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Interview with Jamey Bradbury, author of The Wild Inside


Please welcome Jamey Bradbury to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Wild Inside is published on March 20th by William Morrow.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Jamey a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Jamey Bradbury, author of The Wild Inside




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

Jamey:  I was writing before I actually put pen to paper. I used to make up plays and force my younger brother and cousins to act them out. But the first time I remember plotting out a story and putting it on paper was in the first grade, around age six or seven. I wrote and illustrated a story about a boy who moved to a new town and couldn’t make friends at school, but did manage to make friends with a monster, instead.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Jamey:  Total by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. I find if I plot things out too far in advance, the idea becomes stale to me—I don’t wind up surprising myself, or letting the characters surprise me.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jamey:  The first draft. I’m never happier than when I’m rewriting—which may account for my writing process, which consists of drafting until I run out of ideas or run up against a plot problem; then I circle back around and rewrite everything I’ve got, hoping the momentum will push me through whatever I was struggling with. I hate bumping around in the dark with no light, wondering where I am and what’s going to happen next—and that’s what a first draft feels like. But it’s worth it to get to the good stuff, i.e., the revision.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Jamey:  Alaska’s a big influence on my writing. Not just the landscape, which is pretty inspirational, but also its emptiness and distance. Alaska is such a large state, with so much space that’s only trees and wildlife and mountains. You feel the distance between people, between towns, between the state itself and the rest of the country. It’s like the physical manifestation of the psychic distance between people—the difficulty we have in truly knowing another person, which is what a lot of my writing ends up being about.



TQDescribe The Wild Inside in 140 characters or less.

Jamey:  Stubborn, feral Alaskan girl hunts animals, maybe stabs a guy, and hates being grounded. Finds people irritating, but likes dogs.



TQTell us something about The Wild Inside that is not found in the book description.

Jamey:  Since Tracy and her dad are mushers, they have about forty dogs they raise, train, and take care of. A lot of the dogs are named after dogs I know personally. For instance, Zip and Stella, in real life, are a Jack Russell terrier and a labradoodle I used to dog sit for. Homer and Canyon are actually two yellow labs that belong to some friends who took me sailing one time. The other dogs in the book have theme names, just like a lot of litters that belong to actual mushers—like the “words that convey movement” litter (Fly, Chug, Pogo).



TQWhat inspired you to write The Wild Inside? What appeals to you about writing a psychological thriller?

JameyThe Wild Inside started as an attempt to write a horror novel because that’s what I love to read—especially horror that’s mashed up with what critics might deem “literary” fiction. I like books that seem steeped in reality until the surreal or weird or terrifying creeps in. In a lot of ways, if The Wild Inside is a horror novel, Tracy ends up being the monster of her own story. I think that’s what ultimately turned the story into something that’s more akin to a psychological thriller—if you’re inside the “monster’s” head, privy to her struggle with being monstrous, you end up gaining a better understanding of the scary thing, which hopefully sparks a little empathy, in this case.




TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Wild Inside?

Jamey:  I’ve only been dog sledding once, and that was a short excursion with some mushers I visited when I first moved to Alaska as an AmeriCorps volunteer. So for the mushing aspects of the book, I read a good bit: books like Yukon Alone by John Balzar and Winterdance by Gary Paulson; the article “Out in the Great Alone” by Brian Phillips was helpful, too. Twitter has become a surprisingly helpful research tool, allowing me to follow mushers like Blair Braverman and Dallas Seavy. For animal and hunting and trapping information, I relied upon the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s very user-friendly website.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Wild Inside.

Jamey:  The cover of The Wild Inside was inspired by a poster for the 2017 movie It Comes at Night, which also depicts a dog, seen from behind as it gazes into the terrifying, endless night. I saw the poster and thought, “That’s my cover,” so I sent it to my editor, and the talented folks at William Morrow—including jacket designer Mumtaz Mustafa—took that bit of inspiration and made something I’m totally in love with. At the heart of this book lies the protagonist’s true love—dog sledding—so a dog made sense. But the way the dog seems poised, ears up, watchful, taking in the falling snow and whatever else might be out there—I feel like it captures the tension at the heart of the novel—the draw of wildness pushing against the need for home and family.



TQIn The Wild Inside who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Jamey:  Tracy was the easiest. After writing and rewriting so much, I felt I knew her inside and out—her stubbornness and secretiveness, her desire to do good by her family, her simultaneous need to be her own person and live by her own rules. I grew to understand her reasons behind every action, even the truly terrible ones, even as I disapproved of the things she thought she had to do.

Tracy’s mother, Hannah, was the toughest to write, mostly because we only see her in flashback and through Tracy’s admittedly often unreliable filter. Even though Tracy is the one interpreting her mother’s actions and personality for the reader, as the writer I had to know Hannah better than her daughter did—to understand her motivations and her love and fear of her own daughter.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Wild Inside?

Jamey:  I knew early on that Jesse needed a secret—something that would pique Tracy’s curiosity and, eventually, draw the two of them together, based on their shared need to hide in plain sight. When I realized what Jesse’s secret was, I also realized that—because of Tracy’s unique ability to know other people—it was an opportunity to skip over all the questions (and doubts and suspicion) some people may have when someone reveals something like sexual preference or gender identity. With her ability to “know” a person so completely, Tracy wouldn’t have doubts or suspicion; she would accept a person for who they are, which I found refreshing.

It’s important to me to write about folks we don’t always see represented in popular culture (although, happily, representation seems to be growing and changing). It’s true that when you can see yourself in the media you consume, you can also see possibility, and perhaps understand yourself and others better. As an asexual person, for a long time I thought I was some kind of crazy anomaly; who talks about being asexual, unless you happen to be a plant? It wasn’t until I started to see asexual people represented in film and television that I realized I wasn’t alone.

I also think it’s important to tell stories about all kinds of people that aren’t just the story about their “otherness.” Not every story about a gay person has to be about their coming out. Not every story about a person of color needs to be an object lesson. I want to see stories that are just stories, that happen to have gay or trans people or people of color as their protagonists and supporting characters.



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

Jamey:  Maybe, “Where can I find the Peter Kleinhaus book Tracy loves so much?” Which is a trick question, because you can’t: I made up How I Am Undone by Peter Kleinhaus—and frankly, writing the excerpts from that was a heck of a lot easier than writing The Wild Inside. Probably because I could just write the pretty parts and not worry about making the plot make sense. But who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll tell Peter Kleinhaus’s whole story, too.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Wild Inside.

Jamey:  “There are books out there that when you read them, you wonder how some stranger could know exactly what’s in your own mind.” I like that because it’s how I feel when I read a really great book. And because, like Tracy, sometimes I wish other people were as easy to get to know as a really great book.

One more: “There is satisfaction in running fast…My mind travels somewhere else, and I become only breath and bone and muscle. The feeling is serene and focused, powerful and energized, all at the same time.” Because that’s exactly how I feel on the rare occasion I manage to hit a meditative state when I’m out running



TQWhat's next?

Jamey:  I’m working through the first draft of my second novel, which is inspired by two things: the Winchester Mystery House and Homer, Alaska, which is a small coastal town in the southeast part of the state. There’s a spit down in Homer which features the longest road into ocean waters in the world. In my book, at the end of this road, a woman has built a massive house with doors in every surface—large doors, tiny doors, doors within doors, doors in ceilings, doors in floors. Every door she opens gives her access to a different point in her own life—and, possibly, to points in alternate versions of her life. It’s a book about memory, time travel, history, dementia, and family.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Wild Inside
William Morrow, March 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Jamey Bradbury, author of The Wild Inside
"The Wild Inside is an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel — think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King." —John Irving

A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?





About Jamey

Interview with Jamey Bradbury, author of The Wild Inside
Photo by Brooke Taylor
Born in Illinois, Jamey Bradbury has lived in Alaska for fifteen years, leaving only briefly to earn her MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Winner of an Estelle Campbell Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, she has published fiction in Black Warrior Review, Sou’wester, and Zone 3, and she has written for the Anchorage Daily News, TheBillfold.com, and storySouth. Jamey lives in Anchorage, Alaska.





Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @JameyBradbury

The View From Monday - March 19, 2018


Happy Monday!

There are 5 debuts this week:

The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury;

Tomorrow by Damian Dibben;

Torn (The Unraveled Kingdom 1) by Rowenna Miller;

Sisyphean by Dempow Torishima;

and

Anna Undreaming by Thomas Welsh.

The View From Monday - March 19, 2018 The View From Monday - March 19, 2018
The View From Monday - March 19, 2018 The View From Monday - March 19, 2018
The View From Monday - March 19, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

A Veil of Spears (Song of Shattered Sands 3) by Bradley P. Beaulieu;

Veiled Enchantments (Veiled Magic 3) by Deborah Blake;

Malice of Crows (The Shadow 3) by Lila Bowen is out in Trade Paperback;

Ally (On the Bones of Gods 3) by K. Eason;

and

Evolution Omnibus by Stephanie Saulter (eBook Bundle).

The View From Monday - March 19, 2018 The View From Monday - March 19, 2018
The View From Monday - March 19, 2018 The View From Monday - March 19, 2018
The View From Monday - March 19, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - March 19, 2018



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

March 20, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Stone Mad Elizabeth Bear SF/SP/HistF - A Karen Memory Adventure
A Veil of Spears Bradley P. Beaulieu D/DF - Song of Shattered Sands 3
Veiled Enchantments (e) Deborah Blake PNR - Veiled Magic 3
Malice of Crows (h2tp) Lila Bowen F - The Shadow 3
The Wild Inside (D) Jamey Bradbury LF
The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea Ellen Datlow (Ed) H - Anthology
Tomorrow (D) Damian Dibben Animals/Hist/HistF/MR
Khârn: The Red Path Chris Dows SF - Khârn the Betrayer 2
Ally K. Eason DF - On the Bones of Gods 3
Lie Close To Me (e) Cynthia Eden PNR - Lazarus Rising 5
Fall of Light (h2tp) Steven Erikson F - The Kharkanas Trilogy 2
Covert Game Christine Feehan PNR/SupTh/GenEng - GhostWalker 14
Cult of the Spiral Dawn Peter Fehervari SF - Genestealer Cults 2
Violent Cases - 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition Neil Gaiman
Dave McKean
GN/F/M
Dante (h2tp) Guy Haley SF - Blood Angels
Blood Demons Richard Jeffries H
The Folded Land Tim Lebbon DF - Relics 2
The Golden Vial Thomas Locke F - Legends of the Realm 3
The Greatest Story Ever Told Una McCormack F - NewCon Press Novellas Set 3 #4
Torn (D) Rowenna Miller F - The Unraveled Kingdom 1
SINdicate J.T. Nicholas SF/CyP/GenEng - The New Lyons Sequence 2
Talon of God (h2tp) Wesley Snipes
Ray Norman
UF
A Guide for Murdered Children Sarah Sparrow LF/Sus/Occ/Sup
Sisyphean (D- English) Dempow Torishima
Daniel Huddleston (Tr)
SF - Sisyphean
The Past Is Never Tiffany Quay Tyson LF/SoGothic
Anna Undreaming (D) Thomas Welsh DF/UF - The Metiks Fade Trilogy 1



March 22, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Evolution Omnibus (Gemsigns, Binary, and Regeneration) (e) Stephanie Saulter SF/GenEng - Evolution



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
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
Cr - Crime
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PoliSci - Political Science
Psy - Psychological
Rel - Religious
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SocSci - Social Science
SoGothic - Southern Gothic
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 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 2018 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 April 12, 2018.

Vote for your favorite March 2018 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Jacket art: James Kerr
Jacket design: Owen Corrigan





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Cover design: Gigi Little





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Cover art: Larry Rostant





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Cover art: Dominic Harman





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Cover design: Alison Forner
Cover art: A Girl with a Basket of Apples
(dummy board), English School, (18th Century) / 
Hinton Ampner, Hampshire, UK / National Trust
Photographic Library / Bridgeman Images





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Cover art: Lee Gibbons





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts
Cover art: Peter Bollinger
Cover design: Lisa Marie Pompilio





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts


There are 15 debut novels for March.

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 2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on March 15, 2018.

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 2018 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for March 2018. The list is correct as of the day posted.



Michael David Ares

Dayfall
Tor Books, March 13, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
FEAR THE DAY

In the near future, patches of the northern hemisphere have been shrouded in years of darkness from a nuclear winter, and the water level has risen in the North Atlantic. The island of Manhattan has lost its outer edges to flooding and is now ringed by a large seawall.

The darkness and isolation have allowed crime and sin to thrive in the never-ending shadows of the once great city, and when the sun finally begins to reappear, everything gets worse. A serial killer cuts a bloody swath across the city during the initial periods of daylight, and a violent panic sweeps through crowds on the streets. The Manhattan police, riddled with corruption and apathy, are at a loss.

That's when the Mayor recruits Jon Phillips, a small-town Pennsylvania cop who had just single-handedly stopped a high-profile serial killer in his own area, and flies him into the insanity of this new New York City. The young detective is partnered with a shady older cop and begins to investigate the crimes amidst the vagaries of a twenty-four hour nightlife he has never experienced before. Soon realizing that he was chosen for reasons other than what he was told, Jon is left with no one to trust and forced to go on the run in the dark streets, and below them in the maze of the underground. Against all odds he still hopes that he can save his own life, the woman of his dreams, and maybe even the whole city before the arrival of the mysterious and dreaded event that has come to be known as…. DAYFALL.





Yoav Blum

The Coincidence Makers
St. Martin's Press, March 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
In this genre-bending novel, there is no such thing as chance and every action is carefully executed by highly trained agents. You’ll never look at coincidences the same way again.

What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery ticket you just found was not just a random occurrence? What if it’s all part of a bigger plan? What if there’s no such thing as a chance encounter? What if there are people we don’t know determining our destiny? And what if they are even planning the fate of the world?

Enter the Coincidence Makers—Guy, Emily, and Eric—three seemingly ordinary people who work for a secret organization devoted to creating and carrying out coincidences. What the rest of the world sees as random occurrences, are, in fact, carefully orchestrated events designed to spark significant changes in the lives of their targets—scientists on the brink of breakthroughs, struggling artists starved for inspiration, loves to be, or just plain people like you and me…

When an assignment of the highest level is slipped under Guy’s door one night, he knows it will be the most difficult and dangerous coincidence he’s ever had to fulfill. But not even a coincidence maker can see how this assignment is about to change all their lives and teach them the true nature of fate, free will, and the real meaning of love.

Part thriller, part mystery, part love story—Kirkus calls Yoav Blum's The Coincidence Makers “a smart, unpredictable, and heartfelt adventure story.”





Jamey Bradbury

The Wild Inside
William Morrow, March 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
"The Wild Inside is an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel — think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King." —John Irving

A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?





Damian Dibben

Tomorrow
Hanover Square Press, March 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
A winter’s night, Venice, 1815. A 217-year-old dog is searching for his lost master.

So begins the journey of Tomorrow, a dog who must travel through the courts and battlefields of Europe—and through the centuries—in search of the man who granted him immortality. His adventures take him to the London Frost Fair, the strange court of King Charles I, the wars of the Spanish succession, Versailles, the golden age of Amsterdam and to nineteenth-century Venice.

His is a story of loyalty and determination, as Tomorrow befriends both animals and humans, falls in love (only once), marvels at the human ability to make music, despairs at their capacity for war and gains insight into both the strength and frailties of the human spirit. But Tomorrow’s journey is also a race against time. Danger stalks his path, and in the shadows lurks an old enemy. Tomorrow must find his master before their pursuer can reach him and his master disappears forever.

A spellbinding story of hope in the face of despair, Tomorrow draws us into a century-spanning tale of humanity and the unbreakable bond between two souls. After all, what is lost can surely be found…





Clarissa Goenawan

Rainbirds
Soho Press, March 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder.

Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.

As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.





Tessa Gratton

The Queens of Innis Lear
Tor Books, March 27, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 576 pages
(Debut -Adult)

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton's debut adult epic fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear.

Three Queens. One crown. All out war.

Gaela. Ruthless Commander.
I am the rightful heir of Innis Lear. No more will I wait in the shadows and watch my mother’s murderer bleed my island dry.

The King’s hold on the crown must end—willingly or at the edge of my sword.

Regan. Master Manipulator.
To secure my place on the throne, I must produce an heir. Countless times I have fed the island’s forests my blood. Yet, my ambition is cursed.

No matter what or whom Imust destroy, I will wield the magic of Innis Lear.

Elia. Star-blessed Priest.
My sisters hide in the shadows like serpents, waiting to strike our ailing king. I must protect my father, even if it means marrying a stranger.

We all have to make sacrifices. Love and freedom will be mine.

"Amazing. Just Amazing."--Robin McKinley





Sean Grigsby

Smoke Eaters
Angry Robot, March 6, 2018
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
When dragons rise from the earth, firefighters are humanity’s last line of defence, in this wild near-future fantasy.

Firefighter Cole Brannigan is on the verge of retirement after 30 years on the job, and a decade fighting dragons. But during his final fire call, he discovers he’s immune to dragon smoke. It’s such a rare power that he’s immediately conscripted into the elite dragon-fighting force known as the Smoke Eaters. Retirement cancelled, Brannigan is re-assigned as a lowly rookie, chafing under his superiors. So when he discovers a plot to take over the city’s government, he takes matters into his own hands. With hundreds of innocent civilians in the crosshairs, it’s up to Brannigan and his fellow Smoke Eaters to repel the dragon menace.

File Under: Fantasy [ Scaly Firestarters | Final Call Out | Wraith of Flames | Enter the Fireman ]





Rowenna Miller

Torn
The Unraveled Kingdom 1
Orbit, March 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
TORN is the first book in an enchanting debut fantasy series featuring a seamstress who stitches magic into clothing, and the mounting political uprising that forces her to choose between her family and her ambitions, for fans of The Queen of the Tearling.

Sophie is a dressmaker who has managed to open her own shop and lift herself and her brother, Kristos, out of poverty. Her reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly-embroidered charms for luck, love, and protection secures her a commission from the royal family itself -- and the commission earns her the attentions of a dashing but entirely unattainable duke.

Meanwhile, Kristos rises to prominence in the growing anti-monarchist movement. Their worlds collide when the revolution's shadow leader takes him hostage and demands that Sophie place a curse on the queen's Midwinter costume -- or Kristos will die at their hand.

As the proletariat uprising comes to a violent climax, Sophie is torn: between her brother and the community of her birth, and her lover and the life she's striven to build.





Tristan Palmgren

Quietus
Angry Robot, March 6, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 512 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
A transdimensional anthropologist can’t keep herself from interfering with Earth’s darkest period of history in this brilliant science fiction debut

Niccolucio, a young Florentine Carthusian monk, leads a devout life until the Black Death kills all of his brothers, leaving him alone and filled with doubt. Habidah, an anthropologist from another universe racked by plague, is overwhelmed by the suffering. Unable to maintain her observer neutrality, she saves Niccolucio from the brink of death.

Habidah discovers that neither her home’s plague nor her assignment on Niccolucio’s world are as she’s been led to believe. Suddenly the pair are drawn into a worlds-spanning conspiracy to topple an empire larger than the human imagination can contain.

File Under: Science Fiction [ The Watcher | Darkness Comes | The Light of Faith | Darkness Beckons ]





Joe Ponepinto

Mr. Neutron
7.13 Books, March 7, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
In the smallish American city of Grand River, things are not so grand. The river is hopelessly polluted. City officials are in the pockets of oligarchs. And its best hope for meaningful change is a platitude-spouting eight-foot giant named Reason Wilder running for mayor.

Gray Davenport, a veteran political operative, isn t faring much better than his hometown. His wife is about to leave him. He s working for a mayoral candidate who has no chance to win and who can t even pay for Gray s services. When Gray notices that Reason may not be human, Gray embarks on a quest to uncover the truth about Reason s mysterious origins, and the truth promises to change Grand River and Gray forever.

A satirical mashup of Frankenstein and Veep, Mr. Neutron is a hilarious genre-bender that speaks to the unpredictable nature of American politics today.





Laura Purcell

The Silent Companions
Penguin Books, March 6, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
“If The Silent Companions lands on your night table, don’t plan on leaving your bed anytime soon.” —Lyndsay Faye, bestselling author of Jane Steele

When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .

When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure—a silent companion—that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of the estate are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition—that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.

A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, The Silent Companions is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect—much like the companions themselves.

“A perfect read for a winter night . . . An intriguing, nuanced and genuinely eerie slice of Victorian gothic.” —The Guardian





Dempow Torishima
Daniel Huddleston, Translator

Sisyphean
Sisyphean Series
Haikasoru, March 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
(Debut - English)

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Even after the world and humanity itself have been rendered nearly unrecognizable by genetic engineering, a day in the office can feel…Sisyphean.

The company stands atop a tiny deck supported by huge iron columns a hundred meters high. The boss there is its president—a large creature of unstable, shifting form once called “human.” The world of his dedicated worker contains only the deck and the sea of mud surrounding it, and and the worker’s daily routine is anything but peaceful. A mosaic novel of extreme science and high weirdness, Sisyphean will change the way you see existence itself.

A strange journey into the far future of genetic engineering, and working life. After centuries of tinkering, many human bodies only have a casual similarity to what we now know, but both work and school continue apace. Will the enigmatic sad sack known only as “the worker” survive the day? Will the young student Hanishibe get his questions about the biological future of humanity answered, or will he have to transfer to the department of theology? Will Umari and her master ever comprehend the secrets of nanodust?





Thomas Welsh

Anna Undreaming
Metiks Fade Trilogy 1
Owl Hollow Press, March 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Anna is a student surviving the city, and she lives by a simple credo, “Never play their game; their game is always rigged.” For every man she has ever known, it’s a saying that has served her well.

Especially when Anna becomes lost to the dark heart of the city. She finds herself hunted by Dreamers—artists, both good and evil, who construct new worlds—within a complex community that threatens to undermine reality itself. When Anna learns that she’s an Undreamer with powers she cannot yet comprehend, she must travel through their strange and treacherous creations to discover that there’s as much beauty in life as there is darkness. As her existence spirals into wonder and danger, Anna must look deep within herself and face the horrors of her own past, to save her old world as well as her new one.

Anna Undreaming is the first book in the The Metiks Fade trilogy.





Ryan Wieser

The Glass Blade
Hunters of Infinity Trilogy 1
Rebal Base, March 6, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 265 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
The Hunters of Infinity have been protecting the Daharian galaxy for years, but there has never been a female Hunter—until now.

In a seedy bar in the shadowy corners of Daharia, Jessop comes to the rescue of young Hunter Kohl O’Hanlon. Impressed by her remarkable sword-wielding skills, the Hunters invite her to their training facility, the Glass Blade, though not all are pleased with the intrusion. But they soon discover that Jessop learned to fight from the rogue leader of the Shadow City of Aranthol—and escaped. Now they want to use her intimate knowledge of their enemy to destroy him. As Jessop grows closer to this elite brotherhood, their leader succumbs to a mysterious ailment, and Kohl learns that Jessop is hiding dark secrets, raising suspicions about the enigmatic woman who saved his life. Has the Hunters’ security been breached—or do they have a traitor in their ranks?

Allegiances will be questioned.

Loyalties will be betrayed.

Vengeance will be brutal.





Nick Clark Windo

The Feed
William Morrow, March 13, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Set in a post-apocalyptic world as unique and vividly imagined as those of Station Eleven and The Girl with All the Gifts, a startling and timely debut that explores what it is to be human and what it truly means to be connected in the digital age.

IT MAKES US. IT DESTROYS US. NOW WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT.

The Feed is accessible everywhere, by everyone, at any time. It instantaneously links us to all information and global events as they break. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it; it is the essential tool everyone relies on to know and understand the thoughts and feelings of partners, parents, friends, children, colleagues, bosses, employees . . . in fact, of anyone and everyone else in the world.

Tom and Kate use the Feed, but Tom has resisted its addiction, which makes him suspect to his family. After all, his father created it. But that opposition to constant connection serves Tom and Kate well when the Feed collapses after a horrific tragedy shatters the world as they know it.

The Feed’s collapse, taking modern society with it, leaves people scavenging to survive. Finding food is truly a matter of life and death. Minor ailments, previously treatable, now kill. And while the collapse has demolished the trappings of the modern world, it has also eroded trust. In a world where survival of the fittest is a way of life, there is no one to depend upon except yourself . . . and maybe even that is no longer true.

Tom and Kate have managed to protect themselves and their family. But then their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing. Who has taken her? How do you begin to look for someone in a world without technology? And what happens when you can no longer even be certain that the people you love are really who they claim to be?
Interview with Jamey Bradbury, author of The Wild InsideThe View From Monday - March 19, 20182018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March Debuts2018 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts

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