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Interview with Ania Ahlborn - July 21, 2012

Please welcome Ania Ahlborn to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Seed was published on July 17, 2012.


Interview with Ania Ahlborn - July 21, 2012


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Ania:  I think my most interesting quirk is more of an inspiration thing rather than an actual writing thing. I find more inspiration in film and photographs than I do in books. That isn't to say that I don't read--of course I do. But I'm a very visual person. My muse is stirred by visual cues far more than written ones. I'm the first to admit it's pretty weird.


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Ania:  In horror specifically, Stephen King. I was especially wowed by his recent release Full Dark, No Stars. Though, it was Anne Rice who introduced me to the dark side when I was younger. There was a time when I was obsessed with Lestat and vampires in general. In high school and college, I was particularly keen on Brett Easton Ellis--his fast pace and grit is something that's never left me; and Poppy Z. Brite--Brite has some fantastic visuals in her novels that toe the line between dark and heartbreaking.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Ania:  I'm a plantser. I plot, but it's a loosey goosey outline--a rough roadmap of where I need to go. But once I start writing, I allow my characters to take the wheel, and oftentimes I find myself in places I never expected to be.


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

Ania:  Allowing the story to take shape on its own; not forcing it to go one way or another. It's scary to let a novel develop organically, but once it happens, it becomes a bit of an addiction.


TQ:  Describe Seed in 140 characters or less.

Ania:  Seed is a novel about a man running from his past, only to have his dark secret come back not just for him, but for his entire family.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Seed?

Ania:  My own childhood fears. When I was young I made the mistake of sitting down and watching The Exorcist. It was just me and my cousin, and while I'm not sure whether it scared her as much as it scared me, I couldn't sleep for months. Demonic possession became a bit of a hidden phobia, but it was also a source of endless fascination. When I was older I started getting into books and movies about possession. At first they scared the hell out of me, but the older I got the more I wanted to see. I started feeling like every book and movie backed down too soon, they didn't push the envelope. When I finally got up the nerve, Seed came to be. And the ending is pretty relentless.


TQ Seed was originally self-published. Have any changes been made to the novel now that it is being published by 47North?

Ania:  Actually, yes. The plot has been tightened as well as expanded. I've added over six thousand words of material to the re-release. This was completely my decision--47North was happy with the manuscript as it was; but with a professional editor at my disposal, I was more than happy to reevaluate the story and clear up a few unanswered questions.


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

Ania:  The novel is based in rural Louisiana, and while I've never lived in the South, I did visit Louisiana a few years prior to writing Seed. I'm madly in love with the South, so it was a lot of fun recreating that eerie atmosphere in the book.


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

Ania:  I think Charlie was probably the easiest. There's a lot going on with her in the book, but at the end of the day she's just a kid. I loved writing her spunky dialogue. The most difficult was Jack, simply because he has so much backstory that has to be carefully woven in to the present. Jack is an extremely dark character disguised as an everyday guy, so to get that across to the reader while still making him likeable and relatable was a challenge.


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

Ania:  I love the scene where Aimee is home alone with Nubs, the family dog. The isolation of that scene, paired with her fear, really resonates with me. I think various scenes where Reagan is present brings a lot out in Jack, so I like those because they're such character-building moments. But I think my favorite scene in the entire novel is one out of Jack's childhood--where his mother is cooking while Jack is trying to watch cartoons, slowly boiling to a rage while she sings over his theme songs. The end of that scene always makes me grin like an idiot... probably because it's so damn evil.


TQ:  What's next?

Ania:  Where to start? My second novel, The Neighbors, is being released by Thomas & Mercer this Thanksgiving. That one is more of a dark thriller rather than strictly horror. It's a story about a guy who moves into the home of an old childhood friend after he has a fallout with his alcoholic mother. Down and out, he strikes up a friendship with a charming pair of neighbors who end up being far more sinister than they appear. I've already completed my third novel, which is currently titled Into The Woods. It's kind of a throwback to classic monster horror with a contemporary twist. The plot to the fourth book is already alive and squirming inside my head. I'm going to start banging that one out any day now. It's never-ending with me. Something new is always in the works.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ania:  Thanks so much for having me. It's been great.



About Seed

Seed
47North, July 17, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 250 pages

Interview with Ania Ahlborn - July 21, 2012
With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.



About Ania

Interview with Ania Ahlborn - July 21, 2012
Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid side of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

At age eleven, Ania discovered her love of writing during a sweltering New Mexico summer. Writing a story with her cousin, in tandem, she hasn't been able to shake the writing bug since.

Ania lives in New Mexico with her husband and two dogs.


Website : Twitter : Facebook : Blog : Goodreads

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 10, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 10, 2012


Announcing the two newest authors who will be featured in the Challenge - Ania Ahlborn and Joanne Reay. You can keep up to date with all the 2012 Debut Author Challenge information here.



Ania Ahlborn

Seed
47North, July 17,  2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 250 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 10, 2012
With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.



Joanne Reay

Romeo Spikes
Lo'Life Trilogy 1
Gallery Books, August 14, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 10, 2012
In the tradition of The Passage, screenwriter and producer Joanne Reay makes her fiction debut with this furiously exciting supernatural thriller—the first in an exciting new trilogy!

Working the Homicide squad, Alexis Bianco believes she’s seen every way a life can be taken. Then she meets the mysterious Lola and finds out she’s wrong. More weapon than woman, Lola pursues a predator with a method of murder like no other: the Tormenta.

If you think you’ve never encountered Tormenta, think again. You’re friends with one. Have worked for one. Maybe even fallen in love with one. They walk amongst us—looking like us, talking like us. Coercing our subconscious with their actions.
Like the long-legged beauty that seduces the goofy geek only to break his heart, causing him to break his own neck in a noose. Or the rockstar, whose every song celebrates self-harm, inspiring his devoted fans to press knives to their own throats. The pusher who urges the addict toward one more hit, bringing him a high from which he’ll never come down. The tyrannical boss, crushing an assistant’s spirit until a bridge jump brings her low. We call it a suicide. Tormenta call it a score, their demonic powers allowing them to siphon off the unspent lifespan of those who harm themselves.

To Bianco, being a cop is about right and wrong. Working with Lola is about this world and the next...and maybe the one after that. Because everything is about to change. The coming of a mighty Tormenta is prophesied, a dark messiah known as the Mosca.

To stop him, Bianco and Lola must fight their way through a cryptic web of secret societies and powerful legends to crack an ancient code that holds the only answer to the Mosca’s defeat. If this miscreant rises before they can unmask him, darkness will reign, and mankind will fall in a storm of suicides.
Nobody’s safe. Everyone’s a threat.

Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011

Please welcome Rob Ziegler to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Rob's debut novel, Seed, was published this month by Night Shade Books.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Rob:  This might not be a quirk so much as an affliction, but I call it the 100-word rule. If I can get 100 words down before I’m fully awake, before I do anything else, then I can keep coming back and writing all day. But if I miss that window, sometimes I can’t write at all.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Rob:  Some writers I love, and from whom I hope I’ve been able to take some cues...Cormac McCarthy. His novels feel like narrative poems, and I wish I could steal that lyricism for my own. His feel for the west, and for landscapes, amazes me. Dennis Johnson, also a very lyrical writer, and he writes with a lot of heart. He has this talent for imbuing even his vilest characters with enough humanity that you empathize with them. William Gibson...his precision and ability to nail a big idea with a single detail. Also his affinity for using subaltern characters as windows into big social constructs. Kerouac, Ginsberg, Bukowski, too. And Borges and Marquez. And Fitzgerald. I don’t know if I claim all these as influences exactly, but I remember specific moments with all of them when I thought, I want to do THAT. I want to write.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Rob:  Well, both. I spend a lot of time plotting and taking notes when I’m not sitting at my desk writing. And then when I do sit down and start writing, I veer off the rails and head off in directions I hadn’t planned. Which is really inefficient, because a lot of those directions don’t work out. It means a lot of rewriting, but I don’t really know how else to do it. Whatever I plot, though, is basically guaranteed not to wind up in the book.

TQ:  Describe Seed in 140 characters or less.

Rob:  Ah, the twitter pitch. Okay, I’ll give it a try: Badass commando and young immigrant outlaw join forces to try and rescue America’s future from hegemonic, living corporation. Nope, that didn’t work. Totally lame description.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Seed?

Rob:  I grew up loving sci fi, so that’s what I wanted to write. But I wanted to build a world framed by real and pressing issues. I also had Brood and Hondo in mind from a short story I’d written. I love those two. I wanted to write about them, and they inhabit a very specific kind of world. They were my point of departure.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the novel?

Rob:  Most of the research centered on climate change and biotech. I wasn’t particularly concerned with putting technical details in the story (in fact I found that the places where I did delve too much into the technical it broke the rhythm of the story telling, so I took a lot out), but I wanted the look and feel of the world, no matter how weird or extreme, to fall within the range of what’s possible. There was also a lot of random research, like platoon-level combat tactics, military terminology, Chicano slang, MexiAmerican history. Things like that.

TQ:  Why did you set Satori in Denver, Colorado?

Rob:  I grew up in Colorado, and my feelings about Denver are deeply ambivalent. I’ve lived there several times. Sometimes I love the place, sometimes I hate it. But I know it well, and it definitely gave me a perverse thrill to envision downtown subsumed by this giant, living, sweating amoeba-like thing. It also makes sense in terms of the story. Satori needs lots of water, and Denver has good access to water, even in drought conditions, from snow runoff. Satori also gets a lot of her energy from photosynthesis, and Denver is nothing if not sunny. It’s also central, on the edge of the planes, so it made sense to think of Denver as an efficient place from which to distribute seed.

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

Rob:  Brood and Hondo Loco were a blast to write. They’re really funny when they banter, which was fun to hang out with. Doss was fun, too, because she basically kicks ass every time she’s on the page. When I came to her chapters, the question was always, “who’s she going to fuck up this time?” Sumedha was difficult, because he’s not exactly human, so I had to really work to sink into his mind. His thinking is perfectly linear, which limited the prose in his POV. I couldn’t use analogies, or if I did I had to be sneaky about it.

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

Rob:  Maybe the scene when Doss is in the Corn Mother’s oasis. Or when she goes to battle at the end. Any time she and her troops jump from the Flylights, fun stuff goes down. Also any scene where Brood and Hondo are together. Also the scene where Brood does ceremony with Anna’s crew. That’s probably the moment closest to the emotional heart of the book. Or his scene at the end. I guess I like a lot of the scenes. I can’t pick just one.

TQ:  What's next?

Rob:  I’m working on a book tentatively title Angel City. It’s about a kid, Louis, growing up in a weird future LA where media is beamed straight into peoples’ minds through neural implants called Angels. Louis is a drug dealer of sorts, but instead of a drug he sells a technique he’s discovered for tapping the Angel straight into our pleasure center. He runs afoul of a corrupt cop, and hijinx ensue

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rob:  My pleasure. Thanks for having me.


About Seed

Seed
Author:  Rob Ziegler
Format: Trade Hardcover, 350 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (November 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-1-59780-323-6

Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011
It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants--starving masses of nomads roaming across wastelands and encamped outside government seed distribution warehouses.

In this new world, there is a new power: Satori. More than just a corporation, Satori is an intelligent, living city risen from the ruins of the heartland. She manufactures climate-resistant seed to feed humanity, and bio-engineers her own perfected castes of post-humans Designers, Advocates and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori product; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use seed to the nation's hungry citizens.

Secret Service Agent Sienna Doss has watched her world collapse. Once an Army Ranger fighting wars across the globe, she now spends her days protecting glorified warlords and gangsters. As her country slides further into chaos, Doss feels her own life slipping into ruin.

When a Satori Designer goes rogue, Doss is tasked with hunting down the scientist-savant--a chance to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and undo its dominance. In a race against Satori's genetically honed assassins, Doss's best chance at success lies in an unlikely alliance with Brood--orphan, scavenger and small-time thief--scraping by on the fringes of the wasteland, whose young brother may possess the key to unlocking Satori's power.

As events spin out of control, Sienna Doss and Brood find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive finale promises to reshape the future of the world.


About Rob

Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 2011
Rob lives with his wife in western Colorado. He writes speculative fiction. Seed is his debut novel.

Rob's Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter








The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Seed generously provided by Night Shade Books.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which post-apocalyptic or dystopian novel would you recommend?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors


Here are the November debut authors and their novels (in alphabetical order). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Who Do, Voodoo?
Author:  Rochelle Staab
Series:  Mind for Murder Mystery
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher:  Berkley (November 1, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Supernatural Mystery
ISBN:  978-0425244593

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors
Clinical psychologist Liz Cooper doesn't believe in the supernatural. But when her best friend finds a tarot card tacked to her front door-and is then accused of murder-Liz will have to find a way to embrace the occult if she wants to outwit the real killer...


Seed
Author:  Rob Ziegler
Format: Trade Hardcover, 350 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (November 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre: Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-1-59780-323-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors
It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants--starving masses of nomads roaming across wastelands and encamped outside government seed distribution warehouses.

In this new world, there is a new power: Satori. More than just a corporation, Satori is an intelligent, living city risen from the ruins of the heartland. She manufactures climate-resistant seed to feed humanity, and bio-engineers her own perfected castes of post-humans Designers, Advocates and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori product; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use seed to the nation's hungry citizens.

Secret Service Agent Sienna Doss has watched her world collapse. Once an Army Ranger fighting wars across the globe, she now spends her days protecting glorified warlords and gangsters. As her country slides further into chaos, Doss feels her own life slipping into ruin.

When a Satori Designer goes rogue, Doss is tasked with hunting down the scientist-savant--a chance to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and undo its dominance. In a race against Satori's genetically honed assassins, Doss's best chance at success lies in an unlikely alliance with Brood--orphan, scavenger and small-time thief--scraping by on the fringes of the wasteland, whose young brother may possess the key to unlocking Satori's power.

As events spin out of control, Sienna Doss and Brood find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive finale promises to reshape the future of the world.
Interview with Ania Ahlborn - July 21, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 10, 2012Interview with Rob Ziegler and Giveaway - November 17, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - November Debut Authors

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