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Interview with Daniel O'Malley and Giveaway - January 14, 2012

Please welcome Daniel O'Malley to The Qwillery as part of 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Rook, Daniel's wonderful debut novel, was published on January 11, 2012. You can read my 5 Qwill review of The Rook by clicking here.


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


DJTO’M:  Well, I do my best writing when I’m sitting on the couch, with my feet up, and the TV on mute. Which is not interesting at all, but does fill my mother with rage when she sees me doing it. She feels it’s not authorly enough, that it looks too easy. But the thing that always bites me (or at least makes me look the most ridiculous) is that I always get my best ideas in the worst possible places. Often at the movies, or when I’m walking the dog at night, or in a meeting as part of my day job. Somewhere where, inevitably, I can’t write down the idea. So, I’ll end up repeating it frantically to myself, or sitting for hours with my fingers crossed so I don’t forget to remember. At one public service training course, I had a great idea about an entire family assassinating each other, and hurriedly scrawled down ‘kill entire family’, only to realize that one of my fellow students was looking, horrified, over my shoulder.

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



DJTO’M:  Oh boy, there’s a lot of them, but the ones that I’ve reread the most times are probably the most important. So, here are my top four (four is the new five, apparently.)

Firstly, if you want to be a member of my family, you are obliged to worship at the altar of George MacDonald Fraser. His Flashman books are thrust into your infant hands, and you have to like them, or else you are exposed to the elements. Fortunately for me, I love them. His main character is capable of (reluctant) action, and gets put in dire and dangerous situations, but Fraser was never afraid to make his hero look absolutely ridiculous. Which really struck a chord for me, because I look ridiculous so frequently.

I discovered Terry Pratchett in 7th grade, and never looked back. Every time a new book comes out, I consume it voraciously. He’s funny, and he’s clever, and he writes such good characters. He’s the kind of writer whose work leaves you consumed with envy because you know you will never be as brilliant as he.

Brian Michael Bendis writes outstanding dialogue, and he always seems willing to make unexpected moves that leave you gasping. I’ve been reading his Ultimate Spider-Man for years, and his writing has given me a deep affection for the characters. He’s also left me feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut with the rapidity with which he changes everything.

Finally, books by China Mieville (sorry, I don’t know how to put the little accent on the ‘e’) fill me with a great and terrible joy. I love the complexity of his work, how he throws in a million ideas, any one of which could make a whole book by itself. It makes for a really rich fictional world. I really tried to do something along those lines, putting in lots of cool little things, and incidental mentions of big ideas.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?



DJTO’M:  I’m kind of a sick hybrid. I’ll start out with my one big idea – my concept -- and I’ll usually know vaguely where I’m going, and I’ll have in mind a few stops along the way. But then an idea will spontaneously occur to me, and I’ll pursue it. Or else, I’ll see some flaw, some question that needs to be answered, and I’ll have to figure it out. In fact, some of my favorite writing has come out of plugging up the plot holes. At one point in The Rook, the main character and a bunch of others have to go through a battery of intense, undignified and invasive medical examinations, solely because I’d written myself into a corner. It was entirely possible that everyone was a traitor, and I needed to prove there were some trustworthy people around. Otherwise, the book would have ended with everyone locked in their offices, with guns pointed at the doors.

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

DJTO’M:  Sitting down and actually doing it. It’s so, so easy not to write -- there’s a billion things I could be doing. My house is never so clean and my correspondences never as up as to date as when I’m working on a book.

TQ:  Describe The Rook in 140 characters or less.


DJTO’M:  M. Thomas protects Britain from supernatural horror. Myfanwy T. has no memory of who she is. And they're the same person.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Rook?



DJTO’M:  I have the deplorable (and entirely unique) habit of getting bored during meetings. And during these meetings I have been known, on occasion, to pretend that I’m a stranger who has been abruptly dropped into my body. I have to figure out what’s going on, and who I am, and provide reasonably believable spontaneous answers. Out of that, I wondered how well someone could really fake being someone else.

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



DJTO’M:  Not a whole heap, to be perfectly honest. Probably the most informative thing that happened was that, partway through the novel, I got a position with the Australian Government. Of course, my job was nothing like the work of the Checquy (I do media and communications stuff for the organization that investigates transport accidents), but there were various details and aspects that I realized had to go in. Some things were fairly minor (I’d managed not to give my secret Government operatives security passes) and others were things I’d simply never known about (no public service undertaking, be it a communications strategy or the besieging of a fungus cult, is going to happen without a risk assessment, and some occupational health and safety preparations.)

TQ:  Why did you set the novel in Great Britain?



DJTO’M:  There were several reasons, really, some quite prosaic, and some based on emotion. Firstly, it’s the right size – it meant that my main character could get around to occurrence sites fairly easily. And secondly, it’s got a good long history of continuous government, and that was necessary, for the Checquy to have that sense of centuries and centuries of weird traditions and bureaucracy. Plus, it’s handy for Europe, and all the related risk of having extremely large countries looming over the horizon, ready to invade.

Finally, a huge number of the books I read as a kid and teenager were set in Great Britain, so, for me, it’s always been the place where that sort of thing happens. We can probably agree to blame Enid Blyton and E. Nesbit for most of that.

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



DJTO’M:  At first, the lead character, Myfanwy Thomas, was very daunting to write. Partially because she has amnesia, and I really wasn’t sure how someone would react to that, and partially because she’s a woman, and so there was a bit of hesitation on that score. In the back of my mind, I was convinced that a thousand women (many of them suffering from amnesia) would stand up and condemn the book. But, then I figured that if there were any egregiously inappropriate actions or words, a) someone would point it out before it got printed, and b) I could blame it on the amnesia. And for those with amnesia who felt it was inaccurate, I could blame it on being magic amnesia. As it turned out, there weren’t any problems, which is nice. But for a while, it was a trifle nerve-wracking.

The easiest character was an obnoxious teenage guy who wanders around, acting all precocious and entitled. Probably because, as a teenage guy, I had a few periods of being shiningly obnoxious, precocious and entitled.

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

DJTO’M:  I’m very fond of a scene where various important Government executives gather to watch the hatching of a dragon. It’s an important occasion, with all sorts of scientific and military and hierarchical implications on the line, and the machinery of the Checquy working frantically to make sure everything turns out right. Naturally, everything turns out wrong. Dragon-hatchings are kind of a cliché in fiction, so it was really fun to try and tip one on its head.

TQ:  What's next?

DJTO’M:  I have a ton of ideas for the world of the Checquy, and I am keen to explore the possibilities further, but at the moment I’m working on a couple of unrelated books. One is a young adult novel set in the Ottoman Empire in 1500’s. The other is a novel about a woman who is a talent agent for assassins and killers. She manages their careers, and they are all complete divas, requiring constant attention.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

DJTO’M:  Thanks for having me.






The Rook
Little, Brown and Company (January 11, 2012)
Hardcover, 496 pages
Urban Fantasy/Thriller

"The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, THE ROOK is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.


About Daniel O'Malley

Dan O'Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master's Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhoom home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats. Learn more at www.rookfiles.com

Dan's Links:

The Rook Files
Dan's Twitter
Myfanwy Thomas' Twitter
Facebook







The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win copy of The Rook from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you worked for a secret governmental agency dealing with the supernatural, 
what would your job be?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

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

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

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

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, January 21, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Jason Heller and Giveaway - January 13, 2012

Please welcome Jason Heller to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Taft 2012, Jason's debut novel, will be published on January 17, 2012. You may read Jason's 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blog - The fine (okay, accidental) art of genre-busting - here.


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

Jason:  I have to be out in public to get anything done. Contrary to how a lot of my writer-friends operate, I can’t write at home. Granted, it’s quiet. But there are just too many distractions: TV, guitar, refrigerator, comic books, bed. When I’m out at a coffee shop, I don’t really have any choice but to pay attention to my laptop. Or else it’ll get stolen.

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

Jason:  Most of my favorite writers—from H.P. Lovecraft and J.G. Ballard to Kurt Vonnegut and Roald Dahl—have a striking element of weirdness to what they write. Of course, the above writers aren’t remotely alike. If there’s a unified influence that I can say I’ve drawn from them all, though, it’s this: The world is not as it appears, nor should it. That would be boring, right? There are all kinds of cracks in reality, and writers are morally obliged to fill those cracks with satire, fantasy, horror, and/or utter nonsense. Some call that escapism—but to me, it’s a beautifully perverse form of realism. I can only hope that Taft 2012 contributes to that tradition in its own small way.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jason:  A plotter, definitely. I love plotting stories. I get giddy when I’m doing it, just letting the stakes and reveals and reversals ramp up and branch out at the same time. My enthusiasm for a story swiftly dissipates if I don’t have at least a semisolid plot in place. You can’t stand up — let alone run — without a skeleton.

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

Jason:  Without a doubt: self-doubt. It’s easy to take for granted the instantaneous cause/effect of working a more typically structured job. I write full-time, and the uncertainty can take its toll on the already tender ego of a writer. First-world problem, I know! But when the bills aren’t paid and you’re staring down a deadline and the prose is flowing like molasses running uphill in January, it can cause a bruising reevaluation of one’s life choices and/or sense of overall worth. (Then again, writers do tend toward melodrama, don’t they?)

TQ:  Describe Taft 2012 in 140 characters or less.

Jason:  After vanishing in 1913, the hapless William Howard Taft reappears to find the 21st century both radically strange and strangely the same.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Taft 2012?

Jason:  Being someone with no academic background in history, I read quite a few books on Taft, but I relied heavily on two in particular: William Howard Taft: An Intimate History by Judith Icke Anderson and The William Howard Taft Presidency by Lewis L. Gould. That said, I didn’t feel obligated to adhere to any one biographer’s vision of Taft. After all, Taft 2012 is wholly satirical and speculative; my Taft is a man yanked from his own time, halfway through his life as we know it, and reawakened in ours. My portrayal of him is not supposed to be realistic or even plausible. In some cases, I went out of my way to make Taft outrageous or ridiculous. In others, I probably made him far nicer and more reasonable than he actually was. Then again, that’s one of the main themes of Taft 2012: We as writers, readers, and voters often project whatever we want onto politicians. For better or worse.

TQ:  Did you consider any other former deceased presidents as candidates for your novel?

Jason:  My esteemed editor, Stephen H. Segal, came up with the basic idea for Taft 2012 before recruiting me to realize it. As far as I know, Taft had always been his first choice; there’s just something about his stature (or lack thereof) in the annals of presidential history that make him perfect for fictionalization. The timing was also perfect: Taft was voted out of office in 1912 (and, in my book, vanished in early 1913), so the hundred-year disappearance made for a nice, round number. It also helped that he was a Progressive Republican, a term that now seems to be an oxymoron—and that set Taft up as an instantly self-conflicted person by today’s terms.

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

Jason:  Taft was the easiest. Once I did the research, my admittedly distorted vision of him just fell into place. The hardest was Irene Kaye, the little girl who wrote Taft a postcard in 1912—and who’s now a 106-year-old widow living in a nursing home, and Taft’s only link to his own time. Part of that difficulty was the fact that I based Irene on my own, late grandmother (who just so happened to have been born the week Taft was voted into office). Needless to say, it brought up quite a few memories, both happy and bittersweet.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Taft 2012?

Jason:  There’s a string of scenes in which Taft and his faithful Secret Service bodyguard, Agent Kowalczyk, take an incognito road trip to Chicago. They find themselves in a punk-rock bar on New Year’s Eve, and let’s just say Taft winds up getting lucky… and quite unlucky.

TQ:  What's next?

Jason:  I’m currently working on a pair of dark fantasy/science-fiction novels: The Walking City, which is YA, and Ocean of Bone, which is for adults. I’ve also just finished the first installment of a middle-grade horror series that Quirk, the publisher of Taft 2012, will release later this year. They’ll be appearing under a pseudonym, so it’s all very hush-hush at this point!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jason:  Thank you! As Taft himself might say: The pleasure, fellow citizens, is purely my own.


About Taft 2012

Taft 2012
Quirk Books, January 17, 2012
Trade Paperback, 256 pages

Interview with Jason Heller and Giveaway - January 13, 2012
He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his passion for peaceful diplomacy. The media can’t get enough of his larger-than-life personality. Regular folks can identify with his larger-than-life physique. And all the American people love that he’s an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is.

There’s just one problem: He is William Howard Taft... and he was already U.S. president a hundred years ago. So what on earth is he doing alive and well and considering a running mate in 2012?

Jason Heller’s extraordinary debut novel presents the Vonnegut-esque satire of a presidential Rip Van Winkle amid 21st-century media madness. It’s the ultimate what-if scenario for the 2012 election season!


About Jason Heller

Interview with Jason Heller and Giveaway - January 13, 2012
Jason Heller is a Denver-based writer who contributes regularly to The A.V. Club and Alternative Press. Quirk Books will publish his debut novel, Taft 2012, as well as a series of middle-grade horror books (to be announced). He's also the nonfiction editor of Clarkesworld Magazine and is represented by Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Links:

Blog
Twitter
Taft 2012 Website
Taft 2012 Facebook
Taft 2012 Twitter



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Taft 2012 from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you could time travel, when would you go? 

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, January 20, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


Interview with Jason Heller and Giveaway - January 13, 2012

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore and Giveaway - January 6, 2012

Please welcome Stephen Blackmoore to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Stephen's debut novel, City of the Lost, was published on January 3, 2012.


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

Stephen:  Occasionally, I wear a fez. This one.

http://yfrog.com/nzxthkj

In fact, I'm wearing it right now.

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

Stephen:  Some writers hate the question, "Where do you get your ideas?" To which my answer is, "Daily peyote suppositories and naked wandering through the desert."

But this is the most dreaded question for me. I don't have an answer. There are too many.

Influences? There's Chandler's style and Hammett's plots. Hunter S. Thompson's bat country. There are writers who make me want to be a better writer, like Charlie Huston, Duane Swierczynski, Victor Gischler, Rob Roberge, Ray Banks. There's Blade Runner and Robocop and Chinatown and L.A. Confidential (the movie - this is blasphemy but I hate Ellroy's books).

It goes on and on and tomorrow I'll have a different answer and it will be just as true as this one.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Stephen:  I don't really believe there's a difference. At some point we're all making it up as we go. If you're a plotter then you're pantsing when you're plotting, which, come to think of it, sounds rude and scatological.

Whether you're writing down an outline, doing a storyboard or writing scenes full blown, it's the same process. It's all building up the story in one form or another. And however one does it, it's still going to require rewrites and multiple drafts.

I outline. I write full scenes. I write full scenes in my outlines and vice versa. I write without an outline. Or pants.

But that's an entirely different conversation.

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

Stephen:  Doing it. There are so many distractions and excuses. Just getting off my ass and writing is the hardest thing. Video games, the internet, the day job, the hobo I have tied up on the roof. They're all attention sucks. You have to beat them with a shovel until they stop screaming.

Especially the hobo.

TQ: Describe City of the Lost in 140 characters or less.

Stephen:  L.A. thug Joe Sunday is murdered and raised from the dead. Things go downhill from there.

TQ: What inspired you to write City of the Lost?

Stephen:  The thought, "zombie noir" popped into my head one day and I couldn't shake it loose. Gave it up, went back to it, ditched it a few more times. Finally wrote a short story that turned into the book.

Though I love writing and reading straight crime fiction, I keep going back to genre mash-ups and noir and horror have always felt like a good fit for each other.

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

Stephen:  Not a lot, really. I mostly pull things in by osmosis more than I deliberately set out to research them. I've picked up a lot about L.A. for my true crime blog, L.A. Noir, where I talk about some of the more weird, funny, or just plain tragic crimes that go on here. I wanted to get that same sense of weirdness in the book.

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

Stephen:  Well, I live here and I know the place. That makes it easier. Setting it in a town I'd never been to or one that I just barely knew wasn't something I was really interested in.

But more, I love Los Angeles. It's such a beautifully screwed up town. It's full of contradictions and bulldozed history. It's beautiful illusions and ugly realities and sometimes the other way around. It's people just trying to lives their lives. It's every conceivable culture smeared across the landscape. It's enormous and tiny at the same time. You can see signs for Chinese fast food in Spanish. Whole blocks are given over to Hangeul. A Jewish deli with glowing neon is down the street from half a dozen Ethiopian restaurants with hand lettered signage.

It's cliches are so well known in popular culture that people think they know it. People know Hollywood, and the stereotypical glamour. They don't know about Sleepy Lagoon, the Watts Riots or Special Order 40. That the concrete channel called the L.A. river, empty most of the year, once put half the city under water and killed over a hundred people. That Dodger Stadium is built on stolen land.

I wanted to write something set among the more hidden parts of L.A. And then twist those bits around a little bit more.

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

Stephen:  Joe was the hardest, hands down. The book is in first person so everything's from his point of view. Anything he doesn't know, the reader doesn't know, though they'll probably be faster on the uptake than he is on some things.

The biggest challenge with him is that I have a bigger vocabulary than he does. He's not much of a thinker and he doesn't have much in the way of formal education.

I got some copyedits at one point that suggested he use a particular word in place of another and, though I agreed with the copyeditor, the note I sent back was, "I don't think he would even know what that word means." That said, I didn't want to make him stupid. Just very linear.

As to easiest, I think that was probably the character of Samantha. Whenever she was in a scene it made things go a lot more smoothly. I was trying to get an easy sort of banter between her and Joe and every scene with them just popped. I like writing dialog and she's the sort of character that lends herself to that.

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

Stephen:  That's a tough one. There are so many.

It's probably when a character called The Bruja first shows up. She's a little less and a lot more than she seems to be.

TQ: What's next?

Stephen:  My second novel, DEAD THINGS, is a follow-up to CITY OF THE LOST. I don't know when it will be out. Presumably some time next year.

I'm doing this series a little differently from most, in that the focus is on the world, rather than just a single character, so Joe Sunday doesn't make an appearance in this one.

Instead it's about a mage whose particular knack is communicating with the dead. He left L.A. years before because Bad Things happened. He comes back when he finds out his sister has been murdered and discovers that he might just be a pawn in a much bigger game.

Right now I'm working on a pitch for a possible future book in the series titled FIRE SEASON that follows a side character from CITY OF THE LOST as the protagonist. We'll see if the publisher goes for it.

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Stephen:  Thanks for having me.


About City of the Lost

City of the Lost
DAW Trade, January 3, 2012
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Cover and illustrations by Sean Philips

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore and Giveaway - January 6, 2012
Joe Sunday’s dead.

He just hasn’t stopped moving yet.

Sunday’s a thug, an enforcer, a leg-breaker for hire. When his boss sends him to kill a mysterious new business partner, his target strikes back in ways Sunday could never have imagined. Murdered, brought back to a twisted half-life, Sunday finds himself stuck in the middle of a race to find an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality. With it, he might live forever. Without it, he’s just another rotting extra in a George Romero flick.

Everyone’s got a stake, from a psycho Nazi wizard and a razor-toothed midget, to a nympho-demon bartender, a too-powerful witch who just wants to help her homeless vampires, and the one woman who might have all the answers — if only Sunday can figure out what her angle is.

Before the week is out he’s going to find out just what lengths people will go to for immortality. And just how long somebody can hold a grudge.

Read my 5 Qwill review of City of the Lost - here.
Read Stephen's Guest Blog - Our Lady of the Shadows - here.


About Stephen

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore and Giveaway - January 6, 2012
Stephen Blackmoore is a pulp writer of little to no renown who once thought lighting things on fire was one of the best things a kid could do with his time. Until he discovered that eyebrows don't grow back very quickly.

His first novel, a dark urban fantasy titled CITY OF THE LOST will be coming out January 3rd, 2012 through DAW Books and will be available at all the fashionable bookstores. Hopefully some of the seedier ones, too.  He would, after all, like to buy a copy.

His short stories and poetry have appeared in magazines like Plots With Guns, Needle, Spinetingler, and Thrilling Detective, as well as the anthologies UNCAGE ME and DEADLY TREATS.

Despite evidence to the contrary, he does not have rabies.

Stephen's Links

Website
Blog
Twitter


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of City of the Lost from Stephen. US/Canda ONLY.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Favorite book, movie, comic, or TV show with zombies? 

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

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

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

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

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, January 13, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with E.S. Moore and Giveaway - January 3, 2012

Please welcome E.S. Moore to The Qwillery as the first of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge interviews. To Walk the Night (Kat Redding 1) is published today.  Happy Release Day to E.S. Moore!

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

ESM:  Not sure it's interesting, but I'd have to say my biggest quirk would have to be my near obsessiveness when it comes to when and how I write. I follow nearly the same pattern every single day and if I veer from it in the slightest, the day is usually wasted. I literally have to get up, get ready for the day, eat breakfast, and then sit down to write right away or I struggle to get into it. And then I have to write at my desk, with my laptop, with no music or sound, with hazelnut coffee first, followed by a root beer, or I struggle. I can sometimes work at night, but it is rare because I want to follow my morning routine beforehand.

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

ESM:  Some of my favorites are: Stephen King, Brian Lumley, Kathy Reichs, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Simon R. Green, George R. R. Martin, and Brandon Sanderson. All of them have influenced my writing in some way. And there are so many other authors in so many different genres, it would be impossible to list them all here. I'd like to think that everything I read makes me a little better in my own writing. You can learn something from everyone.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

ESM:  Depends. I used to be a 100% pantser, but that slowly evolved over time. To Walk the Night is actually the first book I plotted beforehand. I still do a lot of writing without plotting, and even then, the plotting is usually no more than two or three lines per chapter of what I think should happen. I still like to let the story guide me more than trying to force it down a certain path just because I plotted it one way. There are still stories I am working on that have no pre-plotted elements and others where I plotted it out, wrote a first draft, and then totally changed everything in the second go round.

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

ESM:  Deciding what to work on! I have so many ideas, it will be impossible for me to ever write all the stories. While I love coming up with new ideas, it makes it hard to focus sometimes. I've had weeks where I've desperately wanted to work on book A, but book B kept demanding to be written. By the time I was ready for book B, book C and D were jumping up and down, waving their arms, asking for a little love. I sometimes have to force myself to stay focused because I want to get to them all!

TQ:  Describe To Walk the Night in 140 words or less.

ESMTo Walk the Night is a gritty urban fantasy novel where the vampires and werewolves rule the night. Kat Redding, a vampire herself, hunts the monsters, earning herself the nickname Lady Death. She reluctantly teams up with the Luna Cult, a group of werewolf worshipers, to take down a vampire House who is looking to increase their power. The story is dark with quite a bit of bloody action.

TQ:  What inspired you to write To Walk the Night?

ESM:  It was one of those freak idea flashes that came out of nowhere. I had a fleeting thought about what my next project should be, thinking it would be urban fantasy, but wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go. Then it just sort of came to me and I plotted it out in a day. Oddly, I never once thought of the movie Underworld when plotting or writing the book. It wasn't until after people started reading it and comparing them that I even thought about the movie.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for To Walk the Night?

ESM:  There were a few location things I researched, but I live near enough to Columbus, Ohio, I didn't have to look much up. Kat's motorcycle and gun were my biggest research problems. I knew absolutely nothing about either of those things. I did most of my research online because I can't stand to be around guns and would rather just get what information I could online or talking to some people rather than actually seeing them in action. Some day I'll probably need to get hands on experience, but for now, I'm happy with what I have.

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

ESM:  I think Ethan is the answer to both questions! I struggled early on to come up with his personality and even age and skill sets. In the first draft, he was completely different than he ended up by the time the book was ready to submit. His first incarnation didn't work with the rest of the story and only added to the dark tone, rather than add a little relief from it. Once I stopped trying to force him into something he obviously wasn't, it went so much better. He is a lot closer to me in his personality, which makes him easier to write. He's sort of my anchor when it comes to characters who are reserved and have clean mouths. I need him so I can get away from all the cursing!

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

ESM:  The scenes between Kat and Ethan are my favorites. I love their interactions. They can be intense, but also have a little comic relief that I think is important to any book that has a lot of bloody scenes. You've gotta sit back and breathe every now and again, right?

TQ:  What's next?

ESM:  Book 2, Tainted Night, Tainted Blood will be released July 3, 2012. I'm also putting the final touches on book 3, Blessed by a Demon's Mark, which will come out sometime later.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

ESM:  Thank you for having me!


About To Walk the Night

To Walk the Night
Kat Redding 1
Kensington, January 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages

Interview with E.S. Moore and Giveaway - January 3, 2012
Even a vampire has to face her inner demons…

Kat Redding is the very thing she hunts: a vampire, thirsting for blood, capable of killing any creature unlucky enough to get in her path. The difference is, Kat kills her own kind in order to protect human Purebloods. She’s good at what she does. Good enough to earn the nickname Lady Death—and the enmity of every bloodthirsty being around. But now a vampire Count is intent on merging his House with a werewolf cult to create a force of terrifying power.

Kat can’t allow that to happen. Even if it means taking on a den of weres and a vampire more ruthless than any she’s encountered before. She has the weapons, the skill, and a few allies. But that may not be enough to eliminate the Count before her own dark nature rises to the surface—and costs her whatever is left of her humanity…


About E.S. Moore

Interview with E.S. Moore and Giveaway - January 3, 2012
E.S. Moore is the author of the Kat Redding urban fantasy series, starting with To Walk the Night due January 3rd, 2012 and continuing with Tainted Night, Tainted Blood in July. He lives in Ohio with his wife and son. You can find him on the web at www.esmoore.net.

E.S. Moore's Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads





The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  Two commenters will each win a Mass Market Papberback copy of To Walk the Night (Kat Redding 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who is your favorite vampire slayer from books or film?

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, January 10, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Interview with Daniel O'Malley and Giveaway - January 14, 2012Interview with Jason Heller and Giveaway - January 13, 2012Interview with Stephen Blackmoore and Giveaway - January 6, 2012Interview with E.S. Moore and Giveaway - January 3, 2012

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