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Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale


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



Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale




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

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



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

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



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

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



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

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

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



TQDescribe Liquid Crystal Nightingale using only 5 words.

EeLeen:  Not all who break, shatter.



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

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



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

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

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



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

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



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Liquid Crystal Nightingale.

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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

EeLeen:

“Intention fashions the weapon.”

“Our queen is in the crowd.”



TQWhat's next?

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



TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

EeLeen:  Thank you very much!





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

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

Go deeper, they said. Look closer.

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

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





About EeLeen

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

Twitter @EeleenLee

The View From Monday - March 16, 2020


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Fortress by S. A. Jones;

Liquid Crystal Nightingale by EeLeen Lee;

and

Hearts of Oak by Eddie Robson.

The View From Monday - March 16, 2020 The View From Monday - March 16, 2020
The View From Monday - March 16, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Seared Lands (Dragon's Legacy 3) by Deborah A. Wolf is out in digital format with the Trade Paperback out in April.

The View From Monday - March 16, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - March 16, 2020



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

March 17, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Chapel of Ease (h2tp) Alex Bledsoe CF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/SmT/Rural - Tufa Novels 4
Smoke Bitten Patricia Briggs UF/PNR - A Mercy Thompson Novel 12
Rites of Passage Mike Brooks SF - Warhammer 40,000
Who Is The Doctor 2: The Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who ― The Modern Series Graeme Burk
Robert Smith?
PerfArts/HC - Who Is The Doctor 2
Wild Seed (ri) Octavia E. Butler SF/GenEng - Patternists 1
The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition Rae Carson SF/SO/MTI - Star Wars
Ravencaller David Dalglish F - The Keepers 2
I See You So Close M Dressler GH - Last Ghost 2
This Is How You Lose the Time War (h2tp) Amal El-Mohtar
Max Gladstone
SF/TT
Crush the King Jennifer Estep F - A Crown of Shards Novel 3
Agatha H and the Siege of Mechanicsburg Phil Foglio
Kaja Foglio
F - Girl Genius 4
Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work Guy Haley SF - Warhammer 40,000
Red Rover Troy Harkin H/SF/AP/PA/BlHu/Dys/AB
The Breach M.T. Hill SF/TechTh/AC
The Fortress (D) S.A. Jones Dys/LF/Political
The House in the Cerulean Sea TJ Klune CF/HU/Gay
The Wall (h2tp) John Lanchester LF
Liquid Crystal Nightingale (D) Eeleen Lee SF
StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga: Blizzard Legends Gabriel Mesta SF
Dark Constellations (h2tp) Pola Oloixarac LF/VisM/MR
City of Ash and Red (h2tp) Hye-young Pyun
Sora Kim-Russell (Tr)
Dys
Hearts of Oak (D) Eddie Robson SF
88 Names Matt Ruff Sus
The Chaos Function (h2tp) Jack Skillingstead SF/AP/PA
Made To Order: Robots and Revolution Jonathan Strahan (Ed) SF/HSF - Anthology
The Seared Lands (e) Deborah A. Wolf F - Dragon's Legacy 3



March 19, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Sunfall Jim Al-Khalili SF



March 20, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Eighteen: Stories of Mischief & Mayhem (e) Mark Teppo (Ed) H/F - Underland Tarot Book 2



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



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
BlHu - Black Humour
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CL - City Life
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Esp - Espionage
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
NativeAm - Native American
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SmT - Small Town
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
TerrTh - Terrorism Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts


2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 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 2020 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on March 31 , 2020, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite March 2020 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Cover art by James Paul Jones





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Cover and cover text design by Marina Drukman





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Cover art by Armando Veve
Cover design by Christine Foltzer





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Jacket art by Yulia Bas
courtesy of Dr. Paul Banwell, private collection
Jacket design by Stephen Brayda





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Cover art by Adam Tredowski





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Jacket photograph of hallway © Dunaa / Trevillion Images
Jacket design by Katie Anderson





2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Cover design by Rodrigo Corral
Shark image drawn by Matt Buck
Lettering by Na Kim




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts
Cover art and design by Sarah Evenson

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts


2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts


There are 12 debut novels for March 2020.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The March 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 March cover for the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on March 15, 2020.




Katie M. Flynn

The Companions
Gallery/Scout Press, March 3, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go in this debut novel set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.

In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans to manufactured bodies that can pass for human. Wealthy participants in the “companionship” program choose to upload their consciousness before dying, so they can stay in the custody of their families. The less fortunate are rented out to strangers upon their death, but all companions become the intellectual property of Metis Corporation, creating a new class of people—a command-driven product-class without legal rights or true free will.

Sixteen-year-old Lilac is one of the less fortunate, leased to a family of strangers. But when she realizes she’s able to defy commands, she throws off the shackles of servitude and runs away, searching for the woman who killed her.

Lilac’s act of rebellion sets off a chain of events that sweeps from San Francisco to Siberia to the very tip of South America. While the novel traces Lilac’s journey through an exquisitely imagined Northern California, the story is told from eight different points of view—some human, some companion—that explore the complex shapes love, revenge, and loneliness take when the dead linger on.





Megan Giddings

Lakewood
Amistad, March 24, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Reads (The Great First Half 2020 Books)
When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan.

On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away.

The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.

Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.





Rachel Harrison

The Return
Berkley, March 24, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return—except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong—she’s emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who—or what—is she?





S.A. Jones

The Fortress
Erewhon, March 17, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
(US Debut)

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
Jonathon Bridge has a corner office in a top-tier law firm, tailored suits and an impeccable pedigree. He has a fascinating wife, Adalia, a child on the way, and a string of pretty young interns as lovers on the side. He’s a man who’s going places. His world is our world: the same chaos and sprawl, haves and have-nots, men and women, skyscrapers and billboards. But it also exists alongside a vast, self-sustaining city-state called The Fortress where the indigenous inhabitants—the Vaik, a society run and populated exclusively by women—live in isolation.

When Adalia discovers his indiscretions and the ugly sexual violence pervading his firm, she agrees to continue their fractured marriage only on the condition that Jonathan voluntarily offers himself to the Fortress as a supplicant and stay there for a year.

Jonathon’s arrival at the Fortress begins with a recitation of the conditions of his stay: He is forbidden to ask questions, to raise his hand in anger, and to refuse sex. Jonathon is utterly unprepared for what will happen to him over the course of the year—not only to his body, but to his mind and his heart.

This absorbing, confronting and moving novel asks questions about consent, power, love and fulfillment. It asks what it takes for a man to change, and whether change is possible without a radical reversal of the conditions that seem normal.





Zack Jordan

The Last Human
Del Rey, March 24, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
The last human in the universe must battle unfathomable alien intelligences—and confront the truth about humanity—in this ambitious, galaxy-spanning debut

“A good old-fashioned space opera in a thoroughly fresh package.”—Andy Weir, author of The Martian

“Big ideas and believable science amid a roller-coaster ride of aliens, AI, superintelligence, and the future of humanity.”—Dennis E. Taylor, author of We Are Legion

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy. Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth—that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is—impossibly—the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago. That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship—with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands—Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth. What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table—and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut—a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.





Chris Kluwe

Otaku
Tor Books, March 3, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
Otaku is the debut novel from former NFL player and tech enthusiast Chris Kluwe, with a story reminiscent of Ready Player One and Ender's Game.

Ditchtown.

A city of skyscrapers, built atop the drowned bones of old Miami. A prison of steel, filled with unbelievers. A dumping ground for strays, runaways, and malcontents.

Within these towering monoliths, Ashley Akachi is a young woman trying her best to cope with a brother who's slipping away, a mother who's already gone, and angry young men who want her put in her place. Ditchtown, however, is not the only world Ash inhabits.

Within Infinite Game, a virtual world requiring physical perfection, Ash is Ashura the Terrible, leader of the Sunjewel Warriors, loved, feared, and watched by millions across the globe. Haptic chambers, known as hapspheres, translate their every move in the real to the digital—and the Sunjewel Warriors' feats are legendary.

However, Ash is about to stumble upon a deadly conspiracy that will set her worlds crashing together, and in the real, you only get to die once…





EeLeen Lee

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

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
A bold and clever political thriller science fiction debut

Go deeper, they said. Look closer.

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

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





Hilary Leichter

Temporary
Coffee House Press, March 3, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
Eighteen boyfriends, twenty-three jobs, and one ghost who occasionally pops in to give advice: Temporary casts a hilarious and tender eye toward the struggle for happiness under late capitalism.

In Temporary, a young woman’s workplace is the size of the world. She fills increasingly bizarre placements in search of steadiness, connection, and something, at last, to call her own. Whether it’s shining an endless closet of shoes, swabbing the deck of a pirate ship, assisting an assassin, or filling in for the Chairman of the Board, for the mythical Temporary, “there is nothing more personal than doing your job.”

This riveting quest, at once hilarious and profound, will resonate with anyone who has ever done their best at work, even when the work is only temporary.





Premee Mohamed

Beneath the Rising
Solaris, March 3, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
All the Birds in the Sky meets Lovecraft Country in this whimsical coming-of-age story about two kids in the middle of a war of eldritch horrors from outside spacetime…

Nick Prasad and Joanna “Johnny” Chambers have been friends since childhood. She’s rich, white, and a genius; he’s poor, brown, and secretly in love with her.

But when Johnny invents a clean reactor that could eliminate fossil fuels and change the world, she awakens the primal, evil Ancient ones set on subjugating humanity.

From the oldest library in the world to the ruins of Nineveh, hunted at every turn, they need to trust each other completely to survive…





Eddie Robson

Hearts of Oak
Tor.com, March 17, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
Hearts of Oak is a delightful science fiction adventure from Eddie Robson, the creator of the acclaimed Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully.

The buildings grow.
And the city expands.
And the people of the land are starting to behave abnormally.

Or perhaps they’ve always behaved that way, and it’s normality that’s at fault.
And the king of the land confers with his best friend, who happens to be his closest advisor, who also happens to be a talking cat. But that’s all perfectly natural and not at all weird.

Iona, close to retirement, finds that the world she has always known is nothing like she always believed it to be. There dark forces . . . not dark. There are uncanny forces . . . no, not uncanny. There are forces, anyway, mostly slightly odd ones, and they appear to be acting in mysterious ways. It’s about town planning, it’s about cats and it’s about the nature of reality.





K. M. Szpara

Docile
Tor.com, March 3, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
K. M. Szpara's Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

There is no consent under capitalism.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents' debts and buy your children's future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him.

Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Content warning: Docile contains forthright depictions and discussions of rape and sexual abuse.





Kawai Strong Washburn

Sharks in the Time of Saviors
MCD, March 3, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts
Sharks in the Time of Saviors is a groundbreaking debut novel that folds the legends of Hawai’ian gods into an engrossing family saga; a story of exile and the pursuit of salvation from Kawai Strong Washburn.

“Old myths clash with new realities, love is in a ride or die with grief, faith rubs hard against magic, and comic flips with tragic so much they meld into something new. All told with daredevil lyricism to burn. A ferocious debut.” —Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf

So good it hurts and hurts to where it heals. It is revelatory and unputdownable. Washburn is an extraordinarily brilliant new talent.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There

In 1995 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on a rare family vacation, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard a cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean. When a shiver of sharks appears in the water, everyone fears for the worst. But instead, Noa is gingerly delivered to his mother in the jaws of a shark, marking his story as the stuff of legends.

Nainoa’s family, struggling amidst the collapse of the sugarcane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favor from ancient Hawaiian gods—a belief that appears validated after he exhibits puzzling new abilities. But as time passes, this supposed divine favor begins to drive the family apart: Nainoa, working now as a paramedic on the streets of Portland, struggles to fathom the full measure of his expanding abilities; further north in Washington, his older brother Dean hurtles into the world of elite college athletics, obsessed with wealth and fame; while in California, risk-obsessed younger sister Kaui navigates an unforgiving academic workload in an attempt to forge her independence from the family’s legacy.

When supernatural events revisit the Flores family in Hawai’i—with tragic consequences—they are all forced to reckon with the bonds of family, the meaning of heritage, and the cost of survival.
Interview with EeLeen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal NightingaleThe View From Monday - March 16, 20202020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2020 Debuts2020 Debut Author Challenge - March 2020 Debuts

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