close

The Qwillery | category: 2011 Debut Author Challenge | (page 4 of 11)

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Early Review - Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin - 4 1/2 Qwills

Sins of the Angels
AuthorLinda Poitevin
Series:  The Grigori Legacy
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  Ace (September 27, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language: English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN9780441020911
Review Copy: E-Arc provided by publisher

Early Review - Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin - 4 1/2 Qwills
A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel…

Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case—a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell.

Aramael is a Power—a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.

Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.


My thoughts:

Sins of the Angels is the first book in The Grigori Legacy series and is Linda Poitevin’s a debut. The story takes place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and centers around Alexandra Jarvis, a homicide Detective for the Toronto Police. Horrific serial murders are taking place in Toronto and Alex is on the case. The murders dredge up awful memories for Alex. At the same time Alex is dealing with the murders and trying to tamp down those memories, she’s assigned a new partner – Jacob Trent. He has been sent to help solve the murders and may the only one who can do it.

Jacob is not who he seems, but is an angel named Aramael. When Alex senses this she thinks she is losing a long feared battle with a mental illness like her mother’s. Compounding this is a mutual attraction that neither Alex nor Aramael want to acknowledge. For reasons that become clear as the book progresses, Aramael is predisposed to not like Alex. He’s heaven bent on tracking down the murderer, but being near Alex has upset whatever equilibrium he possesses. When the murderer’s attention turns to Alex, Aramael and Alex are faced with life changing decisions. Alex must come to grips with her unknown heritage and who Aramael really is.

This is a wonderful debut novel. Sins of the Angels features two interwoven narratives - one involving the serial murders and an engrossing story of intrigue in heaven that is related to what is happening in Toronto.

Alex and Aramael are both substantial characters that I care about. I also really enjoy the very strong supporting cast. Both Alex’s and Aramael’s “co-workers” are well drawn though Aramael’s are a lot more mysterious. There is much, much more to be revealed about the heavenly contingent. There are two villains in Sins of the Angels both of whom evoke very strong negative feelings, but for different reasons.

The pacing in Sins of the Angels is excellent. The story pulls you in from the very first page and does not let go until the heart-wrenching ending. There is some graphic violence, but it fits the story well. Sins of the Angels is an Urban Fantasy deeply infused with a richly developed mythology, excellent world building, characters you’ll love, and villains you’ll love to hate. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in The Grigori Legacy.

I give Sins of the Angels 4 ½ Qwills.

Early Review - Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin - 4 1/2 Qwills

Interview with Mark Lawrence - September 23, 2011

Please welcome Mark Lawrence to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Mark's debut, Prince of Thorns, was published by Ace in August 2011.


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

Mark:  I’ve got to have a quirk _and_ it’s got to be interesting? Damn. Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong... Ahem. My biggest writing quirk is that if you read anything I write backwards, it’s the devil speaking.

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

Mark:  Fantasy-wise my favourite recent authors have been George RR Martin and Robin Hobb, and I’ve also enjoyed Peter Brett’s work quite a bit. More generally John Irving, William Golding, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn . . . Dickens . . . I cast a wide net. I’m not sure any of them have had a direct influence. I guess GRRM influenced me to try to write more literary fantasy, and Anthony Burgess influenced my choice of character with his work in ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mark:  I make it up as I go along. More fun that way.

TQ:  Describe Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire 1) in 140 characters or less.

Mark:  Brutal literate fantasy with many layers that can be appreciated as a bloody romp.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Prince of Thorns?

Mark:  Hmmm. Well as I said above the character was inspired by Burgess’ work, but as to what inspired me to write the book . . . I’m not sure anything did. I just enjoy writing and I kept writing the book because I kept enjoying it. It’s quite cathartic to vent emotion and imagery onto a page.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create The Broken Empire world?

Mark:  Almost none. I may have typed the occasional thing into Google. Generally though when I’m making stuff up ... I make stuff up.

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

Mark:  I enjoy both of Jorg’s home-coming scenes. He always works well with an audience.

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

Mark:  Prince Jorg was the easiest, it’s always easier to write a character from the inside and the book is written in the first person. Also his tendency toward excess means I get to create a lot of mayhem. Prince Jorg was also the hardest character to write. It takes a light touch to deliver one story with what a character says and to deliver between those lines another story at odds with the first.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Mark:  Three.

TQ:  What's next?

Mark:  Who knows? Pantser, remember?

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mark:  And thank you.


About Prince of Thorns

Prince of Thorns
The Broken Empire 1
Ace, August 2, 2011

Interview with Mark Lawrence - September 23, 2011
A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?


About Mark

Interview with Mark Lawrence - September 23, 2011
Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say 'this isn't rocket science ... oh wait, it actually is'.

Website:   http://www.princeofthorns.com/

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 21, 2011

The Qwillery is happy to announce that debut authors Christopher Buehlman and Mark Lawrence will be participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interview series.

Christopher Buehlman

Christopher's debut novel, Those Across the River, was published by earlier this month by Ace.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 21, 2011
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...




Mark Lawrence

Mark's debut, Prince of Thorns, was published in August by Ace.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 21, 2011
A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?


Look for interviews with Christopher and Mark later this month.  You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.

Interview with Erin Morgenstern and Giveaway - September 16, 2011

Please welcome Erin Morgenstern to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Erin's debut, The Night Circus, was published earlier this week. You can read my 5 Qwill review here.


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

Erin:  Oh, I have a lot of writing quirks. I don’t write in order, I love adverbs, I write pages and pages that I never end up using. I listen compulsively to the same music over and over again while I write. I’m not sure if any of these are particularly interesting, but there you go.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers?

Erin:  Margaret Atwood, Douglas Adams, Donna Tartt, Nick Bantock, Tom Stoppard, Dashiell Hammett, Jhumpa Lahiri, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Tom Robbins, Diana Wynne Jones, Shakespeare.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Erin:  Traditionally I’m a pantser but having gone through so many revisions I’ve become something of a hybrid, I still write free-form to come up with material but then I try to work within a structure.

TQ:  Describe The Night Circus in 140 characters or less.

Erin:  It's about a singular circus & a competition held within it. A tale of love & choices & the shades of grey between the black & white.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Night Circus?

Erin:  The Night Circus actually began as a tangent in a different novel, since I was never much of a planner I got bored with what I was writing and sent all the characters to the circus. The circus was a lot more interesting than anything else in that novel so I focused on that instead, developing it first as a location and then building the story into it.

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

Erin:  I didn’t research much, I mostly took a love of the time period and an overactive imagination and made things up. I would occasionally check to make sure elements weren’t overly anachronistic but I didn’t bend over backwards to make it historically accurate. I was delighted to discover after the fact that Barnum & Bailey’s circus did at one point have acrobats perform in evening wear, I’d had no idea when I dressed my own acrobats so formally.

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

Erin:  Poppet and Widget were the easiest, they were the very first characters created so in a lot of ways they’re the most familiar and I understood their personalities and their relationship with each other almost immediately.

Celia was the hardest, though now she’s the one I’m probably the closest to. She's a complicated character and she changes a lot during the course of the story so getting that right was a struggle, but a very worthwhile one.

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

Erin:  It’s very difficult to choose, as I love a lot of scenes but I am particularly fond of all the scenes that Celia and Marco share and of those the anniversary party is likely my favorite, with that burst of color and passion within all the black and white.

TQ:  What's next?

Erin:  Next up I’m about to embark on a whirlwind of a book tour, but after that I hope to get back to working on my next novel, which is still in exploration stage and I’m looking forward to figuring out its secrets.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Erin:  You are very welcome, thank you for having me!


About The Night Circus

The Night Circus
(Doubleday, September 13, 2011)

US Cover
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.



UK Cover

About Erin

Erin Morgenstern is a writer and artist. Most of her writings and paintings are fairy tales, in one way or another. She lives in Massachusetts.


Erin's Links

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter









The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of The Night Circus from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you could work at a circus, what would you like to do? 

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, September 23, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with M.J. Scott and Giveaway - September 14, 2011

Please welcome M.J. Scott to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

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

M.J.:  I tend to hear the characters first, so my first drafts are very dialogue heavy. I have to go back and concentrate to see what they’re doing and fill in the rest. Oh, and I write out of order when I can’t figure out the next bit.

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

M.J.:  A list of my favorites could get very long. But here we go. Terry Pratchett. Lois McMaster Bujold. Jennifer Crusie. Jane Austen. Barbara Samuel/O’Neal. Guy Gavriel Kay. Megan Whalen Turner. Patricia Briggs. Ilona Andrews. Lilith Saintcrow. Keri Arthur. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Loretta Chase. Jacqueline Carey. Anne Bishop. And influences? That’s a hard one. I think every book you read influences your writing. One person who has influenced my writing is Barbara Samuel because it was doing a course on voice with her that I realized I couldn’t fight my urge to write fantasy/urban fantasy forever and opened my eyes to some things about my writing voice I hadn’t seen before. But all of my favorites are people who make me alternatively green with envy and determined to keep growing as a writer so that one day I can write a book that makes somebody feel the way I feel about my favorite books.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

M.J.:  Pretty much a pantser. I usually have a vague idea of the last scene when I start but apart from that, it’s all a blur. I do sometimes stop when I’m stuck and braindump horrible messy outlines to try and figure out any plot problem once I’m a reasonable way in but otherwise, I can’t outline in advance.

TQ:  Describe Shadow Kin in 140 characters or less.

M.J.:  Assassin fails. Sunmage falls. Mayhem ensues.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Shadow Kin?

M.J.:  I can’t claim an inspiration for this one. I’ve written other books where I wanted to write about a particular thing but really, with Shadow Kin, the heroine popped up in my head one night and started talking. What she had to say was intriguing enough that I started to write it down and just kept going.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of Shadow Kin?

M.J.:  I tend to research as I go along. I’m a character driven writer, I follow the character who shows up in my head and find out about the world as they tell me. I don’t do world building up front, other than doing a collage for the book which gives me some of the flavor of the world. I have to discover it as I go…like an excavation. I think Stephen King talks about discovering a story like a fossil…that’s kind of how I feel. And sometimes you’re excavating at midnight in a howling rainstorm with no idea at all how you’re going to get to the end.

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

M.J.:  I still really like the first scene and I had lots of fun writing the action scenes, because it’s fun to write characters doing things they do very well and Lily fights well. And dirty.

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

M.J.:  For me, writing the villain is always hardest. Because if I get it right, I creep myself out! And Lily was the easiest. She came through clearly from the moment she showed up in my head. Which is always nice as a writer, to have a character who makes it easy.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Half-Light City series?

M.J.:  Three at the moment.

TQ:  What's next?

M.J.Blood Kin, book 2, in the Half-Light City series is out June 2012. Other than that I’m finishing up book 3 and then we’ll see what happens next!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.


About Shadow Kin

Shadow Kin
Half-Light City 1
(Roc, September 6, 2011)
Interview with M.J. Scott and Giveaway - September 14, 2011
On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages...

Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart...



About M.J.

Interview with M.J. Scott and Giveaway - September 14, 2011

M.J Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate and fabric. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is www.mjscott.net.


M.J.'s Links:

Website:  http://www.mjscott.net/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMJScott
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/melscott




The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Shadow Kin from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Light or Dark? 

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, September 21, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Paul Lewis and Giveaway - September 13, 2011

Please welcome Paul Lewis to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

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

Paul:  I write on the move. I have the biggest writing room in the world! I love being outdoors and go on long walks whenever time permits. But I can hike eight miles and hardly remember any of it. My head's away somewhere else. That's how I do most of my writing. Storylines, characters, settings, even lines of dialogue ... it's all been played out in my head before I sit down at the keyboard. It's the same if I hit a problem with whatever I'm working on. I don't sit there and fret about it. I get my hiking boots on and let my subconscious deal with it. Earlier today I went out and came back with a prologue, opening chapter and beginnings of a plot for a fantasy novel that I'm going to start outlining.

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

Paul:  James Herbert and Stephen King got me into horror. I was in my early teens when they broke through in the 70s. I couldn't get enough of them. Herbert in particular was an inspiration because his books were set in Britain, so I could relate more to them. I actually wrote to him when I was still a schoolboy fan and told him I wanted to be a writer. He was kind enough to write back, wishing me good luck. I've still got that letter.

Ramsey Campbell was another big influence. For a while I wanted to write like him, before I realised no-one else can. But he taught me a lot about atmosphere and what you don't see being scarier than what you can.

I've read a lot of fantasy ...Tolkien, Alan Garner, Charles De Lint and Tad Williams, Susan Cooper, the list goes on. Newer favourites include Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin. But my all-time fantasy influence is Robert Holdstock. Mythago Wood was, for me, the perfect British fantasy, so original and beguiling. His untimely death robbed the world of a great storyteller and a lovely man. There are a few lines dotted around The Savage Knight that are my little tributes to him.

Outside the genre, Adam Hall, who created the Quiller spy novels, was a big influence in terms of writing action scenes. His were some of the best I've ever read, real edge-of-seat stuff.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Paul:  If I have to make the choice I suppose I'm more of a plotter ... though I don't really like the term because I tell stories, not plots. And I'm an old-fashioned kind of storyteller. I like proper beginnings, middles and ends. Very few people are good enough to do that on the hoof.

But it's not as if I come up with plots and slavishly follow them. Although I work out the main beats of the stories before I start writing, it always surprises me the extent to which they write themselves once I'm in the zone.  So I like to know where I'm going before I set out, but not necessarily the exact route. The journey often takes a few unexpected twists and turns before it's over.

With The Savage Knight, I had to write a 5,000-word outline first. Mainly because the publishers requested one, which was only fair because they were investing in the novel. But equally I needed to be sure how the storyline would unfold. With work and family commitments, and a deadline to meet, I knew I wouldn't have time to go down blind alleys.

Yet there was plenty of scope for diversions along the way. In the outline, I wrote something like: "They journey through the forest and are picked off one by one." I had no idea what would happen, no idea how they would be picked off or even exactly who "they" were as I hadn't yet created all the characters. Those dozen words led to a sustained suspense sequence running to perhaps 10,000 words, and I had a lot of fun dreaming up the gory details.

TQ:  Describe The Savage Knight in 140 characters or less.

Paul:  Brutal Dark Ages knight leaves Camelot in search of peace. Thinks he has found it. Then hideous creatures strike and he is forced to fight again.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Savage Knight?

Paul:  I wrote a short story, Act of Sacrifice, which appeared in an anthology called Swords Against the Millennium in 2000. It featured an Arthurian knight named Dodinal, known as Dodinal Le Savage. Malory refers to him a few times but only in passing, so I was able to create a personality and back story for him. Act of Sacrifice was okay. With hindsight it was a bit predictable, the writing somewhat stilted. I can't be too self-critical, though, because I was still learning. Even so, I really wanted to write a Dodinal novel. I thought the character and his world had great potential.

Last year I heard Abaddon were starting a new series of Arthurian novels, the idea being that each would be a modern retelling of a newly-rediscovered "lost" Malory tale. I sent them the basic idea that later became The Savage Knight. We exchanged emails, that basic idea was developed and I got the go-ahead. The first chapter is is an expansion of the opening of Act of Sacrifice but after that the story is completely new.

It was both hard work and great fun. I'd written two small-press novels with my regular collaborator Steve Lockley. But this was a completely different experience for me. It was much bigger in scale and daunting because I didn't have the safety net of a collaborator to bounce ideas off. At the same time it was liberating too. I didn't have to compromise. It's all me. Regardless of whether people like or hate it, I'm pleased with how it turned out.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of The Savage Knight?

Paul:  Not a huge amount, to be truthful. Much of it is set in the Dark Ages wildwood. The novel opens during a harsh winter in a forest on the Wales-England border from which all wildlife has mysteriously vanished. I live close to some fantastic Welsh countryside and I've spent a lot of time walking in the woods over the years, summer and winter. Everyone knows what woods look like so I didn't bother with long descriptions. It was more about invoking atmosphere, giving readers a feel of what it would be like to suddenly find yourself alone in this huge yet empty snowbound forest.

I'm no expert on ancient history, wildlife or hunting. Yet as I was writing the novel I actually surprised myself by how much I did know. I love books and documentaries about Britain, its history and natural world. I hadn't realised how much of it I'd absorbed. There are little details scattered throughout the novel that, while not important to the story, hopefully add a veneer of realism.

I did spend a bit of time researching the early medieval period, but not in any great detail, more to get a general idea of how people dressed, how they lived, what they ate and so on. That was more about ensuring I didn't include any anachronisms rather than making it strictly historically accurate. While it's set during a specific period of history, The Savage Knight is a fantasy, so I allowed myself some freedom. I was more interested in a world that felt real than one that necessarily was real.

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

Paul:  The first big set-piece is the attack on the village and I think that and the finale are my two favourite action scenes. But there are some quieter moments, mainly between Dodinal and Rhiannon, the woman who saves his life and who comes to mean a great deal to him. I liked them, too, for different reasons. I also had a lot of fun working on Dodinal's origin story, which is told in a series of flashbacks.

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

Paul:  The most difficult was Gerwyn, a very unsympathetic character to begin with. His father is the sort-of chieftain of the village where Dodinal fetches up and he is very petulant and angry. He changes over the course of the novel. I had to come up with motivations for his boorish behaviour at the start as well as his slow transformation. The easiest was Dodinal. I had his entire story in my head before I began writing. He's no angel. He's an extremely violent, exceedingly dangerous man, but only to those who deserve his wrath. He would sacrifice his own life to save the innocent.

TQ:  What's next?

Paul:  I was working on a contemporary teen fantasy-horror called The Grey Men but put that aside to work on some other projects. I'm going back to that; if it works out they way I hope it does, it could be the start of a series. Meanwhile I've started outlining the fantasy I mentioned at the start. It has nothing to do with the world of Savage Knight but is similarly action-driven. I also have the beginnings of an idea that could be a Savage Knight follow-up or a novel for another character. We'll see.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Paul:  It's been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.


About The Savage Knight

The Savage Knight
Malory's Knights of Albion
(Abaddon Books, September 13, 2011)
Interview with Paul Lewis and Giveaway - September 13, 2011
Sir Dodinal the Savage is more at home in the wild forest than in the tilting yard or the banquet hall. Keenly attuned to the natural world, but burdened with a terrible rage, he turns his back on Camelot to find peace, or a just death.

In a quiet village on the Welsh border, Dodinal believes he may have finally found a home, but the village is struck by childstealing raiders from the hills, and he must take up arms once again in his new friends’ aid. His quest will take him into the belly of darkness, as the terrible secret hidden in the hills comes to light...


About Paul

Interview with Paul Lewis and Giveaway - September 13, 2011
Paul Lewis has penned hundreds of comedy sketches for British TV and radio, along with several radio sitcoms. He has also written numerous short stories, which have appeared in publications in the UK and US, with one appearing on Dutch actor Rutger Hauer's website. Paul's collaborations with Steve Lockley include a Doctor Who contribution for BBC Books' The Story of Martha, the novels The Ragchild and The Quarry, and several novellas. The Savage Knight is Paul's first solo novel. A full-time journalist with a regional daily newspaper, he lives with his wife and teenage son in a village in South Wales.



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  Three commenters will each win a copy of The Savage Knight generously provided by Abaddon Books.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Arthur or Lancelot?

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, September 20, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years old and older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

The View From Monday - September 12, 2011

Happy 2nd Monday in September. It's a busy week at The Qwillery.

Monday:  Guest post from Aubrie Dionne - Paradise 21 (New Dawn 1) .

Tuesday: Interview with debut author Paul Lewis - The Savage Knight (Mallory's Knights of Albion).

Wednesday: Interview with debut author MJ Scott - Shadow Kin (Half-Light City 1).

Thursday: Interview with debut author Jess Macallan - Stone Cold Seduction (Set in Stone 1)

Friday: Interview with debut author Erin Morgenstern -The Night Circus.

Book releases for this week are below. A book shopping list in PDF format may be found by clicking here. Click "File" on the left and then "Print (PDF)." Anthologies and book trailers are below.


September 13, 2011

SpellboundCharlton, BlakeF -Spell 2
Blood and Other CravingsDatlow, Ellen (ed)H - Anthology
Sunrise of AvalonElliott, AnnaF - Twilight of Avalon 3
Crack'd Pot Trail (ri)Erikson, StevenF - Bauchelain and Korbal Broach 4
Prospero RegainedLamplighter, L. JagiF - Prospero's Daughter 3
The Savage Knight (d)Lewis, PaulF - Mallory's Knights of Albion
The Night Circus (d)Morgenstern, ErinF
The Highest FrontierSlonczewski, JoanSF
Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic RomanceSzereto, Mitzi (ed)PER - Anthology


September 15, 2011

Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock HolmesCampbell, J.R. (ed)
Prepolec, Charles (ed)
H/F - Anthology
Tesseracts 15: A Case of Quite Curious TalesCzerneda, Julie (ed)
MacGregor, Susan (ed)
SF - Anthology
The Battle Sylph McDonald, L.J.PNR -Sylph 1
Queen of the SylphsMcDonald, L.J.PNR -Sylph 3
The Shattered SylphMcDonald, L.J.PNR -Sylph 2
Tastes of Love and EvilMonajem, BarbaraPNR -Bayou Gavotte 2
The RaftersMontgomery, ACF - Somnambulist Saga 1
BriarpatchPratt, TimF
The Pattern ScarsSweet, CaitlinEF

d - Debut
ri - Reissue


EF - Epic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
PER - Paranormal Erotic Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction


Anthologies






Book trailer:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgentstern


2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 3, 2011

The Qwillery is pleased to announce that Michaele Jordan has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Michaele's debut, Mirror Maze, will be published in October 2011 by Pyr.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 3, 2011
Jacob Aldridge is still utterly devastated by the death of his fiancée when he suddenly encounters her doppelganger. Livia Aram’s uncanny resemblance to the late Rhoda Carothers so transcends coincidence that Jacob becomes obsessed with her. The intensity of his passion terrifies her until her compassion is roused by his desperate plight. A demon is stalking him, a succubus-like entity that feeds on human pain and desire. With the help of Jacob’s sister, Cecily, and Livia’s guardian, the mysterious Dr. Chang, they overcome the demon. Or so it appears. . . .

Jacob, Liva, and Cecily are all victims of a single curse, a curse which entrapped and destroyed their parents before them. Now fate has drawn their descendants together again, and the curse is playing out. Nothing can help them, until Cecily’s husband returns from abroad. Colonel Beckford has been missing for years; he has seen strange things and acquired strange powers in his absence. Now he will do whatever it takes to free his wife and eliminate the demon and its curse once and for all.

Format:  Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Price:  $17.95
ISBN:  978-1-61614-529-3

I really like the cover by Cynthia Sheppard.

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

2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors

Here are the September 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.

This month I simply can't pick one. I'm going to read all of them!

Those Across the River
Author: Christopher Buehlman
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher: Ace (September 6, 2011)
Price: $24.95
Language: English
Genre: Horror
ISBN: 9780441020676
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...

No Proper Lady
Author: Isabel Cooper
Series:
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks (September 1, 2011)
Price: $6.99
Language: English
Genre:  Historical Fantasy Romance/ Time Travel Romance
ISBN:  9781402259524
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.

England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and no one has any idea that in a few hundred years, demons will destroy it all. Joan plans to keep it that way. All she has to do is take out the dark magician responsible—before he summons the demons in the first place. But as a rough-around-the-edges assassin from that bleak future, she’ll have to learn how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.

Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.

The Savage Knight
Author:  Paul Lewis
Series:  Malory's Knights of Albion
Format:  Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher:  Abaddon (September 13, 2011)
Price:  $9.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Historical Fantasy / Arthurian Legend
ISBN:  9781907992346
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
Sir Dodinal the Savage is more at home in the wild forest than in the tilting yard or the banquet hall. Keenly attuned to the natural world, but burdened with a terrible rage, he turns his back on Camelot to find peace, or a just death.

In a quiet village on the Welsh border, Dodinal believes he may have finally found a home, but the village is struck by child-stealing raiders from the hills, and he must take up arms once again in his new friends' aid. His quest will take him into the belly of darkness, as the terrible secret hidden in the hills comes to light...

Stone Cold Seduction
Author:  Jess Macallan
Series:  Set in Stone
Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (September 6, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy Romance
ISBN: 978-1-937044-25-1
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
“Elle. It’s just Elle.”

When a regular night of Robin Hood-ery results in the manifestation of some, um, unusual paranormal abilities, perfume-maker Elleodora Fredricks realizes the normal world she lives in isn’t quite… normal. And neither is she, thanks to her father, king of the shadow elves. Not only is he evil incarnate and the reason Elle moonlights as a burglar—someone has to take care of all his victims—he’s stolen her memories.

And only reading her fate can fix that.

Good thing she’s got a trio of hotties willing to help her find said fate. Saving her oracle BFF’s fiancée, falling in love with the gargoyle, and making up for breaking the phoenix’s heart ought to be a piece of cake for the princess of the shadow elves.

If only the king didn’t want his daughter dead…

The Night Circus
Author:  Erin Morgenstern
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Publisher:  Doubleday (Septemeber 13, 2011)
Price:  $26.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0-385-53463-5
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Sins of the Angels
Author:  Linda Poitevin
Series:  The Grigori Legacy
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  Ace (September 27, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 978044102091
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis is assigned a new partner in Aramael, a Guardian Angel who doubles as a hit man, they have only one thing in common: a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse. Now they have no choice but to work together-relentlessly, fearlessly, intimately. Because only they can stop the rogue angel from ushering in the end of days.

The Panama Laugh
Author:  Thomas S. Roche
Format:  Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (September 6, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction/Apocalyptic
ISBN:  978-1-59780-290-1
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
Ex-mercenary, pirate, and gun-runner Dante Bogart knows he's screwed the pooch after he hands one of his shady employers a biological weapon that made the dead rise from their graves, laugh like hyenas, and feast upon the living. Dante tried to blow the whistle via a tell-all video that went viral -- but that was before the black ops boys deep-sixed him at a secret interrogation site on the Panama-Colombia border.

When Dante wakes up in the jungle with the five intervening years missing from his memory, he knows he's got to do something about the laughing sickness that has caused a world-wide slaughter. The resulting journey leads him across the nightmare that was the Panama Canal, around Cape Horn in a hijacked nuclear warship, to San Francisco's mission district, where a crew of survivalist hackers have holed up in the pseudo-Moorish-castle turned porn-studio known as The Armory.

This mixed band of anti-social rejects has taken Dante's whistle blowing video as an underground gospel, leading the fight against the laughing corpses and the corporate stooges who've tried to profit from the slaughter. Can Dante find redemption and save civilization?

Shadow Kin
Author:  M. J. Scott
Series:  Half-Light City
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  Roc (September 6, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Dark Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  9780451464040
2011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors
On one side, the Night World, rules by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages...

Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart...

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - August 27, 2011

The Qwillery is pleased to announce that Isabel Cooper has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Isabel's debut, No Proper Lady, will be published on September 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - August 27, 2011
It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.

England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and no one has any idea that in a few hundred years, demons will destroy it all. Joan plans to keep it that way. All she has to do is take out the dark magician responsible—before he summons the demons in the first place. But as a rough-around-the-edges assassin from that bleak future, she’ll have to learn how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.

Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.

Look for an interview with Isabel in September.

You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.
Early Review - Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin - 4 1/2 QwillsInterview with Mark Lawrence - September 23, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 21, 2011Interview with Erin Morgenstern and Giveaway - September 16, 2011Interview with M.J. Scott and Giveaway - September 14, 2011Interview with Paul Lewis and Giveaway - September 13, 2011The View From Monday - September 12, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 3, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - September Debut Authors2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - August 27, 2011

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×