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2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!


2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!


The votes are in and the winner of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR is Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith from Harper Voyager UK with 1,088 votes (44%). The cover artist is Alexandra Allden.

There was a quite a battle between Darkhaven and The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca but Darkhaven won by 107 votes in the end! In total there were an amazing 2,494 votes cast. Thank you to everyone who voted!


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

2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!
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.



The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!




Cover Wars started as a way to recognize and celebrate the talented individuals who bring books to life with their eye-catching covers. While we may not judge a book by its cover, a terrific cover will certainly make us want to know what is on the inside.

My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore


Graynelore by Stephen Moore was published by Harper Voyager UK on August 13, 2015 and the cover won the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for August. Please welcome Stephen back to The Qwillery to tell us about his favorite bit of his debut adult novel.



My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore




My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel GRAYNELORE

A few years ago I had a conversation with my mother about her historical family roots and she reminded me that I am, in fact, directly descended from notorious Sixteenth Century Border Reivers. Who? Family groups from the English/Scottish borders who saw robbery, rustling, kidnap, blackmail, blood-feud and murder as all part of their normal daily life. What author worth their salt wouldn’t want to write about that? I couldn’t resist, and after travelling a long and winding road of research and creative adventure I eventually arrived at my fantasy novel, GRAYNELORE. How might I best describe GRAYNELORE? If it’s an epic fantasy, it’s also a tale of divided loyalty. It’s a blood-soaked mystery, a grown-up faerie-tale and, in its own twisted way, a kind of love story.

Which begs a question: out of all those amazing possibilities, do I, the author, have a favourite bit, an extract from the book I love above all others?

And, after much thought, I realise that I do! It’s the very first scene I wrote when I began Graynelore. It came to me fully formed and almost word perfect first time. Believe me, an extremely unusual event for a writer who composes piecemeal and as inspiration hits; an author who can easily re-write a scene a dozen times or more in an attempt to get it just right. Originally this scene did not belong anywhere in particular, only eventually becoming the start of Chapter Six: The Killing Field, and pivotal to the plot.

Why do I love it? Well, it very much set the tone and nature of the story I went on to tell. Also, I’m a very visual author. I see the actions, the events and the landscapes of my tales clearly laid out before me. And I’m a lover of beautiful words. The way they read off the page; indeed, the way they visually appear in print. It’s all important, and not to be rushed! This particular scene begins with the description of a face, a beautiful, enticing, seductive image. However, as the scene unfolds, it quickly becomes apparent that all is not what it first appears to be...

Her eyes, they were a blue that startled, invited, demanded. They caught hold of me, drew me to her like a lover. Still wet, they glistened. Not with tears. Nor fear. There was no stain on her cheeks. Her white cheeks... White skin… She was a beauty yet. The wind was playing lightly across her face, moving a single frond of auburn hair. She had caught it upon her tongue at the edge of her mouth. Open mouth. Red mouth… Surely she was teasing me, smiling, whispering. No... yes.
         I tried to put Notyet’s face in the way of hers, only I could not seem to find it. Vague, hidden as if veiled, its image would not come to me.
         ‘Rogrig,’ she said.
         Again.
         ‘Rogrig...’
         Did she really speak my name, then? No... yes. No. It was only the voice of the wind.
         ‘Rogrig… Rogrig...?’
         But this last was not a woman’s voice, nor the wind.
         ‘Watch this, Rogrig!’ It was a clumsy youth who had spoken: Edbur, my elder-cousin Wolfrid’s whelp, his laughing cry was thin with a disguised fear.
         Then there was violence, the sweet scent of fresh blood spilled, the kicking.
         I was suddenly released from my stupor and the woman’s spell was broken. Instinctively I gripped the hilt of my sword, but let it rest at my side. There was no threat here. I recognised the boy’s smell. Edbur, Edbur-the-Widdle… It was a fitting nick-name. He was old enough, and big enough to fight, but the whelp soiled himself at every skirmish. Still, there had been killings made here, and if wounded pride was the worst of his injuries he had served his surname, his grayne, better than many. The fortunes would soon forgive him for it. And if they did not, well, then I would forgive him in their stead.
         The boy’s swinging kick sent the severed head of the dead woman tumbling. Edbur-the-Widdle laughed outrageously as it thumped and thudded between grass and gulley, as it broke heavily upon stone, spilling teeth, spitting blood.
         Not a woman now.

Is the scene a little gory? Perhaps, but it’s also honest and even beautiful (I hope). And if it was to become important to the story, it was also pivotal in another way. You see, up until this point all of my books had been written for older children (and I’ve been a published author for almost twenty years!) With this one scene, I found myself standing at an unexpected crossroads. And I knew if I was going to write truthfully about Border Reivers it might well be a faerie tale, but it was not going to be a children’s story. And so it turned out. GRAYNELORE is my very first fantasy novel for adults.





Graynelore
Harper Voyager UK, August 13, 2015
eBook, 400 pages
(Debut - Adult)

My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore
Rodrig Wishard is a killer, a thief and a liar. He’s a fighting man who prefers to solve his problems with his sword.

In a world without government or law, where a man’s only loyalty is to his family and faerie tales are strictly for children, Rodrig Wishard is not happy to discover that he’s carrying faerie blood. Something his family neglected to tell him. Not only that but he’s started to see faeries for real.

If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source – the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth.





About Stephen

My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore
Stephen Moore is the author of the fantasy novel, GRAYNELORE. (Published by HarperVoyager, 2015.)

A published author since the mid 1990's he’s also written several well received fantasy books for older children (ages 9-14yrs/YA) including, TOOTH AND CLAW, SPILLING THE MAGIC and FAY. (Published by, Crossroad Press.)

Stephen hails from the North of England; a beautiful land he loves to explore; full of ancient Roman history, medieval castles and remnants of the infamous Border Reivers.

Long ago, before he discovered the magic of storytelling, he was an exhibition designer and he has fond memories of working in the strange old world of museums. Sometimes he can still be found in auction houses pawing over old relics!

He loves art and books, old and new. He’s into rock music, movies, history and RPG video games! But mostly, he likes to write, where he gets to create his own worlds.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @SMoore_Author  ~  Goodreads

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Winner


The winner of the September 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan from Harper Voyager UK with 76 votes equaling 39% of all votes. The cover artist is Ben Gardiner.  You may read a guest post by Gerrard about The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy here and an interview here.




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Winner





The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Winner






The September 2015 Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the October Debut covers starting on October 15, 2015.

Interview with Gerrard Cowan, author of The Machinery


Please welcome Gerrard Cowan to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Machinery will be published by Harper Voyager UK on September 10, 2015. You may read a guest post by Gerrard - The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy
- here.



Interview with Gerrard Cowan, author of The Machinery




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


Gerrard:  The ‘why’ is easy! I loved fantasy novels as a child, and spent much of my time dreaming up my own worlds and stories. I always knew it was something I wanted to have a crack at.

The ‘when’ is a bit harder. I made dozens of attempts at starting to write over the years, but I could never really get into a routine. I had the idea for The Machinery in 2008, but I would say it took me another two years to get into a proper rhythm. That was the real breakthrough for me.



TQAre you a plotter or a pantser?

Gerrard:  Both. I plot a novel out in broad brushstrokes, and by the time it’s done it bears a vague resemblance to what I had originally planned. I find that as I write, things tend to go off in unexpected directions. For example, a character you had originally intended to serve in a minor role may actually become more interesting, so you give them more time and space to develop. I need to have an idea of where I’m going, but I also need the plan to have flexibility.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Gerrard:  Pushing on even when you don’t feel like it. A writer friend told me years ago that you should look on writing as an athlete looks upon training: there is a certain period of time every day that you need to set aside for it, no matter how you feel. It took me a long time to get into that routine. These days, I will sit down and write, even for a short while, and even if it’s total drivel.



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Gerrard:  I didn’t have anyone at the front of my mind when I wrote The Machinery. In fact, I think I was mainly reading non-fiction at the time. That being said, my favourite fantasy author is Mervyn Peake: I love the sense of weirdness in his novels, and I really hope The Machinery has a similarly surreal, gloomy feel.



TQDescribe The Machinery in 140 characters or less.

Gerrard:  The Machinery has Selected the leaders of the Overland for ten millennia, bringing glory. But the Machinery is breaking, and Ruin is coming.



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

Gerrard:  It has (I hope) a creepy, surreal aesthetic. This is a world where immortal beings interfere in human affairs and shadowy, masked figures called Watchers haul Doubters off to a mysterious Prison, from which no one has ever returned.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Machinery? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Gerrard:  I actually started with just the central idea: what if a machine existed that could choose the best leaders of society? I developed the background over time, but it was always clear to me that it would be a fantasy, even though the central concept gives it a kind of sci-fi flavor. I loved the scope that fantasy could give me for the sense of weirdness I wanted to convey.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Machinery?

Gerrard:  The book is not intended to be a kind of alternate vision of a historical period, so I didn’t want to get too bogged down in technical details. That being said, I gave it a Renaissance-type setting, in which society is grappling with various technological advances like gunpowder and the printing press. I read a good deal about early-modern Italian city-states, as well as Ancient Rome, as I wanted the setting to convey a mixture of the two.



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

Gerrard:  The easiest was Annara Rangle, an old woman who has been chosen by the Machinery to serve as Tactician of the West. She has a sardonic outlook on the world that I enjoyed writing.

The hardest was Charls Brandione, who is General of the Overland’s armies. I think I found him difficult as he was one of the earliest I created, and I was still trying to find my way into the book.



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

Gerrard:

Question: Is there magic in the book?

Answer: It isn’t called magic as such, but all sorts of strange powers can be found within!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Machinery.

Gerrard:  More a paragraph than a line, just to set it in context. It’s the last line I like the most.

‘In return for this gift, the Operator asked only one thing; that the people must never question the Selections of the Machinery.’
‘And long may it continue,’ said Amile. ‘The Machinery knows.’
‘The Machinery knows,’ said Alexander. And I know the Machinery.



TQWhat's next?

Gerrard:  I am currently deep into Book 2, The Strategist, which is tentatively planned for release next May. Once that’s done I’ll dive straight into Book 3, and after that, who knows? Hopefully I will be able to convince someone to publish more books, either in the world of The Machinery or another.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Machinery
The Machinery Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager UK, September 10, 2015
eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Gerrard Cowan, author of The Machinery
For ten millennia, the leaders of the Overland have been Selected by the Machinery, an omnipotent machine gifted to their world in darker days.

The city has thrived in arts, science and war, crushing all enemies and expanding to encompass the entire Plateau.

But the Overland is not at ease, for the Machinery came with the Prophecy: it will break in the 10,000th year, Selecting just one leader who will bring Ruin to the world. And with the death of Strategist Kane, a Selection is set to occur…

For Apprentice Watcher Katrina Paprissi, the date has special significance. Life hasn’t been the same since she witnessed the kidnapping of her brother Alexander, the only person on the Plateau who knew the meaning of the Prophecy.

When the opportunity arises to find her brother, Katrina must travel into the depths of the Underland, the home of the Machinery, to confront the Operator himself and discover just what makes the world work…





About Gerrard

Interview with Gerrard Cowan, author of The Machinery
Gerrard Cowan is a writer and editor from Derry, in the North West of Ireland. His debut fantasy novel, The Machinery, will be published by HarperVoyager UK in September 2015. It is the first in a trilogy.

His first known work was a collection of poems on monsters, written for Halloween when he was eight; it is sadly lost to civilisation.









Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @gerrardcowan

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner


The winner of the August 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Graynelore by Stephen Moore with 52 votes equaling 36% of all votes. The cover was designed by Cherie Chapman, part of the design team at Harper Collins.



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner





The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner




The August 2015 Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the September Debut covers starting on September 15, 2015 with 17 covers to choose from!

Guest Blog by Gerrard Cowan - The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy


Please welcome Gerrard Cowan to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Machinery will be published by Harper Voyager UK on September 10, 2015.



Guest Blog by Gerrard Cowan - The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy




The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy

I always knew I wanted my fantasy novel, The Machinery, to be the first in a trilogy. I liked the clarity of it: the sense of a beginning, a middle and an end.

The scale of the story provides a breadth of opportunities, but there have also been challenges I’m only just starting to comprehend.

After seven years of thumping away on a keyboard, killing off characters major and minor, inventing and destroying subplots, I am done with Book One. I sent in the final copy edits of The Machinery a few weeks ago, though I probably could have kept tweaking it for the rest of my natural existence. It’s out of my hands, and from September 10th it will have to make its own way in the world.

I’m now deep into the writing of Book Two, The Strategist, which should be ready to send to HarperVoyager in a couple of months time. I suppose that puts me about halfway through the entire project; once The Strategist is done, I’ll move straight on to the as-yet-untitled Book Three.

In a way, writing the first book is fairly easy. In my case, The Machinery was also my first novel, so at the beginning I was really writing it for myself. I was the only person who ever saw it, apart from a few friends and family members who cast their eyes over the early drafts. I had the benefit of time, as no one was expecting the novel by a certain deadline. However, I was also only beginning to develop my own writing routine, so there was a lot of trial and error before I really got into the rhythm of it.

I found that there are certain challenges unique to writing a book that is intended to be one of a series. If you’re writing a standalone novel, everything is contained within its pages. You don’t have to worry about the effect a certain tweak might have on the narrative of later books. This is true even if you think there might be a sequel on the cards later.

To an extent, the same rules apply when you’re writing the first novel of a planned trilogy, especially when that novel is your first crack at publishing in general. If HV hadn’t picked up The Machinery, I’m not sure I would be writing the second book right now. Maybe I would have gone down the self-publishing route – I really don’t know. The point is that I wrote the first book with the second book in the back of my mind, not at the front of my thoughts.

Of course, that all changed when I signed a deal for three books. As I reworked and edited the Machinery, I had to consider the impact every decision might have on the next two novels. This added a whole new layer of complexity.

Writing the second book is trickier still. Not only do you have to keep in mind the coming events of Book Three; just as importantly, you are required to remember the events of Book One. Now, obviously you remember the major twists and turns. However, you also need to think about the details: the colour of someone’s eyes, any injuries they may have sustained in the previous book, the type of food they hate, etc.

The second book also poses more serious challenges. The first book in a trilogy should suck the reader in, and the third book should be the culmination of everything you’ve been building towards. But the second book is a bridge, across which the narrative flows from Book One to Book Three. It’s essential to maintain a balance between building the foundations of Book Three and ensuring that the second book is exciting and interesting as a standalone novel.

I haven’t come to Book Three yet, but I can already see the pitfalls that lie ahead. It’s like reaching the end of an expedition, when you can see the destination; you’d better hope you brought the right equipment to take you the last few steps up the mountain. If you laid things out wrong in books one and two, there’s not much you can do about it now. Those books are not only written – they’re out there for all to see.

All that being said, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. As I said at the beginning, the real pleasure is in the sheer range of possibilities that writing a trilogy provides. In the end, it’s been best for me to see it as one novel, broken into three books; if you look at the narrative as a single entity – which is what it is – then it somehow becomes less daunting.

I’m not going to take much of a break between finishing The Strategist and moving on to Book Three. Why would I? I would only be two-thirds of the way through my novel.





The Machinery
The Machinery Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager UK, September 10, 2015
eBook, 400 pages

Guest Blog by Gerrard Cowan - The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy
For ten millennia, the leaders of the Overland have been Selected by the Machinery, an omnipotent machine gifted to their world in darker days.

The city has thrived in arts, science and war, crushing all enemies and expanding to encompass the entire Plateau.

But the Overland is not at ease, for the Machinery came with the Prophecy: it will break in the 10,000th year, Selecting just one leader who will bring Ruin to the world. And with the death of Strategist Kane, a Selection is set to occur…

For Apprentice Watcher Katrina Paprissi, the date has special significance. Life hasn’t been the same since she witnessed the kidnapping of her brother Alexander, the only person on the Plateau who knew the meaning of the Prophecy.

When the opportunity arises to find her brother, Katrina must travel into the depths of the Underland, the home of the Machinery, to confront the Operator himself and discover just what makes the world work…





About Gerrard

Guest Blog by Gerrard Cowan - The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy
Gerrard Cowan is a writer and editor from Derry, in the North West of Ireland. His debut fantasy novel, The Machinery, will be published by HarperVoyager UK in September 2015. It is the first in a trilogy.

His first known work was a collection of poems on monsters, written for Halloween when he was eight; it is sadly lost to civilisation.









Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @gerrardcowan

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan


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



Gerrard Cowan

The Machinery
Harper Voyager UK, September 10, 2015
eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan
For ten millennia, the leaders of the Overland have been Selected by the Machinery, an omnipotent machine gifted to their world in darker days.

The city has thrived in arts, science and war, crushing all enemies and expanding to encompass the entire Plateau.

But the Overland is not at ease, for the Machinery came with the Prophecy: it will break in the 10,000th year, Selecting just one leader who will bring Ruin to the world. And with the death of Strategist Kane, a Selection is set to occur…

For Apprentice Watcher Katrina Paprissi, the date has special significance. Life hasn’t been the same since she witnessed the kidnapping of her brother Alexander, the only person on the Plateau who knew the meaning of the Prophecy.

When the opportunity arises to find her brother, Katrina must travel into the depths of the Underland, the home of the Machinery, to confront the Operator himself and discover just what makes the world work…

Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore


Please welcome Stephen Moore to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Graynelore is published on August 13th by Harper Voyager UK. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Stephen a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore




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

Stephen:  Graynelore is my first adult fantasy novel, but I had my first children’s fantasy book, Spilling the Magic, published way back in 1996. (Was it THAT long ago?) Why did I start writing? I’ve got a photo of myself when I was eight years old. I’m dressed in ragamuffin hitched-up jeans complete with holes in the knees. That kid didn’t read many books. Looking back, I realised most of the classic children’s books I subsequently read (and loved) were all very prim and proper, and dare I say it, rather middle class. No one seemed to have written books for the eight year old boy I had been in that old photo. So I wrote him a book... Spilling the Magic.



TQAre you a plotter or a pantser?

Stephen:  I guess I’m both in an odd way. When I begin a project I write longhand and piecemeal: not to a storyline. There’s no starting at the beginning. I let ideas tumble as they will. Whether its characters, or landscapes, conversations or plot. Nothing’s a mistake and there’s no writers block. I’m happy to surprise myself. Then, when I’m done scribbling the laptop comes out. That’s when I begin to shape the story – find the beginning, middle, end, and all that – and after ten drafts or so the book takes on its final form.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Stephen:  I’m a slow writer... It can take me a year or even two to write a book depending on the story. So that’s sometimes frustrating. I’ve got so many book ideas and not enough time to write them! Choosing the right project to take forward, knowing what’s ahead, can be daunting. If it’s a nice problem to have! I would like to write faster (Believe me, I’ve tried). But I guess the writing method I use works for me – and that’s the key. (You can’t have everything.)



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Stephen:  My favourite reads are my influences. Charles Dickens for one: his character development is superb. Then there’s Tolkien for his storytelling and world building. And Mervyn Peake can’t be bettered for his descriptive powers, particularly in his novel Gormanghast. Then again, Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island is my all time favourite book. That’s the stuff of true adventures! If my favourite author is Robert Westall: best known for his wartime novel for older children, The Machine Gunners. He’s a writer whose stories have a ring of authenticity about them. An authenticity I strive to match.



TQDescribe Graynelore in 140 characters or less.

Stephen:  A story of divided loyalty. An epic fantasy. A grown-up faerie tale. A blood-soaked mystery. And, in its own twisted way, a love story.



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

Stephen:  Some of the atmosphere, characters and place names in Graynelore find their inspiration in the music of early rock bands, such as Genesis, Lindisfarne, Wishbone Ash and Pink Floyd. Though I’ll leave it up to my readers to discover the connections...



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

Stephen:  A few years ago I discovered a most amazing thing: my family history includes a link to the infamous Sixteenth Century Border Reivers. The Reivers were inhabitants of the English/Scottish Borderlands; family groups who considered theft, kidnap, blackmail, murder and deadly blood-feud as all part of their day job. I couldn’t resist writing about them! If I knew from the start, to do the idea justice, for the first time I was going to be writing for adults and not children. Of course, I’m an author of fantasy, not historical fiction... it was a long and winding path that eventually lead me to Graynelore.

Why fantasy? The genre has always appealed to me. I see no limits. I get to write about anything I want. I get to travel anywhere I want to go, real or imaginary, and I get to do pretty much anything I like when I get there. What could be better?



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Graynelore?

Stephen:  The fantasy elements of Graynelore needed no research: just my imagination. As for Border Reivers, that’s different. They lived virtually on my doorstep. To follow their trail, I went out into rural Northumberland – their natural landscape – and up into the Scottish Borders. Scattered across the countryside you can still find architecture associated with them. In the form of bastle houses (literally fortified farm houses) and peel towers (tall fortified towers) where they both lived and found shelter against their reiving neighbours when under attack.



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

Stephen:  The easiest has to be my narrator, Rogrig Wishard. I knew I wanted Graynelore to have its own distinctive voice. I was lucky. The very first fragment I wrote was a description of a bloody killing field he gave to me. It was immediately in his distinctive turn of phrase. And it was so unguardedly honest, it even shocked me! Of all my characters my blood-soaked reiver is a favourite.

The hardest...? From wyrms to elfwyches, from unifauns to shape-shifting crows, you know I don’t recall any of them being particularly difficult to write. However unusual, I don’t tend to have trouble getting to the heart of my characters.



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

Stephen:  Let me see... something like: With all the talk of Reivers, is Graynelore truly a faerie tale? And my answer is: Yes of course! This is fantasy – why ever not! Mind, if it is a faerie tale – believe me when I say – beware, you’ve never read one quite like this before.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Graynelore.

Stephen:  I’ll let my narrator introduce himself to you in his own inimitable way (that’s a favourite of mine):

I am Rogrig, Rogrig Wishard by grayne. Though, I was always, Rogrig Stone Heart by desire. This is my memoir and my testimony. What can I tell you about myself that will be believed? Not much, I fear. I am a poor fell-stockman and a worse farmer (that much is true). I am a fighting-man. I am a killer, a soldier-thief, and a blood-soaked reiver. I am a sometime liar and a coward. I have a cruel tongue, a foul temper, not to be crossed. And, I am – reliably informed – a pitiful dagger’s arse when blathering, drunk.
        You can see, my friend, I am not well blessed.
        For all that, I am just an ordinary man of Graynelore. No different to any other man of my breed. (Ah, now we come to the nub of it. I must temper my words.)
        Rogrig is mostly an ordinary man. The emphasis is important. For if a tale really can hang, then it is from this single thread mine is suspended...



TQWhat's next?

Stephen:  Graynelore is a stand-alone novel. However I do have an idea for another book based in the same world... I have already begun to scribble, if it’s early days as yet.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Graynelore
Harper Voyager UK, August 13, 2015
eBook, 400 pages
(Debut - Adult)

Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore
Rodrig Wishard is a killer, a thief and a liar. He’s a fighting man who prefers to solve his problems with his sword.

In a world without government or law, where a man’s only loyalty is to his family and faerie tales are strictly for children, Rodrig Wishard is not happy to discover that he’s carrying faerie blood. Something his family neglected to tell him. Not only that but he’s started to see faeries for real.

If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source – the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth.





About Stephen

Interview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore
Stephen Moore is the author of the fantasy novel, GRAYNELORE. (Published by, HarperVoyager. 13th August 2015.)

A published author since the mid 1990's he’s also written several well received fantasy books for older children (ages 9-14yrs/YA) including, TOOTH AND CLAW, SPILLING THE MAGIC and FAY. (Published by, Crossroad Press.)

Stephen hails from the North of England; a beautiful land he loves to explore; full of ancient Roman history, medieval castles and remnants of the infamous Border Reivers.

Long ago, before he discovered the magic of storytelling, he was an exhibition designer and he has fond memories of working in the strange old world of museums. Sometimes he can still be found in auction houses pawing over old relics!

He loves art and books, old and new. He’s into rock music, movies, history and RPG video games! But mostly, he likes to write, where he gets to create his own worlds.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @SMoore_Author  ~  Goodreads

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore


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


Stephen Moore

Graynelore
Harper Voyager UK, August 13, 2015
eBook, 400 pages
(Debut - Adult)

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore
Rodrig Wishard is a killer, a thief and a liar. He’s a fighting man who prefers to solve his problems with his sword.

In a world without government or law, where a man’s only loyalty is to his family and faerie tales are strictly for children, Rodrig Wishard is not happy to discover that he’s carrying faerie blood. Something his family neglected to tell him. Not only that but he’s started to see faeries for real.

If he’s going to make any sense of it he’s going to have to go right to the source – the faeries themselves. But that’s easier said than done when the only information he has to go on is from bards and myth.


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2015 Winner



We had a hotly contested Cover Wars for July! The winner of the July 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith with 306 votes equaling 39% of all votes. The cover is by Alexandra Allden.



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2015 Winner




The Final Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2015 Winner





The July 2015 Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2015 Winner



Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the August Debut covers starting on August 15, 2015.

2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR Winner!My Favourite Extract: Stephen Moore talks about his novel Graynelore2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September WinnerInterview with Gerrard Cowan, author of The Machinery2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August WinnerGuest Blog by Gerrard Cowan - The beginning, middle and end of planning a trilogy2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Machinery by Gerrard CowanInterview with Stephen Moore, author of Graynelore2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Graynelore by Stephen Moore2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2015 Winner

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