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Interview with Sarah Pinsker, author of A Song For A New Day


Please welcome Sarah Pinsker to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. A Song for a New Day was published on September 10, 2019 by Berkley.



Interview with Sarah Pinsker, author of A Song For A New Day




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Sarah:  I wrote horse stories starting when I was around eight. I think some of them were just rewrites of books I'd liked. The kind of thing where there's a scruffy-looking horse about to go to auction, and the girl buys the horse for one dollar more than the meat buyers, and the horse turns out to be super fancy once he's healed/groomed/trained. I think my first genre story had to do with an open-mic singer taking bids on his soul from god and the devil. On brand.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Sarah:  I would normally say I'm an unrepentant pantser, but I had to turn in an outline for the novel I'm currently working on, and I have to admit it was a surprisingly fun and interesting process. It let me ask a lot of questions of the book early on that would normally have taken me a while to reach through trial and error and discovery. So...still a pantser, but with a new appreciation for the other modes? Does that make me a hybrid? My rebel spirit is still in pantsing.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Sarah:  These days it's a physical/mental thing. My usual writing spaces aren't feeling comfortable right now. I think maybe I need a standing desk. Once I'm writing I'm good, but getting to the point of sitting down and focusing is taking me more time than it used to, and staying seated is taking more discipline than it used to. We also adopted a new dog recently, and he's very good at convincing me I'd rather be playing with him.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Sarah:  What doesn't influence my writing? I guess I write a lot of stories rooted in place. I love traveling and I've been a lot of places. I love the challenge of trying to get at the heart of a place. Music. New technologies and my own paranoia about them. Dreams. Misread road signs, strange coincidences...



TQDescribe A Song For A New Day using only 5 words.

Sarah:  Live music. Found family. Connection.



TQTell us something about A Song For A New Day that is not found in the book description.

Sarah:  The description makes the black and white/good and bad distinction between the Before and After periods the book describes, which makes it seem like the former was fine, and after is dystopic. The book has more shades of gray. I tried to acknowledge that the world we live in now, ostensibly the Before, is already dystopic for some people. There are aspects of the After that are better, or different in a not-entirely-bad way. Even characters who disapprove of the corporate shenanigans acknowledge some positive results of the changes. I find those shades far more interesting to write than a simple everything's-not-awesome dystopia.



TQWhat inspired you to write A Song For A New Day? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction and in particular a dystopian novel?

SarahA Song For A New Day takes place in the same world as one of my previous stories, "Our Lady of the Open Road." I realized I had more to say about this world, and that there was more to explore than the slice of future tour life that story showed. There are so many interesting future music technologies, both for listening and for live music, but we're also living in a time where people have more and more distractions at home. Everything competes with the bands who are out there playing small clubs every night. I wanted to explore all sides of that question, and look at a future where some people might have even more reason to stay home, and some people might fight it.

I love science fiction for the expanded palette it provides. I like the "what ifs" and Theodore Sturgeon's "ask the next question." Many aspects of this novel reflect today's hopes and fears, but it's easier to look at those from a slight distance. It's an exaggeration of one possible path. This story takes place in a very near future, but you still need those world building tools to get there.

I didn't actually put the dystopia label on it myself, though in retrospect it obviously is one. In my head, it's just an exploration of a possible future.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for A Song For A New Day?

Sarah:  This book took less research than a lot of short stories. The music stuff was stuff I knew. A little about VR and AR, I guess? I had to double check how long some of the distances between cities would take if highways weren't options for your rebel human-driven van.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for A Song For A New Day.

Sarah:  The cover was done by Jason Booher. I don't know who the photo captures. It reminds me of a couple of singers, but I don't know if it is actually any of them. It's not meant to represent a particular character. I had asked for a cover that looked like a DIY rock show poster, and this is exactly that.



TQIn A Song For A New Day who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Sarah:  I wrote about Luce previously in a story called "Our Lady of the Open Road," and part of why I returned to her was that her voice was so easy to slip into. She voices a lot of my own concerns. Rosemary was a little more challenging. Fun, also; there's an interesting challenge in trying to see the whole world through the eyes of someone who has never been anywhere or done anything. Rosemary consistently surprised me in her reactions to things. She made me look for the positives in the so-called dystopia I'd created, since it was the only world she'd ever known, and she didn't mind it all that much. Finding the positives was itself more difficult than the bad-made-worse parts.



TQDoes A Song For A New Day touch on any social issues?

Sarah:  Lots! The big ones involve the trauma that we're all living right now. Guns and the constant threat of violence. Our societal willingness to trade freedom for safety instead of addressing the root problem. School inequities. Prisons. Corporations. Data privacy.

I wanted to make this future one where, even though it's dystopic in many ways, some of our current problems have been addressed and have become non-issues. Accessibility in devices and the physical world. Asking before hugging people. Pronoun pins. It's not a perfect world – racism and homophobia still exist – but in the context of the spaces these characters inhabit, they've sought places where people would be striving to both see those situations and improve upon them. I wanted to normalize seeing differences and acknowledging them and then moving on from there to form community. I love, love, love writing queer characters and just letting them exist in community with each other. As in real life, we find each other, and support each other. I think letting multiple queer characters exist in a novel where queerness isn't the point is still a statement of its own, and I can't wait until it's not.



TQWhich question about A Song For A New Day do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Sarah:

Q: "Beyond the novelette 'Our Lady of the Open Road,' have you written or do you plan to write anything else about these characters?"

I adore standalone novels, and this is meant to be a standalone as far as these main characters are concerned, but I've written stories about some of the peripheral characters. There's an inventor/musician named Katja in the book who was the protagonist of my story "A Song Transmuted," which appeared in the Cyber World anthology and was reprinted in Sunspot Jungle and the upcoming A Punk Rock Future anthology. My story in the Apex Do Not Go Quietly anthology has a cameo from another character, Joni, as a kid.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from A Song For A New Day.

Sarah:

"There were, to my knowledge, one hundred and seventy-two ways to wreck a hotel room."


"Fear is a virus. Music is a virus, and a vaccine, and a cure."



TQWhat's next?

Sarah:  I'm working on another near-future novel right now, set in a different near future. There's a dark fantasy novelette called "Two Truths and a Lie" that'll be on Tor.com, but I think that might not show up until next year. And I have a dozen short stories I'm dying to finish and send out into the world.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





A Song for a New Day
Berkley, September 10, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Sarah Pinsker, author of A Song For A New Day
In this captivating science fiction novel from an award-winning author, public gatherings are illegal making concerts impossible, except for those willing to break the law for the love of music, and for one chance at human connection.

In the Before, when the government didn’t prohibit large public gatherings, Luce Cannon was on top of the world. One of her songs had just taken off and she was on her way to becoming a star. Now, in the After, terror attacks and deadly viruses have led the government to ban concerts, and Luce’s connection to the world–her music, her purpose–is closed off forever. She does what she has to do: she performs in illegal concerts to a small but passionate community, always evading the law.

Rosemary Laws barely remembers the Before times. She spends her days in Hoodspace, helping customers order all of their goods online for drone delivery–no physical contact with humans needed. By lucky chance, she finds a new job and a new calling: discover amazing musicians and bring their concerts to everyone via virtual reality. The only catch is that she’ll have to do something she’s never done before and go out in public. Find the illegal concerts and bring musicians into the limelight they deserve. But when she sees how the world could actually be, that won’t be enough.





About Sarah

Interview with Sarah Pinsker, author of A Song For A New Day
Photo © Emily Osborne
Sarah Pinsker‘s Nebula and Sturgeon Award-winning short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, F&SF, Uncanny, Strange Horizons, as well as numerous other magazines, anthologies, year’s bests, podcasts, and translation markets. She is also a singer/songwriter who has toured nationally behind three albums on various independent labels. Her first collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea, was released in early 2019 by Small Beer Press. This is her first novel. She lives with her wife in Baltimore, Maryland.


Website  ~  Twitter @SarahPinsker

SPFBO 5 Semi Finalist Review - Knight and Shadow by Flint Maxwell



SPFBO 5 Semi Finalist Review - Knight and Shadow by Flint Maxwell


The Qwillery is pleased to announce our first Semi-Finalist: Knight and Shadow by Flint Maxwell.


This also means that the following books have been eliminated:

A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy by Blaine D. Arden;

A White Horizon (Stars and A Wind 1) by Barbara Gaskell Denvil;

Sea of Lost Souls (Oceanus 1) by Emerald Dodge;

Apprentice Quest (Ozel the Wizard 1) by Jim Hodgson;

and

Masters of Deception (A Legends of Tivara Epic Fantasy) by J.C. Kang.



Knight and Shadow
March 2019
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 268 pages

SPFBO 5 Semi Finalist Review - Knight and Shadow by Flint Maxwell

Many years ago Ansen Kane prevented the end of the world by killing an insane king. Instead of praise, Kane and the rest of his order were shunned for their efforts.

Now he is the last living gun knight.

With a price on his head bigger than anyone in the kingdom of Aendvar, Ansen Kane traveled west, toward the Infected Lands, where he’s been hiding ever since.

But in the capital city, evil rises again.

And whether he likes it or not, Ansen Kane will be forced to pick up his weapon and fight.


Melanie's Review:

Ansen Kane is the last Knight of the Gun and  hiding out in the Infected Lands barely eeking out a living.  Many years ago Kane saved the world by killing an insane and malevolent king but rather than being celebrated as a hero Kane was hunted, all of his companions killed. He is alone and vulnerable. When the evil force rises again Kane is a target and his life is in danger.

On the other side of the continent Issac Bleake's 17th birthday ends in tragedy. His mother is brutally murdered on the eve of his birthday by a shadowy creature. With her dying breath Issac's mother gives him a mysterious gun and tells him to find Ansen Kane, in the Infected Lands. A long an perilous journey awaits the teenager as he travels across the country in search of the last Knight of the Gun. He better be quick as time is running out.

Maxwell sets a frenetic pace for his characters with a brutal murder and rise of evil in the first few pages. Issac's journey across the continent is action packed but not as action packed as what awaits Ansen Kane in the Infected Lands. I liked these characters and Maxwell develops the story quickly and well. My main criticism with this story is that it is far too short. The majority of the story sets up Ansen and Issac as characters and then it ends rather abruptly after the first main battle. I felt kind of ripped off and that this was a plot to get me and others to buy the next book. It was good but I don't think I want to invest in a story that is a bit of a drip feed.

Interview with Shaun Hamill, author of A Cosmology of Monsters


Please welcome Shaun Hamill to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. A Cosmology of Monsters is published on September 17, 2019 by Pantheon.



Interview with Shaun Hamill, author of A Cosmology of Monsters




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Shaun:  The first piece of fiction I remember was a story I wrote for “Young Author’s Day” at my school in 4th grade. I’m pretty sure it was a straight rip-off of the first Star Wars movie and the X-Men cartoon version of Days of Future Past. It had Sentinels and a Death Star. My teacher liked it, though, and so did my classmates. I’ve been chasing that approval-high ever since.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Shaun:  I’m a hybrid. I’ve tried both methods “pure” and neither quite works for me. If I plot too much, the story can get stale and boring, but if I don’t plot at all, I write myself into a corner. I like to plot a little ahead and leave plenty of blank space ahead of me so I can surprise myself (and hopefully, by extension, my reader).



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Does living "...in the dark woods of Alabama..." affect (or not) your writing?

Shaun:  The most challenging thing about writing is coming up with a project that marries an interesting plot to a strong emotional hook. I’ve come up with lots of great ideas for stories, but haven’t been able to write them because I had trouble caring about the characters. If I’m not invested in the people, the best high concept in the world won’t save me.

          Living in the dark woods of Alabama has been good for my writing, I think. I grew up in a big suburb, nothing but concrete as far as I could see, and Alabama has a lot of unspoiled nature. It’s a haunted place, quiet and foggy, full of decaying houses and abandoned gas stations on winding roads. It’s the perfect place for dark daydreaming.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Shaun:  My earliest influences were movies. For a long time I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker, and I spent most of high school writing screenplays. I think that cinematic mindset shows in my fiction. I’m a scene-focused writer and I’m still learning character interiority and how to summarize big swatches of time.

          I was always a reader, as well. I read a lot of Stephen King and Anne Rice and John Irving as a kid, and I think their influence is all over A Cosmology of Monsters too.

          The other big influence on my writing was a great creative writing teacher at the University of Texas at Arlington—her name is Laura Kopchick, and she still teaches there. She was the first person to take my writing ambition seriously, and she mentored me even after I graduated from college. Everything she told me to read, I read. She taught me how to pay attention to language and character, and to move beyond simple twist-ending plots and easy clichés into murkier, more interesting narrative territory. I’m still trying to impress her whenever I write something.



TQDescribe A Cosmology of Monsters using only 5 words.

Shaun:  A literary horror family saga.



TQTell us something about A Cosmology of Monsters that is not found in the book description.

ShaunA Cosmology of Monsters is secretly a bunch of love stories disguised as a horror novel.



TQWhat inspired you to write A Cosmology of Monsters? What appeals to you about writing Horror / Dark Fantasy?

Shaun:  I’d always wanted to write a book about a family running a business, and I went to a lot of haunted houses in my 20s. At some point the two ideas melded. I was curious—what sort of people run a haunted house? What’s it like to take your lunch break while your customers are screaming themselves silly a few feet down the hall? What’s it like to dress as a monster for weeks, months, or years on end? It felt like a perfect backdrop for a troubled family.

          As to your second question, I’ve been thinking a lot about the appeal of horror and dark fantasy lately. I’ve always been drawn to both, but not for gore, or even terror. What I love about the genres is the sense of dark wonder they can provide—a glimpse beyond the veil at things unknown and unguessed. Strange things at the corners of our reality, waiting to step in. I get the same feeling when I drive down a twisting Alabama road at night, with no illumination but the moon and my headlights. Shadows flicker in the woods to my left and right, and I know it’s probably just a trick of the light, but maybe … maybe not.

          This sense of mystery is my favorite feeling in fiction and in life.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for A Cosmology of Monsters?

Shaun:  On the literature side, I read all of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction, and any scholarship/criticism of his work that I could find. I also read some surveys of the history of horror fiction, re-read my favorite Stephen King novels, and dipped my toes into other horror writers—Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Ligotti, Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, etc.—to try and round out my understanding of the tradition I was writing in.

          For the haunted house stuff, some of it is adapted from real life. I did theater in high school, so I was familiar with the process of putting together an amateur production—sets, makeup, lines to memorize, etc. All of that translated easily enough to the haunted house milieu. I also got to tour a closed haunted house while I was working on a short film a few years ago, and seeing the place with all the lights on made a lasting impression (and was another inspiration for the book).

          In addition to my personal experience, I watched every documentary about haunted house attractions that I could find. I solicited stories from friends, googled how-to articles, watched web series, listened to podcasts, and trolled Internet forums. Basically I used every resource I could think of!



TQPlease tell us about the cover for A Cosmology of Monsters.

The cover illustration is by Na Kim, and the jacket was designed by Kelly Blair. It was their first pass at the cover for the book, and everyone on the Cosmology publishing team loved it so much that we never tried another. To stay spoiler-free, I’ll just say I think it’s an image that sums up the themes of the book very nicely.



TQIn A Cosmology of Monsters who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Shaun:  Noah’s sister Eunice was the easiest to write. I never had trouble locating her emotional state in a scene, or knowing what she was going to say. She was a gentle presence, easy to spend time with. Margaret, Noah’s mother, was the hardest, because she has the longest, most complex arc in the book. Without giving too much away, the book features some big jumps in time, and Margaret’s state of mind was always the toughest to locate each time I started a new section. It was also a tricky balancing act, because I wanted her to be sympathetic but also cold and pragmatic.



TQDoes A Cosmology of Monsters touch on any social issues?

Shaun:  Yes. It deals with religion, sexuality, and gender power dynamics, among other things.



TQWhich question about A Cosmology of Monsters do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Shaun:  

          Q: Will you write a sequel?

          A: Yes! If the book does well and somebody lets me! I think there’s at least one or two more stories to tell in this world if people want them.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from A Cosmology of Monsters.

Shaun:  I really love the opening, and that’s about as non-spoilery as it gets!
          I started collecting my older sister Eunice’s suicide notes when I was ten years old. I still keep them all in my bottom desk drawer, held together with a black binder clip. They were among the only things I was allowed to bring with me, and I’ve read through them often the last few months, searching for comfort, wisdom, or even just a hint that I’ve made the right choices for all of us.
          Eunice eventually discovered that I was saving her missives and began addressing them to me. In one of my favorites, she writes, “Noah, there is no such thing as a happy ending. There are only good stopping places.”
          My family is spectacularly bad at endings. We never handle them with grace. But we’re not great with beginnings, either. For example, I didn’t know the first quarter of this story until recently, and spent the better part of my youth and young adulthood lingering like Jervas Dudley around the sealed tombs of our family’s history. It’s exactly that sort of heartache I want to prevent for you, whoever you are. For that to happen, I have to start at the outermost edges of the shadow over my family, with my mother, tall, fair-skinned and redheaded Margaret Byrne, in the fall of 1968.


TQWhat's next?

Shaun:  I’m working on a new novel right now. I don’t want to say too much because I’m superstitious, but I will say I’m excited about the project. It’s more ambitious than Cosmology, but still in the dark fantasy genre. I hope I’ll be able to finish and share it sooner rather than later!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Shaun:  Thanks so much for having me! I hope you and your readers will check out A Cosmology of Monsters and let me know what you think! I’m in all the usual places—FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.—and I’d love to hear from you (as long as you’re nice)!





A Cosmology of Monsters
Pantheon, September 17, 2019
Hardcover and ebook, 336 pages

Interview with Shaun Hamill, author of A Cosmology of Monsters
“If John Irving ever wrote a horror novel, it would be something like this. I loved it.” —Stephen King

Noah Turner see monsters.

His father saw them—and built a shrine to them with The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the whole family operates.

His practical mother has caught glimpses of terrors but refuses to believe—too focused on keeping the family from falling apart.

And his eldest sister, the dramatic and vulnerable Sydney, won’t admit to seeing anything but the beckoning glow of the spotlight . . . until it swallows her up.

Noah Turner sees monsters. But, unlike his family, Noah chooses to let them in . . .





About Shaun

Interview with Shaun Hamill, author of A Cosmology of Monsters
Photo © Rebekah H. Hamill
A native of Arlington, Texas, SHAUN HAMILL holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in the dark woods of Alabama with his wife, his in-laws, and his dog. A Cosmology of Monsters is his first novel.




Website  ~  Twitter @shaunhamill  ~  Facebook


The View From Monday - September 16, 2019


Happy Monday!

There are 5 debuts this week:

Kansastan by Farooq Ahmed;

Gamechanger by L. X. Beckett;

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill;

Neon Empire by Drew Minh;

and

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes.


The View From Monday - September 16, 2019The View From Monday - September 16, 2019
The View From Monday - September 16, 2019The View From Monday - September 16, 2019
The View From Monday - September 16, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.




From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Hanged Man and the Fortune Teller by Lucy Banks;

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox;

Randomize by Andy Weir;

and

System Failure (Epic Failure Trilogy 3) by Joe Zieja.

The View From Monday - September 16, 2019The View From Monday - September 16, 2019
The View From Monday - September 16, 2019The View From Monday - September 16, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - September 16, 2019



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

September 15, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The H. G. Wells Collection: Boxed Set Herbert George Wells SF



September 16, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Kansastan (D) Farooq Ahmed Dys/LF



September 17, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
A Little Hatred Joe Abercrombie F/DF/HistF - Age of Madness 1
Double Eagle Dan Abnett SF - Warhammer 40,000
The Preserve Steve Anderson AH
The Hanged Man and the Fortune Teller Lucy Banks Hist/GH
Gamechanger (D) L. X. Beckett SF/AC/CyP
Dark Forge Miles Cameron F/HistF - Masters & Mages 2
Summer Frost (Ke) Blake Crouch SF - Forward Collection
The Widow of Pale Harbor Hester Fox Hist/GH/Occ/Sup
The Stalking Heather Graham PNR/RS/GH - Krewe of Hunters 29
A Cosmology of Monsters (D) Shaun Hamill H/DF/FL
Cadian Honour Justin D Hill SO/SE - Warhammer 40,000
Siege and Sacrifice Charlie N. Holmberg F - Numina 3
Emergency Skin (Ke) N. K. Jemisin SF - Forward Collection
The Ticking Heart Andrew Kaufman LF/MR/AB
Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction Lisa Kroger
Melanie R. Anderson
Bio/LC/H/Sup
A Trick of Light Stan Lee
Kat Rosenfield
SF - Stan Lee's Alliances
A Single Light Tosca Lee Sus - Line Between 2
A Golden Grave Erin Lindsey HistM/GH/P - A Rose Gallagher Mystery 2
Gotrek and Felix: The Fourth Omnibus Nathan Long F - Warhammer Chronicles Omnibus 4
Inspection (h2tp) Josh Malerman PsyTh/H/CoA
Different Beasts J.R. McConvey Collection
Dragon Age: Last Flight Deluxe Edition Liane Merciel MTI/F
Neon Empire (D) Drew Minh SF/CyP
Wonderland: An Anthology Marie O'Regan (Ed)
Paul Kane (Ed)
F - Anthology
The Heart and Other Viscera: Stories Félix J. Palma SS/Occ/MR
Wild Boar in the Cane Field Anniqua Rana MR/CulH/Religious
Ark (Ke) Veronica Roth SF - Forward Collection
The Renegat (e) Kristine Kathryn Rusch SF - The Diving
Resurrection of the Daleks Eric Saward SF/MTI
On Wings of Blood: An Aeronautica Anthology Gav Thorpe
Matt Westbrook & more
SF - Warhammer 40,000
You Have Arrived at Your Destination (Ke) Amor Towles SF - Forward Collection
The Last Conversation (Ke) Paul Tremblay SF - Forward Collection
Chilling Effect (D) Valerie Valdes SF/SO
Randomize (Ke) Andy Weir SF - Forward Collection
A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition Jin Yong F/HistF - Legends of the Condor Heroes 1
System Failure Joe Zieja SF - Epic Failure Trilogy 3



September 19, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Before the Coffee Gets Cold Toshikazu Kawaguchi MR/LF
Battle Beyond the Dolestars Chris McCrudden SF/HU - Battlestar Suburbia 2



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
Bio - Biographical
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romane
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History & Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
RS - Romantic Suspense
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 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 2019 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/designer 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 September 30, 2019, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite September 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Artwork by Julie Dillon




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover illustration by Na Kim
Jacket design by Kelly Blair




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover by Stephan Martiniere




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover art by Tommy Arnold
Cover design by Jamie Stafford-Hill




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover by Francesca Corsini




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Matthew Revert




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover art by John Coulthart




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover art and design by Jason Booher




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech


This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • DAEMON X MACHINA – In this new action game from Kenichiro Tsukuda (Armored Core) and mech designer Shoji Kawamori,your environment is your ally. Collect and use Femto Energy on the field to boost your stats and create powerful mirages, or wield objects like cars and street signs as melee weapons and projectiles. For even more power, upgrade your physical combat abilities and learn new skills through body modification. It’ll also come in handy when you eject from your Arsenal and fight on foot using special weapons and abilities.
    • Castle Crashers Remastered – Hack, slash and smash your way to victory in this Remastered edition of the popular 2D arcade adventure game from The Behemoth. Up to four friends can play locally* or online**  and save your princess, defend your kingdom and crash some castles.
    • The Sinking CityThe Sinking City is an adventure and investigation game set in an open world inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of Horror. The half-submerged city of Oakmont is gripped by supernatural forces. You’re a private investigator, and you have to uncover the truth of what has possessed the city … and the minds of its inhabitants.

New DLC:
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses – Expansion Pass Wave 2 – In the great land of Fódlan, you must be ready for any conflict that could arise. With this new wave of paid downloadable content for the Fire Emblem: Three Houses game (sold separately), prepare your army for war by testing their strength in five additional auxiliary battles, invigorate their fighting spirit with a new auxiliary battle song option, equip them with a powerful set of items and dress them for success in a new training outfit for many characters. Oh, and the protagonist, Byleth, can wear glasses now, too. Looking good, Professor!

Activities:
  • Celebrate the launch of ASTRAL CHAIN with My Nintendo! – Find the dimensional gates hidden on the ASTRAL CHAIN website to earn My Nintendo Platinum Points***. Redeem My Nintendo points for wallpapers and printable box art covers featuring ASTRAL CHAIN, the new action game for the Nintendo Switch system.
  • My Nintendo Back to School – Back-to-school season is in full swing with September rewards from My Nintendo. Get ready for a classic adventure with a calendar inspired by the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening game, discount coupons and much more.

Nintendo eShop sales:

Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch:

Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS:
*Additional games, systems and/or accessories may be required for multiplayer mode; sold separately.

**Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online features. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online

***A Nintendo Account is required to receive and redeem My Nintendo points. Terms apply. https://accounts.nintendo.com/term_point.

In addition to video games available at retail stores, Nintendo also offers a variety of content that people can download directly to their systems. Nintendo adds new games weekly to Nintendo eShop, which offers a variety of options for the Nintendo Switch console, the Wii U console and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

Nintendo eShop is a cash-based service that features a wide variety of content, including new and classic games, applications and demos. Users can add money to their account balances by using a credit card or purchasing a Nintendo eShop Card at a retail store and entering the code from the card. All funds from one card must be loaded in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, but can be used in any Nintendo eShop if the systems are linked to a single Nintendo Account.

Customers in the U.S. and Canada ages 18 and older can also link a PayPal account to their Nintendo Account to purchase digital games and content for the Nintendo Switch system both on-device and from the Nintendo website. Once the accounts are linked, users may also use PayPal as a payment option when buying digital content for the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family systems from the Nintendo website.

My Nintendo members can earn Gold Points on eligible digital purchases. Already have Gold Points? Redeem them toward your next digital purchase of Nintendo Switch games and DLC on Nintendo eShop, or on discount rewards for select Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Visit https://my.nintendo.com/reward_categories for more details.

Remember that Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Wii, New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 2DS XL and Nintendo 2DS feature parental controls that let adults manage some of the content their children can access. Nintendo 3DS players who register a Nintendo Network ID gain access to free-to-start games and free game demos from Nintendo eShop, and also get the latest news and information direct from Nintendo. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch, http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu or http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.



AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - Available Sept. 17

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech



Akash: Path of the Five - Available Sept. 16

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech



Ritual: Sorcerer Angel

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech



Star Wars Pinball - Available Sept. 13

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech



Super Dodgeball Beats

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech



Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech



The Tenth Line Special Edition

Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech
Nintendo Download, September 12, 2019: Pilot Your Own Mech

[click to embiggen]

Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019


Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Embark on a Fantastical Journey to Defeat a Bodybuilding Dragon Using Real-Life Exercise in Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch

Game Includes Accessories That Transform Physical Force Into Powerful Attacks

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 12, 2019 – A new type of adventure game is headed to the Nintendo Switch system on Oct. 18 – one that incorporates fun new accessories that turn real-world movement into in-game actions in a quest to save the world. Nintendo just revealed a new video that takes a closer look at this new experience for Nintendo Switch.

In the Ring Fit Adventure game, players explore an expansive world, battling enemies along the way using real-life exercises to perform in-game attacks. The new Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories that are included with the game respond to the player’s real-world movements, allowing the game to turn them into in-game actions, like jogging in place to move your character through the world using the attached Leg Strap, or squeezing the Ring-Con and turning that strength exercise into powerful attacks. By playing the game daily, players can regularly work out various parts of their bodies. With additional mini-games and workout routines, Ring Fit Adventure is a fun experience for players of various skill levels and lifestyles.

“Nintendo is always looking for ways to surprise people with one-of-a-kind, fresh experiences,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Ring Fit Adventure combines gaming and physical activity in a way that incentivizes people to keep coming back for more, to further both the story and their own fitness goals.”

The Adventure mode featured in Ring Fit Adventure takes place across 20 different colorful worlds in a quest to take down Dragaux, a giant, chiseled dragon with an ego to match his oversized muscles. Jog, sprint and do knee-highs in real life to travel through the world, and use the Ring-Con accessory to perform different in-game actions, like jumping, hovering in mid-air or steering a raft on a river.

Ring Fit Adventure turns a typical adventure game on its head as players squat, press and flex their way through challenges designed for a wide range of body types and levels of fitness experience. To play the game, players attach the Joy-Con controllers from their Nintendo Switch system to the included accessories – one to the Ring-Con and one to the Leg Strap. The Leg Strap is attached to the player’s upper left leg, while the Ring-Con is held in both hands. The Ring-Con is a flexible electronic device that provides resistance, and uses the Joy-Con to respond to the player’s movements. Ring Fit Adventure can be adjusted to the player’s level of skill, so even if players don’t have experience with fitness, they can change the exercise intensity to suit their ability. This will let them continue every day at an activity level that’s comfortable for them.

Throughout the adventure, enemies will appear, ready for battle. Players can attack and defend using more than 40 Fit Skills, which are exercise moves. The game provides direction to players about how to perform movements correctly in order to deal more damage to enemies. Actions that the player performs in-game will earn experience for their character, with level-ups boosting stats and unlocking new Fit Skills that can be used in battle. Adventure mode is designed as a natural way to keep players motivated to play and get exercise regularly as they progress through the game world and defeat enemies.

Outside of the main adventure, Quick Play mode is a great way to enjoy Ring Fit Adventure in shorter bursts, allowing players to jump in and out of play. This lets everyone enjoy a quick workout in different ways, like taking turns with friends and family attempting the same mini-games to compete for high scores. Mini-games cover a wide range of activities, from breaking boxes with gusts of air triggered by the Ring-Con to shaping pottery by performing squats.

Other modes like Simple and Set offer additional ways to work out. “Simple” lets players choose exercises they want to work on, and perform them individually. High scores are recorded so everyone can challenge their personal bests. “Set” provides linked sequences of different exercises designed around a theme or a particular body part. This mode is a great way to target a muscle group the player wants to focus on, like legs, shoulders, lower body or core.

The game even includes a “Silent” mode for people who live in an upstairs apartment or don’t want to make a lot of noise. By activating this mode, jogging-style exercises are swapped out for ones that are a little quieter, allowing players to keep their legs active without a heavy impact on the floor.

Ring Fit Adventure, which includes the game and Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories, will launch for Nintendo Switch on Oct. 18 at a suggested retail price of $79.99*. To get an in-depth look at a video released today and learn more about Ring Fit Adventure, visit https://ringfitadventure.nintendo.com.

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/.

*A Nintendo Switch system and a pair of Joy-Con controllers are required to play Ring Fit Adventure; sold separately.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch system and the Nintendo 3DS family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.7 billion video games and more than 740 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS family of systems, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii and Wii U systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.com/.

Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019


Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019


Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019


Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch Coming October 19, 2019

[click to embiggen]

COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301


COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
OPEÑA, ROSS, SIENKIEWICZ, CAMPBELL, CRAIN, MCFARLANE, AND CAMPBELL COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301

Image Comics has revealed some of the highly anticipated covers for the upcoming record-breaking, history-making SPAWN #301 issue by Todd McFarlane, President at Image Comics and creator of SPAWN.

COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
ABOVE: JEROME OPEÑA (COVER F), ALEX ROSS (COVER K), BILL SIENKIEWICZ (COVER M), BILL SIENKIEWICZ VIRGIN (COVER N), J. SCOTT CAMPBELL (COVER O) and J. SCOTT CAMPBELL VIRGIN (COVER P)

COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
ABOVE: CLAYTON CRAIN (COVER E) UPDATED


COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
COVERS REVEALED FOR SPAWN #301
ABOVE: TODD MCFARLANE (COVER A), TODD MCFARLANE B&W (COVER I), TODD MCFARLANE 25 COPY INCV VIRGIN (COVER J), GREG CAPULLO (COVER B), and GREG CAPULLO VIRGIN (COVER C)

[Click covers to embiggen]

This record-breaking SPAWN #301 hits stores on Wednesday, October 2.
  • SPAWN #301 CVR A MCFARLANE - JUL190084
  • SPAWN #301 CVR B CAPULLO - JUL190085
  • SPAWN #301 CVR C VIRGIN CAPULLO - JUL190086
  • SPAWN #301 CVR D ALEXANDER - JUL190087
  • SPAWN #301 CVR E CRAIN - JUL190088  UPDATED
  • SPAWN #301 CVR F OPENA - JUL190089
  • SPAWN #301 CVR G VIRGIN MATTINA - JUL190090
  • SPAWN #301 CVR H PARODY MCFARLANE - JUL190091
  • SPAWN #301 CVR I B&W MCFARLANE - JUL190092
  • SPAWN #301 CVR J 25 COPY INCV VIRGIN MCFARLANE - JUL190093
  • SPAWN #301 CVR K ROSS - JUL198671
  • SPAWN #301 CVR L VIRGIN ROSS - JUL198672
  • SPAWN #301 CVR M SIENKIEWICZ - JUL198673
  • SPAWN #301 CVR N VIRGIN SIENKIEWICZ - JUL198674
  • SPAWN #301 CVR O CAMPBELL - JUL198675
  • SPAWN #301 CVR P VIRGIN CAMPBELL - JUL198676
  • SPAWN #301 CVR Q BLANK SKETCH CVR - JUL198708
Note that new Crain artwork will be available to retailers under the same Diamond Code (JUL190088), instead of the previously seen Crain artwork, and the final order cutoff deadline is this Monday, September 16.

Momentum and frenzied buzz surrounding the classic antihero series continues to build leading into the record-breaking SPAWN #301 when SPAWN becomes the longest running creator-owned comic in the world.

SPAWN is currently being adapted for film—a gritty, R-rated reimagining—which will mark Image President, co-founder and SPAWN creator, Todd McFarlane’s film directorial debut. McFarlane, an Emmy/Grammy-winning producer/director is also on board as screenwriter and producer.

SPAWN sold an unprecedented 1.7 million copies at the time it was released and is one of the world’s best-selling and longest-running monthly comic books, with hundreds of millions sold worldwide in more than 120 countries, and 15 different languages.

The comic became an Emmy Award-winning animated series on HBO and a New Line Cinema feature film that grossed more than $100 million. McFarlane went on to direct and produce award-winning and critically acclaimed projects for top movie studios and record labels.

Follow Todd McFarlane on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Interview with Kassandra Montag, author of After the Flood


Please welcome Kassandra Montag to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. After the Flood was published on September 3, 2019 by William Morrow.



Interview with Kassandra Montag, author of After the Flood




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kassandra:  I’m a hybrid. I start as a pantser—I write snippets of scene and dialogue and take notes until I have enough rough material to start evaluating everything. I need to have a strong narrator’s voice, main characters, a solid premise, and a rough idea of the various plot points. Then I look at what I have and outline. Afterwards, I write a full draft, often deviating from the outline and making substantial changes as I go.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kassandra:  Trusting the process can be difficult if it’s been a long, hard writing day. But really, translating what is in my imagination and making it real for the reader remains the most challenging—and most rewarding part about writing.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kassandra:  A variety of influences all came to bear on this novel: Viking sagas, early American Western adventure tales, environmental documentaries, contemporary post-apocalyptic storytelling, and my personal experience of motherhood. Other influences include the post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels The Road and The Handmaid’s Tale. A nature/animal documentary called The Last Lions also shaped my desire to write a tale that felt both epic and personal at the same time.



TQDescribe After the Flood using only 5 words.

Kassandra:  Adventure, Courage, Hope, Survival, Love



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

Kassandra:  I’ll go a step further and share something that was in my notes for After the Flood, but I didn’t have room to include in detail in the novel. In the beginning the book briefly summarizes how countries and governments collapsed during the flood. The thing I didn’t have room for was describing my vision of a Second Civil War in the U.S.—this time a war of the coasts at war with the middle of the country. I imagined that as the coasts lost all their major cities, they depended more and more on resources in the middle of the country. Immigration and resource scarcity placed pressure on regions that already harbored resentment and a urban/rural divide, resulting in a brief Second Civil War.



TQWhat inspired you to write After the Flood?

Kassandra:  It came from the confluence of a dream, an image, and a line in my journal. The dream was of a wave of water coming across the prairie, all the way from the oceans, a flood that spanned the whole continent. After having this dream, I saw the image of a mother on a boat in a future flooded world, sailing with one daughter, but separated from her other daughter. Years before I had the flood dream, I had another image that kept recurring in my mind’s eye and that I detailed in my journal: “A group of people huddle around a campfire, struggling to survive and looking for a safe haven.” These two storylines, of a mother separated from her daughter in a flood, and a group of people trying to survive, began to brush up against each other, suggesting possibilities.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for After the Flood?

Kassandra:  My research included: accounts of the Bajau people who partially live on the water in Southeast Asia, stories from ancient seafaring tribes such as the Vikings, and contemporary guide books on survival techniques such as building fires, fishing, etc.
In imagining the flood itself I was inspired by scientific research, namely an article in the New Scientist about how three times the Earth’s water was stored under the Earth’s crust in hydrate form. So I imagined what it would be like if that trapped water could somehow be released to the Earth’s surface in liquid form, exploding up from the depths.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for After the Flood.

Kassandra:  The cover for After the Flood is an abstracted picture of the sky and sea. It has glorious colors and in the image you cannot see the horizon—the sea and sky blend together. The novel depicts a world in which the horizon has moved dramatically and I loved how the designer captured this sense of sky and sea merging in a way that is both beautiful and dramatic.



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

Kassandra:  Pearl was the easiest character to write, perhaps because she is a child and does not have ulterior motives the way other characters do. She is more purely herself, less torn by the demands of survival. Also, because she was born in this flooded environment, she seems to deal with it in a more natural way than some of the other characters. The hardest character to write was Jacob because I had trouble getting into his head and understanding his motivations for abandoning part of his family.



TQDoes After the Flood touch on any social issues?

Kassandra:  Yes, it touches on wealth distribution, climate change, immigration, colonialization, and nation building.



TQWhich question about After the Flood do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Kassandra:  What is a central theme of After the Flood?

After the Flood is partly about the role selfishness and selflessness play in the fight for survival. I was interested in how the survival instinct can be inherently selfish in a dangerous world without enough resources and if there are ways to transcend that. I was also curious about the way that survival can be seen as selfless—an act of love through carrying on.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from After the Flood.

Kassandra:

“Children think we make them, but we don’t. They exist somewhere else, before us, before time. They come into the world and make us. They make us by breaking us first.”

“But other times, when everything was so dark out on the sea that I felt already erased, it seemed like a kindness that life before the floods had gone on for as long as it did. Like a miracle without a name.”

“I don’t know how to talk to Pearl about what lay beneath us. Farms that fed the nation. Small houses built on quiet residential streets for the post-World War II baby boom. Moments of history between walls. The whole story of how we moved through time, marking the earth with our needs.”



TQWhat's next?

Kassandra:  I’m currently working on my next novel, a gothic murder mystery.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kassandra:  Thank you!!





After the Flood
William Morrow, September 3, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Kassandra Montag, author of After the Flood
An inventive and riveting epic saga, After the Flood signals the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.

A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Artic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.

A compulsively readable novel of dark despair and soaring hope, After the Flood is a magnificent, action packed, and sometimes frightening odyssey laced with wonder—an affecting and wholly original saga both redemptive and astonishing.





About Kassandra

Interview with Kassandra Montag, author of After the Flood
Photo by Nancy Kohler
Kassandra Montag is a poet and novelist. Her work has appeared in Mystery Weekly Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and Prairie Schooner, among other literary journals. She has won the Plainsongs Award, New Year's Poet Award, and 1877 Award.












Website  ~  Facebook


Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019


Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019


Apologies reader for my tardiness posting my August month in review. I had it all planned. I was going to have my post written so that it was ready to go up last weekend. Work however, interrupted my carefully laid plan and here we are partway into September and I haven't yet told you about all the great books I read in August.

I have to say that I ended the summer with a couple of excellent books. One has even made it onto my fave books of all time! Pssst....and it's a debut! So what did I read?


Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
I will start with books I listened to. First up is Ben Aaranovitch's The October Man which is a novella in the Rivers of London series but not starring my favourite member of magic police Peter Grant. Instead, Aaronovitch stages the story in Germany with Tobias Winter investigating a recent grizzly murder by magic. Set in Trier, a former Roman city and famous for its wine, Tobias needs to find out why a man was found dead covered in a fungal rot. Not just any fungus but one used in the making of a special vintage of wine. Tobias is joined by a local cop,Vanessa Sommer, and together they need to find out who is killing these men and why. Little do they know that the city's bloody history forms the backdrop for the murders. Unlike a well-aged wine time is not on their side.

I thoroughly enjoyed The October Man and am really glad I chose to listen to the audio version rather than read it as my sister read the book a week before me and said that she struggled with all the German names. The narrator Sam Peter Jackson really brought Tobias Winter to life and it was much easier to listen to the story with a 'easy to listen to' German accent than trying to read the English translation of German words. I thought the plot was engaging and really drew you in from the very start. For a novella it seemed much longer and I think that was down to the well developed plot. If you like this series then definitely give The October Man a go.


My second audiobook was The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. As this was the last book of the trilogy and because I loved it soo much I wrote a full review. Check it out here.


Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
Another series I finished was Michael McClung's Amra Thetys series with The Thief Who Went to War. In this final instalment Amra and Holgren are determined to destroy the final blade of the Blades of the Eightfold Goddess. Amra was left with a not so little reminder after her last encounter with one of the blades and is now an avatar for a goddess. Determined to find a way to destroy the final knife Amra returns to Lucernis for a showdown to end all showdowns...and possibly her life!

I only discovered this series by participating as a judge in the SPFBO two years ago and book 1, The Thief that Pulled on Trouble's Braids, had been the winner the year before. It has been 4 years between the final and penultimate books in the series so fans who were there from the start had quite a long wait to see how McClung would finish the series. While I liked this instalment it wasn't the best of the series and I think I might have been a tiny bit disappointed if I had waited 4 years to find out whether Amra and Holgren would make it. Amra has one too many lucky escapes for my liking and it was action, action, action from very early on in the book until the end. There wasn't as much character development as there had been in previous books. However, it's still a good series.


Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
The final book I have to tell you about is Half Way Home by Hugh Howey. Set in the future where ships are sent out to colonise new planets with 500 vat grown humans on board. On the way to their eventual new home they are educated and trained in a specialism as they sleep. Midway through their development cycle the AI controlling their ship decides to start the abort sequence and only 60 teenagers manage to escape. Alone, scared and without all the skills they need to survive they have to rely on each other and the AI that almost killed them to survive. It's not long before they realise it's not just the inhospitable planet that they have landed on that is the biggest threat to their survival.

I loved Howey's Wool series so, in my opinion, it was going to be hard to follow those books. I didn't realise that when I requested Half Way Home from the publisher on NetGalley that it was originally released in 2010. It's a good book but it's not a great book and I found it quite predictable in parts. It is, however, quite short so a quick read if you are looking for some half decent science fiction.


Well that is it for me for August. I do have one more August book to share with you but I am planning on writing a full review so keep your eyes peeled to find out what book has made it onto my top reads ever. Sorry for being a tease! Happy Reading!





The October Man
A Rivers of London Novella
Subterranean Press, May 31, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 169 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
With this long new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.

If you thought magic was confined to one country—think again.

Trier: famous for wine, Romans and being Germany’s oldest city.

When a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth. But fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.

Enter Tobias Winter, an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, the branch of the German Federal Criminal Police which handles the supernatural. His aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork.

Together with frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he quickly links the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men whose novel approach to their mid-life crisis may have reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century.

As the rot spreads, literally, and the suspect list extends to people born before Frederick the Great, Tobias and Vanessa will need to find allies in some unexpected places.

And to solve the case they’ll have to unearth the secret magical history of a city that goes back two thousand years.

Presuming that history doesn’t kill them first.





Winter of the Witch
Winternight Trilogy 3
Del Rey, October 1, 2019
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover, Audiobook, and eBook, January 8, 2019

Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

“A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Vasilisa Petrovna is an unforgettable heroine determined to forge her own path. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.





The Thief Who Went to War
Amra Thetys 5
eBook, August 10, 2019
Trade Paperback, July 30, 2019

Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
After barely surviving the attentions of the Knife That Parts the Night, Amra and Holgren are determined to end the threat posed by the remaining sentient, powerful Blades of the Eightfold Goddess. They are willing to risk everything to win their secret war, but can they succeed when their adversaries are cunning, powerful beyond measure, and utterly ruthless? And even if they can, what will it cost them?






Half Way Home
Mariner Books, October 1, 2019
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - August 2019
From the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Wool and the Molly Fyde saga comes a story of teenage colonists marooned on a distant planet

WE WOKE IN FIRE

Five hundred colonists have been sent across the stars to settle an alien planet. Vat-grown in a dream-like state, they are educated through simulations by an artificial intelligence and should awaken at thirty years old, fully-trained, and ready to tame the new world.

But fifteen years in, an explosion on their vessel kills most of the homesteaders and destroys the majority of their supplies. Worse yet, the sixty that awaken and escape the flames are only half-taught and possess the skills least useful for survival.

Naked and terrified, the teens stumble from their fiery baptism ill-prepared for the unfamiliar and harsh alien world around them. Though they attempt to work with the colony A.I. to build a home, tension and misery are rampant, escalating into battles for dominance.

Soon they find that their worst enemy isn’t the hostile environment, the A.I., or the blast that nearly killed them. Their greatest danger is each other.
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