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2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!


2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!


The votes are in and the winner of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR is Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith from Harper Voyager UK with 1,088 votes (44%). The cover artist is Alexandra Allden.

There was a quite a battle between Darkhaven and The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca but Darkhaven won by 107 votes in the end! In total there were an amazing 2,494 votes cast. Thank you to everyone who voted!


Darkhaven
Harper Voyager UK, July 2, 2015
eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.



The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!




Cover Wars started as a way to recognize and celebrate the talented individuals who bring books to life with their eye-catching covers. While we may not judge a book by its cover, a terrific cover will certainly make us want to know what is on the inside.

Interview with Dana Chamblee Carpenter, author of Bohemian Gospel


Please welcome Dana Chamblee Carpenter to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Bohemian Gospel was published in November 2015 by Pegasus.



Interview with Dana Chamblee Carpenter, author of Bohemian Gospel




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Dana:  Thanks for having me! I actually started writing in the third grade, but after a bit of a detour into the halls of academia to get my Ph. D, I came back to my dream of being a writer. Stories are like food or air for me--I need them to live. When I was a kid, I read everything I could get my hands on, and it didn't matter if the protagonist was a boy or a dog or a girl kind of like me; I could slip into the skin and become any of them. But there was still a part of me that knew that even the female characters I could most relate to—a Jo March or Laura Ingalls—weren't quite free enough or wild enough or strong enough. So I wrote my own stories with my own free, wild, strong girls.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or hybrid?

Dana:  I am so absolutely a pantser that I have a hard time associating with plotters (just kidding). I still occasionally peek over the fence to see if the grass is really greener on the plotters' side (knowing where your story's going before you get there sounds SO nice), but then I start panicking at the idea of getting boxed in and trapped. I like to feel my way through a story.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Dana:  Blocking off the time to do the actual writing. I wear so many hats—mom (and the whole subset of jobs that involves), homeschooler, professor, wife, friend—that I have to be pretty fierce with myself to schedule my writing time and not forfeit pieces of it to something else.



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Dana:  I'd like to think that almost any writer I've read is an influence on me in some form or another. But one of the touchstones for me is Eudora Welty—there's something in her writing that speaks to my soul, and I will likely forever be striving to emulate the fluidity of her narrative. There’s also Neil Gaiman, who so masterfully blends light and dark in his work and who is such a powerful role model for staying positive and encouraging in a very critical and competitive industry. I want to be him when I grow up.



TQDescribe Bohemian Gospel in 140 characters or less.

Dana:  Girl named Mouse. Girl has powers. Girl meets king. Girl fights demons. Girl lives in 13th Century Bohemia. #NotBohemianRhapsody



TQTell us something about Bohemian Gospel that is not found in the book description.

Dana:  Things get really dark and scary. Mouse is an extraordinary young woman and so extraordinary things happen to her. She has magical moments of joy and uncommon tragedy.



TQWhat inspired you to write Bohemian Gospel? What appeals to you about writing historical fiction and, in particular, historical fiction set in 13th Century Bohemia?

Dana:  Mouse was my inspiration. She came to me first, and I didn't know when or where she belonged. As she slowly revealed some of her secrets to me, her story led to Bohemia and the 13th Century, which is where I learned about Ottakar, and I was hooked. I've always loved historical fiction, especially the books that focus on typically overlooked characters or develop fictional characters that challenge conventions in a particular historical setting. I want to go somewhere I've never been or see a familiar world in an entirely new way.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Bohemian Gospel?

Dana:  Anything and everything. The typical surface-level internet research served as breadcrumbs to lead me into the deeper waters of really old books that only lived in the dusty archives of a library, digitalized copies of rare and out-of-print books, music, art, architecture, and loads of research into the practices of Premonstratensian monks.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Dana:  Mouse was the easiest character to write because I knew her so well by the time I actually started drafting. It didn't take lots of mental work to imagine what she would do or say in any particular situation because I'd been living with her for a year in my head. But she was also the hardest character to write because I love her deeply and it breaks my heart (weeping and gnashing of angry teeth) when crappy stuff happens to her. I hear from readers who get so mad at certain parts of the story when bad things happen to Mouse, and I SO understand. I feel the same way. But I have to the let the story go where it needs to go; I have to let Mouse make her own decisions. And sometimes, life is really hard.



TQWhich question about Bohemian Gospel do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Dana:  It's actually not a question I can say here because it would be a spoiler, but it’s one my big brother asked over the holidays. He loved the book but he was upset about something that happens toward the end. His question was: Why? And we spent hours talking about Mouse's choices and the deeper underlying themes in the book. It was a great question that led to a great discussion. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get any better than that.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Bohemian Gospel.

Dana:  I love Father Lucas' reprimand of King Ottakar when he's being "protective" and trying to keep Mouse from doing something she needs to do. Father Lucas tells the King, "We both know that she is not just a girl."

Then later, at a time when Mouse is wrestling with figuring out her place in the world, Ottakar tells her "You do have value, Mouse, not lent you by parents or a family name, but a worth all your own." I love him for that.



TQWhat's next?

Dana:  I'm working on revisions to the sequel to Bohemian Gospel right now. The first book was only a part of her story and I can’t wait to share with readers what happens next.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Dana:  My pleasure!





Bohemian Gospel
Pegasus, November 16, 2015
    November 8, 2015 (eBook)
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Dana Chamblee Carpenter, author of Bohemian Gospel
Set against the historical reign of the Golden and Iron King, Bohemian Gospel is the remarkable tale of a bold and unusual girl on a quest to uncover her past and define her destiny.

Thirteenth-century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a girl, especially one as odd as Mouse, born with unnatural senses and an uncanny intellect. Some call her a witch. Others call her an angel. Even Mouse doesn’t know who—or what—she is. But she means to find out.

When young King Ottakar shows up at the Abbey wounded by a traitor's arrow, Mouse breaks church law to save him and then agrees to accompany him back to Prague as his personal healer. Caught in the undertow of court politics at the castle, Ottakar and Mouse find themselves drawn to each other as they work to uncover the threat against him and to unravel the mystery of her past. But when Mouse's unusual gifts give rise to a violence and strength that surprise everyone—especially herself—she is forced to ask herself: Will she be prepared for the future that awaits her?

A heart-thumping, highly original tale in the vein of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, Bohemian Gospel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice for historical fiction.





About Dana

Interview with Dana Chamblee Carpenter, author of Bohemian Gospel
Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the award-winning author of short fiction that has appeared in The Arkansas Review, Jersey Devil Press, and Maypop. Her debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, won Killer Nashville’s 2014 Claymore Award. She teaches creative writing and American Literature at a private university in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband and two children.









Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @danaccarpenter


2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR


It's time to vote for the 2015 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 2015 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, 2016 - extended voting due to the end of year holidays.



Vote for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR!
 
pollcode.com free polls



~ March ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ October ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ December ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Jacket design by Young Jin Lim




~ July ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover by Alexandra Allden




~ April ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ August ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover design by Cherie Chapman, part of the design team at Harper Collins




~ September ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover artist - Ben Gardiner




~ January ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ June ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ February ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover art - Paul Young




~ May ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ November ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover design by Eileen Carey


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner


The winner of the December  2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger from Thomas Dunne Books with 28 votes equaling 44% of all votes. The jacket was designed by Young Jin Lim.

Voting for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21, 2015 and end on January 9, 2016.



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner



The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner



The December Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 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 2015 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 December 16, 2015.

Voting for the 2015 Debut Novel COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21st.


Vote for your favorite December 2015 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts
Cover Design: Leonard Philbrick




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts
Cover Art by Lucas Graziano




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts
Cover Design © Patrick Knowles Design


Interview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy


Please welcome Holly Messinger to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Curse of Jacob Tracy was published on December 1st by Thomas Dunne Books.



Interview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Holly:  I started getting ideas for stories almost as soon as I could write independently. I remember in the second grade, watching The Apple Dumpling Gang on The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night, and getting this brainstorm of how I could continue the story. I stapled together a little book, started writing in my laborious 7-year-old handwriting, and then the teacher took it away from me because I wasn't getting my seatwork done.

Like most young writers I wrote to amuse myself, and insert myself in my favorite stories. But I always had a proficiency for language, and I love the rhythms and patterns of it. I love words and I love the structure of a good scene and I love trying to capture a moment in words. One of my favorite movies when I was twelve or so was Willow, and I got so mad when I read the novelization of it because it didn't match what had happened on the screen! So I rewrote the love scene between Sorcha and Madmartigan and tucked the typewritten pages into the book. And that incident is sort of exemplary of the way I still write: I see scenes in my head and I try to capture them in words as accurately as possible.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Holly:  I'm a hybrid. I either start with a character and build a situation that will put him through the maximum amount of torture, or start with a situation and build the type of character who would be more likely to suffer under the circumstances.

Once I have the character, setting, and conflict in place I can hammer out the opening scenes, establish the mood and start exploring themes. Usually additional conflicts will present themselves and that keeps things interesting. But I periodically hit points where I have to stop and brainstorm again, to look at the plot threads I've laid down and extrapolate where they will lead. Sometimes more research is required. Very often my brain will toss up these—let’s call them premonitions of scenes—the high-tension moments in the story where there is a revelation or a power-shift or some other major event (screenwriting manuals call these pinch-points or tentpole scenes). I write these scenes out and use them as signposts to write toward. These drafted scenes rarely make it into the final version—at least not in their original form—but they always contain critical plot points that get used one way or another. To me it feels more like a topographical map than an outline. I know where I'm going but not necessarily how I will get there.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Holly:  The challenge is always getting it done versus keeping it fun. Like most creative people I have my fingers in too many pies, and I get resentful really fast if I start thinking I must work on this story. So I try to maintain that feeling of writing to entertain myself, and to do that I have to make it my leisure time, no exceptions. Luckily my husband and I are both independent as cats and he can amuse himself while I work. He likes to read, too, so sometimes if I haven't written anything in a while he'll nudge me, "Go write some more good words for me to read."



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Holly:  Toni Morrison, pre-90’s Stephen King, Mary Balogh, Octavia Butler, Barbara Michaels, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon. I tend to value storytelling over beautiful prose. Style should be transparent, in my opinion, which is to say, a writer should have enough mastery over language to convey exactly a mood or feeling that will make me nod and go, "Yes, that's what that feels like," but not in such a showy way that I’m admiring the writer’s turn of phrase instead of empathizing with the character. I won't read books where the supposed appeal is the writer's clever imitation of someone else's style, because it always feels like a filter between me and the action, akin to having a head cold.



TQDescribe The Curse of Jacob Tracy in 140 characters or less.

Holly:  Cowboy tries to maintain his bromance in the face of his burgeoning psychic power & the intriguing English witch who wants to exploit it.



TQTell us something about The Curse of Jacob Tracy that is not found in the book description.

Holly:  I’d want to assure hesitant readers that while this may be a western, it’s not your grandpa’s western. There are no sinister Mexicans in this book, or wise spiritual Indians, or whores with hearts of gold. There are Jewish farmers, and Chinese rail workers, and French Acadian trappers and various and sundry other people just trying to make a living and get along with one another. And I tried to represent that without passing judgment on any of them. Trace is more like Bruce Banner than the Lone Ranger; he's driven to help people but he never swoops in and solves a problem on his own. I wanted to write the kind of hero who would bring people together instead of applying paternalistic “solutions.”



TQWhat inspired you to write The Curse of Jacob Tracy? What appealed to you about writing a Historical Fantasy/Western/Horror novel?

Holly:  In the most cynical analysis, you might say Westerns and Horror are an obvious fit, because Horror stories are all about fear of the Other, and Westerns are all about the Other being conquered by the Norm. What difference does it make if your (white, straight, male, Christian) hero goes around shooting Indians or zombies? The difference is reflected only in our current collective fear. It’s not a coincidence that both the western and horror genres are outgrowths of the 19th century, with its legacy of colonialism, genocide, and paternalism. And it’s not surprising, given that context, that both westerns and horror are fraught with racist, misogynistic tropes.

I never set out to write a “revisionist western,” but I did want to get away from the clichés. For one thing, I am constitutionally incapable of writing a story without a dominant female character. And since I’d already written my share of ass-kicking warrior women, this time I went with a sickly, manipulative little harridan. And I saddled my hero with self-doubt and an egalitarian mindset. Trace’s arguably anachronistic attitude toward people beyond his ken makes him more sympathetic to a modern reader, but it also makes sense to his character: he was part of the establishment and it failed him. But he’s smart enough to step back, examine the values he was taught, and re-calibrate for himself.

And the monsters, too—rather than have the monster be the “other,” that is, a thinly veiled metaphor for some foreigner—I was thinking in terms of the monsters being very intimate: Trace’s religion, the color of Boz’s skin, Miss Fairweather’s illness. And the tangible monsters they encounter are often metaphors for those personal demons. Of course there are examples of “imported” monsters, as well, like the keung-si (Chinese “vampires”) but I tried to always twist those imported monsters, as a dual symbol of cultural appropriation, and adaptation of immigrants to the new life they found in America.

That was the challenge and satisfaction of these stories; vivisecting the tropes until they screamed. I learnt that from Miss Fairweather.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Curse of Jacob Tracy?

Holly:  All of it. And by that I mean, I had to get into every aspect of my characters’ lives, from the clothes they wore to the food they ate—and how it was obtained, which is something few of us have to think about these days. The specifics of travel was a recurring frustration: Wikipedia will tell you the trans-continental railroad was completed in 1869, but it won't tell you how fast the train traveled or how much tickets cost or how sleeper-cars worked or how many days were lost on side-tracks or to breakdowns. Things like that. I spent a lot of time and money acquiring maps, and then identifying landmarks that still exist today, so I could map them on Google and calculate out the distance between two points, just so I could figure out how long it would take Trace and Boz to travel from Miss Fairweather’s neighborhood at the north end of St. Louis, to Carondelet township at the south point of the city.

One of the funnest parts of research was learning to shoot. I learned to shoot a single-action Colt .44 revolver (replica, of course), as well as a .22 rifle, a .50 cal deer rifle, and assorted shotgun loads. Shooting a long-barrel revolver is nothing like shooting a semi-automatic pistol. The recoil is completely different, the grip is different, the amount of time it takes to reload is significantly longer.



TQYour bio says you're a costume designer. Has that affected your writing?

Holly:  I hate to admit this, but the original reason Curse was set in 1880 is because that's my favorite sartorial period of the 19th century. The bustle went away, but skirts became very narrow, even tied behind the knees. Sleeves became so tight a lady could hardly raise her arms. Wearing those dresses was yet another form of research and really helped me get into the head of Miss Fairweather, to understand how her clothes could be both armor and fetters to her. Throughout the book Trace notes her fine clothes as indicative of the distance between them, and a subtle reminder of the power she exerts over him, in terms of money, magical knowledge, and social influence. In fact the only moments of real honesty between them are when she is sick and in her dressing gown, or in her work apron.

From a completely different perspective, sewing has shaped my writing in terms of seeing it as a process. When you make a dress you start with a pattern, and the more precise the pattern the less you have to alter the assembled garment. So it is with fiction: the more you plan ahead, in terms of research and plot, the less rewriting you have to do. Writing is more difficult than sewing, in part because the “pattern” is so amorphous, but it helps to see the story as a thing constructed of parts, because then it can be pulled apart and made-over. It’s a pain in the ass to rip out stitches, but you have to do it until the dress fits correctly and all the plot holes are closed up.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Holly:  Boz was easiest, because he’s the simplest. He knows who he is and so doesn’t do the waffling and whinging that Trace does. He has to be the rock and the voice of reason throughout the book, so that makes him predictable in a reassuring way.

Sabine Fairweather was and continues to be the most difficult, because she’s so complex and volatile. From the beginning I didn’t know how good, bad, or ugly she would prove to be, or how she actually regarded Trace, whether she had any respect for him or simply saw him as a tool to be used and discarded. I’m writing book three now and I still feel she could go either way.



TQWhich question about The Curse of Jacob Tracy do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Holly:  It’s not a question so much as a temperature reading—I’m always curious to know what readers think of Miss Fairweather. Do they admire her? Do they trust her? John DeNardo at SFSignal said Trace and Sabine’s relationship was “beautifully uncomfortable” and that struck me as about right.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Curse of Jacob Tracy.

Holly:  There’s a bit about halfway through where Miss Fairweather basically calls Trace a sanctimonious prude, saying he only cares about the helpless and pious. But he’s changed too much by this point, he knows he’s not the altar-boy he used to be, and he replies,
“I gotta confess, these days I find myself inclined toward the worldly and sinister.”
“Sinister?” she echoed, amusement in her voice. “Is that how you see me?”
“Well I know you ain’t pious,” he said, “and if you claimed to be helpless I’d be lookin for the knife in my ribs.”
He could tell she took that as a compliment. “What a relief, then, to know I needn’t play the damsel in distress. How tiresome that would be.”
“Wouldn’t suit you,” he agreed, and won himself a wry gleam from those cool blue eyes.
If you took that conversation out of context of the rest of their relationship, you’d almost think they were flirting (like Bond and any good supervillain!). And I love these little moments of jousting between them. This is a battle of wills between two very strong and stubborn individuals.



TQWhat's next?

Holly:  Well the second book is with my publisher, and I’m hacking out the third one, to finish off the main arc. I’m also working on peripheral pieces, to flesh out the world and bring some of the supporting players front and center. Boz, in particular, has his own story to tell, because at the end of Curse he’s no longer quite as sure of things as he was in Chapter One.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Holly:  My pleasure! Thanks for having me.





The Curse of Jacob Tracy
Thomas Dunne Books, December 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy
St. Louis in 1880 is full of ghosts, and Jacob Tracy can see them all. Ever since he nearly died on the battlefield at Antietam, Trace has been haunted by the country's restless dead. The curse cost him his family, his calling to the church, and damn near his sanity. He stays out of ghost-populated areas as much as possible these days, guiding wagon trains West from St. Louis, with his pragmatic and skeptical partner, Boz.

During the spring work lull, Trace gets an unusual job offer. Miss Fairweather, a wealthy English bluestocking, needs someone to retrieve a dead friend's legacy from a nearby town, and she specifically wants Trace to do it. However, the errand proves to be far more sinister than advertised. When confronted, Miss Fairweather admits to knowing about Trace's curse, and suggests she might help him learn to control it—in exchange for a few more odd jobs. Trace has no interest in being her pet psychic, but he's been looking twenty years for a way to control his power, and Miss Fairweather's knowledge of the spirit world is too valuable to ignore. As she steers him into one macabre situation after another, his powers flourish, and Trace begins to realize some good might be done with this curse of his. But Miss Fairweather is harboring some dark secrets of her own, and her meddling has brought Trace to the attention of something much older and more dangerous than any ghost in this electrifying and inventive debut.





About Holly

HOLLY MESSINGER lives in a bohemian town in eastern Kansas, where she writes in coffee shops and sews costumes for a living. Her costumes have appeared at some of the world's biggest cosplay events, including Hulu's launch party for "The Awesomes" at San Diego Comic Con. She also appeared as a judge on the premiere season of SyFy's "Heroes of Cosplay." Holly's short fiction has appeared in Baen's Universe and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The Curse of Jacob Tracy is her first novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @HollyMessinger  ~  Facebook

Interview with F. Wesley Schneider, author of Bloodbound


Please welcome F. Wesley Schneider to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Bloodbound was published on December 1st by Tor Books.



Interview with F. Wesley Schneider, author of Bloodbound




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Wes:  I’ve been writing for a long time. My Mom says, as a kid, I used to tell her stories and insist that she write them down. So, I guess I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.

Professionally, though, I started writing in 2000, about the time the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons released. I’d been a D&D fan for years and had already targeted working on Dragon magazine (the monthly, D&D rules and news magazine) as my dream job. But the new edition of D&D debuted with a license that allowed other publishers to release their own game content, leading to a boom in small presses looking for D&D compatible content. Already used to creating detailed scripts for my personal games, I tried my hand at a few open calls. There were some projects for charity or exposure and a lot of rejections—all proving educational in their own ways—but eventually I started getting my work accepted and getting paid for it. When the first paycheck hit my mailbox, I realized I might actually be able to make my hobby into a career. I kept submitting, kept working, got better assignments with more established publishers—including Dragon magazine—and in 2003 landed an assistant editor position at Paizo Inc., then publishers of Dragon and Dungeon magazines.



TQAre you a plotter or a pantser?

Wes:  Absolutely a plotter. The outlines for anything I write typically end up being pretty meaty and I certainly don’t leave them alone once I start writing. No battle plan survives engagement with the enemy, and as I get into the nuances of a story I often go back to the outline and add notes for things to pick up later or that I can kick back to past chapters.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Wes:  Overwriting. That sounds like the “I’m too honest” answer to an interview question, but it’s actually something I need to get better at. You sure can go on for a thousand words about the variety of statuary covering a cathedral’s facade, but if it doesn’t matter to the story, who cares? Sometimes I get what I think is a cool idea, indulge it a bit too far, and then in editing think: Why’d I waste my time with this? What does this actually do to further the plot? Does the lily need this much gilding? Bloodbound might have released a year earlier if I was a bit more economical in my writing. (This probably applies to interview question answering too!)

Fortunately, I take a pretty sharp hacksaw to my writing. Even better, I have amazing editors in James Sutter and Chris Carey—both fantastically talented authors themselves. They’re certainly not shy about trimming the fat. So in the final equation it works out.



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Wes:  Nobody writes a fight scene like Robert E. Howard. At the same time, “Pigeons from Hell” remains one of the creepiest stories I’ve ever read. I love how he shifts from slow-build tension to fast-paced action, the stark contrast making both more effective. You also only need to look at Bloodbound’s cover to see the influence of Howard’s monster hunter, Solomon Kane.

I’m also a big fan of gothic horror in general, not just Howard’s southern gothic tales, but classics like Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, and Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”—all three of which influenced bits of Bloodbound. Growing up in Baltimore, Poe’s also an inescapable force and I think he manipulates that whole city’s perception of what a writer is—he certainly did mine. And no one writes a vampire story without constantly comparing their fanged characters to Dracula, so Stoker’s work was certainly at hand during most of Bloodbound’s writing.



TQDescribe Bloodbound in 140 characters or less.

Wes:  If Van Helsing stopped pursing Dracula, how would a snubbed Dracula respond? And who would step in to stop him?



TQTell us something about Bloodbound that is not found in the book description.

Wes:  The majority of Bloodbound’s characters—and certainly all the true ass-kickers—are women and the only romantic relationship involves a queer vampire.



TQWhat appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Wes:  Fantasy writing’s a genie with infinite wishes—you want it, you got it. In Bloodbound, I wanted to play with a slew of gothic tropes, be they familiar menaces—vampires, ghosts, horrors from below, mind-controlled minions—or classic creepy settings—like insane asylums, ominous cathedrals, dilapidated manors, and opera houses. I got to use every single one of those, as well as many more. In other genres, you might be restricted to just a few for believability’s sake—and certainly, even here, you need to keep things plausible—but in fantasy, no one’s going to tell you no. If you can come up with a reason, anything goes.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Bloodbound?

Wes:  Bloodbound is set in a nation called Ustalav, which is part of the larger Pathfinder world. That world wasn’t created to tell just one story, but to host pretty much any fantasy tale you might want to tell in fiction, roleplaying games, whatever. As editor-in-chief at Paizo, I was one of the creators of that world, but Ustalav, our land of gothic terror, is easily my favorite part. I even wrote a game accessory called Rule of Fear entirely about the country. But all of this work on Ustalav and the Pathfinder world has happened over nearly a decade. So I still had to go back and read a ton of world lore to make sure Bloodbound meshed with existing work. It can be daunting working in such a thoroughly detailed setting, but that’s also how you find stray gems just waiting to be picked up and turned into stories of their own.

Beyond that, my sister-in-law, Aimie Schneider, is a nurse who was good enough to talk me through some of how a vampire’s body might respond to drug injections. I wanted to know if having, essentially, an undead heroin addict could be a thing. Her advice was fantastically helpful in leading me away from ideas that it just didn’t seem like the real biology or medicine supported.

So I’d add that as a caveat to what I said before. In fantasy, anything goes—but real things still have to work like real things. Even in fantasy, you still have to check your science.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Wes:  Considine, a vampire cast out from undead society, was by far the easiest. He’s a character who hates his situation, but he distracts himself with a parade of fine things and attractive company—not to mention, spying on his “sister” Larsa. Considine’s spoiled and likes it that way. He’s effete and self-interested, cynical and easily bored. He’s a vampire playboy, but knows he’s stranded on a cultural desert island, and that no matter how many dodos he dresses up as butlers, he’s not really lord of the house. I love writing Considine, not just because he’s got the best sarcastic banter, but because he’s got the most potential to turn from a spoiled brat into an antihero. There’s also more than a measure of self-indulgence in writing a self-indulgent character, because you can write the first thing that comes to mind—filters are for people who care about who’s listening. And if you can come back later and make a comment even snarkier, so much the better!

For hardest, that’s two main characters, Larsa and Jadain, have that honor. That might seem strange since they’re so prominent. Larsa’s a hard-bitten, straight to the point, half-vampire vampire hunter. Jadain’s a priestess sworn to the goddess of birth and death, who tries to see the good in people. They’re very different characters, but they’re both determined and willing to do anything for certain causes. The chapters switch back and forth between their perspectives, giving us Larsa’s point of view in one then Jadain’s in the next. So I’m particular about making sure that they both have distinct voices, especially when they’re both in more action-oriented chapters where they have to be direct. Jadain’s usually the one that gets trickiest. While Larsa’s usually sharp, even in tense situations I need to make sure that Jadain’s humanity and optimism comes through, or else she starts to sound like Larsa. It wasn’t a balancing act I expected going in, but it made an interesting challenge.



TQWhich question about Bloodbound do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Wes:  Pathfinder fiction and game material has a reputation for featuring characters of diverse genders, ethnicities, sexualities, etcetera. Does Bloodbound continue this trend?

Certainly! Bloodbound’s two main protagonists are both women, as are two of the story’s deadliest antagonists. A swordsman from the Egypt-inspired land of Osirian joins them, regularly offering a critical perspective on the Transylvania-esque lands of Ustalav. Aside from the immortal characters, there’s also a hero in her seventies who proves she’s not too old to head into a fray. Considine too is openly queer, though I’m not ready to pin him down as gay, bi, or otherwise quite yet. But writing Bloodbound was a long process and already I’m looking back at things with an eye toward what I might have done differently. I’m going to be keenly interested in hearing readers’ criticism about what I got right, what I got wrong, and how I can make the next story even better.

Also, being a guy who’s married to a guy, I know I started writing concerned about making the story somehow “too queer.” I’m not entirely sure why—probably something between personal insecurity and not wanting to scare off fantasy readers coming to my stuff for the first time. That’s not to say the queer elements are subtle in Bloodbound—there’s one particular relationship between two guys that is plainly there, but it’s a tertiary plot. I feel like I’m over my beginner’s anxiety now, though. If I get to play with these characters again, I’ve laid the seeds to make their relationship much more of a central feature.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Bloodbound.

Wes:  

I pressed his arm against the wall and drank fast, draining him like I was throwing down a shot. I didn’t like sharing from the same flask as my quarry, but if the evening was taking the turn I feared, I wouldn’t have another chance.

Anyway, he deserved it.



TQWhat's next?

Wes:  Well, next week I’m a guest of honor at GaymerX, where I’ll be talking a lot about the intersections between queerness and gaming of all types. It’s an amazing show and I couldn’t be more honored to be speaking. If you love gaming and you’re going to be in the San Jose area next week, we’d love to have you stop by. Everyone’s welcome!

Writing-wise, I swing between gaming and fiction pretty readily. I’ve got a massive adventure called “The Hellfire Compact” kicking off Pathfinder’s new Hell’s Vengeance Adventure Path in February. A few months later, I’ve got a story, “Stray Thoughts,” in the Eclipse Phase: After the Fall anthology. It’s a detective story involving a private eye mom, her sex worker son, and high-tech possession on an aerostat over Venus. It sounds bizarre—and I guess it is—but it turned out to be one of the more emotion rich stories I’ve ever written, so I’m interested in hearing what folks think.

Beyond that, I’m already starting to feel the fiction bug again, so who knows where that might lead!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Bloodbound
Pathfinder Tales 30
Tor Books, December 1, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

Interview with F. Wesley Schneider, author of Bloodbound
Larsa is a dhampir-half vampire, half human. In the gritty streets and haunted moors of gothic Ustalav, she's an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital's secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Yet when a noblewoman's entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal far more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know.

From Pathfinder co-creator and noted game designer F. Wesley Schneider comes Bloodbound, a dark fantasy adventure of murder, intrigue, and secrets best left buried, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.





About Wes

Interview with F. Wesley Schneider, author of Bloodbound
Editor-in-chief at Paizo Inc. and co-creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, F. Wesley Schneider is the author of dozens of Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons adventures and accessories. Aside from having passionate opinions about horror, world-building, and storytelling, he’s spoken at length on inclusively and LGBTQ topics in gaming. His novel, Bloodbound, releases in December, while his next major roleplaying offerings, The Hellfire Compact and In Search of Sanity, debut in 2016.

Wes lives outside Seattle with his husband and a particularly unlucky black cat.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~ Twitter @FWesSchneider  ~ YouTube  ~  Instagram

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts


There are 6 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 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on December 5, 2015 and ending on December 14th.  

Voting for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21st and end on December 31st.

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 2015 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.





Adam L. Korenman

When the Stars Fade
The Gray Wars 1
California Coldblood Books/Rare Bird Books, December 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
In distant future, humanity is recovering from a bloody civil war. Pilots CAMERON DAVIS and GEORGE LOCKLEAR, reservists with Sector Patrol, prepare for a long weekend off. That vacation is permanently cancelled when two alien armadas—the BOXTI and NANGOLANI—arrive near Earth. Though humanity wins the battle, the war quickly turns one-sided. One of Earth’s colonies is rendered uninhabitable. George dies saving his friend, and Cameron is sucked through a wormhole and disappears.

Far away on the moon Kronos, JOSH RANTZ competes in a huge Army competition. Despite most of his unit falling to the enemy, Josh and his squad continue to win larger and larger victories. They are oblivious to the goings on of the universe, isolated on purpose by the war-game’s designer, Doctor MARKOV.

When the exercise ends, Josh notices a meteor striking down nearby. He finds an injured Cameron, somehow transported across the stars to the military base. Moments later, the BOXTI arrive and invade. Outnumbered and outgunned, Josh and the soldiers on Kronos rally and push back the BOXTI horde. Summoned by their masters, the BOXTI leave the stunned humans behind.

With painful lessons learned, humanity prepares for the next battle, knowing full well that it may be their last.




Holly Messinger

The Curse of Jacob Tracy
Thomas Dunne Books, December 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
St. Louis in 1880 is full of ghosts, and Jacob Tracy can see them all. Ever since he nearly died on the battlefield at Antietam, Trace has been haunted by the country's restless dead. The curse cost him his family, his calling to the church, and damn near his sanity. He stays out of ghost-populated areas as much as possible these days, guiding wagon trains West from St. Louis, with his pragmatic and skeptical partner, Boz.

During the spring work lull, Trace gets an unusual job offer. Miss Fairweather, a wealthy English bluestocking, needs someone to retrieve a dead friend's legacy from a nearby town, and she specifically wants Trace to do it. However, the errand proves to be far more sinister than advertised. When confronted, Miss Fairweather admits to knowing about Trace's curse, and suggests she might help him learn to control it—in exchange for a few more odd jobs. Trace has no interest in being her pet psychic, but he's been looking twenty years for a way to control his power, and Miss Fairweather's knowledge of the spirit world is too valuable to ignore. As she steers him into one macabre situation after another, his powers flourish, and Trace begins to realize some good might be done with this curse of his. But Miss Fairweather is harboring some dark secrets of her own, and her meddling has brought Trace to the attention of something much older and more dangerous than any ghost in this electrifying and inventive debut.




Thomasine Rappold

The Lady Who Lived Again
Sole Survivor 1
Lyrical Press, December 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.

Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…




F. Wesley Schneider

Bloodbound
Pathfinder Tales 30
Tor Books, December 1, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Larsa is a dhampir-half vampire, half human. In the gritty streets and haunted moors of gothic Ustalav, she's an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital's secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Yet when a noblewoman's entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal far more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know.

From Pathfinder co-creator and noted game designer F. Wesley Schneider comes Bloodbound, a dark fantasy adventure of murder, intrigue, and secrets best left buried, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.




Simon Sylvester

The Visitors
Melville House, December 29, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
(Debut - US)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Nobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and seventeen-year-old Flora can’t wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flora is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter, Ailsa.

Meanwhile, several of the men on Bancree have disappeared, unnerving the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers on Dog Rock. But Flo suspects something else, even though it seems impossible: She asks local residents for anything they know about “selkies,” the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back again.

Convinced of her new neighbors’ innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Can the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?




David Towsey

Your Brother's Blood
Jo Fletcher Books, December 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
(Debut - US)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
This imaginative and unconventional debut novel is set centuries in the future. An unnamed event has wiped out most of humanity, scattering its remnants across vast and now barren lands reminiscent of the 19th century western frontier of America. Small clusters of humans still cling to existence in a post-apocalyptic world that is increasingly overrun by those who have risen from the dead--or, as the living call them, the Walkin'.

Thomas, a thirty-two year old conscripted soldier, homeward bound to the small frontier town of Barkley after fighting in a devastating civil war, is filled with hope at the thought of being reunited with his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Mary, both named after characters in the Good Book. As it turns out, he also happens to be among the Walkin'.

Devoid of a pulse or sense of pain, but with his memories and hopes intact, Thomas soon realizes that the living, who are increasingly drawn to the followers of the Good Book, are not kindly disposed to the likes of him. And when he learns what the good people of Barkley intend to do to him, and to his family, he realizes he may just have to kidnap his daughter to save her from a fate worse than becoming a member of the undead.

When the people of Barkley send out a posse in pursuit of father and daughter, the race for survival truly begins...

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Winner


The winner of the November  2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley from Sourcebooks Casablanca with 48 votes equaling 40% of all votes. The cover was designed by Eileen Carey.


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Winner




The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Winner




The November 2015 Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the December Debut covers starting on December 5, 2015 and ending on December 14th.  

Voting for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21st and end on December 31st.

Interview with Michael Livingston, author of The Shards of Heaven


Please welcome Michael Livingston to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews and The Shards of Heaven Blog Tour. The Shards of Heaven will be published on November 24th by Tor Books.



Interview with Michael Livingston, author of The Shards of Heaven




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Michael:  Hi there! Thanks for having me.

I started writing stories as a kid, and the encouragement of my teachers really helped me to aspire to the craft. In fact, I started down the path to becoming a professor in part because I thought it would leave me with blissfully free summers in which I could write novels. Little did I know that I would need to be writing academic books, too!



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

MichaelThe Shards of Heaven features a rather intricate series of plots and point of view characters, and it's situated amid the real events of history -- all of which means that at some level I need to be a plotter. The history has to work.

At the same time, my outline is actually nothing more than a simple spreadsheet that describes the events of each chapter in one or two sentences. So I afford myself as much room as possible within that script to let my characters take over.

I guess that makes me a hybrid.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Michael:  As a professor I have a fairly busy life of teaching, grading, and doing research and writing on the academic side of my life. So finding the time to get into the mindset of my fiction is by far the most difficult thing for me. I've had to learn to keep the Muse on speed-dial, ready and waiting for any chance I get to steal an hour of time here or there to write.



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Michael:  My tastes in literature are really quite diverse, from medieval writers like Chaucer to modern writers like Brandon Sanderson. On my shelf you'll find J.R.R. Tolkien next to Tennyson, Dan Simmons next to Shakespeare, and Parke Godwin next to Gilgamesh. I try to learn something from every author I've read.



TQDescribe The Shards of Heaven in 140 characters or less.

Michael:  It is history and fantasy colliding at the rise of the Roman Empire as Caesar's children fight to control the artifacts of gods old and new.



TQTell us something about The Shards of Heaven that is not found in the book description.

Michael:  At its core, this novel is about fashioning a reality from the fog of mythology. I have long been fascinated by the similarities between various legends of the ancient world, and so I tried to find a hidden thread that would bind them all together into a historical adventure that's part Indiana Jones and part Game of Thrones.

As an added bonus, if you liked Pullo and Vorenus from the HBO series 'Rome', I'm pleased to say that they ride again in this book.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Shards of Heaven? What appeals to you about writing Historical Fantasy?

MichaelThe Shards of Heaven is actually the backstory for another Historical Fantasy I started writing years ago. It grew so intricate and interesting that I realized it simply needed to be told on its own merit.

As for my interest in Historical Fantasy, it really stems from my interest in both worlds: I was trained as a historian, but I've always loved the fantastic. Like J.R.R. Tolkien, another professor of medieval literature who wrote his fantasies in his spare time, I have simply grown fascinated with the holes in our knowledge about the past, and the exciting tapestries we can weave through them.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Shards of Heaven?

Michael:  Given the strong historical element, I write with stacks of research at hand: whether that constitutes the tactics of a battle, the archaeological remains of a temple, or the technological workings of ancient armor, I need to know everything I can about my topic. My hope is that this knowledge base doesn't overwhelm the story but instead quietly percolates under its surface, making it all the more real.

Plus, I think it will lead to some surprises when those who know the history come across the various Easter eggs I've slipped into the narrative.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Michael:  The easiest point-of-view character for me was Didymus, the chief librarian of the Great Library in Alexandria. He's a polymath, and while I wouldn't call myself that I do recognize the thirst he has for knowledge. He needs to know, and that need runs so deep it can be all-consuming. For better or worse, I never had any problem facing the question of what someone like that would do or say.

Far more difficult for me at the beginning was the daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Cleopatra Selene. She's a headstrong little girl in the novel -- something I have no experience being! -- but historically she grows up to become one of the most remarkable rulers of her age. It was hard to get that balance right at first, but as I'm writing her in the sequels I'm finding she's one of my favorite characters to engage. I hope readers will adore her as much as I do.



TQPlease tell us a bit about the historical Juba II on which your character is based.

Michael:  Juba II, like Cleopatra Selene, is an amazing historical figure who should be far better known. His father, the king of Numidia, fought against Julius Caesar and ultimately chose suicide over being paraded through Rome in Caesar's Triumph. Young Juba was taken into Caesar's household as an adopted son -- an act intended to demonstrate his mercy. Add into this potent background his ethnic separation from the Romans surrounding him and the passionate intellectualism that ruled his life, and you could hardly ask for a more fascinating figure to build a story around.

For more about what he does, and the power he learns to wield, read the book!



TQWhich question about The Shards of Heaven do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Michael:

Q: In your book, several of your characters decide that God is dead. Do you anticipate any hate mail from that?

A: I don't think that's a terribly shocking thing for my characters to conclude, but if it does bother anyone, I hope they don't write me about it. I hope instead they purchase boxes and boxes of my books and burn them. On live TV. You simply can't buy that kind of publicity.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Shards of Heaven.

Michael:  My favorite passage is this:

Like a sudden exhalation, matched with an echoing boom that reverberated in Vorenus' chest, the rain came back against them, stinging like a thousand tiny arrows.

And behind the rain came the roar of an angry god.



TQWhat's next?

Michael:  I'm polishing off The Temples of the Ark right now, which is the sequel to The Shards of Heaven. It is scheduled for release in November of 2016. The adventure of the Shards, I'm happy to say, is just getting started!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Michael:  Thank you for having me. Happy reading, everyone!





The Shards of Heaven
The Shards of Heaven 1
Tor Books, November 24, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with Michael Livingston, author of The Shards of Heaven
Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar's ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar's legacy. As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.

Juba, Numidian prince and adopted brother of Octavian, has embarked on a ruthless quest for the Shards of Heaven, lost treasures said to possess the very power of the gods-or the one God. Driven by vengeance, Juba has already attained the fabled Trident of Poseidon, which may also be the staff once wielded by Moses. Now he will stop at nothing to obtain the other Shards, even if it means burning the entire world to the ground.

Caught up in these cataclysmic events, and the hunt for the Shards, are a pair of exiled Roman legionnaires, a Greek librarian of uncertain loyalties, assassins, spies, slaves . . . and the ten-year-old daughter of Cleopatra herself.

Michael Livingston's The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.





About Michael

Interview with Michael Livingston, author of The Shards of Heaven
MICHAEL LIVINGSTON holds degrees in history, medieval studies, and English. He is an Associate Professor of English at the Citadel, specializing in the Middle Ages. His short fiction has been published in Black Gate, Shimmer, Paradox, and Nature.










MichaelLivingston.com  ~   Twitter @MedievalGuy
Goodreads





Interview with Michael Livingston, author of The Shards of Heaven

2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!Interview with Dana Chamblee Carpenter, author of Bohemian Gospel2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December DebutsInterview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob TracyInterview with F. Wesley Schneider, author of Bloodbound2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November WinnerInterview with Michael Livingston, author of The Shards of Heaven

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