close

The Qwillery | category: 2014 Debut Author Challenge | (page 1 of 18)

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014


Please welcome Terry Newman to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf was published on December 18th by Harper Voyager.



Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. You've written for film, TV and radio and more. How does all that influence (or not) your novel writing?

Terry:  Thank you very much for the invitation, Sally. And can I just say that I love what you’ve done with the place. I’ve never seen so many swan feathers in one place.

That’s a very good question and I should probably explain that the only reason I initially pursued writing for radio and stage, then TV and film, was to get some contacts to help find a home for my book. I blush at my naivety, but I sort of assumed all these people lived in the same world – one that was just labelled ‘non-scientists’. Of course, the ‘other writing’ then became more important after I hung up my microscope and this definitely fed back into the novel writing. I’d have to single out radio and TV comedy writing as having the most influence, mostly because this craft teaches you about word economy – make each one count if you can.



TQ:   Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Terry:  I do a lot of scriptwriting and a lot of good scriptwriting is about structure. Maybe it’s my science training but that side of it does really appeal. However, when it comes to book writing, part of the joy is the freedom to be led by your characters, so I enjoy the pantsing side there enormously. I guess I always know where I am going though, which would make me a pretty pantsy plotter.



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

Terry:  Stopping. Stopping is very tricky. I usually take the bruised fingertips and the bleeding eyes as a hint; otherwise I might overdo it. Actually I can write anywhere, trains, buses, you name it. I always carry a notebook – you have to don’t you? However, my writing is appalling and my typing is poor too. I would never have got anywhere without the Word Processor. Let us praise the Word Processor and the Toshiba Libretto. Before Netbooks this little gem ran Word and was the size of large paperback book. I wrote just about everywhere on my Libretto, especially the N49.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Terry:  Hmm, my favourite things, eh? I feel a song coming on!

Heinlein and Hammett and Chandler and Butcher
Most Douglas Adams and some Arthur Koestler
Lloyd Biggle junior Lord of the Rings
These are a few of my favourite things

Forward and Pratchett and Kerr’s Bernie Gunther
Patricia Highsmith and lyrics by Lerner
Then Robert Holdstock and Easy Rawlings
These are a few of my favourite things

Asimov’s robots and Dalziel and Pascoe
Shardlake and Sam Spade and Umberto Eco
Dragons that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

When the orc bites
When the blade swings
When I’m bleeding bad
I’m simply remembering my favourite things
And so I don’t feel too bad.



TQ:  Describe Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf in 140 characters or less. 

Terry:  Tolkien meets Chandler in a seedy underworld bar run by a defrocked Wizard.



TQ:  Tell us something about Detective Strongoak that is not in the book description.

Terry:  Nicely makes an excellent 5-egg omelette (it’s the nutmeg). The book is actually a real who-done-it so ‘No Spoilers’ please.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Detective Strongoak?

Terry:  I was broke in Hamburg without a return ticket. It focuses the mind somewhat. (Not as exciting or intriguing as it sounds).



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Detective Strongoak?

Terry:  I read non-stop from the age of five – often when walking. I’m surprised more people don’t walk and read. Not recommended so much if you live in a big city, but anywhere with decent pavements, and not much traffic.



TQ:  In Detective Strongoak who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Terry:  The easiest to write was, of course, Detective Nicely Strongoak as he had been talking to me for so many years. After him all the other characters sort of did what they were told. He has that type of personality.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Detective Strongoak.

Terry:  Special 3 for the price of 2 offer this week on favourite lines:

“The elf was dancing the full length of the surfboard, poised between the wind and water. Despite myself, I couldn’t help but be impressed. If only the whole exercise wasn’t so, well, wet.”

“She stretched like some large cat. She was wearing a dinner dress that was cut by a master. It must have been magic that held it together, because there was little enough material. She filled it to perfection, more curves than a dragon’s tail.”

‘Now goblin, let’s try again: who are you working for?’
‘What’s the magic word?’
‘Bang.’



TQ:  What's next?

Terry:  There is another ‘Detective Strongoak’ adventure well underway and a very different type of fantasy novel currently with Harper Voyager as well. No dwarfs or elves at all, but equally close to my heart. In a different sphere of endeavour, I am writing ‘the book’ for a musical called ‘Resurrection’ for a brilliant songwriter name of David Alter. He’s got a top show with knockout songs, full of imagination, which I believe will be an absolute winner when we find the right home. Plus, there’s a couple of sit coms written that I’m very excited about – so fingers crossed for an exciting 2015.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Terry:  The pleasure was all mine, thank you for the invitation and the feathers.





Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf
Harper Voyager (UK), December 18, 2014
eBook

Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014
Private eye Nicely Strongoak is your average detective-for-hire, if your average detective is a dwarf with a Napoleon complex. In a city filled with drug-taking gnomes, goblins packing heat and a serious case of missing-persons, Strongoak might just be what’s needed.

But things are about to turn sour. When on the trail of the vanished surfer, Perry Goodfellow, Nicely receives a sharp blow to the head, is burgled by goblins and awakes in a narcotic-induced haze on the floor of a steamwagon with an extremely deceased elf, who just happens to have Nicely’s axe wedged in his head.

Nicely must enter the murky world of government politics if he is going to crack his toughest case yet. He’ll have to find Perry, uncover who the dead elf is and leave no cobblestone unturned…





About Terry

Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014
Terry Newman is a biomedical research scientist who used to spend most of his day in the dark in front of an electron microscope. Then he started writing comedy for the BBC and ended up as full time scriptwriter. Whether this represents a turning to or from the Dark Side is debatable. He has a weakness for linen suits and spotty dogs. He lives at drtel.co.uk, which is being redecorated.




Website





2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



It's time to vote for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR! Below you will  find the 12 monthly winners in alphabetical order by book title (excluding "the")!

Voter for your favorite from the monthly 2014 Winners!

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on January 9, 2014.

Vote for your favorite 2014 Debut Cover
 
pollcode.com free polls




~ November ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ December~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR


~ April ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ June ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ March ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ October ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ August ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ September ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ May ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ January ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ July ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ February ~
2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 2014 Winner



The winner of the December 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett with 54% of the combined votes. Elysium is published by Aqueduct Press.




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 2014 Winner




The Final Results
(polls are added together)

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 2014 Winner

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 2014 Winner




The Deember 2014 Debut Covers

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 2014 Winner


Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting for the Debut Cover of the Year.

Interview with Sarah Remy, author of Stonehill Downs - December 9, 2014


Please welcome Sarah Remy to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Stonehill Downs was published in digital format on December 2nd by Harper Voyager Impulse. The Mass Market Paperback edition will be published on December 30th.







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

Sarah:  Thanks so much for having me! So excited to have a moment on The Qwillery!

Oh, like many authors I started writing early on. When I was in third grade I was confined to my bed with a really nasty case of the chicken pox. My mother (an elementary school teacher) handed me a battered copy of The Hobbit as a distraction. It was my first foray into fantasy, and I was hooked. I read every fantasy and scifi book I could find in the local library, and when I ran out of reading material, I started writing my own. I really wanted to create my own worlds, and inhabit them with my own characters.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Sarah:  Entirely a pantser, which is why my first draft is usually such a mess. Generally I start a manuscript with a beginning point and ending point, and a vague idea of how to send the characters through. Then I just go. And often the final result is very different from my original expectations. The bones of the story stay the same, but so details change along the way.



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

Sarah:  Self-confidence. Definitely self-confidence. I have a strict non-reading rule when I’m writing a book, which is a very difficult thing, because I’m a bookaholic. But if I read, say, Robin Hobb or Anne Rice’s newest while I’m trying to write my own story, I usually end up feeling miserably below standard.

Luckily I’ve got a ton of passion, and the drive to write out-weighs that lack of self-confidence.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Sarah:  I’ve already mentioned Hobb and Rice and, of course, Tolkien. I cut my teeth on Narnia. Also Stephen R. Donaldson. THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT are probably responsible for any shadowy angst you find in my work. And Judith Tarr’s AVARYAN CHRONICLES for the sunshine.

I’ve got an English degree in literature, and my focus was James Joyce. I’m of Irish heritage and you’ll see a reflection of that fascination with Gaelic legend in my writing as well.

Oh, Mary Stewart’s THE HOLLOW HILLS, that’s an old one, but a Stewart was the sort of author I wanted to grow up and BE.



TQ:  Describe Stonehill Downs in 140 characters or less.

Sarah:  Ah-ha. I’ve participated in Twitter’s #pitchwars. I can do this:

When the dead walk on the downs, Mal and Avani discover an old and unfriendly magic is waking.



TQ:  Tell us something about Stonehill Downs that is not in the book description.

Sarah:  I wrote it with my children and my nieces and nephews in mind. They’re growing up in a diverse, non-binary world, and the fantasy genre (not just the fantasy genre) needs to grow up alongside. The next generation needs epic fantasy that looks like them.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Stonehill Downs? How does the magic system work in Stonehill Downs.

Sarah:  Honestly, I wanted to write a detective story in a swords and sorcery world. And I wanted to write about religion and magic together, and how the two might co-exist…or not.

Without getting into spoiler territory: the magic system isn’t terribly complicated. A magus has innate spell-casting ability. A priest, on the other hand, can cast only via book or ritual. And the sidhe are the root of it all.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Stonehill Downs?

Sarah:  Medieval forensics, mostly. Hooke’s microscope, old world medical procedures. It’s all stretched a bit in STONEHILL, because it had to be, for the sake of the story. Herbalism.

I also went to my sister, who is Indian, with questions about Hinduism. Avani is very much based on my sister, with a fantastical twist.



TQ:  In Stonehill Downs who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Sarah:  Mal was pretty easy. I started writing STONEHILL after I’d suffered a loss of my own, and I went into wondering: what would a person be willing to do to reverse that loss? What would Mal be willing to sacrifice of himself? Mal started out being about loss. Luckily he grew and improved upon himself as the story unfurled.

The hardest was Jacob. I didn’t want Jacob to be my deus ex machina. I’ve spent a lot of time second-guessing that bird.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Stonehill Downs.

Sarah:
Faolan’s head swiveled. He pinned her with empty eyes.

“There are no gods,” he replied, “but us.”


TQ:  What's next?

Sarah:  The sequel to STONEHILL - ACROSS THE LONG SEA -comes out in the spring. I’m busy polishing that up. I’ve also got a young adult fantasy series going - THE MANHATTAN EXILES - and I’m hands deep in book two there, also. It’s a winter of second volumes.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sarah:  Thank you so much for having me!





Sarah Remy

Stonehill Downs
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 2, 2014
   eBook
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 30, 2014
   Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

Malachi is the last of his kind—a magus who can communicate with the dead, and who relies on the help of spirits to keep his kingdom safe. When he's sent to investigate brutal murders in the isolated village of Stonehill Downs, he uncovers dangerous sorceries and unleashes a killer who strikes close to home.

Avani is an outsider living on the Downs, one of the few survivors from the Sunken Islands. She has innate magics of her own, and when she discovers the mutilated bodies of the first victims, she enters into a reluctant alliance with Malachi that takes her far from home.

But Mal is distracted by the suspicious death of his mentor and haunted by secrets from his past. And Avani discovers troubling truths about the magus through her visions. She could free Malachi, but first they must work together to save the kingdom from the lethal horror that has arisen.





About Sarah

In 1994, Sarah Remy earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Pomona College in California. When she’s not taking the service industry by storm, she’s writing fantasy and science fiction. Sarah likes her fantasy worlds gritty, her characters diverse and fallible, and she doesn’t believe every protagonist deserves a happy ending.

Sarah lives in Washington State with plenty of animals and people.

Website  ~  Twitter @sarahremywrites





Interview with Suzanne Rigdon, author of Into the Night - December 5, 2014


Please welcome Suzanne Rigdon to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Into the Night was published on December 2nd by Spence City.



Interview with Suzanne Rigdon, author of Into the Night - December 5, 2014




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

Suzanne:  I started writing at a very young age, mostly just scratching little poems on notepads. My mom actually just found one I wrote when I was six! But once I got into high school I started writing longer works much more seriously, and that’s actually when I started writing Into the Night.

Most of the time I write because I get a line or an idea stuck in my head and I can’t concentrate on anything else until I write it down. Then it just goes from there.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Suzanne:  I am absolutely a pantser. If I spend too much timing outlining or planning, I lose the drive and excitement that propels my writing. I’d rather just type as fast as my fingers will go and then fix whatever’s messiest in revision.



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

Suzanne:  Getting past the first draft. It’s such a hurdle to hit “the end” that when I start looking at the work I’ve done so far I get a little lost on where to begin. Luckily I have an excellent editor who helps me with this.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Suzanne:  I read across the board. On the paranormal side of things I’ve been a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series for years. I also read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books before they hit HBO. More recently I’ve fallen in love with everything Tana French and Gillian Flynn have written; their stories are dark, and compelling, and I love their prose. But actually, my new favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.



TQ:  Describe Into the Night in 140 characters or less.

Suzanne:  Vampire hunk saves girl by turning her. She battles being undead, a violent Queen and some less than thrilled brothers.



TQ:  Tell us something about Into the Night that is not in the book description.

Suzanne:  Selina and her best friend Jess have a serious love of belting out Eddie Money songs in the car.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Into the Night? Do your vampires follow the classic rules (can't go out in sunlight, no reflection, etc.) or are they something different?

Suzanne:  Writing about vampires happened by accident, really. I’d been heavily reading Sherrilyn Kenyon and had that immortal badassness firmly rooted in my brain when I started drafting a scene that actually made it fairly untouched into the final book. Yes, my vampires are allergic to the sun and are very hard to kill, but they also have abilities that vary from vampire to vampire, which fall much more on the paranormal side of things, including telekinesis.



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

Suzanne:  While in Boston on a business trip, I managed to sneak away long enough to walk the cobblestone streets and the parks at night to get a better sense of the place. For other settings, I mostly hand-drew them so I had a clear idea of how they looked while writing. And of course I kept on reading my favorite paranormal and urban fantasy novels.



TQ:  In Into the Night who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Suzanne:  Jess, Selina’s best friend, was the easiest character for me to write because she is just so warm and bubbly. She’s fun and friendly and always has sassy things to say, and for me, it was a joy to put them down on paper. Conversely, James, the main love interest was actually most difficult for me to write. It took several drafts to create a man who at once is dark and contemplative, but who is also sweet and funny and will dance with you under a streetlight.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Into the Night.

Suzanne:

“I woke with a start, sweat starting to pool in the hollows of my collarbone.” (I just love the sounds and the imagery of the line.)



TQ:  What's next?

Suzanne:  I’m actually deep in revisions on the sequel to Into the Night and will be posting more info about that in the coming weeks! It’s been great digging back into the world and expanding it further than what I was able to cover in the first book, including vampire lore and politics.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Suzanne:  Thank you so much for having me!





Suzanne Rigdon

Into the Night
Selina Baker 1
Spence City, December 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 328 pages

Interview with Suzanne Rigdon, author of Into the Night - December 5, 2014
When Selina Baker, a coordinator for a Boston non-profit, goes out on the town with her friend Jess, she never expects to meet the man of her dreams. And she certainly never expects him to be undead.

When things go from flirty to majorly flawed on her first date with James Lawton, he is forced to save her the only way he can--by killing her. Selina suddenly finds herself in the mix with the creatures she thought were made up solely for late-night TV.  Into the Night follows Selina’s transformation from a wallflower into an impulsive and dangerous new vampire.  With no choice in the matter, Selina becomes trapped between a new man, his wary brothers, and his cruel and controlling Queen, who wants nothing more than to watch her suffer.  Selina must walk the fine line between adjusting to her new powers, life after death, and following the rules--all while avoiding disaster.





About Suzanne

Interview with Suzanne Rigdon, author of Into the Night - December 5, 2014
Suzanne is currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction and has previously had her short fiction published in The Albion Review and Word of Mouth literary magazine. Into the Night is her debut novel.

She currently lives in the D.C. Metro area, where her cross-eyed cat, Otto keeps her company amid the hype and low-flying planes.

Follow her on Twitter: @SuzyRigdon & check out her blog.



Website  ~  Goodreads


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner


The winner of the November 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Arcana by Jessica Leake  with 52% of all votes. Arcana is published by Talos.



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner





The Final Results

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner





The November 2014 Debut Covers

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the December Debut covers will start soon.


2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts


There are 4 debuts for December. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The December debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite December cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place soon.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery  @  gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2014 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for December. The list is correct as of the day posted.




Jennifer Marie Brissett

Elysium
Aqueduct Press, December 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
A computer program etched into the atmosphere has a story to tell, the story of two people, of a city lost to chaos, of survival and love. The program's data, however, has been corrupted. As the novel's characters struggle to survive apocalypse, they are sustained and challenged by the demands of love in a shattered world both haunted and dangerous.




Terry Newman

Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf
Harper Voyager (UK), December 18, 2014
eBook

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Private eye Nicely Strongoak is your average detective-for-hire, if your average detective is a dwarf with a Napoleon complex. In a city filled with drug-taking gnomes, goblins packing heat and a serious case of missing-persons, Strongoak might just be what’s needed.

But things are about to turn sour. When on the trail of the vanished surfer, Perry Goodfellow, Nicely receives a sharp blow to the head, is burgled by goblins and awakes in a narcotic-induced haze on the floor of a steamwagon with an extremely deceased elf, who just happens to have Nicely’s axe wedged in his head.

Nicely must enter the murky world of government politics if he is going to crack his toughest case yet. He’ll have to find Perry, uncover who the dead elf is and leave no cobblestone unturned…




Sarah Remy

Stonehill Downs
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 2, 2014
   eBook
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 30, 2014
   Mass Market Paperback,  400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Malachi is the last of his kind—a magus who can communicate with the dead, and who relies on the help of spirits to keep his kingdom safe. When he's sent to investigate brutal murders in the isolated village of Stonehill Downs, he uncovers dangerous sorceries and unleashes a killer who strikes close to home.

Avani is an outsider living on the Downs, one of the few survivors from the Sunken Islands. She has innate magics of her own, and when she discovers the mutilated bodies of the first victims, she enters into a reluctant alliance with Malachi that takes her far from home.

But Mal is distracted by the suspicious death of his mentor and haunted by secrets from his past. And Avani discovers troubling truths about the magus through her visions. She could free Malachi, but first they must work together to save the kingdom from the lethal horror that has arisen.




Suzanne Rigdon

Into the Night
Spence City, December 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 328 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
When Selina Baker, a coordinator for a Boston non-profit, goes out on the town with her friend Jess, she never expects to meet the man of her dreams. And she certainly never expects him to be undead.

When things go from flirty to majorly flawed on her first date with James Lawton, he is forced to save her the only way he can--by killing her. Selina suddenly finds herself in the mix with the creatures she thought were made up solely for late-night TV.  Into the Night follows Selina’s transformation from a wallflower into an impulsive and dangerous new vampire.  With no choice in the matter, Selina becomes trapped between a new man, his wary brothers, and his cruel and controlling Queen, who wants nothing more than to watch her suffer.  Selina must walk the fine line between adjusting to her new powers, life after death, and following the rules--all while avoiding disaster.  


Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014


Please welcome Jessica Leake to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Arcana was published on November 11th by Talos.



Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014




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

Jessica:  Thank you! I really enjoy this blog, so it's surreal for me to be here. I was first asked this question by my agent, and when I sat down and thought about it, I had a memory of this yellow legal pad filled with an epic fantasy about a unicorn. I think I must have been about 10 or 11 at the time, so we can say that's when I started my love-affair with writing, though not in a professional sense by any means! As for why, I think the main reason is really rather simple: I would crave a certain type of story, and when I couldn't find it, I'd just write it myself.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jessica:  I will make a very loose outline of major plot points, but I predominantly fall into the pantser writing category.



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

Jessica:  Time! I know many have given that answer, but it's especially true for me with three little ones to take care of every day. But aside from making the time, there's also the challenge of using that time wisely. I usually write during my kids' nap time, but there are of course many other things I could be doing during that block of time (both productive and unproductive!), so I have to force myself to really be disciplined.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Jessica:  Oh, so many! As an early reader, I loved Roald Dahl, Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry, and as I got older, I read R.L. Stine, L.J. Smith, Christopher Pike. Throughout high school, I read any romance novel I could get my hands on, but I loved Julia Quinn, Judith McNaught, and Julie Garwood. I also loved Dean Koontz. Most recently, I'm into all things YA: Maggie Stiefvater, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, Stephanie Perkins. My favorite authors change over time, but I have a few constants: JK Rowling, Jane Austin, Robin McKinley, and C.S. Lewis.



TQ:  Describe Arcana in 140 characters or less.

Jessica:  An Edwardian-era debutante must keep her powerful abilities hidden not only from society but a dangerous organization who seeks her kind.



Jessica:  TQ: Tell us something about Arcana that is not in the book description. The novel is described as "genre-bending." What genres does it bend?

One thing the book description fails to mention is just how family-centric the book is. A lot of Katherine's decisions are made because of, or for the good of, her siblings. It's been described as genre-bending because it is a mix of historical romance and fantasy, without truly falling into either category--those are my favorite genres, and I love books that blend them together!



TQ:  What inspired you to write Arcana? Why did you set the novel in Edwardian London?

Jessica:  I knew I wanted to write a historical--there's just something so romantic and beautiful about that setting, plus I knew throwing hidden abilities into such a rigid society would have some inherent conflict. I chose the Edwardian era because it's such an opulent and beautiful time--and I absolutely love Downton Abbey.



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

Jessica:  So much research! But it was all a lot of fun--everything from what people ate in the early 1900s (the aristocracy enjoyed decadent 10-course meals) to how they spent their time (London while Parliament was in session, and hunting and sporting in the country during the summer). It always surprised me to learn just how many technological advances they had: trains, cars, the subway in London, electricity.



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

Jessica:  Katherine and Lord Thornewood were both the easiest to write because they had such strong voices. Lord Blackburn probably gave me the most trouble just because he has some secrets to keep hidden.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoliery lines from Arcana.

Jessica:
A deep tug at the core of me, and my power unfurls, sliding over my skin like silk. The familiar smell of energy releasing washes over me, like the refreshing scent of the earth right after it rains.


TQ:  What's next?

Jessica:  This isn't official news yet, but there WILL be a second book set in the Arcana world--though Katherine and Lord Thornewood are present in the book, the focus will be on Lucy, Katherine's sister. It's tentatively slated to be released Spring of 2016.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jessica:  Thank you so much for having me!





Arcana
Talos, November 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014
A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome-or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine's family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London's most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother's enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin-and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere-hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine's arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor-even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?





About Jessica

Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014
Jessica Leake has been in love with historical England ever since her first literary crush: Mr. Darcy. After embarking on a quest to bring her own intriguing and headstrong characters to life, she decided to quit her day job as a clinical therapist and spend her time weaving arcana with words. She lives in Greenville, SC with her brilliant husband, three painfully cute children, and two mischievous dogs. She invites you to visit her at jessicaleake.com.


Website  ~  Twitter @JessLeake  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+  ~  Pinterest


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts


It's time for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for November 2014!


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2014 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on November 24, 2014.

You can see the previous months' winners on the 2014 DAC page - here.



Vote for your favorite November 2014 Debut Cover
 
pollcode.com free polls




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne


2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.


Lexie Dunne

Superheroes Anonymous
Superheroes Anonymous 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
(eBook available November 18, 2014)

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne
Everybody in Chicago has a "superhero sighting" story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she's rescued by superhero Blaze, it's a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again. Now the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just her boyfriend, Jeremy, in disguise.

Gail's not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she's probably doomed. Who will save her now?

Yet, miraculously, the villains lose interest. Gail is able to return to her life … until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn't read the news. After escaping—now more than human herself—she's drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She'll have to come to terms with her powers (and weaknesses) to make it in the new society, and it's not easy. After all, there's a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.


Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 2014 WinnerInterview with Sarah Remy, author of Stonehill Downs - December 9, 2014Interview with Suzanne Rigdon, author of Into the Night - December 5, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner2014 Debut Author Challenge - December DebutsInterview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×