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2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


There are 8 debut novels for September.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The August 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 August cover for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on September 15, 2016.

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 2016 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for September 2016 The list is correct as of the day posted.

Update: Added Of the Abyss by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. This is her first adult fantasy novel.


Jason Arnopp

The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Orbit, September 13, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
"Ingenious and funny . . . Magnificent." -- Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta

Jack Sparks died while writing this book.

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed -- until now.




Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Of the Abyss
Mancer Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, September 27, 2016
eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
After decades of strife, peace has finally been achieved in Kavet—but at a dark cost.  Sorcery is outlawed, and anyone convicted of consorting with the beings of the other realms—the Abyssi and the Numini—is put to death. The only people who can even discuss such topics legally are the scholars of the Order of the Napthol, who give counsel when questions regarding the supernatural planes arise.

Hansa Viridian, a captain in the elite guard unit tasked with protecting Kavet from sorcery, has always led a respectable life. But when he is implicated in a sorcerer’s crimes, the only way to avoid execution is to turn to the Abyss for help—specifically, to a half-Abyssi man he’s sworn he hates, but whose physical attraction he cannot deny.     

Hansa is only the first victim in a plot that eventually drags him, a sorcerer named Xaz, and a Sister of the Napthol named Cadmia into the depths of the Abyss, where their only hope of escape is to complete an infernal task that might cost them their lives.




James Bennett

Chasing Embers
A Ben Garston Novel 1
Orbit, September 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Behind every myth, there's a spark of truth...

There's nothing special about Ben Garston. He's just a guy with an attitude in a beat-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows in a downtown bar. Or so he'd have you believe.

What Ben Garston can't let you know is that he was once known as Red Ben. That the world of myth and legend isn't just a fantasy, as we've been led to believe. And he certainly can't let you know the secret of what's hiding just beneath his skin...

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. A centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.




J. Patrick Black

Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.




Susan Bishop Crispell

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes
Thomas Dunne Books, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.




Colin Gigl

The Ferryman Institute
Gallery Books, September 27, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In this stunning, fantastical debut novel from a bold new voice in the bestselling traditions of Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde, a ferryman for the dead finds his existence unraveling after making either the best decision or the biggest mistake of his immortal life.

Ferryman Charlie Dawson saves dead people—somebody has to convince them to move on to the afterlife, after all. Having never failed a single assignment, he's acquired a reputation for success that’s as legendary as it is unwanted. It turns out that serving as a Ferryman is causing Charlie to slowly lose his mind. Deemed too valuable by the Ferryman Institute to be let go and too stubborn to just give up in his own right, Charlie’s pretty much abandoned all hope of escaping his grim existence. Or he had, anyway, until he saved Alice Spiegel. To be fair, Charlie never planned on stopping Alice from taking her own life—that sort of thing is strictly forbidden by the Institute—but he never planned on the President secretly giving him the choice to, either. Charlie’s not quite sure what to make of it, but Alice is alive, and it’s the first time he’s felt right in more than two hundred years.

When word of the incident reaches Inspector Javrouche, the Ferryman Institute's resident internal affairs liaison, Charlie finds he's in a world of trouble. But Charlie’s not about to lose the only living, breathing person he’s ever saved without a fight. He’s ready to protect her from Javrouche and save Alice from herself, and he’s willing to put the entire continued existence of mankind at risk to do it.

Written in the same vein as bestselling modern classics such as The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, The Ferryman Institute is a thrilling supernatural adventure packed with wit and humor.




Nisi Shawl

Everfair
Tor Books, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Nisi Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.




Kea Wilson

We Eat Our Own
Scribner, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
An ambitious debut novel by an original young writer, We Eat Our Own blurs the lines between life and art with the story of a film director’s unthinkable experiment in the Amazon.

When a nameless, struggling actor in 1970s New York gets the call that an enigmatic director wants him for an art film set in the Amazon, he doesn’t hesitate: he flies to South America, no questions asked. He quickly realizes he’s made a mistake. He’s replacing another actor who quit after seeing the script—a script the director now claims doesn’t exist. The movie is over budget. The production team seems headed for a breakdown. The air is so wet that the celluloid film disintegrates.

But what the actor doesn’t realize is that the greatest threat might be the town itself, and the mysterious shadow economy that powers this remote jungle outpost. Entrepreneurial Americans, international drug traffickers, and M-19 guerillas are all fighting for South America’s future—and the groups aren’t as distinct as you might think. The actor thought this would be a role that would change his life. Now he’s worried if he’ll survive it.

Inspired by a true story from the annals of 1970s Italian horror film, and told in dazzlingly precise prose, We Eat Our Own is a resounding literary debut, a thrilling journey behind the scenes of a shocking film and a thoughtful commentary on violence and its repercussions.

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


J. Patrick Black

Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.

Interview with Christopher Steinsvold, author of The Book of Ralph


Please welcome Christopher Steinsvold to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Book of Ralph was published on August 9th by Medallion Press.

The Book of Ralph Launch Party will be held on August 31st at Tender Trap, 66 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11222. You may find more information on Facebook here.



Interview with Christopher Steinsvold, author of The Book of Ralph




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

Christopher:  Sometime in Jr. High, my parents gave me an Apple IIc with a word processor. It was a release to get thoughts out of my head. In High School, I took a typing class and creative writing classes, and my writing output soared. Having others enjoy my thoughts is a deep thrill, and worth suffering through the times they don’t.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Christopher:  Definitely a pantser, though near the final draft I did do an outline, to get a better mental handle on the story. I recommend this to my fellow pantsers.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Christopher:  Slaughtering the wonderful darlings.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does having a background in philosophy affect your writing?

Christopher:  Too many influences . . . the news . . . art . . . coffee . . . a conversation overheard on the subway . . . Reddit . . . the list goes on.

Philosophy helps me to think and write clearly, which, for me, is more difficult than it sounds.



TQDescribe The Book of Ralph in 140 characters or less.

Christopher:  An alien’s dangerous plan to save the world.



TQTell us something about The Book of Ralph that is not found in the book description.

Christopher:  Though the novel is comedic, it isn’t a farce. It isn’t Duck Soup. It is a story with many bizarre events, yet there are reasons why these events happen, and typically the reasons are revealed later on.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Book of Ralph? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction and particularly SF that deals with alien contact?

Christopher:  I was excited by the initial ideas. A message suddenly shows up on the moon, seemingly an advertisement, and humans are not responsible. I love the freshness of it. When I realized I could explore a number of philosophical ideas I had, I was doubly excited. I tried hard to write something original, and as far as I can tell, I did.

I find Science Fiction attractive because the possibilities are so wide open. Exactly why first contact is attractive is answered in the novel (no spoilers!).



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Book of Ralph?

Christopher:  The most exhaustive type of research I could without leaving my apartment.



TQIn the The Book of Ralph who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Christopher:  Ralph was extreme fun. Markus, the narrator, was the most challenging, due to the natural limitations of writing in first person.



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

Christopher:  Q: Did you get a film option? A: Yes!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Book of Ralph.

Christopher:  “We were the frills of the universe gazing upon something unspeakably more central than ourselves.”



TQWhat's next?

Christopher:  I recently finished a short story, and have two ideas for novels that I like. But, for now, I’m focusing on promoting The Book of Ralph.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Christopher:  Thank you!





The Book of Ralph
Medallion Press, August 9, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with Christopher Steinsvold, author of The Book of Ralph
A message appears on the moon. It is legible from Earth, and almost no one knows how it was created. Markus West leads the government’s investigation to find the creator.

The message is simple and familiar. But those three words, written in blazing crimson letters on the lunar surface, will foster the strangest revolution humankind has ever endured and make Markus West wish he was never involved.

The message is ‘Drink Diet Coke.’

When Coca-Cola denies responsibility, global annoyance with the beverage-industrial complex becomes indignation. And when his investigation confirms Coca-Cola’s innocence, Markus West becomes one of the most hated men on Earth.

Later, five miles above the White House, a cylinder is discovered floating in the night. It is 400 feet tall, 250 feet in diameter, and exactly resembles a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Nearly everyone thinks the cylinder is a promotional stunt gone wrong, just like the lunar advertisement. And this is exactly what the alien in the cylinder wants people to think.

Ralph, an eccentric extraterrestrial who’s been hiding on the moon, needs Markus’s help to personally deliver a dark warning to the White House. Ralph has a big heart, a fetish for Andy Warhol, and a dangerous plan to save the world.

Looking upon the cylinder, Markus realizes we are not the ones in control. The unexpected guest becomes the host, and somehow humans never belonged: “We are the homeless orphans peeking through the banquet window. We are the frills of the universe gazing upon something unspeakably more central than ourselves.”





About Christopher

Interview with Christopher Steinsvold, author of The Book of Ralph
Photo by Ben Colen
Christopher Steinsvold received his PhD in philosophy from the City University of New York Graduate School and University Center. He is currently an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In his creative writing, he uses his background in philosophy to feed his imagination.










Facebook  ~  Twitter @steinsvold1



2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Everfair by Nisi Shawl


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Everfair by Nisi Shawl


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


Nisi Shawl

Everfair
Tor Books, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Nisi Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.

Spotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


The Qwillery is thrilled to share an excerpt and more from J. Patrick Black's debut novel - Ninth City Burning!



Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

Spotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.




Excerpt

The Valentine War, Earth 500 Years Ago

It starts with the world how it used to be, with countries and billions of people living everywhere. Back then there was no such thing as thelemity, and people built houses and machines sort of like they have in settlements today, but all of that changed when the Valentines came.

The reason we call them the Valentines is that the day they first attacked, February 14 on the old Western Calendar, was called “Valentine’s Day”. We still don’t know what the Valentines call themselves, because we’ve never been able to talk to them. We don’t even know what they look like. People had all sorts of different names for them early in the war, but “Valentine” is the one that ended up being the most popular. It used to mean something totally different, but not many people remember that now.

We never saw them coming. All at once cities just started disappearing. A city would be there, everything totally normal, and then it would be gone, nothing but rubble and a cloud of dust. By the time we figured out we were under attack, half the cities in the world had already been destroyed. We tried to fight back, but the Valentines had thelemity, and our strongest weapons were next to useless. They probably would have killed every single person on the planet, except for one thing: It turned out we could use thelemity too.




Cast of Characters

JAX: A cadet at the Academy and the youngest fontanus in Ninth City. With the ability to harness thelemity, Jax must stand for all citizens during Valentine attacks and act as the only defense between the city and complete destruction.

NAOMI: The youngest sister in the Ochre family, and a member of the nomadic Walker tribe. Naomi longs to be a scout like her older sister, Rae, but her undiscovered gifts will take her down a different path, far away from the life she knows.

RAE: The beautiful, impulsive leader of the Ochre family and a scout for the Walker tribe. Rae’s penchant for bravery and lack of fear plunge her into a new world, where her strength will be tested in ways she never imagined.

TORRO: A factory worker in Settlement 225, which provides supplies and soldiers to the Legion’s war effort. Torro’s uncomplicated life is suddenly disrupted when he finds himself drafted as cannon fodder and shipped away to the horror of the front lines.

VINNEAS: Procurator of the Academy, responsible for every cadet at the school of Grammar and Rhetoric. Part of being Procurator is being prepared for command in combat, but an unwelcome promotion sends him to active duty sooner than he expects.

IMWAY: The top ranked warrior in the Equites Aspirant, the most elite fighting unit in the Academy. Highly skilled in combat, Imway’s power stems from a suit of armor called ‘equus’ and the ego that comes with it stands the chance of ruining any relationship he has.

KIZABEL: The most sought after Artifex—a creator of artifices—at the Academy. Her most recent project violates many rules, and Kizabel faces expulsion or incarceration if caught. But her project will revolutionize equus design, if she can only get it running.


Together, this unlikely group of allies will face a mysterious enemy and a war that has brought their world to the brink of destruction.




About the Author

Spotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
J. Patrick Black has worked as a bartender, a small-town lawyer, a homebuilder, and a costumed theme park character, all while living a secret double life as a fiction writer. While fiction is now his profession, he still finds occasion to ply his other trades as well. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he likes to visit the ocean. NINTH CITY BURNING is his first novel. Find out more about J. Patrick Black online at www.jpatrickblack.com












Interview with Ezekiel Boone, author of The Hatching


Please welcome Ezekiel Boone to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Hatching was published on July 5th by Atria/Emily Bestler Book.



Interview with Ezekiel Boone, author of The Hatching




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

Ezekiel:  I started writing seriously about ten years ago. Before that, I wanted to be a writer, but I hadn’t yet realized that meant I actually had to work at writing. I was a stay-at-home dad, so writing time was hard to come by. We invested in a babysitter to come by for two hours, twice a week. Back then, the fifty dollars a week we paid for those four hours felt like a lot of money, and I didn’t want to waste it. Like a lot of writers, I started because I was a serious reader. Always have been. I don’t care what the genre is, good writing is good writing, and the best books feel like a sort of magic. I guess I was hoping I could capture some of that.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Ezekiel:  I’m a hybrid. Depends on the book and the project. With The Hatching, particularly since it’s the first book in a series, I’ve been planning out more and more before I start writing. It’s easier to keep the reader in suspense if I know what’s coming next. That being said, there’s a certain freedom to leaving yourself some discovery as a writer. Sometimes you think you are going one way, but if you’re open to change, your writing can lead you somewhere even better.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Ezekiel:  The most challenging thing is remembering to treat something that is an incredible privilege like the job that it is. Some days I roll out of bed and can’t wait to get to the computer, and other days there are distractions. But the days I can force myself past the distractions — errands to run, friends who want to meet for lunch, the internet — end up being the best writing days. It’s easier now, because writing is my job, but it was harder when I first started.



TQ What has influenced / influences your writing?

Ezekiel:  My kids. The way they can get lost in a book is inspiring, and I’m trying to recreate that feeling for my readers. More than anything, I want these books to be fun. Sure, The Hatching is scary, but only scary enough that you’re afraid to put it down. I wanted the book to be a kind of thrill ride that makes you remember that reading is supposed to be a joy.



TQDescribe The Hatching in 140 characters or less.

EzekielThe Hatching is Jurassic Park meets World War Z. It’s as if Stephen King and James Patterson had a baby and that baby was a swarm of spiders that ate everything in its path.



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

Ezekiel:  Well, I know that in advanced reading copies, we didn’t indicate that The Hatching was the first book in a series, and I think that took some people by surprise. But that’s not a very fun answer. How about this: for a scary book, there’s really a decent amount of humor.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Hatching? What appeals to you about writing Horror?

Ezekiel:  I didn’t want to write the book at first. It’s about an ancient form of spiders that hatch in a meat-munching frenzy, and I’m absolutely terrified of spiders. I had the idea and set it aside, but then I started having crazy nightmares about spiders. I figured the best thing to do was write it to get it out of my system. As for horror, I think the appeal is that we live in a world and a time when real life can be truly frightening, but scary books give readers a safe place to be afraid. Plus, it’s fun.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Hatching? Why spiders?

The spiders in The Hatching are fictional, but I tried to keep them grounded in fact. My editor had a question about the eggs hatching after such a long period of stasis, and I was able to point her to a university professor who’s hatching eggs that have been in wait for seven hundred years. It’s a bit like Michael Crichton: fiction grounded in fact. As for why spiders, the answer’s easy: there’s a reason we’re afraid of spiders.



TQIn The Hatching who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Ezekiel:  Tough question. The Hatching has a big cast, and I loved all of them. If I didn’t, they wouldn’t have made it past revision. But easiest? How about the spiders? Just kidding. I think the answer that is probably agent Mike Rich. He would have done well in a stand-alone crime thriller, and it was fun to see him instead dealing with spiders. The hardest was the trio of Scottish characters. The character part wasn’t hard, but their connection to the story may not be as obvious as some of the other threads.



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

Ezekiel:

Q: Do you have any interest in doing a photo shoot with spiders crawling all over you?
A: Hell, no!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Hatching.

Ezekiel:

1) As it got closer, Miguel took another step back, but by the time he realized that it wasn't actually a river, that it was not water of any kind, it was too late.

2) “You were right,” Julie said.
“Of course I was right,” Melanie said. “About what?”



TQWhat's next?

Ezekiel:  Book two, Skitter, comes out in 2017, but I also just finished a new book that I’m hoping to be able to talk about soon. No spiders, but some good scares.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ezekiel:  Thank you for having me. Now go read The Hatching!





The Hatching
The Hatching Series 1
Atria/Emily Bestler Book, July 5, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Ezekiel Boone, author of The Hatching
“An apocalyptic extravaganza of doom and heroism…addictive.” —Publishers Weekly

“It’s been too long since someone reminded us that spiders are not just to be feared, but also may well spell doom for mankind. Fortunately, Ezekiel Boone has upped the ante on arachnophobia. This is a fresh take on classic horror, thoroughly enjoyable and guaranteed to leave your skin crawling.” —Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

An astonishingly inventive and terrifying debut novel about the emergence of an ancient species, dormant for over a thousand years, and now on the march.

Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.




About Ezekiel

Interview with Ezekiel Boone, author of The Hatching
Photograph by Laurie Willick
Ezekiel Boone lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.






Website  ~  Twitter @ezekiel_boone

Facebook  ~  Instagram



2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 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 2016 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published 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 August 30, 2016.


Vote for your favorite August 2016 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Design by Lauren Panepinto




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Design by Michael Wlos




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Art by Richard Anderson




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Art by Gigi Little




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Art by Thomas Walker




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Jacket Design by Laura Klynstra
Jacket Photograph by Paul Knight / Trevillion Images




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Art by Gene Mollica




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover Design by David Drummond


Interview with Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich's Ladder


Please welcome Jamie Duclos-Yourdon to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Froelich's Ladder was published on August 9th by Forest Avenue.



Interview with Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich's Ladder




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

JDY:  I began to write short stories when I was thirteen. I come from a family of voracious readers, and writing was my way of participating in a broader conversation.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

JDY:  I’m a rigorous plotter (though I do love the term “pantser”). I gained an appreciation for act structure in a screenwriting course, in which I also learned that I’m a sucky screenwriter.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

JDY:  The most challenging aspect about writing, for me, is cultivating patience. I write 300–350 words a day; at that pace, it feels like I’ll never accomplish anything.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

JDY:  I’m most strongly influenced by the members of my writing group, The Guttery. We meet every Wednesday night, so I’m constantly being exposed to their work. They are a brilliant group of artists.



TQDescribe Froelich's Ladder in 140 characters or less.

JDY:  Curmudgeon lives atop a giant ladder until being abducted by a cloud and his estranged nephew is enlisted to find him. Plus bowling.



TQTell us something about Froelich's Ladder that is not found in the book description.

JDYFroelich’s Ladder was conceived as a Shakespearean comedy, such that it culminates in a series of couplings.



TQWhat inspired you to write Froelich's Ladder? What appealed to you about writing what your publisher calls "...a fabulist adventure novel..."?

JDY:  Sometimes realism can feel like a joyless magic trick. “Is this your card? Good.” I was inspired to write Froelich’s Ladder because I wanted to create something fun—something that was ridiculous and exuberant.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Froelich's Ladder?

JDY:  I spent the most time researching Johnny Appleseed, because the details of his biography are ambiguous. But I also learned about the Naturalization Act, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Donation Land Act—basically, a bunch of arcane laws from the 1800s.



TQIn Froelich's Ladder who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

JDY:  Josie and Uncle Frank were the most difficult characters to write, because I wanted to represent their (Scottish) accents in dialogue. Binx was the easiest character to write, probably because, in an early draft, he narrated the book from under the ladder.



TQWhich question about Froelich's Ladder do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

JDY:  No one has asked how the characters got their names. I used to walk by the Froelick Art Gallery in downtown Portland; I lived on Harold Street; Binx was the name of a British guy who punched me in the face; Josie was the name of the girl who contributed to my getting punched in the face; Gak was a noise I made one time; Francis Meyers is a play on Fred Myers; and Gordy is a play on Yourdon.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Froelich's Ladder.

JDY:  “Indeed, it was for this reason that clouds were reluctant herbivores: not by choice, but of necessity.” My copy editor, whom I never met in person, wrote of this quotation, “This is the greatest sentence.” And, man, did I swoon.



TQWhat's next?

JDY:  I’m currently at work on book-length Mesopotamian ghost story, with talking crows and people rising from the dead.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

JDY:  Thank you! This was a lot of fun.





Froelich's Ladder
Forest Avenue Press, August 9, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 248 pages

Interview with Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich's Ladder
Froelich nurses a decades-old family grudge from his permanent perch atop a giant ladder in this nineteenth century madcap adventure novel. When he disappears suddenly, his nephew embarks on a rain-soaked adventure across the Pacific Northwest landscape to find him, accompanied by an ornery girl with a most unfortunate name. In their encounters with Confederate assassins, European expatriates, and a general store magnate, this fairytale twist on the American dream explores the conflicts between loyalty and ambition and our need for human connection, even at the highest rungs.





About Jamie

Interview with Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich's Ladder
 Photo by Katherine Rosenbaum
Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, a freelance editor and technical expert, received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. His short fiction has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Underneath the Juniper Tree, and Chicago Literati, and he has contributed essays and interviews to Booktrib. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Froelich's Ladder (Forest Avenue, 2016) is his debut novel.



Website  ~  Twitter @JamieYourdon  ~  Facebook

Interview with Lily Brooks-Dalton


Please welcome Lily Brooks-Dalton to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Good Morning, Midnight is published on August 9th by Random House. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Lily a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Lily Brooks-Dalton




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

Lily:  I got started pretty young—I loved reading books so much that I wanted to try making them. My mother was an art teacher, so she was familiar with some bookmaking techniques. I still have one of the projects we made together. I wrote it, we illustrated it together, and then she made it into a beautiful little book. Things developed from there, I guess.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Lily:  I’m primarily a plotter, but there always has to be room for surprises. I love outlining, though, and so doodling a vague storyline and then refining the doodles as time goes on is how I situate myself in whatever world I’m trying to create.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Lily:  Sharing it. The excitement around letting a book out into the world is wonderful and terrifying all at once. I love the writing of it, getting to inhabit that world and be with those characters, and letting other readers into that space is difficult for me. Not to mention that moment when you can’t edit anymore—that is the moment that I know how to make the book better.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Lily:  I am so inspired by science in all its forms. In my memoir I drew on laws of physics as a backbone for the narrative, and in the novel, Good Morning, Midnight, I found astronomy and ham radio to be enormously influential. I love the way facts can blend with fiction—I find it really exciting to navigate that interplay between the fantasy and reality.



TQDescribe Good Morning, Midnight in 140 characters or less.

Lily:  An aging astronomer in the Arctic and an astronaut stranded in space come to terms with their choices at the end of the world.



TQTell us something about Good Morning, Midnight that is not found in the book description.

Lily:  I’m not sure! Everything that comes to mind is a spoiler.



TQWhat inspired you to write Good Morning, Midnight? What appealed to you about writing Literary / Science Fiction?

Lily:  I was working at a radio station when I thought of the initial idea. It was in the northeast, and when we had lots of snow someone had to be responsible for periodically going outside and knocking the snow off the transmitter, otherwise it would muffle the signal and we would go off the air. If it snowed overnight, then someone had to stay and do that all night, depending on how quickly the snow was accumulating. That image, of someone all alone in an empty radio station, keeping the signal alive, stuck with me. Eventually it became this book.

I love letting research guide my writing, and so because I was so interested in astronomy and ham radio at the time, that’s the direction the story went in. I’m attracted to science fiction because I love thinking about space and stars and all that good stuff. And as much as a I love really out-there sci-fi, I gravitate toward making things feel more plausible. As a reader, I love it all, but as a writer, I like to focus on characters and settings and let plot unfold more gradually. I guess that makes me a literary writer? I don’t know, that label has always seemed odd to me. I guess because technically we’re all literary writers!



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Good Morning, Midnight?

Lily:  Lots! I read a ton of nonfiction, like astronaut memoirs and various astronomy texts, I watched all the sci-fi movies/tv shows I could find, and I haunted space.com for like two years straight. I made it the homepage on my laptop, just so the night sky would always be on my mind.



TQIn Good Morning, Midnight who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Lily:  Augustine was the easiest, I think. He was the character I began with, and so he was always the clearest to me. I modeled him after my grandfather in a lot of ways (who I dedicated the book to), because my grandfather was always very vocal about the way that alcoholism marred the first half of his life, while also embracing the ways in which recovery illuminated the second half. That sense that it’s never too late to make amends, to do things differently—that is what I see in Augustine’s story, and it’s a story I very much relate to.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Good Morning, Midnight?

Lily:  For me and for this story specifically, the minutia of whether humanity falls by way of epidemic or warfare or asteroid or climate change was so much less interesting than what happens after. I wanted to keep the focus on the characters, to detail the emotional and psychological toll of such a catastrophe without dropping into the mechanics of how the world might continue in the wake of it. I was most interested in the individual issues, as opposed to the social. There are lots of fantastic post-apocalyptic books that delve into social issues—I wanted to write something with a different focus.



TQWhich question about Good Morning, Midnight do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Lily:  Where did the title come from?

The title, Good Morning, Midnight, is a line from a beautiful Emily Dickinson poem, but it’s also the title of another book by Jean Rhys published in 1939. At first it was just a working title for me—it felt too strange to take the title not only from a poem, but also from another novel. In the end, however, it was just too perfect. And I think that both the poem and the Rhys novel are in conversation with some of the major themes in Good Morning, Midnight. I included an epigraph that is a particularly fitting line from Rhys’s novel, and despite how different the plots of the two books are, I’ve come to see so many parallels between the two works.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Good Morning, Midnight.

Lily:  Okay, I’ll give you a short passage from the first chapter that I really like:

“…it was only the sky that moved him, the happenings on the other side of the atmospheric window. His work ethic was strong, his ego engorged, his results groundbreaking, but he wasn’t satisfied. He had never been satisfied and never would be. It wasn’t success he craved, or even fame, it was history: he wanted to crack the universe open like a ripe watermelon, to arrange the mess of pulpy seeds before his dumbfounded colleagues. He wanted to take the dripping red fruit in his hands and quantify the guts of infinity, to look back into the dawn of time and glimpse the very beginning. He wanted to be remembered.
        Yet here he was, seventy-eight years old, at the top of the Arctic archipelago, on the rind of civilization—coming to the terminus of his research, the terminus of his life, and all he could do was stare into the bleak face of his own ignorance.”



TQWhat's next?

Lily:  I’m working on a new novel now. So far it’s about an omniscient being and a human wanderer, and how their experiences intersect. I’m excited to be working on something new, we’ll see where it goes!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Lily:  Thanks so much for having me.





Good Morning, Midnight
Random House, August 9, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages

Interview with Lily Brooks-Dalton
For readers of Station Eleven and The Snow Child, Lily Brooks-Dalton’s haunting debut is the unforgettable story of two outsiders—a lonely scientist in the Arctic and an astronaut trying to return to Earth—as they grapple with love, regret, and survival in a world transformed.

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes that the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success. But when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crewmates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives? Lily Brooks-Dalton’s captivating debut is a meditation on the power of love and the bravery of the human heart.





About Lily

Interview with Lily Brooks-Dalton
Photo: © Lisa Brooks
LILY BROOKS-DALTON was born and raised in southern Vermont. Her memoir, Motorcycles I've Loved, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and her first novel, Good Morning, Midnight, will be published in the US on 8/9/16. A UK edition, as well as Japanese, French, Italian, Turkish, and Polish translations, are also forthcoming. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Toast, and elsewhere.







Website  ~  Instagram  ~  Facebook







Also by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Motorcycles I've Loved: A Memoir
Riverhead Books, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 7, 2015

Interview with Lily Brooks-Dalton
“What the PCT is to Cheryl Strayed, the open road is to Brooks-Dalton.”—Cosmopolitan

A powerful memoir about a young woman whose passion for motorcycles leads her down a road all her own.


At twenty-one-years-old, Lily Brooks-Dalton is feeling lost; returning to New England after three and a half years traveling overseas, she finds herself unsettled, unattached, and without the drive to move forward. When a friend mentions buying a motorcycle, Brooks-Dalton is intrigued and inspired. Before long she is diving headlong into the world of gearheads, reconsidering her surroundings through the visor of a motorcycle helmet, and beginning a study of motion that will help her understand her own trajectory. Her love for these powerful machines starts as a diversion, but as she continues riding and maintaining her own motorcycles, she rediscovers herself, her history, and her momentum.

Forced to confront her limitations—new and old, real and imagined—Brooks-Dalton learns focus, patience, and how to navigate life on the road. As she builds confidence, both on her bike and off, she begins to find her way, ultimately undertaking an ambitious ride that leaves her strengthened, revitalized, and prepared for whatever comes next.

Honest and lyrical, raw and thoughtful, Motorcycles I’ve Loved is a bold portrait of one young woman’s empowering journey of independence and determination.

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


Keith Yatsuhashi

Kojiki
Angry Robot Books, August 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi
Every civilization has its myths. Only one is true.

When eighteen year old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”

Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfil her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows and chaos envelops the city. As Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession – that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honour her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.

File Under: Fantasy [ Gods and Guardians / A Father’s Secret / Longing for More / Cosmic Reinvention ]

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick BlackInterview with Christopher Steinsvold, author of The Book of Ralph2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Everfair by Nisi ShawlSpotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick BlackInterview with Ezekiel Boone, author of The Hatching2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August DebutsInterview with Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich's LadderInterview with Lily Brooks-Dalton2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi

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