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Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series


Please welcome Arianne 'Tex' Thompson back to The Qwillery!



Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your newest novel, Dreams of the Eaten (Children of the Drought 3), was published on December 26, 2016. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote One Night in Sixes (Children of the Drought 1) to Dreams of the Eaten?

Tex:  I’m so glad to be back! And I would really like to tell you that I’ve become a much more stable, productive writer since my first book came out. Unfortunately, here in one handy visual chart was my word-count progress on Dreams of the Eaten. (It was due on October 21st).

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series

As you can see, my process is apparently an exponential growth-curve of procrastination and deadline panic. Remember, kids: the only minute that counts is the last one!



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when One Night in Sixes came out that you know now?

Tex:  You know, I cannot think of a single “overnight success” who has not been writing, publishing, and working in the community for at least a decade. Not even the so-called debut authors. It’s really easy not to realize that when all you see is their giant award-winning bestseller splashed everywhere you look. If I had, I would have stopped comparing myself to them a long time ago, and saved myself a lot of unproductive angst.



TQTell us something about Dreams of the Eaten that is not found in the book description.

Tex:  Y’know, when you’re trying to wrap up a trilogy and make it sound properly epic, all the packaging has to talk up the world-ending cataclysm. You don’t get to say, “by the way, there’s some funny stuff in here too. It isn’t all doom and gloom.” I wish the fantasy market in general was more tolerant of that kind of thing: I feel like we’re at our best (authors, publishers, and readers alike) when we don’t let the genre disappear up itself.



TQWhich character in the Children of the Drought series surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

Tex:  This is an odd thing to admit, but my principal female character was the hardest one to write. Whenever I’m out in public, I’m usually operating half a dozen layers of empathy, situational awareness, and self-analysis, and it feels REALLY good to turn off one or two of those to write or roleplay a character, usually male, who doesn’t depend on them to navigate their world. Día is hard for me to write because she has to be even more vigilant and thoughtful than I am: as an outsider, a woman alone, and a visible minority, she has to walk through the world more carefully than I ever have. As it turns out, turning off a couple of your own mind-layers is easy – but adding temporary ones is tricky, intricate business.



TQPlease tell us about your fabulous covers!

Tex:  Oh, what covers they are! That is the work of the brilliant Tomasz Jedruszek, a professional artist from Poland whom Solaris commissioned to paint the covers for this series. I was very happy to be able to ask him for certain images and scenes, and happier still that they did not turn out exactly how I’d pictured them. For example, the town of Sixes is a mishmash of adobe buildings built over an old military fort – but what’s on the cover of One Night in Sixes looks more like a medieval European village.

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series

That juxtaposition of old-world architecture with new-world landscapes and figures is a huge part of the cover’s appeal, I think, and perfectly reflects the idea of a ‘patchwork’ fantasyland. I love it, and am so lucky to have Tomasz’s beautiful work on my books!



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in the Children of the Drought series?

Tex:  Honestly, sticking my sheltered nose into a political anthill was the last thing I wanted to do with my first novels - but I just couldn’t avoid it. The minute I chose to write a historical American setting, considering race and colonialism and identity became a moral mandate: to include people who have been misrepresented or left out, to build the fantasy world in a way that reflects the struggles of the real one, and (most importantly) to give the characters in that world access to the better future that we’re trying to create right now. I am the least-qualified person to judge how successful I’ve been in that effort, but it would have been tremendously irresponsible not to try.



TQWhich question about Dreams of the Eaten do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Tex:  “Tex, did a fan really actually make this incredible handmade doll version of your main character and make you cry when she surprised you with it at your launch party?”

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series

Yes. Her name is MaryLou Condike, and yes. Yes, she did.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Dreams of the Eaten.

Tex:  Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Tolkien, it’s that you can’t finish a fantasy trilogy without someone climbing a mountain. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from hiking the Sandias in Albuquerque for research, it’s that that is WAY harder than the hobbits make it look.

Elim had never had much of an opinion about mountains. He could approve of them on principle, in much the same way as he would lend his endorsement to petticoats, libraries, and the moon.

That was before he’d tried to climb one.

Now, he’d decided, mountains were awful – just the most horrible, hateful, unnatural piles of shameless man-eating lies. And about the only thing worse than the rocks – the ones in his shoes, the ones in his path, the ones hanging down overhead waiting to crush him like a lizard under a dropped brick – was the nauseating drop mere inches from his feet, the yawning abyss of scrubby red earth just waiting for him to put a foot wrong, just waiting to receive his broken body like a window-pane whacked by a cross-eyed idiot pigeon.

“Hell,” he swore as he inched past. “I was tired of living anyway.”



TQWhat's next?

Tex:  I don’t get a chance to mention it much, but I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett for all kinds of reasons, especially his Discworld publishing model: one big sandbox with multiple sets of characters, and lots of entry-points into the world and the series. I would like to do something similar: put these characters down for awhile and pick up a new set in some other corner of Droughtworld, for even more rural fantasy adventures. Stay tuned!



TQThank you for joining us again at The Qwillery.

Tex:  Thank you for having me!





One Night in Sixes
Children of the Drought 1
Solaris, July 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series
The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

And the daylight is running out. Elim's so-called 'partner' - that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick – has disappeared inside the old adobe walls, hell-bent on making a name for himself among Sixes' notorious black-market traders. Elim, whose worldly station is written in the bastard browns and whites of his cow-spotted face, doesn't dare show up home without him.

If he ever wants to go home again, he'd better find his missing partner fast. But if he's caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth in his own flesh - and discovering just how far he'll go to survive the night.



Medicine for the Dead
Children of the Drought 2
Solaris, March 31, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series
The story of Appaloosa Elim continues.
Two years ago, the crow-god Marhuk sent his grandson to Sixes.
Two nights ago, a stranger picked up his gun and shot him.
Two hours ago, the funeral party set out for the holy city of Atali'Krah, braving the wastelands to bring home the body of Dulei Marhuk.

Out in the wastes, one more corpse should hardly make a difference. But the blighted landscape has been ravaged by drought, twisted by violence, and warped by magic - and no-one is immune. Vuchak struggles to keep the party safe from monsters, marauders, and his own troubled mind. Weisei is being eaten alive by a strange illness. And fearful, guilt-wracked Elim hopes he's only imagining the sounds coming from Dulei's coffin.

As their supplies dwindle and tensions mount, the desert exacts a terrible price from its pilgrims - one that will be paid with the blood of the living, and the peace of the dead.



Dreams of the Eaten
Children of the Drought 3
Solaris, December 27, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series
As the funeral cortege draws near, the crows begin to gather...

The stunning conclusion of this extraordinary trilogy.

After trials by fire and thirst, Appaloosa Elim's quest to bring home the body of the crow prince is finally nearing its end.

But the coffin is missing, the funeral party is hopelessly scattered, and the fishmen are hell-bent on revenge. Worse yet, the pilgrimage has disturbed an ancient power – and the earth is crumbling in its grip.

As the ground shakes and the crows gather, the final reckoning promises to unite the living and the dead in a battle for the land itself. One way or another, blood debts will come due, Elim will face his judgment, and the World That Is will be forever changed.





About Arianne "Tex" Thompson

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought Series
Arianne "Tex" Thompson is home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in literature, she channeled her passion for exciting, innovative, and inclusive fiction into the Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris. Now a professional speaker and writing instructor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex is blazing a trail through conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, relentlessly enthusiastic one-woman stampede. Find her online at www.TheTexFiles.com and on Twitter as @tex_maam!



The View From Monday - December 26, 2016


Happy last Monday in 2016. This has been quite the year in so many ways. As usual I have not read as many books as I'd like to read. I suppose I could give up work and sleeping to read more, but that's just not practical or possible. I have my favorite reads of course but without reading hundreds of books I'm not going to make a best of list. I may tell you about my 2016 favorite reads early next year... which is only 5 days away. Tell me about your favorite reads in the comments if you'd like.

There are no debuts this week (or during December for that matter), but there are books from formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Face of the Unknown (Star Trek: The Original Series) by Christopher L. Bennett;

Faithful (Birth of Saints 2) by Michelle Hauck is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Bell, Book & Candlemas (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery 2) by Jennifer David Hesse;

The City of Ice (Gates of the World 2) by K. M. McKinley;

The Bone Cave (Bone Magic 3) by Sarah Remy is our in Mass Market Paperback;

and

Dreams of the Eaten (Children of the Drought 3) by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson.


The View From Monday - December 26, 2016The View From Monday - December 26, 2016The View From Monday - December 26, 2016
The View From Monday - December 26, 2016The View From Monday - December 26, 2016The View From Monday - December 26, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - December 26, 2016



December 25, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Soulmates Mike Resnick
Lezli Robyn
SF - Collection



December 27, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tales from the Vatican Vaults: 28 extraordinary stories by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Garry Kilworth, Mary Gentle, KJ Parker, Storm Constantine and many more David V. Barrett (Ed) F - Anthology
The Face of the Unknown Christopher L. Bennett SF - Star Trek: The Original Series
Nine of Stars Laura Bickle CF - Wildlands Novel 1
Avenge the Forgotten Kristina Circelli H - The Five Flames 5
If This Goes Wrong . . . Hank Davis (Ed) SF - Anthology
Faithful Michelle Hauck HistF - Birth of Saints 2
The Dark Lord Jack Heckel FairyT/FolkT/HU/LM
Bell, Book & Candlemas Jennifer David Hesse CM - A Wiccan Wheel Mystery 2
A Ghostly Reunion Tonya Kappes PCM - Ghostly Southern Mysteries 5
The Edge of the Blade Jeffe Kennedy FR - The Uncharted Realms 2
The Drawing of the Three (ri) Stephen King F - The Dark Tower 2
Wizard and Glass (ri) Stephen King F - The Dark Tower 4
The Waste Lands (ri) Stephen King F - The Dark Tower 3
Bad Moon Rising (ri) Jonathan Maberry H - A Pine Deep Novel 3
The City of Ice K.M. McKinley F - Gates of the World 2
Crash and Burn Fern Michaels PNR - Sisterhood 27
CHOP Line Henry V. O'Neil SF - Sim War 4
The Bone Cave Sarah Remy F - Bone Magic 3
Mission: Tomorrow (tp2mm) Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Ed) SF - Anthology
Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard (h2tp) Lawrence M. Schoen SF
The Complete Aliens Omnibus: Volume Three Sandy Schofield Stephani Danelle Perry SF - Aliens
Allegiance of Honor (h2mm) Nalini Singh PNR - Psy-Changeling 15
Dreams of the Eaten Arianne 'Tex' Thompson F - Children of the Drought 3
Pathological Jinkang Wang MedTh



December 31, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Vacation (ri) Matthew Costello H
Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi John Scalzi SF - Anthology




e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback


AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Cozy Mystery
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GO - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MedTh - Medical Thriller
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArt - Performing Arts
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Pop Culture
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50


This is the fiftieth and last in this series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published since their last update. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year she/he was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.


Part 1 herePart 11 herePart 21 herePart 31 herePart 41 here
Part 2 herePart 12 herePart 22 herePart 32 herePart 42 here
Part 3 herePart 13 herePart 23 herePart 33 herePart 43 here
Part 4 herePart 14 herePart 24 herePart 34 herePart 44 here
Part 5 herePart 15 herePart 25 herePart 35 herePart 45 here
Part 6 herePart 16 herePart 26 herePart 36 herePart 46 here
Part 7 herePart 17 herePart 27 herePart 37 herePart 47 here
Part 8 herePart 18 herePart 28 herePart 38 herePart 48 here
Part 9 herePart 19 herePart 29 herePart 39 herePart 49 here
Part 10 herePart 20 herePart 30 herePart 40 here




Bradley Beaulieu (2011) and Rob Ziegler (2011)

The Burning Light
Tor.com, November 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 192 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50
Disgraced government operative Colonel Chu is exiled to the flooded relic of New York City. Something called the Light has hit the streets like an epidemic, leavings its users strung out and disconnected from the mind-network humanity relies on. Chu has lost everything she cares about to the Light. She’ll end the threat or die trying.

A former corporate pilot who controlled a thousand ships with her mind, Zola looks like just another Light-junkie living hand to mouth on the edge of society. She’s special though. As much as she needs the Light, the Light needs her too. But, Chu is getting close and Zola can’t hide forever.

A thrilling and all-too believable science fiction novella from the authors of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai and Seed.




C.A. Higgins (2015)

Lightless
The Lightless Trilogy 1
Del Rey, July 26, 2016
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 29, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED AND KIRKUS REVIEWS • With deeply moving human drama, nail-biting suspense—and bold speculation informed by a degree in physics—C. A. Higgins spins a riveting science fiction debut guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations.

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.


Supernova
The Lightless Trilogy 2
Del Rey,July 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50
C. A. Higgins’s acclaimed novel Lightless fused suspenseful storytelling, high-caliber scientific speculation, and richly developed characters into a stunning science fiction epic. Now the dazzling Supernova heightens the thrills and deepens the haunting exploration of technology and humanity—and the consequences that await when the two intersect.

Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager.

Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control.

Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew’s sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.




Mur Lafferty (2013)

Six Wakes
Orbit Books, December 20, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer --- before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Marie Shea had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died: from illness once and from injury once.

Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently...




Michael J. Martinez (2013)

MJ-12: Inception
A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1
Night Shade Book, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 300pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50
It is a new world, stunned by the horrors that linger in the aftermath of total war. The United States and Soviet Union are squaring off in a different kind of conflict, one that’s fought in the shadows, where there are whispers of strange and and mysterious developments….

Normal people across the United States have inexplicably gained paranormal abilities. A factory worker can heal the sick and injured. A schoolteacher bends emotions to her will. A car salesman alters matter with a simple touch. And there are even stranger abilities than these, all seemingly stemming from a unique and reality-bending anomaly found in the depths of Hiroshima’s rubble.

Now, the government conspiracy known as MAJESTIC-12 has gathered together these individuals, called Variants. The government will use them if it can…and destroy them if it cannot.




Arianne 'Tex' Thompson (2014)

Dreams of the Eaten
Children of the Drought 3
Solaris, December 27, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50
As the funeral cortege draws near, the crows begin to gather...

The stunning conclusion of this extraordinary trilogy.

After trials by fire and thirst, Appaloosa Elim's quest to bring home the body of the crow prince is finally nearing its end.

But the coffin is missing, the funeral party is hopelessly scattered, and the fishmen are hell-bent on revenge. Worse yet, the pilgrimage has disturbed an ancient power – and the earth is crumbling in its grip.

As the ground shakes and the crows gather, the final reckoning promises to unite the living and the dead in a battle for the land itself. One way or another, blood debts will come due, Elim will face his judgment, and the World That Is will be forever changed.

The View From Monday - March 23, 2015


Happy Monday! It's 18F here. I don't think Spring got the memo about higher temperatures. We may even get more snow!

There are two debuts this week:

The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson;

and

Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet 1) by Cat Rambo.

Don't forget to vote in the March Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars here. The poll closes tomorrow.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic by Christopher L. Bennett;

Truth and Fear (The Wolfhound Century 2) by Peter Higgins is out in Trade Paperback;

The Forever Watch by David Ramirez is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Medicine for the Dead (Children of the Drought 2) by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson.


The View From Monday - March 23, 2015




March 24, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic Christopher L. Bennett SF - Star Trek: Enterprise
Dark Alchemy (e) Laura Bickle CF
The Midnight Witch (h2tp) Paula Brackston Hist/Su
Balance Point (tp2mm) Robert Buettner SF - Orphan's Legacy 3
1920: America's Great War (h2mm) Robert Conroy AH/Th
Werewolves: A Hunter's Guide Graeme Davis H
Angel (e) Lola Dodge PNR - Manhattan Ten 4
The Lost Boys Symphony (D) Mark Andrew Ferguson GB
Claimed Sarah Fine CF - Servants of Fate 2
Mother of Demons (Special Leather Bound Edition) Eric Flint SF
Night's Blaze: Part 3: Part 3 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings 5
Harrison Squared Daryl Gregory CF
Afterparty (h2tp) Daryl Gregory SF
The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire Molly Harper PNR - Half Moon Hollow 3
Truth and Fear (h2tp) Peter Higgins AH/M - The Wolfhound Century 2
Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who Paul Kirkley SF - Space Helmet for a Cow 1
Nightbringer Graham McNeill SF - Warhammer 40,000: Ultramarines 1
Icefall Gillian Philip F - Rebel Angels 4
Repeat Neal Pollack Hu/SF
The Forever Watch (h2tp) David Ramirez SF
The Fifth Heart Dan Simmons Hist/M
Orbs III: Redemption: A Science Fiction Thriller (e) Nicholas Sansbury Smith SF/Th - Orbs 3
Medicine for the Dead Arianne 'Tex' Thompson F/WW - Children of the Drought 2
The Summer Palace Lawrence Watt-Evans F - Annals of the Chosen 3
The Moon Tells Secrets Savanna Welles PNR/Go



March 25, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Dog: A Tor.Com Original (e) Bruce McAllister H



March 26, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Last Quarrel: Episode 5 (e) Duncan Lay F - The Last Quarrel



March 27, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Beasts of Tabat (D) Cat Rambo F - The Tabat Quartet 1


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

AH - Alternate History
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
F - Fantasy
GB - Genre Bender
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
Hu - Humor
M - Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
WW - Weird Western

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19


This is the nineteenth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming 2015 books. This update covers some of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge authors as well as 2 additional DAC authors from 2012 and 2013. Look for an additional series of updates in late June/early July 2015.

See Part 1 here
See Part 1.5 here
See Part 2 here
See Part 3 here
See Part 4 here
See Part 5 here
See Part 6 here
See Part 7 here
See Part 8 here
See Part 9 here
See Part 10 here
See Part 11 here
See Part 12 here
See Part 13 here
See Part 14 here
See Part 15 here
See Part 16 here
See Part 17 here
See Part 18 here


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19



Thomas Sweterlitsch

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Berkley, May 5, 2015
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Previously published in Hardcoer and eBook, July 2014

“A wild mash-up of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, and William S. Burroughs” (Stewart O’Nan, author of The Odds), the near-future thriller Tomorrow and Tomorrow is an insightful exploration of humanity’s relationship with evolving virtual environments and an accurate portrayal of how the technology that was developed to connect people inevitably isolates them…

Pittsburgh is John Dominic Blaxton’s home even though the city has been uninhabitable ruin and ash for the past decade. The Pittsburgh Dominic lives in is the Archive, an immersive virtual reconstruction of the city’s buildings, parks, and landmarks, as well as the people who once lived there. Including Dominic’s wife and unborn child.

When he’s not reliving every recorded moment with his wife in an endless cycle of desperation and despair, Dominic investigates mysterious deaths preserved in the Archive before Pittsburgh’s destruction. His latest cold case is the apparent murder of a woman whose every appearance is deliberately being deleted from the Archive.

Obsessed with uncovering this woman’s identity and what happened to her, Dominic follows a trail from the virtual world into reality. But finding the truth buried deep within an illusion means risking his sanity and his very existence…





Arianne 'Tex' Thompson

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Medicine for the Dead
Children of the Drought 2
Solaris, March 31, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The story of Appaloosa Elim continues.
Two years ago, the crow-god Marhuk sent his grandson to Sixes.
Two nights ago, a stranger picked up his gun and shot him.
Two hours ago, the funeral party set out for the holy city of Atali'Krah, braving the wastelands to bring home the body of Dulei Marhuk.

Out in the wastes, one more corpse should hardly make a difference. But the blighted landscape has been ravaged by drought, twisted by violence, and warped by magic - and no-one is immune. Vuchak struggles to keep the party safe from monsters, marauders, and his own troubled mind. Weisei is being eaten alive by a strange illness. And fearful, guilt-wracked Elim hopes he's only imagining the sounds coming from Dulei's coffin.

As their supplies dwindle and tensions mount, the desert exacts a terrible price from its pilgrims - one that will be paid with the blood of the living, and the peace of the dead.





Angus Watson

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Clash of Iron
Iron Age 2
Orbit, April 14, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 560 pages

The second book in Angus Watson's epic Iron Age fantasy trilogy.

LEADERS ARE FORGED IN THE FIRES OF WAR

Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they must defend it.

A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to defend their home, the British tribes go to battle with each other -- and see Maidun as an easy target.

Meanwhile, Lowa's spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited British druids. And Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome's charismatic general, Julius Caesar.

War is coming. Who will pay its price?





Ramona Wheeler

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Three Princes
Tor Books, January 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, February 2014

Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire.

Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Ramona Wheeler's Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.





Additional Updates

2012 Debut Author Challenge Author

Benedict Jacka

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Veiled
Alex Verus 6
Ace, August 4, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

National bestselling author Benedict Jacka returns to the world of Alex Verus…

I thought I’d escaped my past. But my old master is back and making a new play for power. And he’s not the only one targeting me…

Diviner Alex Verus and the Council that governs the magical community have never gotten along. But with his former teacher back in Britain, Alex is in desperate need of allies, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get them—even if it means accepting a job with the Keepers, enforcing magical law.

Alex forms an uneasy alliance with his new partner, Caldera, but his attempt at legitimacy quickly turns lethal when a mission puts him in possession of an item that factions both inside and outside of the Council would kill to get their hands on.

Once again caught in the middle of a deadly conflict, Alex will need all his abilities to figure out who his friends are—especially when enemies are hiding on all sides…





2013 Debut Author Challenge Author

Samantha Shannon

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
The Mime Order
The Bone Season 2
Bloomsbury USA, January 27, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 528 pages

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.


Guest Blog by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson: "You Got Western in my Fantasy!" - September 13, 2014


Please welcome Arianne 'Tex' Thompson to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. One Night in Sixes will published on July 29th by Solaris Books.



Guest Blog by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson:




"You Got Western in my Fantasy!"


Nonsense – it was already there.


This year, I had an egregiously good time at ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas. One of the panels I participated in was called Space Westerns - moderated by the unrelentingly excellent Bill Crider. At one point, he asked us a question: how should we define a Western?


Well, it's set in the American West, for one thing. (Except when it's Australian, like Quigley Down Under, or Canadian, like the Trail of the Yukon series, or African, like The Jackals - and let's not even get into all those Zapata Westerns in Mexico.)


And there's cowboys, of course. You can't have a Western without a hefty helping of square-jawed gunslingers. (Disregarding Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Little Big Man; and Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage, naturally.)


But it's about the time period, more than anything – the frontier and the closing of the West in the 19th century. (Provided we don't count Justified, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, or any of the Leatherstocking Tales.)


In seriousness, though, I believe the question is worth asking: what is the essence of a Western? Of all genres, it's the one that seems most bound to a particular place and time – and yet it's constantly spilling over into other places and times, and even other genres. We've got spy Westerns (Wild Wild West), thriller Westerns (No Country for Old Men), comedy Westerns (Blazing Saddles), kids' Westerns (Rango), and absolutely every flavor of supernatural sci-fi and fantasy Western imaginable.


So there must be more to it than the big hats and six-guns – something behind the tropes and props that keeps us coming back to Sheriff Woody, even in the age of Buzz Lightyear. Certainly there must be a reason why the 19th century American West is so much more firmly cemented in our imaginations than, say, the antebellum South, or colonial New England. But what is it?


Well, here is a thought. Whether we're talking about the marshal versus the outlaws, the lone man braving the wilderness, or the coming of the railroad, the Western has an uncanny knack for tapping into some of our oldest fears. Watch yourself, it seems to say. Look sharp and step lightly – because you're on your own out here.


And let me tell you something – that is EXACTLY the feeling I get from all my favorite fantasy. Now there's a genre that's short on prerequisites! No maps, dates, or genre checklists needed here: the only requirement for fantasy is that it takes place outside the world as we know it. Maybe we're leaving the Shire behind to venture into the big, wide world. Maybe strange creatures are stepping out of the shadows of midtown Manhattan – or maybe we're the ones stepping out of the wardrobe and into Narnia. Regardless, our only guarantee in this part of the bookstore is that we're not in Kansas anymore.


Which, if you ask me, makes it a perfect complement for the Western. At the end of the day, the Western ultimately centers on the conflict between the world you know and the world you don't – and fantasy is the world you don't.


And if that's true, then maybe these two genres share more DNA than we thought – in fact, maybe they have a common ancestor. Think about Beowulf. Think about the Danes huddled together in their mead hall, desperately hoping to survive the night... and think about the dark, wild world outside the fire's light. Enter the hero, the stranger, the gunslinger who will fight the monsters in defense of humanity and civilization – leaving behind ordinary people who know they won't see a man of his caliber again. It's a hell of a story, isn't it? Hardly surprising that we've been telling it for literally thousands of years.


So maybe it's time we stopped thinking of Firefly and The Dark Tower and all the rest as cross-genre novelties and gave them their proper acknowledgement: as stories told with two facets of an idea that's as old and potent as we are.





One Night in Sixes
Children of the Drought One
Solaris, July 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Guest Blog by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson:
The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

And the daylight is running out. Elim's so-called 'partner' - that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick – has disappeared inside the old adobe walls, hell-bent on making a name for himself among Sixes' notorious black-market traders. Elim, whose worldly station is written in the bastard browns and whites of his cow-spotted face, doesn't dare show up home without him.

If he ever wants to go home again, he'd better find his missing partner fast. But if he's caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth in his own flesh - and discovering just how far he'll go to survive the night.





About Tex

Guest Blog by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson:
Arianne "Tex" Thompson is home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from UT Dallas and a master’s degree in literature from the University of Dallas, she went on to become a community college professor, teaching the fundamentals of English to adults writing below the eighth-grade level. Now a master teacher for academic tutoring and test prep services, as well as the managing editor for the DFW Writers Conference, Tex is a regular feature at high schools, writing conferences, and genre conventions alike.

With her first book, a ‘rural fantasy’ novel called One Night in Sixes, Tex joins the growing ranks of Solaris authors committed to exciting, innovative and inclusive science fiction and fantasy.  Find her online at www.thetexfiles.com and on Twitter as @tex_maam!


The View From Monday - July 28, 2014


Happy last Monday in July. This summer is whizzing by too fast for me. I've only included the July books, etc. that are out this week. The full August release list will be up later this week.



The View From Monday - July 28, 2014



There are 4 Debuts this week:

The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman;

Free Agent (Grimm Agency 1) by J.C. Nelson;

The Buried Life (Buried Life 1) by Carrie Patel;

and

One Night in Sixes (Children of the Drought 1) by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker is out in Trade Paperback.



July 28, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Magical Cross Stitch Designs: Over 60 Fantasy Cross Stitch Designs Featuring Fairies, Wizards, Witches and Dragons Various Contributors Crafts
Bad Mojo Shane Berryhill DF - Zora Banks 1
Summoned Chaos (e) Joshua Roots UF - Shifter Chronicles 2
Blood Sworn (e) Steve Vera F - Last of the Shardyn 3



July 29, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Unremembered Empire (tp2mm) Dan Abnett SF -  Horus Heresy 27
Cursed (e) Angela Addams PNR - Order of the Wolf 1
Magic Breaks Ilona Andrews UF - Kate Daniels 7
Shifter's Claim A.C. Arthur PNR -  Shadow Shifters 4
Shifter's Claim Part IV (e) A.C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic (h2tp) Emily Croy Barker F/R
Jani and the Greater Game Eric Brown SP - Jani and the Greater Game 1
The Fredric Brown Megapack: 33 Classic Tales of Science Fiction and Fantasy Fredric Brown SF - Collection
Path of Smoke Bailey Cunningham UF - Parallel Parks 2
The Angel of Losses (D) Stephanie Feldman Hist/FT/LF
Heaven's Fall (h2mm) David S. Goyer
Michael Cassutt
SF - Heaven's Shadow 3
The Hexed Heather Graham Sus/P - Krewe of Hunters
Tigerman Nick Harkaway UF
The Undead Pool (h2mm) Kim Harrison UF - Hollows 12
Lighthouse Island (h2tp) Paulette Jiles Dys
Hardship Jean Johnson SF - Theirs Not to Reason Why 4
Warrior's Dawn (e) Isabo Kelly PNR - Fire and Tears 3
Tantric Coconuts (h2tp) Greg Kincaid Meta
Mist (h2mm) Susan Krinard UF - Midgard 1
Wolf in Shadow (tp2mm) John Lambshead UF
Enchantress James Maxwell F - The Evermen Saga 1
The Hidden Relic James Maxwell F - The Evermen Saga 2
The Path of the Storm James Maxwell F - The Evermen Saga 3
Death of Sleep (ri) Anne McCaffrey
Jody Lynn Nye
SF
Kenobi: Star Wars (h2mm) John Jackson Miller SF - Star Wars
The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment (h2mm) L. E. Modesitt SF
The Remaining: Refugees D.J. Molles PA - Remaining 3
Sea of Sorrows James A. Moore SF - Alien 2
Jack Strong: A Story of Life after Life (e) Walter Mosley SF
Free Agent (D) J. C. Nelson UF -  Grimm Agency 1
Blood of Tyrants (h2mm) Naomi Novik F - Temeraire 8
The Buried Life (D) Carrie Patel F - Buried Life 1
The Dawn of a Desperate War Aaron Pogue F - The Godlanders War 3
Monstrous Regiment (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 31
Night Watch (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 29
Thief of Time (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 26
The Truth (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 25
Cast in Flame Michelle Sagara F - Chronicles of Elantra 11
Hunt Among the Killers of Men David J. Schow AA - Gabriel Hunt 5
Eight Million Gods (h2mm) Wen Spencer
UF - Eight Million Gods 1
One Night in Sixes (D) Arianne 'Tex' Thompson RF - Children of the Drought 1
The Colonel : A Tor.Com Original (e) Peter Watts SF
Storm Riders (h2mm) Margaret Weis
Robert Krammes
F - Dragon Brigade 2
The Winter King C. L. Wilson PNR - Mystral 1



July 31, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Skin of the Wolf Sam Cabot P/Th
Smiler's Fair (e) Rebecca Levene F - Hollow Gods 1
The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature Paul Meehan HC
Academic Exercises K. J. Parker F - Collection
Beautiful Blood Lucius Shepard F
Vampires: The Myths, Legends, and Lore Aubrey Sherman HC
Equoid: a Laundry Novella Charles Stross SF - Laundry Files



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback


AA - Action Adventure
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FT - Fairy Tale
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
LF - Literary Fiction
Meta - Metaphysical
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
RF - Rural Fantasy
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy



Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of One Night in Sixes - July 23, 2014


Please welcome Arianne 'Tex' Thompson to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. One Night in Sixes will published on July 29th by Solaris Books.



Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of One Night in Sixes - July 23, 2014




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

Tex:  You know, I always see these great author bios that make me green with envy – "I learned to read when I was a zygote and wrote my first short story in pureed carrots on my high-chair table" – but the semi-ridiculous truth is that I first hit on the idea of writing a novel in 11th grade, and even then it was mostly as a lark. It took a whole lot longer to grow any sense of urgency.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Tex:  Well, the story behind this particular story is so long and bizarre (it's actually the resurrected Frankenstein's-monster version of that first 11th-grade novel) that I'm not even sure I have a capital-P Process yet. But so far, I think I enjoy writing most when I have a few anchor-point scenes in mind, and enough leeway to make new discoveries on my way from one to the next.



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

Tex:  Definitely, definitely time. I'm one of these people who doesn't want to step through the wardrobe into Narnia until I am 100% caught up on all real-world responsibilities and can enjoy a long, leisurely frolic in fantasyland. I've learned the hard way that that kind of "dessert-last" thinking is a GREAT way not to get anything finished, ever – but I'm still a long way from having a regular, sustainable writing routine.



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

Tex:  Oh, boy – well, this might sound strange, but when you think about it, Terry Pratchett and William Faulkner actually have a heck of a lot in common. I love their sharp turns of phrase, and how they can bring a place to life (and Yoknapatawpha County is every bit as fantastical as Ankh-Morpork!) More than that, though, I love how they treat every character as a fully-realized person. There are good characters in their books and bad ones, big roles and small ones, but nobody is a straw man or a punching bag or a stereotype. Any author who gives that kind of love and respect even to their villains and bit parts is someone I admire.



TQ:  Describe One Night in Sixes in 140 characters or less.

Tex:  "It's a cowboys-and-Indians story: the cowboy's accidentally shot an Indian, and if the family doesn't come after him, the fishmen will."



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

Tex:  Actually, one thing that I haven't really gotten to advertise much is that this world is one that runs on "culture magic." Basically, if you live the way your ancestors lived – eat what they ate, speak their language, work their land, and follow their customs – you get these supernatural powers that are specific to your culture and community. That's had a huge impact on the clash of cultures here. On the one hand, the settlers from the east have industrialized and spread out so quickly that most of their magic is gone. On the other, the native peoples in the west have used their power to defend their land and freedom, but are also having to decide how much of their old ways they can afford to keep in this new, changing world.



TQ:  What inspired you to write One Night in Sixes? The novel has been described by your publisher as a "Western-influenced rural fantasy novel." What is a "rural fantasy"? Which Westerns count among your favorites?

Tex:  Well, for me, the Western is defined less by geographic location than by atmosphere – you know, the frontier, the great unknown, and the sense that humanity is a fragile speck in a vast, dangerous world. I think that's one reason why it's so spec-fic friendly – you can re-imagine the Western into something like Star Trek, Firefly, or The Dark Tower without losing a bit of that. (I have a big love for all three of those, by the way – though for straight Westerns, I am a huge fan of True Grit in all its forms, and HBO's Deadwood. I applaud any storyteller who can reach past traditional heroic "types" to include people we don't get to see as often, and make them important without making them invincible. Show me someone who can save the day – or ruin it! – without ever picking up a gun, and I'll show you my money.)

Still, if we were to re-tell The Grapes of Wrath with a herd of migrating giants fleeing a drought, or imagine the creatures from Wizard of Oz overrunning Dust Bowl-era Kansas – to my mind, those would be "rural" fantasy stories, but not Western as such. And I like that, because it gives us so much room to explore a world beyond bright city lights, but without always centering the story on the clash between civilization and wilderness.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for One Night in Sixes?

Tex:  As it happens, I did the usual obligatory bucketloads of homework about all the particulars: educating myself on 19th-century architecture, horse handling, the geography of the American Southwest, and so on. But I think the most important part of my research was actually going to New Mexico – visiting not only the nifty old ghost towns and monuments, but also the living pueblos and modern communities. I'm acutely aware of how poorly and infrequently American Indians have been represented in pop culture – and while I want to do a good job all around, I am especially anxious to do justice to their fictional analogues. I'm in no position to judge the success of my efforts on that front, but having the opportunity to visit and be a guest in real, living communities has been a tremendous blessing.



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

Tex:  Elim is definitely an easy character to inhabit: he's thoughtful and mellow and sympathetic enough that thinking from his perspective isn't much of a stretch. Strangely enough, my biggest challenge has been with Día, the grave bride (a kind of "science nun", so to speak.) She's a deeply religious young black woman who divides her time between studying the living and burying the dead – and while she's one of my absolute favorite characters, her experience is so far outside mine that I'm not at all comfortable "winging it" with her. I feel like I really need to triple-check everything to do her justice.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from One Night in Sixes.

Tex:  Haha, well, I'm monstrously terrible at one-line anything, but here's a bit I like, from chapter 1. Elim and Sil have failed in their horse-selling expedition, and Elim is about to console himself with an all-you-can-eat chowdown.

"For his part, Elim intended to stuff his guts enough to last him all the way through until next year... presuming of course that there was still going to BE a next year, which was another item on that whole long list of things that Elim had no ability to order, and sometimes even to understand.

In view of which, it became all the more critically important to keep a two-handed hold on your plate, and full faith in the immediate comfort and solace of pie."



TQ:  What's next?

Tex:  Well, I'm currently editing the sequel to One Night in Sixes, called Medicine for the Dead, which will hopefully be out in March 2015. And as we say in Texas, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise," these two books will do well enough that I'll get to write the third book, which will finish the story. Fingers crossed, anyway!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Tex:  Thank you so much for having me!





One Night in Sixes
Children of the Drought One
Solaris, July 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of One Night in Sixes - July 23, 2014
The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

And the daylight is running out. Elim's so-called 'partner' - that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick – has disappeared inside the old adobe walls, hell-bent on making a name for himself among Sixes' notorious black-market traders. Elim, whose worldly station is written in the bastard browns and whites of his cow-spotted face, doesn't dare show up home without him.

If he ever wants to go home again, he'd better find his missing partner fast. But if he's caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth in his own flesh - and discovering just how far he'll go to survive the night.






About Tex

Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of One Night in Sixes - July 23, 2014
Arianne "Tex" Thompson is home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from UT Dallas and a master’s degree in literature from the University of Dallas, she went on to become a community college professor, teaching the fundamentals of English to adults writing below the eighth-grade level. Now a master teacher for academic tutoring and test prep services, as well as the managing editor for the DFW Writers Conference, Tex is a regular feature at high schools, writing conferences, and genre conventions alike.

With her first book, a ‘rural fantasy’ novel called One Night in Sixes, Tex joins the growing ranks of Solaris authors committed to exciting, innovative and inclusive science fiction and fantasy.  Find her online at www.thetexfiles.com and on Twitter as @tex_maam!


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts


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


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts


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

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to seethe 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 July 24, 2014.



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




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts
Jacket Illustration by Diana Sudyka




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts
Designed by Alban Fischer




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts
Cover Art by John Coulthart




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts
Designed by Alban Fischer




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts


2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts


2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts


There are 16 debuts for July. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The July debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite July cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on July 15th.

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




Sebastien de Castell

Traitor's Blade
Greatcoats 1
Jo Fletcher Books, July 15, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
(US Debut)

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas' Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor’s Blade a disgraced swordsman struggles to redeem himself by protecting a young girl caught in the web of a royal conspiracy.

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.



Stephanie Feldman

The Angel of Losses
Ecco, July 29, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
The Tiger's Wife meets The History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a miracle worker named the White Rebbe and the enigmatic Angel of Losses, both protectors of things gone astray and guardians of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.

Years later, when Eli's granddaughter Marjorie stumbles upon his notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To learn the truth about Eli's origins and unlock the secrets he kept, Marjorie embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from the medieval Holy Land to eighteenth-century Venice and Nazi-occupied Lithuania. What she finds leads her back to present-day New York City and her estranged sister, Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli's past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.



Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling
The Queen of the Tearling 1
Harper, July 8, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.



Stephen Lloyd Jones

The String Diaries
Mulholland Books, July 1, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
US Debut

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity.

The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night--her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?

Stephen Lloyd Jones's debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion--a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them.

If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.



Edan Lepucki

California
Little, Brown and Company, July 8, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
"In her arresting debut novel, Edan Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities." ---Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.



Sharona Muir

Invisible Beasts
Bellevue Literary Press, July 15, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
Sophie is an amateur naturalist with a rare genetic gift: the ability to see a marvelous kingdom of invisible, sentient creatures that share a vital relationship with humankind. To record her observations, Sophie creates a personal bestiary and, as she relates the strange abilities of these endangered beings, her tales become extraordinary meditations on love, sex, evolution, extinction, truth, and self-knowledge.

In the tradition of E.O. Wilson’s Anthill, Invisible Beasts is inspiring, philosophical, and richly detailed fiction grounded by scientific fact and a profound insight into nature. The fantastic creations within its pages—an ancient animal that uses natural cold fusion for energy, a species of vampire bat that can hear when their human host is lying, a continent-sized sponge living under the ice of Antarctica—illuminate the role that all living creatures play in the environment and remind us of what we stand to lose if we fail to recognize our entwined destinies.



J. C. Nelson

Free Agent
A Grimm Agency Novel 1
Ace, July 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 Pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…

Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.

Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.

Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…



Errick A. Nunnally

Blood for the Sun
Spencer Hill Press, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 232 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
After more than one hundred and forty years, Alexander Smith is suffering from memory loss that plagues him like a supernatural Alzheimer's. He has lasted longer than most by clinging to the love he has for his adopted daughter, the vampire Ana, and puzzling out cases of missing or murdered children. Without them, he wouldn't be able to ignore the ghost of a child from his guilty past or fight the whispers goading him to kill. On his latest job, he's stumbled upon a vampire conspiracy that has left a trail of child murders up and down the East Coast-a conspiracy that promises inoculation against the sun. If true, the conspirators' success would mean a bloody conflict, altering the balance between humans and the supernatural forever. Losing more of his mind every day, Alexander has two impossible tasks ahead of him if the world is to survive: stop the vampire coven and reconnect with his humanity.



Bishop O'Connell

The Stolen
An American Faerie Tale 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 22, 2014
     eBook, 336 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, August 5, 2014
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.

When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her bed, Caitlin's entire world crumbles. Once certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist—and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard; Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior; and Dante, a Magister of the fae's Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston's suburbs to the shadowy land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it's too late?



Carrie Patel

The Buried Life
Angry Robot Books, July 29, 2014 (North America Print / eBook)
       August 7, 2014 (UK Print)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook
Cover by John Coulthart

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

File Under: Science Fantasy [ Thriller | Society in Ruins | Fully Booked | New and Weird ]



Jamie Schultz

Premonitions
Roc, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
TWO MILLION DOLLARS...

It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of—enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her, leaving her unable to distinguish the present from the mess of certainties and possibilities yet to come.

The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting—and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Sobell is almost certainly condemned to Hell for a magically extended lifetime full of shady dealings. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out.

Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister.

Karyn’s crew and even Sobell himself are about to find out just how powerful it is… and how powerful it may yet become.



Thomas Sweterlitsch

Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Putnam Adult, July 10, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
"Simultaneously trippy and hardboiled, Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a rich, absorbing, relentlessly inventive mindfuck, a smart, dark noir… Sweterlisch's debut is a wild mashup of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick and William S. Burroughs, and, like their work, utterly visionary."—Stewart O’Nan author of The Odds

Leading the next wave of cyberpunk in the tradition of William Gibson and Jonathan Lethem, Thomas Sweterlitsch is a bold new voice in literary science fiction.

A decade has passed since the city of Pittsburgh was reduced to ash.

While the rest of the world has moved on, losing itself in the noise of a media-glutted future, survivor John Dominic Blaxton remains obsessed with the past. Grieving for his wife and unborn child who perished in the blast, Dominic relives his lost life by immersing in the Archive—a fully interactive digital reconstruction of Pittsburgh, accessible to anyone who wants to visit the places they remember and the people they loved.

Dominic investigates deaths recorded in the Archive to help close cases long since grown cold, but when he discovers glitches in the code surrounding a crime scene—the body of a beautiful woman abandoned in a muddy park that he’s convinced someone tried to delete from the Archive—his cycle of grief is shattered.

With nothing left to lose, Dominic tracks the murder through a web of deceit that takes him from the darkest corners of the Archive to the ruins of the city itself, leading him into the heart of a nightmare more horrific than anything he could have imagined.



Arianne 'Tex' Thompson

One Night in Sixes
Children of the Drought One
Solaris, July 22, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

And the daylight is running out. Elim's so-called 'partner' - that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick – has disappeared inside the old adobe walls, hell-bent on making a name for himself among Sixes' notorious black-market traders. Elim, whose worldly station is written in the bastard browns and whites of his cow-spotted face, doesn't dare show up home without him.

If he ever wants to go home again, he'd better find his missing partner fast. But if he's caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth in his own flesh - and discovering just how far he'll go to survive the night.



Letitia Trent

Echo Lake: A Novel
Dark House Press, July 22, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 280 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
30-something Emily Collins inherits her recently murdered Aunt's house, deciding to move to Heartshorne, Oklahoma, to claim it and confront her family's dark past after her dead mother begins speaking to her in dreams, propelling this gothic, neo-noir thriller toward terrifying revelations of murderous small-town justice when a horrible community secret is revealed through the supernatural pull of Echo Lake.



Tiphanie Yanique

Land of Love and Drowning
Riverhead, July 10, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
A major debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.



Elise Walters

Tentyrian Legacy
Permuted Platinum, July 15, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 450 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
The legacy begins in the sands of Egypt in a time when an ancient city called Tentyris flourished. Its secretive people, ruled by the Council of the Zodiac, lived peacefully alongside humanity. That time was 53 B.C. More than two millennia later, the power of the Tentyrian people has been all but forgotten. The remnants of memory that live on have been turned into twisted folklore about vampires and astrology.

One girl on the cusp of womanhood is about to discover just how real that folklore is.
With telepathic powers that made her parents send her to a mental institution, Arianna Parker always knew she was different—but she never thought a job interview would lead to the discovery of her being a prophesied descendent of an ancient Egyptian vampire race. Nor for that matter did she think she would fall in love with Maximos Vasilliadis, a 2,225 year old vampire. Maximos is the creator of the Tentyrian Brotherhood—a secret order of warriors, pledged to prevent a catastrophic event predicted to wipe out Earth.

Maximos believes Arianna is a descendent of his kind—the Tentyrian vampires—and she has been destined to lead their cause in saving the world. With her 25th birthday approaching, an event that will change her forever, Arianna finds herself caught in the middle of warring vampires—some of whom intend to use her and her power of telepathy for evil.

From the manicured lawns of Connecticut, to the streets of New York City and an exotic island in the Ionian Sea, Arianna must learn to trust Maximos and her heart if she is to save the world, herself, and the Tentyrian legacy.



Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought SeriesThe View From Monday - December 26, 2016What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 50The View From Monday - March 23, 2015What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19Guest Blog by Arianne 'Tex' Thompson: "You Got Western in my Fantasy!" - September 13, 2014The View From Monday - July 28, 2014Interview with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson, author of One Night in Sixes - July 23, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2014 Debuts2014 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts

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