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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale


Please welcome EeLeen Lee to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Liquid Crystal Nightingale was published on March 17, 2020 by Abaddon.



Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale




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

EeLeen:  A review of a film I had not seen – Tron (1982) – because I was seven years old and didn’t want to appear uncool to the other kids. The piece was so convincing the teacher made me read it out in class. But the joke was on all of us because Tron isn’t actually the film's protagonist, it’s the programmer Flynn as portrayed by Jeff Bridges.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

EeLeen:  I’m more structure-based: plot is what happens in the story but structure is how you convey to the reader what’s happening. A plot maybe watertight but poor structure will undercut it. I allow my inner pantser to emerge when it comes to dialogue since it’s the flow is easier to revise than blocks of prose.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

EeLeen:  Two things: 1) Trying not to be terrified of the blank page, and 2) Shutting off online distractions but not social media per se. On occasion I’ve become quite lost down the Research Rabbit Hole.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

EeLeen:  William Gibson, Yoon Ha Lee, Pat Cadigan, Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space novels, China Mieville's Bas Lag novels, and recent John le Carré.

I also love science fiction concept art, especially by Chris Foss and the late Syd Mead.



TQDescribe Liquid Crystal Nightingale using only 5 words.

EeLeen:  Not all who break, shatter.



TQTell us something about Liquid Crystal Nightingale that is not found in the book description.

EeLeen:  The weaponry is strange and deliberately so: dance accoutrements, modified gemmological implants, and guns firing unusual projectiles. As with ships, weapons tend to be science fiction shorthand so I really wanted to get away from the clichéd lasers or pulse rifles.



TQWhat inspired you to write Liquid Crystal Nightingale? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

EeLeen:  The novel started out as an exercise: write about a couple of imaginary cities, à la Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. As soon as I started writing about a city that looked like a cat’s eye when seen from space, I had to continue it.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I love science fiction concept art but I can’t draw or paint. So in writing I get to paint the images in my head with words.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Liquid Crystal Nightingale?

EeLeen:  Mining, asteroid mining and then speculations about off-world economies, dance, gemmology and geology, and materials science. My problem was deciding on what to leave out of the novel.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Liquid Crystal Nightingale.

EeLeen:  The very talented artist is Adam Tredowski and his work is reminiscent of Mead and Foss. Tredowski’s paintings can be found on Deviantart https://www.deviantart.com/tredowski.

I’ve been asked if the space station on the cover is Chatoyance but it’s not because Chatoyance is written as a city settlement and not an orbital construct. The cover image isn’t entirely accurate in terms of the novel. But in retrospect the image inadvertently references the defence ring of military satellites called the Demarcation referred to in the novel.



TQIn Liquid Crystal Nightingale who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

EeLeen:  The protagonist, Pleo Tanza, was the most difficult because I was expecting her to spring fully-formed from my imagination and onto the page after living in my head for years. This did not happen and rediscovering her character was like catching smoke with a butterfly net for six to nine months.

The two investigators, Dumortier and Nadira, were the inverse: they were not fully-formed in my head but the ease with which they took shape on the page surprised me. The more I wrote of them and as them I realised both of them were unintentional audience surrogates. It enhances reader immersion when even both characters, who are the most competent and experienced professionals (senior investigators), find themselves in over their heads by the events in the novel.



TQWhich question about Liquid Crystal Nightingale do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

EeLeen:  I wish someone would spot and ask about the significance of the gemmological references in the novel, so I will highlight two: Pleo is named for pleochroism, a trait displayed by gems when they seem to possess varying colours when viewed from different angles. This is a great metaphor for her character. Dumortier is named after the palaeontologist Eugene Dumortier, and the mineral dumortierite is named after him. Dumortierite is a very reassuring deep denim blue, and that too, represented his character.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Liquid Crystal Nightingale.

EeLeen:

“Intention fashions the weapon.”

“Our queen is in the crowd.”



TQWhat's next?

EeLeen:  I’m writing a military science fiction novel set in a very different universe from Liquid Crystal Nightingale.



TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

EeLeen:  Thank you very much!





Liquid Crystal Nightingale
Abaddon, March 17, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale
A bold and clever political thriller science fiction debut

Go deeper, they said. Look closer.

Pleo Tanza is a survivor. Her father was broken by tragedy, her twin sister is dead—chewed up and spat out by the corruption and injustice of Chatoyance—but she’s going to make it, whatever it takes. She’s going to get off this rock.

But escape is for the rich or lucky. Pleo’s framed for the murder of a rival student—the daughter of one of the colony’s wealthy, squabbling clans—and goes on the run, setting off a chain events that could destroy the fragile balance of the old colony forever…





About EeLeen

Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale
EeLeen Lee was born in London, UK but has roots in Malaysia. After graduating from Royal Holloway College she several years as a lecturer and a copywriter until she took the leap into writing. As a result, her fiction since has appeared in various magazines and anthologies in the U.K, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, such as Asian Monsters from Fox Spirit Books, and Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction. When she is not writing she can be found editing fiction and nonfiction, being an armchair gemmologist, and tweeting at odd hours.

Twitter @EeleenLee

Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter


Please welcome Suyi Davies Okungbowa to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. David Mogo, Godhunter was published on July 9, 2019 by Abaddon.



Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter





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

SDO:  Thanks! I think the first thing I remember writing was a retelling of some stories from the Christian Bible. I found some of them quite interesting, and wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall. So I rewrote a lot of the popular stories from the point-of-view of lesser characters: the owner of the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem on, the guy who owned the room where the last supper was held, etc. It was fun while it lasted, which wasn't very long.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

SDO:  Hybrid, or plantser. I tend to plot the big "waypoints" of a narrative and then write my way between waypoints. This gives me a loose structure to work with, but also the freedom to surprise myself.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

SDO:  Finishing things, which I believe is a problem for many other writers too. There are always so many ideas to explore, so many directions to go in, so many things to say. Finishing something I'm working on is something learning to do now--it used to be so bad that I'd have lots of uncompleted drafts and not one complete story. But only writers who finish get published, so I'd say things are looking up now.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

SDO:  My history, for one. Both that of the people from which I'm descended, as well as my experience as an African caught between the demands of tradition and modernity, of history and the future. Writing about existing in the middle is important to me--most of my characters are always caught between things. I'm also fascinated by What If questions within the context of the African continent.



TQDescribe David Mogo, Godhunter using only 5 words.

SDO:  Demigod sparks war in Lagos.



TQTell us something about David Mogo, Godhunter that is not found in the book description.

SDO:  There is a scene where characters watch an El Clasico football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. It makes little sense that one would tell a whole tale about Nigerians and not feature football. It's almost impossible.



TQWhat inspired you to write David Mogo, Godhunter? What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?

SDO:  I never quite thought about writing Urban Fantasy when I wrote DMG. I only wanted to tell a story about someone caught between two parts of themselves, and that character, David Mogo, was born. I also wanted to explore at least one of Nigeria's many myths, legends and cosmologies, and being set in Lagos, the story yielded itself best to the Yoruba of the Nigerian west. However, yes I do write more contemporary fantasy than anything else, and the main reason is that I like to explore how the otherworldly interacts with the...worldly, and how people change and adapt in order for them to coexist.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for David Mogo, Godhunter?

SDO:  Since I'm Nigerian, and grew up within proximity to the Yoruba-dominated west of Nigeria, I already knew about some of these deities, pantheons and myths. My own ethnic group also shares some history with the Yoruba. So, basically, it all started with first-hand experience. Then, I asked questions: talked to a few people who were well versed in Yoruba and Nigerian history. I left library and online research for last because, as I've learned over time, these are usually in danger of containing diluted versions, especially when written from a Western perspective. I was picky, but I sifted enough to find what I wanted.



TQ Please tell us about the cover for David Mogo, Godhunter. Does it depict something from the novel?

SDO:  The cover artist is Yoshi Yoshitani, and they're amazing! I think Yoshi just went with interpreting the vibes they got from the parts of the novel they read, and I'd say it captures the gritty nature of the tale itself. The meteor-like things falling from the sun likely represent The Falling, the event that brings the gods to Lagos in the first place--but you already knew that.



TQIn David Mogo, Godhunter, who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

SDO:  The easiest was probably Eshu. In large parts of Yorubaland, Eshu is placed at par with the devil, which is clearly wrong. Eshu is closer to a trickster deity, like Loki or Puck, and subverting the common narrative to reflect this was easy. The most difficult was probably the god Ogun, who I changed up in so many ways that the character could've easily become unidentifiable. I had to ensure I kept the balance between what people expect from the god Ogun, and what role I wanted the character to perform in the book.



TQDoes David Mogo, Godhunter touch on any social issues?

SDO:  Migration was a big one for me: the mass arrival of the gods was to mimic the immigration into Lagos that has left the city overpopulated (probably the most populous in the world after 2050). Then, there's gentrification and political elitism, issues plaguing the city today, where the poor and severely affected are left to fend for themselves while choice spaces are reserved for the more affluent, something which also happens in its own way in the book. And lastly, colonization, with a faction of the gods trying to decide between integrating or conquering the "lesser beings" they have encountered.



TQWhich question about David Mogo, Godhunter do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

SDO:  No one ever asks about the fictional Lagos State Paranormal Commission (LASPAC) which, if you know Lagos and its penchant for coming up with new government agencies every now and then, would feel right in place. (Heck, they might even have one right now!) In the book, they're tasked with dealing with the city's deity infestation, which they do a shitty job of, because that's the most Lagos way of things. I reckon it'll take an interviewer who's also a Lagosian to ask about the LASPAC, though.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from David Mogo, Godhunter.

SDO:  Hmm. I'd say the first is: "The thought makes me shiver, and when a demigod shivers, you know what that means." The second will be: "He is perfect in every way, except for one tiny thing: he looks exactly like a mirage, like a mirror reflection without a subject. He is either an old man or a young boy, or both at the same time; it feels almost as if his identity is a choose-your-own-adventure game, where you decide what you're seeing."



TQWhat's next?

SDO:  Well, my agent and I are working hard on my next thing, which at this point, I can only reveal is fantasy as well (but not urban fantasy) and also inspired by West Africa (but a different time). We're looking at possibly more than one book, but nothing is set in stone yet. You'll hear more as the days go by!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

SDO:  Thank you. Always a pleasure.






David Mogo, Godhunter
Abaddon, July 9, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages

Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter
LAGOS WILL NOT BE DESTROYED

The gods have fallen to earth in their thousands, and chaos reigns.

Though broken and leaderless, the city endures.

David Mogo, demigod and godhunter, has one task: capture two of the most powerful gods in the city and deliver them to the wizard gangster
Lukmon Ajala.

No problem, right?





About Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Interview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, Godhunter
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of stories featuring African gods, starships, monsters, detectives and everything in-between. His godpunk novel, David Mogo, Godhunter, is out from Abaddon in July 2019. His internationally published fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Podcastle, The Dark, Mothership Zeta, Omenana, Ozy, Brick Moon Fiction and other periodicals and anthologies. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, where he teaches writing, and has worked in editorial at Podcastle and Sonora Review. He tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies and is @suyidavies everywhere else. Learn more at suyidavies.com.





Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One


Please welcome Alec Worley to The Qwillery. Judge Anderson: Year One was published on June 13th by Abaddon.



Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One




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

Alec:  I starting writing proper stories outside of school when I was around nine/ten maybe. Loads of Fighting Fantasy-type gamebooks with loads of gore. I was pleased to find out later in life that the headmistress put on a watch-list in secondary school for this crazy-sick horror story that I wrote for an English assignment. I also wrote stories to entertain my friends. My best mate would call me up of an evening to ask if I could write him something full of barbarians and swordfights. Good practice for a freelance career. As to why, I’ve always been into genre stories – horror, fantasy, sci-fi – and just wanted to be part of that world.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Alec:  Definitely a plotter. At this stage in my experience, at least, I have to work from tightly planned breakdowns. I have to know what’s driving a scene in terms of stakes, what the characters want, how much they know, what are the limitations of any fantasy mechanics at work in the scene (a big one this). Knowing all this stuff helps minimise mistakes in a first draft or at least help define what doesn’t work. I’ll then break down the breakdown scene by scene into smaller ‘draft zero’ type scene plans. Weirdly, establishing the beats of the scenes like this gives me the freedom to be spontaneous when actually writing, and suddenly the characters are coming alive in your hands and doing things you never expected.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Alec:  Ha! All of it. I’ve only just learned how to endure first drafts and to ‘fail early, fail fast’ as Pixar’s Andrew Stanton puts it. But overall, it’s the time it all takes. Unlike comics, which work on a strict page count, prose is much more the wild west. Every time I get a commission, I’m petrified I’ll miss the deadline as my word counts just keep rising and rising and rising. You end up feeling like you’re drowning. It’s horrible. I’m currently teaching myself to just focus on the time I’ve got and fill the hours with solid work.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does writing comics affect your prose writing?

Alec:  I love stories and storytelling, all the twists and turns and catharsis that melodrama can afford. Maybe that’s at odds with the fact that I also love really ornate, poetic prose like Mervyn Peake and Angela Carter. Carter just blew my mind when I was a teenager. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could write like that. It was like this beautiful alien language. Movies and TV were my first love as a kid, and I studied that form under my own steam so I guess I’ve got a decent sense of how to tell a story visually. Whether I’m writing prose or a comic, it always feels like I’m shooting a movie I can see in my head.



TQDescribe Judge Anderson: Year One in 140 characters or less.

Alec:  It’s a collection of three interlinked novellas covering Anderson’s traumatic first year on the street as a Psi-Judge.



TQTell us something about Judge Anderson: Year One that is not found in the book description.

Alec:  It was the toughest thing I’ve ever written, but I’m ridiculously proud of it.



TQWhat appeals to you about writing in the Judge Dredd world?

Alec:  Mega-City One is incredibly versatile. It’s like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld in that you can utilise it to tell pretty much any kind of story or explore any kind of idea. Anderson’s my favourite character in the Dreddverse and I was fascinated about what the world would look like seen through the eyes of a psychic cop, as well as an indomitable optimist and part of this terrible fascistic machine that is the Justice Department



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Judge Anderson: Year One?

Alec:  Tons! I did a lot of research into neuroscience and psychology to begin with, just to get a handle on exactly how Anderson perceives other peoples’ thoughts via telepathy. The first story (or first act), Heartbreaker, is about a killer stalking a futuristic dating site. The whole idea came about from my reading an article about a woman’s hellish experience of online dating. So I did lots of research into dating sites and the psychology behind them all, how they’ve affected our view of romance, sex and relationships, all the cultural politics behind that.

I also did lots of practical research into things like police tactics, guns, etc. I’ve got a friend (the same best mate who used to ask me to write barbarian stories for him) who’s a martial artist. He went through all the fight scenes for me. The second story, The Abyss, is set in a high-security psychiatric facility, which I based on Broadmoor Hospital. I did some writing exercises based my going through a book of homicide photos and used that as a basis for the prisoners’ streams-of-consciousness, which Anderson taps into at one point. That was a fun afternoon! Also, Anderson herself is suffering from depression and PTSD, so I dug into a lot of stuff there.

I do a lot of research into themes as well as nuts-and-bolts practical stuff. The Abyss was about the difference between justice and revenge, while the third story, A Dream of the Nevertime, was about the modern obsession with social justice, how that can be fetishized and become as destructive as the very thing it opposes, but also how to find the right balance, and so on. I think these things become more complex and ambiguous the deeper you dig into them. It’s good to explore other peoples’ ideas on different subjects too, as it broadens your own understanding, and allows you to explore things from every angle. But having done all that work, you then have to bury it all and dramatize it within the action. Preaching your opinions at the reader is polemics not storytelling.



TQIn Judge Anderson: Year One who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Alec:  I honestly can’t say anyone was easy to write! I have a tendency to overcomplicate. In this case, I may have over-explored everyone’s pathology in my own mind, and gotten carried away in terms of shading in all the characters, which makes the dramatic actions-reactions between them all the more interesting and unexpected, but also makes them that much harder to write.

Anderson herself, hands-down, is the toughest to write. As a psychic, she’s Kryptonite to drama. So in terms of plotting the story, I had to do a lot of juggling, as well as being very clear in my own mind about what was motivating her in every scene and how much she knew at any given time. It’s hard to keep a character like that conflicted rather than just have her solve her problems straight away. It doesn’t help that her sidearm carries several different types of bullets (explosive, heat-seeking, armour-piercing, etc) and she’s a star-pupil with Mossad-level training. So many times, I’d get to a point in the story and go, ‘Waaaaaaaait a second. What’s stopping her from just busting this guy straight away?’ A nightmare.



TQWhich question about Judge Anderson: Year One do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Alec:  I wish someone would ask, ‘What can I get out of this that I can’t get out of the comics?’ And I’d answer, ‘There’s only so far you can go in a five-page 2000 AD strip in terms of exploring character. Prose allows us to go on a kick-ass action-adventure, but also go deeper into Anderson’s character than we’ve ever been before.’



TQGive us one or two of your favourite non-spoilery quotes from Judge Anderson: Year One.

Alec:  “Anderson let him go.” [Writing that bit just about broke my heart.]



TQWhat's next?

Alec:  I’ve just finished another couple of Anderson comics (based on the 2012 Dredd movie), which are collected up in the graphic novel Dredd / Anderson: The Deep End (out 13 July). I’ve also got a few Dredd stories in the Dredd: The Cape and Cowl Crimes collection (out now). I’m doing another Star Wars project for Panini Germany, as well as more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics for Panini UK and more Warhammer shorts for Black Library. Other than these, everything I’m working on right now is either hush-hush or at the pitch stage.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Alec:  And thank you!





Judge Anderson: Year One
Abaddon, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One
The untold story behind Mega-City One's most famous telepath and Judge Dredd partner, Judge Anderson, in her first year on the job!

Mega-City One, 2100.  Cassandra Anderson is destined to become Psi-Division’s most famous Judge, foiling supernatural threats and policing Mega-City One’s hearts and souls. For now, she’s fresh out of Academy and Psi-Div themselves are still finding their feet.

Heartbreaker: After a string of apparently random, deadly assaults by customers at a dating agency, Anderson is convinced a telepathic killer is to blame. Putting her career on the line, the newly-trained Psi-Judge goes undercover to bring the romance-hating murderer to justice, with the big Valentine’s Day parade coming up...

The Abyss: Sent to interrogate Moriah Blake, leader of the notorious terror group ‘Bedlam,’ Anderson gets just one snippet of information – Bedlam’s planning on detonating a huge bomb – before Blake’s followers take over the Block. It’s a race against time, and Anderson’s on her own amongst the inmates...

A Dream of the Nevertime: Anderson – a rookie no more, with a year on the streets under her belt – contracts what appears to be a deadly psychic virus, and must explore the weirdest reaches of the Cursed Earth in search of a cure. She must face mutants, mystics and all the strangeness the land can throw at her as she wrestles weird forces...





About Alec

Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One
Alec Worley was a projectionist and a film critic before writing short Future Shock strips for 2000 AD and creating two original series: werewolf apocalypse saga Age of the Wolf (with Jon Davis-Hunt) and ‘spookpunk’ adventure comedy Dandridge (with Warren Pleece). He writes the Teenage Muttant Ninja Turtles comics for Panini in the UK and has also written Judge Dredd, Robo-Hunter, Tharg’s 3rillers and Tales From The Black Museum and Realm of the Damned. This is his debut prose novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @alec_worley

Shakespeare - Monstrous Little Voices and Hogarth Shakespeare


April 23rd marks the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Hogarth and Abaddon Books both have Shakespeare related works coming out. Here's what is available and upcoming for both publishers.


Monstrous Little Voices

Abaddon Books has released a series of five e-novellas which will be published in print in Monstrous Little Voices on March 8th. Monstrous Little Voices is a single long tale set in Shakespeare’s fantasy world of fairies, wizards and potions.


Foz Meadows

Coral Bones
Monstrous Little Voices 1
Abaddon Books, January 8, 2016
eBook, 53 pages

Miranda, daughter to Prospero, the feared sorcerer-Duke of Milan, stifles in her new marriage. Oppressed by her father, unloved by Ferdinand, she seeks freedom; and is granted it, when her childhood friend, the fairy spirit Ariel, returns. Miranda sets out to reach Queen Titania’s court in Illyria, to make a new future...



Kate Heartfield

The Course of True Love
Monstrous Little Voices 2
Abaddon Books, January 22, 2016
eBook, 63 pages

Pomona, a gifted hedge-witch of advancing years in fair Illyria, is walking about her own business when she spies a fairy gentleman trapped in a secret garden. Vertumnus, King Oberon’s emissary to the Duke, has been taken captive by proud Titania, and a war is in the offing... unless Pomona can prevent it.



Emma Newman

The Unkindest Cut
Monstrous Little Voices 3
Abaddon Books, February 5, 2016
eBook, 44 pages

Lucia de Medici sought only to marry, ending a war that has engulfed all the world from Navarre to Istanbul; but she has been lied to, and made into an assassin. Now, armed with new knowledge and accompanied by the ghost of her victim, she sets out to find who so deceived her, and to what end, and to try and restore the damage done.



Adrian Tchaikovsky

Even in the Cannon's Mouth
Monstrous Little Voices 4
Abaddon Books, February 19, 2016
eBook, 64 pages

Illyria’s Duke Orsino has raised new, powerful allies, and in a last-ditch attempt to win the war, Don Pedro and his brother John, wise old Jacques and the physician Helena sail to Milan to appeal in person for the wizard Prospero’s aid. But unseasonal storms drive them onto the Illyrian shore, and into the hands of their enemies...



Jonathan Barnes

On the Twelfth Night
Monstrous Little Voices 5
Abaddon Books, March 4, 2016
eBook, 48 pages

Anne Hathaway – contented wife of a glovemaker and aletaster, proud mother of three – has her life turned upside down when strangers, oddly familiar, come to her door and whisk her husband away. What is their business, this terrible danger they say we all face? What is the lattice, and what part must her Will play to save it?



Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales Shakespeare's Fantasy World
Abaddon Books, March 8, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

It is the time of Shakespeare. Storms rage, armies clash, magics are done - and stories are made. Five new great and terrible tales reshape the Bard’s vision, a new set of stories that will be told and retold down through the centuries.

It is the Year of Our Lord 1601. The Tuscan War rages across the world, and every lord from Navarre to Illyria is embroiled in the fray. Cannon roar, pikemen clash, and witches stalk the night; even the fairy courts stand on the verge of chaos.

Five stories come together at the end of the war: that of bold Miranda and sly Puck; of wise Pomona and her prisoner Vertumnus; of gentle Lucia and the shade of Prospero; of noble Don Pedro and powerful Helena; and of Anne, a glovemaker’s wife. On these lovers and heroes the world itself may depend.

Monstrous Little Voices collects five of today’s most exciting names in genre fiction – Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist, Cannonbridge); Adrian Tchaikovsky (The Shadows of the Apt, Children of Time); Emma Newman (The Split Worlds, multiple-award-nominated Tea and Jeopardy podcast); Hugo-nominated blogger Foz Meadows (Solace & Grief, The Key to Starveldt’s); and upcoming novelist (and journalist for the Ottawa Citizen) Kate Heartfield – to delve into the world Shakespeare created for us. With wars and romances, its magics and deceptions, discover five stories he never told, but could have. Stories of what happened next or what went before, of the things unseen or simply elsewhere in the world as Shakespeare’s own tales unfolded on the stage.






Hogarth Shakespeare

Hogarth is publishing a series of novels that are contemporary retellings of Shakespeares plays. Here is what is available or upcoming and some information about what is to come for Hogarth Shakespeare. Read more about Hogarth Shakespeare here.





Published or soon to be published.

Jeanette Winterson

The Gap of Time
Hogarth, October 6, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “late plays.” It tells the story of a king whose jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his beautiful wife. His daughter is found and brought up by a shepherd on the Bohemian coast, but through a series of extraordinary events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited.

In The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale, we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology and the elliptical nature of time. Written with energy and wit, this is a story of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other.



Howard Jacobson

Shylock Is My Name
Hogarth, February 9, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters: Shylock

Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of “The Merchant of Venice,” Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice’s “betrayal” of her family and heritage – as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field – Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter’s rejection of her Jewish upbringing.

Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock’s demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson’s insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent—a drama which Jacobson himself considers to be “the most troubling of Shakespeare’s plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging.”



Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl
Hogarth, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 240 pages

Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler brings us an inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?



Upcoming

Margaret Atwood - The Tempest

Jo Nesbo - Macbeth

Tracy Chevalier - Othello

Edward St. Aubyn - King Lear

Gillian Flynn - Hamlet

Interview with author E.E. Richardson - November 14, 2013


Please welcome E.E.Richardson to The Qwillery. Under the Skin (Ritual Crime Unit) was published in the US on October 29, 2013.


Interview with author E.E. Richardson - November 14, 2013






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

E.E.:  I started writing when I was pretty young - I was a huge reader as a child, and I always used to write down my own stories. When I was about ten or eleven I had a school assignment to write a short story, minimum one page, that I turned into a twenty-five page epic, which prompted the teacher to suggest I try writing a book. Ever since then I've been working on writing novels.



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

E.E.:  Titles! I always find them very hard to come up with. In general I find that the more pithily I have to condense the essence of a story down, the harder I find it to do; the title is harder than the pitch is harder than the outline is harder than writing the book. I guess that I'm a novelist at heart.



TQ:  Tell us something about Under the Skin (Ritual Crime Unit) that is not in the book description.

E.E.:  I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that the Ritual Crime Unit series takes place in a world that's not quite our own, one where magic is publicly known but still rarely practised and not well understood. Pierce and her RCU officers are writing the book as they go, working off a patchwork of information they've pieced together from past cases, and there's always a tension between their duty to enforce the law and the fact that the law's barely caught up with the kind of things that they encounter.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Under the Skin, your first novel for adults?

E.E.:  Abaddon Books publish all my favourite genres, so when I saw they had a call for open submissions it sounded right up my street. I wanted to write a police-based urban fantasy because most of the stories I've read about supernatural crime have private eyes or special agents doing the investigating, and I wondered what it would be like from the point of view of a more traditional police unit with stricter rules to follow. I'm quite fond of the archetype of the rumpled, middle-aged, married-to-the-job detective who lives from one cup of coffee to the next to get the job done, but you rarely see a woman in that role, so with that thought the character of DCI Claire Pierce was born.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Under the Skin?

E.E.:  This was quite a research-heavy book for me; my previous novels have been young adult books with teenage protagonists, whereas this time I'm writing about police officers, and while the world of the RCU has been influenced by the existence of magic, I still wanted to write something that's recognisably rooted in the UK police force as we know it. I ended up doing a lot of research into police equipment and procedures and figuring out how that might all be adapted to a team that deals with supernatural threats. I also did some interesting background reading on the practicalities of making real-life silver bullets.



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

E.E.:  Pierce was probably the easiest to write; we're in her point of view from the very first scene, and her way of thinking just flowed onto the page. As for the hardest, probably Maitland: he's the head of the Counter Terror unit who take over Pierce's case, and it's a challenge to write someone who's quite deliberately presenting himself as blandly bureaucratic and yet still give him some sort of character.



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

E.E.:  My favourite scenes in anything I write are quite often unlikely suspects - I write action and horror, but I love writing dialogue most of all, so frequently the scenes that I like best are quiet ones that slip in between the more memorable set-pieces. There's a scene in chapter three where Pierce is called onto the carpet by her boss that I rather like despite the fact it's really no more than two people talking in an office. I loved writing the police procedural parts with that slight urban fantasy twist as much as any of the more explosive action scenes. (Of which there are a few!)



TQ:  What's next?

E.E.:  I would definitely love to write more RCU stories - the character of Pierce has taken up residence in my imagination, and I have plenty of ideas for where things might go next in her world. I'd also like to write some more books aimed at an adult audience - fantasy and urban fantasy, most probably.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

E.E.:  Thanks for the interview! It's lovely to be asked.






Under the Skin

Under the Skin
Ritual Crime Unit
Abaddon Books, October 29, 2013
eBook, 128 pages

Interview with author E.E. Richardson - November 14, 2013
A tough, hard-nosed career officer in the male-dominated world of British policing, DCI Claire Pierce of North Yorkshire Police heads Northern England’s underfunded and understaffed Ritual Crime Unit. Unregarded by the traditional police, struggling with an out-sized caseload, Pierce is about to tackle her most shocking case so far.

Following reports of unlicensed shapeshifters running wild in the Dales, DCI Pierce leads a failed raid to capture the skinbinder responsible. While the dust is still settling, a team from Counter Terrorism turns up and takes the case off her.

Pursuing the case off the record, she uncovers something murkier and more terrible than she suspected. Has her quarry achieved the impossible and learned to bind human skin?

A limited number of the signed physical edition are available from Forbidden Planet (UK).





About E.E. Richardson

Interview with author E.E. Richardson - November 14, 2013
E.E. Richardson has been writing books since she was eleven years old, and had her first novel The Devil’s Footsteps picked up for publication at the age of twenty. Since then she’s had seven more young adult horror novels published by Random House and Barrington Stoke. Under the Skin is her first story aimed at adults. She also has a B.Sc. in Cybernetics and Virtual Worlds, which hasn’t been useful for much but does sound impressive.





Twitter @devilsfootsteps‎




The Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books

Abaddon Books Press Release
24 August 2011

The Summer of Steampunk

Longest running steampunk series raises the heat in fortnight-long genre celebration


Break out your top hats and holster your Tesla Mark Seven blunderbuss, the Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books is here!

To mark a major new direction for the world’s longest-running series of steampunk novels, Pax Britannia, Abaddon is running two weeks of steampunk shenanigans at the new dedicated Pax Britannia Facebook page.

From free eBooks and competition giveaways to debate and word from our authors about what makes steampunk so much fun, join us for two weeks of celebration of this most charming, exciting and ever-growing line of books.

The event will culminate in a major announcement about a surprising new book which throws away the rulebook of how genre publishing works.

A must for any fan of steampunk or pulp adventure action, Pax Britannia is set in a radically different version of the late 20th Century where the age of the Victorians never ended and Queen Victoria remains alive thanks to steampunk technology.

From Jonathan Green’s swashbuckling agent of the Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver, to Al Ewing’s ultra-violent El Sombra, Pax Britannia takes steampunk adventure to a new level.

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon Books, said:

““Pax Britannia is one of the longest running steampunk adventures in publishing, and our Summer of Steampunk will bring a host of goodies bound to appeal to new and old readers of the series alike.”


About the Series

The world’s longest-running series of steampunk novels, Pax Britannia launched in February 2007. A steampunk alternative history set in a late twentieth century in which Queen Victoria – now nearing the end of her sixteenth decade on the throne and dependent on steam technology for survival – rules over the vast, powerful and decadent Empire of Magna Britannia. Airships ply the skies as gentlemen of leisure admire dinosaurs in London Zoo, while the Empire has even extended to the Moon. The United Socialist States of America, loosely allied with the might of Magna Britannia, is home to dreamers, poets, madmen, and heroes, poised to usher in a new era.

The Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books

The series has included seven books by Jonathan Green, featuring the adventures of Ulysses Lucian Quicksilver, dandy and adventurer and agent of the throne; an omnibus collecting the first three is currently available.
Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal NightingaleInterview with Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of David Mogo, GodhunterInterview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year OneShakespeare - Monstrous Little Voices and Hogarth ShakespeareInterview with author E.E. Richardson - November 14, 2013Guest Blog by Eric Brown - Developing Weird Space - and Giveaway - July 7, 2013The Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books

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