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Interview with Michael R. Underwood


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery! Annihilation Aria, the first novel in his new Space Opera series, is published on July 21, 2020 by Parvus Press.

Please join all of us at The Qwillery in wishing Michael a Happy Book Birthday!



Interview with Michael R. Underwood




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel Annihilation Aria is published on July 21st. Over the years, what has become less challenging for you as a writer? More challenging?

MRU:  It’s gotten a bit easier for me to ride the ups and downs of publishing, but easier is not easy. It’s still an industry where getting better as a writer is no guarantee that your books will do better commercially. And that’s very discouraging. Writing books themselves have gotten easier and harder. Easier as I learn how to be more flexible in my process, responding to each book with the approach that works for it. Harder because I keep raising the bar for myself and in rising to the challenges posed to me by editors like my editor on Annihilation Aria, Kaelyn Considine. Aria is my best attempt (so far) to write a fun adventure story while adding more emotional depth and interesting worldbuilding.



TQDescribe Annihilation Aria using only 5 words.

MRU:  Space archaeology gets very complicated.



TQPlease tell us something about Annihilation Aria that is not found in the book description.

MRU:  Something I’ve already gotten positive feedback about with regards to the book is people saying they really like seeing a book with a happily-married couple in it. Max and Lahra start the novel already well into their relationship, but it’s one that is still loving and affectionate, even if they have their problems like any other couple. Being happily married myself, I wanted to help contribute to the body of works that feature established couples rather than only ever showing the meet-cute and the whirlwind romance.



TQWhich character in the Annihilation Aria was the most fun to write?

MRU:  The more time I spent developing her people’s culture, the more fun Lahra became to write. She became a way for me to play with the idea of the Warrior People, with Lahra as one of the few remaining members of her people’s warrior caste. I loved developing the worldbuilding for how she relates to the song magic of her people and her inherited quest to find and restore the lost heir.



TQAnnihilation Aria is a space opera? What makes a story a "space opera"?

MRU:  Generally, I agree with the reading of space opera as the science fiction analogue to epic fantasy. Space opera as a term riffs on horse opera, an old name for westerns. In modern science fiction, space opera has broadened to cover a wide range of science fiction, from series like The Expanse to Star Wars to Dune and many projects in between. Some space opera overlaps with military SF, some overlaps more with space fantasy (Annihilation Aria among them).

For this book, I leaned into a literal definition of space opera by having Lahra’s people use song magic, with Lahra’s battle songs featuring prominently in the actions sequences of the novel. Which made it fun and let me give the series (only one book commissioned so far) the cheeky title of “The Space Operas.” And if I get to write more books, I can give them equally fun titles like Chaos Canto or the like.



TQYour novels often (but not always) subtly pay homage to various genres and/or geekdoms. I particularly enjoy this in a novel. Will we be treated to this in Annihilation Aria?

MRUAnnihilation Aria was inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, and some other space opera series. Reviewers have talked about Aria playing with 1908s space opera tropes but with updated sensibilities, and that’s definitely the approach I took in writing it. Most of my work so far has been focused on fun, adventure storytelling but done with as much inclusivity as I can manage.



TQDoes Annihilation Aria touch on any social issues?

MRU:  When I started writing Aria in 2015, its political edge was not as sharp as the final result. Then November 2016 happened. I decided to lean into that anger at the rise of US authoritarianism instead of shying away from it. The evil empire in this book is not at all the same as Trumpism in the USA, but the book definitely became more anti-authoritarian and revolutionary. Empires and the struggle against them are fairly common in space opera, but I tried to be a bit more pointed about the details of how authoritarianism and fascism creates systems of social control by limiting free speech, limiting movement, etc. All while still crafting a novel more about adventure and heroism than oppression and tragedy.



TQWhich question about Annihilation Aria do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Made up question: Why a greatsword for Lahra’s sword of station?

MRU:  Great question! Greatswords were used as a weapon of choice by some bodyguards in renaissance Europe. A greatsword is heavier and harder to control than a longsword, but its size and strength makes it great for clearing and controlling space. I’ve studied a bit of greatsword technique from the Iberian Peninsula as well as other Iberian swordplay, and I jumped at the opportunity to showcase greatswords in this project. Plus, epic fantasy and space opera already make space for Giant Ridiculous Swords, so most of what I had to do was bring my own martial arts knowledge to it and figure out how magical/martial arts movie-ish I wanted swordplay to be in this one.



TQ Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Annihilation Aria.

MRU
Lahra Kevain sang “Sahvo’s Embrace” to her armor in the sun-soaked cargo hold. The embrace was an aria of resilience and rebirth from the epic of Zhore, sung originally by a love-struck guardian to the princess who was her charge.

The song awakened the suit, allowing her armor to repair itself using the sun’s energy. The coral-steel resonated with her voice, stitching itself back together, scalloped ridges and joints sealing and smoothing over. One by one, traces of her and Max’s last misadventure faded, and the suit returned to its optimal form.


TQWhat's next?

MRU:  I’m not the fastest writer, so I’ve been working on ways to stay connected with writers and colleagues. The past couple of years, I’ve had a lot of fun writing essays on the craft of writing and the business of publishing at my Patreon (patreon.com/michaelrunderwood). I’ve covered topics from how the pandemic may impact publishing to how sub-rights work as well as building a quick one-shot for D&D and getting from concept to page one in a new writing project. Plus it has pictures of my very cute dog Oreo.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

MRU:  Thanks so much for having me back! Debuting back in 2012 feels simultaneously like just the other day and a lifetime ago, and I really appreciate the support and chance to get to grow along with the Qwillery audience.





Annihilation Aria
The Space Operas 1
Parvus Press, July 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Michael R. Underwood
Max is cheery xeno-archeologist from Earth, stranded and trying to find a way home. Lahra is a stern warrior of a nearly extinct race searching for her people’s heir. Wheel is the couple’s cybernetic pilot running from her past and toward an unknown future.

On Wheel’s ship, the Kettle, the trio traverses the galaxy, dodging Imperial patrols and searching ancient ruins for anything they can sell. The crew of the Kettle are deeply in debt to their home base’s most powerful gangster, and she wants her money back.  

So when a dangerous, but promising job comes their way, Max, Lahra, and Wheel have little choice but to take it. However, the crew of the Kettle gets more than they bargained for when they find themselves in possession of a powerful artifact, one that puts them in the crosshairs of the Vsenk, the galaxy’s ruthless and oppressive imperial overlords. 

Max, Lahra, and Wheel are pulled into a web of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien weaponry, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.  The Vsenk will stop at nothing to recover what the crew of the Kettle has found and Max’s brains, Lahra’s muscle, and Wheel’s skills may be all that stands between entire planets and annihilation.  

Can they evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy all while they each try to find their own way home?





About Michael

Interview with Michael R. Underwood
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including Annihilation Aria, Born to the Blade (an epic fantasy serial), the Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and Genrenauts, a series of novellas, which was a finalist for the r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award.

Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.

In years past, he danced Argentine Tango and was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and studying historical martial arts. Mike has been a hobby game store clerk, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and more.

Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife, their dog Oreo, and an ever-growing library. He also loves geeking out with video & role-playing games, studying historical martial arts, and making pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the actual play show Speculate! and a guest host on The Skiffy and Fanty Show.

Website  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood  ~  Facebook

Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery! Annihilation Aria, the first novel in his new Space Opera series, will be published on July 21, 2020 by Parvus Press.



Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood




Writing from a Trope Wish List

Some time ago, I heard author Annie Bellet talk about doing herself the favor of making a list of tropes she loved and making sure to use as many as she could to help make a book more fun to write, with the hope that it would then be more fun for readers as well.

The result was her 20-sided Sorceress series, which has done very well and, I think, completely validates this approach.

So, when it came to develop my ideas for what would become ANNIHILATION ARIA, I decided to borrow a page from Annie’s book and build myself a trope wish list.

I grew up on Star Wars as a foundational space opera influence, so anything I write in the more adventure-oriented side of space opera or space fantasy is going to bear the mark of that galaxy far, far away. For ARIA, that influence mostly shows up in the form of including Cool Swords in a setting that mostly features firearms. Lahra’s sword of station is also a BS Fantasy Sword – it would not be practical or effective for a human to use in reality, but looks cool and works for Lahra as an alien warrior hero.

Other tropes I wanted to play with included Found Family, Ship as Home, Gigantic Weird Location, Happily Committed Couple Having Adventures, Evil Super-soldiers, Cyborg Pilot, Last Member of a Warrior People, Friendly Megafauna, Cool Aliens, Space Magic, Hero From Earth Far From Home, and some that constitute spoilers, so I’m leaving them out here.


Building a Novel With a Trope Wish List

The idea with the trope wish list is to lay out some building blocks instead of developing the novel from scratch. The tropes to use constitute locations, characters, and some worldbuilding elements.

For my main cast, I have Max as my Hero From Earth Far From Home, Lahra as the Last Member of a Warrior People with the Silly Fantasy Sword and Space Magic, and they’re the Happily Married Couple Having Adventures. Then to round out their Found Family, I have Wheel the Cyborg Pilot who connects with/operates the Ship as Home.

Their main port/base is The Wreck, a Gigantic Weird Location (a crashed colony ship-turned city), and then there’s also a space city built on the backs of the Drell, giant space turtles that are Friendly Megafauna. The main bad guys in the setting are Evil Super-soldiers, the galaxy is populated by some other Cool Aliens like the avian Rellix, the Atlan (Wheel’s cybernetics-using species), and the clannish, mercantile Illhari.


Other Ways to Use Tropes While Building a Novel

A broader view of the trope wish list could involve trope-y plot beats, from the Double-Cross or the Hold The Line kind of battle to something like The War Council ala the Death Star briefing. I didn’t really use the trope wish list on the plot level, but if you really like certain types of scenes or are interested in building a story around set-pieces, this approach could be useful. It can give you pillars or centers of gravity for the plot, shaping a story around the core scenes you’re most excited for.


The Big Picture

Ultimately, the cool thing about using a trope wish list is that it can help you ramp up your hype for your own novel. Having spent a few years going from novel to novel and reading in the field and paying attention to trends, it was really liberating to re-connect so intentionally and directly with some of my favorite tropes. Tropes aren’t bad, they’re just building blocks. Especially since I ended up writing ANNIHILATION ARIA over the course of several years, revisiting it several times between other projects before taking it over the finish line in 2018.





Annihilation Aria
The Space Operas 1
Parvus Press, July 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood
Max is cheery xeno-archeologist from Earth, stranded and trying to find a way home. Lahra is a stern warrior of a nearly extinct race searching for her people’s heir. Wheel is the couple’s cybernetic pilot running from her past and toward an unknown future.

On Wheel’s ship, the Kettle, the trio traverses the galaxy, dodging Imperial patrols and searching ancient ruins for anything they can sell. The crew of the Kettle are deeply in debt to their home base’s most powerful gangster, and she wants her money back.  

So when a dangerous, but promising job comes their way, Max, Lahra, and Wheel have little choice but to take it. However, the crew of the Kettle gets more than they bargained for when they find themselves in possession of a powerful artifact, one that puts them in the crosshairs of the Vsenk, the galaxy’s ruthless and oppressive imperial overlords. 

Max, Lahra, and Wheel are pulled into a web of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien weaponry, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.  The Vsenk will stop at nothing to recover what the crew of the Kettle has found and Max’s brains, Lahra’s muscle, and Wheel’s skills may be all that stands between entire planets and annihilation.  

Can they evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy all while they each try to find their own way home?





About Michael

Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including Annihilation Aria, Born to the Blade (an epic fantasy serial), the Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and Genrenauts, a series of novellas, which was a finalist for the r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award.

Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.

In years past, he danced Argentine Tango and was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and studying historical martial arts. Mike has been a hobby game store clerk, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and more.

Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife, their dog Oreo, and an ever-growing library. He also loves geeking out with video & role-playing games, studying historical martial arts, and making pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the actual play show Speculate! and a guest host on The Skiffy and Fanty Show.

Website  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood  ~  Facebook

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors


Here are some of the upcoming July 2020 works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors! The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Ian Doescher (2013)

William Shakespeare's The Merry Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars Part the Ninth
Quirk Books, July 28, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Complete your collection of the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars® series and experience the blockbuster finale to the Star Wars® saga in a brand-new way, here reimagined as though it had been penned by the Bard of Avon.

As our story opens, a sea of troubles threatens the valiant Resistance, who are pursued by the sound and fury of the vile First Order. Can Rey, Poe, Finn, Rose, BB-8, Chewbacca, and their allies overcome such toil and trouble? Shall Kylo Ren be proven fortune’s fool or master of his fate? What will become of the House of Skywalker? And is all well that ends well?

Authentic meter, stage directions, reimagined movie scenes and dialogue, and hidden Easter eggs will entertain and impress fans of Star Wars® and Shakespeare alike. Every scene and character from the film appears in the book, along with twenty woodcut-style illustrations that depict an Elizabethan version of the Star Wars® galaxy.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors





Michael R. Underwood (2012)

Annihilation Aria
The Space Operas 1
Parvus Press, July 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Max is cheery xeno-archeologist from Earth, stranded and trying to find a way home. Lahra is a stern warrior of a nearly extinct race searching for her people’s heir. Wheel is the couple’s cybernetic pilot running from her past and toward an unknown future.

On Wheel’s ship, the Kettle, the trio traverses the galaxy, dodging Imperial patrols and searching ancient ruins for anything they can sell. The crew of the Kettle are deeply in debt to their home base’s most powerful gangster, and she wants her money back.  

So when a dangerous, but promising job comes their way, Max, Lahra, and Wheel have little choice but to take it. However, the crew of the Kettle gets more than they bargained for when they find themselves in possession of a powerful artifact, one that puts them in the crosshairs of the Vsenk, the galaxy’s ruthless and oppressive imperial overlords. 

Max, Lahra, and Wheel are pulled into a web of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien weaponry, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.  The Vsenk will stop at nothing to recover what the crew of the Kettle has found and Max’s brains, Lahra’s muscle, and Wheel’s skills may be all that stands between entire planets and annihilation.  

Can they evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy all while they each try to find their own way home?





Alex White (2016)

The Worst of All Possible Worlds
The Salvagers 3
Orbit, July 28, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
The rag-tag crew of the Capricious is hunting down rogue AI, ancient colony ships, and the biggest treasure the universe has ever seen in the final book of this pulse-pounding space adventure series for fans of Firefly and The Expanse.

The crew of the Capricious seems to leave a trail of devastation wherever they go. But with powerful enemies in pursuit and family and friends under attack planetside, there’s no time to worry about all that. Ensnared by the legend of Origin, humanity’s birthplace, and a long-dead form of magic, the Capricious takes off on a journey to find the first colony ship…and magic that could bring down gods.

Read the incredible space-fantasy series that V. E. Schwab calls “A total blast!”

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC AuthorsCovers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors

Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight


Please welcome Mareth Griffith to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Court of Twilight is published on October 17th by Parvus Press.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Mareth a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight




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

Mareth:  Thank you, very pleased to be here. I started writing seriously in 2009, a few months after being laid off from a job at a theater. I had worked in theater as an audio engineer for several years, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, leaving the world of theater meant that I needed to find some other creative outlet. That outlet turned out to be writing.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Mareth:  I tend to be more of a pantser, but my process changes from project to project. I am definitely a fan of the concept of zero drafts. That is, a draft where you have absolutely no idea where the story is going (or maybe where the story is going but no idea how it’s getting there) and you blindly charge forward anyway, writing enough to get a sense of what the narrative arc looks like, what motivates your characters, and what the emotional high points are. The first draft of Court of Twilight was written this way - entirely in the dark. For example, I didn’t consciously know the ending until about a day before I wrote the scene. Once the first draft was done and I knew what the story was about, I went back and wrote an outline, and then rewrote the story to fit that outline – which cut a few scenes I’d written and didn’t need, and added in a few scenes that were absolutely essential.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Mareth:  First drafts. I seem to be an outlier in that I find the editing and revision process a ton more fun than churning out new material – I think because in the editing process, you actually get to see the story get better and better. First drafts, for me, are like army-crawling across a white carpet wearing very muddy clothes (how’s that for an image?) If you look back, you can see where the story’s going, but nothing about it looks pretty, and you know it’ll take forever to clean up…

Participating in my first National Novel Writing Month was hugely beneficial to me, because in addition to producing the first draft of Court of Twilight, it also helped me learn how to write drafts without looking too hard at the mess I’m leaving behind me as I work.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Mareth:  I am a huge fan of Connie Willis and Barbara Hambly. You can pretty much wring emotion out of any chapter of anything they’ve ever written. Also Laurie R. King, whose Beekeeper’s Apprentice was the first novel I read as a teen where I identified heart and soul with the narrator. In particular, Barbara Hambly’s Windrose books and Connie Willis’ Blackout both had huge influences on Court of Twilight – and where Ivy’s story is headed in future books – though I don’t know how much of that actually shows up in the novel. Doctor Who – the Tom Baker era as well as the modern series – is also a big influence. I have a rule that I don’t watch television – partly due to lack of opportunity, partly to make time for writing – but I always make an exception for Doctor Who.



TQDescribe Court of Twilight in 140 characters or less.

Mareth:  20-year-old Dubliner discovers her flatmate’s a runaway fairy ruler, who’s due to be murdered in days.



TQTell us something about Court of Twilight that is not found in the book description.

Mareth:  Let’s see – that covers quite a lot!

The fist sentence in what was to become Court of Twilight was written somewhere in a hostel in New Zealand during the six months I was there on a working holiday visa. It was: ‘Your lot had a very good king - he only had to die but once. Ours are very wicked kings, so nothing will suffice but that we kill them over and over.’ In one evening, I wrote two pages of dialog between Hunzu and a young narrator who would eventually turn into Ivy. Following that evening, I did nothing else with the story for nearly two years.



TQWhat inspired you to write Court of Twilight? What appeals to you about writing Contemporary Fantasy?

Mareth:  The original idea for Court of Twilight came from reading two works of real-world ethnography back to back – Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland by Eddie Lenihan and Carolyn Eve Green, and Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey, by Isabel Fonseca. Both books dealt with the idea of outsiders – groups of Others who are literally or figuratively invisible to the predominant culture around them. It got me thinking about how the some of the elements traditionally ascribed to fairies – they’re invisible, they’re often malevolent, and unwary human visitors can sometimes get trapped in their world – might play out as cultural, rather than magical, differences.

Also, Court of Twilight is a contemporary fantasy only by accident. As I’d originally conceived the story, it was set in the year prior to the potato famine. Then, on impulse, I decided to write the first draft during National Novel Writing Month. It quickly because apparent that I would never be able to do the amount of research necessary to set the story in a historic period, and also finish the draft. So, the story got bumped into the modern day.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Court of Twilight?

Mareth:  As mentioned above, time for research was in very short supply. I did very little research specific to the story, (other than spending a ton of time on Google Maps looking up various Dublin neighborhoods, average bartenders’ salaries, local haunted houses, and believable public transit options). Most of what else shows up in the story came from things rattling around in my head. It helps that I’ve lived in both Scotland and Ireland (the North, though, not the Republic), so I was able to draw a lot on those experiences.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Court of Twilight.

Mareth:  The cover was done by Lovely Creatures Studio, and they did an amazing job. The cover doesn’t depict an event from the book, but more the idea of an observer looking at something – a stained glass image of two figures – and the idea of a meeting of something historic with something modern. And the fact that the figures are translucent also works very well with the images in the text.



TQIn Court of Twilight who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Mareth:  The trows were all pretty much a ton of fun to write, because they all can be a bit oddball, and all of the characters have their own angles and motivations. Ivy has good reasons to distrust all of them at one point or another. Hunzu especially was fun to write – he was a bit of a rascal in the early drafts, but as I got deeper into working on the book, the heart of the character is that he’s basically a nice guy who’s continually in over his head. Demi was probably the hardest to write – because she has to be compelling enough to justify Ivy’s friendship with her – while still being true to the fact that she’s hiding huge secrets at the start of the book.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Court of Twilight?

Mareth:  I think of Court as more of an adventure story than as any sort of issues book – that being said, I also don’t think writers are serving their readers well by ignoring such issues in other sorts of fiction. (Anyone who’s not convinced of this should spend some time with @heidiheilig’s Twitter feed.) One thing I deliberately put into the narrative were female authority figures – Ivy’s bosses are both women, and the authority figures in the trow world are female as well.

Otherwise, all I can say is that there is more to the trows’ world – and the story of how the trows’ world intersects with our own – in future books that definitely enters into societal issues territory.



TQWhich question about Court of Twilight do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Mareth:  Ok, here goes - Why is the story all about a girl trying to save her flatmate, as opposed to a best friend, or a girlfriend, or a close relative?

There are lots of stories about a protagonist going on a quest to save their child, or parent, or romantic partner – and a ton about protagonists who are on mission to save the whole world. But in real life, I think we very often have more opportunities to save or damn complete strangers or casual acquaintances than we do close relations. It changes the stakes in an interesting way – Ivy has to really consider how much she’s willing to risk herself for the sake of her friend, (as opposed to a situation where she’s so close to the person at risk that her throwing herself into danger is sort of assumed). How far she’s willing to go down Demi’s rabbit hole changes over the course of the book as Ivy calculates and re-calculates the stakes – as well as how closely she herself is involved.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Court of Twilight.

Mareth:  There was someone here, mingling with the shadows and the stone, and Ivy’s very life depended on not seeing him, because that’s how you save yourself from the monsters. You stay under the covers. You shut your eyes and never, ever look.

I have been free at least, and happy at times, though the two are not nearly as synonymous as many would believe.



TQWhat's next?

Mareth:  I am currently turning the zero draft of Court’s sequel – currently titled Changeling - into a first draft that is actually coherent enough to send out to my lovely beta readers. Right now, it’s mayhem.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mareth:  Thank you for having me! It’s been a pleasure.





Court of Twilight
Parvus Press LLC, October 17, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 342 pages

Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight
Explore the hidden world of ancient magic within modern Dublin.

Six months ago, Ivy stumbled into the deal of a lifetime – great rent in a posh Dublin neighborhood and a flatmate, Demi, who was only a little weird. It didn’t matter that their flat is packed with exotic plants or that her flatmate does all her shopping on-line but refuses to meet the delivery man at the door?

Now, though, Demi’s gone missing, there are strange men hiding in the flower boxes, and a lot of strangers have suddenly taken interest in the whereabouts of her peculiar flatmate. When the police won’t help, Ivy knows she’s going to have to solve this mystery on her own.

Ivy dives headfirst into a secret Dublin, hidden in plain sight, and discovers that the longer she stays in, the more she risks losing the world she always knew. Can she save Demi without losing herself?





About Mareth

Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight
Mareth Griffith bounces between summers along the Alaskan coast and winters in various warmer locations.  She lives in Seward, Alaska, and continually tells people that the winters there aren’t as bad as people think.

When she’s not writing, she works as a naturalist and wilderness guide, leading adventurous souls on epic quests to seek out glaciers, bears, and whales in the wilds of coastal Alaska.   She’s also lived and worked in Scotland, New Zealand, and Northern Ireland – where her nearest neighbors included two thousand puffins and the ghost of a spectral black horse.

Originally from West Virginia, Mareth attended  Smith College in Massachusetts, and the University of Glasgow in Scotland, studying music and theatre.   Prior to moving to Alaska, she worked as an audio technician for several east coast theater companies, eventually discovering that while she loved working in theatre, she didn’t love living in cities.

Mareth plays classical violin well and rhythm guitar badly, and her writing has previously been featured in the Redoubt Reporter, Alaska Magazine, and Pen the Kenai, an essay exhibit documenting life on Alaska’s Kenai coast.

Twitter @MagpieMareth

Interview with Michael R. UnderwoodGuest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. UnderwoodCovers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC AuthorsInterview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight

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