close

The Qwillery | category: Chris Willrich

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11


This is the eleventh in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming 2015 books. This update covers some of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge authors. What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 12 will cover 2014 DAC authors.


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


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11



Luke Scull

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11
Sword of the North
The Grim Company 2
Roc, May 5, 2015
Hardcover and eBook 400 pages

In The Grim Company, Luke Scull introduced a formidable and forbidding band of anti-heroes battling against ruthless Magelords and monstrous terrors. The adventure continues as the company—now broken—face new dangers on personal quests…

As Davarus Cole and his former companions were quick to discover, the White Lady’s victorious liberation of Dorminia has not resulted in the freedom they once imagined. Anyone perceived as a threat has been seized and imprisoned—or exiled to darker regions—leaving the White Lady’s rule unchallenged and absolute. But the White Lady would be wiser not to spurn her former supporters: Eremul the Halfmage has learned of a race of immortals known as the Fade, and if he cannot convince the White Lady of their existence, all of humanity will be in danger.

Far to the north, Brodar Kayne and Jerek the Wolf continue their odyssey to the High Fangs only to find themselves caught in a war between a demon horde and their enemy of old, the Shaman. And in the wondrous city of Thelassa, Sasha must overcome demons of her own.

Because the Fade are coming…





Lori Sjoberg

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11
Grave Vengeance
Grave 3
Lyrical Press. Janaury 19, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 266 pages

Handsome and haunted, he's a reaper who prefers to work alone. But Fate has other plans for him and the sassy secret agent who shot him in another life—if their pasts don't catch up with them first.

Dmitri Stavitsky has never played well with others—a Soviet KGB spy in life turned reaper after death, his work of bringing souls to the other side is best done alone. But orders from the top soon place him alongside fellow reaper Gwen Peterson, the American counter intelligence agent who took his life so many years ago. Now, as a ghost from Gwen's past resurfaces with the power to steal reapers' souls, the two have no choice but to set aside their differences and apprehend the rogue together. But their cross-country mission soon ignites feelings Dmitri thought he was no longer capable of—for the woman who helped destroy him. With an ancient force and a small army against them, he'll have to let go of old grudges or risk his future with Gwen...as Fate hangs dangerously in the balance.





E. L. Tettensor

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11
Master of Plagues
Nicolas Lenoir 2
Roc, February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,  368 pages

“A dark fantasy detective story that takes readers on a dark, sometimes disturbing journey. E.L. Tettensor crafts a tale that makes you think even while you shudder—a delightful combination.”—Fresh Fiction on Darkwalker

Unraveling a deadly mystery takes time—and his is running out…

Having barely escaped the clutches of the Darkwalker, Inspector Nicolas Lenoir throws himself into his work with a determination he hasn’t known in years. But his legendary skills are about to be put to the test. A horrific disease is ravaging the city—and all signs point to it having been deliberately unleashed.

With a mass murderer on the loose, a rising body count, and every hound in the city on quarantine duty, the streets of Kennian are descending into mayhem, while Lenoir and his partner, Sergeant Bran Kody, are running out of time to catch a killer and find a cure.

Only one ray of hope exists: the nomadic Adali, famed for their arcane healing skills, claim to have a cure. But dark magic comes at a price, one even the dying may be unwilling to pay. All that’s left to Lenoir is a desperate gamble. And when the ashes settle, the city of Kennian will be changed forever…





Danie Ware

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11
Ecko Burning
Ecko 2
Titan Books, May 26, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
Previously published in Trade Paperback and eBook, June 3, 2014

Ruthless and ambitious, Lord Phylos has control of Fhaveon city, and is using her forces to bring the grasslands under his command. His last opponent is an elderly scribe who’s lost his best friend and wants only to do the right thing.

Seeking weapons, Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait.

Back in London, the Bard is offered the opportunity to realise everything he has ever wanted – if he will give up his soul.

When all of these things come together, the world will change beyond recognition.




What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11
Ecko Endgame
Ecko 3
Titan Books, August 26, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 528 pages

Winter has come to the Varchinde – and with it, the fatal spread of the blight. The grass is dead, and the plains’ cities are falling to the loss of crops and trade.

Now, the Kas take their chance to rise from Rammouthe. Overmatched, betrayed and abandoned by his own forces, Rhan takes the ultimate gamble – he will abandon Fhaveon to lure the Kas into a final confrontation.

But the world’s memory is returning. And, as the battle rages round him, Ecko begins to realise that everything they have done has been for a purpose. If they can fit the pieces together, then they might just win the war.

Yet, even if they do defeat the Kas, the blight is still there. And to save both the Varchinde and himself, Ecko must face the worst fear of all – the one that has come from his own world.






Chris Willrich

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11
The Chart of Tomorrows
Gaunt and Bone 3
Pyr, July 7, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 500 pages

The poet Persimmon Gaunt and the thief Imago Bone had sought only to retire from adventuring and start a family, but they never reckoned on their baby becoming the chosen vessel of the mystical energies of a distant Eastern land. With their son Innocence hunted by various factions hoping to use him as a tool, they kept him safe at the cost of trapping him in a pocket dimension of accelerated time.

Now free, the thirteen-year-old Innocence has rejected his parents and his "destiny" and has made dangerous friends in a barbaric Western land of dragon-prowed ships and rugged fjords. Desperately, Gaunt and Bone seek to track him down, along with their companion Snow Pine and her daughter A-Girl-Is-A-Joy, who was once trapped with Innocence too.

But as the nomadic Karvaks and their war-balloons strike west, and a troll-king spins his webs, and Joy is herself chosen by the spirit of the very land Innocence has fled to, Gaunt and Bone find themselves at the heart of a vast struggle-and their own son is emerging from that conflict as a force of evil. To save him and everything they know, they turn to a dangerous magical book, The Chart of Tomorrows, that reveals pathways through time. Upon the treacherous seas of history, Gaunt and Bone must face the darkness in each other's pasts, in order to rescue their future.



What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9


This is the eighth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for update throughout 2014 as well! And remember, publication dates can change!


Part 1 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 2 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 3 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 4 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 5 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 6 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.
Part 7 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.
Part 8 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.



What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9



Liesel Schwarz

Sky Pirates
The Chronicles of Light and Shadow 3
Del Rey, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

For romance and urban fantasy fans and readers of Gail Carriger’s Changeless and Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, this thrilling historical fantasy adventure features warlocks, fairies, and the unforgettable heroine—the daring dirigible pilot Elle Chance—who navigates the realms between the Light and Shadow.

With her husband, Hugh Marsh, missing in the netherworld and presumed dead, Elle Chance loses herself in the task at hand: piloting the airship Water Lily on commissions across the globe. But as it turns out, her beloved is very much alive—the once-powerful warlock reduced to a wraith. When Water Lily is threatened by pirates, Elle will have to channel all her power as the Oracle—the keeper of the barrier between the two Realms—to try to save what she loves most. As the dark forces of Shadow converge around her, Elle must find a way to breach the curse that binds Marsh. But once released, will Marsh return to her—or is their love destined to die so that he can live?




Luke Scull

Sword of the North
Grim Company 2
Roc, 2014
Hardcover and eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9

Cover image from the author's website



Lori Sjoberg

Grave Destinations
Grave 2
eKensington, January 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9
She’s sexy-fierce, resourceful—and will do anything to protect victims as innocent as she once was. But this kick-ass reaper never bargained on meeting her not-quite-human match…or putting their very souls on the line.

A luxury Caribbean cruise is Ruby Dawson’s idea of hell even under the best circumstances. Too many bad memories bubble up—especially of the wrenching injustice that made her a reaper. It doesn’t help that Jack Deverell is making this routine soul-collecting job twice as difficult with his devilish good looks and not-so-innocent questions. Now, as several unscheduled, unexplainable deaths throw passengers and crew into a panic, Jack becomes the prime suspect. The only way Ruby can save him is to challenge the decades-old curse threatening his soul. And as a malevolent unstoppable force turns their immortality into a fatal weakness, Ruby and Jack must risk their fragile humanity to save Fate’s delicate balance and their own unexpected destiny…




Menna van Praag

The House at the End of Hope Street
Penguin, March 25, 2014
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Previously released in Hardcover and eBook, April 4, 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9
A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life.

Filled with a colorful and unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom that is sure to appeal to fans of Jasper Fforde and especially Sarah Addison Allen.




Dani Ware

Ecko Burning
Ecko 2
Titan Books, June 3, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9
Ruthless and ambitious, Lord Phylos has control of Fhaveon city, and is using her forces to bring the grasslands under his command. His last opponent is an elderly scribe who’s lost his best friend and wants only to do the right thing.

Seeking weapons, Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait.

Back in London, the Bard is offered the opportunity to realise everything he has ever wanted – if he will give up his soul.

When all of these things come together, the world will change beyond recognition.









Chris Willrich

The Silk Map
Gaunt and Bone 2
Pyr, May 6, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 450 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9
It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy adventure featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

At the end of The Scroll of Years, the poet Persimmon Gaunt and her husband, the thief Imago Bone, had saved their child from evil forces at the price of trapping him within a pocket dimension. Now they will attempt what seems impossible; they will seek a way to recover their son. Allied with Snow Pine, a scrappy bandit who's also lost her child to the Scroll of Years, Gaunt and Bone awaken the Great Sage, a monkeylike demigod of the East, currently trapped by vaster powers beneath a mountain. The Sage knows of a way to reach the Scroll-but there is a price. The three must seek the world's greatest treasure and bring it back to him. They must find the worms of the alien Iron Moths, whose cocoons produce the wondrous material ironsilk.

And so the rogues join a grand contest waged along three thousand miles of dangerous and alluring trade routes between East and West. For many parties have simultaneously uncovered fragments of the Silk Map, a document pointing the way toward a nest of the Iron Moths. Our heroes tangle with Western treasure hunters, a blind mystic warrior and his homicidal magic carpet, a nomad princess determined to rebuild her father's empire, and a secret society obsessed with guarding the lost paradise where the Moths are found-even if paradise must be protected by murder.



The Dagger of Trust
Pathfinder Tales
Paizo Publishing, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9
Gideon Gull leads a double life: one as a talented young bard at the Rhapsodic College, and the other as a student of the Shadow School, where Taldor’s infamous Lion Blades are trained to be master spies. When a magical fog starts turning ordinary people into murderous mobs along the border between Taldor and Andoran, it’s up to Gideon and a crew of his fellow performers to solve the mystery. But can a handful of entertainers really stop a brewing war?

From author Chris Willrich comes a new adventure of intrigue, espionage, and arcane mystery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.







The View From Monday - September 23, 2013


Happy Monday.  Fall is upon us here. It's cooled down, but it's not too cold. It's time for apple picking! I hope that you pick up some terrific books this week.


I'm not going to say much about the latest kerfuffle regarding authors, reviews, bloggers, types of blogs, etc. Let me just say that The Qwillery is my blog. I will post the sorts of things that I want to post. Finally, authors are welcome to post comments at The Qwillery and engage in polite discourse. And politeness is something I expect of everyone.


This is a very full release week with many debuts. You may find a printable PDF shopping list for this week's genre releases here.



The View From Monday - September 23, 2013



There are 7 debuts this week:

Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves 1) by Jan DeLima;

Charming (Pax Arcana 1) by Elliott James;

The Spirit Keeper by K. B. Laugheed;

A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood (US Debut);

Harrowgate by Kate Maruyama;

Vicious by V. E. Schwab (Adult Debut);

Sleepless Knights by Mark Williams (US Debut); and

The Scroll of Years (Gaunt and Bone 1) by Chris Willrich.


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Corroded (St. Croix Chronicles 3) by Karina Cooper;

Shadow's Curse (Imnada Brotherhood 2) by Alexa Egan;

The Plague Forge (The Dire Earth Cycle 3) by Jason M. Hough;

All is Fair (Split Worlds 3) by Emma Newman; and

Prince Thief (Tales of Easie Damasco 3) by David Tallerman.



September 23, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Corroded                               Karina Cooper SP/HistF - St. Croix Chronicles 3



September 24, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: Cyberman Bust and Illustrated Book
SF - Doctor Who
War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches Kevin J. Anderson (ed) SF - Anthology
Torchwood: Another Life (h2tp) Peter Anghelides SF - Torchwood
Chasing the Shadows (ri) Keri Arthur UF - Nikki and Michael 3
Torchwood: Exodus Code John Barrowman
Carole E. Barrowman
SF - Torchwood
The Daylight War (h2mm) Peter V. Brett F - The Demon Cycle 3
The Incrementalists Steven Brust
Skyler White
UF
The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight (h2mm) Jack Campbell SF - Lost Stars 1
A Calculated Life Anne Charnock SF
Doctor Who: Sting of the Zygons (ri) Stephen Cole SF - Doctor Who
Doctor Who: The Krillitane Storm (ri) Christopher Cooper SF - Doctor Who
King Breaker Rowena Cory Daniells F - King Rolan's Kin 4
Celtic Moon (D) Jan DeLima UF - Celtic Wolves 1
Betrayer (tp2mm) Aaron Dembski-Bowden F - Warmhammer: Horus Heresy
Shadow's Curse Alexa Egan PHR - Imnada Brotherhood 2
Doctor Who: Hunter's Moon (h2mm) Paul Finch SF - Doctor Who
Autumn Whispers Yasmine Galenorn UF - Otherworld 14
Soul of Fire Laura Anne Gilman UF - Portals 2
Deep in Crimson Sarah Gilman PNR - Return to Sanctuary 2
Let the Dead Sleep (h2tp) Heather Graham Su/M - Cafferty & Quinn 1
The Night Is Forever Heather Graham PNR - Krewe of Hunters 11
Midnight's Temptation: Part 3 Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors
Doctor Who: The Slitheen Excursion (ri) Simon Guerrier SF - Doctor Who
Peaches for Monsieur le Cure: A Novel Joanne Harris F - Chocolat Trilogy 3
The Small Hand and Dolly Susan Hill Gh
A Study in Silks Emma Jane Holloway SP/M - Baskerville Affair 1
The Plague Forge Jason M. Hough SF - The Dire Earth Cycle 3
Bound by Night Larissa Ione PNR - MoonBound Clan Vampire 1
Charming (D) Elliott James UF - Pax Arcana 1
Pirates of the Outrigger Rift
(Kindle e serial)
Gary Jonas
Bill D. Allen
SF
Carrie (ri) Stephen King H
Doctor Sleep Stephen King H - Salem's Lot 2
'Salem's Lot (ri) Stephen King H - Salem's Lot 1
The Spirit Keeper (D) K. B. Laugheed R/Mystical
The Dark Need (Kindle e) Stant Litore
Lee Goldberg
Williams Rabkin
H - Dead Man 20
A Cold Season (D - US) Alison Littlewood H
Torchwood: Trace Memory (ri) David Llewellyn SF - Torchwood
The Dead Run Adam Mansbach UF
Harrowgate (D) Kate Maruyama H
Freedom's Challenge (e 1st) Anne McCaffrey SF - Catteni 3
Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow Una McCormack SF - Star Trek
Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism: A Novella (h2tp) Mike Mignola
Christopher Golden
H
Seven Forges James A. Moore F
All is Fair Emma Newman F - Split Worlds 3
On Midnight Wings Adrian Phoenix UF - Maker's Song 5
Torchwood: Into The Silence (ri) Sarah Pinborough SF - Torchwood
Doctor Who: Winner Takes All (ri) Jacqueline Rayner SF - Doctor Who
Doctor Who: The Deviant Strain (ri) Justin Richards SF - Doctor Who
Mirror, Mirror J.D. Robb
Mary Blayney
Elaine Fox
Mary Kay McComas
R.C. Ryan
FT/R - Short Stories
The Hungry Dead: Midnight and Escape from the Living Dead John Russo H
One Lucky Vampire Lynsay Sands PNR - Argeneau 19
Vicious (D - Adult) V. E. Schwab Superheroes
Still Life with Shape-Shifter (h2mm) Sharon Shinn PNR - Shifting Circle 2
A SEAL Wolf Christmas Terry Spear PNR - Heart of the Wolf 12
Phoenix Rising (tp2mm) Ryk E. Spoor F
Stonecast Anton Strout UF - Spellmason Chronicles 2
Prince Thief David Tallerman F - Tales of Easie Damasco 3
Empire of the Blood: Omnibus Gav Thorpe F - Empire of Blood Trilogy
Hunter of Sherwood: Knight of Shadows Tony Venables F - Hunter of Sherwood 1
Kiss of Death Debbie Viguie PHR - Kiss Trilogy 3
Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge Martha Wells SF - Star Wares
Sleepless Knights (D - US) Mark Williams F
The Scroll of Years (D) Chris Willrich F - Gaunt and Bone 1



September 25, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Windsor Faction: A Novel                              D. J. Taylor AH



September 28, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Swarm Lauren Carter Ap
Voyage of the Fox Rider (ri) Dennis L. McKiernan F - Mithgar
The Mallet of Loving Correction                         John Scalzi Collection from Whatever



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


AH - Alternate History
Ap - Apocalyptic
F - Fantasy
FT - Fairy Tale
Gh - Ghosts
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
UF - Urban Fantasy

Interview with Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) - September 11, 2013


Please welcome Chris Willrich to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) will be published on September 24, 2013 by Pyr. You may read Chris' 2013 DAC Guest Blog here.




Interview with Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) - September 11, 2013





TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Chris:  Thanks very much! It’s good to be here.



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Chris:  I was a compulsive daydreamer as a kid. Helpful (and maybe a trifle worried) adults tried to channel this in productive ways. My parents always pushed books my way, and by the time I hit middle school they weren't censoring what I read. At the same school a teacher looked at one of my assignments and suggested I might make a good writer. It was the kind of well-timed comment that can really shape a kid’s life. My first attempt was a couple of paragraphs of Star Trek fan fiction, but I ran out of steam fast. It was harder than it looked. I got a lot more serious after high school, but it took a long time to get my work into publishable shape.



TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Chris:  I don’t have a consistent work space. I’ll be all over the house or at one of a half-dozen coffeehouses. I do pick favorite spots for long stretches -- right now my usual “office” is one end of a couch, beside a window and a bookshelf, the kids’ toys at my feet. I might trip over Thomas the Tank Engine when I get up.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Chris:  Pantser all the way. Although for a project for Paizo, publisher of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, I did have to learn to work from a detailed outline. That was an interesting challenge, and I see some advantages to it. But my natural style is to make up the bulk of a story as I go along.



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

For the most part, stories don’t come to life for me until I commit words to paper. Characters don’t clarify for me until I write dialogue; plot developments are hard to think through until I’m blocking out a scene.



TQ:  Describe The Scroll of Years in 140 characters or less.

Chris:  Gaunt and Bone, lovers and rogues, hope to retire and start a family. But first they must flee the West for a mysterious land in the East.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Scroll of Years?

Chris:  An old interest in writing an Asian-themed fantasy collided with wanting to find a place for my serial magazine heroes Gaunt and Bone to flee to. The pieces seemed to fit.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Scroll of Years?

Chris:  I delved into materials I’d kept from college classes on China, and some notes I took when my late mother-in-law, a first-generation immigrant, told stories from her childhood. Some specific research I did was to look again at two books by Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China and God’s Chinese Son. With the first book I looked at early chapters about the Ming Dynasty, because I was searching for a kind of baseline for my imaginary setting, and Spence’s description of that milieu was very absorbing. With the second book I reread early chapters on 19th Century China, specifically sections about bandit gangs and foreign traders. As you can see by these two examples, whatever’s historical about my setting is an anachronistic patchwork.

Other works I looked at were translations of the 9th Century poetry attributed to Hanshan (“Cold Mountain”) and the classic Tao Te Ching (Pinyin Dao De Jing), because the philosophy of these works informs the attitudes of several characters in the story. Michael Sullivan's The Arts of China was handy for visual references.

None of the above should give anyone the idea I’m some kind of authority on Chinese history. But hopefully I haven’t been a complete idiot in how I’ve used my sources.



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

Chris:  Gaunt and Bone tie for easiest characters, since I’d written several short works about them already. The hardest character was probably an important government official of Qiangguo, my imaginary country. He’s mainly an adversary, but he’s not really a villain; there are genuine villains in the story, and they were much easier to write. Rather, he has an authoritarian point of view that I'm personally not very sympathetic to. Yet in his own mind he is waging a lonely, quite possibly doomed, battle against barbarism, while trying to cling to a sense of honor.



TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Scroll of Years?

Chris:  Luckily my personal favorite comes fairly early, because it introduces a character who became my favorite. It involves two young people of Qiangguo confronting an embodiment of the Nian, a monster you’re supposed to be scaring off during the Lunar New Year. My characters don’t literally believe in the Nian, so running into an incarnation of it is kind of like discovering the trick-or-treaters at your door really are mummies and vampires.



TQ:  What's next? /this is where you share whatever you'd like to share/

Chris:  I’m hard at work on a sequel to The Scroll of Years, titled The Silk Map. It sends Gaunt and Bone along their world's analog of the historical "Silk Road."



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Chris:  Thanks for having me!






The Scroll of Years

The Scroll of Years
A Gaunt and Bone Novel
Pyr, September 24, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 270 pages

Interview with Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) - September 11, 2013
It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure-complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western-is at hand.





About Chris

Interview with Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) - September 11, 2013
Photo by Richard McCowen
Chris Willrich (Mountain View, CA) is a science fiction and fantasy writer best known for his sword-and-sorcery tales of Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone. Until recently he was a children's librarian for the Santa Clara County Library System, in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has appeared in Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Black Gate, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Flashing Swords, The Mythic Circle, and Strange Horizons.


Website  ~  Twitter @WillrichChris  ~  Facebook 






The View From Monday - September 9, 2013


Happy Monday! This is mercifully a light release week! I didn't get  a lot of  reading done last week, but hope to dive in this week with much reading and writing.




The View From Monday - September 9, 2013



There are 2 debuts this week:

Rivers by Michael Farris Smith;


and

The Facades by Eric Lundgren.

The Year of Scrolls (Gaunt and Bone 1) by Chris Willrich has been pushed back to the 24th. 


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors:

Khan of Mars (print version) by Stephen Blackmoore;

and

Fountain of Secrets (Relic Hunters 2) by Anita Clenney.




September 10, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who: Series 1 & 2 Tat Wood
Dorothy Ail
SF - About Time 7
The Hydrogen Sonata (h2tp) Iain M. Banks SF - Culture 9
Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl David Barnett SP
UFO Hunters William J. Birnes UFO Hunters 1 / TV Tie-In
Spirit of the Century Presents: Khan of Mars Stephen Blackmoore F - Spirit of the Century
The Serpent's Tale (Kindle e) Dana Cameron HistF - Fangborn Story
Fountain of Secrets Anita Clenney PNR - Relic Seekers 2
Homeworld Evan Currie SF - Odyssey One 3
Gods of Earth Craig DeLancey SF/F
Space Marine Omnibus Christian Dunn F - Warhammer 40,000
Midnight's Temptation: Part 1 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors
Enon Paul Harding Meta
Orion: The Tears of Isha Darius Hinks F- Warhammer
The Devil in Silver (h2tp) Victor LaValle H
Heart of Constantine Barbara Monajem PNR
Breed (h2tp) Chase Novak H
Rivers: A Novel (D) Michael Farris Smith Ap



September 11, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
A Rumor of Angels: A Tor.Com Original Dale Bailey UF
Shades of Blue and Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War Steve Berman (ed) Su - Anthology
Halloween: Magic, Mystery and the Macabre Paula Guran (ed) Su - Anthology
Mythic Thinking in Twentieth-Century Britain: Meaning for Modernity Matthew Sterenberg History



September 12, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Facades: A Novel (D) Eric Lundgren M



September 13, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Demon's Wife Rick Hautala PNR/H



September 15, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tombstone Blues Chadwick Ginther UF



D - Debut
e- eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback


Ap - Apocalyptic
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
UF - Urban Fantasy

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


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

The September debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite September cover for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

Jan DeLima, Geoffrey Girard, Elliott James, K. B. Laugheed, Jaime Lee Moyer, Peter Rawlik, V. E. Schwab, Luke Scull, and Chris Willrich are 2013 Debut Author Challenge Featured Authors.

Updated to include the US Debut of Sleepless Knights by Mark H. Williams.



Jan DeLima

Celtic Moon
Series:  Celtic Wolves 1
Publisher:  Ace, September 24, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780425266205 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Like father, like son…

Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.

Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.

When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…




Geoffrey Girard

Cain's Blood
Publisher:  Touchstone, September 3, 2013
Format:   Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $25.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781476704043 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Ted Bundy. The Son of Sam. The Boston Strangler. Albert Fish. Henry Lee Lucas.

The DNA of the world’s most notorious serial killers has been cloned by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new breed of bioweapon. Now in Phase Three, the program includes dozens of young men who have no clue as to their evil heritage. Playing a twisted game of nature vs. nurture, scientists raise some of the clones with loving families and others in abusive circumstances. But everything changes when the most dangerous boys are set free by their creator. A man with demons of his own, former black ops soldier Shawn Castillo is hot on their trail. But Castillo didn’t count on the quiet young man he finds hiding in an abandoned house—a boy who has just learned he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. As Jeffrey and Castillo race across the country on the trail of the rampaging teens, Castillo must protect the boy who is the embodiment of his biggest fears—and who may also be his last hope. Melding all-too-plausible science and ripped from- the-headlines horror, Cain’s Blood is a stunning debut about the potential for good and evil in us all.




David Hair

Mage's Blood
Series:  The Moontide Quartet 1
Publisher:  Jo Fletcher Books, September 3, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 704 pages
Price:  $26.95 (print)
ISBN:  978-1-62365-014-8 (print)
Adult Debut

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Most of the time the Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every 12 years the tides sink and the bridge is revealed, its gates open for trade.

The Magi are hell-bent on ruling this new world, and for the last two Moontides they have led armies across the bridge on "crusades of conquest."

Now the third Moontide is almost here, and this time the people of the East are ready for a fight…but it is three seemingly ordinary people that will decide the fate of the world.




Jeff Jackson

Mira Corpora
Publisher:  Two Dollar Radio, September 3, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback, 182 pages
Price:  $16.00 (print)
ISBN:  9781937512132 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Mira Corpora is the debut novel from acclaimed playwright Jeff Jackson, an inspired, dreamlike adventure by a distinctive new talent.

Literary and inventive, but also fast-paced and gripping, Mira Corpora charts the journey of a young runaway. A coming-of-age story for people who hate coming-of-age stories, featuring a colony of outcast children, teenage oracles, amusement parks haunted by gibbons, mysterious cassette tapes, and a reclusive underground rockstar.

With astounding precision, Jackson weaves a moving tale of discovery and self-preservation across a startling, vibrant landscape.




Elliott James

Charming
Series:  Pax Arcana 1
Publisher:  Orbit, September 24, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $15.00 (print)
ISBN:  9780316253390 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
John Charming isn't your average Prince...

He comes from a line of Charmings -- an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is-- until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?




K.B. Laugheed

The Spirit Keeper
Publisher:  Plume, September 24, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $16.00 (print)
ISBN:  9780142180334 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
This is the account of Katie O Toole, late of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, removed from her family by savages on March the 2nd in the year of our Lord 1747

The thirteenth child conceived of miserable Irish exiles, Katie O Toole dreams of a different life. Little does she know that someone far away is dreaming of her.

In 1747, savages raid her family home, and seventeen-year-old Katie is taken captive. Syawa and Hector have been searching for her, guided by Syawa s dreams. A young Holyman, Syawa believes Katie is the subject of his Vision: the Creature of Fire and Ice, destined to bring a great gift to his people. Despite her flaming hair and ice-blue eyes, Katie is certain he is mistaken, but faced with returning to her family, she agrees to join them. She soon discovers that in order to fulfill Syawa s Vision, she must first become his Spirit Keeper, embarking on an epic journey that will change her life and heart forever.




Alison Littlewood

A Cold Season
Publisher:  Jo Fletcher Books, September 24, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
Price:  $24.95 (print)
ISBN:  978-1-62365-022-3 (print)
US Debut

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
A dark and disturbing tale from a bold new voice in horror writing: After the battlefront death of her husband, a soldier, in the sands of the Middle East, a distraught Cass decides to move to the bucolic, picture-perfect village of Darnshaw with her teenaged son. Since Cass’s website design business can be run from anywhere with an internet connection and Ben could benefit from a change of scenery, a move to the highlands village seems like just the thing.

But the locals aren’t as friendly as she had hoped and the internet connection isn’t as reliable as her business requires. And when Ben begins to display a hostility that is completely unlike his usual gentle nature, Cass begins to despair. Finally, the blizzards thunder through and Darnshaw is marooned in a sea of snow.

When things look their blackest, she finds one sympathetic ear in the person of her son’s substitute teacher. But his attentions can’t put to rest her growing anxiety about her son and her business. And soon, she finds herself pitted against dark forces she can barely comprehend. The cold season has begun.




Eric Lundgren

The Facades
Publisher:  Overlook, September 12, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages
Price:  $25.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781468306873 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Along the streets of the once-great Midwestern city of Trude, the ornate old buildings lie in ruin. Shrouded in disappointment and nostalgia, Trude has become a place to "lose yourself," as one tourist brochure puts it: a treacherous maze of convoluted shopping malls, barricaded libraries, and elitist assisted-living homes.

One night at Trude's opera house, the theater's most celebrated mezzo-soprano vanishes during rehearsal. When police come up empty-handed, the star's husband, a disconsolate legal clerk named Sven Norberg, must take up the quest on his own. But to discover the secret of his wife's disappearance, Norberg must descend into Trude's underworld and confront the menacing and bizarre citizens of his hometown: rebellious librarians, shifty music critics, a cop called the Oracle, and the minister of an apocalyptic church who has recruited Norberg's teenage son. Faced with the loss of everything he loves, Norberg follows his investigation to the heart of the city and through the buildings of a possibly insane modernist architect called Bernhard, whose elaborate vision will offer him an astonishing revelation.

Written with boundless intelligence and razor-sharp wit, The Facades is a comic and existential mystery that unfolds at the urgent pace of a thriller.




Kate Maruyama

Harrowgate
Publisher:  47North, September 24, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 286 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781477807651 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Michael should be overjoyed by the birth of his son, but his wife, Sarah, won?t let him touch the baby or allow anyone to visit.

Greta, an intrusive, sinister doula has wormed her way into their lives, driving a wedge between Michael and his family. Every time he leaves the Harrowgate, he returns to find his beloved wife and baby altered. He feels his family slipping away, and as a malevolent force begins to creep in, Michael does what any new father would do?he fights to keep his family together.

Kate Maruyama?s debut novel, Harrowgate, is a chilling, richly detailed story of love, loss, and the haunted place that lies between.




Jaime Lee Moyer

Delia's Shadow
Publisher:  Tor, September 17, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765331823 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.




Peter Rawlik

Reanimators
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, September 3, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 280 pages
Price:  $14.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781597804783 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Two Men. A Bitter Rivalry. And a Quarter-Century of Unspeakable Horrors.

Herbert West’s crimes against nature are well-known to those familiar with the darkest secrets of science and resurrection. Obsessed with finding a cure for mankind’s oldest malady, death itself, he has experimented upon the living and dead, leaving behind a trail of monsters, mayhem, and madness. But the story of his greatest rival has never been told — until now.

Dr. Stuart Hartwell, a colleague and contemporary of West, sets out to destroy him by uncovering the secrets of his terrible experiments, only to become what he initially despised: a reanimator of the dead.

For more than twenty years, the two scientists race each other to master the mysteries of life . . . and unlife. From the grisly battlefields of the Great War to the haunted coasts of Dunwich and Innsmouth, from the halls of fabled Miskatonic University to the sinking of the Titanic, their unholy quests leave their mark upon the world — and create monsters of them both.




V. E. Schwab

Vicious
Publisher:  Tor, September 24, 2013
Format:   Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765335340 (print)
Adult Debut

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.




Luke Scull

The Grim Company
Series:  Grim Company 1
Publisher:  Roc, September 3, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $26.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425264843 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
The Gods are dead. The Magelord Salazar and his magically enhanced troops, the Augmentors, crush any dissent they find in the minds of the populace. On the other side of the Broken Sea, the White Lady plots the liberation of Dorminia, with her spymistresses, the Pale Women. Demons and abominations plague the Highlands.

The world is desperately in need of heroes. But what they get instead are a ragtag band of old warriors, a crippled Halfmage, two orphans and an oddly capable manservant: the Grim Company.




Michael Farris Smith

Rivers
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster, September 10, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
ISBN:  9781451699425 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
It had been raining for weeks. Maybe months. He had forgotten the last day that it hadn’t rained, when the storms gave way to the pale blue of the Gulf sky, when the birds flew and the clouds were white and sunshine glistened across the drenched land.

Following years of catastrophic hurricanes, the Gulf Coast—stretching from the Florida panhandle to the western Louisiana border—has been brought to its knees. The region is so punished and depleted that the government has drawn a new boundary ninety miles north of the coastline. Life below the Line offers no services, no electricity, and no resources, and those who stay behind live by their own rules.

Cohen is one who stayed. Unable to overcome the crushing loss of his wife and unborn child who were killed during an evacuation, he returned home to Mississippi to bury them on family land. Until now he hasn’t had the strength to leave them behind, even to save himself.

But after his home is ransacked and all of his carefully accumulated supplies stolen, Cohen is finally forced from his shelter. On the road north, he encounters a colony of survivors led by a fanatical, snake-handling preacher named Aggie who has dangerous visions of repopulating the barren region.

Realizing what’s in store for the women Aggie is holding against their will, Cohen is faced with a decision: continue to the Line alone, or try to shepherd the madman’s captives across the unforgiving land with the biggest hurricane yet bearing down—and Cohen harboring a secret that may pose the greatest threat of all.

Eerily prophetic in its depiction of a southern landscape ravaged by extreme weather, Rivers is a masterful tale of survival and redemption in a world where the next devastating storm is never far behind.





Mark H. Williams

Sleepless Knights
Publisher:  Atomic Fez Publishing, September 24, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 418 pages
Price:  $15.00
ISBN:  978-1927609019
US Debut

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
It’s not easy being the man behind the myth.

Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table — the person who managed every quest from behind the scenes. He’s a man whose average working day involved defeating witches and banishing werewolves, while ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating ‘brewed’ from ‘stewed.’ What’s more, 1,500 years after that golden age, he’s still doing it — here in the modern world, right under our noses.

When King Arthur and six of his knights are exposed as living among us, Merlin is unleashed and a grim apocalypse unfolds, uncovering secrets from the past that King Arthur would rather stay buried. When Lucas is forced to confront his own peculiar destiny, will he choose to sacrifice his true love and lay down his life in the service of his master?

Sleepless Knights is a tale of high adventure and warm humour, with a spring in its step, a twinkle in its eye and, at its heart, the ultimate butler.





Chris Willrich

The Scroll of Years
Series:  Gaunt and Bone
Publisher:  Pyr, September 24, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 270 pages
Price:  $15.95 (print)
ISBN:  978-1-61614-813-3 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure-complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western-is at hand.



Guest Blog by Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years - August 21, 2013


Please welcome Chris Willrich to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) will be published on September 24, 2013 by Pyr.



Guest Blog by Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years -  August 21, 2013




I'm delighted to be here at The Qwillery to talk about The Scroll of Years. By now, you've had a look at Kerem Beyit's beautiful cover. So, what's the deal with the couple in the picture, and where the heck are they?

Sometimes it's fun to make up imaginary Hollywood-style elevator pitches for stories. As in, "It's like George Lucas retelling a Hans Christian Andersen story! In space!" (If you like the sound of that, go check out Joan D. Vinge's The Snow Queen.) Or, "It's like I Am Legend meets The Road Warrior!" (I may have to write that one, actually.)

My imaginary pitch for The Scroll of Years might be, "Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser run away to the land of Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds." Let me unpack that a little.

Ever since Fritz Leiber coined the term "sword and sorcery" to pin down what made his adventurers Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser so different from the noble heroes of J.R.R. Tolkien, fans of sword and sorcery have been debating how to define this subgenre. But however you slice it, Leiber's fierce Northman and his swashbuckling friend are at the heart of sword and sorcery, busting in and out of Thieves' Guilds, facing down weird magic, and staying one step ahead of their creditors. Leiber specifically identified Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan, as a sword and sorcery author also, and so courageous, lusty barbarian wanderers definitely belong here too.

Sometimes sword and sorcery seems like epic fantasy's old pal from the wrong side of the tracks, always dragging epic fantasy into seedy establishments, playing the music too loud, keeping them both up yakking till dawn. But they do have a lot in common -- plenty of action, quirky characters, exciting locations, memorable bad guys.

What I keep coming back to is personal stakes. Even if kingdoms or worlds stand in the balance, the emotional heart of a sword and sorcery story is with its main characters, and whether they get their gold, or their revenge, or just their hard-earned moment of peace. Epic fantasy characters, by and large, want to do the right thing. Sword and sorcery characters can be persuaded to do the right thing, but the greater good is rarely the first thing on their minds.

When I first started writing magazine stories about the poet Persimmon Gaunt and her formerly-enchanted lover, the thief Imago Bone, I realized the biggest footprints I was following were Leiber's, and therefore what I was building was a sword and sorcery series. And so, the stakes needed to be personal. At first Gaunt and Bone were trying to get rid of a magical, doom-laden book that had helped Bone escape a curse. In the beginning that quest was something of a lark; Gaunt and Bone's deeper motivation was to travel their world's equivalent of Europe and the Mediterranean, and to learn more about each other. In time they discovered the book was a threat to their world, but it was still their own necks they really wanted to save.

Once they accomplished their goal, I realized they would have another plan in mind -- to settle down and raise a family.

Now this might seem beyond the pale for sword and sorcery, but I think it does fit. The stakes are as personal as they can get. But people like Gaunt and Bone make enemies, and it seemed likely they would have trouble finding a haven. They might have to flee to make their dream a reality. They might have to run as far away as they could possibly go.

So, there's half the equation. Where does Bridge of Birds fit in?

While I'm not sure where my longstanding interest in China began, I am sure that Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart's award-winning fantasy of "an ancient China that never was," hit me between the eyes in my impressionable college years. Wonderstruck, I wandered with the dogged Number Ten Ox as he carried around his elderly mentor Master Li, a sage with "a slight flaw in his character." Their convoluted and harrowing quest to save the poisoned children of Ox's village would involve cutthroats, spirits, and gods before reaching its beautiful and bittersweet conclusion. It's likely this book had something to do with my two quarters of Mandarin (it didn't stick, alas) and the elective classes I took on Chinese arts and culture. I remember toying with the idea of writing a China-inspired fantasy setting, but like many such ideas it stayed on the back burner for years.

As fate would have it, however, my wife is of Chinese descent on her mother's side, and so in a quite different way I became newly acquainted with Chinese culture. Most of this information I owe to my late mother-in-law. She emigrated from China after World War Two, as the civil war resumed between the nationalists and the communists. She shared stories of hiding out from Japanese bombers, and of moving to Hong Kong and then the U.S. after her mother and grandmother were killed traveling a mined river. And she would reach further back, describing how it was to be a tomboy of a girl in a much more traditional time and place. She also shared tales she'd heard as a child. Some were purely legends; others were family history. Sometimes legend and history blurred together, but she reported it as she'd heard it. Absorbed by the storytelling, I wrote some of it down. I'm grateful to have heard these tales. I wish I'd written down more.

Now, the place Gaunt and Bone flee to in their search for sanctuary, Qiangguo, the land of walls, is not of course the China of my mother-in-law's stories, nor the China of my reading, nor even Barry Hughart's China. For better or worse it's my own concoction, with a bunch of things thrown into the pot -- fact, fantasy, pulp fiction, philosophy, wuxia movies. Sometimes fusion experiments work well, sometimes not. But I found that throwing a pair of sword-and-sorcery rogues, and the assassins on their trail, into a China-inspired setting resulted in something I had a lot of fun writing. So much so that it grew beyond the bounds of a magazine story, and became Gaunt and Bone's (and my own) first foray into novels.

If the elevator pitch intrigued you, I hope you'll be persuaded to pull up a chair and join them.

Reference:

"The Demarcation of Sword and Sorcery," by Joseph A. McCullough V. Retrieved from the Black Gate magazine website on August 19, 2013.
http://www.blackgate.com/the-demarcation-of-sword-and-sorcery/






The Scroll of Years

The Scroll of Years
A Gaunt and Bone Novel
Pyr, September 24, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 270 pages

Guest Blog by Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years -  August 21, 2013
It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure-complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western-is at hand.

Cover Illustration © Kerem Beyit





About Chris

Guest Blog by Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years -  August 21, 2013

Photo by Richard McCowen


Chris Willrich (Mountain View, CA) is a science fiction and fantasy writer best known for his sword-and-sorcery tales of Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone. Until recently he was a children's librarian for the Santa Clara County Library System, in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has appeared in Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Black Gate, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Flashing Swords, The Mythic Circle, and Strange Horizons.


Website  ~  Twitter @WillrichChris  ~  Facebook


2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - Chris Willrich and The Scroll of Years - August 6, 2013



2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - Chris Willrich and The Scroll of Years - August 6, 2013


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.



Chris Willrich

The Scroll of Years
Gaunt and Bone 1
Pyr, September 10, 2013 
Trade Paperback and eBook, 270 pages

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - Chris Willrich and The Scroll of Years - August 6, 2013
It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure-complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western-is at hand.




Cover Illustration © Kerem Beyit.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 11Interview with Chris Willrich, author of The Silk Map and The Scroll of Years, and Giveaway - May 16, 2014What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9The View From Monday - September 23, 2013Interview with Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years (A Gaunt and Bone Novel) - September 11, 2013The View From Monday - September 9, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge - September DebutsGuest Blog by Chris Willrich, author of The Scroll of Years -  August 21, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Update - Chris Willrich and The Scroll of Years - August 6, 2013

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×