, based on some New Orleans research and a lot of imagination. As I wrote the voodoo scenes, I kept looking up saying, “Fiction. Remember, this is just fiction.”

TQ:  Who should play Liz Cooper (psychologist) and Nick Garfield (occult expert) if Who Do, Voodoo? is made into a movie?

Rochelle:  So tough to choose because in my mind Liz is very much her own person. Nick always reminds me of young Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. I’ll answer two ways:
Classic: Myrna Loy as Liz, and young Harrison Ford as Nick.
Contemporary: A brunette Gwyneth Paltrow or Reese Witherspoon as Liz, and Simon Baker as Nick.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Mind for Murder mystery series?

Rochelle:  Right now three, including Who Do, Voodoo? But the more I write this cast of characters, the more fun I have with them.

TQ:  What's next?

RochelleBruja Brouhaha, the second novel coming next summer, is set near L.A.’s legendary MacArthur Park in a neighborhood swirling with Santeria superstitions and beliefs. But right now, today, I’m living the dream of having my first novel in bookstores. It’s an unbelievable rush, and I’m thrilled to share the day with your readers.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rochelle:  Thank you, so very much, for inviting me—I had a lot of fun!


About the Mind for Murder Mysteries

Who Do, Voodoo?
Mind for Murder Mysteries 1
Berkley, November 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Interview with Rochelle Staab and Giveaway - November 1, 2011
Clinical psychologist Liz Cooper doesn't believe in the supernatural. But when her best friend finds a tarot card tacked to her front door-and is then accused of murder-Liz will have to find a way to embrace the occult if she wants to outwit the real killer...


About Rochelle

Interview with Rochelle Staab and Giveaway - November 1, 2011
Rochelle Staab is an award-winning, former radio and music industry executive. Who Do, Voodoo? is the first novel in her Mind for Murder mystery series featuring Los Angeles psychologist Liz Cooper and religious philosophy professor Nick Garfield.


Rochelle's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads







The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder Mystery 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Tarot Cards or Palm Reading?

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 mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors


Here are the November debut authors and their novels (in alphabetical order). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Who Do, Voodoo?
Author:  Rochelle Staab
Series:  Mind for Murder Mystery
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher:  Berkley (November 1, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Supernatural Mystery
ISBN:  978-0425244593

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors
Clinical psychologist Liz Cooper doesn't believe in the supernatural. But when her best friend finds a tarot card tacked to her front door-and is then accused of murder-Liz will have to find a way to embrace the occult if she wants to outwit the real killer...


Seed
Author:  Rob Ziegler
Format: Trade Hardcover, 350 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (November 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-1-59780-323-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors
It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants--starving masses of nomads roaming across wastelands and encamped outside government seed distribution warehouses.

In this new world, there is a new power: Satori. More than just a corporation, Satori is an intelligent, living city risen from the ruins of the heartland. She manufactures climate-resistant seed to feed humanity, and bio-engineers her own perfected castes of post-humans Designers, Advocates and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori product; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use seed to the nation's hungry citizens.

Secret Service Agent Sienna Doss has watched her world collapse. Once an Army Ranger fighting wars across the globe, she now spends her days protecting glorified warlords and gangsters. As her country slides further into chaos, Doss feels her own life slipping into ruin.

When a Satori Designer goes rogue, Doss is tasked with hunting down the scientist-savant--a chance to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and undo its dominance. In a race against Satori's genetically honed assassins, Doss's best chance at success lies in an unlikely alliance with Brood--orphan, scavenger and small-time thief--scraping by on the fringes of the wasteland, whose young brother may possess the key to unlocking Satori's power.

As events spin out of control, Sienna Doss and Brood find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive finale promises to reshape the future of the world.
Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011Interview with Mazarkis Williams and Giveaway - December 9, 2011Interview with Boone Brux and Giveaway - December 6, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - December Debut AuthorsInterview with Andrew P. Mayer and Giveaway - November 22, 2011Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011Interview with T.C. McCarthy and Giveaway - November 9, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - November 5, 2011Interview with Rochelle Staab and Giveaway - November 1, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors

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