close

The Qwillery | category: Kaethe Schwehn

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Interview with Kaethe Schwehn, author of The Rending and the Nest


Please welcome Kaethe Schwehn to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Rending and the Nest was published on February 20th by Bloomsbury USA.



Interview with Kaethe Schwehn, author of The Rending and the Nest




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

Kaethe:  Thanks so much for having me! I wrote a series of stories in high school that resulted in my English teacher pulling me aside to make sure I was O.K. The first was about suicide, the second was about abortion, and the third was an historical piece about a girl whose mom is about to be burned as a witch. I remember being mildly offended that the teacher expressed concern (didn’t she know it was fiction and it had nothing to do with me???) although now I genuinely understand her sense of trepidation.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kaethe:  Pantser all the way! I’ve tried to plot because it seems like plotting would make life so much easier but I’m hopeless at it and once I have a plot I don’t feel nearly as motivated to write because I’ve lost the excitement of finding out what happens next.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kaethe:  Self doubt. Especially with writing a novel. I think every published writer has a failed novel (or more likely multiple failed novels) and although we can all wax poetic about everything those novels taught us no one ever keeps working on a novel that she knows is going to fail. (Or maybe there’s a special kind of masochist that does, but I haven’t met her yet.) So writing a novel requires a great deal of faith, especially early in the process when the work is an oddly-formed thing for which you feel a great deal of strange but tentative affection. It’s kind of like having to be certain EVERY DAY that your newborn is going to become an astronaut.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kaethe:  Everything I’ve experienced in my lifetime, I suppose. A few things: motherhood, living in a remote community, Christianity, sexual encounters, Joni Mitchell, climate change, working in an orphanage in Ecuador, Minnesota winters, Dali, and that amazing scalp massage you receive when you get your hair cut.



TQDescribe The Rending and the Nest in 140 characters or less.

Kaethe:  Young woman finds identity, falls in love, tries to rescue best friend. Did I mention there’s been an apocalypse and women are giving birth to objects? That’s important, too.



TQTell us something about The Rending and the Nest that is not found in the book description.

Kaethe:  It’s set in Minnesota and features places like the Mall of America and the Minnesota Zoo.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Rending and the Nest? What appeals to you about writing Post-Apocalyptic SF?

Kaethe:  Although I love reading contemporary, “real-life” novels I have zero interest in writing one. While a finished post-apocalyptic/SF novel certainly has to contain certain “rules” that govern the created world, generating a first draft is so delicious and wild and fun because literally ANYTHING GOES. Anything. Richard Simmons can captain a cement mixer spewing doll parts! A jazzercise class can turn into an exorcism! Houses can siphon all of our happy memories into their duct systems while we sleep! These possibilities fill me with joy.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Rending and the Nest?

Kaethe:  My research was pretty sporadic (I say this as someone whose current project involves a ridiculous amount of research). I needed lots of little bits of information about subjects like hunting with snares, whittling, gasoline longevity, and firearms. I drove the roads the characters walk and took lots of pictures. I asked a sculptor friend questions about how she might make certain kinds of structures.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Rending and the Nest?

Kaethe:  It does depict something about the novel but explaining it would be a spoiler! What I love most about the cover is that I’ve had a few readers not recognize the connection while for others the connection is immediately obvious. So I love that the image functions as a Rorschach Test of sorts. The idea of what we reveal and what we are ready to see is central to the book and the cover reflects that—so the artists at Bloomsbury are kind of geniuses.



TQIn The Rending and the Nest who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Kaethe:  Mira (the protagonist) was both the easiest and hardest. I think most authors would say that there’s some aspect of themselves in every character; this was especially true for me with Mira so I had to be really careful to make sure her choices were authentically hers and that I wasn’t peer pressuring her.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Rending and the Nest?

Kaethe:  I did not consciously choose to include social issues but upon finishing the book I realized that they’re certainly present, though not as overtly as in The Handmaid’s Tale or Children of Men or When She Woke. Central to the book are a couple questions: who has control over women’s bodies and what they “produce” and who has control over the stories we tell about our bodies and ourselves? Two dear friends of mine both went through a series of miscarriages and stillbirths during the time I was writing the book and I also realized, upon finishing it, that the anguish the women feel in the book (about a very surreal phenomenon) is connected to the anguish women often currently feel over the loss of lives they have no real way to openly grieve or remember.



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

Kaethe:

Question: What was the most significant writing feedback you received while working on the novel?

Answer: Probably that one time when my agent mentioned I needed to add more to the ending and when I asked how much more she said “about twenty thousand words.” So I went ahead and added the entire last fourth of the book and I’m so glad I did.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Rending and the Nest.

Kaethe:

“And, stupidly, it didn’t occur to me that the other members of Zion might have similarly curated their own pasts, track lighting and gleaming pedestals for the parts of themselves they wanted to remember and temperature-controlled basement storage for the parts of themselves they would just as soon forget.”

“And I want to say that, faced with the loss of my friend, or the loss of the way our friendship had been, I grieved by spending more time on the Piles or composing sonnets from the list of objects at the back of my notebook, by helping in the orchard or practicing yoga breaths. But I didn’t. I went to Rodney instead.”



TQWhat's next?

Kaethe:  I’m working on a novel that begins in 4 BCE. A pregnant woman who is training to become a doctor and a couple fleeing political and religious persecution have an encounter in a Jewish community outside of Alexandria, Egypt that changes their lives—and maybe the history of the world—forever.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Rending and the Nest
Bloomsbury USA, February 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Kaethe Schwehn, author of The Rending and the Nest
A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.

When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost.

Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object--and other women of Zion follow suit--the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn't return, Mira must decide how much she's willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourselves?





Kaethe On Tour

Northfield, MN
Thu Feb 22 7:00PM
There will be a launch party for Kaethe Schwehn, who will be signing copies of THE RENDING AND THE NEST at Imminent Brewing in Northfield, MN.
Iowa City, IA
Fri Feb 23 7:00PM
Kaethe Schwehn will be reading and signing copies of THE RENDING AND THE NEST at Prairie Lights in Iowa City, IA with Kiki Petrosino.
St. Paul, MN
Tue Feb 27 6:00PM
Kaethe Schwehn will be reading and signing copies of THE RENDING AND THE NEST with Patrick Nathan at Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul, MN.

St. Paul, MN
Wed Feb 28 7:00PM
Kaethe Schwehn will be reading and signing copies of THE RENDING AND THE NEST as part of the Fireside Reading Series at St. Paul Public Library in St. Paul, MN.
Tampa, FL
Fri Mar 9 11:00AM
Kaethe Schwehn will be signing copies of THE RENDING AND THE NEST at AWP Book Fair at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, FL.
Brooklyn, NY
Thu Mar 22 7:00PM
Kaethe Schwehn will be reading and signing copies of THE RENDING AND THE NEST with Anjali Sachdeva at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY.





About Kaethe

Kaethe Schwehn’s first book, Tailings: A Memoir, won the 2015 Minnesota Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, and her chapbook of poems, Tanka & Me, was selected for the Mineral Point Chapbook Series. In addition to holding M.F.A.s from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Montana, Kaethe has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize, a Minnesota Arts Board grant, and a Loft Mentor Series award. She teaches at St. Olaf College and lives in Northfield, Minnesota.

Website  ~ Twitter @KaetheSchwehn

The View From Monday - February 19, 2018


Happy Monday! Happy Presidents Day in the USA.

There are 3 debuts this week - Epic Fantasy, Post- Apocalyptic SF, and Horror! Something for everyone.

The Song of All (Legacy of the Heavens 1) by Tina LeCount Myers;

The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn;

and

The Clarity by Keith Thomas.

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



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Armored Saint (Sacred Throne 1) by Myke Cole;

and

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is out in Trade Paperback.

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



The View From Monday - February 19, 2018



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

February 19, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Marrying an Alien Pop Star Kendra L. Saunders SFR/AC - The Alien Pop Star 3



February 20, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Taduno's Song (h2tp) Odafe Atogun LF
Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories Kelly Barnhill F - Collection
The Boy on the Bridge (h2tp) M. R. Carey SF/AP/PA
The Clairvoyants (h2tp) Karen Brown SupTh
Shroud of Night Andy Clark SF
The Armored Saint Myke Cole F - Sacred Throne 1
Battle Hymn William C. Dietz SF/AP/PA - America Rising 3
Outpost W. Michael Gear SF/AC - Donovan 1
A Time of Dread John Gwynne F - Of Blood & Bone 1
AWOL Traci Harding F - Time Keeper Trilogy 3
Fright Night: Resurrection (e) Tom Holland H
The Temple (e) Jean Johnson FR - Guardians of Destiny 4
Recluce Tales: Stories from the World of Recluce (h2tp) L. E. Modesitt Jr. F - Saga of Recluce
Spaceman of Bohemia (h2tp) Jaroslav Kalfar LF
Cujo (ri) Stephen King H
The One John Marrs LF
All Our Wrong Todays (h2tp) Elan Mastai SF/TT
The Song of All (D) Tina LeCount Myers F - Legacy of the Heavens 1
Curse of the Chosen Richard Phillips F - Endarian Prophecy 3
Embers of War Gareth L. Powell SF - Embers of War 1
All the Names They Used for God: Stories Anjali Sachdeva MR - Collection
The Rending and the Nest (D) Kaethe Schwehn SF/AP/PA
Ambiguity Machines: and Other stories Vandana Singh SF - Collection
The Clarity (D) Keith Thomas H
The Sundering Gav Thorpe F - Warhammer Chronicles
NK3 (h2tp) Michael Tolkin LF/NF
Phosphorus: A Winterstrike Story Liz Williams SF - NewCon Press Novellas Set 3
Scribes James Wolanyk DF - The Scribe Cycle 1



February 22, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Gods of the Dark Web Lucas Mangum H
Doctor Who: The Missy Chronicles (e) Cavan Scott
Jacqueline Rayner
Paul Magrs
James Goss
Peter Anghelides
Richard Dinnick
SF - Doctor Who



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint



AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
LF - Literary Fiction
LitCol - Literary Collection
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
NR - Near Future
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural 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 - February Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 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 March 7, 2018.

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




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover artwork by © ruby onyinyechi amanze





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover design by Dawn Adams





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Bob Eggleton





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Jonathan Coulthart





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Photo by Nigel Cattlin
Design by Jamie Stafford-Hill





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Jeff Chapman
Layout and typography by Shawn King

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


There are 12 debut novels for February.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The February 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 February cover for the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on February 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 February 2018. The list is correct as of the day posted.




Robert Ashcroft

The Megarothke
Cinestate, February 27, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 280 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Blade Runner meets Westworld via Resident Evil in this shocking, gripping debut sci-fi/horror novel infused with Nietzschean philosophy, exploring humanity's darkest desire for transcendence.

Seven years after the limitless depths of the Hollow War decimated Earth, leaving only 50,000 humans to fight for survival in Los Angeles, Theo Abrams is sent on a mission to destroy the enigmatic being that initiated this apocalypse, confronting the fact that humanity's yearning to transcend reality caused its downfall . . .

Robert Ashcroft, trained as cryptologic linguist, has worked as a State Department contractor and was recently mobilized to serve abroad with the US Army Reserve.





Sue Burke

Semiosis
Tor Books, February 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance in Semiosis, a character driven science fiction novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke.

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches...and waits...

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet's sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.





Akwaeke Emezi

Freshwater
Grove Press, February 13, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 240 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Ada has always been unusual. As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry, as the young Ada becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief.

But Ada turns out to be more than just volatile. Born “with one foot on the other side,” she begins to develop separate selves. When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallizes the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these alters—now protective, now hedonistic—move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dangerous direction.

Written with stylistic brilliance and based in the author’s realities, this raw and extraordinary debut explores the metaphysics of identity and being, plunging the reader into the mysteries of self. Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.





Jasmine Gower

Moonshine
Angry Robot, February 6, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Daisy’s starting a new job and stylish city life, but mage-hunters out for her dark magic threaten to destroy her vogue image.

In the flourishing metropolis of Soot City (a warped version of 1920s Chicago), progressive ideals reign and the old ways of magic and liquid mana are forbidden. Daisy Dell is a Modern Girl – stylish, educated and independent – keen to establish herself in the city but reluctant to give up the taboo magic inherited from her grandmother.

Her new job takes her to unexpected places, and she gets more attention than she had hoped for. When bounty hunters start combing the city for magicians, Daisy must decide whether to stay with her new employer – even if it means revealing the grim source of her occult powers.

File Under: Fantasy [ A Modern Girl in Soot City | Bootleg Magic | Shady Dealings | Revealing her Powers ]





Les Johnson

Mission to Methone
Baen, February 6, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
     (Solo Debut)

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
The year is 2065 and an accidental encounter in space leads to the discovery that we are not alone in the universe—and that our continued existence as a species may be in jeopardy.

Chris Holt, working in his office at the Space Resources Corporation, discovers that one of the asteroids he is surveying for mining is actually not an asteroid at all but a derelict spaceship. The word gets out and soon the world's powers are competing to explore and claim for themselves the secrets that it holds.

What they don't know is that across the galaxy, a war has been underway for millennia. A war between alien civilizations that have very different ideas about what should be done about emerging spacefaring civilizations like our own. The artificial intelligence resident in the derelict Holt discovered has been in our solar system since before the dawn of human civilization, watching, waiting and keeping quiet lest the interstellar war return and wipe out the sentient race that now resides there—humanity.

And that war might soon be again coming to our front door. The truth can only be discovered on Methone, a tiny, egg-shaped moon of the planet Saturn. Who will get there first? And will it be in time?





Tom Miller

The Philosopher's Flight
Simon & Schuster, February 13, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. “Like his characters, Tom Miller casts a spell.” (Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer)

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women.

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle’s activism and Robert’s recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert’s place among the next generation of empirical philosophers—and for philosophy’s very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher’s Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.





Tina LeCount Myers

The Song of All
The Legacy of the Heavens 1
Night Shade Books, February 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 452 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A former warrior caught between gods and priests must fight for the survival of his family in this dark epic fantasy debut, set in a harsh arctic world inspired by Scandinavian indigenous cultures.

On the forbidding fringes of the tundra, where years are marked by seasons of snow, humans war with immortals in the name of their shared gods. Irjan, a human warrior, is ruthless and lethal, a legend among the Brethren of Hunters. But even legends grow tired and disillusioned.

Scarred and weary of bloodshed, Irjan turns his back on his oath and his calling to hide away and live a peaceful life as a farmer, husband, and father. But his past is not so easily left behind. When an ambitious village priest conspires with the vengeful comrades Irjan has forsaken, the fragile peace in the Northlands of Davvieana is at stake.

His bloody past revealed, Irjan’s present unravels as he faces an ultimatum: return to hunt the immortals or lose his child. But with his son’s life hanging in the balance, as Irjan follows the tracks through the dark and desolate snow-covered forests, it is not death he searches for, but life.





David Pedreira

Gunpowder Moon
Harper Voyager, February 13, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
“Interesting quirks and divided loyalties flesh out this first novel in which sf and mystery intersect in a well-crafted plot...Pedreira’s science thriller powerfully highlights the human politics and economics from the seemingly desolate expanse of the moon. It will attract readers who enjoyed Andy Weir’s lunar crime caper Artemis.” -- Library Journal, starred review

A realistic and chilling vision of life on the Moon, where dust kills as easily as the vacuum of space…but murder is even quicker—a fast-paced, cinematic science fiction thriller, this debut novel combines the inventiveness of The Martian, the intrigue of The Expanse, and the thrills of Red Rising.

The Moon smells like gunpowder. Every lunar walker since Apollo 11 has noticed it: a burnt-metal scent that reminds them of war. Caden Dechert, the chief of the U.S. mining operation on the edge of the Sea of Serenity, thinks the smell is just a trick of the mind—a reminder of his harrowing days as a Marine in the war-torn Middle East back on Earth.

It’s 2072, and lunar helium-3 mining is powering the fusion reactors that are bringing Earth back from environmental disaster. But competing for the richest prize in the history of the world has destroyed the oldest rule in space: Safety for All. When a bomb kills one of Dechert’s diggers on Mare Serenitatis, the haunted veteran goes on the hunt to expose the culprit before more blood is spilled.

But as Dechert races to solve the first murder in the history of the Moon, he gets caught in the crosshairs of two global powers spoiling for a fight. Reluctant to be the match that lights this powder-keg, Dechert knows his life and those of his crew are meaningless to the politicians. Even worse, he knows the killer is still out there, hunting.

In his desperate attempts to save his crew and prevent the catastrophe he sees coming, the former Marine uncovers a dangerous conspiracy that, with one spark, can ignite a full lunar war, wipe out his team . . . and perhaps plunge the Earth back into darkness.





Kaethe Schwehn

The Rending and the Nest
Bloomsbury USA, February 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.

When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost.

Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object--and other women of Zion follow suit--the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn't return, Mira must decide how much she's willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourselves?





Roger Arthur Smith

Echoes
Baobob Press, February 27, 2018
Trade Paperback, 307 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Roger Arthur Smith’s spectacular debut, Echoes, asks, what happens when your fundamental nature is challenged, not by the many evils without, but by an unexpected awakening within?

It’s 1960 in Hawthorne, Nevada, a desert town so secluded that the U.S. Navy stores munitions nearby. While the Cold war lumbers on, the town’s gossip mills and marriage-eligible bachelors and bachelorettes play a game of cat and mouse, a pastime, that if nothing else, manages to while away the hours. Attorney Will Dubykky keeps a watchful eye over Hawthorne, and it comes as no surprise that his interest is piqued by the sudden appearance of a strange boy. Why is this boy disfigured? Why does he have difficulty speaking? Why can’t some people seem to see him? As one of the initiated, Dubykky has an inkling; the boy is evil, an echo sent to rectify the wrongs of an indulgent murderer. The echo’s mission? Tempt, trap and eliminate the human monster that spawned it. If all goes according to evil’s intent, the echo will die fulfilling its destiny. This fatal sequence has persisted as long as evil itself, but before the dark circle can be closed, riddles must be solved. In a town this small, who is capable of committing a string of heinous crimes undetected? And, when the time comes will this echo, more naïve and innocent than any echo Dubykky has ever encountered, fulfill its gruesome destiny? Echoes, is a wildly entertaining, gloriously absorbing exploration of humanity, evil, and the stark environs in which both exist.





Keith Thomas

The Clarity
Atria/Leopoldo & Co., February 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
For fans of Black Mirror and True Detective, a visceral high‑concept thriller about a psychologist who must protect the life of an eleven-year-old girl whose ability to remember past lives makes them both targets of a merciless killer.

Dr. Matilda Deacon is a psychologist researching how memories are made and stored when she meets a strange eleven-year-old girl named Ashanique. Ashanique claims to harbor the memories of the last soldier killed in World War I and Matilda is at first very interested but skeptical. However, when Ashanique starts talking about being chased by the Night Doctors—a term also used by an unstable patient who was later found dead—Matilda can’t deny that the girl might be telling the truth.

Matilda learns that Ashanique and her mother have been on the run their whole lives from a monstrous assassin named Rade. Rade is after a secret contained solely in memories and has left a bloody trail throughout the world in search of it. Matilda soon realizes Ashanique is in unimaginable danger and that her unique ability comes with a deadly price.

Fast-paced, suspenseful, and a chilling blend of science and danger, The Clarity is a compelling take on the possibilities of reincarnation and life after death.





Maria Vale

The Last Wolf
The Legend of All Wolves 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca, February 6, 2018
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild.

If she returns to her Pack, the stranger will die.
But if she stays…


Silver Nilsdottir is at the bottom of her Pack’s social order, with little chance for a decent mate and a better life. Until the day a stranger stumbles into their territory, wounded and beaten, and Silver decides to risk everything on Tiberius Leveraux. But Tiberius isn’t all he seems, and in the fragile balance of the Pack and wild, he may tip the destiny of all wolves…

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1


The 8th year of the The Qwillery's Debut Author Challenge will start on January 1, 2018. Here are the 10 debuts being published in January and February that I most looking forward to reading.


H. G. Bells

Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse
Talos, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 376 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
For fans of the oral history genre phenomenon World War Z, an inventive new spin on the apocalypse featuring a worldwide plague of insomnia.

Remember what it’s like to go an entire night without sleep?

What if sleep didn’t come the following night? Or the night after? What might happen if you, your friends, your family, your coworkers, and the strangers you pass on the street, all slowly began to realize that rest might not ever come again?

How slowly might the world fall apart? How long would it take for a society without sleep to descend into chaos?

Sleep Over is a collection of waking nightmares, a scrapbook collection of haunting and poignant stories from those trapped in a world where the pillars of society are crumbling, and madness is slowly descending on a planet without rest.

Online vigilantism transforms social media into a blame game with deadly consequences.

A freelance journalist grapples with the ethics of turning in footage of mass suicide.

Scientists turn to horrifying experiments as they grow more desperate in their race for a cure.

In Sleep Over, these stories are just the beginning. Before the Longest Day, the world record was eleven days without sleep. It turns out many of us will be forced to go much longer.





Sue Burke

Semiosis
Tor Books, February 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
Human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance in Semiosis, a character driven science fiction novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke.

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches...and waits...

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet's sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.





Tyrell Johnson

The Wolves of Winter
Scribner, January 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.





Rati Mehrotra

Markswoman
Asiana 1
Harper Voyager, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
An order of magical-knife wielding female assassins brings both peace and chaos to their post-apocalyptic world in this bewitching blend of science fiction and epic fantasy—the first entry in a debut duology that displays the inventiveness of the works of Sarah Beth Durst and Marie Lu.

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra—and for Asiana.

But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.





Tom Miller

The Philosopher's Flight
Simon & Schuster, February 13, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. “Like his characters, Tom Miller casts a spell.” (Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer)

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women.

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle’s activism and Robert’s recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert’s place among the next generation of empirical philosophers—and for philosophy’s very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher’s Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.





Tina LeCount Myers

The Song of All
The Legacy of the Heavens 1
Night Shade Books, February 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 452 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A former warrior caught between gods and priests must fight for the survival of his family in this dark epic fantasy debut, set in a harsh arctic world inspired by Scandinavian indigenous cultures.

On the forbidding fringes of the tundra, where years are marked by seasons of snow, humans war with immortals in the name of their shared gods. Irjan, a human warrior, is ruthless and lethal, a legend among the Brethren of Hunters. But even legends grow tired and disillusioned.

Scarred and weary of bloodshed, Irjan turns his back on his oath and his calling to hide away and live a peaceful life as a farmer, husband, and father. But his past is not so easily left behind. When an ambitious village priest conspires with the vengeful comrades Irjan has forsaken, the fragile peace in the Northlands of Davvieana is at stake.
the song
His bloody past revealed, Irjan’s present unravels as he faces an ultimatum: return to hunt the immortals or lose his child. But with his son’s life hanging in the balance, as Irjan follows the tracks through the dark and desolate snow-covered forests, it is not death he searches for, but life.





Kaethe Schwehn

The Rending and the Nest
Bloomsbury USA, February 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.

When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost.

Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object--and other women of Zion follow suit--the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn't return, Mira must decide how much she's willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourselves?





Ana Simo

Heartland
Restless Books, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, pre-apocalyptic United States, Ana Simo’s fiction debut, Heartland, is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire.

There’s only one solution for a nasty case of writer’s block, and that’s murder. Specifically, that of one Mercy McCabe, a cunning SoHo art dealer who was once our Latina narrator’s rival for the scrumptious Bebe. When she discovers that McCabe has squandered Bebe’s affections after stealing her away, revenge is not enough: she must admit her guilt, sentence herself, and beg for her own execution, Soviet-style.

In the all-too-terrifyingly-familiar America of Heartland, the inconceivable has become ordinary: corruption and greed at the top have led to mass starvation in the heartland; hordes of refugees have escaped from resettlement camps and attack the cities; a puritanical Caliphate has toppled Constantinople, with America in its sights. Meanwhile, escaping her New York life in disguise, our heroine lures McCabe to her home turf: a hilltop house in the Great Plains where her parents worked as domestic servants. Her nemesis, though, is slippery, and McCabe disappears, threatening to ruin a homicidal masterplan so detailed as to be akin to love.

Heartland is a hilarious, genre-defying debut that confronts taboos of race, assimilation, and sex through a high-voltage tale of love, language, and revenge.





Sarah Tarkoff

Sinless
Eye of the Beholder 1
Harper Voyager, January 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
With shades of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and Ally Condie’s Matched, this cinematic dystopian novel—the first in the thrilling Eye of the Beholder series—is set in a near future society in which "right" and "wrong" are manifested by beauty and ugliness.

In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are "good" are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement or even death. The daughter of a cleric, Grace has always had faith in the higher power that governs her world. But when she stumbles onto information that leaves her questioning whether there are more complicated—and dangerous—forces manipulating the people around her, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle, where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves—and, ultimately, her own.

With each page in this electrifying debut novel, Sarah Tarkoff masterfully plunges us into a nightmarish vision of the future. Full of high drama and pulsating tension, Sinless explores the essential questions teenagers wrestle with every day—What is beauty? What is faith? Do we take our surroundings at face value and accept all that we have been taught, or do we question the mores of the society into which we are born?—and places them in the context of a dark, dystopian world where appearances are most definitely deceiving.





Andrew Valencia

Lord of California
Ig Publishing, January 30, 2018
Trade Paperback, 284 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
“A remarkable debut. Valencia writes with a sinuous maturity, a boldness of vision far beyond his years. In Lord of California, this beyond-seeing is literal: wild, impressive, at times menacing invention about what a separatist California might look like begins to look downright prescient, and Valencia’s portraitist skill with his characters lifts them off the page, too.”―Ryan McIlvain, author of Elders

Set in a future where the United States has dissolved and California is its own independent republic, Lord of California follows the struggles of the Temple family as they work at running a farm on a nationalized land parcel in the central San Joaquin Valley. When the family patriarch, Elliot, dies, it’s revealed that he had been keeping five separate families, and in the aftermath of their discovery, his widows and children must come together to keep from losing all they have. But their livelihood is threatened when Elliot’s estranged son tries to blackmail them, unleashing a series of violent confrontations between different factions of the family.

A sparse family drama reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, combined with the intimate first-person narratives of Kazuo Ishiguro, Lord of California is a powerful debut novel.

Interview with Kaethe Schwehn, author of The Rending and the NestThe View From Monday - February 19, 20182018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts2018 Debut Author Challenge - February DebutsThe 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×