The Qwillery | category: Rare Bird Books


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Interview with Henry Thomas, author of The Window and the Mirror

Please welcome Henry Thomas to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Window and the Mirror is published on May 14, 2019 by Rare Bird Books.

Interview with Henry Thomas, author of The Window and the Mirror

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

Henry Thomas:  When I was a boy I wrote a story about a kid who could fly by controlling the wind.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

HT:  I’m unsure what a pantser is, should I know this? I plot quite a bit, my ideas generally take time to gestate.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

HT:  Eating and sleeping.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

HT:  I always liked Cormac McCarthy’s writing. I like his dialogue a lot. I enjoy reading a lot of genres, but fantasy was always something that captured my imagination and as a boy I read many fantasy novels. Lloyd Alexander, Ursula Le Guin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, I read all of their books growing up.

TQDescribe The Window and the Mirror using only 5 words.

HT:  Off to see the Wizard.

TQTell us something about The Window and the Mirror that is not found in the book description.

HT:  There are giant rats and blue skinned reptilian creatures called Kuilbolts that prey upon humans in Oesteria.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Window and the Mirror? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

HT:  I am a fan of fantasy, and as a fan I wanted to write an archetypical high fantasy story with a few twists.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Window and the Mirror?

HT:  A misspent youth of AD&D, horses, Classical Fencing/Stage Combat, traveling as a member of a Medieval Bagpipe trio, a brief stint in a 15th century Burgundian reenactment company, more bagpipes, Jousting in full harness and skill at arms on horseback, four years as a student at a German Longsword and Medieval Martial Arts Academy, and four years as an instructor of the Longsword and a few other things at a Medieval Martial Arts non profit club called ‘Kron Martial Arts Los Angeles’ which I co-founded with three of my fellows.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Window and the Mirror.

HT:  The cover was created by the good folks at Rare Bird, and it cleverly depicts a view one of the characters has through a round window and in the case of the cover that window becomes an ‘O’ for Oesteria.

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

HT:  The easiest for me was the young soldier Joth. In many ways he is witnessing new things all the time so always keeping him in that perspective is fun as a writer because you can describe it precisely as you discover it.

The hardest character to write was Uhlmet, because it is hard to think like him for too long before one wishes to bathe and hear relaxing music.

TQDoes The Window and the Mirror touch on any social issues?

HT:  It touches on many social issues between the Dawn Tribe and Oesteria, and Norandia even. It also involves the Kuilbolts and the Guatha Flin. Similarities between our world and that of Oesteria would only present themselves in a satirical nature if at all.

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

HT:  Will we ever hear from Mage Alchemist Norden’s clerk? Yes, but not in this book.

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

HT:  “Stay atop your drinking, lads. Don’t none of you let your grief cloud your judgement.”

TQWhat's next?

HT:  I am recording the audiobook, and I am also working on the second book in the series to follow up The Window and the Mirror.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

HT:  Thank you for having me!

The Window and the Mirror
Oesteria and the War of Goblinkind 1
Rare Bird Books, May 14, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Henry Thomas, author of The Window and the Mirror
A captured soldier must escort a mysterious girl to a distant city to broker peace between two peoples poised on the brink of war. Left to die in a deep chasm, his commander stumbles on to a dark and powerful secret: how to harness the energy of men’s souls and bend them to his will. Is this the secret that Goblinkind has been hiding from the race of men? That all the shiny trinkets of the fabled Goblincrafters are powered by the trapped souls of humans? For Mage Imperator Rhael Lord Uhlmet, the lure of such power is irresistible, even if he must start a war to attain it.

About Henry

Interview with Henry Thomas, author of The Window and the Mirror
Henry Thomas grew up in Texas and has worked as an actor professionally for most of his life. He has also worked as a musician and a sword fighting instructor. This is his first novel.

Review: Embracing The Demon by Beth Woodward

Embracing the Demon
Author:  Beth Woodward
Series:  A Dale Highland Novel 2
Publisher:  Rare Bird Books, June 19, 2018
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages
List Price:  US$16.95 (print); US$13.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781945572845 (print); 9781947856820 (eBook)

Review: Embracing The Demon by Beth Woodward
Dale Highland never wanted to be a demon, never wanted to go back to the supernatural world, but now she has no choice.

A militant anti-supernatural group called the Zeta Coalition is trying to kill Dale, and a mysterious illness ravages angels and demons throughout the world. As the death toll rises, and the Zetas get closer and closer to Dale, she starts to realize the two things are connected.

To save them all, Dale will have to team up with John Goodwin, the man she once loved. The man who destroyed her.

But by the time Dale and John figure out the Zetas’ real intentions, it may be too late…

Zombie Joe's Review

Let me start off by telling you this is the second book in the series. You shouldn't have too much trouble getting into it, but there will be a touch of backstory you will be missing out on. What you really need to know about Dale from the first novel is that she has demon blood due to being a half-demon. And now that she is aware of this, she has been forced into a conflict between angels and demons that she never asked for.

Dale is the progeny of Amara, a leader among the demons. As such, there is a certain amount of influence she could exert. Should she choose to. The issue is that it feels as if she is unwilling to do so. In spite of her brooding and turbulent manner, she has an empathetic, human heart. One of the key elements she has from her human half.

Full transparency, Dale can be a little tough to relate to as a reader. If you are looking for that likable protagonist, she might not be your cup of tea. For me, I prefer the protagonists that others refer to as unlikable. They seem far more interesting. Of course, I have been described as unlikable before as well. So there is that.

In this novel, the world of angels and demons becomes revealed to humans. And it isn't a welcoming exchange like you might think. Which definitely leave Dale stuck between two worlds. And while you might root for her human heart, there is so much that can be done with those demon blood powers.

You are also faced with the challenge of shifting narrators. John, her love interest from book one, takes the mic from time to time. And by challenge, I mean an opportunity to truly see the situation from a different point of view. Which, honestly can be either an excellent tool, or pull you straight out of the story. I was definitely not pulled out of the story.

As for the story as a whole, it was definitely worth the wait. An excellent addition to her ongoing narrative. The ending alone sold me on the book, but to tell you too much would be to give away the experience. As I finished the last page, I definitely found myself already starting the countdown to the next in the series.

I'm going ahead to give this one 4.5 demons out of 5. Not the perfect storm, by damned near close to it.


The Demon Within
A Dale Highland Novel 1
Rare Bird Books, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages

Review: Embracing The Demon by Beth Woodward
Heaven is hunting Dale Highland.

For ten years, she’s been on the run, plagued by violent blackouts and increasingly baffled by a growing array of superpowers—mind control, super strength, enhanced healing abilities.

What Dale doesn’t know is that Heaven’s greatest bounty hunter, John Goodwin, has been on her trail the whole time. When John finally corners her in New York City, he reveals the source of her powers: her mother was a demon.

They forge an unlikely connection and go on the run. In pursuit are his fellow bounty hunters, a deadly guild of angels known as the Thrones. Their goal: eradicate all demons—which includes Dale. As they flee across New England, Dale delves into the mystery of her own heritage and discovers that she’s a key figure in an ancient war between angels and demons.

Only this time, the angels are the bad guys.

Headlong and action-packed, The Demon Within is the first of the four-volume Dale Highland series.
Interview with Henry Thomas, author of The Window and the MirrorReview: Embracing The Demon by Beth Woodward

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