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Guest Blog by John Park - Of Drafts, Keyboards and a Sense of Place

Please welcome John Park to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Janus was published in September by ChiZine Publications.


Guest Blog by John Park -   Of Drafts, Keyboards and a Sense of Place


Of Drafts, Keyboards and a Sense of Place

Oddly, the history of my novel Janus almost exactly spans the age of the personal computer. My earliest attempts at the story had been short pieces, produced in my then-current mode: hand-written first draft; lots of readings and scribblings; a second draft typewritten on yellow paper (unlike William Gibson’s in those days, my typewriter was at least electrically powered); more readings and scribblings; and a final draft typed onto decent-quality white paper.

But by the time the idea was expanding into a novel, the new age had reached me, in the form of an Apple II+ computer upgraded to take 56 kilobytes of RAM. The hand-written first draft and yellow-paper second were compressed into one writing-revising process using the bright little letters on the green screen. The Apple II+ you probably don’t remember, used square black “floppy discs” a bit bigger than a CD jewel case. Allowing for backup- and work-space, each would hold about 7500 words. That became the length of a chapter, and the first version of Janus was stored on fourteen of these diskettes. But the big advantage was—no struggle at the keyboard to produce an acceptable final draft. A dot-matrix printer did all the work. And I was ready to go.

Not to a publisher, of course. This was the point to get some independent criticism. I was a member of a writing group and had other writing friends who were prepared to read and comment on my new printout. And they did a good, conscientious job. I stress this. One reader noticed I had used the same expression in connection with two different characters in two different chapters and wondered if I was implying a connection between them. (No—just early-draft sloppiness.)

So I collected all the comments, thought about them, and prepared for the next (perchance the final) draft.

But by now technology had forged further ahead. I had acquired a new computer: a second-hand Mac Plus. It had a glowing white screen with black letters and a mouse to move the cursor; and most impressive, it used smaller, rigid “floppy” discs, any one of which could hold my entire novel with room to spare. The only problem was that there was no means to transfer my text from the old Apple to the new Mac—except my traditional way of producing a new draft, by typing it in. Which is what I did.

It must have taken several months, revising as I went. And along the way, for the first time, I noticed something in my old version (which, remember, I had lived with for a couple of years, and maybe eight other people had carefully read and thought about): quietly, between chapters, the home of my male lead had moved from one side of the river to the other. Which might explain why some readers felt the novel lacked a sense of place.

I think there’s a moral here, if not a comfortable one. Rewriting, retyping, is an active process—at least if, like me, you don’t have a direct link from your eyes to your fingers. One of the old ways of teaching musical composition was to have the student copy out scores of the classics. Painful as it might seem, it apparently inculcated an understanding of how a good piece of music was constructed. I believe it. In my case, my clunky typing meant that each sentence fragment was held in my head for several seconds while my fingers fumbled with the keyboard. In even a careful reading, the same chunk of text would be dealt with in about one second. So it seems natural I would notice more implications when I typed in a new draft than if I simply edited on paper or on the screen.

Nowadays (human frailty in the face of labour-saving devices being what it is) I rarely retype. Does anyone? But sometimes, when I think of the number of words of fiction being turned out electronically every day, I do wonder what subtle changes, what softening of the edges, the word-processor is working upon us.




About Janus

Janus
ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

Guest Blog by John Park -   Of Drafts, Keyboards and a Sense of Place
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.




About John

Guest Blog by John Park -   Of Drafts, Keyboards and a Sense of Place
John Park was born in England but moved to Vancouver in 1970 as a graduate student and has lived in Canada ever since. He has done research in chemical physics and been part of a scientific consulting firm. Along the way, he developed a liking for Beethoven, became a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop, and began selling short stories (not necessarily in that order). His fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of Canadian, US and European publications. He lives in Ottawa, where he is a member of the Lyngarde writing group.



Follow John on Twitter:  @pocomaestoso

The View From Monday - October 15, 2012


The View From Monday - October 15, 2012


Happy Monday after New York Comic Con. I can't say this enough - if you have a chance to even spend a day at New York Comic Con you should!  The next NYCC will be held from October 10 - 13, 2013. I have a couple more posts about NYCC 2012 upcoming.

This week at The Qwillery there are Guest Blogs by or Interviews with John Park (Janus), Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians Series), D.J. McIntosh (The Witch of Babylon), Rob DeBorde (Portlandtown) and Zoë Archer (The Ether Chronicles).

On Saturday, the initial line up for and information about the 2013 Debut Author Challenge will be announced. In addition voting in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for October will commence.


There are quiet a few books out this week.  You may find a printable PDF shopping list of this week's releases by clicking HERE.


October 15, 2012
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
The Abolition of Species Dietmar Dath SF
Sole Possession (e) Bryn Donovan PNR
Motherless Child Glen Hirshberg H
Hidden Salem Kiki Howell H
Vampyric Variations Nancy Kilpatrick F/PN - Short Stories


October 16, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Wild Girls (D) Mary Stewart Atwell F/Su
Bowl of Heaven Gregory Benford
Larry Niven
SF
Only Superhuman (D) Christopher L. Bennett SF
100 Years of Vicissitude Andrez Bergen F
The Twelve Justin Cronin F/PA - Passage Trilogy 2
Blood and Other Cravings (h2tp) Ellen Datlow H - Anthology
Portlandtown (D) Rob DeBorde DF - Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1
Angel's Ink Jocelynn Drake UF - Asylum Tales 1
Belka, Why Don't You Bark? Hideo Furukawa SF
People of the Black Sun: A People of the Longhouse Novel W. Michael Gear F - North America's Forgotten Past 20
The Witch's Initiation Elle James PNR
The Road to Woodbury Robert Kirkman
Jay Bonansinga
H - Walking Dead
Strangers in the Land Stant Litore H - Zombie Bible 3
Windhaven (ri) George R.R. Martin
Lisa Tuttle
F
Tangled Web Crista McHugh FR - Diezian Empire 1
The Witch of Babylon (D US) D.J. McIntosh Th/Su - Mesopotamian Trilogy 1
Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism: A Novella Mike Mignola
Christopher Golden
H
Heroics Brian Moll (ed) Superheroes
Sharp and Dangerous Virtues Martha Moody Ap/Th
The Rook (h2tp) Daniel O'Malley Su/Th
Kissed by a Vampire Caridad Pineiro PNR
Remember Why You Fear Me: The Best Dark Fiction of Robert Shearman Robert Shearman DF - Collection
Crown of Destiny (ri) Bertrice Small FR - World of Hetar 6
Harvest Home (Illustrated) Thomas Tryon H


October 20, 2012
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
The Neighborhood Goncalo M. Tavares F


October 21, 2012
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
Over a Torrent Sea Christopher L. Bennett SF - Star Trek: Titan 5
Kobayashi Maru Michael A. Martin SF- Star Trek: Enterprise
Summon the Thunder Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek: Vanguard 2


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reprint or Reissue

Ap - Apocalyptic
DF - Dark Fantasy
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
H - Horror
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for September 2012!




As part of this year's Debut Author Challenge I thought it would be fun to choose a favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2012 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US.
You have 13 novels to choose from in September!











































Interview with John Park, author of Janus - September 15, 2012

Please welcome John Park to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. John's debut novel, Janus, is out this month from ChiZine Publications.


Interview with John Park, author of Janus - September 15, 2012


TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery.

John:  Thank you. That chair under the spotlight?

TQ: Yes, please.


TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

John:  Hmm. Semi-chronic writer's block? I can't write with any background music? My first drafts contain more editorial comments and notes to myself than actual text?


TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

John:  Current favourites would be Terry Pratchett, John le Carré, Guy Gavriel Kay, and a lot of sf writers; if I have to pick a sample of them: Ursula Le Guin, Gene Wolfe, Peter Watts, Brian Aldiss, China Miéville, J. G. Ballard.

The biggest single influence is almost certainly William Golding, whose first five novels hit me in my late teens and early twenties. The effect of Pincher Martin and The Inheritors in particular was immense. I spent two or three years trying to imitate him and then five or ten trying not to. He may still be my model stylist.


TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

John:  Somewhere in between: a groper maybe. It goes best if I have a good starting point and a sense of where the piece is heading and how it will end--but the middle is often vague, and things almost always change on the way, if only in the next draft. The middle of Janus changed a lot.


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

John:  Getting invention to flourish. Getting what feels like a promising idea to grow into a story. Writing is important to me, but usually difficult.


TQ: Describe Janus in 140 characters or less.

John:  People on another planet dealing with identity problems, tortured romances, suspicious accidents and a possible conspiracy.


TQ: What inspired you to write Janus?

John:  The most honest answer is, I don't know. It was triggered somehow by my reading Lester del Rey's story "Evensong" in Harlan Ellison's anthology Dangerous Visions, a long time ago. The result was a short story that almost wrote itself. It was very clumsy and overwrought, but it ultimately developed into the novel. Quite recently I re-read "Evensong" on the web, and it had no particular resonance for me, and little connection to anything I'd written; so the process that led to my first attempt at the Janus plot is a mystery. Motifs in Janus, such as lost memories, keep cropping up in my short stories, so the book clearly grew from something important, but so far I haven't figured out exactly what that is.


TQ: What sort of research did you do for Janus?

John:  As little as possible! I read up a bit about dam construction. I found that a piece of dirigible technology I'd cited had evidently died and I dropped it from the book. I checked some facts about about firearms--confirmed my impression about revolvers, and changed Ruger to Ingram. Most of the rest was stuff I felt I knew or could safely invent. The book is primarily a personal drama--it happens to need an extra-terrestrial setting, but I didn't want myself or the reader to get sidetracked by a mass of technological or exobiological detail.


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

John:  It contains the only dirigible-hijacking using automatic weapons I've written.


TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

John:  I don't have a good answer for that. Some scenes were notably easy or hard, but I don't think I had similar feelings about particular characters. It probably helped that my nastiest character, a spear-carrier, is seen only from the outside. The writing process is fundamentally mysterious, though. I remember writing one intense scene and congratulating myself on being very professional and analytical about it--visualising details, focusing on getting the words right, keeping the right balance between intensity and distance and so on--and then at the end, when I sat back, I found my hands were shaking.


TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Janus?

John:  Depending on the mood I'm in: a first meeting by a moonlit stream, a light-hearted sex scene in the mountains, a confrontation between the two principals when he reveals what he's learned about himself, or the very last scene with the female lead alone at night.


TQ: What's next?

John:  Not a sequel to Janus. I don't like open-ended series and much prefer self-contained works. I have bunch of short stories I'd like to work on and one or two things that might grow into books--possibly in more remote settings than Janus. And after several decades writing sf, I find I'm acquiring a slight tilt towards fantasy--though modern or urban rather than S&S.


TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

John:  Thank you for your interest.



About Janus

Janus
ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

Interview with John Park, author of Janus - September 15, 2012
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.



About John

Interview with John Park, author of Janus - September 15, 2012
John Park was born in England but moved to Vancouver in 1970 as a graduate student and has lived in Canada ever since. He has done research in chemical physics and been part of a scientific consulting firm. Along the way, he developed a liking for Beethoven, became a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop, and began selling short stories (not necessarily in that order). His fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of Canadian, US and European publications. He lives in Ottawa, where he is a member of the Lyngarde writing group.

The View From Monday - September 10, 2012

Monday again. Fall is the air. Time to start thinking about Halloween decorations!

It will be another busy week at The Qwillery with guest blogs from or interviews with Kristine Grayson, Adam McOmber, Lee Battersby, Bec McMaster, and John Park.

It's a light release week:

September 10, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Broken Promises (e) J.K. Coi SPR - Seasons of Invention 2
Sky Riders (e) Fae Sutherland SFER - Crux Ansata 1


September 11, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Full Blooded (D) Amanda Carlson UF - Jessica McClain 1
Under the Moon (ri) Natalie J. Damschroder PNR - Goddess Rising 1
Fire Dance Delle Jacobs FR
Loki's Daughters Delle Jacobs FR
Captured Heart Heather McCollum PHR - Highland Hearts
The White Forest (D) Adam McOmber F/G
Delusion in Death J. D. Robb UF - In Death 35
Turn to Darkness (e) Jaime Rush PNR - Offspring Novella
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire Mitzi Szereto (ed) EF - Anthology
The Blinding Knife Brent Weeks F - Lightbringer2


September 12, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Between Page and Screen: Remaking Literature Through Cinema and Cyberspace Kiene Brillenburg Wurth Criticism


September 13, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Hobbitus Ille: The Latin Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien F


September 15, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound Mark Leslie (ed) SF - Anthology
An Evolutionary Definition of Magical Realism: A Study in Literary Style Kenneth S. Reeds Literary Criticism
Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal Sherryl Vint SF


September 16, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Painted Alphabet: A Mythical Story of Bali Diana Darling F - Mythology/Fairy Tales



D - Debut
e - eBook
ri - reissue or reprint

EF - Erotic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
G - Gothic
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFER - Science Fiction Erotic Romance
SPR -  Steampunk Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012


Announcing the four newest authors who will be featured in the Challenge - A. J. Colucci, Rob DeBorde, D.J. McIntosh, and John Park.



A.J. Colucci

The Colony
Thomas Dunne Books, November 13, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants--an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.

The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.

When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan.

A.J. Colucci's debut novel is a terrifying mix of classic Michael Crichton and Stephen King. A thriller with the highest stakes and the most fascinating science, The Colony does for ants what Jaws did for sharks.




Rob DeBorde

Portlandtown
A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1
St. Martin's Griffin, October 16, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
(fiction debut)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.

Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.




D.J. McIntosh

The Witch of Babylon
Forge Books, October 16, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
(US debut)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
Out of the searing heat and sandstorms of the infamous summer of 2003 in Baghdad comes The Witch of Babylon, a gripping story rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world.

John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York's art world. Caught between his brother's obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq's National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.

Aided by Tomas, an archaeologist, and Ari, an Iraqi photojournalist—two men with their own secrets to hide—John races against time to decipher a biblical prophecy that leads to the dark history behind the science of alchemy. Kidnapped by villainous fortune hunters, John is returned to Iraq, where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery—if he can stay alive long enough to find it.




John Park

Janus
ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.




2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

There are 13 debuts for September.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The September debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite September cover for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.



Dark Light of Day
AuthorJill Archer
Series: Noon Onyx
Publisher:  Ace, September 25, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Dystopian
ISBN:  9780425257159 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.




Full Blooded
AuthorAmanda Carlson
Series:  Jessica McClain
Publisher:  Orbit, September 11, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $12.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780316205207 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
After living in hiding for the last twenty-six years, Jessica wakes up to find she's become a full-blooded werewolf -- claws, fangs, fur, everything. It was never supposed to happen: female werewolves don't exist.

When a mercenary killer comes looking for her, her Pack finds themselves caught in the middle of a war. They must rise up to protect her, but no one knows if she's means the end of their race-or just a new beginning.




In a Fix
Author:  Linda Grimes
Series: Ciel Halligan
Publisher:  Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Books, September 4, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $14.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780765331809 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she's able to take on her clients' appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don't want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable...that is, until Ciel's island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client's about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she's been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client's intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.




Bad Glass
AuthorRichard E. Gropp
Publisher:  Del Rey, September 25, 2012
Format: Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
Price:  $15.00 (print)
Genre:  Dark Fantasy
ISBN:  9780345533937 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
One of the most hauntingly original dark fantasy debuts in years—perfect for fans of Lost and Mark Danielewski’s cult classic, House of Leaves.

Something has happened in Spokane. The military has evacuated the city and locked it down. Even so, disturbing rumors and images seep out, finding their way onto the Internet, spreading curiosity, skepticism, and panic. For what they show is—or should be—impossible: strange creatures that cannot exist, sudden disappearances that violate the laws of physics, human bodies fused with inanimate objects, trapped yet still half alive. . . .

Dean Walker, an aspiring photographer, sneaks into the quarantined city in search of fame. What he finds will change him in unimaginable ways. Hooking up with a group of outcasts led by a beautiful young woman named Taylor, Dean embarks on a journey into the heart of a mystery whose philosophical implications are as terrifying as its physical manifestations. Even as he falls in love with Taylor—a woman as damaged and seductive as the city itself—his already tenuous hold on reality starts to come loose. Or perhaps it is Spokane’s grip on the world that is coming undone.

Now, caught up in a web of interlacing secrets and betrayals, Dean, Taylor, and their friends must make their way through this ever-shifting maze of a city, a city that is actively hunting them down, herding them toward a shocking destiny.




Clean
AuthorAlex Hughes
Series:  Mindspace Investigations
Publisher:  Roc, September 4, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
Genre:  SciFi/Mystery
ISBN:  9780451464750 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
A RUTHLESS KILLER—
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.




The Vanishing Act
Author:  Mette Jakobsen
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, September 17, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages
Price:  $23.95 (print)
Genre:   Fantasy
ISBN:  9780393062922 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
On a small snow-covered island—so tiny that it can’t be found on any map—lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou’s mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother’s disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother’s death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes’ philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.




Stormdancer
AuthorJay Kristoff
Series:  Lotus Wars
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press / Thomas Dunne Books, September 18, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781250001405 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.




Kiss of Steel
AuthorBec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk
Publisher:  Sourcebooks, September 4, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
Price:  $6.99 (print)
Genre:  Steampunk Romance
ISBN:  9781402270277 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.




The White Forest
AuthorAdam McOmber
Publisher:  Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, September 11, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451664256 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.




Something Red
Author:  Douglas Nicholas
Publisher:  Emily Bestler Books / Atria Books, September 18, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451660074 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
From debut author Douglas Nicholas comes a haunting story of love, murder, and sorcery.

During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized.

An intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting world full of mysterious and fascinating characters— shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and knights—where no one is safe from the terrible being that lurks in the darkness. In this extraordinary, fantastical world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous.




Janus
Author:  John Park
Publisher:  ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages
Price:  $15.95 (print)
Genre:  SciFi
ISBN:  9781927469101 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.




The City's Son
AuthorTom Pollock
Series:   The Skyscraper Throne
Publisher:  Flux, September 8, 2012 (US)
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages
Price:  $16.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780738734309 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

"Gritty, dynamic, and beautiful.
I can't wait for more."
TESSA GRATTON
author of Blood Magic

Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Filius, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Filius opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen—where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Filius’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Filius raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.




The Well of Tears
AuthorRoberta Trahan
Series:  The Dream Stewards
Publisher:  47North, September 18, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 325 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781612183725 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.


Guest Blog by John Park -   Of Drafts, Keyboards and a Sense of PlaceThe View From Monday - October 15, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September  2012Interview with John Park, author of Janus - September 15, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

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