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Interview with Stephen Blackmoore


Please welcome Stephen Blackmoore to The Qwillery. Fire Season, the 4th Eric Carter novel, was published on April 16, 2019 by DAW. 

I adore Eric Carter - he's snarky, reckless, a bit crazy, and my favorite anti-hero. I don't expect him to be the good guy though he often ends up that way by accident. He's really conflicted and flawed, which makes him more emotionally believable. Fire Season is the most intricate of the Eric Carter novels (so far). More is revealed about Eric's family and there are plenty of surprises. Blackmoore once again delivers a high-octane thrill ride of mayhem, magic and murder and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I highly recommend Fire Season and the Eric Carter series!



Interview with Stephen Blackmoore




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, Fire Season (Eric Carter 4), was published in April. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote City of the Lost (2012) to Fire Season?

Stephen:  I think so. It's gotten, I can't think of another word for it, sloppier. CITY OF THE LOST felt like I just threw it together. In fact I did just throw it together. I had no idea how it was going to go. Pantsed the whole thing.

But with DEAD THINGS I outlined. Not one or two pages, or notes in a whiteboard. No, I made a 30 page outline and whenever I shifted a direction, I would go back and shift the outline to see if the change was going to break the story.

Then I wrote a three pager for BROKEN SOULS and that was enough.

HUNGRY GHOSTS was a Notepad file with sentence fragments and a white board with half a dozen bullet points.

FIRE SEASON I didn't even have that much. I had a couple of ideas, a few bits of scenes and lines of dialog, kind of the direction I knew it was going to go, and that there was going to be a lot of fire in it.

The one I turned in a few months ago and the one I'm working on now are pretty much the same way, only less organized.



TQWhich character in the Eric Carter series (so far) surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

Stephen:  For both of those questions, it's Santa Muerte. In HUNGRY GHOSTS Eric tries to kill the folk saint Santa Muerte, who's also the Aztec goddess of the dead, Mictecacihuatl, who he's had problems with since book one. He's doing this while trying to protect her avatar, a woman named Tabitha Cheung who he's come to have complicated feelings about.

Well, he fucks that up. And though Santa Muerte is destroyed, Tabitha goes along with her in a way that (SPOILER ALERT BUT MAYBE NOT REALLY) something new is created in her stead. It's an amalgam of Santa Muerte and Tabitha, which makes things even more complicated for Eric. The thing he despises and the person that maybe he has a thing for, and he really doesn't know what to do with it.

And honestly, neither does she.



TQDescribe Fire Season using only 5 words.

Stephen:  Angry gods necromancy big fire.



TQTell us something about Fire Season that is not in the book description.

Stephen:  I kill a lot more people in the book than I thought I was going to. Like a lot more. I really crank up the death count and the Holy Shit Did That Horrible Thing Just Happen up to eleven.



TQPlease tell us about Quetzalcoatl who appears to be after Eric Carter in Fire Season.

Stephen:  He's an asshole. He's betrayed the other Aztec gods (no one's quite sure why - but there's a bit of a resolution on that in FIRE SEASON) and helped the Spanish kill all but two of them, and in that final fight he was almost destroyed. He's weak, but he's still a god. He's driven, single-minded, and like everyone else has a hidden agenda.



TQWhich question about Fire Season do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Stephen:  "Can I give you a truckload of money to make this into a TV series?" The answer is, of course, "Yes."



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Fire Season.

Stephen

"I tried idealism once. Gave me a rash."

"That's the problem with coke. It makes everything sound like a great idea. If at all possible, never make plans on coke."



TQWhat's next?

Stephen:  The next book in the series, GHOST MONEY, comes out in January. After that is BOTTLE DEMON, which I'm working on now. Besides that I've got another couple of things I'm working toward that may or may not pan out, so we'll see.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Stephen:  Thanks for the opportunity to talk about the book!





Fire Season
Eric Carter 4
DAW, April 16, 2019
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore
The fourth book of this dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

Los Angeles is burning.

During one of the hottest summers the city has ever seen, someone is murdering mages with fires that burn when they shouldn’t, that don’t stop when they should. Necromancer Eric Carter is being framed for the killings and hunted by his own people.

To Carter, everything points to the god Quetzalcoatl coming after him, after he defied the mad wind god in the Aztec land of the dead. But too many things aren’t adding up, and Carter knows there’s more going on.

If he doesn’t figure out what it is and put a stop to it fast, Quetzalcoatl won’t just kill him, he’ll burn the whole damn city down with him.





Previously

Dead Things
Eric Carter 1
DAW, February 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore
Stephen Blackmoore’s dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it’s a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left LA fifteen years ago, he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter’s going to find out who did it, and he’s going to make them pay.

As long as they don’t kill him first.



Broken Souls
Eric Carter 2
DAW, August 5, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore
Stephen Blackmoore’s dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte. Necromancer Eric Carter’s return to Los Angeles hasn’t gone well, and it’s about to get even worse.

His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. He’s starting to question his own sanity, wonder if he’s losing his mind. No mean feat for a guy who talks to the dead on a regular basis.

While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers, and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but this guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. He can be anyone. He can be anywhere.

Now Carter has to change the game — go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or the manifestation of Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break.

Everything is trying to kill him. Nothing is as it seems. If all his plans go perfectly, he might survive the week.

He’s hoping that’s a good thing.



Hungry Ghosts
Eric Carter 3
DAW, February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore
Stephen Blackmoore’s dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

Necromancer Eric Carter’s problems keep getting bigger. Bad enough he’s the unwilling husband to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte, but now her ex, the Aztec King of the dead, Mictlantecuhtli, has come back — and it turns out that Carter and he are swapping places. As Mictlantecuhtli breaks loose of his prison of jade, Carter is slowly turning to stone.

To make matters worse, both gods are trying to get Carter to assassinate the other. But only one of them can be telling him the truth and he can’t trust either one. Carter’s solution? Kill them both.

If he wants to get out of this situation with his soul intact, he’ll have to go to Mictlan, the Aztec land of the dead, and take down a couple of death gods while facing down the worst trials the place has to offer him: his own sins.





About Stephen

Interview with Stephen Blackmoore
Stephen Blackmoore is a pulp writer of little to no renown who once thought lighting things on fire was one of the best things a kid could do with his time. Until he discovered that eyebrows don't grow back very quickly. He is the author of the urban fantasy novels CITY OF THE LOST, DEAD THINGS, BROKEN SOULS, HUNGRY GHOSTS, and FIRE SEASON. His short stories and poetry have appeared in Plots With Guns, Needle, Spinetingler, Thrilling Detective, Shots, Demolition, Clean Sheets , Flashing In The Gutters and a couple of anthologies with authors far better than he is. You can even stalk him on Twitter (@sblackmoore) or check out his website at http://stephenblackmoore.com.




Review: Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore - and Giveaway


Hungry Ghosts
Eric Carter 3
DAW, February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Review: Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore - and Giveaway
Stephen Blackmoore’s dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts • “Gritty, emotional and phenomenally imaginative.” RT Reviews

Necromancer Eric Carter’s problems keep getting bigger. Bad enough he’s the unwilling husband to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte, but now her ex, the Aztec King of the dead, Mictlantecuhtli, has come back — and it turns out that Carter and he are swapping places. As Mictlantecuhtli breaks loose of his prison of jade, Carter is slowly turning to stone.

To make matters worse, both gods are trying to get Carter to assassinate the other. But only one of them can be telling him the truth and he can’t trust either one. Carter’s solution? Kill them both.

If he wants to get out of this situation with his soul intact, he’ll have to go to Mictlan, the Aztec land of the dead, and take down a couple of death gods while facing down the worst trials the place has to offer him: his own sins.



Qwill's Thoughts

Hungry Ghosts is the third novel in the Eric Carter series by Stephen Blackmoore. Married to Santa Muerte, necromancer Carter is out to kill her and Mictlantecuhtli - the Aztec King of the Dead and Santa Muerte's ex-husband. Carter has a particular need to dispatch Mictlantecuhtli - they are swapping places with Carter becoming a more and more a jade statue when he uses the god's power and Mictlantecuhtli becoming flesh again. To achieve his ends, Carter goes on a hunt for Santa Muerte's avatar in the real world and then to Mictlan, the Aztec land of the dead. On top of all this at least one other Aztec god has issues with Carter which is part of an ancient feud between those gods. Carter is juggling a lot in Hungry Ghosts and the opportunities for him to die are more numerous than ever.

Carter's approach to trouble is generally to take down whatever is in his way. It's worked for him so far more or less so why change? Carter is snarky, a bit crazy, and spends most of his time in a very dark place mentally. He's also extremely resourceful. He's been responsible for a lot of death and destruction to those close to him and many others. In Hungry Ghosts he becomes less sure of his burn it all down approach and for the first time in the series is facing up to events in his life with a bit of introspection. Trying to stay alive, fighting monsters (human and otherwise) does not leave a lot of time for this, but Carter's journey through Mictlan is both real and metaphorical.

Blackmoore brings Mictlan vividly to life and provides fascinating information about Aztec mythology and history. This is all vital to the events unfolding in Hungry Ghosts and serves to deepen the story. In order to stay alive Carter needs to understand what is going on in Mictlan and with the gods.

Hungry Ghosts is a dark, action-packed thrill ride and is Blackmoore's best writing so far. It's full of rich detail and exceptional character development wrapped in a great story. I'm truly looking forward to the next three Eric Carter novels.





The Giveaway

Review: Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore - and Giveaway

What:  Mass Market Paperback copies of Dead Things, Broken Souls and Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore. US / Canada Only

How:
  • Send an email to theqwillery . contests @ gmail.com [remove the spaces]
  • In the subject line, enter “Eric Carter Novels“
  • In the body of the email, please provide your name and full mailing address. The winning address is used only to mail the prize and is provided to the publisher and/or The Qwillery only for that purpose. All other address information will be deleted once the giveaway ends.

Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on February 14, 2017. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*





Previously

Dead Things
Eric Carter 1
DAW, February 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Review: Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore - and Giveaway
The first book in Stephen Blackmoore’s dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts • “Gritty, emotional and phenomenally imaginative.” RT Reviews

Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it’s a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left LA fifteen years ago, he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter’s going to find out who did it, and he’s going to make them pay.

As long as they don’t kill him first.



Broken Souls
Eric Carter 2
DAW, August 5, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

Review: Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore - and Giveaway
The second book in Stephen Blackmoore’s dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts • “Gritty, emotional and phenomenally imaginative.” RT Reviews

Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte. Necromancer Eric Carter’s return to Los Angeles hasn’t gone well, and it’s about to get even worse.

His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. He’s starting to question his own sanity, wonder if he’s losing his mind. No mean feat for a guy who talks to the dead on a regular basis.

While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers, and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but this guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. He can be anyone. He can be anywhere.

Now Carter has to change the game — go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or the manifestation of Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break.

Everything is trying to kill him. Nothing is as it seems. If all his plans go perfectly, he might survive the week.

He’s hoping that’s a good thing.

Guest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013

Please welcome Stephen Blackmoore to The Qwillery. Stephen is the author of City of the Lost (review here) and the upcoming Dead Things (Necromancer 1), which will be published on February 5, 2013 by DAW.



Guest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013




The Same River Twice

You can't go home again. None of us can.

There's a quote by Heraclitus on the ever changing nature of the universe. "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man." But he said it in Greek so it probably sounded cooler.

We grow, we change and the world changes with us. We make choices for good or ill, we move forward and leave things, people, places behind. We deal with the consequences. Sometimes it's the other way around.

For all its urban fantasy trappings, that's what my novel DEAD THINGS is about. In it the protagonist, necromancer Eric Carter, a rare breed of mage in a world where magic is kept hidden from the "normals" as much as possible, left his life in Los Angeles behind to protect the people he loved. When he's forced to return the people he left have moved on without him.

It's an old story, but so often it feels like a cop out to me. The Prodigal Son returns and everyone celebrates his wasted life. He doesn't have to atone beyond, "Sorry. My bad." At least he's back in the fold, right? He's repented, returned into the traditions of his family where everybody wants him to be. He's learned the age old lesson: Don't step out of line. No harm, no foul. All is right with the world.

In real life all is not right in the world. Our choices leave a mark. There are ramifications to the things we do.

Eric Carter is not the Prodigal Son. No one celebrates his return. No one wants him back. Least of all himself. He's sure as shit not going to toe the line. His return causes more problems than it solves, casts a light on the things he's done, the person he's become. The damage he caused by leaving in the first place, the damage he causes by trying to fix it.

He's stuck with those choices, just like we all are.

And like all of us he has to struggle to figure out if maybe they were the right choices all along.




Dead Things

Dead Things
Necromancer 1
DAW, February 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
Guest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013
Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it's a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He's turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left LA fifteen years ago, he thought he'd never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister's been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it's the patrion saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who's taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter's going to find out who did it, and he's going to make them pay.

As long as they don't kill him first.



City of the Lost

City of the Lost
DAW Trade, January 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages
Cover and illustrations by Sean Philips

Guest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013
Joe Sunday’s dead.

He just hasn’t stopped moving yet.

Sunday’s a thug, an enforcer, a leg-breaker for hire. When his boss sends him to kill a mysterious new business partner, his target strikes back in ways Sunday could never have imagined. Murdered, brought back to a twisted half-life, Sunday finds himself stuck in the middle of a race to find an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality. With it, he might live forever. Without it, he’s just another rotting extra in a George Romero flick.

Everyone’s got a stake, from a psycho Nazi wizard and a razor-toothed midget, to a nympho-demon bartender, a too-powerful witch who just wants to help her homeless vampires, and the one woman who might have all the answers — if only Sunday can figure out what her angle is.

Before the week is out he’s going to find out just what lengths people will go to for immortality. And just how long somebody can hold a grudge.





About Stephen

Guest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013
Stephen Blackmoore is the author of the novels CITY OF THE LOST and DEAD THINGS and his short stories have appeared in publications such as PLOTS WITH GUNS, SPINETINGLER, THRILLING DETECTIVE, and SHOTS as well as the print anthologies DEADLY TREATS, DON'T READ THIS BOOK and UNCAGE ME. He is an editor for the print magazine NEEDLE: A MAGAZINE OF NOIR and the co-host of the bi-monthly Los Angeles literary event NOIR AT THE BAR (https://www.facebook.com/NoirAtTheBarLa). He has also written essays on Los Angeles politics and crime for the website LAVOICE.ORG (http://lavoice.org) and the true crime blog LA Noir (http://la-noir.blogspot.com).


Website  :  Blog  :  Twitter  :  Goodreads








The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Dead Things from Stephen Blackmoore. US/CANADA ONLY

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question:  

You have powers! What are they?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
 
Interview with Stephen BlackmooreReview: Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore - and GiveawayInterview with Stephen Blackmoore, plus a Review and Giveaway of Broken Souls - August 5th, 20142013 - Qwill's Favorite NovelsGuest Blog by Stephen Blackmoore - The Same River Twice - February 3, 2013

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