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Interview with T.A. Wardrope, author of Arcadian Gates - March 17, 2015


Please welcome T.A. Wardrope to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Arcadian Gates is published on March 17th by Blastgun Books. Please join The Qwillery in wishing T.A. a very Happy Publication Day!



Interview with T.A. Wardrope, author of Arcadian Gates - March 17, 2015




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

T.A.:  I’ve been writing complete stories since seventh grade or so. I suppose it is something I enjoyed doing and received encouragement in school. I choose to re-invest in the craft on a much more serious level around 2005 when I entered the Hamline MFA program. Writing offers a creative freedom that is missing from more budget conscious narrative forms, like filmmaking.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

T.A.:  I start as a plotter but always hoped to be forced into some pantser behavior by the writing process.



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

T.A.:  I think staying focused on the creative aspects, the actual work of writing, can be difficult with all the commercial matters independent authors have to take care of. We need to learn how to be two people, both the active community member and the reclusive mystic.



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

T.A.:  I am pretty eclectic in my tastes. Philip K. Dick is a big one. J.G. Ballard was a revelation when I first read The Atrocity Exhibition. Jorge Luis Borges was another great discovery. Joyce Carol Oates is one of the best at slipstream prose. Samuel Delaney’s Dhalgren was a big influence on the early work of Arcadian Gates. Of course the foundations for the genre like 1984 and Brave New World. We written by Yevgeny Zamyatin was a very enlightening discovery. William Burroughs planted the seeds for pharmopunk. Edward P. Jones taught me a lot about world building.



TQ:  Describe Arcadian Gates in 140 characters or less.

T.A.:  Akiry, a smuggler, is caught up in a civil war. She uses this chaos to find a daughter lost in the fog of a chemical attack ten years ago.



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

T.A.:  There are some great characters in Akiry’s world. I think it also offers a blend of fierce action and visionary experiences. This is not a slim book and it covers narrative ground accordingly.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Arcadian Gates? What appealed to you about writing a genre-bending dystopian novel?

T.A.:  I wrote a short story about Akiry that was inspired by some pretty random events. One of these events was when I saw some artsy folks in dialogue with people in the intelligence community and it really got the wheels turning. Akiry’s story started to unlock the world around her and that led to the full scope of this story.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Arcadian Gates?

T.A.:  Quite a bit really. I looked into future weaponry and extrapolated that to this particular history. There was a good amount of time looking into pharmacology and the early CIA experiments with LSD. My research into UFOs is a constant and some of that is present in this book. On a craft level, I studied the classics of dystopian world building. Honestly, I think this story is more “weird” or “fantastic” then it is dystopic as the genre is known in pop culture.



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

T.A.:  Akiry and Raoul were great fun to get write and get to know. I know them as I know friends of mine. The antagonists were tricky, trying to keep them human and original “villains” was not always easy. In the end, I just had to listen to what they really wanted to happen and let them have a go at it.



TQ:  Which question about Arcadian Gates do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

T.A.:  Is this part of a series?

This is part of a much larger world that I have spent a lot of time developing. I’ve got short stories that cover some key moments prior to Arcadian Gates. Those will get out there sooner or later. There are a lot of stories to come, and one of them could very well be a direct follow-on to this novel. I really take to authors who revisit worlds across their work, and that’s something I see myself doing.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Arcadian Gates.

T.A.:

1. “The feeling overwhelmed him, and as he closed his eyes, he imagined, he saw, he knew, that tiny silver blobs of lethemol had grown legs, descended like metal flies and attached themselves to the millions of branches in his brain.”

2.
        ““Is it safe?” Akiry asked.

          Rasyte laughed, her entire body shook and her jewelry tinkled and jingled like a percussive choir. She looked to the ceiling with a unusually broad smile and then looked sternly through Akiry with all the force of every year on her face.

        “No, this is the most dangerous thing you will ever touch,” Rasyte said.”



TQ:  What's next?

T.A.:  I’ve got a pair of books in process right now. One’s a pretty ambitious horror project that will take awhile to finish, I think. The other is a pretty weird bit that is coming along nicely. It’s actually mostly non-fiction. Very creative non-fiction.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

T.A.:  You’re welcome! Thanks for having me.





Arcadian Gates
Blastgun Books, March 17, 2015
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 424 pages

Interview with T.A. Wardrope, author of Arcadian Gates - March 17, 2015
Only ten years ago the entire nation was struck by a chemical weapon which destroyed most people’s memories. Akiry, a young woman who makes her way smuggling amongst the lower caste of the rebuilt country, is haunted by dreams of a daughter she otherwise does not remember.

As civil war erupts in the city around her, she takes the last chance she has to find the truth about her daughter and her past.





About T.A.

Interview with T.A. Wardrope, author of Arcadian Gates - March 17, 2015
T.A. Wardrope writes weird, horror and speculative varieties of fiction. His novel Arcadian Gates is available from Blastgun Books. Additionally he writes essays about film, music and literature for several blogs including Hellnotes and L'Etoile. Some of his non-fiction research has been published on Disinfo.com. He lives in Minneapolis with two humans, two snakes, a lizard and a cat.


Website   ~  Twitter @tawardrope  ~  Facebook  ~  Goodreads

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2015 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on March 24, 2015.


Vote for your favorite March 2015 Debut Cover
 
pollcode.com free polls



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015
Cover Art: John Coulthart



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015
Book Design: Elizabeth A. D. Eno



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015
Cover Design: Brian Peterson






2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015
Cover Design: Michael J. Windsor



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2015
Cover Art: Andrea Garcia; Cover Design: Jen Cain



2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts


There are 11 debuts for March. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The March 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 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on March 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 and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2015 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for March. The list is correct as of the day posted.



Mark Andrew Ferguson

The Lost Boys Symphony
Little, Brown And Company, March 24, 2015
Hardcover and eBook,352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
A STARTLINGLY ORIGINAL, GENRE-BENDING LITERARY DEBUT IN WHICH A LOVESICK COLLEGE STUDENT IS ABDUCTED BY HIS FUTURE SELVES.

After Henry's girlfriend Val leaves him and transfers to another school, his grief begins to manifest itself in bizarre and horrifying ways. Cause and effect, once so reliable, no longer appear to be related in any recognizable manner. Either he's hallucinating, or the strength of his heartbreak over Val has unhinged reality itself.

After weeks of sleepless nights and sick delusions, Henry decides to run away. If he can only find Val, he thinks, everything will make sense again. So he leaves his mother's home in the suburbs and marches toward the city and the woman who he thinks will save him. Once on the George Washington Bridge, however, a powerful hallucination knocks him out cold. When he awakens, he finds himself kidnapped by two strangers--one old, one middle-aged--who claim to be future versions of Henry himself. Val is the love of your life, they tell him. We've lost her, but you don't have to.

In the meantime, Henry's best friend Gabe is on the verge of breakdown of his own. Convinced he is somehow to blame for Henry's deterioration and eventual disappearance, Gabe is consumed by a potent mix of guilt and sadness. When he is approached by an enigmatic stranger who bears a striking resemblance to his lost friend, Gabe begins to fear for his own sanity. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to the only person who can possibly help him make sense of it all: Val.

The Lost Boys Symphony is a beautiful reminder of what it's like to be young, lost, and in and out of love for the very first time. By turns heartfelt and heartbreaking, Ferguson's debut novel boldly announces the arrival of a spellbinding new talent on the literary stage, in a master feat of empathy and multilayered storytelling that takes adventurous literary fiction to dizzying new heights.




Francesca Haig

The Fire Sermon
The Fire Sermon 1
Gallery Books, March 10, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined first novel in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.

Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other.

Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.




Ellie O'Neill

Reluctantly Charmed
Touchstone, March 17, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
In the spirit of Cecelia Ahearn and Regina McBride, a lighthearted and relatable debut novel about an advertising copywriter who upends her ordinary life and captures the attention of the world after publishing a seven-part treatise on the existence of fairies.

Kate McDaid thought that going to the reading of her great-great-aunt’s will would be just another non-event in her ordinary life. A junior copywriter at an advertising agency in Dublin, she was used to spending her days wrangling clients, over-indulging in chocolatey products, and whiling away nights at the pub with her best friends, using her trusty bicycle to get around town. Instead, Kate finds out that the will and her aunt (also known as the Red Witch of Knocknamee) dictates that Kate must publish a series of strange poems called “The Seven Steps” under her own name in order to inherit the rest of her aunt’s estate.

And those poems? They’re a mysterious treatise on the importance and existence of fairies…

Kate decides to publish the Steps on a friend’s website, thinking that the low traffic on the site would let her posts go unnoticed. She never could have imagined that in a matter of days, she would find herself a local celebrity with her own group of devotees and the target of a mysterious and glamorous newspaper reporter. Even Dublin’s rock-and-roll sweetheart—and Kate’s onetime fling—writes a song inspired by the Steps.

While the Steps strike a chord across Ireland and the world, Kate takes the message to heart. But as the tone of each Step moves from free-spirited to sinister, Kate must decide if she will go through with publishing all seven Steps—or protect humankind from an ancient evil.

Infused with just enough magic and everyday familiarity that anyone can relate to, this fantastic debut is a page-turner with the perfect mix of humor and mystery.




Carrie Patel

The Buried Life
Angry Robot Books, March 3, 2015
        (North American and eBook)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Recoletta’s top-secret historical research facility.

When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

File Under: Science Fantasy [ Thriller | Society in Ruins | Fully Booked | New and Weird ]




Cat Rambo

Beasts of Tabat
The Tabat Quartet 1
Wordfire Press, March 27, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 325 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
When countryboy Teo arrives in the coastal city of Tabat, he finds it a hostile place, particularly to a boy hiding an enormous secret. It’s also a city in turmoil, thanks to an ancient accord to change governments and the rising demands of Beasts, the Unicorns, Dryads, Minotaurs and other magical creature on whose labor and bodies Tabat depends. And worst of all, it’s a city dedicated to killing Shifters, the race whose blood Teo bears.

When his fate becomes woven with that of Tabat’s most famous gladiator, Bella Kanto, his existence becomes even more imperiled. Kanto’s magical battle determines the weather each year, and the wealthy merchants are tired of the long winters she’s brought. Can Teo and Bella save each other from the plots that are closing in on them from all sides?




Justin Richards

The Suicide Exhibition
The Never War 1
Thomas Dunne Books, March 3, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
(1st own world adult novel)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
The threat is not new. The aliens have been here before.

The German war machine has woken an ancient threat - the alien Vril and their Ubermensch have returned. With this new power, ultimate Victory in the war for Europe is now within the Nazis' grasp.Obsessed with the Occult, Hitler and other senior Nazis believed they were destined to inherit the Earth. To this end, they are determined to recover 'their' ancient artifacts -- the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the Spear of Destiny. When Dunkirk veteran and Foreign Office trouble-shooter Major Guy Pentecross stumbles across a seemingly unbelievable conspiracy, he, together with pilot and American spy Sarah Diamond and SOE operative Leo Davenport, enter the shadow world of Section Z. All three have major roles to play as they uncover the Nazis' insidious plot to use the Vril's technology to win the war... at any cost.

Justin Richards has an extremely credible grasp of WWII history and has transformed it into a groundbreaking alternate reality thriller in The Suicide Exhibition.




Alan Smale

Clash of Eagles
Clash of Eagles Trilogy 1
Del Rey, March 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Perfect for fans of action-adventure and historical fiction—including novels by such authors as Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove—this stunning work of alternate history imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has not fallen and the North American continent has just been discovered. In the year 1218 AD, transported by Norse longboats, a Roman legion crosses the great ocean, enters an endless wilderness, and faces a cataclysmic clash of worlds, cultures, and warriors.  

Ever hungry for land and gold, the Emperor has sent Praetor Gaius Marcellinus and the 33rd Roman Legion into the newly discovered lands of North America. Marcellinus and his men expect easy victory over the native inhabitants, but on the shores of a vast river the Legion clashes with a unique civilization armed with weapons and strategies no Roman has ever imagined.

Forced to watch his vaunted force massacred by a surprisingly tenacious enemy, Marcellinus is spared by his captors and kept alive for his military knowledge. As he recovers and learns more about these proud people, he can’t help but be drawn into their society, forming an uneasy friendship with the denizens of the city-state of Cahokia. But threats—both Roman and Native—promise to assail his newfound kin, and Marcellinus will struggle to keep the peace while the rest of the continent surges toward certain conflict.




Gabriel Squailia

Dead Boys
Talos, March 3, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
A decade dead, Jacob Campbell is a preservationist, providing a kind of taxidermy to keep his clients looking lifelike for as long as the forces of entropy will allow. But in the Land of the Dead, where the currency is time itself and there is little for corpses to do but drink, thieve, and gamble eternity away, Jacob abandons his home and his fortune for an opportunity to meet the man who cheated the rules of life and death entirely.

According to legend, the Living Man is the only adventurer to ever cross into the underworld without dying first. It’s rumored he met his end somewhere in the labyrinth of pubs beneath Dead City’s streets, disappearing without a trace. Now Jacob’s vow to find the Living Man and follow him back to the land of the living sends him on a perilous journey through an underworld where the only certainty is decay.

Accompanying him are the boy Remington, an innocent with mysterious powers over the bones of the dead, and the hanged man Leopold l’Eclair, a flamboyant rogue whose criminal ambitions spark the undesired attention of the shadowy ruler known as the Magnate.

An ambitious debut that mingles the fantastic with the philosophical, Dead Boys twists the well-worn epic quest into a compelling, one-of-a-kind work of weird fiction that transcends genre, recalling the novels of China Miéville and Neil Gaiman.




Ferrett Steinmetz

Flex
Flex 1
Angry Robot Books, March 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback (US/Canada) and eBook,
Cover Art: Steven Meyer-Rassow

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
A desperate father will do anything to heal his daughter in a novel where Breaking Bad meets Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files.

FLEX: Distilled magic in crystal form. The most dangerous drug in the world. Snort it, and you can create incredible coincidences to live the life of your dreams.

FLUX: The backlash from snorting Flex. The universe hates magic and tries to rebalance the odds; maybe you survive the horrendous accidents the Flex inflicts, maybe you don’t.

PAUL TSABO: The obsessed bureaucromancer who’s turned paperwork into a magical Beast that can rewrite rental agreements, conjure rented cars from nowhere, track down anyone who’s ever filled out a form.

But when all of his formulaic magic can’t save his burned daughter, Paul must enter the dangerous world of Flex dealers to heal her. Except he’s never done this before – and the punishment for brewing Flex is army conscription and a total brain-wipe.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Magic Pill • Firestarter • Bureaucramancy • The Flex & the Flux ]




Simon Kurt Unsworth

The Devil's Detective
Doubleday, March 3, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Debut novelist Simon Kurt Unsworth sends the detective novel to Hell. In The Devil's Detective, a sea change is coming to Hell . . . and a man named Thomas Fool is caught in the middle.

Thomas Fool is an Information Man, an investigator tasked with cataloging and filing reports on the endless stream of violence and brutality that flows through Hell. His job holds no reward or satisfaction, because Hell has rules but no justice. Each new crime is stamped "Do Not Investigate" and dutifully filed away in the depths of the Bureaucracy. But when an important political delegation arrives and a human is found murdered in a horrific manner—extravagant even by Hell's standards—everything changes. The murders escalate, and their severity points to the kind of killer not seen for many generations. Something is challenging the rules and order of Hell, so the Bureaucracy sends Fool to identify and track down the killer. . . . But how do you investigate murder in a place where death is common currency? Or when your main suspect pool is a legion of demons? With no memory of his past and only an irresistible need for justice, Fool will piece together clues and follow a trail that leads directly into the heart of a dark and chaotic conspiracy. A revolution is brewing in Hell . . . and nothing is what it seems.

The Devil's Detective is an audacious, highly suspenseful thriller set against a nightmarish and wildly vivid world. Simon Kurt Unsworth has created a phantasmagoric thrill ride filled with stunning set pieces and characters that spring from our deepest nightmares. It will have readers of both thrillers and horror hanging on by their fingernails until the final word. In Hell, hope is your worst enemy.




T.A. Wardrope

Arcadian Gates
Blastgun Books, March 17, 2015
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 424 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts
Only ten years ago the entire nation was struck by a chemical weapon which destroyed most people’s memories. Akiry, a young woman who makes her way smuggling amongst the lower caste of the rebuilt country, is haunted by dreams of a daughter she otherwise does not remember.

As civil war erupts in the city around her, she takes the last chance she has to find the truth about her daughter and her past.

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcadian Gates by T.A. Wardrope


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcadian Gates by T.A. Wardrope


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.



T.A. Wardrope

Arcadian Gates
Blastgun Books, March 17, 2015
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 424 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcadian Gates by T.A. Wardrope
Only ten years ago the entire nation was struck by a chemical weapon which destroyed most people’s memories. Akiry, a young woman who makes her way smuggling amongst the lower caste of the rebuilt country, is haunted by dreams of a daughter she otherwise does not remember.

As civil war erupts in the city around her, she takes the last chance she has to find the truth about her daughter and her past.

Interview with T.A. Wardrope, author of Arcadian Gates - March 17, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 20152015 Debut Author Challenge - March Debuts2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcadian Gates by T.A. Wardrope

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