close

The Qwillery | category: Robin Riopelle

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Interview with Robin Riopelle, author of Deadroads - April 24, 2014


Please welcome Robin Riopelle to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.


Interview with Robin Riopelle, author of Deadroads - April 24, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Robin:  Hi – thanks again for having me.

Always. In the crib, I think. Although I’ve had a really interesting series of creative careers [see earlier blog post, maybe a link?], I always had to write. During lunch hours, after the kids were asleep, I wrote. Writing feeds a different part of my soul. About five years ago, I decided I was going to push myself further and start submitting things. I didn’t want to have any regrets about roads not taken.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Robin:  Oh, I am a plotter. I am clearly a chronic, over-the-top plotter of epic proportions. Because I’m also an illustrator, my outlines often look like annotated drawings. If people are amazed at how quickly I can turn out words, it’s because I spend stupid amounts of time working the outline.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Robin:  Giving myself permission to take the time to do it. So much else seems to crowd in and will eat my attention if I’m not vigilant and determined.



TQ:  Describe Deadroads in 140 characters or less.

Robin:  Classic loner gets over it.

What? Something more? Oh, okay.

Sol Sarrazin lays ghosts to rest, but after his father is murdered, he must face down demons to save his estranged family.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Deadroads? Why did you write a novel of ‘Supernatural Suspense.’ Are there any other genres or sub-genres in which you’d like to write?

Robin:  I’ve always liked a good ghost story. Ghosts work well as a metaphor for unfinished business, for past mistakes, for things that we try to ignore that keep coming back. It’s difficult to pin down what Deadroads actually is, genre-wise: part thriller, part family drama, part horror. Character-driven supernatural suspense is as close as I can come.

Fractured families interest me. Separation, reunion – as an adopted person, these are the ideas that I want to take apart, examine, and put through their paces. A natural extension of this idea is le grand dérangement – the historical expulsion of Acadians from maritime Canada – which tore families apart, with some ending in the swamps of Louisiana, where Deadroads begins.

Other genres? I’m partial to all sorts of fantasy, and I definitely would like to write something set in an alternate history. Really well-written creative non-fiction appeals to me, too. I’d love to research the hell out of a topic and write something accessible about it. Like writers Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City) or John Vaillant (The Golden Spruce).



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Deadroads?

Robin:  For Deadroads, I had a research vector: Cajun and Acadian history and culture; the lure of “The West”; and paramedicine. I live in Ottawa, where I use French a lot. I talked to francophone friends about language and culture; I read a lot. I listened to Quebecois, Cajun and Acadian music almost non-stop, though that never was and never will be a chore. As for The West – well, Jack Kerouac came in handy. Because my character Sol is a paramedic, I pestered my EMT friends about what they loved and hated about their jobs. And due to a hiking accident and subsequent 2-hour ambulance ride, I had a rambling, drug-fueled conversation with a very nice paramedic about the entire contents of her rig, the injuries that still make her queasy, and the difficulties of maintaining a love life.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Robin:  Sol Sarrazin screws up so royally, and is so flawed, that he’s a joy to write. Sol witholds: his love, his tongue, his approval, his temper…until he doesn’t. As a writer, I tend to hold back myself, let the reader fill in the blanks, so maybe that’s why he resonated with me.

Writing his sister Lutie wasn’t difficult so much as harrowing. Lurking under her poise and her seemingly cold indifference is a monumental hurt. She masks it by straight-arming anyone who comes close to her. When I felt her warming up to Baz, this long-lost brother who is happy as a balloon at a kid’s party, it was painful, the return of sensation, like pins and needles. She’s a hard person to like, and writing her self-imposed distance made me ache.



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

Robin:  When Sol figures out that the stranger he assumed his brother Baz’s date is actually their sister, Lutie. You could describe Sol as beleaguered and harried, at the best of times. He’s juggling about twelve things at once: lying to his girlfriend, dealing with his dead father’s ghost, trying to keep Baz safe, and then there’s this chippy girl who’s giving him grief. He more or less throws her out from Baz’s motel room. But when the penny finally drops, when he understands the enormity of what’s going on, and how he’s going to have to face it—it’s a whole new level of harried. I knew, as Sol knows, that he’s going to have to tackle all this emotional crap he’s swept under the rug. It’s delicious.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite lines from Deadroads.

Robin:  Sol, in response to his paramedic partner Wayne’s assertion that the best part of the job is the thank-you sex, before recapping Sol’s daring rescue of an injured construction worker:

“Bon,” said Sol, nodding. “That’s why I do it. So I can see your little face light up like that.” He grimaced. “Not for the thank-you sex. Jesus.”

I like this line because Sol is not generally funny. He had to take on a lot of responsibility on at an early age, and it made him serious and solemn. I really like the relationship he has with Wayne, how Sol’s easier around him, doesn’t put up as many fronts. It also reveals that while Sol will joke around with the EMT crews, he’s serious about his relationship with his girlfriend. He’s a decent guy, at the core.

I also love listening to my completely bilingual friends, how they slip in and out of two languages in the same sentence.



TQ:  What's next?

Robin:  There’s more to the story I start in Deadroads. I based the story on an old French folksong: Les trois hommes noirs. There’s three of those devils, right? So I’ve been writing the sequel.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Deadroads

Deadroads
Night Shade Books, April 15, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(eBook published March 17, 2014)

Interview with Robin Riopelle, author of Deadroads - April 24, 2014
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost-but the devil's in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed-or cursed-with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons-small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.






About Robin

Interview with Robin Riopelle, author of Deadroads - April 24, 2014
Robin Riopelle lives on the border between French and English Canada with her criminologist husband, two seemingly adorable kids, and an obstreperous spaniel. In addition to writing for museums and magazines, Riopelle also illustrates children’s books. Deadroads is her first novel.










Website  :  Twitter @Robin_Riopelle :  Facebook



2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts


There are 8 debuts for April. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The April debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite March cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on April 15th.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at DAC.TheQwillery  @  gmail . com (remove the spaces).

Updated to include The Word Exchange.
Update to include Dämoren.


Jacob Bacharach

The Bend of the World
Liveright (W.W. Norton), April 14, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
"A comedy of bad manners, darting wisecracks, deadpan chagrin, and drug-hazed pratfalls" (James Wolcott), The Bend of the World is a madcap coming-of-age novel in which no one quite comes of age and everything you know is not a lie, it's just, well, tangential to the truth.

In the most audacious literary debut to come out of the Steel City since The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, we meet Peter Morrison, twenty-nine and comfortably adrift in a state of not-quite-adulthood, less concerned about the general direction of his life than with his suspicion that all his closest relationships are the products of inertia. He and his girlfriend float along in the same general direction, while his parents are acting funny, though his rich, hypochondriac grandmother is still good for admission to the better parties. He spends his days clocking into Global Solutions (a firm whose purpose remains unnervingly ambiguous) and his weekends listening to the half-imagined rants of his childhood best friend, Johnny. An addict and conspiracy theorist, Johnny believes Pittsburgh is a "nexus of intense magical convergence" and is playing host to a cabal of dubious politicians, evil corporate schemes, ancient occult rites, and otherwise inexplicable phenomena, such as the fact that people really do keep seeing UFOs hovering over the city.

Against this strange background, Peter meets Mark and Helen, a slightly older couple, new to town, whose wealth and glamour never fully conceal the suggestion of something sinister, and with whom he becomes quickly infatuated. Mark is a corporate lawyer in the process of negotiating a buyout of Global Solutions, and initiates Peter into the real, mundane (maybe) conspiracies of corporations and careers, while Helen—a beautiful and once prominent artist—is both the echo and the promise of the sort of woman Peter always imagined, or was always told he ought to find for himself.

As Peter climbs the corporate ladder, Johnny is pulled into the orbit of a mysterious local author, Winston Pringle, whose lunatic book of conspiracies seems to be coming true. As Johnny falls farther down the rabbit hole, the surreal begins to seep into the mundane, and the settled rhythm of Peter's routine is disrupted by a series of close encounters of third, fourth, and fifth kinds. By the time Peter sets out to save his friend from Pringle's evil machinations (and pharmacological interventions), his familiar life threatens to transform into that most terrifying possibility: a surprise.

In The Bend of the World Philip K. Dick meets Michael Chabon, and Jacob Bacharach creates an appropriately hilarious, bizarre, and keenly observed portrait of life on the edge of thirty in the adolescent years of twenty-first-century America.




Rjurik Davidson

Unwrapped Sky
Tor Books, April 15, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
A hundred years ago, the Minotaurs saved Caeli-Amur from conquest. Now, three very different people may hold the keys to the city's survival.

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas, drowned in the fabled city at the bottom of the sea, its strangeness visible from the skies above.

In a novel of startling originality and riveting suspense, these three people, reflecting all the hopes and dreams of the ancient city, risk everything for a future that they can create only by throwing off the shackles of tradition and superstition, as their destinies collide at ground zero of a conflagration that will transform the world . . . or destroy it.

Unwrapped Sky is a stunningly original debut by Rjurik Davidson, a young master of the New Weird.




Alena Graedon

The Word Exchange
Doubleday, April 8, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word.

In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.
      Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. And thus begins Anana’s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole . . .
      Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads, The Word Exchange becomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.




Aidan Harte

Irenicon
The Wave Trilogy 1
Jo Fletcher Books, April 1, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
(US Debut)

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
The river Irenicon is a feat of ancient Concordian engineering. Blasted through the middle of Rasenna in 1347, using Wave technology, it divided the only city strong enough to defeat the Concordian Empire. But no one could have predicted the river would become sentient—and hostile. Sofia Scaligeri, the soon-to-be Contessa of Rasenna, has inherited a city tearing itself apart from the inside. And try as she might, she can see no way of stopping the culture of vendetta that has the city in its grasp. Until a Concordian engineer arrives to build a bridge over the Irenicon, clarifying everything: the feuding factions of Rasenna can either continue to fight each other or they can unite against their shared enemy. And they will surely need to stand together—for Concord is about to unleash the Wave again.




David Ramirez

The Forever Watch
Thomas Dunne Books, April 22, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
An exciting new novel from a bold up-and-coming sci fi talent, The Forever Watch is so full of twists and surprises it's impossible to put down.

All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer...

As a City Planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker and bureaucrat and is considered "mission critical." She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

When Policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of his mentor's violent death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself. According to Information Security, the missing man has simply "Retired," nothing unusual. Together they follow the trail left by the mutilated remains. Their investigation takes them through lost dataspaces and deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, where they discover that the answer may not be as simple as a serial killer after all.

What they do with that answer will determine the fate of all humanity in David Ramirez's thrilling page turner.




Robin Riopelle

Deadroads
Night Shade Books, April 15, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost-but the devil's in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed-or cursed-with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons-small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.





Seth Skorkowsky

Dämoren
Ragnarok Publications, April 14, 2014
eBook

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
Fourteen years ago a pack of wendigos killed Matt Hollis’ family and damned his soul. Now, Matt is a demon hunter armed with a holy revolver named Dämoren.

After a violent series of murders leaves only fifty holy weapons in the world, Matt is recruited by the Valducans, an ancient order of demon hunters. Many of the knights do not trust him because he is possessed. When sabotage and assassinations begin, the Valducans know there is a spy in their ranks, and Matt becomes the core of their suspicions. Desperate to prove himself, and to protect Dämoren, Matt fights to gain their trust and discover the nature of the entity residing within him.




Tom Wilde

The Blood of Alexander
Forge, April 29, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts
A modern Indiana Jones steals a relic of Alexander the Great in Blood of Alexander, the thrilling debut from Tom Wilde.

Jonathan Blake makes a living stealing antiquities—stealing them back, that is. A field agent for the Argo Foundation, a company that makes it their business to preserve humanity’s history by liberating stolen artifacts from thieves and looters, Blake is used to dangerous assignments. But when he is forced by the US government into a deadly mission involving a missing Napoleonic standard, he finds himself in over his head.

Blake is pitted against Vanya, the head of a fanatical cult, who seeks a gilded bronze eagle that holds a vital clue to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.

From ancient ruins in Afghanistan to the catacombs of Paris to a chateau high in the French Alps, Blake must unravel the secret truth of the final fate of Napoleon Bonaparte, the murder of Percy Bysshe Shelly, and the hidden remains of Alexander. And he must do it before Vanya's apocalyptic plans for humanity come to their deadly fruition.




Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!


I can't think of a better way to end 2013 than by announcing the the initial 14 authors featured in The Qwillery's 2014 Debut Author Challenge. To participate in the Challenge as a reader, please head to the 2014 Debut Author Challenge page for the rules.



Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!



Mary Behre

Spirited
Tidewater 1
Berkley, March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be…



Pierce Brown

Red Rising
Red Rising Trilogy 1
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.



James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.



Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neesta Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



John Dixon

Phoenix Island
Gallery Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be ma de for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .



David Edison

The Waking Engine
Tor Books, February 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

Richly imaginative, David Edison's The Waking Engine is a stunning debut by a major new talent.



Adrianne Harun

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
Penguin, February 25, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
The seductive and chilling debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of The King of Limbo


In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative of place and a group of people, much in the way that Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones conjures the South, or Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children provides a glimpse of the Las Vegas underworld: kids left to fend for themselves in a broken world—rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure.


Anne Leonard

Moth and Spark
Viking Adult, February 20, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.



Robin Riopelle

Deadroads
Night Shade Books, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook,  320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost-but the devil's in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed-or cursed-with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons-small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.



Lauren M. Roy

Night Owls
Night Owls 1
Ace, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk…

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.

When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors…



Mark Smylie

The Barrow
Pyr, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 700 pages
Cover Illustration © Gene Mollica

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.



Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne 1
Tor Books, January 14, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.



Ramona Wheeler

Three Princes
Tor Books, February 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire.

Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Ramona Wheeler's Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.



T. R. Williams

Journey into the Flame
Rising World Trilogy 1
Atria Books, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In 2027, the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.

Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books also have a different owner: Logan Cutler, who inherited them when Camden mysteriously disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control.

Soon Logan realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. With the help of special agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to get the books back before it’s too late.

Abounding with questions about humanity’s secret past and its unknown future, Journey into the Flame will not only take you to the start of an incredible new world, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.




Guest Blog by Robin Riopelle, author of Dead Roads - March 12, 2013


Please welcome Robin Riopelle to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Dead Roads, Robin's debut, will be published on April 2, 2013.



Guest Blog by Robin Riopelle, author of Dead Roads - March 12, 2013



The Work/Write Balance: How I Learned to Stop Worrying 
and Love My Day Job

By Robin Riopelle


A piece of advice from my father-in-law, a well-published poet of some repute: writing will never pay the bills (for the record, he’s a retired English professor and, yes, poetry pays even less than fiction). Let’s face it, unless we’re spectacularly lucky and great fortune smiles upon us, most of us will have a day job. We will always have a day job.

So, how do you/can you love your day job and still function as a writer? The two aren’t, and shouldn’t be, mutually exclusive.

I actually love my day job, and am one of those people who would say, upon winning the lottery, “Well, I’ll still go to work.” Really. I’m a freelance museum exhibition planner. Shut up, it’s a real job. It’s a good real job. I work from my office at home, which is a huge plus. Any number of surprising things can catch my interest, and I’ve worked on projects varying from antique toys to New France to potash.

A writer friend of mine mused, “Wouldn’t life be great if we didn’t need to write?” I imagine it sometimes: after work, nothing but time to catch up on TV, learn to knit, spend quality time with the kids. Instead, to paraphrase Charles Bukowski, the writing has to roar out of me, it’s uncontainable, a massive itch in need of good long scratch.

A brief description of the writing job: it’s solitary time spent on yourself, every bit sustaining as a meditation retreat (not that I’ve ever had time for one of those, you understand). You spend a stupid amount of time hunched in front of a computer (if that’s your poison). Time walking the dog is more about working out a thorny plot problem, or anticipating a delicious scene you’ll get to when you return home. When it’s going well, there is nothing quite as good.

It feeds you. When it’s not eating you.

Work cuts into fiction writing time. But if I sat at my computer all day, working on the writing job, I don’t think it would make me a better, or even a more prolific writer.

Why? Because work helps the writing.

Knowing a little about a lot always comes in handy, whether it’s at a cocktail party or in fiction. In Dead Roads, I’m called upon to know a fair bit about trains, particularly in Nebraska. Do you think I’m an Omaha train engineer? No, but I’d worked on exhibitions about westward expansion. Ditto for New France, Acadia and the Grand Dérangement. Being able to identify the audience-pleasing story in a mass of research is a skill I’ve honed in my day job, and you know what? It helps the writing.

A lot of my daily word output goes toward exhibitions. These words go through any number of editors, bosses, CEOs, focus groups. They get handed back to me with “change this”, “don’t like this”. Cut this, re-write that. When it comes to my professional writing, I write for an audience. I have to have a thick skin. If it’s not working, I don’t take it personally, I revise. And it’s exactly the same with the fiction.

Work helps the writing.

I spent a number of years as an intermediary for Vancouver Family Services, reuniting adoptees with birthfamilies. Yes, that’s also actually a day job. Not only did I become a crack detective, I became a counselor of sorts. Telling someone they have a long-long sister, working out why families break down and what it looks like when they get back together after years apart—these experiences wiggled into Dead Roads as well.

The only real downside to having a writing job and a day job is the computer. I spend most of my day sitting in front of it. Working, writing, working at writing, writing for work. It involves the same muscles for me, figuratively and literally.

Fair enough, I have no spare time. No left-over hours. No time to kill. A recently retired relative worried aloud to me that he was “going to have to get a hobby” in order to fill his time. Seriously, I can’t even imagine those words coming out of my mouth.

If it’s one thing that we writers will never have to worry about, it’s retirement. Possibly because we’ll never be able to afford to retire, but also, at some level, because writing is more than a job. It’s a life. And how do you retire from that?





About Dead Roads

Dead Roads
Night Shade Books, April 4, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Guest Blog by Robin Riopelle, author of Dead Roads - March 12, 2013
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost—but the devil’s in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far apart as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed—or cursed—with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plain, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Dead Roads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a travelling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory spirits, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons—small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Dead Roads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.





About Robin

Guest Blog by Robin Riopelle, author of Dead Roads - March 12, 2013
Born in Ottawa and raised on Canada’s west coast, Robin Riopelle’s life has been marked by adoption, separation, and reunion. Like many of her characters, she has a muddy past, and a foot in (at least) two different worlds. She’s always had interesting work in museums and social service agencies. Some things she has done while collecting a paycheck:
• told unsuspecting people the whereabouts of a long-lost family member,
• go-go danced in front of 700 people,
• traipsed across a wind-whipped hospital rooftop with a nun,
• lost a frozen beaver head under a parked car.

Robin Riopelle is the author’s birthname. She currently lives on the border between French and English Canada with her criminologist husband, two seemingly delightful children, and an obstreperous spaniel.

In addition to writing fiction for adults, Riopelle also illustrates children’s books. Dead Roads is her first novel.

Website  :  Twitter  :  Facebook


2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 10, 2013

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 10, 2013


I'm pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.


Robin Riopelle

Dead Roads
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, April 4, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:   9781597804639 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 10, 2013
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost—but the devil’s in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far apart as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed—or cursed—with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plain, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Dead Roads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a travelling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory spirits, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons—small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Dead Roads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.


Interview with Robin Riopelle, author of Deadroads - April 24, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 DebutsAnnouncing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!Guest Blog by Robin Riopelle, author of Dead Roads - March 12, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 10, 2013

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×