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Interview with Sonja Condit, author of Starter House - December 13, 2013


Please welcome Sonja Condit to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Starter House will be published on December 31st by William Morrow.



Interview with Sonja Condit, author of Starter House - December 13, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Sonja:  I wrote my first novel at age seven, about the life and adventures of a trap-door spider, an animal whose lifestyle interested me strongly. Then I wrote another one, about an Egyptian cat mummy who lived in a museum and came out at night to have adventures with other museum artifacts and also with the nearby cats. Then it was dinosaurs, then unicorns, and eventually I started to write about people.



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

Sonja:  I'm very boring and have no quirks. I can't write without coffee--but then, I can't really do anything without coffee. Also I need a cat nearby. Fortunately we have plenty so there's always one available.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Sonja:  I'm a rebellious plotter. I plot like mad, in agonizing detail, and then when I write it all goes to pieces and the book ends up different. Every now and then I stop writing and adjust the outline to reflect what's actually there.



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

Sonja:  Every day, the first one hundred words are the hardest. Deadlines help. I belong to two wonderful writing groups, so there's always a workshop coming up, and that keeps me working.



TQ:  Describe Starter House in 140 characters or less.

Sonja:  Pregnant woman buys house haunted by jealous child.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Starter House?

Sonja:  I absolutely love ghost stories. But there are certain haunted-house traditions that disturb me, such as, that the houses are so horrible and dangerous, why would any reasonable person choose to live there? And the ghosts are so hateful and angry. So I tried to make it different. The house is an ordinary, pleasant suburban home, and the ghost is motivated by love, not hate.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Starter House?

Sonja:  None! I'd much rather make things up. Actually, that's not true; as part of plotting and outlining, I had a timeline, and made sure I knew what was going on with Lacey's pregnancy in every scene.



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

Sonja:  Lex was easy to write, because he was so different. I made a few rules for his language--he rarely uses names; his sentences are short and simple--and tried to understand what he was thinking. Eric was hard. My early readers found him very unsympathetic. This was disturbing, because I quite like him, and I wanted my readers to sympathize with him even when he's wrong.



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

Sonja:  The dreams. I rarely write dream scenes, and usually don't enjoy them as a reader, but I think they worked and that made me happy.



TQ:  What's next?

Sonja:  I'm working on another book; right now I'm partway through the second draft, and am just discovering that my timeline is in ruins and nothing makes sense! It'll work out in the end, though.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sonja:  Thank you.






Starter House

Starter House
William Morrow Paperbacks, December 31, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Sonja Condit, author of Starter House - December 13, 2013
Her dream home is about to become a house of nightmares...

From the moment Lacey glimpses the dusty-rose colonial cottage with its angled dormer windows and quaint wooden shutters, she knows she's found her dream house. Walking through its cozy rooms, the expectant mother can see her future children sitting on the round bottom step of the house's beautifully carved staircase, and she imagines them playing beneath the giant maple tree in the warm South Carolina sun. It doesn't matter to Lacey and her husband, Eric, that people had died there years before.

But soon their warm and welcoming house turns cold. There is something malevolent within the walls—a disturbing presence that only Lacey can sense. And there is Drew, a demanding and jealous little boy who mysteriously appears when Lacey is alone. Protective of this enigmatic child who reminds her of the troubled students she used to teach, Lacey bakes cookies and plays games to amuse him. Yet, as she quickly discovers, Drew is unpredictable—and dangerous.

Fearing for her baby's safety, Lacey sets out to uncover the truth about Drew and her dream house—a search for answers that takes her into the past, into the lives of a long-dead family whose tragic secrets could destroy her. To save her loved ones, Lacey must find a way to lay a terrifying evil to rest...before she, Eric, and their child become its next victims.





About Sonja

Interview with Sonja Condit, author of Starter House - December 13, 2013
Photo by Brent Coppenbarger
Sonja Condit received her MFA from Converse College, where she studied with Robert Olmstead, Leslie Pietrzyk, R. T. Smith, and Marlin Barton. Her short fiction has appeared in Shenandoah magazine, among other publications. She plays principal bassoon in the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium. She teaches at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.

Website  Facebook




Interview with E.L. Tettensor, author of Darkwalker (Nicolas Lenoir 1) - December 9, 2013


Please welcome E.L. Tettensor to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Darkwalker (Nicolas Lenoir 1) was published on December 3, 2013 by Roc.


Interview with E.L. Tettensor, author of Darkwalker (Nicolas Lenoir 1) - December 9, 2013



TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

E.L.:  Thanks! It’s nice to be here.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

E.L.:  I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, on and off. I think I got serious about it in the third grade, following my triumph in a poetry contest dedicated to the wonders of mud. I won this amazing dragon kite. It was a kaleidoscope of colours and had a thirty-foot tail, and it was by far the coolest kite in the neighbourhood. That really opened my eyes to the glory and riches that come with writing.

True story.

Anyway, my first memory of consciously trying to write a novel was around the age of thirteen. I was going through this Star Trek phase, and I decided to write a Star Trek book. I sat down with my mom’s old Smith-Corona typewriter and pecked out a few chapters. I never finished it, but that was the beginning of a long-standing pattern – starting, and eventually abandoning, various sorts of spec fic novels. I guess the whole writing thing was sort of pre-programmed.



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

E.L.:  I’m not sure if it’s interesting, but I use a lot of semi-colons. I try to keep it in check, but it’s hard; they’re just such so much more organic than full stops.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

E.L.:  Plot, followed by pants, followed by plot. I get a nice, detailed outline going, and for a while, I follow it pretty closely. Usually, though, when the momentum really starts to pick up, I veer off track – sometimes way off track – and when the train starts to slow down, I have this moment of panic that I’m way off course. That’s when the outline saves the day. It’s not a map, but it is a compass: it shows you where you want to go, if not how to get there. Then it’s just a question of finding that switch – that plot point, that bit of dialogue – that puts you back on course.



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

E.L.:  Titles. Oh, how I loathe them! I got lucky with DARKWALKER, and I can only hope it’s the start of a new trend. But up until now, titles have been the bane of my writing existence.



TQ:  Describe Darkwalker in 140 characters or less.

E.L.:  Sherlock Holmes meets X-Files, with a distinctively African flavour.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Darkwalker?

E.L.:  I tend to be a very visual writer. Long before an actual idea takes shape, my head gets cluttered with images – characters, landscapes, colours – that don’t necessarily fit together right away. For DARKWALKER, I think I was originally inspired by the visuals in films like Underworld and Van Helsing. There was something about those bleak, cinder-and-ash palettes that really appealed to me. And once you start playing with that imagery, you can’t help being drawn to a lot of the tropes of gothic literature – the corruption, the ‘outsider’ protagonist, the fixation with the occult. And of course, the monster.



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

E.L.:  I think the biggest source of research for DARKWALKER was my own travels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taxed the patience of family and friends by lingering a little too long at a castle, running my hands along the stone, or wandering around the dark nooks of a cathedral, smelling the damp air. There’s a scene in DARKWALKER that’s straight out of my own experience of walking into a magic shop in Johannesburg, South Africa. Traditional research is important, but when it comes to describing the taste of absinthe or the sound of a flintlock rifle firing, you just can’t beat first-hand experience.



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

E.L.:  Lenoir is the easiest to inhabit for me. He’s actually a lot of fun to write, because he gets to say the kinds of things I’ve often been tempted to say, but thought better of. We all have our inner snark, and if you want to know what mine sounds like, spend a little time with Lenoir. He’s the grumpy, pre-coffee E.L. Tettensor.

The hardest to write was Zach. One of my pet peeves in literature is badly written children, and I really didn’t want to fall into that trap. I wanted Zach to be remarkable for his age – clever, resourceful, street savvy – but he’s still a nine year-old, and making that authentic was a real preoccupation for me.



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

E.L.:  There’s a scene where Zach takes Lenoir to a rough part of town to try to recruit some muscle, and something happens that really rattles Zach. The essence of that scene was actually suggested to me by a friend, and I love it because it shows us so much about Lenoir, about his relationship with Zach. It’s the first time Lenoir really pauses to think about why the boy matters to him, and it’s crucial to understanding what drives him later on. It also shows us a softer side to Lenoir, and lets us glimpse how much is going on beneath that stoic surface.



TQ:  What's next?

E.L.:  The sequel to DARKWALKER is almost done, and I’m really excited about it. The characters are starting to fit like well-used baseball gloves, and that means I can focus on taking them to new places, literally and figuratively. There are some new faces, too, characters who appeared in DARKWALKER but play a much more pivotal role in the sequel. I can’t wait to introduce them to the world!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

E.L.:  Thanks for having me!






Darkwalker

Darkwalker
Nicolas Lenoir 1
Roc, December 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with E.L. Tettensor, author of Darkwalker (Nicolas Lenoir 1) - December 9, 2013
He used to be the best detective on the job. Until he became the hunted...

Once a legendary police inspector, Nicolas Lenoir is now a disillusioned and broken man who spends his days going through the motions and his evenings drinking away the nightmares of his past. Ten years ago, Lenoir barely escaped the grasp of the Darkwalker, a vengeful spirit who demands a terrible toll on those who have offended the dead. But the Darkwalker does not give up on his prey so easily, and Lenoir has always known his debt would come due one day.

When Lenoir is assigned to a disturbing new case, he treats the job with his usual apathy—until his best informant, a street savvy orphan, is kidnapped. Desperate to find his young friend before the worst befalls him, Lenoir will do anything catch the monster responsible for the crimes, even if it means walking willingly into the arms of his own doom…





About E.L. Tettensor

Interview with E.L. Tettensor, author of Darkwalker (Nicolas Lenoir 1) - December 9, 2013
E.L. Tettensor likes her stories the way she likes her chocolate: dark, exotic, and with a hint of bitterness. She has visited fifty countries on five continents, and brought a little something back from each of them to press inside the pages of her books. She lives with her husband in Bujumbura, Burundi.







Website  ~  Twitter @ETettensor  ~  Facebook  ~  Goodreads







Interview with Mark H. Williams, author of Sleepless Knights - November 15, 2013


Please welcome Mark H. Williams to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.  Sleepless Knights was published in September 2013 by Atomic Fez Publishing.



Interview with Mark H. Williams, author of Sleepless Knights - November 15, 2013





TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Mark:  Thank you, lovely to be here.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Mark:  Writing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My first clear memory of creating a story that really excited me dates from junior school, from the age of about ten or eleven. Our teacher stuck a picture on the classroom wall of a fisherman by a riverbank, and we had to write about it. The fisherman became an enemy spy, casting a floating bomb into the path of my secret agent heroes. Everything in it was shamelessly stolen from James Bond films, The Hardy Boys, Marvel comics and the old M.A.S.K. cartoon series! But I remember vividly the imaginative delight that came with the realisation that in a story, you could transform the world, in any way you wanted to.



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

Mark:  Actually, probably an extension of the above! I’m an obsessive hoarder of poems, songs and postcards – any picture, idea or tone that strikes a chord in some way. I go back to them frequently, and they usually end up unlocking part of a story.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mark:  Definitely a plotter, especially in the early stages of something. If I don’t know the broad structure of a story, it can feel like I’m writing into a void, and I tend to lose my way pretty quickly. Having said that, it’s also important to allow space for the story to take shape and lead as I write. But I’ve never been the kind of writer who just sits down and starts without any kind of map.



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

Mark:  Novel-wise, probably keeping the numerous plates spinning that any story past a certain length requires. Also, knowing when the moment is ripe to start a story – and when something still needs more time to percolate. And I’m constantly challenged by the fact that nothing about writing seems to get any easier the more you do it!



TQ:  Describe Sleepless Knights in 140 characters or less. /like a tweet/

Mark:  The story of Sir Lucas, butler to King Arthur, and the events that unfold when the Knights’ existence is revealed to the modern world.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Sleepless Knights?

Mark:  Initially, simply the idea that King Arthur and Camelot had a butler. Sir Lucas – or Lucan, as he is in Thomas Malory – crops up in lots of the old tales. He was there at the last battle, advising Arthur against continuing to fight Mordred; advice which Arthur ignores. Lucan helps Arthur to his feet, and in doing so, Lucan dies of his wounds. And then Arthur goes to his doom…

It struck me as having parallels with the story of Stevens in The Remains Of The Day – the question of how far a man of service will go, in supporting someone he believes in, even if it means ignoring his principles, or setting aside his heart. Then I started to think about someone working behind the scenes in all those big legends. What would it take to stage-manage something on the scale of Camelot? I’d worked part-time in the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff for several years, and loved the fact that there was this whole backstage world, a story behind every production that nobody in the audience ever saw. All of this then meshed with an idea I’d had for a while, that some of these knights might still be living among us today.

Finally, in terms of tone and texture, books like Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and The Princess Bride by William Goldman, were really inspiring in their mix of a strong story with plenty of heart and humour.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Sleepless Knights?

Mark:  Lots! My interest in exploring the Arthurian legend was inspired by a brilliant lecturer at Cardiff University, the delightfully-named Stephen Knight. That course was a terrific primer in the material, and sent me off in all kinds of fruitful directions – from Geoffrey of Monmouth and Thomas Malory, to the re-imaginings of TH White, Mark Twain and John Steinbeck. After that, I discovered accessible modern experts like Richard Barber and Juliette Wood, and began collecting books by writers who had reworked the mythology into countless different shapes. Chief inspirations here were John Masefield and Susan Cooper, and quirky curiosities like JB Priestley’s The Thirty First Of June.

But it didn’t take me long to realise that the Arthurian legend is the kind of subject you can research forever! So I also started looking at various places in Wales to help structure and map my own story. In particular, I made several trips to Cardigan on the West Wales coast, where I’ve set Camelot and Merlin’s Tomb.



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

Mark:  Sir Lucas is probably the answer to both questions! In many ways he was the easiest, as once I had his voice and started to tell his story, I’d pretty much know how he would handle any situation. As the book progressed, he became harder to write for a while, as I really wanted to push him to the limits of his endurance. But once I knew what this was, that in turn helped with writing the ending.



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

Mark:  I’m really pleased with how the fantastical set-pieces turned out – I enjoyed creating a big apocalyptic canvas across Wales. I started writing a lot of those chapters when Doctor Who returned, and it was inspiring to see the places I passed every day recreated fictionally in that series, with a real sense of confidence and scale. But my overall favourite scenes are probably those in the third Yesterday section, which mixes the knights’ original Grail quest with some of their ‘secret history’. That was great fun to write.



TQ:  What's next? /this is where you share whatever you'd like to share/

Mark:  I’ve started working on my first TV commission, which is really new and exciting, and will probably be officially announced next year. Novel-wise I’m some way into a sort-of-sequel to Sleepless Knights, which I hope will be the first book in a new trilogy. It starts at the end of Camelot, and it’s about those who were excluded from the traditional tales – and what happens in a legendary landscape when Arthur goes, and a sudden power vacuum appears. I’ve been inspired by a lot of the Taliesin material, which overlaps with the Merlin myth, as well as fragments of Celtic legends about bards, monsters and magic.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mark:  My pleasure, thanks for having me.






SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS

Sleepless Knights
Atomic Fez Publishing, September 24, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 418 pages

Interview with Mark H. Williams, author of Sleepless Knights - November 15, 2013
Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table — the person who managed every quest from behind the scenes. He’s a man whose average working day involved defeating witches and banishing werewolves, while ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating ‘brewed’ from ‘stewed.’ What’s more, 1,500 years after that golden age, he’s still doing it — here in the modern world, right under our noses.

When King Arthur and six of his knights are exposed as living among us, Merlin is unleashed and a grim apocalypse unfolds, uncovering secrets from the past that King Arthur would rather stay buried. When Lucas is forced to confront his own peculiar destiny, will he choose to sacrifice his true love and lay down his life in the service of his master?

Sleepless Knights is a tale of high adventure and warm humour, with a spring in its step, a twinkle in its eye and, at its heart, the ultimate butler.





About Mark
(from the Author's website)

Interview with Mark H. Williams, author of Sleepless Knights - November 15, 2013
I’m a freelance writer of scripts, books and plays.

Forthcoming productions include Here Be Monsters (Theatr Iolo, touring Wales, July – August 2013) and a stage adaptation of Jason & The Argonauts (Courtyard Hereford, touring England, September – autumn 2013).

My debut novel Sleepless Knights, a fantasy novel about King Arthur’s butler, is published in August 2013 by Atomic Fez books.

I’ve written two UK-touring stage adaptations for The Birmingham Stage Company. Horrible Histories: The Frightful First World War (2009;  nominated for a Manchester Evening News award for Best Family Show) and Horrible Science (2010). Both plays were based on the best-selling books published by Scholastic. Horrible Science is re-touring the UK in the autumn of 2013.

Past theatre projects include The Theatre Of Doom! for the Courtyard Hereford, Zufall for Cwmni Theatr 3D, Young Merlin for the Sherman Theatre Company, Everything Gets Eaten with the Desperate Men Theatre Company, Use It Or Lose It for Dirty Protest and Opera Max: 9 Stories High for Welsh National Opera.

I’ve written extensively for radio, including My Dog’s Got No Nose, Weekend Film Matinee and My Kind Of Wales for BBC Wales, and The Bethan & Huw Show for BBC Radio One. Television work includes the sketch show Lucky Bag, and I was a sitcom finalist in the inaugural BBC Talent scheme.
I’m currently developing new projects with National Theatre Wales, and a main-stage play for a family audience based on Arthurian legend with the Torch Theatre.

Website  ~  Twitter @markhwilliams

Listen to an interview with Mark at Bell, Book & Candle here!

Interview with J. Kathleen Cheney, author of The Golden City - November 5, 2013


Please welcome J. Kathleen Cheney to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Golden City is published today by Roc. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Ms. Cheney a Happy Publication Day!




Interview with J. Kathleen Cheney, author of The Golden City - November 5, 2013





TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

J.K.C.:  I've written since I was a child, but I didn't start writing for publication until late 2005, which is a totally different thing.



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

J.K.C.:  I'd have to say that I try to take Sundays off. It's not that I don't write on Sunday, but instead if I have time to write, I usually work on something else. It's often something I'm not even planning on publishing. It's just a chance to do some writing that's purely fun.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

J.K.C.:  About 50/50, I'd say. I like to do an outline at the outset, but I often deviate from it and have to re-outline later. And sometimes I do the outline when I'm about halfway through.



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

J.K.C.:  My dogs. I have two Airedale terriers who are just three years old. They're still pretty puppyish and are quite demanding of my time, which makes it hard for me to find uninterrupted writing time.



TQ:  Describe The Golden City in 140 characters or less.

J.K.C.:  A sereia and a half-selkie must work together to stop a killer in a city where neither is allowed to live. (Sereia is the Portuguese word for a siren, BTW.)



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Golden City?

J.K.C.:  I wanted to write a story about a woman who's trying to catch a murderer, but can't go to the police because she's not legal herself. That's how I ended up with the ban that made non-humans illegal in the Golden City.



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

J.K.C.:  So much research! I've written historical fantasy in that time period before, but that was set in the US. When I started looking into Portugal, I discovered that I knew almost nothing about the country, so I pretty much started with a basic history of the country and then worked from there. I had to learn to read Portuguese too, because a lot of things I needed have never been translated into English. (I used Portuguese Wikipedia a great deal.)



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

J.K.C.:  In this story, it was easier for me to write Oriana because she's constantly hiding herself. She's less self-confident, so it's easier for me to relate to her. I'd say that Silva is the hardest to write because he's so self-serving. Not quite a sociopath, but definitely a narcissist.



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

J.K.C.:  Oh…the bathroom scene. That's the one I often do when I'm reading at a convention. But I usually love any scene where the characters are getting to know each other.



TQ:  What's next?

J.K.C.:  The second book in this series, The Seat of Magic, comes out next July, and the cover is also amazing…but I can't share it with anyone yet. Drat.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

J.K.C.:  You're welcome!






The Golden City
The Golden City
Roc, November 5, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with J. Kathleen Cheney, author of The Golden City - November 5, 2013
For two years, Oriana Paredes has been a spy among the social elite of the Golden City, reporting back to her people, the sereia, sea folk banned from the city’s shores....

When her employer and only confidante decides to elope, Oriana agrees to accompany her to Paris. But before they can depart, the two women are abducted and left to drown. Trapped beneath the waves, Oriana’s heritage allows her to survive while she is forced to watch her only friend die.

Vowing vengeance, Oriana crosses paths with Duilio Ferreira—a police consultant who has been investigating the disappearance of a string of servants from the city’s wealthiest homes. Duilio also has a secret: He is a seer and his gifts have led him to Oriana.

Bound by their secrets, not trusting each other completely yet having no choice but to work together, Oriana and Duilio must expose a twisted plot of magic so dark that it could cause the very fabric of history to come undone....





About J. Kathleen Cheney

Interview with J. Kathleen Cheney, author of The Golden City - November 5, 2013
J. Kathleen Cheney is a former teacher and has taught mathematics ranging from 7th grade to Calculus, with a brief stint as a Gifted and Talented Specialist. Her short fiction has been published in Jim Baen's Universe, Writers of the Future, and Fantasy Magazine, among others, and her novella "Iron Shoes" was a 2010 Nebula Award Finalist. Her novel, "The Golden City" debuts November 5, 2013.

Her website can be found at www.jkathleencheney.com

Twitter @jkcheney  ~  Facebook  ~  Tumblr


Interview with Libby McGugan, author of The Eidolon - October 28, 2013


Please welcome Libby McGugan to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Eidolon will be published on October 29th in the US and Canada and November 7th in the UK. You may read Libby's Guest Blog - Why I wrote The Eidolon and a few thoughts on why anyone writes anything. - here.



Interview with Libby McGugan, author of The Eidolon - October 28, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.



Libby:  Thanks Sally. It’s a privilege to be here.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?



Libby:  I’ve always dabbled in writing – poetry for a while, and a children’s book about 10 years ago, which was a mishmash of all the stories I’d known growing up. Once I started writing down ideas, the floodgates opened. I found I love the process and the freedom it gives you. Like having a party in your own head.

When I first started The Eidolon, I worked with Cornerstone’s Literary Consultancy, which was a great help in steering me in the right direction.



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



Libby:  I found this technique a couple of years ago, and it’s something I apply to pretty much everything now. The idea is that before you do anything, you spend some time thinking about how it will feel when it’s completed the way you would like it to be. After I went to the Writers’ Festival in York a couple of years ago, and got some direct, painful but extremely valuable feedback from an agent and publisher there, I was faced with a major rewrite. So I tried this technique. Before I wrote anything I’d do something else – go for a run, tidy up, whatever, and spend time imagining how it would feel to have written that particular part and feel really satisfied with it. Scene by scene, chapter by chapter, it all came together. So a story that had taken me three years to write, I rewrote (changing the narrative stance, tense and eighty percent of the plot) in ten weeks. Works for me!

I also write to movie soundtracks.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?



Libby:  Hmmm. A bit of both. A plontser. I plot general goalposts, but I like to let intuition guide me along whatever path it thinks best along the way, usually while I’m doing something else.



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



Libby:  Remembering to eat. My longest stretch was ten hours.

I used to struggle a lot with letting go of scenes I loved. It was like cutting off a finger. But I’ve developed a more ruthless streak now, and it’s funny how often you can incorporate the essence of those scenes in different ways down the line.



TQ:  Describe The Eidolon in 140 characters or less.

Libby:  A pragmatic physicist, recruited to sabotage the CERN, discovers the secret of dark matter and the boundary between the living and the dead.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Eidolon?



Libby:  I started writing The Eidolon in 2007 after my dad died. His death got me thinking about some big questions. I had a great upbringing: my mum is a catholic and my dad was a protestant-turned-atheist who explored science for his own answers, and while each respected the other, we had this dichotomy of worldviews in our house. I guess I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to square it all, and The Eidolon is the product of that. I love science – with its rigor and obsession with facts, but I also love the spirit of life – the thing that makes us feel, love and question. I didn’t actually set out to be a writer, but once the idea for the story came to me, it wouldn’t let go. So I went with it. It’s been a hugely rewarding journey.



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



Libby:  Most of what I read is non-fiction. I read a lot of layman’s books about physics. Brian Greene’s Fabric of the Cosmos is one of my favourites, but don’t ask me to explain it. I also read a lot of books about belief systems, eastern philosophy and the like.

I visited CERN for the purposes of research and saw one of the control rooms in ATLAS. And I have been to the potage mine mentioned at the start of the book, and saw the entrance to the dark matter research facility there. As for what’s inside, I made that bit up.



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



Libby:  The easiest character was probably Arcos Crowley, who appears later in the book. He’s so bad tempered – it was just entertaining to be a grouch the whole time as him.

The hardest character? I can’t say – that will blow the plot. The second hardest was probably the main character, Robert Strong. In the earlier drafts he was far too cynical, so he needed a bit of reworking. I was surprised and a little unsettled by that…



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



Libby:  I like the opening scene. It’s set in Tibet and I drew on experiences from a trek I was on in Bhutan, so it was great to have a chance to write about it. Nothing as dramatic as Robert has to endure, but I enjoyed writing about the power of wilderness and the interaction with the Buddhist monk.

Another favourite would be the rooftop scene, on which the cover art is based. As I mentioned, Robert is inherently cynical and has lots of internal dialogue as he tries to make sense of what’s happening to him. That was a lot of fun to write.



TQ:  What's next?

Libby:  Well, some great news is that there is film interest. Can’t say too much about it at this stage, other than IT’S REALLY EXCITING.

The Eidolon is the first in a trilogy, and I’m working on the sequel at the moment.

I’m looking forward to FantasyCon in October too.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.




Libby:  Thanks so much for the interview - it’s been a real pleasure to be involved.






The Eidolon

The Eidolon
Solaris Books, October 29, 2013 (US/Canada)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Libby McGugan, author of The Eidolon - October 28, 2013
A contemporary SF thriller. The divide between science and the human spirit is the setting for a battle for the future.

When physicist Robert Strong loses his job at the Dark Matter research lab and his relationship falls apart, he returns home to Scotland. Then the dead start appearing to him, and Robert begins to question his own sanity. Victor Amos, an enigmatic businessman, arrives and recruits Robert to sabotage CERN’S Large Hadron Collider, convincing him the next step in the collider’s research will bring about disaster. Everything Robert once understood about reality, and the boundaries between life and death, is about to change forever. And the biggest change will be to Robert himself... Mixing science, philosophy and espionage, Libby McGugan’s stunning debut is a thriller like no other.





About Libby

Interview with Libby McGugan, author of The Eidolon - October 28, 2013
Libby McGugan was born 1972 in Airdrie, a small town east of Glasgow in Scotland, to a Catholic mother and a Protestant-turned-atheist father, who loved science. She enjoyed a mixed diet of quantum physics, spiritual instinct, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Her ambition was to grow up and join the Rebel alliance in a galaxy Far, Far away. Instead she went to Glasgow University and studied medicine.

A practising doctor, she has worked in Scotland, in Australia with the Flying Doctors service and, for a few months, in a field hospital in the desert. She loves travelling and the diversity that is the way different people see the world, and has been trekking in the Himalaya of Bhutan, potholing in Sarawak, backpacking in Chile and Europe, and diving in Cairns.

Her biggest influences are Joseph Campbell, Lao Tzu, David Bohm, Brian Greene, and Yoda.

Website  ~  Twitter @LIBBYMcGUGAN  ~  Facebook

Interview with Kate Maruyama, author of Harrowgate - October 24, 2013


Please welcome Kate Maruyama to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.  Harrowgate was published on September 24th by 47North.



Interview with Kate Maruyama, author of Harrowgate - October 24, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Kate:  Thanks! Nice to be here.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Kate:  I’ve been writing in one form or another since I was quite small. I visited home recently and I found a mortifying page of prose I had written while studying abroad in England—I could tell it was done there because it was done with red typewriter ribbon. My black had run out, so it was a red year.



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

Kate:  I have an especially ugly sweater I like to wear when I write. I won’t even let my family see me in it.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Kate:  Both. I pants my way through a draft, the plot starts taking shape and then I work on solidifying the structure in further drafts.



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

Kate:  Composing. I’m always so happy revising because the clay is already there on the table—I love to move things around for character, tension. I cut mercilessly. But not knowing where I’m going or what I’m doing—having the story just out of reach-- is a terrifying daily leap of faith.


TQ:  Describe Harrowgate in 140 characters or less. /like a tweet/

Kate:  A guy’s wife and kid are dead but living with him in his apartment. He tries to make it work.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Harrowgate?

Kate:  It actually came from the last five pages of a screenplay I wrote years ago—I couldn’t get it to work. Probably because the ending was, guess what? They’re dead! Big surprise. But I really loved those five pages and they nagged me. I started to ask, “They’re dead. Now what?” and the book started growing from there.



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

Kate:  Thanks to Google, I could go to New York City, a neighborhood I know, an apartment I know, and figure out the rest. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine was rather snippy on the phone, but they answered my questions. As my story doesn’t travel much, the research was pretty mellow compared to other things I’ve written.



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

Kate:  They got easy and complicated in turns. The villain, Greta, had about three drafts just about her—motivation, rules, power—these were all questions that needed answering. Sarah came after Michael, and she was shadowy at first and needed filling in. Michael was easy, but then there were subtle layers left to add later which made it complicated. His reactions to all of the strangeness in his life had to be measured carefully.



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

Kate:  There’s a scene with rotten vegetables that actually started this whole thing. I have some nostalgia for that one. But my favorite space to write was really the relationship between Michael and Sarah, the things they can’t say to each other; the things they do say.



TQ:  What's next?

Kate:  I have a very different novel at market now, which I’m smitten with. It takes place in early 1940s Hollywood, 1990s Hollywood and Baltimore of all places. More soon, I hope.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kate:  Thanks for having me!




Harrowgate

Harrowgate
47North, September 24, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 286 pages

Interview with Kate Maruyama, author of Harrowgate - October 24, 2013
Michael should be overjoyed by the birth of his son, but his wife, Sarah, won?t let him touch the baby or allow anyone to visit.

Greta, an intrusive, sinister doula has wormed her way into their lives, driving a wedge between Michael and his family. Every time he leaves the Harrowgate, he returns to find his beloved wife and baby altered. He feels his family slipping away, and as a malevolent force begins to creep in, Michael does what any new father would do?he fights to keep his family together.

Kate Maruyama?s debut novel, Harrowgate, is a chilling, richly detailed story of love, loss, and the haunted place that lies between.





About Kate

Interview with Kate Maruyama, author of Harrowgate - October 24, 2013
Kate Maruyama's work has appeared in Controlled Burn, Arcadia Magazine and Stoneboat, as well as on The Rumpus, Salon.com and The Citron Review among others. She writes, teaches, cooks, and eats in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and two children. Harrowgate is her first novel and she'd love to hear your haunted stories on http://harrowgatebook.tumblr.com





Website  ~  Twitter @KateMaruyama  ~  Harrowgate Tumblr

Interview with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch 1 ) - October 1, 2013


Please welcome Ann Leckie to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Ancillary Justice, Ann's debut novel, is published today by Orbit. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Ann a Happy Publication Day! You may read Ann's Guest Blog - Who are you? And how do you know who you are? - here.



Interview with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch 1 ) - October 1, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Ann:  Thanks for having me!



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Ann:  I've actually been writing on and off since grade school. In high school I actually got up the courage to send something out--to Twilight Zone Magazine--and received my first ever rejection letter. For years I thought (sometimes fondly, sometimes despairingly) about the possibility of being a Real Published Writer, but didn't write very much. College, in particular, seemed to drain a lot of the fiction-writing energy out of me. Though just after college I did send one story out to True Confessions--I just wanted to see if I could do it. I read True Confessions and True Romance until my eyes bled, and then I produced some kind of approximation of what I'd just read. It actually sold, which was pretty exciting, but the process had been so unpleasant I couldn't bring myself to do it again. After that I decided it wasn't worth spending what free time I had writing something I didn't really enjoy reading.

When I had my first child, for the first time in my life I was sitting at home for long periods of time with almost no one to interact with besides a tiny, non-verbal person who spent most of their time asleep, eating, or crying because they were tired or hungry. I love my kids, and love being with them, but tiny babies are not terribly intellectually stimulating. In desperation I began looking for things to do that would keep my mind from liquefying. One of those things was NaNoWriMo, and once I'd won my first NaNo, I decided that that was a good time to stop wishing, and really try the writing thing in earnest.



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

Ann:  Hmm. I'm sure I do have quirks--it would be very odd if I didn't--but I'm not sure one springs to mind. I know I (mostly) can't listen to music with English words while I write, my theory is that it engages the same part of my brain that's trying to make sentences.

I also find that when I'm stuck, the one thing that's most likely to work is if I go to the library--a university library is best, though I'm lucky to be spoiled for choice of libraries, where I am--and pick a (nonfiction) section and pull anything off the shelf that seems intriguing. Generally, after I've read enough--or happened across the right thing--I can move forward again.

I have occasionally advised other writers to try this, when they've said to me that they were stuck, and most of the time I get that "Right, Ann, I'm not going to tell you how ridiculous that is because you're my friend" look.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Ann:  Oh, a pantser. Though very often I know a general arc--I know where I'm starting, I know more or less where I intend to end up (if I'm very lucky I know a scene or two of the ending) and maybe a few landmarks on the way. Usually, while I'm working on one scene, the next couple are taking shape in the back of my mind.

I know there are people who outline everything before they start writing, down to number of scenes and what happens in them, all the way from beginning to end, and then they sit down and fill in their outline. I believe they really exist, because people have told me they work that way, but I'm not sure I quite understand how anyone can do that. If nothing else, why bother outlining if you already know that stuff? I'd just go ahead and write it. But everyone's process is different, and there's no wrong way so long as your way works for you.



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

Ann:  The Internal Critic. That horrible little voice that says "This is stupid, you're stupid, your writing is stupid, you're wasting your time, you're a failure, why are you even bothering, you can't write, this is stupid..."

It's that voice that stopped me for a long time. Doing NaNo showed me I could write past that, and the results would actually be kind of okay, or at least not anything like what the Internal Critic was telling me they would be.

So, now I know I can write past it. But I haven't shut the voice up, not really. I'm not sure I ever can, entirely, but I know that I can let it sit in a corner and mutter to itself and it won't hurt me. It gets louder at certain times--important junctures in a plot, and often about three quarters of the way through--and sometimes I actually tell it out loud to shut up because yes, I know it sucks, but I'm going to write anyway. I only do that in my basement, though, not at the coffee shop!



TQ:  Describe Ancillary Justice in 140 characters or less.

Ann:  Breq was a Radchaai ship AI. Now she only has 1 human body & 1 goal: to revenge herself on the many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

(That was hard!)



TQ:  What inspired you to write Ancillary Justice?

Ann:  I'm not sure it was one thing, really. The story kind of arose out of the bits of worldbuilding I was playing with.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Ancillary Justice?

Ann:  Mostly I read history and anthropology. Also some psychology and some physiology and neurology--I knew that Justice of Toren would have a very specific, quantitative view of what was going on with its officers, and that meant I needed to at least in my own mind understand what happens physically when someone feels strong emotion, for instance. I also, at one point, could tell you all the different sorts of bridges there were and why they're constructed the way they are, and could drive around town going, "Suspension...that's a cantilever bridge..." It's mostly gone now. I only needed it for one scene.

But history and anthropology are always good, and are often the areas I read in when I'm stuck and looking for a way forward.



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

Ann:  Breq/One Esk/Justice of Toren was definitely the hardest character to write. For one thing, there's a problem with using "I" accurately when you're someone who's got dozens of bodies. For another, she's really very physically different at different stages of the book--one body, a unit of twenty bodies, a whole ship. And a whole ship with hundreds of eyes, ears, and hands, seeing, hearing, doing hundreds of things all at once. It was a while before I had even the first idea of how to approach that.

Everyone else, even the characters who I'd otherwise have said were the most difficult, seemed fairly easy after that!



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

Ann:  There are several I'm quite proud of, but if I had to choose a favorite it would be the bridge scene. The bridge is a simple beam bridge made entirely of glass, stretching across a canyon three kilometers deep. A glass bridge ought to collapse under its own weight, of course, but this one doesn't, nobody's quite sure why. I can't say much about the scene without spoiling, but there's...a fraught conversation that happens on the bridge, and it's very much a turning point in the story.



TQ:  What's next?

Ann:  Next is book 2, Ancillary Sword. And after that, Ancillary Mercy. After that--I'm not sure, it's too far into the future.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ann:  Thank you so much! It's been fun. :)






About Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice
Imperial Radch 1
Orbit, October 1, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch 1 ) - October 1, 2013
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.


Cover art by John Harris.





About Ann

Interview with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch 1 ) - October 1, 2013
Photo by MissionPhoto.ORG
Ann Leckie has published short stories in Subterranean MagazineStrange Horizons, and Realms of Fantasy. Her story “Hesperia and Glory” was reprinted in Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition edited by Rich Horton.

Ann has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, children, and cats.




Website  ~   Twitter @ann_leckie  ~  Pinterest  ~  Google+


Interview with Eric Lundgren, author of The Facades - September 27, 2013


Please welcome Eric Lundgren to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Facades was published on September 12, 2013.



Interview with Eric Lundgren, author of The Facades - September 27, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Eric:  Hey, it’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Eric:  I think it was about age seven or eight. One of my first works was a piece of Indiana Jones fan fiction. My mom read to us a lot but I was not a huge solitary reader as a kid. Mostly I was into sports. My dramatic ideal was one of those NFL films reenactments with Steve Sabol narrating the action. Slow-motion, dramatic voice over. Tight-pantsed men in moments of consequence.



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

Eric:  I still write first drafts in longhand in spiral notebooks sometimes, which probably qualifies as a quirk by now. I’ve always liked the process of typing something I’ve written out, so that the typing process also becomes the first stage of revision.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Eric:  A pantser, I think! Maybe because this was my first novel, I really had to feel my way around the form and write a lot of stuff that did not make it into the final product. It took me a long time to see what the shape was and what belonged in there, because it’s not a conventionally plotted novel, exactly. It got to the point where I had this mass of material and I was basically doing surgery in a dark room, excising and shifting stuff around until it felt right.



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

Eric:  There’s a quote from Thomas Mann that I really like: “The writer is one for whom writing is difficult.” The whole process is hard for me, although I love to work on the small problems, like particular sentences or descriptions, and am easily terrified by the big-picture things. When writing, I spend a lot of time trying to ignore or block out the global, so I can focus on the local. Like a person with bad eyes trying to do a crossword while walking down a busy street, or something.



TQ:  Describe The Facades in 140 characters or less.

Eric:  After his opera singer wife disappears, a man searches for her through a crumbling Midwestern city that becomes a treacherous emotional landscape.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Facades?

Eric:  Boredom with the kind of fiction I’d been writing previously. I wanted to do something less realistic, more fantastic and whimsical, a book that would be fun to write and would exploit the potential of the fictional form. Living in St. Louis was a big inspiration, as was a lot of stuff I was reading at the time, like Calvino’s Invisible Cities.



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

Eric:  Probably not enough. I read biographies of the philosopher Wittgenstein and the architect Victor Gruen, who was the real-life model for my character Bernhard (whose buildings include an avant-garde assisted living home and a labyrinthine mall). I did a little bit of research on opera but mostly relied on what I knew; I wasn’t too concerned with making the opera stuff super-realistic (that would be odd, wouldn’t it?)



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

Eric:  I had the most fun writing the character Vollstrom, who is a resident of that assisted-living home. His voice came to me right away and it was great fun to write a character so over-the-top. The most challenging character to write was Molly, my protagonist’s missing wife. It’s always tough to write an offstage character who has to be portrayed through her absences.



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

Eric:  There’s a scene in which Norberg, the protagonist, attends a parent-teacher conference night at his son’s high school that goes strangely awry. One of my favorite scenes, and I was pleased to know that my dad, who taught high-school German and Spanish for 40 years, also thought it was among the best.



TQ:  What's next?

Eric:  Right now I’m just eager to get back into the trenches of writing. That place where you’re just completely engrossed by the project and breathing the air of an imagined environment.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Eric:  It was my pleasure.







The Facades

The Facades
Overlook, September 12, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages

Interview with Eric Lundgren, author of The Facades - September 27, 2013
Along the streets of the once-great Midwestern city of Trude, the ornate old buildings lie in ruin. Shrouded in disappointment and nostalgia, Trude has become a place to "lose yourself," as one tourist brochure puts it: a treacherous maze of convoluted shopping malls, barricaded libraries, and elitist assisted-living homes.

One night at Trude's opera house, the theater's most celebrated mezzo-soprano vanishes during rehearsal. When police come up empty-handed, the star's husband, a disconsolate legal clerk named Sven Norberg, must take up the quest on his own. But to discover the secret of his wife's disappearance, Norberg must descend into Trude's underworld and confront the menacing and bizarre citizens of his hometown: rebellious librarians, shifty music critics, a cop called the Oracle, and the minister of an apocalyptic church who has recruited Norberg's teenage son. Faced with the loss of everything he loves, Norberg follows his investigation to the heart of the city and through the buildings of a possibly insane modernist architect called Bernhard, whose elaborate vision will offer him an astonishing revelation.

Written with boundless intelligence and razor-sharp wit, The Facades is a comic and existential mystery that unfolds at the urgent pace of a thriller.





About Eric

Interview with Eric Lundgren, author of The Facades - September 27, 2013
Photo by Gena Brady
Eric Lundgren was born in Cleveland and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he turned to reading as a survival method in the winters. He studied at Lewis & Clark College and received his MFA from the Writing Program at Washington University, where he was awarded a third-year fellowship. His writing has appeared in Tin House, Quarterly West, The Quarterly Conversation, and The Millions. The Facades is his first novel. He works at a 100-year-old public library in St. Louis, where he lives with his wife Eleanor and their two cats.


Website  ~  Twitter @eplundgren

Interview with Jan DeLima, author of Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) - September 26, 2013


Please welcome Jan DeLima to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Celtic Moon was published on September 24, 2013.



Interview with Jan DeLima, author of Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) - September 26, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Jan:  Thank you for inviting me.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Jan:  I have always been a prolific reader with an overactive imagination. Becoming a writer was inevitable, although it took me longer than most authors to realize it. The idea to write my own story didn’t come to mind until my college years. Children and work required my time for a while. Family has always come first in my life, so it wasn’t until my children started school that I began to pen my first novel and found the perfect creative outlet. Five books later I wrote Celtic Moon.



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

Jan:  I’m not sure if I’m all that quirky, although my family may have a different opinion. J If I get bored with a scene that I’m writing I will toss it without regret. I figure that if I’m bored writing it, readers will be bored reading it. I like to keep the story moving forward. Also, I can't write on a cluttered desk. My area needs to be organized.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jan:  I am a plotter, but my characters tend to have personalities of their own and don’t necessarily follow the path that I have chosen for them, naughty creatures that they are.



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

Jan:  Not letting ideas for future books distract me from my current project. I have an entire romantic suspense series plotted out with very pushy characters who want to be heard, but they are just going to have to wait until I’m finished with the third book in this series!



TQ:  Describe Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) in 140 characters or less.

Jan:  A fantasy romance of Celtic lore that is set in modern day, where honor and love prevails over evil but not without consequences.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Celtic Moon?

Jan:  At the time I worked in the cataloging department of my library when a book on Celtic artifacts came across my desk. It reviewed findings and theories of Celtic beliefs from Celtic art, with depictions of men shifting into wolves. Intrigued, I dove into researching Celtic mythology and found more material than I could possibly imagine on wolves and shape shifting. Let's just say my paranormal writer's radar was dinging loudly. Once the research started my characters demanded a place in this magical world.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Celtic Moon?

Jan:  I have been very fortunate with this aspect because I have worked in an amazing library for over a decade, so my research material was literally at my fingertips—and it was extensive. My series is based on actual human history and their folklore, with some terminology derived from medieval manuscripts. However, I worked very hard to weave the history into my character’s voices and actions, and not to inundate my story with historical references. I am a character driven writer, and I can assure you that my characters quickly took control of this ride.



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

Jan:  My easiest character to write was Sophie, my heroine, because she's a mother of a teenager, something that I have personal experience with. The most difficult would be the Guardians, my antagonists, because they are truly cruel and their actions were not easy to write.



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

Jan:  The first scene that comes to mind is when my heroine returns to her son’s father. Dylan and Sophie are married but have been separated due to some brutal circumstances. They are forced to reunite for the sake of their son, and the scene where they see each other again for the first time in fifteen years was so much fun to write.



TQ:  What's next?

Jan:  My Celtic Wolves series has a pretty strong romance theme. Each book in the series focuses on the love story between a new set of characters, but the fantasy story is continual. I am currently finishing up the second book in the Celtic Wolves series, which is Luc and Rosa’s story. Luc is Dylan’s younger brother, also known as the Beast of Merin. Readers get to meet Luc throughout Celtic Moon, and Rosa makes a brief but significant appearance toward the end. I knew who Rosa was, and what her motivations were going to be, but I fell in love with her voice in the very first chapter of book two. I will be starting Elen and Cormack’s story soon, which will be the third book in the Celtic Wolves series. Elen and Cormack are major characters throughout the series. Their personal journeys were interesting to write in the earlier books and I cannot wait to finally get these two characters together!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jan:  Thank you for having me.







Celtic Wolves

Celtic Moon
Celtic Wolves 1
Ace, September 24, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Jan DeLima, author of Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) - September 26, 2013
Like father, like son…

Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.

Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.

When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…





About Jan

Interview with Jan DeLima, author of Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) - September 26, 2013
Jan lives in Maine with her husband of twenty years and their two teenage sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn't pen stories at an early age but has always been a dedicated reader. She loves stories and storytelling. It wasn't until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine. She brought a mixture of all her experiences to her first published novel, blending castles and Celtic lore with the wild nature of her home.



Website  ~   Twitter @delimajan  ~  Blog  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Goodreads







The Giveaway

What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) from Jan.

How:  Leave a comment.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on October 5, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.


*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.

Interview with Sonja Condit, author of Starter House - December 13, 2013Interview with E.L. Tettensor, author of Darkwalker (Nicolas Lenoir 1) - December 9, 2013Interview with Mark H. Williams, author of Sleepless Knights - November 15, 2013Interview with J. Kathleen Cheney, author of The Golden City - November 5, 2013Interview with Debbie Herbert, author of Siren's Secret - November 4, 2013Interview with Libby McGugan, author of The Eidolon - October 28, 2013Interview with Kate Maruyama, author of Harrowgate - October 24, 2013Interview with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch 1 ) - October 1, 2013Interview with Eric Lundgren, author of The Facades - September 27, 2013Interview with Jan DeLima, author of Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) - September 26, 2013

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