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Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015


Please welcome Seth Skorkowsky to The Qwillery. Seth has a two novels out this month: Hounacier (Valducan 2) and Mountain of Daggers (Tales of the Black Raven 1). Both novels are published by Ragnarok Publications.



Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015




So We Saved the World...Now What?

It seems that many sequels subscribe to the formula that every installment should up the stakes from the previous one. We need a bigger threat, a harder foe, and a greater risk for the heroes — that's the formula. Hollywood has made billions with it.

Dämoren was an international action novel that (SPOILERS) ends with the surviving heroes saving the world from a giant monster/demigoddess and an army of demons. It doesn't get much bigger than that. So what now? Am I to offer my readers TWO giant demigoddesses and an even bigger demonic army to escalate the stakes? That sounds like a bigger obstacle, sure. It also sounds terribly boring.

I don't want my Valducan books to be something that can be summarized as the, "Save The World From Monsters" stories. The series is about the Valducan knights and their demon-hunting adventures with their holy weapons. So instead of making the stakes bigger, I decided to make them personal.

Hounacier changes the game by focusing a different knight: Malcolm Romero. Readers will remember Mal from Dämoren, but he was a character that we never really got to know that well. He butted heads with Matt Hollis and because of that, he butted heads with the readers, too. Now we get to follow him and learn who he is and where he came from. The novel follows Malcolm as he attempts to solve the murder of his adopted father and mentor, and then as things go from bad to worse, Malcolm struggles to save his very soul.

While Dämoren took place in five countries, the majority of Hounacier is set in the city of New Orleans. I'd hinted at Malcolm's expertise on that city in the first book, and of his relationship with voodoo. Now we get to fully explore those things, and see how he operates in that particular world.

We still have monsters, actions, and twists, but we're not plotting along the same path as before. We're expanding the world that we've already been introduced to, and we're going to see it much more intimately than we could have before.

The stakes are big, the emotion is intense, and (in my slightly biased opinion) the story is engaging. Bigger does not mean better. Better means better.





Valducan

Hounacier
Valducan 2
Ragnarok Publications, March 14, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 287 pages
Cover by J.M. Martin

Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015
Eleven years ago, atheist MALCOLM ROMERO met a god. Now he’s a demon-hunting voodoo priest armed with a holy machete named Hounacier.

After the murder of his mentor, he returns to New Orleans to catch the killer. But more is at stake when Malcolm finds himself betrayed, and his holy blade stolen. Now Malcolm’s only hope to save his soul and to recover HOUNACIER, is the Valducan knight sent to kill him, MATT HOLLIS, the wielder of the holy revolver DÄMOREN.


Dämoren
Valducan 1
Ragnarok Publications, April 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 Pages
Cover by J.M. Martin

Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015
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.




Tales of the Black Raven

Mountain of Daggers
Tales of the Black Raven 1
Ragnarok Publications, March 9, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 294 pages
Cover by Alex Raspad 

Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015
Some call him hero. Others, a menace. But everyone agrees that Ahren is the best thief in the world. Whether he’s breaking into an impregnable fortress, fighting pirates, or striking the final blow in political war, Ahren is the man for the job.

After being framed for murder, his reward posters named him the Black Raven. To survive, Ahren finds himself drafted into the Tyenee, a secret criminal organization whose influence stretches across the world. Their missions are the most daring, the most dangerous, and the penalty for failure is death. When no one else can do it, they send the Black Raven.





About Seth

Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015
Seth Skorkowsky was born in Texas in 1978. He currently lives in Denton, Texas, with his wife, and works for the University of North Texas. His short story "The Mist of Lichthafen" was nominated for a British Fantasy Award (long list) in 2009. Dämoren is Seth's debut novel and was recently nominated and shortlisted for the Reddit Fantasy Stabby Award for "Best Debut Novel."

He recently signed a two-book deal with Ragnarok for his "Black Raven" sword-and-sorcery collection. When not writing, Seth enjoys travel, shooting, and tabletop gaming.


Website  ~  Twitter @SSkorkowsky   ~  Facebook

Interview with Seth Skorkowsky, author of Dämoren - April 19, 2014


Please welcome Seth Skorkowsky to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Dämoren was published on April 14, 2014 by Ragnarok Publications.



Interview with Seth Skorkowsky, author of Dämoren - April 19, 2014




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

Seth:  I’ve always been a storyteller. It’s in my blood. I'd written some, but I didn’t start formally writing until just after college. I had moved away from my friends, and decided it was something I should do.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Seth:   I’d say 30% Plotter 70% Pantser. My writing usually starts with a few random scenes, usually opening chapters, but I have no plot to speak-of. With Dämoren I was into chapter 2 before I knew what the book was really about. By Chapter 5 I had a semblance of a story arc plotted, and then followed that.



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

Seth:  Keeping motivated though the rough parts. I visualize chapters or scenes as little snippets, but then realize the hardest part is the little segues between them. Getting those out in a natural way is the hardest. I write at home, but I create the story when I go for walks.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Seth:  That’s a tough one. My non-writing friends can list a favorite author, but I can’t. My favorite author for style is Clive Barker, for brilliance, William Gibson, and for basic pleasure reading, I’m a Brandon Sanderson fan-boy.



TQ:  Describe Dämoren in 140 characters or less.

Seth:  I’m terrible at this, but here goes: “Dämoren is a story of a self-discovery, sacrifice, and trust, mixed with fantastical horror and kick-ass action.”



TQ:  Tell us something about Dämoren that is not in the book description.

Seth:  My main character Matt has several abilities associated with being demon-bound. Among them, he can speak and understand all spoken languages.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Dämoren?

Seth:  I’d had an idea for a magic gun set in a world where monsters are actually demonic possessions for several years, but I was busy writing historic fantasy. After finally accepting that my first book was just a practice novel, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try something completely different.



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

Seth:  I learned to shoot a handgun, for one. I was terrible at first, but now it’s a full-blown hobby. I also heavily researched 19th century revolvers and gunsmiths in order to make Dämoren as real as possible. I did a lot of research on monster folklore. I wanted to make my creatures more old-world and less like how modern interpretations have made them.



TQ:  Why did you choose to write an Urban Fantasy? Do you want to write in any other genres or sub-genres?

Seth:  I chose Urban Fantasy as a break from historic fantasy. I also write pulpy sword and sorcery stories.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good 'guy', bad 'guy' or ethically ambiguous character in Dämoren?

Seth:  Matt was the easiest for me to write. So much of myself is in him (except for the parts where he can actually motivate himself to exercise). Malcolm Romero was simultaneously my favorite and the hardest. Malcolm is a conflict character. He does not trust Matt and makes life with the Valducans extremely difficult for him. I wanted to give him depth and ended up really liking him, which made it difficult for him to be such a jerk.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite lines from Dämoren. (PG-13 please)

Seth:  Wow, that’s harder than I would have thought (especially keeping it PG-13 and Spoiler free ;-) ). But these come to mind:

“The man, wearing an olive green coat, stepped inside, holding some odd mating of a bowie knife and the biggest handgun in the world.”

and

“She fell to her knees. The skin along her spine swelled and split open, revealing a nest of finger-length cilia, writhing like pale maggots.”


TQ:  What's next?

Seth:  I have two sword and sorcery thief collections coming out later this year from Rogue Blades Entertainment. MOUNTAIN OF DAGGERS followed by SEA OF QUILLS. Think James Bond meets The Gray Mouser. I’m also currently writing a sequel to DÄMOREN entitled HOUNACIER.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Seth:  Thank you very much for having me.





Dämoren

Dämoren
Valducan 1
Ragnarok Publications, April 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 Pages

Interview with Seth Skorkowsky, author of Dämoren - April 19, 2014
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.





About Seth

Interview with Seth Skorkowsky, author of Dämoren - April 19, 2014
Raised in the swamps and pine forest of East Texas, Seth Skorkowsky always dreamed of being a writer. He gravitated to the darker sides of fantasy, preferring horror and pulp heroes over knights in shining armor.

His debut novel, Dämoren will be released in 2014 by Ragnarok Publications. Seth will also be releasing two sword and sorcery rogue collections, Mountain of Daggers and Sea of Quills, through Rogue Blades Entertainment in 2014.

When not writing, Seth enjoys tabletop role-playing games, shooting sports, and traveling the world with his wife.




Website  ~  Twitter @SSkorkowsky   ~  Facebook



The View From Monday - April 14, 2014


Happy Monday before the 15th of April (or as it's known in the US - tax day).



The View From Monday - April 14, 2014



It's another light release week, but this time with 3 debuts:

The Bend of the World by Jacob Bacharach;

Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson;

and

Dämoren by Seth Skorkowsky.


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Silver Skin (Cold Iron 2) by D. L. McDermott.




April 14, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Bend of the World (D) Jacob Bacharach LF/F
Silver Skin (e) D. L. McDermott PNR - Cold Iron 2
Marked By Hades (e) Reese Monroe PNR - Bound by Hades 1
Dämoren (D) (e) Seth Skorkowsky UF



April 15, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Forbidden (e) Lori Adams PNR - Soulkeepers 1
The Line of Polity Neal Asher SF - Agent Cormac 2
Transhuman Ben Bova SF
The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (e) Meljean Brook SPR - Iron Seas
Nightmare Ink (e) Marcella Burnard UF - Living Ink 1
Pack of Strays Dana Cameron UF - Fangborn 2
Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction (h2tp) Gerry Canavan (ed)
Kim Stanley Robinson (ed)
SF - Anthology
The Darkling (h2tp) R. B. Chesterton Go
Winds of Salem (h2tp) Melissa de la Cruz F - Witches of East End 3
Lovecraft's Monsters Ellen Datlow (ed) H - Anthology
Unwrapped Sky (D) Rjurik Davidson F/New Weird
When We Fall (e) Peter Giglio H
Darkest Flame: Part 2 Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Purple Magic (e) Lisa Renee Jones PNR
What Mario Scietto Says: A Tor.Com Original (e) Emmy Laybourne SF - World of Monument 14
Northanger Abbey Val McDermid Mu/Th
Horus Heresy: Visions of Heresy Alan Merrett SF - Horus Heresy


April 17, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well Nancy Atherton PM - Aunt Dimity 19
Tithe of the Saviours A. J. Dalton F - Chronicles of a Cosmic Warlord



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

F - Fantasy
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
LF - Literary Fiction
Mu - Mash-up
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Th - Thirller
UF - Urban Fantasy



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.




Guest Blog by Seth Skorkowsky - So We Saved the World...Now What? - March 21, 2015Interview with Seth Skorkowsky, author of Dämoren - April 19, 2014The View From Monday - April 14, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - April 2014 Debuts

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