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Interview with Kevin A. Muñoz, author of The Post


Please welcome Kevin A. Muñoz to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Post was published on January 15, 2019 by Diversion Books.



Interview with Kevin A. Muñoz, author of The Post




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

Kevin:  The first fiction piece I remember writing and completing and actually making an effort at doing well was something I did in elementary school. We were supposed to write short stories - two hundred words or so, because we were kids - once a week, I think it was. Well, I couldn’t do that. So over the course of three months I ended up writing a twelve-part, twenty-four hundred word serialized Gothic short story about an old man living in a French castle suffering from loneliness and hallucinations. It did not go over well.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kevin:  I’m not sure how to describe my process. What I usually do is come up with a general idea, then a beginning and an ending. After that I go through my huge film soundtrack collection and put together a soundtrack of my novel, using that as inspiration to find the story beats and the spine of the plot. After that, I start writing, aiming for those beats in the soundtrack. I think I do it this way because I really hate writing outlines, but I also don’t like just winging it.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kevin:  The most challenging thing would probably be keeping my momentum up. I am a terrible procrastinator. I’ll start work on a new project, or a rewrite, and sail full steam ahead for a long while and then sort of sputter to a stop. After that, I get what I call “writer’s blah” and just can’t be bothered to keep writing. I’m not blocked, I have the ideas, I’m just... over it. Then I have to find my motivation again.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kevin:  Music is the biggest day to day influence on my writing. I can’t write without it. But more broadly, I think it would have to be my weird collection of life experiences. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and known all sorts of people and places. I try to paint with that eclectic palette as much as I can.



TQDescribe The Post using only 5 words.

Kevin:  The best quick synopsis I’ve seen is one I didn’t come up with: dystopian mystery thriller with zombies. I used to jokingly call the book my zombie detective novel, but that’s not really accurate, since there are no zombie detectives in it.



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

Kevin:  There is a revelation about halfway through the book that, I hope, will raise questions for readers about the kinds of assumptions they make when reading. To say much more than that would give it away, so I’ll leave it at that!



TQWhat inspired you to write The Post?

Kevin:  Most of my prior writing has been science fiction or fantasy. I’d never really taken a stab at the horror genre, or anything next door to it. The Post came about because I wanted to challenge myself and write a story that ignores some of the conventions and boundaries that usually go along with the genre.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Post?

Kevin:  I mainly did research in two areas. First was in virology, at least enough to let me achieve verisimilitude in how I portray the virus that leads to the apocalypse. There are outlandish elements to make the story work, but I tried to put in as much real biology as I could. The second was a bit more mundane, and involved writing with Google Maps open in a separate window. I made a concerted effort to ground the story in the real geography of Georgia, down to the silliest of details, like the angles of certain street corners in Athens.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Post.

Kevin:  The idea for the cover came from the publisher and I immediately loved it. They wanted to give the feel of a thriller, of emptiness and solitude and anxiety, and the artist did a fantastic job. There is a scene in the novel that matches up fairly well with the cover but it’s really more about a feeling, a sense of dread, that makes it the right cover for the book.



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

Kevin:  The easiest character to write was Marilyn Trainor. She serves as the moral center, the conscience, of the whole story. The hardest was Chief Edison. A main character and narrator who has to be emotionally closed off takes a lot of delicate balancing to get right. Too much emotion and you get the character all wrong. Too little and no one wants to keep reading.



TQDoes The Post touch on any social issues?

Kevin:  It does touch on social issues, but to say much more than that would spoil some of the mystery!



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

Kevin:  I only wish people would ask this question because the answer behind it amuses me. It’s not an important question at all. Where did the title come from? The title is an inside joke. I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic novel. So I initially titled it, “The Post-Apocalyptic Novel,” until I got inspiration for the real one. Once I developed the themes of the story, I realized I could just shorten that title and it would be a perfect fit. Hence, “The Post.”



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

Kevin:  This is the easiest question to answer, because for me there is one line that is far and away my favorite. It comes at the end of chapter two: “Reading with bloodshot eyes in the dark of a cloud-covered night, it’s hard to remember that I can’t save everyone. And just as hard to forget.”



TQWhat's next?

Kevin:  The very next thing is a sequel to The Post. I’ve plotted out the story as a trilogy, and I’m in the middle of editing my early drafts of the second book. And after that I have a long line of projects to work on. I’ve got ideas to last me for years!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kevin:  Thank you for the great questions!





The Post
Diversion Books, January 15, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 254 pages

Interview with Kevin A. Muñoz, author of The Post
Zone One meets Station Eleven in this chilling, post-apocalyptic debut, perfect for fans of The Walking Dead and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Ten years after the world’s oil went sour and a pandemic killed most of the population, Sam Edison is the chief of police of The Little Five, a walled-in community near Atlanta, Georgia. Those who survived share the world with what are known as hollow-heads: creatures who are no longer fully human.

A man and a pregnant teenager arrive at the gate and are welcomed into the town. They begin to settle in when suddenly both are murdered by an unknown assailant. In the course of investigation, Chief Edison discovers that the girl was fleeing a life of sexual slavery, and that some members of the Atlanta community were complicit in the human trafficking network that had ensnared her.

In retaliation for Edison’s discoveries, agents of the network abduct the stepdaughter of the town’s mayor. Sam Edison and three companions track the kidnappers to Athens, Georgia, where they discover that the entire city is engaged in human trafficking. By the time Edison has recovered the kidnapped girl, the other three rescuers have been killed, leaving Edison alone to bring the mayor’s stepdaughter home. Further complicating their return is Sam’s realization that a prominent member of the community is in truth the ringleader of the slave-trading network. Against such great odds, will Sam ever make it to Little Five alive?





About Kevin

Interview with Kevin A. Muñoz, author of The Post
Kevin A. Muñoz earned his Ph.D. in New Testament studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a game designer, language instructor, and adjunct professor, and now is following the path of his father as a published novelist.






Website  ~ Twitter @drmunoz

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2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 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 2019 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 January 31, 2019, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite January 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls



2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover art by Richard Anderson





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover art by Emmanuel Polanco





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Lex Maudlin
Cover photographs © VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/Getty Images;
© Tithi Luadthong/Shutterstock (city)





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Jacket design by Michael J. Windsor
Jacket photograph © Johanna Negowski

The View From Monday - January 14, 2019


Happy Monday!

There is one debut this week:

The Post by Kevin A. Muñoz.

The View From Monday - January 14, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



And one novel from a formerly featured DAC Author:

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson 13) by Darynda Jones.

The View From Monday - January 14, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - January 14, 2019



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

January 14, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Haunted (e) Gena Showalter FR



January 15, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Galactic Empire Trilogy: The Stars, Like Dust; The Currents of Space; Pebble in the Sky (e) Isaac Asimov SF/SO - The Galactic Empire Trilogy
Night School: A Reader for Grownups Zsofia Ban
Jim Tucker (Tr)
Absurdist - Collection
Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape Gregory Benford SF/TT - Timescape 2
A Vlad Taltos Collection: Dragon, Issola, Dzur, Jhegaala, Iorich, Tiassa, Hawk, Vallista (e) Steven Brust F - Vlad Taltos
The Heirs of Babylon Cook Glen SF
Westworld Psychology: Violent Delights (e) Wind Goodfriend (Ed)  Psychology - Popular Culture Psychology 10
Variable Star Robert A. Heinlein
Spider Robinson
SF/HSF/SO
The Dream of X and Other Fantastic Visions: The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Volume 5 William Hope Hodgson F - The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson 5
Tentacle Rita Indiana
Achy Obejas (Tr)
LF/Dys/MR/TT
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave Darynda Jones PM - Charley Davidson 13
Saga of Recluce: Books 14-18: Natural Ordermage, Mage-Guard of Hamor, Arms-Commander, Cyador's Heirs, Heritage of Cyador (e) L. E. Modesitt Jr. F - Saga of Recluce
The Iron Codex David Mack HistF/Occ/Sup/DF - A Dark Arts Novel 2
Black Star Renegades (h2tp) Michael Moreci SF/SO - Black Star Renegades 1
The Post (D) Kevin A. Muñoz Sus/Dys
Shadow Captain Alastair Reynolds SF - Revenger 2
Marked S. Andrew Swann F
Fearless Sarah Tarkoff Dys - Eye of the Beholder 2
The Dreamers Karen Thompson Walker LF/FL/Dys



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
Hu - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MedTh - Medical Thriller
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Parnormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
Sc - Science
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts



There are 5 debut novels for January.

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

The January 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 January cover for the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on January 15, 2019.



Mike Chen

Here and Now and Then
MIRA, January 29, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.





Gareth Hanrahan

The Gutter Prayer
The Black Iron Legacy 1
Orbit, January 22, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 560 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.

Enter a city of saints and thieves . . .

The city of Guerdon stands eternal. A refuge from the war that rages beyond its borders. But in the ancient tunnels deep beneath its streets, a malevolent power has begun to stir.

The fate of the city rests in the hands of three thieves. They alone stand against the coming darkness. As conspiracies unfold and secrets are revealed, their friendship will be tested to the limit. If they fail, all will be lost, and the streets of Guerdon will run with blood.

The Gutter Prayer is an epic tale of sorcerers and thieves, treachery and revenge, from a remarkable new voice in fantasy.





Eyal Kless

The Lost Puzzler
The Tarakan Chronicles 1
Harper Voyager, January 8, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 528 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
A brilliantly written, page-turning, post-dystopian debut from Eyal Kless, about a society hoping to salvage the technology of a lost generation, a mysterious missing boy who can open doors no one else can, and a scribe who must piece together the past to determine humanity’s future.

More than a hundred years have passed since the Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived are changed. The Wildeners have reverted to the old ways—but with new Gods—while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilization.

In the mysterious City of Towers, the center of the destroyed Tarakan empire, a lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians is charged with a dangerous assignment. He must venture into the wilds beyond the glass and steel towers to discover the fate of a child who mysteriously disappeared more than a decade before. Born of a rare breed of marked people, the child, Rafik—known as “The Key”—was one of a special few with the power to restore this lost civilization to glory once again.

In a world riven by fear and violence, where tattooed mutants, manic truckers, warring guilds and greedy mercenaries battle for survival, this one boy may have singlehandedly destroyed humanity’s only chance for salvation—unless the scribe can figure out what happened to him.





Sophie Mackintosh

The Water Cure
Doubleday, January 8, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
“A gripping, sinister fable!”–Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE l The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Virgin Suicides in this dystopic feminist revenge fantasy about three sisters on an isolated island, raised to fear men

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave. Here women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world.

But when their father, the only man they’ve ever seen, disappears, they retreat further inward until the day two men and a boy wash ashore. Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out. Sexual tensions and sibling rivalries flare as the sisters confront the amorphous threat the strangers represent. Can they survive the men?

A haunting, riveting debut about the capacity for violence and the potency of female desire, The Water Cure both devastates and astonishes as it reflects our own world back at us.





Kevin A. Muñoz

The Post
Diversion Books, January 15, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 254 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
Zone One meets Station Eleven in this chilling, post-apocalyptic debut, perfect for fans of The Walking Dead and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Ten years after the world’s oil went sour and a pandemic killed most of the population, Sam Edison is the chief of police of The Little Five, a walled-in community near Atlanta, Georgia. Those who survived share the world with what are known as hollow-heads: creatures who are no longer fully human.

A man and a pregnant teenager arrive at the gate and are welcomed into the town. They begin to settle in when suddenly both are murdered by an unknown assailant. In the course of investigation, Chief Edison discovers that the girl was fleeing a life of sexual slavery, and that some members of the Atlanta community were complicit in the human trafficking network that had ensnared her.

In retaliation for Edison’s discoveries, agents of the network abduct the stepdaughter of the town’s mayor. Sam Edison and three companions track the kidnappers to Athens, Georgia, where they discover that the entire city is engaged in human trafficking. By the time Edison has recovered the kidnapped girl, the other three rescuers have been killed, leaving Edison alone to bring the mayor’s stepdaughter home. Further complicating their return is Sam’s realization that a prominent member of the community is in truth the ringleader of the slave-trading network. Against such great odds, will Sam ever make it to Little Five alive?
Interview with Kevin A. Muñoz, author of The Post2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January DebutsThe View From Monday - January 14, 20192019 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts

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