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Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014


Please welcome Kameron Hurley to The Qwillery. The Mirror Empire, the first novel in the Worldbreaker Saga, was published by Angry Robot Books on August 26, 2014 in North America and digital format and will be published on September 4, 2014 in the UK in print format.



Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014




Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants

I get a lot of questions about worldbuilding. It’s right up there with characterization as my favorite part of writing, and is most certainly my favorite part of choosing to write in genre. I can create whole worlds from the ground up.

As I relish in this power of virtual creation, it always seemed odd to me that more people didn’t spend time worldbuilding. Weird writers like China Mieville, KJ Bishop and Angela Carter impressed me with the lush weirdness of the worlds they built, both fascinating and horrifying me as a reader. So when I went to create the creatures inhabiting the world of my latest book, The Mirror Empire, my new epic fantasy novel, you can bet building fantastic creatures was top of mind.

In my God’s War trilogy, I had created a world powered by different types of insects – some real, some made up for the book. Using bugs as a form of commerce and technology affected every other thing in the book, so it was vital to get that system down early. For The Mirror Empire I wanted to have a similarly ubiquitous and strange way of populating the landscape that affected how people worked, traveled, lived.

So… why not flesh-eating plants?

Cue the “feed me” jokes. Yes, they are apt.

I tinkered with the idea of having these semi-sentient types of plants, like walking trees and ground cover that would creep up and engulf you if you sat still too long. I imagined huge bladder traps and massive pitcher plants that ate people and mammals instead of insects. I had also made the primarily point of view culture in the book vegetarian, which seemed to present some interesting issues: it wasn’t as if they could pretend plants didn’t have feelings and motivations when some of them really, really did. So their choice to be vegetarians, I suspected, was not going to be a wholly moral one.

I also made a conscious choice to steer clear of totally unfamiliar names when telling readers what my creatures were, from bears to treegliders to pitcher plants to bladder traps. I used real-world names whenever possible for things that were… well, almost like their earth equivalents. There were already a lot of made-up names across several cultures, and I wanted to reduce the number of new terms that readers were introduced to. So even though the bears on this world have forked tongues and bifurcated paws and protruding fangs, I call them bears. And even though the bladder traps are six feet tall and hidden underground, attached to the roots of trees, instead of miniscule things meant to catch bugs attached to the roots of small plants, they’re called bladder traps.

I learned this trick from author Tara K. Harper, whose Wolfwalker books appear, at first blush, to be standard fantasy novels. But as you get deeper into it you realize the “horses” have six legs, and the other creatures and landscapes you thought were fantasy pseudo-familiar are… not. I had a similar moment of dissonance reading Paul Park’s Starbridge Chronicles, when, halfway through the book there’s a sentence like, “He pushed her tail out of the way” and I was like HOLY CRAP THEY HAVE TAILS???

It turns out that when you’re building really weird worlds, waiting to reveal just how weird they are is kinder to the reader than a mess of word vomit at the start. I had approached many aspects of writing the God’s War trilogy the same way, using real-world words (though not always English ones) to describe things that most assuredly… were not. Or were, at best, used to define slightly different types of things.

Steering clear of too many made-up words is probably my biggest piece of worldbuilding advice, especially if, like me, you’re already making up a good deal, from the names of the people and places to the gods and the unique terms and titles used by several different cultures. You’re already going to have some interesting word salad. Try not to overdo it.





The Mirror Empire
Worldbreaker Saga 1
Angry Robot Books, August 26, 2014 (US/Canada print/digital)
     September 4, 2014 (UK print)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014
From the award-winning author of God’s War comes a stunning new series…
 
On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.

In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

File Under: Fantasy





About Kameron

Kameron Hurley is the author of the novels God’s War, Infidel, and Rapture a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel. She has won the Hugo Award and been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the Locus Award, BFS Award, and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Her latest novel, The Mirror Empire, was published by Angry Robot Books on August 26th, 2014.

Website  ~  Twitter @KameronHurley  ~  Facebook




God's War Trilogy / Bel Dame Apocrypha

God's War
God's War / Bel Dame Apocrypha 1
Night Shade Books, February 1, 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook, 307 pages

Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014
Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn't make any difference...

On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there's one thing everybody agrees on--

There's not a chance in hell of ending it.

Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx's ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war--but at what price?

The world is about to find out.



Infidel
God's War / Bel Dame Apocrypha 2
Night Shade Books, October 1, 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014
The only thing worse than war is revolution. Especially when you're already losing the war...

Nyx used to be a bel dame, a government-funded assassin with a talent for cutting off heads for cash. Her country's war rages on, but her assassin days are long over. Now she's babysitting diplomats to make ends meet and longing for the days when killing people was a lot more honorable.

When Nyx's former bel dame "sisters" lead a coup against the government that threatens to plunge the country into civil war, Nyx volunteers to stop them. The hunt takes Nyx and her inglorious team of mercenaries to one of the richest, most peaceful, and most contaminated countries on the planet -- a country wholly unprepared to host a battle waged by the world's deadliest assassins.

In a rotten country of sweet-tongued politicians, giant bugs, and renegade shape shifters, Nyx will forge unlikely allies and rekindle old acquaintances. And the bodies she leaves scattered across the continent this time... may include her own.

Because no matter where you go or how far you run in this world, one thing is certain: the bloody bel dames will find you.



Rapture
God's War / Bel Dame Apocrypha  3
Night Shade Books, November 6, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook,372 pages

Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014
After years in exile, Nyxnissa so Dasheem is back in action in service to the bel dames, a sisterhood of elite government assassins tasked with eliminating deserters and traitors. The end of a centuries-long holy war between her country, Nasheen, and neighboring Chenja has flooded the streets of Nasheen with unemployed – and unemployable – soldiers whose frustrations have brought the nation to the brink of civil war.

Not everyone likes this tenuous and unpredictable “peace,” however, and somebody has kidnapped a key politician whose death could trigger a bloody government takeover. With aliens in the sky and revolution on the ground, Nyx assembles a team of mad magicians, torturers,and mutant shape-shifters for an epic journey across a flesh-eating desert in search of a man she’s not actually supposed to kill.

Trouble is, killing is the only thing Nyx is good at. And she already left this man to die…



You may buy the complete God's War Trilogy in a digital omnibus edition (Night Shade Books, July 15, 2013):

Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014


The View From Monday - August 25, 2014


Happy last Monday in August. School starts here tomorrow so I won't be around much for a few days as my youngest settles in. Has school started where you are?

There is one debut this week:

The Monster's Wife by Kate Horsley.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Evernight (Darkest London 5) by Kristen Callihan;

The Mirror Empire (Worldbreaker Saga 1) by Kameron Hurley;

Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson 6) by Darynda Jones;

and

The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1)by Brian Staveley.



The View From Monday - August 25, 2014



August 25, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Freezer (e) Timothy S. Johnston SF - The Tanner Sequence 2



August 26, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Horus Rising (ri) Dan Abnett SF - Horus Heresy 1
Legion (ri) Dan Abnett SF - Horus Heresy 7
Prospero Burns (ri) Dan Abnett SF - Horus Heresy 15
Havoc Ann Aguirre SF - Dred Chronicles 2
The Art of John Alvin Andrea Alvin Art
Slimy Underbelly Kevin J. Anderson PM - Dan Shamble Zombie P. I. 4
Memory Zero Keri Arthur UF - Spook Squad 1
Year's Best Weird Fiction Volume 1 (e) Laird Barron (ed) H/Weird - Anthology
The Incrementalists (h2mm) Steven Brust
Skyler White
UF
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (h2mm) Lois McMaster Bujold SF - Miles Vorkosigan 16
Evernight Kristen Callihan PNR - Darkest London 5
The Hot Zone Jayne Castle PNR - Rainshadow 3
The Highlander Next Door Janet Chapman PNR - Spellbound Falls 6
The Creeps (h2tp) John Connolly H/Hu - Samuel Johnson Tale 3
Battle for the Abyss (ri) Ben Counter SF - Horus Heresy 8
The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter Rod Duncan HistF - The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire 1
Playing With Fire Cynthia Eden PNR - Phoenix Fire 3
Sins of the Father Christa Faust SF - Fringe 3
Shadows of the New Sun: Stories in Honor of Gene Wolfe Bill Fawcett (ed)
J. E. Mooney (ed)
SF - Anthology
Plague World Dana Fredsti UF/Ap/Z - Ashley Parker 3
The Beautiful Ashes Jeaniene Frost UF - Broken Destiny 1
Pretty When She Dies Rhiannon Frater H
The Fire Prince Emily Gee F - Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy 2
Voices from Beyond Simon R. Green UF - Ghost Finders 5
Once Upon a Rhyme (e) Jack Heckel F - Charming Tales 1
Horns (h2mm) Joe Hill H - Movie Tie-In
The Mirror Empire Kameron Hurley F - Worldbreaker Saga 1
Sixth Grave on the Edge (h2mm) Darynda Jones UF - Charley Davidson 6
Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft Salome Jones (ed) H - Anthology
The Getaway God Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim 6
Tales of Heresy Nick Kyme (ed)
Lindsey Priestley (ed)
SF - Horus Heresy 10
Fallen Angels (ri) Mike Lee SF - Horus Heresy 11
I Will Hold My Death Close Stant Litore UF - Zombie Bible
World of Fire James Lovegrove SF - World of ... 1
To Die Fur Dixie Lyle PCM - Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery 2
The Lore of the Evermen James Maxwell SF - Evermen Saga 4
Fulgrim (ri) Graham McNeill SF - Horus Heresy 5
Mechanicum (ri) Graham McNeill SF - Horus Heresy 9
A Thousand Sons (ri) Graham McNeill SF - Horus Heresy 12
Dawn for a Distant Earth (ri) L. E. Modesitt SF - Forever Hero 1
Unborn Amber Lynn Natusch UF - Unborn 1
Accidentally...Over? Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Accidentally Yours 5
The Cure (h2mm) Douglas E. Richards SF/Th
Lock In John Scalzi SF
Old Man's War Boxed Set John Scalzi SF - Old Man's War
Descent of Angels (ri) Mitchel Scanlon SF - Horus Heresy 6
Royal Airs (h2mm) Sharon Shinn F - Elemental Blessings 2
Wanted: Wild Thing Jessica Sims PNR - Midnight Liaisons 4
The Emperor's Blades (h2tp) Brian Staveley F- Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1
Fear to Tread (ri) James Swallow SF - Horus Heresy 21
Flight of the Eisenstein (ri) James Swallow SF - Horus Heresy 4
Nemesis (ri) James Swallow SF - Horus Heresy 13
Deliverance Lost (ri) Gav Thorpe SF - Horus Heresy 18
Kitty's Greatest Hits Carrie Vaughn UF - Kitty Norville Collection
Star Trek: Seekers: Point of Divergence Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek: Seekers 2
The King (h2mm) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 12
Stone Cold Lover Christine Warren PNR - Gargoyles 2
Echopraxia Peter Watts SF
Safehold Boxed Set 1 David Weber SF - Safehold 1-3
Beginnings (h2mm) David Weber SF - Worlds of Honor 6
The Broken Eye Brent Weeks F - Lightbringer 3
Solaris Rising 3: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction Ian Whates (ed) SF - Anthology
The Devil Rides Out (ri) Dennis Wheatley O/Su
To the Devil, a Daughter (ri) Dennis Wheatley O/Su
Burning Paradise (h2mm) Robert Charles Wilson SF



August 27, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
A Cup of Salt Tears: A Tor.Com Original (e) Isabel Yap DF/H



August 28, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Monster's Wife (D) Kate Horsley Go/Su



August 30, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Ray Bradbury Unbound Jonathan R. Eller Biography



August 31, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
We Can Remember it for You Wholesale Philip K. Dick SF- Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 5
The Millennium Express Robert Silverberg SF - Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume 9



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


Ap - Apocalyptic
DF - Dark Fantasy
F - Fantasy
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Hu - Humor
O - Occult
P - Paranormal
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

Melanie's Week in Review - June 16, 2013



Melanie's Week in Review - June 16, 2013


I was back to work this week so back to the big commute with a lot to read. I am most disgruntled as my Kindle decided not to work before I went on holiday and despite my best efforts I failed to revive it. It was less than a year old but as it was a replacement the warranty was only for a measly 9 weeks or something equally ridiculous.  This was my 2nd replacement so needless to say  I am not amused it has broken so quickly.  This is where proprietary systems let us down. I am almost totally locked into having a Kindle now as I have several hundred books bought from Amazon and therefore, not compatible on other e-readers. I have been reading books on my iPad but its quite heavy and if its a crowded tube and I have to stand then reading on it is impossible. So it's the big debate whether I buy another Kindle and be annoyed with myself or by a Nook and convert all my books. Decisions, decisions.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 16, 2013
Anyway I am sure you are bored of reading my big whiny tale so onto what I have read. I finished the last two books of the Eddie LaCrosse series by Alex Bledsoe - Dark Jenny and Wake of the Bloody Angel.  They were both great and I will be reviewing the whole series so keep your eye out for it.

I also finished Queen of the World by Ben Hennessy. I can't say I enjoyed it. I thought it was a tad dull and while the concept of mute heroine was a good one I don't think it worked. Or at least perhaps Hennessy needs to write Sarine a bit differently so that she is a bit more brave and less reliant on her companions.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 16, 2013Two of my sisters recommended a book to me which I immediately downloaded -The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. It has started out to pretty engaging and hope it have it finished next week.

I have been SUPER naughty and ordered a bunch of books from NetGalley including The Big Reap by Chris.F Holm, God's War by Kameron Hurley, Three by Jay Posey and finally Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall. Now all I need to do is read these and I will be all set!

Melanie's Week in Review - June 16, 2013

This is my last full week in my current job and I am super nervous about leaving after 9 years.  I am looking forward to my TBR to settle my nerves. Well, that's it for me so until next week Happy Reading!

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part 6

The 2011 Debut Author Challenge was a lot of fun! I read so many wonderful books by so many fantastic new authors. The Qwillery will be keeping an eye out for new books from the class of 2011 in 2012 and beyond. So what's next for the 2011 Debut Authors? This post contain new information.



See Part 1 by clicking here.
See Part 2 by clicking here.
See Part 3 by clicking here.
See Part 4 by clicking here.
See Part 5 by clicking here.
 



Christopher Buehlman

Between Two Fires
Ace (October 2, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
The new novel of epic terror by the acclaimed author of Those Across the River.

In the year 1348, Thomas, a disgraced knight, comes upon an orphan of the Black Plague. An unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that the disease is only part of a greater, more significant cataclysm—that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on heaven. Is she really blessed? Or is it delirium? As hell unleashes its fury, as the true nature of the girl is revealed, Thomas will find himself in a macabre battleground of angels and demons, sinners and saints, and a damnable struggle for nothing less than the soul of man.




Adam Christopher

Seven Wonders
Angry Robot Books (August 28, 2012 US/Canada)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
Tony Prosdocimi lives in the bustling Metropolis of San Ventura – a city gripped in fear, a city under siege by the hooded supervillain, The Cowl.

When Tony develops super-powers and acts to take down The Cowl, however, he finds that the local superhero team Seven Wonders aren’t as grateful as he assumed they’d be…

File Under: Science Fiction [ Heroes In Action | A Double Cross | Kapow! | Tables Turned ]




Kevin Hearne

Trapped
The Iron Druid Chronicles 5
Del Rey (November 27, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.




Sara Humphreys

Untamed
The Amoveo Legend 3
Sourcebooks (November 6, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
The Amoveo are an ancient race who've lived secretly among humans for thousands of years. They are beautiful and incredibly strong but their race is extremely fragile—each has until the age of 30 to find their soul mate, before their bodies start to die a slow, painful death.

Layla Nickelsen has spent her life running from a mate she didn't choose, until William Fleury finally confronts her. Normally stoic and unemotional, William finds himself befuddled by Layla: his growing feelings for her and his driving need to protect her. And Layla has to admit that William might be everything she's always wanted after all...




Kameron Hurley

Rapture
Bel Dame Apochrypha 3
Night Shade Books (November 6, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
After years in exile, Nyxnissa so Dasheem is once more a bel dame, part of a sisterhood of elite government assassins trained to a cut a target's head off without remorse. But the end of a centuries-long war has thrown her native land of Nasheen into turmoil. A huge influx of unemployed--and unemployable--young soldiers have brought Nasheen to the brink of civil war, even as an alien spaceship stations itself in orbit above the capital.

With aliens in the sky and revolution on the ground, Nyx figures it's a good time to get the hell out of Nasheen, so she assembles a team of renegades, shape-shifters, magicians, and mercenaries to rescue a missing political leader who may be the difference between peace and bloodshed.

Just one problem: the politician is an old enemy whom Nyx once left to die in a ditch . . .




Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Charley Davidson 4
St. Martin's Press (October 30, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
The fourth in this fun and sexy New York Times bestselling paranormal series: “If you enjoy Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, you will certainly enjoy Charley Davidson!” —Suspense Magazine

In Darynda Jones's Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.




Laurie London

Seduced by Blood
Sweetblood 4
HQN (July 24, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two vampire coalitions:

Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors…

Hot-blooded and hard-edged, Tristan Santiago has an uncanny ability to see beneath the surface—a skill that serves him well as the Guardians' region commander. But when a deadly plot against his fellow vampires is uncovered, he must turn to the one woman he can't read: the beautiful yet mysterious Roxanne Reynolds, whose sensual presence soothes his tormented memories.

Roxy had put love before duty once before, with devastating results. But to root out a dangerous traitor in their midst, she must put her faith in Santiago, the one man skilled enough to break through her defenses. Posing as lovers, Santiago and Roxy work side by side—and discover a powerful craving that threatens to consume them both….




Allison Pang

A Trace of Moolight
Abby Sinclair 3
Pocket Books (October 30, 2012)

What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6
From the author of A Brush of Darkness and A Sliver of Shadow comes the third book in a smart, sexy, urban fantasy series.

Drinking from the waters of the Lethe and offering herself up as Faerie’s sacrificial Tithe …these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair’s problems.

Abby’s pact with a demon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal and gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. She might have even been able to recover from all that had she not lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy.

Only one person can make things right again, but to find her Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.

Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011

and the winners are....


Infidel (Bel Dame Apochrypha Volume 2) by Kameron Hurley

Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011

The Question:  What woman or women inspire you?

bmb80 who said...

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Infidel (which has been forever) since I wrapped up God’s War.

Love the question.

It takes a special woman to inspire others and what’s more special then a mother? She was the person who made me embrace odd things about myself that others (even grown ups) said was not normal—she called them my gifts.

She taught me to be inspired by the people who offer you something of value without asking for anything in return, such as the florist who felt that I, a total stranger, was in need of a simple hug and a rose because she thought I looked sad when I walked by her stand. She was right.

The nurse that prayed over my mother years ago when she was sick in the hospital and told me everything will be all right.

My sixth grade teacher who gave me hard time who I believed hated my guts but pushed me because she cared, and although I didn’t know it at the time, she’s one of the reasons I’m a writer today and changed my life forever.

This is living proof that those we consider ordinary are absolutely extraordinary.


Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011


Blood Rights (House of Comarré 1) by Kristen Painter

Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011

The Question:  Who is your favorite Urban Fantasy heroine or hero?

SeaLionMama who said...

My favorite heroine of all time is Cat (AKA Catherine, Kitten) from Jeanine Frost Night Huntress series. She is about as real as a half vampire can get. Not only is she relatable in regards to her insecurities, she kicks A$$! In every book Cat gets better and better as a person, but still has the inate ability to care about someone else other than herself. She would sacrifice herself and her feelings to make sure the people she loves (or actually anyone that is the underdog or needs help) are not harmed. Her love for humanity is what makes her the most deadly heroine in my eyes. She doesn’t forget what brought her to that point in her life and she takes what she has learned and grows from it… That makes a hero a hero…


Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011


Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1) by Jo Anderton

Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011

The Question:  Science Fiction or Science Fantasy?

Sinnaye who said...

Science Fantasy for sure. I'm not too keen on the whole science fiction-idea, but the fantasy equivalent of it rather sparks my imterest.


Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011


Chosen By Blood (Para-Ops 1) by Virna DePaul

Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011

The Question:  What would you be doing if you worked for the Para-Ops team?

mommy0306 who said...

i'm good with computers, i could always be their tech support/research person. maybe a tech support that goes into the field on occasion for missions. :)


Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011


Sins of the Angels (The Grigori Legacy 1) by Linda Poitevin (2 copies)

Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011


The Question:  Angels or Fallen Angels? or ask Linda a question.

Sabrina who said...

Fallen angels! They keep things interesting :) I like imperfections in my characters.


and


Kristina who said...

I have to say im a fallen angels gal myself..something about them that makes me smile!


Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011


The winners have been notified and have until 11:59 pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, October 23, 2011 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Interview with Kameron Hurley and Giveaway - October 3, 2011

Please welcome Kameron Hurley to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. God's War (Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 1), Kameron's debut, was published in January 2011. Infidel (Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 2) will be published tomorrow, October 4th.


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

Kameron:  I’m not a terribly quirky writer, which I think has something to do with writing marketing and advertising copy for a living. I recognize that writing is a job like any other, and if the only way you can do it properly is by standing on your head in a nest full of snakes on Tuesday afternoons, you’re not going to make it in the real world.

Writing for a living means writing even (and especially) when you feel stupidly, boringly, absurdly normal.

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

Kameron:  I have all sorts of favorite writers right now – Genevieve Valentine, Martha Wells, Tim Akers, and I’ve been far too interested in stuff from Joe Abercrombie and Margaret Atwood lately. I’m also a fan of the old Conan and Elric novels, which is where a lot of my inspiration for Nyx came from in GOD'S WAR. I wanted to create a truly badass female Conan, with far better treatments of race and sexual politics.

As far as influences go, there’s certainly a lot of New Weird in my work, and I think most folks familiar with Geoff Ryman, Jeff VanderMeer, KJ Bishop, and China Mieville will see some of that influence. But there are also folks like Angela Carter, Octavia Butler, Annie Proulx, Christopher Priest, Michael Cunningham, Toni Morrison, Mary Renault, Sarah Waters, and Rupert Thomson whose work has really forced me to look at language and narrative in new ways.

One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever got was to read outside the genre. Too often, I think, we get stuck only reading whatever’s in the SF/F section, and miss out exposure to some incredible writing because we’re busy trying to follow the “read what you want to write” advice. There are all sorts of places to steal things from. It’s good to leave SF/F regularly to mine for gold.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Kameron:  Honestly, I can’t plot my way out of a paper bag. The Bel Dame Apocrypha books are the first ones that I dared write out of order, though, because I had it in my mind that I had to write beginning to end with no breaks. But now, instead of just starting at the beginning and working my way to the end, I write in sections/scenes – middle, end, beginning whatever – and then link them together as I go. I had a vague idea of where I was going in GOD'S WAR, but too much plotting tends to take all the fun out of the discovery process for me. That said, the trouble with too little plotting is that you spend an incredible amount of time in revision. My goal is to get better at plotting beforehand so I can save some revision time on the backend and put more energy into worldbuilding and character development, which is where I have the most fun.

TQ:  Describe God's War (Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 1) in 140 characters or less.

Kameron:  After centuries of war, a godless assassin and her rag-tag team of mercenaries go looking for an alien gene pirate who could end the war.

TQ:  What inspired you to write God's War?

Kameron:  It was some combination of reading too many bloody Bible stories as a child and enjoying far too many 80’s apocalypse movies, I’m sure. I’d been wanting to write a bounty hunter story in a resource-strapped world for a long time, and started digging into Assyrian, Babylonian, and old school Biblical history. That was when I stumbled on the term “bel dame” or “blood avenger,” which is a very old, old Hebrew term that referred to somebody who collected blood debt for a family by tracking down the person who’d harmed or killed a family member. That was the kick I needed to start building a wicked band of government-sponsored assassins in a dusty, bloody, biblical-justice style world.

TQ:  Tell us about Infidel (Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 2)

Kameron:  INFIDEL is the story of what happens when a group of bloody-minded government assassins decide they want to take over the world – and how one woman intends to stop them. Nyxnissa so Dasheem and her ragtag band of mercenaries are on the hunt again in this one, trying to stop a bel dame coup that could topple the government and cost them the war. There’s plenty of old friends and foes from the first book, as well as some new mangled faces, rogue shapeshifters, and mad magicians.

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

Kameron:  There’s a scene in INFIDEL when a group of bel dame assassins tracks down a character from the previous books and do some really nasty things. When I started having nightmares about bloody women bursting into my house and slaughtering my family, I knew the book was done. I also knew I’d done the scene right. One of things I wanted to accomplish with this series was to create women who were actually scary. Not what passes for “scary” women these days, with their sexy hot pants and midriff-baring shirts and tendencies to fall for vampires, but truly, deadly, crap-your-pants-while-they-murder-your-children scary. When I woke up in a cold sweat, listening for assassins on the stairs, I knew I’d accomplished that.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Bel Dame Apocrypha?

Kameron:  My Master's degree is in South African history and how the African National Congress recruited female fighters into Umkhonto we Sizwe, the militant wing of the group. Best guestimates put female guerilla fighters involved in many of southern Africa's liberation movements in the 80's at 20% or more of the armies' fighting forces. That seemed like a crazy high number to me, and a fascinating subject to explore. What drew women into the fighting forces? What made it acceptable? How did they deal with sexism and assult from their own people? And, most pressing of all, to me, was why didn't joining fighting forces to topple the existing government and social structure ever seem to translate into full equality for women after any of these groups were successful?

The answers to that are varied and complex, and led me to look a lot at racism and sexism in the U.S. as well. I went on to spend an inordinate amount of time studying genocide, Biblical homocide, Assyria, Persia, more modern Iraq-Iran (and their US-sponsored war), Islam, and a whole host of other things. I basically just went to the library, picked up 20 or 30 books, wrote down more books from the bibliographies of the best of those, and just kept churning through them until I had so much stuff in my head that I felt I was ready to create something new from it. GOD'S WAR still suffers from a lot of laziness and biases on my part, but I think that a lot of the complexity of the world that everyone comments on does come from the fact that I was full to bursting with a lot of diverse histories, vistas, politics, geography, faiths, and social mores. For fantasy writers, this kind of research is invaluable.

TQ:  In the Bel Dame Apocrypha series, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Kameron:  By far, Rhys was the toughest character to write. He’s a person of faith with some very interesting ideas about women’s place in the world (as well as his own). I wanted desperately to write a character like that in a way that was human and believable. He needed to find comfort and solace in his faith, and his surety that women needed male protection and seclusion needed to come from a positive place, for him. He was all about nurturing and protection and doing what he believed was morally right. It’s always difficult to write characters who come from a place that’s morally much different than your own and write them sympathetically. I think I did all right with him. In the second book, he was actually one of the easiest to write, because he was allowed to feel things that my main character, Nyx, was not.

That said, Nyx was the easiest to write. I built a very selfish morality for her, which - sadly - was pretty easy to create being inudated like I am with our American binge-and-purge-all-out-for-yourself culture. As I understood more about her – how she was a person of faith who had abandoned it, and how she subsumed a lot of her most human emotions in order to survive – she became a lot more interesting to write. I enjoy writing about people with non-traditional morals. I suppose folks will say that they see her as totally amoral, but to me, she simply has a different idea of morality. I love working in that gray area of personal values, and Nyx was a really fun exercise in weird but consistent screwed-up-ness.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Bel Dame Apocrypha series?

Kameron:  I’ve planned three. I’m working on the third book, RAPTURE, now. I also just recently released some free short stories from the same universe to tide folks over until INFIDEL’s release. I’ll likely do that again prior to the launch of RAPTURE, since it was a lot of fun (http://www.kameronhurley.com/?p=11619)

TQ:  What's next?

Kameron:  Next on my plate is a bloody little space opera about a mad, wandering legion of world-ships and the feuding rival families battling for control over them. Right now, I’m affectionately calling it my “BLOODTIDE in Spaaaaaace” novel. Outline, synopsis, and a couple chapters are done, but I’m trying to keep it on hold until I finish and turn in RAPTURE.

It’s easy to get distracted when you have so much cool stuff you should be working on…

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kameron:  Thanks for the invite!


About the Bel Dame Apocrypha

Infidel
Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 2
(Night Shade Books, October 4, 2011)

Interview with Kameron Hurley and Giveaway - October 3, 2011
The only thing worse than war is revolution. Especially when you're already losing the war...

Nyx used to be a bel dame, a government-funded assassin with a talent for cutting off heads for cash. Her country's war rages on, but her assassin days are long over. Now she's babysitting diplomats to make ends meet and longing for the days when killing people was a lot more honorable.

When Nyx's former bel dame "sisters" lead a coup against the government that threatens to plunge the country into civil war, Nyx volunteers to stop them. The hunt takes Nyx and her inglorious team of mercenaries to one of the richest, most peaceful, and most contaminated countries on the planet -- a country wholly unprepared to host a battle waged by the world's deadliest assassins.

In a rotten country of sweet-tongued politicians, giant bugs, and renegade shape shifters, Nyx will forge unlikely allies and rekindle old acquaintances. And the bodies she leaves scattered across the continent this time... may include her own.

Because no matter where you go or how far you run in this world, one thing is certain: the bloody bel dames will find you.


God's War
Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 2
(Night Shade Books, January 18, 2011)

Interview with Kameron Hurley and Giveaway - October 3, 2011
Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn't make any difference...

On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there's one thing everybody agrees on--

There's not a chance in hell of ending it.

Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx's ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war--but at what price?

The world is about to find out.


About Kameron

Interview with Kameron Hurley and Giveaway - October 3, 2011
Kameron Hurley currently hacks out a living as a marketing and advertising writer in Ohio. She’s lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago, but grew up in and around Washington State. Her personal and professional exploits have taken her all around the world. She spent much of her roaring 20′s traveling, pretending to learn how to box, and trying not to die spectacularly. Along the way, she justified her nomadic lifestyle by picking up degrees in history from the University of Alaska and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Today she lives a comparatively boring life sustained by Coke Zero, Chipotle, low-carb cooking, and lots of words. She continues to work hard at not dying.


Kameron's links

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The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:   One commenter will win a copy of Infidel (Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 2) from Kameron!

How:   Leave a comment answering the following question:

What woman or women inspire you? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, October 10, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Guest Blog by Kameron Hurley - Creative Creatures: Not Your Typical Houseplants - August 29, 2014The View From Monday - August 25, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - June 16, 2013What's Up in 2012 for the 2011 Debut Authors? Part  6Winners x 6 - October 16, 2011Interview with Kameron Hurley and Giveaway - October 3, 2011

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