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Interview with Peter Liney, author of The Detainee - March 11, 2014


Please welcome Peter Liney to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Detainee is published today in North America by Jo Fletcher Books. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Peter a Happy Publication Day.



Interview with Peter Liney, author of The Detainee - March 11, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Peter:  Thank you so much.

That's an easy one. I started when I was at school and never really stopped. I remember my old English teacher reading out my pre-Spielberg epic about an unusually hot summer, a T Rex frozen in an underground pocket of ice, and the village bus - I think you can guess the rest? His verdict was: 'Absolute rubbish, Liney, but very well-written.'



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Peter:  The most challenging thing, I think, is letting go; realising you have to stop preening and polishing and let your child fly the nest - no matter who's waiting to swoop.

I guess I'm a loose plotter. I usually know where I'm going, but not always sure how I'll get there. If I plot too rigidly, I get bored, but if I don't plot at all, there's a danger I'll end up with a novel I love, but nobody else does.



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

Peter:  Not easy. I'm influenced by all manner of people and events, and often don't realise it at the time. Newspapers and the Internet frequently inspire me - weird and whacky real-life tales. Gravestones, believe it or not, often have a story to suggest. It's a bit like those plants that leave burrs on you, given time to mature, there's the seed of something. As for my favourite authors: they veer wildly from such people as Thomas Hardy (Wessex is my part of the world) to Haruki Murakami - to name but two. Probably depends on my mood. Actually, it would easier for me to cite favorite books rather than favourite authors, I tend to work more that way (since you ask, and off the top of my head: Perfume by Patrick Susskind, Dog Boy by Eva Hornung, Blindness by Jose Saramago - I could go on ... and on … and … ).



TQ:  Describe The Detainee in 140 characters or less.

Peter:  Held captive, terrorized and hunted on Garbage Island along with the rest of society’s waste, Clancy discovers someone to help him fight back.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Detainee that is not in the book description.

Peter:  I think it's surprisingly uplifting. It must've been at least the sixth rewrite before I was able to get through the ending without having a tear or two.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Detainee? Why did you choose to write a dystopian novel?

Peter:  A fear of the future in the present - how is a rapidly diminishing working population going to support an even faster growing elderly one? No politician has answered that question to my satisfaction. I was also motivated by the fact that I live in, what I believe is, the most watched country in the world: not North Korea, China, Russia whatever - but good old UK.

A dystopian novel because it lends itself to asking that golden question, 'What if……?'



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Detainee?

Peter:  All manner of things, a lot of it to do with landfills: what they smell like, the gasses that would form, how volatile they'd be. I also spent some time reading about civil wars in Africa - which is as close as I'm going to get to a spoiler in this interview.



TQ:  Have you found that writing for television and radio has influenced how you wrote The Detainee?

Peter:  I think I see things very visually. A friend of mine once said, 'You don't write books, you write films in a book form'. I think she might've had a point, and certainly it's been mentioned many times. Television, a need to keep to that exact time slot, teaches you to 'kill your babies' - terrible expression.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

Peter:  The easiest character was Clancy, because he's a twisted version of me, or perhaps the me I could never be. The most difficult was unquestionably Lena; the way she's had to adapt to her circumstances, I didn't want to make her into some kind of super hero, but she does have to have almost unique gifts. 'Ethically ambiguous' - would have to be Dr Simon, though actually, there's someone who makes a fleeting appearance in The Detainee who becomes a main character in the rest of the trilogy - it would be her.



TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from The Detainee.

Peter:  Mm. The very first line is quite an attention grabber: 'There's a scream inside us all we save for death.' Or what about, 'If you ever want to find out who your real friends are, try coming back from the dead sometime'. I also like, 'I was Vesuvius with muscle to burn'. But if I may say so, there are lots.



TQ:  What's next?

Peter:  I'm just finishing the edit of book 2, Into the Fire, which will be out in the UK in July, and North America next year. I'm also halfway through the first draft of Book 3 (as yet untitled) which will be out in July 2015 (again in the UK). I'm also crossing my fingers there might be a film version of The Detainee - who knows, maybe even the whole series?



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Peter:  Have we finished? … It truly was my pleasure.





The Detainee

The Detainee
The Detainee Trilogy 1
Jo Fletcher Books, March 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
North American Debut

Interview with Peter Liney, author of The Detainee - March 11, 2014

Peter Liney honed his strong narrative skills and attention to detail during his long career as a writer of German, Australian, British, and South African television and radio programs. In his debut novel, The Detainee, Liney has crated a dystopian world in which the state has gone bust and can no longer support its weakest members.

The Island is a place of hopelessness. The Island is death. And it is to this place that all the elderly and infirm are shipped, the scapegoats for the collapse of society. There’s no escape, not from the punishment satellites that deliver instant judgment for any crime—including escape attempts—and not from the demons that come on foggy nights, when the satellites are all but blind. But when one of the Island’s inhabitants, the aging "Big Guy" Clancy, finds a network of tunnels beneath the waste, there is suddenly hope—for love, for escape, and for the chance to fight back.





About Peter

Interview with Peter Liney, author of The Detainee - March 11, 2014
Peter Liney was born in, what Thomas Hardy called, 'Melchester', Wiltshire, UK, though he has spent a good deal of his life travelling, with Australia and Thailand acting as his second home for ten and two years respectively. His list of occupations is embarrassingly long, everything from teaching English to Italian football managers and Japanese pop stars to acting, selling sewing machines in the Australian Outback, and two days as a trainee stuntman (he gave up, thought it was far too dangerous). He loves photography, music - both listening to and playing, and is a great movie lover. Which is possibly why he has been accused of not writing books at all, but 'movies in a book form'.

If he wasn't a writer, he would've loved to have been an opera singer, so we should all be grateful for his writing success.

Twitter @lineypeter  ~  Facebook  ~  Goodreads


Guest Blog by Aidan Harte - North of Neverland - March 1, 2014


Please welcome Aidan Harte to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Irenicon (The Wave Trilogy 1) will be published on April 1, 2014 in North America.



Guest Blog by Aidan Harte - North of Neverland - March 1, 2014




North of Neverland

Page count that would make Tolstoy tremble? Hooded gentleman on the cover? Chronology? Cast list? It’s a Fantasy novel all right, but what am I forgetting? Oh yes: maps.

Fantasy and maps go together like elections and promises.

Funny thing though, M. John Harrison, a writer I much esteem, is rather down on them. He says mapping Middle Earth is folly, and decries the “great clomping foot of nerdism”. For him Fantasy should unhinge the reader from the everyday world, and maps are altogether too literal a thing for that. It’s like doing your tax returns on mushrooms: it’s possible, but the results are unlikely to be inspiring. And he’s not revelling in obscurity either: the baroque grandeur of Viriconium or The Centauri Device show the merit in that approach. “Where we’re going,” Harrison seems to say, “we don’t need maps!”

Then there’s the George R. R Martin’s line of attack. Striving for an earthy realism, old George will show you a knight sitting by a campfire. He’ll tell you what armour yon knight’s wearing and who forged it. He’ll tell you about the animal upon whose leg said knight is chewing and how he cooked it. Family motto. Medical history. It can’t be that bad a method either when the results are so readable. Hard to argue with a bazillion book sales either… Naturally, Martin and Harrison both say Tolkien’s in their corner. He’s the guvnor after all.

Before starting Irenicon, I was with Harrison. I had high-minded objections to maps, cast lists and all the traditional accoutrements. No longer. Directions mostly don’t matter, but sometimes – in war for example – they matter a great deal. Demographics is Destiny they say (they usually being white folk terrified of their gardeners) but Geography beats Demographics every time. Show me a nation’s map; I’ll show you its soul. It’s no accident that Napoleon’s party trick was reading maps. Maps help when you don’t want to interrupt proceedings to remind readers every other chapter that Castle Skullface is southwest of The Forest of Shivers. Maps help in Fantasy the way they help in life: they get you there quicker.

So once you’ve cravenly bowed to tradition, how do you go about it? Typically you’ll want your map to be something your characters might conceivably lay their gauntlets on. How far to you take that? Our familiar North-Up, South-Down orientation is a relatively recent convention – and unforgivably Eurocentric – but it’s darn useful. Then there’s the question of accuracy. We have the armies of 19th Century surveyors – not satellites – to thank for the precise maps we’re used to. Have you seen any medieval cartography? Columbus was lucky to get out of the harbour, let alone across the Atlantic. It didn’t help matters that mariners’ detailed knowledge of coasts was regarded less than received notions which held Jerusalem to be at world’s centre.

It’s a question of taste, rather like the inevitable language problems that arise from the historical settings of most Fantasy. Readers will wince if a medieval character says “OK” but beyond that, if it flows, if it’s consistent, it becomes invisible. Then it can serve the story. And story is ultimately is what the traditional accoutrements, like maps, help us get to.

So that’s my excuse. Tolkien drew them too. Jeez, get off my back…





Irenicon

Irenicon
The Wave Trilogy 1
Jo Fletcher Books, April 1, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
(US Debut)

Guest Blog by Aidan Harte - North of Neverland - March 1, 2014
The river Irenicon is a feat of ancient Concordian engineering. Blasted through the middle of Rasenna in 1347, using Wave technology, it divided the only city strong enough to defeat the Concordian Empire. But no one could have predicted the river would become sentient—and hostile. Sofia Scaligeri, the soon-to-be Contessa of Rasenna, has inherited a city tearing itself apart from the inside. And try as she might, she can see no way of stopping the culture of vendetta that has the city in its grasp. Until a Concordian engineer arrives to build a bridge over the Irenicon, clarifying everything: the feuding factions of Rasenna can either continue to fight each other or they can unite against their shared enemy. And they will surely need to stand together—for Concord is about to unleash the Wave again.





About Aidan

Guest Blog by Aidan Harte - North of Neverland - March 1, 2014
Photo by Damien Sass
Aidan Harte was born in Kilkenny, studied sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art and currently works as sculptor in Dublin, where he also lives. Before discovering sculpture, he worked in animation and TV; in 2006 he created and directed the TV show Skunk Fu, which has been shown on Cartoon Network, Kids WB and the BBC.








Website







Interview with Snorri Kristjansson, author of Swords of Good Men - January 26, 2014


Please welcome Snorri Kristjansson to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Swords of Good Men was published on January 7, 2014.



Interview with Snorri Kristjansson, author of Swords of Good Men - January 26, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Snorri:  Hello, keepers of the Qwill! According to my parents I started writing when I was 5. My first book was, I assume, a romantic comedy. It was 5 pages long, and it starts with the sentence "The wheels of fortune of boys and girls turn in many ways." I was a fairly precocious child. Since then I've written various things of varying length and quality, but I didn't seriously Start Writing until 2008. Since then I've done a fair bit.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Snorri:  Plotter all the way - until it doesn't suit my purposes. Then I may pants my way into another plot.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Snorri:  At the moment, not getting better faster. My ability to recognize my own flaws is growing faster than my ability to not have them. It's frustrating - but a key part of doing the writing is finding the courage to look yourself in the eye, say "This is not very good at all - and that's okay" and then get going on fixing it.



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

Snorri:  Literary influences. Oh my.

David Gemmell is as great at getting to the point as Terry Pratchett is great at not doing it. You can smell the blood on Joe Abercrombie's pages as his characters bound through their lives like human pin balls. You can smell my blood on George R R Martin's pages as he blows my mind with the sheer bloody scale of it all. Neil Gaiman gives me all the feels; I hope I can put some of them in my books. Tom Pollock is a mad genius who neither blinks nor sleeps and cannot be harmed by conventional weapons. Mark Lawrence's books, if left alone on a bookshelf, will bully all the other books into a pile at the bottom with the muscular sneer of their prose, but it is okay because when the stories of Jorg then leave to find a tank to punch, the words in Patrick Rothfuss' books will sing to them and make it all better.

Saying that, there are things of worth and influence in any writer's work. If you stick too rigidly to a list, you risk missing out on some seriously good stuff.



TQ:  Describe Swords of Good Men (The Valhalla Saga 1) in 140 characters or less.

Snorri:  SGM is a rollicking tale of Vikings fighting for their way of life in a changing world. It has some inspired swearing and my Mum likes it.



TQ:  Tell us something about Swords of Good Men that is not in the book description.

Snorri:  There are berserkers.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Swords of Good Men? Why did you choose to write Epic Fantasy? Are there any other genres or sub-genres in which you'd like to write?

Snorri:  I chose to write Fantasy because of Tolkien, Feist, Canavan, Hobb, Martin, Abercrombie and all the others. Those, more than others, were my stories. I don't quite know if Swords can be classified as Epic Fantasy (apart from the fact that it is EPICALLY AWESOME *high-fives self*) and there are no doubt others that have Opinions on this - you might call it an Epic caper straddling the fence between Historical Fiction and Historical Fantasy. You could also call it an action book with Vikings.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Swords of Good Men?

Snorri:  To begin with - little. I thought I knew it all (I usually do). I found out and admitted I was wrong (I usually do this too), and started sourcing books. I went to the Jorvik Centre in York, Great Britain. I read most, if not all of the Internet - in particular www.vikinganswerlady.com. I asked my Dad, who was alive back then. Generally I just started gathering bits and pieces. Some answered my questions; others were too cool not to include. Yet others were put to the side to be used later.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

Snorri:  The character that came most naturally was probably Sven, the second-in-command of chieftain Sigurd Aegisson. He somehow had a voice from the very start, and may be the sort of sneaky old rogue I hope I'll grow up to be. The hardest must be Lilia, for a whole host of reasons that I cannot divulge for fear of spoiling stuff.

I don't know that I have a favourite good/bad/ambiguous guy/gal in my story. I tried to refrain from judging them for as long as I could. That being said, I have quite a soft spot for Audun. He's got issues, bless' im.



TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from Swords of Good Men.

Snorri:  "We are brothers of the edge." - Sigurd Aegisson

"Row, you stinking, dribbling shit babies!" - Thora



TQ:  What's next?

Snorri:  Gah. Making sure the second book - Blood Will Follow, out in June (See what I did there? I'm a proper self-promotion Ninja, I am) is as awesome as possible. At the moment it is only at 98.3%. Continuing and severely picking up speed on the third book. Dabbling in various other projects, rolling the dice here and there, and eating cake. I am a firm believer in the cake.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Snorri:  Thank you for having me!





The Valhalla Saga

Swords of Good Men
The Valhalla Saga 1
Jo Fletcher Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
US Debut

Interview with Snorri Kristjansson, author of Swords of Good Men - January 26, 2014
Swords of Good Men, Snorri Kristjansson’s debut novel, incorporates the myths that fascinated him as a child with his passion for epic fantasy. Ulfar Thormodsson has spent two years travelling as envoy and bodyguard to his high-born cousin. They have one last stop – the walled port town of Stenvik – before they can finally go home.

Thormodsson meets the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures his heart. Stenvik is also home to solitary blacksmith Audun Arngrimsson, whose past hides many dark secrets. Soon, the conflict brewing between two factions of dangerous and determined men of the town threatens to sweep all of them, natives and visitors alike, into the jaws of war.

The factions within Stenvik are about to come to blows, but a far bigger battle is approaching: a young King Olav is bringing the White Christ at point of sword and edge of blade. And on the horizon are the sails of another, more mysterious enemy. Thormodsson and his companions will soon learn that in this conflict between the Old Gods and the new, there are enemies everywhere—outside the walls of Stenvik as well as within.





About Snorri

Interview with Snorri Kristjansson, author of Swords of Good Men - January 26, 2014
Snorri Kristjansson is an Icelander, a writer and a teacher, with a background in acting, music and stand-up comedy. He lives in South London with his fiancé. SWORDS OF GOOD MEN is his first novel. Follow him on Twitter at @SnorriKristjans.

SWORDS OF GOOD MEN published in January 2014 by Jo Fletcher Books (an imprint of Quercus) and is the first book in his new series titled The Valhalla Saga. Three books are planned for the series.


Website  ~  Twitter @SnorriKristjans  ~  Facebook






2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Detainee by Peter Liney





The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.




Peter Liney

The Detainee
Jo Fletcher Books, March 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
US Debut

Peter Liney honed his strong narrative skills and attention to detail during his long career as a writer of German, Australian, British, and South African television and radio programs. In his debut novel, The Detainee, Liney has crated a dystopian world in which the state has gone bust and can no longer support its weakest members.

The Island is a place of hopelessness. The Island is death. And it is to this place that all the elderly and infirm are shipped, the scapegoats for the collapse of society. There’s no escape, not from the punishment satellites that deliver instant judgment for any crime—including escape attempts—and not from the demons that come on foggy nights, when the satellites are all but blind. But when one of the Island’s inhabitants, the aging "Big Guy" Clancy, finds a network of tunnels beneath the waste, there is suddenly hope—for love, for escape, and for the chance to fight back.







Giveaway: Gemsigns (®EVOLUTION  1) by Stephanie SaulterGiveaway: Gemsigns by Stephanie SaulterGiveaway: Irenicon by Aidan HarteGiveaway: Irenicon by Aidan HarteInterview with Peter Liney, author of The Detainee - March 11, 2014Guest Blog by Aidan Harte - North of Neverland - March 1, 2014Interview with Snorri Kristjansson, author of Swords of Good Men - January 26, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Detainee by Peter Liney

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