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Orbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of Storms


Orbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of StormsOrbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of StormsOrbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of Storms
Orbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of StormsOrbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of Storms
The Witcher Novels


Press Release

Orbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of Storms Orbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of Storms

ORBIT AND GOLLANCZ TO PUBLISH NEW WITCHER NOVEL
BY AWARD-WINNING POLISH AUTHOR ANDRZEJ SAPKOWSKI

NEW YORK, NY and LONDON (May 19, 2017) – Orbit (US) and Gollancz (UK) announced that they have acquired a new novel in the Witcher universe by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.

The Witcher series of fantasy novels, which began with The Last Wish, is an international phenomenon, with individual books having appeared on the New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller lists. The most recent, The Lady of the Lake, was a USA Today bestseller. Sapkowski recently won the World Fantasy Award – Life Achievement for his career as a fantasy novelist.

The new novel, Season of Storms, has never before been published in English and will be translated by David French. It will be a prequel, in which readers will learn the origin story of protagonist Geralt. It is scheduled for publication in May 2018, in hardcover format in the US and trade paperback format in the UK. It will also be available in both territories as an e-book and audiobook.

Netflix recently announced that a TV adaptation of the Witcher series is in the works, produced by The Expanse executive producers Sean Daniel and Jason Brown as well as Platige Image’s Jarek Sawko and Tomek Bagiński, who is an Acadamy Award-nominated director and will direct at least one episode per season. The Witcher series is also the inspiration for the popular video game series of the same name.

Praise for Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels:

"Complex, unsentimental and anchored in brutal shared history." -- SFX

"Like Mieville and Gaiman, Sapkowski takes the old and makes it new." -- Foundation

Andrzej Sapkowski is one of Poland’s most successful authors, selling more in his own country than Stephen King or Michael Crichton. He has won numerous awards including the DAVID GEMMELL LEGEND AWARD and the GRAND PRIX DE L'IMAGINAIRE. Born in 1948 in Łódź, Sapkowski studied economics and worked as a financier until the success of his fantasy cycle about the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, turned him into a bestselling writer. His books have now been translated into almost 20 languages and The Witcher games, inspired by Sapkowski’s books, have sold over 20 million copies worldwide. A signed copy of one of his books was given to President Obama as a diplomatic gift by the Polish Prime Minister.

About Orbit
Launched in 2007, Orbit is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group. Orbit has quickly established itself as one of the market-leading SFF imprints in the US, and the fastest growing imprint in the field. Our authors include New York Times and international bestsellers Joe Abercrombie, M.R. Carey, Gail Carriger, James S.A. Corey, N.K. Jemisin, Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson, Andrzej Sapkowski, and Brent Weeks. In recent years, we have published two Hugo Award winners: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which became the first novel to win every major award in the field.

About Hachette Book Group
Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of eight publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Grand Central Publishing; Perseus Books; Orbit; Hachette Books; Hachette Nashville; and Hachette Audio.

About Gollancz
Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through our long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz has one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey


Orbit Books has released a trailer for M. R. Carey's newest novel - The Boy on the Bridge.





The Boy on the Bridge
Orbit, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

From the author of USA Today bestseller The Girl With All the Gifts, a terrifying new novel set in the same post-apocalyptic world.

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.

The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.

To where the monsters lived.





Also from Orbit

The Girl With All the Gifts
Orbit, April 28, 2015
Trade Paperback, 448 pages
Hardcover and eBook, June 10, 2014

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.



Fellside
Orbit, March 21, 2017
Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 5, 2016

A haunting and heartbreaking thriller from the author of the USA Today bestseller The Girl With All the Gifts.

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

It's a place where even the walls whisper.

And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.

Will she listen?

Discover M. R. Carey's powerful new novel - a chillingly atmospheric tale filled with tension, action, and emotion.

Interview with Antonia Honeywell, author of The Ship


Please welcome Antonia Honeywell to The Qwillery as part of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Ship was published on April 25th by Orbit Books.



Interview with Antonia Honeywell, author of The Ship




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Antonia:  Hello! Thank you so much for inviting me.

I wrote my first novel when I was eight – it was a wet playtime at my primary school and we weren’t allowed to play outside. A group of classmates were playing snakes and ladders. I think I’d have liked to join in, but I didn’t make friends easily, and instead I found myself writing the story of a game of Snakes and Ladders from the point of view of one of the counters. I kept writing because, apart from reading, it was the thing I enjoyed doing most – I kept diaries, wrote long letters, and stories which I kept secret. I’m a teacher by training – the intention was to earn my living by teaching until I could earn it by writing. But I fell in love with teaching – I still think it’s one of the hardest and most valuable jobs anyone can do – and it took me over a decade to start working seriously on a novel, and another decade (and more novels) to get published.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Antonia:  I’m a panster first-drafter. It takes that roller-coaster ride of just letting the words come to work out what I’m writing about, where the focus of the story lies, what potential it has. It’s safe to say that my first drafts are largely unreadable! But they give me the material to begin crafting a working draft, and then the plotter in me takes over.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Antonia:  Finding the time. I was a full-time teacher when I began, running the English department of a huge comprehensive in Inner London. Then I married and began having children, which was just as time-consuming. There are always things that need doing more than my writing, and it’s not always easy to put my work first. But I’m well-organised and determined, which helps. I have writer friends who tell me that they have acres of time and still struggle, so I’m not sure there are any easy answers.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Antonia:  My reading, mostly. I’ve always read a lot – we had a village library close to my school, and as my parents both worked, I spent hours there, reading voraciously and indiscriminately. When they divorced, my life was torn apart, but the libraries in the different schools and towns gave me places I felt at home in. Opening the cover of a book is like unlocking an escape hatch into a new world. When I began to write, I realized how fine is the line between escape and self-discovery. No matter how unfamiliar or strange the fictional world, a reader is always searching for herself in it. I think that’s true of writers, too.



TQDescribe The Ship in 140 characters or less.

Antonia:  A father tries to save his child from a man-made apocalypse, and the child realizes that the truth is an ugly, complicated beast from which she must save herself.



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

Antonia:  It’s a book about faith, and about belief. And about the stories we tell ourselves in order to justify the actions we’ve taken, or that we long to take.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Ship? What appealed to you about writing a post-apocalyptic novel?

Antonia:  When we write about the future, we’re really writing about our fears for the present. That’s as true of George Orwell and Margaret Atwood as it is for me. For me, the fear for the future doesn’t lie in any one specific threat. Climate change, global warming, religious extremism – they’re all worrying, but hanging over these real and tangible concerns is a malaise that’s allowing a particular kind of political bullying to take the place of genuine debate. In the UK, for example, we currently have no effective opposition party. This means that initiatives are being implemented without being properly explored and examined. We need the friction of differing opinions to polish and refine our ideas, wherever we place ourselves on the political spectrum. But increasingly, I find people wanting to escape from the news, to create their own bubbles in which they interact only with people who agree with them and ignore, or dismiss, those who don’t. We’re beginning to write our own news, instead of studying the reality. The Ship is a fictional exploration of that tendency.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Ship?

Antonia:  Oh, so much – everything from how much longer our oil supplies will hold out to the cubic footage of storage required for enough tinned tuna to keep five hundred people in protein for twenty years. I studied preppers and religious cults – opposite but strangely similar reactions to the prospect of the end of civilization. I studied the construction and maintenance of cruise ships. And I found a great deal of material by simply reading the papers. The interesting thing is how little of this concrete research made it into the final draft of the story. It forms a bedrock, but doesn’t appear on the surface.



TQPlease tell us about The Ship's cover.

Antonia:  I love the US cover. It’s mysterious and atmospheric, with that incredible flash of shocking pink. The hardback beneath the dustjacket is the same bright pink, which is a touch of genius – the very book design suggests hope in a seemingly hopeless universe.



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

Antonia:  Once I’d discovered Lalla, she became quite easy to write. At first, I wanted readers to love her as much as I do. But once I let go of that notion and allowed her to be what she is - a teenager who’s always had whatever she’s needed, and who has been the centre and sun of her parents’ existence since the day she was born – she lived and breathed quite naturally. Michael was harder. It would have been easy to write him as the tyrannical dictator he is, but I wanted to understand why people follow him and revere him as they do. Many speculative/futuristic novels take place in a society in which the good and bad are crystal clear – we know who are the terrorists and who the freedom fighters. And I love reading them. But I wanted Michael to exist in the muddier waters of intention and effect, and for Lalla to show the price that we pay for our confusion.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Ship?

Antonia:  We’re living in a world in which the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Being rich is becoming confused with moral worth, and more and more doors are being closed to children whose parents can’t pay for them to be opened. And this worries me, because eventually choices will become the preserve of the wealthy, while the poor will do what they must to survive. This puts the future into the hands of the people who can pay for it, with no interrogation or exploration of what that future looks like. In The Ship, the collapse of society has made Michael Paul incredibly wealthy, and he is free to do exactly as he wants with that wealth. The only person free to question him and his motives is the reader.



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

Antonia:

Q: How can you love such an ungrateful little toad as Lalla Paul, for whom the entire world of The Ship was created?

A: How can you do anything but love someone who has the courage to speak up for the sun in a world illuminated only by electric light?



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

Antonia:  At the beginning, Lalla asks her parents, ‘If the ship is real, why don’t we just get on it?’ I think of this whenever someone presents a simple solution (“Build a wall!” “Finish the relationship!” “Play together nicely!”) to a complicated situation. Ideas are wonderful, and the start to everything, but every solution contains problems of its own. I also enjoy Lalla thinking of herself as ‘a bubbling stream, lost in a ocean of salt.’ So often, the quiet, fresh, life-sustaining voices are drowned out by the clamour and glitter of those who think they have all the answers. But no one has all the answers. That’s why we need to listen more than we talk.



TQWhat's next?

Antonia:  The Ship was sold on a one-book deal, and my subsequent writing occupies a different universe, so the path ahead is neither clear nor smooth. But it’s a rare writer who knows exactly what’s coming next – all I can do is keep writing, and writing, and writing. That’s what makes a writer, whatever stage they are at in their career.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Antonia:  Thank you so very much for having me; it’s been a pleasure.





The Ship
Orbit, April 25, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Antonia Honeywell, author of The Ship
"Powerful, haunting, and beautiful," (M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts) The Ship is a luminous and genre-defying debut novel that follows a young woman's coming of age in a world where she has no future.

London burned for three weeks. And then it got worse...

Young, naive Lalla has grown up isolated in her parents' apartment, sheltered from the chaos amid the ruins of civilization. But things are getting more dangerous outside. People are killing each other for husks of bread, and the police are detaining anyone without an identification card. On her sixteenth birthday, Lalla's father decides it's time to use their escape route--a ship he's built that is only big enough to save five hundred people.

But the utopia her father has created isn't everything it appears. There's more food than anyone can eat, but nothing grows; more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them; and no-one can tell her where they are going.





About Antonia

Interview with Antonia Honeywell, author of The Ship
Antonia Honeywell studied English at Manchester University and worked at the Natural History and Victoria and Albert Museums in London, running creative writing workshops and education programmes for children, before training as a teacher. During her ten years teaching English, drama and film studies, she wrote a musical, and a play which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival. She has four young children and lives in Buckinghamshire. The Ship is her first novel.


Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @antonia_writes


Cover Revealed: An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington


The cover has been revealed for the 2nd novel in James Islington's Licanius Trilogy - An Echo of Things to Come.

The jacket design is by Lauren Panepinto and the illustration is by Dominick Saponaro.

Read The Qwillery's interview with James here.


An Echo of Things to Come
The Licanius Trilogy 2
Orbit, August 22, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 704 pages

Cover Revealed: An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington
"Love The Wheel of Time? This is about to become your new favorite series." - B&N SF & Fantasy Blog

The second book in a glorious new fantasy trilogy by the next major force in commercial epic fantasy.

In the wake of the devastating attack on Ilin Illan, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs - finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against Andarra. However as Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

In the capital, Wirr is forced to contend with assassins and an increasingly hostile Administration as he controversially assumes the mantle of Northwarden, uncovering a mystery that draws into question everything commonly believed about the rebellion his father led twenty years ago. Meanwhile, Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows, determined to discover not only where they went but the origin of the Vessels that created them - and, ultimately, a cure.

And with time against him as he races to fulfill the treacherous bargain with the Lyth, Caeden continues to wrestle with the impossibly heavy burdens of his past. Yet as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realise that the motivations of the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed...




And The Licanius Trilogy 1

The Shadow of What Was Lost
The Licanius Trilogy 1
Orbit, November 8, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 704 pages

Cover Revealed: An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington
"Love The Wheel of Time? This is about to become your new favorite series." - B&N SF & Fantasy Blog

"Storytelling assurance rare for a debut . . . Fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire." - Guardian

"Islington has built a world with all the right genre elements: complex magic, terrifying threats out of legend, political intrigue, and a large cast of characters whose motivations are seldom clear. Fans of doorstop epic fantasy will not be disappointed." - Publishers Weekly

"Ingeniously plotted...Islington's natural storytelling ability provides incessant plot twists and maintains a relentless pace...A promising page-turner from a poised newcomer." - Kirkus

"Wonderful worldbuilding and terrific characters." - Boing Boing

"Will appeal to anybody looking for a coming-of-age fantasy tale with likeable characters and strong world building." - Fantasy Faction

As destiny calls, a journey begins.

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them - the Gifted - are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, vastly limiting their powers.

As a Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and others like him are despised. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything.

To the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian's wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is...

And in the far north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir...


Interview with Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld


Please welcome Nicholas Eames to The Qwillery as part of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Kings of the Wyld was published on February 21st by Orbit.



Interview with Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Nicholas:  Thanks for having me! I started writing back in high-school, but didn't really take it seriously until after college, when I started reading books that affected me emotionally and thought, "This is what I'd like to do with my life."



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Nicholas:  Major pantser! At the beginning of KINGS OF THE WYLD the characters clearly state their intention to go from point A to point B, so I did my very best to throw as many kinks in their path as possible. What happens from one chapter to the next will hopefully surprise a reader as much as it did me.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Nicholas:  I know that most writers tend to bang out a first draft without worrying how it reads or if it's necessarily cohesive, and I think being able to do that would be tremendously productive. At present, however, I tend to get really nit-picky (see: obsessive) about what I've already written. Being able to blow through a first draft BEFORE revising extensively is a skill I would dearly love to develop. Now if you'll excuse me while I revise this paragraph...



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Nicholas:  Regarding the craft itself, Guy Gavriel Kay is the author who made the biggest impact on me, though I think reading books by Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch made me believe there was a way to get humour AND heart to play nice in a fantasy book. Very recently, Delilah S. Dawson's 'Wake of Vultures' gave me a lesson in committing to a character's voice.

For this series specifically, the setting of each book is (loosely) based on an era of music. For KINGS it was 70's rock, and those looking with a keen eye will find quite a few cunningly (and not-so-cunningly) hidden references within.



TQ:   Describe Kings of the Wyld in 140 characters or less.

Nicholas:  It's the often humorous and sometimes poignant story of a once-celebrated band of monster-hunting mercenaries who must reunite after decades apart to rescue the daughter of their leader, Gabriel.



TQTell us something about Kings of the Wyld that is not found in the book description.

Nicholas:  The names of my agent, my editor, and the author who had a hand in KINGS getting published are all somewhere, in some form, on the map.



TQWhat inspired you to write Kings of the Wyld? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Nicholas:  I started writing KOTW almost immediately after reading 'Ready Player One', by Ernest Cline. That book, more than any other, is directly responsible for my own. The pacing is incredible, with one chapter practically bleeding into the next, and the whole time I was reading it I was intensely aware of how much fun I was having.

As for why I'm drawn to fantasy, the most obvious reason is this: there is nothing that happens in a fiction book that cannot happen in a fantasy (or science fiction) book, but the opposite cannot be said. Fiction, for the most part, is confined by what is real, what is possible, whereas fantasy (and again, sci-fi) is not. Provided the author creates characters you can empathize with and a setting you believe in, the story itself is utterly without boundaries. That's my opinion, anyway. Mileage may vary.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Kings of the Wyld?

Nicholas:  The best kind! As I mentioned, the setting is allegorical of the golden age of classic rock, so although I read some books and watched some documentaries on bands of that era, I mostly drank lots of whiskey and listened to an endless succession of mind-blowing rock albums. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Black Sabbath...To be honest, I had very limited knowledge of these bands before I wrote this book. Now, however, I'm here to tell you: OLD PEOPLE ARE RIGHT! That music is far superior to anything we've come up with since. Don't get me wrong: I love The Weeknd like anyone else with two ears and a heartbeat, but you can't top a high-as-a-kite Jimmy Paige guitar solo.



TQPlease tell us about the Kings of the Wyld's cover.

Nicholas:  First of all, I'm in love with it--and I am very picky about fantasy book covers. The lettering and design was done by Lisa Marie Pompilio at Orbit, and I really like that she embraces the book's 70's rock inspiration when it came to the title font. The artwork was done by Richard Anderson, who is my favourite cover artist of all time. I used to buy any and every book he did the cover art for (I bought two the day before I found out I was getting a book deal, even!) so it's pretty surreal to have his artwork on mine.



TQIn Kings of the Wyld who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Nicholas:  I think the main character, Clay, was the easiest, because we share the same sense of humour. The hardest was Lastleaf, my antagonist, because I didn't want to make him evil for the sake of being evil (I know--every author says that. Don't worry: book two's antagonist is totally, totally evil). Also, he's not at all the focal-point of the story, so I had to make the most of his interactions with the band.



TQWhich question about Kings of the Wyld do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Nicholas:

ME: If there was ever a movie made of Kings of the Wyld, what classic rock song would play during the opening credits. How about the end credits?

ALSO ME: Great question, Nick! The opening song would be The Who's 'Baba O'Riley'. And for the end credits: 'Shelter From the Storm' by Bob Dylan.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Kings of the Wyld.

Nicholas:  Ooooh! *steeples finger maniacally*

"There was nothing to mark the grave, no headstone upon which [her] single mourner might lay a wreath, or set a candle. There were only the words be kind carved into the birch's brittle skin, as if whoever did so had been crying, or a child, or both."



TQWhat's next?

Nicholas:  The Band: Book Two! (title to be haggled over endlessly by my editor and I until I inevitably capitulate and name it whatever she wants me to name it because that's just how it goes!)



TQ:   Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Nicholas:  Thank YOU so much for having me. I really appreciate it.





Kings of the Wyld
The Band 1
Orbit, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

Interview with Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld
GLORY NEVER GETS OLD.

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help--the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It's time to get the band back together.





About Nicholas

Interview with Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld
Nicholas Eames was born to parents of infinite patience and unstinting support in Wingham, Ontario. Though he attended college for theatre arts, he gave up acting to pursue the infinitely more attainable profession of 'epic fantasy novelist.' Kings of the Wyld is his first novel. Nicholas loves black coffee, neat whiskey, the month of October, and video games. He currently lives in Ontario, Canada, and is very probably writing at this very moment.







Website  ~  Twitter @Nicholas_Eames


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


James Islington

The Shadow of What Was Lost
The Licanius Trilogy 1
Orbit, November 8, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 704 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
"Love The Wheel of Time? This is about to become your new favorite series." - B&N SF & Fantasy Blog

"Islington has built a world with all the right genre elements: complex magic, terrifying threats out of legend, political intrigue, and a large cast of characters whose motivations are seldom clear. Fans of doorstop epic fantasy will not be disappointed." - Publishers Weekly

"Ingeniously plotted...Islington's natural storytelling ability provides incessant plot twists and maintains a relentless pace...A promising page-turner from a poised newcomer." - Kirkus

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them - the Gifted - are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, vastly limiting their powers.

As a Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and others like him are despised. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything.

To the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian's wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is...

And in the far north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir.

2016 DAC Cover Wars - September Winner


The winner of the September 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp from Orbit with 37% of all votes.



The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Orbit, September 13, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2016 DAC Cover Wars - September Winner
"Ingenious and funny . . . Magnificent." -- Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta

Jack Sparks died while writing this book.

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed -- until now.




The Results

2016 DAC Cover Wars - September Winner




The September 2016 Debut Covers

2016 DAC Cover Wars - September Winner

Interview with Jason Arnopp and Review of The Last Days of Jack Sparks


Please welcome Jason Arnopp to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Last Days of Jack Sparks was published on September 13th by Orbit.



Interview with Jason Arnopp and Review of The Last Days of Jack Sparks




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Jason:  Hello! Thanks very much for ushering me in. I started writing at around the age of five, having been inspired by Tom Baker-era Doctor Who and Enid Blyton stories like The Magic Faraway Tree. I created my own comic strips and short stories, all of which involved an explosion roughly every five seconds.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Jason:  I’m very much a hybrid, so you could call me a plotser. I establish a skeletal framework, which tends to work out the story’s big turning points, and I try to decide what the story’s really about (although this will often change). Then I dive on in and work it out as I go. This can cause me untold trouble, in the form of rewriting and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I think it’s important to engage the subconscious mind and let the story grow the right way. I find it extraordinarily difficult to put myself entirely into character’s heads before I start writing them. It’s like the difference between viewing them from above, as if they’re chess pieces, and actually possessing them like some kind of demon.

When I do go off the story rails, incidentally, that’s when I tend to turn to hardcore plotting wisdom. I kind of treat story structure templates like they’re Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad – I only call them when I’m in trouble.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jason:  It would honestly be quicker to tell you what I don’t find challenging. I pretty much find it all very challenging and sometimes just unpleasantly difficult. The more writing experience you gain, the harder it arguably seems to become, because you get a more accurate idea of what it actually takes if you want to really achieve things and break any kind of new ground. For me, the most challenging thing about writing is that each new project seems to require a whole new skillset. It’s not like you learn your trade and then it’s plain sailing, oh no. What a ludicrous way to try and earn a living.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does having a background in journalism affect (or not) your fiction writing?

Jason:  I’m influenced by every genre thing I’ve ever enjoyed, and some I haven’t. Particularly things involving the supernatural, or what seems to involve the supernatural. So that would be everything from Doctor Who to The Evil Dead to Stephen King to Mark Z Danielewski’s House Of Leaves to Scooby Doo to John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing. Chuck Palahniuk is also one of my favourite authors: I love how he has his very own style, and takes such unflinching looks at the human condition.

To make the obvious joke, journalism certainly trained me in the art of making stuff up! But actually that’s not true, because I was always lucky to avoid the dark side of journalism that involves ruining lives or bugging people’s phones. Spending over a decade on a weekly rock magazine certainly prepared me for deadlines and possibly taught me how to work out what to write first in any given piece. And in the case of The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, of course, it helped me write a journalist character with some degree of authority.



TQDescribe The Last Days of Jack Sparks in 140 characters or less.

Jason:  It’s a scary and funny thriller about an arrogant celebrity journalist who sets out to debunk the supernatural and ends up dead. #JackSparks



TQTell us something about The Last Days of Jack Sparks that is not found in the book description.

Jason:  At one point, the book incorporates a scenario based on a real-life thing called The Philip Experiment. In 1972, a group of Toronto researchers invented their own fictional character then tried to summon him into some form of existence. The results remain ambiguous to this day, making the whole thing rather fascinating. I changed its name to The Harold Experiment in this book, for reasons which should become plain enough when you read it.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Last Days of Jack Sparks? What appealed to you about writing a psychological thriller?

Jason:  I do like to climb inside characters’ heads and have a natural curiosity about life’s big questions. So I suppose I combined both interests by writing about a guy who travels the world looking to disprove the existence of ghosts. It appealed to me to make Jack an unreliable narrator, because that can be a useful way to reveal character while keeping the reader guessing.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Last Days of Jack Sparks?

Jason:  Of the global locations featured in the book, Hong Kong was the one I hadn’t visited in a long time, so Google Street View really helped there. God bless Google Street View, it’s a real unsung hero for writers. One brief part of the book is told from the POV of a flight stewardess, so I interviewed my friend Phill Barron, who works in the air as well as being a prolific screenwriter. Perhaps the most research-intensive topic in the book, though, was combat magic. More about that in a minute…



TQIn The Last Days of Jack Sparks who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Jason:  I hate to say it, but Jack was the easiest character to write. I’m not sure what that says about me, but it’s true nonetheless. The thing is, authors regularly seesaw between egotism and self-loathing, so perhaps it’s healthy to let some of that ego run riot through a fictional character. A lot of people siphon out some of their worst traits out through writing and maybe I’m one of ‘em. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So, the hardest character to write? That was Sherilyn Chastain. Since Sherilyn’s a combat magician, she had to know her stuff. Luckily, my friend Cat Vincent is a retired combat magician and could tell me lots of stuff. In fact, plenty of Cat’s sage words went straight into Sherilyn’s mouth, which made reading the book quite an odd experience for him!



TQWhy have you chosen to include social issues in The Last Days of Jack Sparks?

Jason:  I suppose what I chose to include were social media issues. I’d noticed quite a lot of certainty expressed on social media, perhaps as an unconscious response to what often feels like an increasingly chaotic world. There are lots of great things about social media (and about certain kinds of certainty, for that matter), but sometimes it’s hard to escape the nagging sense that Twitter’s a vast room full of people yelling through megaphones, then wondering why no-one’s listening. Often feels like we’re in broadcast mode more often than we’re in receive mode. So that darker side of social media was interesting to me and helped to illuminate Jack’s own character, particularly as his own ego starts to peel away and reveal more of him beneath. Thematically, the book ended up being an exploration of how ego, belief and certainty interact in the social media age.



TQWhich question about The Last Days of Jack Sparks do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Jason:  That’s a great question, I like it. Hmm, let’s see. The ideal question would be, “Would it be a big help if I reviewed the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Indiebound?” And my answer to this would be, “Hell yes, thank you so much, it would be a bigger help than you know! Especially for a debut novel, positive reviews are gold dust. Or, actually, word of mouth, off or on social media, can be just as valuable. Some folk might imagine that publishers put books out there and people just automatically buy them, but it’s tough – there’s a whole glittering constellation of books out there, vying for readers’ attention. You can practically feel each copy of the book selling, one at a time. When people pop up on Twitter to kindly tell me they enjoyed Jack Sparks, I send them a link to a secret page on my site that tells them how exactly how awesome they are. Word of mouth is vital.”



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Last Days of Jack Sparks.

Jason:  My favourite line appears twice in the novel: “There’s no such thing as the Devil”. I also like “No one listens any more. Only when it’s far too late do our ears open wide”.



TQWhat's next?

Jason:  I recently delivered the second book in my two-book deal with Orbit Books. This one is standalone and has nothing to do with Jack Sparks, who is after all, as dead as a doornail. It occupies the same general kind of territory, though, being a supernatural thriller. When I write, I aim to create an edgy kind of sense that almost anything can happen, so hopefully that unpredictability comes across in both The Last Days Of Jack Sparks and the next novel. Surprising (and hopefully delighting) readers is so much fun.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jason:  Thanks so much for having me. I had a totally qwiller time!





The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Orbit, September 13, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Jason Arnopp and Review of The Last Days of Jack Sparks
"Ingenious and funny . . . Magnificent." -- Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta

Jack Sparks died while writing this book.

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed -- until now.



Qwill's Thoughts

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is spooky and strange. I absolutely love it. The novel's main character, Jack Sparks, is the poster person for unreliable narrator. I don't trust his brother Alistair either. The story is primarily told from Jack's POV in the form of a book he was writing called "Jack Sparks on the Supernatural", which is being edited and published with the help of his brother Alistair who offers his own notes on the events in the book. There are additional POVs included from people who are interacting with Jack and present a different picture of him.

Jack has written 3 prior books - "Jack Sparks on a Pogo Stick", "Jack Sparks on Gangs" and "Jack Sparks on Drugs". He ended up in rehab after that last book.

Jack has already made up his mind that the supernatural is all baloney. The intent of his latest book is to basically rip apart anyone involved with the supernatural and debunk what they are doing. It doesn't go quite as Jack planned. Jack Sparks is dead but how he gets there is a wild ride.

I really disliked Jack for the most part. He's self-important, self-entitled and unpleasant though he's often funny. His motives for writing about the supernatural are suspect. He's not nice. He's rude. However, toward the end of the novel I really came to feel for him, which is not to say I liked him.

Arnopp has put together a wonderful supporting cast for Jack, including his roommate Bex, his brother Alistair, and many of the people he encounters on his global trek to interview those who work in the the supernatural fields - an exorcist from the Church in Italy, a group in the US trying to recreate an experiment from the 1970s during which they try to create a ghost, and Sherilyn Chastain (a combat magician) in Hong Kong.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is tautly written and breathtakingly paced. Jack is both horrible and fantastic and the supporting cast of characters are well fleshed out.

Arnopp leads the reader deep into the chilling heart of the supernatural and Jack's psyche - neither of which are fun places to be. The Last Days of Jack Sparks is thrilling, astonishingly twisted and fabulous.





About Jason

Interview with Jason Arnopp and Review of The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Jason Arnopp is a British author and scriptwriter. His background is in journalism: he has worked on titles such as Heat, Q, The Word, Kerrang!, SFX and Doctor Who Magazine. He has written comedy for Radio 4 and official tie-in fiction for Doctor Who and Friday The 13th, but The Last Days of Jack Sparks is the first novel which is entirely Jason's own fault (though some may prefer to lay the blame on Jack...)






Website  ~  Twitter @JasonArnopp  ~  Facebook

The Jack Sparks Website


Interview with K.B. Wagers, author of Behind the Throne


Please welcome K.B. Wagers to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Behind the Throne , the first novel in the Indranan War series, was published on August 2nd by Orbit.



Interview with K.B. Wagers, author of Behind the Throne




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

K.B.: Thanks! *settles into a chair* I’ve been writing for basically my whole life. Somewhere there’s a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet in crayon. (Don’t ask, I’m still not sure how I knew about R&J when I was still using crayons.) I write because I have to or I’ll go mad.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

K.B.: Hybrid, definitely. I plot a bit, then throw it at my characters and see how they react. Sometimes I can predict the reactions, other times I get caught off guard. *laughs* That’s always fun.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

K.B.: Coherence. My brain runs a million miles a second, and sometimes the leaps it takes don’t end up on the page. Thankfully I have a lot of people checking me and making me explain the stuff I think everyone knows.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

K.B.: *whistles* How much time do we have? I was blessed with parents who encouraged my love of reading, so I started young and I’ve read a lot: classics and romance, westerns and science fiction. Same for movies and music. I find influences for my work in everything, from things as simple as a photography to a detailed fan description of just how improbable Steve Rogers’s running route is at the beginning of The Winter Soldier. It’s really just a grab bag of epic chaos in my brain.



TQDescribe Behind the Throne in 140 characters or less.

K.B.: A gunrunner is dragged back home to rule an empire, only to find becoming empress is far more dangerous than the life she left behind.



TQTell us something about Behind the Throne that is not found in the book description.

K.B.: I wrote a lot of scenes that happened outside of Hail’s POV. Obviously because the book is from her eyes I didn’t get to include any of those, but it was helpful to set down the motivations for some of the other characters.



TQWhat inspired you to write Behind the Throne? What appeals to you about writing SF?

K.B.: A Christmas tree ornament. *laughs* No, seriously. This whole book started when I was laying on my couch at Christmas time and spotted a tatted ornament my grandmother had made. My brain exploded with the opening scene of the book and the design of the ornament is the tattoo found on Emmory’s cheek.

I’ve always loved SF and it gives me a freedom of control that’s not found if you’re writing something a little more grounded. I get to design cities and worlds rather than having to do a lot of research if I were writing something set in Rome.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Behind the Throne?

K.B.: I tend to research on the fly as things come up. For this project there was a lot of language research, information about matriarchal societies, Hindu culture and fashion, the effects of colonialism on India’s military and government. Poisons and execution methods. Also faster-than-light travel and a number of astronomical topics.



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

K.B.: Hail would be the obvious answer because we’re in her head the whole time, but actually Emmory and Zin were nearly as easy to write, if not slightly more so. I love all three of them, and as characters go, they’ve been very cooperative.

Hail’s mother was really difficult to write. There was an awful lot of baggage to unpack between those two, and the circumstances didn’t help matters. It took a couple of tries to find the woman behind the empress mask.



TQWho would shoot first - Hail Bristol or Han Solo?

K.B.: Watch as I think way too hard about a silly question. This is how my brain works. *laughs* I think that it would depend on the circumstances, but Han is probably more impulsive than Hail is. She’s very controlled, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Hail tends to think things through very carefully (just at lightning speed) and plays through all the angles before making a decision. But she’s good at reading people, so if she’s convinced the other person is going to fire, she’ll shoot first.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Behind the Throne?

K.B.: It wasn’t a deliberate choice, the story more just evolved into what it is today. You can’t really write a book about people without including some of the issues that they deal with on a regular basis — and let’s be honest, none of us is writing in a vacuum. Things happen in the world that, consciously or not, influence what we choose to write.

I didn’t want to make the matriarchy of Behind the Throne super overpowering or “evil” in any sense, though it may seem that way at times during the story. Rather, I tried to flip things that happen to women pretty frequently around the world today and asked myself what would happen if over the years a society had evolved where men were treated that way instead?

It’s not the crux of the story, obviously, so I don’t feel like I set out to discuss that issue specifically. Hail provides the reader with a view of someone who grew up in that society but then left home and spent her adulthood in an environment that was definitely more male-skewed.



TQ Which question about Behind the Throne do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

K.B.:

What’s your working relationship with your characters like? Do you let them drive the plot, or do you drive the plot and just put us in their heads as they’re swept along?

Little of column A, little of column B. *laughs* Admittedly the characters in this particular novel have been super cooperative. I’ve written some earlier ones where they just did whatever they wanted. In the end, really, I think it speaks to growth as a writer to find a balance where you “let” the characters tell their story while maintaining control of the overall plot for your novel and/or series.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Behind the Throne.

K.B.: My favorite is the one that made it on the back cover, because it’s Hail and Emmory’s relationship in a sentence. *laughs* But another great one come from Zin:

“Sergeant Hoff is living every soldier’s nightmare of going to war in his underwear so we can hide you in plain sight.”



TQWhat's next?

K.B.: *rubs hands* Oh well, we’ve got two more books in the Indranan War series. After the Crown releases in December 2016 and then Book #3 will be out in 2017. When we’re done with that I have a closetful of ideas. It’s really just a matter of what I can talk my agent and editor into. *grins and winks*



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K.B.: Thank you! This was a lot of fun.





Behind the Throne
The Indranan War 1
Orbit, August 2, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with K.B. Wagers, author of Behind the Throne
"Excellent SF adventure debut." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

Hail Bristol has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire.

When she is dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.




Upcoming

After the Crown
The Indranan War 2
Orbit, December 13, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with K.B. Wagers, author of Behind the Throne
The adrenaline-fueled, Star Wars-style sequel to Behind the Throne, a new space adventure series from author K.B. Wagers.

Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule.

When peace talks turn violent and Hail realizes she's been betrayed, she must rely on her old gunrunning ways to get out of trouble. With help from an old boss and some surprising new allies, she must risk everything to save her world.





About K.B. Wagers

Interview with K.B. Wagers, author of Behind the Throne
Photo by Donald Branum
K.B. Wagers has a bachelor's degree in Russian Studies and her non-fiction writing has earned her two Air Force Space Command media contest awards. A native of Colorado, she lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her husband and son. In between books, she can be found playing in the mud, running on trails, dancing to music, and scribbling on spare bits of paper.





Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @kbwagers


Tumblr  ~  Instagram  ~  YouTube



Interview with James Bennett and Review of Chasing Embers


Please welcome James Bennett to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Chasing Embers was published on September 6th by Orbit.



Interview with James Bennett and Review of Chasing Embers




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

James:  Thank you. I started out young, inspired by films like Star Wars, comics like Conan and books like The Wizard of Earthsea. I view these things as my cornerstones, if you like. I still think bits and pieces of these influences show up in my work today.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

James:  Oh, definitely a hybrid. I’ll sketch a loose plot, choose my themes and decide what the book is trying to say. Then when I sit down to write it, the book tends to decide those things for itself. The age old struggle. But flexibility is essential to a writer.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

James:  Exposition. I’ll come right out and say it. You’re always learning and for me, one of those lessons appears to be the fine art of avoiding info dumps. I love to write action pieces and dialogue. If it was up to me I’d include exposition in a little pamphlet at the back of the book for readers to refer to. I’m learning. I hope I’m getting better.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

James:  Too many to list. A wealth of fiction across genres, books, movies and comics. Life experiences. Travel. Somewhere in my teens my love of mythology met Stephen King and things kind of went boom. In terms of the Ben Garston novels, I wanted to take all these influences, from Tolkien to Le Guin to McCaffery to Barker et al and, well, punk them a little. I view Chasing Embers as mythpunk. Anything could end up in there. It’s a highly expansive theme.



TQDescribe Chasing Embers in 140 characters or less.

James:  I’ll give you my elevator pitch: James Bond with dragons.



TQTell us something about Chasing Embers that is not found in the book description.

James:  Ben Garston was (apparently) a real person. He’s listed as either a criminal or a nobleman in a 16th century Mordiford document. No one at the time really seemed sure. I liked that ambiguity. The myth of the Mordiford Dragon is old and obscure, of course, but it’s where Chasing Embers took root. You walk in the woods above Mordiford and wonder what these people would be doing now. I do, anyway.



TQWhat inspired you to write Chasing Embers? What appeals to you about writing Contemporary Fantasy?

James:  I have the greatest respect for secondary world-builders and it’s definitely something I’ll try one day. At the moment I’m interested in exploring this world and using monsters as a metaphor to reflect our modern issues, which of course you can do in a secondary world – and well – but I wanted to be up close and personal. I’ve read some reviews that pick up on the lack of humans in the novel, but to my mind, these are intensely human stories. That absence is deliberate.



TQWhy dragons?

James:  Who doesn’t love dragons? From Smaug the Magnificent to Toothless. Well, for one thing, I think a dragon comes at the top of the tree in the hierarchy of fabulous beasts. I felt an entirely humanoid character had been done brilliantly elsewhere (Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Benedict Jacka etc.) and I’m the kind of writer who will always look to do something new. Dragons in human form aren’t new, however. In fact, the mythological idea is very old, from Medieval European tales right back to Ancient China and creation myths. The more I thought about it, the more the idea intrigued me. Imagine a dragon living now, here among us in human form? What would he/she be like? You can have a lot of fun with that. And I write primarily to have fun.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Chasing Embers?

James:  I read a lot of history and a lot of mythology. I tracked down the remnants of the Mordiford story (see what I did there?) and embarked on a study of North African myths, which is where I stumbled on Punt. The idea of this once paradisiacal realm was quite affecting and when that led to the link with Ancient Egypt, a story began to take shape.



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

James:  Ben was the easiest. He’s perhaps the least like me, but the one I can most relate to.

Khadra and Ayan were the hardest. You’re looking out through eyes that you know you can’t ever really share and what they see is mostly painful. Hope is painful.



TQWhy have you chosen to include social issues in Chasing Embers?

James:  I grew up in South Africa and I’m aware of the vibrancy of African culture, which is every bit as rich and varied as western mythology. We’ve travelled in Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Also I’ve witnessed the hardships faced by so many over there that we simply don’t face in the west. I found the idea of contrasting these worlds fascinating, to offer a wider perspective for readers. I didn’t grow up in a straight white world and I think (hope) that my stories reflect that. I think we need a wider perspective in literature now. We need wider eyes. Isn’t that what wonder is all about? And what is Fantasy if not wonder?



TQWhich question about Chasing Embers do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

James:  That’s a tough one. Oks a tough one. Ok, from some stuff I’ve read from readers I’d ask:

‘Will Rose McBriar be returning to this series?’

And answer: Maybe. But not in the next one. Just so no one hates me for it.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Chasing Embers.

James:  “The thing with myths is they never really die.”



TQWhat's next?

James:  Well, I have some new short stories coming out from Fox Spirit Books later this year. There are actually already about 6 or 7 published spin-off stories from the Ben Garston series that I may flag up on my blog next week http://curia-draconis.blogspot.co.uk/ Then next year we have the follow up to ‘Chasing Embers’, which is a darker story, I think, although with several dollops of fiery action. Now we’ve established the Remnant world, I’m looking forward to the fun we can have in it. I’m looking forward to spending the winter somewhere quiet and remote and getting my head down with Book 3.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

James:  My pleasure. Thank you for having me.





Chasing Embers
A Ben Garston Novel 1
Orbit, September 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Interview with James Bennett and Review of Chasing Embers
Behind every myth, there's a spark of truth...

There's nothing special about Ben Garston. He's just a guy with an attitude in a beat-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows in a downtown bar. Or so he'd have you believe.

What Ben Garston can't let you know is that he was once known as Red Ben. That the world of myth and legend isn't just a fantasy, as we've been led to believe. And he certainly can't let you know the secret of what's hiding just beneath his skin...

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. A centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.



Qwill's Thoughts

Chasing Embers is the first novel in the Ben Garston series by James Bennett. Ben Garston is hard-drinking, difficult and the last of his kind on Earth (a dragon). The reasons for that are clearly explained in the novel and were put in place during the reign of King John (the Magna Carta King John). It's fascinating.

While Ben is the main character, there are quite a few really well-done supporting characters including Ben's love, Rose McBriar, some unpleasant witches and more. There are many mythological beings and objects of power introduced in the novel. Something has happened which shakes the foundations of Ben's world, threatens Rose, and may mean the ruination of Earth. If Ben could only figure out what is going on.

I enjoyed watching Ben piece things together. He's very introspective and we get to share in his thoughts. He understands his flaws for the most part. He struggles with his dragon nature - hoarding treasures, treating women as damsels, etc. Bennett makes it easy to feel Ben's love for Rose and all the worries he has about being different than she is (i.e., not human) as well as the weight he feels from the many years he's been alive. Bennett also lets the reader know how Rose feels about everything in no uncertain terms. She's a very strong woman.

Bennett beautifully entwines various mythologies (Egyptian, Puntian, British) and adds his own spin to create a complex and detailed background for Chasing Embers. The novel had me looking up various elements of these myths that are given as fact in the novel with variations because myths seldom get it right. I knew nothing about a the Land of Punt before Chasing Embers. I love when a novel has me looking up and learning new things.

There is a tremendous amount of action in Chasing Embers - some explosions, destruction of buildings, and more. There is also humor and quiet moments... and torture. There are heartbreaking scenes set in the area of Africa that was the Land of Punt and serve as a catalyst for much of what happens in the novel. The climatic scenes are stunning, frighting, and exciting. Bennett's writing flows gracefully throughout. The novel does not end on a cliffhanger but does leave you wondering about some things.

Chasing Embers is a compelling Contemporary Fantasy with a very rich mythology, a terrific story and engaging characters.





About James

Interview with James Bennett and Review of Chasing Embers
James Bennett is a debut fantasy author currently living in Wales. Born in England and raised in South Africa and Cornwall, his travels have furnished him with an abiding love of different cultures, history and mythology. He's had several short stories published internationally and draws inspiration from long walks, deep forests and old stones. Also the odd bottle of wine.








Website  ~  Twitter @Benjurigan


Orbit and Gollancz to Publish New Witcher Novel by Andrzej Sapkowski - Season of StormsThe Boy on the Bridge by M. R. CareyInterview with Antonia Honeywell, author of The ShipCover Revealed: An Echo of Things to Come by James IslingtonInterview with Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington2016 DAC Cover Wars - September WinnerInterview with Jason Arnopp and Review of The Last Days of Jack SparksInterview with K.B. Wagers, author of Behind the ThroneInterview with James Bennett and Review of Chasing Embers

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