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Interview with Gary Whitta, author of Abomination - July 22, 2015


Please welcome Gary Whitta to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Abomination will published on July 29th by Inkshares.



Interview with Gary Whitta, author of Abomination - July 22, 2015




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

Gary:  Around 1989 when I was 16-17 years old. I grew up in England but was very much a product of the American sci-fi and fantasy scene, growing on Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, all the greats. Writing was pretty much the only subject at school I ever had any interest in or showed much aptitude for, I’d write little short stories and comics to amuse myself. The Star Wars films and the movie Time Bandits had had a huge impact on me as a kid, sparking my imagination and my desire to try to create things like that for myself. I started writing my first movie scripts after I saw Die Hard and was inspired to write my own version of it - which, to be fair, everyone else in Hollywood was also doing at that time. My version was basically Die Hard in the future, on a spaceship, with robots. It was pretty bad.



TQAre you a plotter or a pantser or hybrid? What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Gary:  Now I’m a hybrid, but I passed through both of those others to get there. When I was younger I was so impatient to get stuff down on the page that I’d dive in with practically no planning at all and as a result I’d inevitably write myself into corners or wind up with stories that were very flat because I hadn’t done the prep work necessary to give them dimension. So having tried both extremes I’ve wound up somewhere in between. I do outline and create other prep documents before I start actually writing, but I don’t like to write story documents that are too detailed because I find it leaves very little room for discovery in the actual writing process, which is the most fun part. All I need is a backbone, a basic throughline so I don’t lose my way, and I’ll figure out the rest as I write. With Abomination I wrote almost nothing in preparation, but it’s a really simple story and I felt like I knew the characters well enough that I could write it without having to do too much planning.



TQYou are screenwriter, a writer and story consultant on Telltale Games' interactive The Walking Dead adaption, as well as a writer on Lucasfilm's new generation of Star Wars projects. How does this affect or not your novel writing?

Gary:  Novel writing has been a very different experience than anything I’ve done before. My first language is screenwriting, I grew up loving film and that’s now become my day job, the form in which I am most fluent. But it’s also a very restrictive form in many ways, simply because of the realities of the movie business, your story often has to fit into a familiar, comfortable box or it’s unlikely to ever see the light of day. I got very lucky with The Book of Eli in that regard. I never ever realistically expected that film to get made, given that it’s extremely violent, deals with religious themes and breaks a lot of the traditional screenwriting “rules”. So that was very satisfying but I consider that an outlier and not something I could repeat over and over. Abomination also does a lot of things that might not seem like a great fit for a movie script so I decided to write it a novel as a way of bypassing a lot of those concerns. I could write it and know that when I was done I would have the finished product, not just the speculative blueprint for an eventual finished product, which is what a screenplay is.



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

Gary:  Growing up it was primarily Roald Dahl, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Spike Milligan, all the British greats. Later in life I have become a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut, I think he’s currently tied with Douglas Adams as my all-time favorite. I actually had no idea until a few years that Vonnegut wrote so much sci-fi, and I’ve been devouring it ever since.


TQDescribe Abomination in 140 characters or less.

Gary:  It’s a mix of history and fantasy, tossing magic and monsters into the time of Alfred the Great. Kind of a medieval version of The Wolfman.



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

Gary:  In some ways it’s a story about family and I think the writing of it was heavily influenced by the fact that I got married and become a dad during that time. I wrote it on and off, between paying gigs, over the course of a few years, and I think you can maybe see the changes that I went through in my life in the writing. I grew up a lot.



TQWhat inspired you to write Abomination? What appealed to you about writing Fantasy?

Gary:  I’ve always loved fantasy. Star Wars is a fantasy, just one that happens to take place in outer space. World-building is one of the most fun things we can do as writers, so the opportunity to come up with all kinds of crazy stuff from pure imagination, magic and monsters and the rules of an entire world was too good to pass up. And I think Abomination is maybe a little different from a lot of fantasy books in that it’s not set in some imaginary kingdom, but at a real time and place in history. So it was really interesting to take that real-world setting and imbue it with the fantastical. Hopefully it makes those more fantastical elements feel more grounded and real, because they’re taking place in a real historical context.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Abomination?

Gary:  I read a lot of stuff about the time period and learned a lot of really incredible stuff. The Dark Ages are an absolutely fascinating and in many ways terrifying period in our ancient history, you hardly need the fantasy elements to tell a great story there. I was fascinated to learn about the full extent of the Viking invasions of England during that period, how Alfred was only able to save England from total invasion by agreeing to cede vast tracts of English soil to the invaders after he had finally defeated them in battle. For a long time pretty much the entire Eastern half of England was official Viking territory. We had a map drawn up for the front of the book — actually done by the same guy who does the official Game of Thrones maps for George RR Martin — and it’s really interesting to look at because you recognize the shape of the country as England, but the way it’s divided up between the English kingdoms and the Viking “Danelaw” almost looks like something out of a fantasy story.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Gary:  I don’t know if any one character was “easier" to write than another. I think overall the one I enjoyed writing the most was Indra, the female protagonist. I think she’s a proper “strong female hero” in the sense that I believe the strongest characters are forged by weighing them down with the greatest number of flaws and weaknesses possible, and then showing how the strength of their inner character allows them to overcome them. Indra is deeply troubled in many ways. She’s angry, she’s a liar, she’s possibly doing what she’s doing for all the wrong reasons, but underneath it all there’s a very warm human soul that hopefully the story allows her to discover.



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

Gary:

Q: Where can I buy a copy immediately?
A: It’s available at Amazon, Inkshares, Barnes & Noble, and wherever good books are sold!



TQWhat's next?

Gary:  Currently I’m working on the upcoming season of the TV series Star Wars Rebels and finishing up a feature adaptation of the Mark Miller graphic novel Starlight for 20th Century Fox. I have a comic-book coming out next year from Image Comics called Oliver, which is kind of a gnarly post-apocalyptic steampunk adaptation of Oliver Twist.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Abomination
Inkshares, July 29, 2015
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Gary Whitta, author of Abomination - July 22, 2015
He is England's greatest knight, the man who saved the life of Alfred the Great and an entire kingdom from a Viking invasion. But when he is called back into service to combat a plague of monstrous beasts known as abominations, he meets a fate worse than death and is condemned to a life of anguish, solitude, and remorse.

She is a fierce young warrior, raised among an elite order of knights. Driven by a dark secret from her past, she defies her controlling father and sets out on a dangerous quest to do what none before her ever have―hunt down and kill an abomination, alone.

When a chance encounter sets these two against one another, an incredible twist of fate will lead them toward a salvation they never thought possible―and prove that the power of love, mercy, and forgiveness can shine a hopeful light even in history’s darkest age.





About Gary

Interview with Gary Whitta, author of Abomination - July 22, 2015
Gary Whitta's BIo: Gary Whitta is an award-winning screenwriter best known for the postapocalyptic thriller The Book of Eli. He was also a writer and story consultant on Telltale Games’ interactive adaptation of The Walking Dead, for which he was the co-recipient of a BAFTA award. Most recently he served as a writer on Lucasfilm’s new generation of Star Wars projects for film and television. Abomination is his first novel.


Website  ~  Twitter @garywhitta  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Abomination by Gary Whitta


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Abomination by Gary Whitta


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.


Gary Whitta

Abomination
Inkshares, July 29, 2015
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Abomination by Gary Whitta
He is England's greatest knight, the man who saved the life of Alfred the Great and an entire kingdom from a Viking invasion. But when he is called back into service to combat a plague of monstrous beasts known as abominations, he meets a fate worse than death and is condemned to a life of anguish, solitude, and remorse.

She is a fierce young warrior, raised among an elite order of knights. Driven by a dark secret from her past, she defies her controlling father and sets out on a dangerous quest to do what none before her ever have―hunt down and kill an abomination, alone.

When a chance encounter sets these two against one another, an incredible twist of fate will lead them toward a salvation they never thought possible―and prove that the power of love, mercy, and forgiveness can shine a hopeful light even in history’s darkest age.

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 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 2015 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to 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 July 25, 2015.



Vote for your favorite July 2015 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover Artist - David Palumbo




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover Design by Jason Gurley

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts


There are 10 debuts for July. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The July debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite June cover for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on July 15th.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery  @  gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2015 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for July. The list is correct as of the day posted.



Rob Boffard

Tracer
Redhook (Orbit), July 16, 2015
eBook, 368 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
IN SPACE, EVERY. SECOND. COUNTS.

Our planet is in ruins. Three hundred miles above its scarred surface orbits Outer Earth: a space station with a million souls on board. They are all that remain of the human race.

Darnell is the head of the station's biotech lab. He's also a man with dark secrets. And he has ambitions for Outer Earth that no one will see coming.

Prakesh is a scientist, and he has no idea what his boss Darnell is capable of. He'll have to move fast if he doesn't want to end up dead.

And then there's Riley. She's a tracer - a courier. For her, speed is everything. But with her latest cargo, she's taken on more than she bargained for.

A chilling conspiracy connects them all.

The countdown has begun for Outer Earth - and for mankind.




Camille Griep

Letters to Zell
47North, July 1, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?

In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.




Logan J. Hunder

Witches Be Crazy
A Tale That Happened Once Upon a Time in the Middle of Nowhere
Night Shade Books, July 14, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
Real heroes never die. But they do get grouchy in middle age.

The beloved King Ik is dead, and there was barely time to check his pulse before the royal throne was supporting the suspiciously shapely backside of an impostor pretending to be Ik’s beautiful long-lost daughter. With the land’s heroic hunks busy drooling all over themselves, there’s only one man left who can save the kingdom of Jenair. His name is Dungar Loloth, a rural blacksmith turned innkeeper, a surly hermit and an all-around nobody oozing toward middle age, compensating for a lack of height, looks, charm, and tact with guts and an attitude.

Normally politics are the least of his concerns, but after everyone in the neighboring kingdom of Farrawee comes down with a severe case of being dead, Dungar learns that the masquerading princess not only is behind the carnage but also has similar plans for his own hometown. Together with an eccentric and arguably insane hobo named Jimminy, he journeys out into the world he’s so pointedly tried to avoid as the only hope of defeating the most powerful person in it. That is, if he can survive the pirates, cultists, radical Amazonians, and assorted other dangers lying in wait along the way.

Logan J. Hunder’s hilarious debut blows up the fantasy genre with its wry juxtaposition of the fantastic and the mundane, proving that the best and brightest heroes aren’t always the best for the job.




J. Dalton Jennings

Solomon's Arrow
Talos Press, July 14, 2014
Trade Papeback and eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
It’s the mid-twenty-first century. The oceans are rising, the world’s population is growing, terrorist organizations are running rampant, and it has become readily apparent that humanity’s destructive nature is at the heart of the matter.

When all faith in humanity seems lost, a startling proposal is announced: Solomon Chavez, the mysterious son of the world’s first trillionaire, announces that he, backed by a consortium of governments and wealthy donors, will build an interstellar starshipone that will convey a select group of six thousand individuals, all under the age of fifty, with no living relatives, to a recently discovered planet in the Epsilon Eridani star system. His goal is lofty: to build a colony that will ensure the survival of the human race. However, Solomon Chavez has a secret that he doesn’t dare share with the rest of the world.

With the launch date rapidly approaching, great odds must be overcome so that the starship Solomon’s Arrow can fulfill what the human race has dreamed of for millennia: reaching for the stars. The goal is noble, but looming on the horizon are threats nobody could have imaginedones that may spell the end of all human life and end the universe as we know it.

Filled with action, suspense, and characters that will live on in the imagination, Solomon’s Arrow will leave readers breathless, while at the same time questioning what humanity’s true goals should be: reaching for the stars, or exploring the limits of the human mind?




James Kendley

The Drowning God
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 28, 2015
eBook, 240 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
To uncover modern Japan's darkest, deadliest secret, one man must face a living nightmare from his childhood

Few villagers are happy when Detective Tohru Takuda returns to his hometown to investigate a string of suspicious disappearances. Even the local police chief tries to shut him out from the case. For behind the conspiracy lurks a monstrous living relic of Japan's pagan history: the Kappa. Protected long ago by a horrible pact with local farmers—and now by coldly calculating corporate interests—the Kappa drains the valley's lifeblood, one villager at a time.

As the body count rises, Takuda must try to end the Drowning God's centuries-long reign of terror, and failure means death…or worse.




Brian Kirk

We Are Monsters
Samhain Publishing, July 7, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 312 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum. 

He’s the hospital’s newest, and most notorious, patient—a paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side.

Luckily he’s in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls. And his protégé is working on a cure for schizophrenia, a drug that returns patients to their former selves. But unforeseen side effects are starting to emerge. Forcing prior traumas to the surface. Setting inner demons free.

Monsters have been unleashed inside the Sugar Hill mental asylum. They don’t have fangs or claws. They look just like you or me.




Rhonda Mason

The Empress Game
The Empress Game Trilogy 1
Titan Books, July 14, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
One seat on the intergalactic Sakien Empire’s supreme ruling body, the Council of Seven, remains unfilled, that of the Empress Apparent. The seat isn’t won by votes or marriage. It’s won in a tournament of ritualized combat in the ancient tradition. Now that tournament, the Empress Game, has been called and the women of the empire will stop at nothing to secure political domination for their homeworlds. Kayla Reunimon, a supreme fighter, is called to battle it out in the arena.

The battle for political power isn’t contained by the tournament’s ring, however. The empire’s elite gather to forge, strengthen or betray alliances in a dance that will determine the fate of the empire for a generation. With the empire wracked by a rising nanovirus plague and stretched thin by an ill-advised planet-wide occupation of Ordoch in enemy territory, everything rests on the woman who rises to the top.




Natasha Pulley

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Bloomsbury USA, July 14, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.
Google Play : iTunes : Kobo




A.F.E. Smith

Darkhaven
Harper Voyager (UK), July 2, 2015
eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.




Gary Whitta

Abomination
Inkshares, July 29, 2015
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts
He is England's greatest knight, the man who saved the life of Alfred the Great and an entire kingdom from a Viking invasion. But when he is called back into service to combat a plague of monstrous beasts known as abominations, he meets a fate worse than death and is condemned to a life of anguish, solitude, and remorse.

She is a fierce young warrior, raised among an elite order of knights. Driven by a dark secret from her past, she defies her controlling father and sets out on a dangerous quest to do what none before her ever have―hunt down and kill an abomination, alone.

When a chance encounter sets these two against one another, an incredible twist of fate will lead them toward a salvation they never thought possible―and prove that the power of love, mercy, and forgiveness can shine a hopeful light even in history’s darkest age.

Interview with Gary Whitta, author of Abomination - July 22, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Abomination by Gary Whitta2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts2015 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts

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