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2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Cash Crash Jublilee by Eli K. P. William


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Cash Crash Jublilee by Eli K. P. William


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


Eli K. P. William

Cash Crash Jubilee
Jubilee Cycle 1
Talos Press, May 5, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 392 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Cash Crash Jublilee by Eli K. P. William
A cyber-dystopian world unlike any other

In a near future Tokyo, every action from blinking to sexual intercourse is intellectual property owned by corporations that charge licensing fees. A BodyBank computer system implanted in each citizen records their movements from moment to moment, and connects them to the audio-visual overlay of the ImmaNet, so that every inch of the metropolis crawls with information and shifting cinematic promotainment.

Amon Kenzaki works as a Liquidator for the Global Action Transaction Authority. His job is to capture bankrupt citizens, remove their BodyBank, and banish them to BankDeath Camps where they are forever cut off from the action-transaction economy. Amon always plays by the rules and is steadily climbing the Liquidation Ministry ladder.

With his savings accumulating and another promotion just around the corner, everything seems to be going well, until he is asked to cash crash a charismatic politician and model citizen, and soon after is charged for an incredibly expensive action called "jubilee" that he is sure he never performed. To restore balance to his account, Amon must unravel the secret of jubilee, but quickly finds himself asking dangerous questions about the system to which he's devoted his life, and the costly investigation only drags him closer and closer to the pit of bankruptcy.

In book one of the Jubilee Cycle, Cash Crash Jubilee, debut novelist Eli K. P. William wields the incisive power of speculative fiction to show how, in a world of corporate finance run amok, one man will do everything for the sake of truth and justice.

Interviw with Gabriel Squailia, author of Dead Boys - March 4, 2015


Please welcome Gabriel Squailia to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Dead Boys was published on March 3rd by Talos Press. You may read Gabriel's Guest Blog - I, ZOMBIE - here.



Interviw with Gabriel Squailia, author of Dead Boys - March 4, 2015




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

Gabriel:  I started writing comic strips with extended narratives in the fifth grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Glazeroff, found one of my drawings and gave me the back of the classroom door to play with. It became Gabe’s Gallery, and my elementary-school ripoff of Bloom County mutated into a graphic novel that ran to two or three chapters.

After that I switched to writing fiction. My first project was an epic fantasy about people with magic eyeballs. I never stopped writing after that. At least, I’d come up with an idea, plot it out a bit, write a chapter, then abandon the whole thing in anguish. This went on throughout high school, into college, and throughout my twenties. These days, I’d count all that as writing, though at the time it was clear to me that I was failing.

I started writing for the same reason I keep at it: because I have stories stuck in my head, and I want to get them out.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Gabriel:  A plotter, up to a point. I always have a rough three-act structure in mind when I begin, and a plot that consists of eight to twenty chapter headings, each of which means something very particular to me in story terms. There are some big set-pieces that I’m working toward, whether they’re big character moments or action scenes I’ve simply got to pull off, so most of my pantsing consists of getting those things to happen more or less plausibly.

Dialogue and fight scenes, two of my favorite things to write, are never planned. That’s all pants.



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

Gabriel:  The angle of entry. I’ve never managed to get a book off the ground without false starts, sometimes dozens of them. I used to think this was because I was doomed with an imagination that exceeded my powers of description. Now that I’ve finished a couple of books, it feels more like hands-on worldbuilding. None of that effort is wasted; I end up working all those locations, characters, and effects in somewhere. But without an opening scene that snaps everything into place, they’re just details I haven’t integrated yet.



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

Gabriel:  It varies by project. For Dead Boys, I was looking pretty far into the past: Don Quixote, Dante’s Inferno, classic quests like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Watership Down. I was hugely influenced by this single-volume condensed paperback version of The Mahabharata, translated by C. Rajagopalachari, which tells a library-sized story in a couple hundred pages. That density, that feeling that something astonishing and philosophically chewy is happening on every single page, was something I wanted to replicate. But I also wanted the whizz-bang-boom of manga like Naruto and animated films like Princess Mononoke.

Late in the game, Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, and Suzanna Clarke were inspiring, because I realized people were actually getting away with stuff this weird.



TQ:  Describe Dead Boys in 140 characters or less.

Gabriel:  A misfit band of adolescent corpses quests across the underworld for the Living Man, coming of age long after their deaths.



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

Gabriel:  Remington, the holy fool of the gang, has a pet crow nesting in his hollowed-out skull. If the idea of a kid with a bird peeking out of the back of his head sparks your interest, this is your book.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Dead Boys? What appealed to you about writing a genre bending novel?

Gabriel:  This one came to me world-first. I got an image of an underground pub the size of a football field packed with drunken corpses who could pull off their arms as bludgeons in the middle of their bar fights. I couldn’t stop messing with the world, though it took about a decade to get any of it to make sense.

Genre-bending comes naturally from reading all over the map. I didn’t set out to do it, and I wouldn’t recommend it, as it made publishing more of an adventure than I’d anticipated. But I loved my underworld and the characters it inspired, and I couldn’t rest until I’d figured out a way to pull it off to my own satisfaction.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Dead Boys?

Gabriel:  I spent a couple of years as a late-night librarian at Simon’s Rock College of Bard, where I had unlimited access to inter-library loans. I read everything I could find about the physical processes of death and decomposition. Most of it was too gross to saddle these characters with, so I went with a comically extended entropy that lightened up that source material. I also read up on the underworlds and funerary rites of various cultures. There are all sorts of rotten Easter eggs in there.



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

Gabriel:  Siham, who appears late in the book, wrote like a dream. I think it was because I’d spent so much time setting her up -- I thought of the first two acts as getting the place ready for her arrival. And I really, unambiguously love her. She’s made of love.

Etienne was maddeningly difficult. It’s very tricky to plausibly introduce a character who’s been catatonic for a decade. I must have written his first scene a dozen times, with a different voice each time. It took a month to get it right, and I wasn’t sure I’d get through it.



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

Gabriel:

Q: Which character are you most like?

A: All of them.



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

Gabriel:  A bit of scene-setting near the beginning:
The motionless corpses that floated on the river’s surface were surrounded by glittering shoals of refuse and roiling rainbows of oil. There, past the bobbing shape of a claw-footed bathtub, was the stretch of river-bend where he’d thrashed out of the mud and onto his newly lifeless feet nearly a decade ago.


TQ:  What's next?

Gabriel:  I’m working on a top-secret New Novel that makes my love for Naruto still yet more explicit, with martial arts magic and rather more grit than my debut.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Gabriel:  Thanks for having me!





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

Interviw with Gabriel Squailia, author of Dead Boys - March 4, 2015
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.





About Gabriel

Interviw with Gabriel Squailia, author of Dead Boys - March 4, 2015
Bill Wright Photography
Gabriel Squailia is a professional DJ from Rochester, New York. An alumnus of the Friends World Program, he studied storytelling and literature in India, Europe, and the Middle East before settling in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Dead Boys is his first novel.




Website  ~ Twitter @gabrielsquailia

Facebook  ~  Google+



Guest Blog by Gabriel Squailia: I, Zombie - February 21, 2015


Please welcome Gabriel Squailia to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Dead Boys will published on March 3rd by Talos.



Guest Blog by Gabriel Squailia: I, Zombie - February 21, 2015




I, ZOMBIE

The zombie attack, as a metaphor, can be read as a visceral confrontation with mortality. We don’t think much about death in our society, and suddenly here it is, staggering toward us with annihilating hunger. After a first near-miss, we have a moment to reflect that our lives, up until this moment, were almost entirely devoid of danger, and then we’re off and running again.

Fighting for our existence, we learn who we really are. We can’t avoid thoughts of death now: it’s breaking down our doors, tearing into our loved ones, forcing us to shoot them in the head before they turn.

Unlike other paranormal baddies, zombies get to me. In all my years of dreaming, I’ve only dispatched a single vampire, but I’ve killed hundreds, maybe thousands, of the shambling dead.

It’s not because I think about death all the time. It’s because I don’t. My avoidance of the inescapable fact that I won’t be around all that long is what gives zombies their metaphorical oomph.

It’s a thought that gets me in the guts. Enough so that I felt compelled to turn that horror inside-out.

I know what zombies mean to me, but what do they mean to themselves?

Dead Boys, my first novel, is an attempt to explore that question. It takes place in a sprawling underworld where the dead pull themselves out of the muck of the River Lethe and into eternal entropy. They’re falling apart, but slowly.

And there’s no one to take it out on, no one to destroy, no brains to eat. Just themselves, and infinite time.

I decided to leave their minds intact. I wanted them to remember what they’d been, what they’d lost.

One of the most interesting things about writing the book that resulted from these thought-experiments is how little its characters think about their lives. I tried to fit their backstories in there, but I always had to delete them.

They didn’t fit. My zombies were a vain, prideful people, and they had a near-pathological tendency to think of death as their natural environment. They’d be there forever, after all: how could they get by, from day to day, if they didn’t think of it as home?

As I filled in the details of Dead City, building out its gambling-halls and pubs, designing its time-based economy and imagining its shadowy government, I kept an eye on myself. It was easy enough to look at my friends and imagine them there, giving them names, personas, and grotesque, Tim Burton-y character builds.

But zombie me was a different story. Where did I fit in this macabre vision of the afterlife?

I wasn’t even sure how I fit into the land of the living. And that sense of dislocation, as much as anything, became the story.

It turns out that death scares me less than life without a purpose.

Now, I’m fairly certain that, in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse, I’d spring to action, even if that action got me killed in the first reel. But were I the zombie, staring down at my own rotting flesh, exploring an eerily familiar necropolis, I’d have some things to come to terms with first.

Then, I hope I’d have the bravery to spend my afterlife seeking out something worthwhile to do with my time.

The characters in Dead Boys swash their share of buckles. This is a big, questing adventure, with fights, escapes, near-misses, and moments of reckoning. But at its core, it’s trying to answer a question that’s deeply, if subtly, embedded in most zombie tales: what’s the point of all this?

That query might not be right on the gory surface of such stories, but it’s in there. Outnumbered by the infectious undead, lost in a suddenly inhospitable world, watching our companions die, one by one, we have to ask ourselves, sooner or later, why it’s worth struggling.

I don’t have the answer, at least not every day. But I do love striving for it, and fiction is my favorite way to try.





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

Guest Blog by Gabriel Squailia: I, Zombie - February 21, 2015
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.





About Gabriel

Guest Blog by Gabriel Squailia: I, Zombie - February 21, 2015
Bill Wright Photography
Gabriel Squailia is a professional DJ from Rochester, New York. An alumnus of the Friends World Program, he studied storytelling and literature in India, Europe, and the Middle East before settling in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Dead Boys is his first novel.




Website  ~ Twitter @gabrielsquailia

Facebook  ~  Google+



2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia


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


Gabriel Squailia

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

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia
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.

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner


The winner of the November 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Arcana by Jessica Leake  with 52% of all votes. Arcana is published by Talos.



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner





The Final Results

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner





The November 2014 Debut Covers

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the December Debut covers will start soon.


Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014


Please welcome Jessica Leake to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Arcana was published on November 11th by Talos.



Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014




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

Jessica:  Thank you! I really enjoy this blog, so it's surreal for me to be here. I was first asked this question by my agent, and when I sat down and thought about it, I had a memory of this yellow legal pad filled with an epic fantasy about a unicorn. I think I must have been about 10 or 11 at the time, so we can say that's when I started my love-affair with writing, though not in a professional sense by any means! As for why, I think the main reason is really rather simple: I would crave a certain type of story, and when I couldn't find it, I'd just write it myself.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jessica:  I will make a very loose outline of major plot points, but I predominantly fall into the pantser writing category.



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

Jessica:  Time! I know many have given that answer, but it's especially true for me with three little ones to take care of every day. But aside from making the time, there's also the challenge of using that time wisely. I usually write during my kids' nap time, but there are of course many other things I could be doing during that block of time (both productive and unproductive!), so I have to force myself to really be disciplined.



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

Jessica:  Oh, so many! As an early reader, I loved Roald Dahl, Walter Farley, Marguerite Henry, and as I got older, I read R.L. Stine, L.J. Smith, Christopher Pike. Throughout high school, I read any romance novel I could get my hands on, but I loved Julia Quinn, Judith McNaught, and Julie Garwood. I also loved Dean Koontz. Most recently, I'm into all things YA: Maggie Stiefvater, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, Stephanie Perkins. My favorite authors change over time, but I have a few constants: JK Rowling, Jane Austin, Robin McKinley, and C.S. Lewis.



TQ:  Describe Arcana in 140 characters or less.

Jessica:  An Edwardian-era debutante must keep her powerful abilities hidden not only from society but a dangerous organization who seeks her kind.



Jessica:  TQ: Tell us something about Arcana that is not in the book description. The novel is described as "genre-bending." What genres does it bend?

One thing the book description fails to mention is just how family-centric the book is. A lot of Katherine's decisions are made because of, or for the good of, her siblings. It's been described as genre-bending because it is a mix of historical romance and fantasy, without truly falling into either category--those are my favorite genres, and I love books that blend them together!



TQ:  What inspired you to write Arcana? Why did you set the novel in Edwardian London?

Jessica:  I knew I wanted to write a historical--there's just something so romantic and beautiful about that setting, plus I knew throwing hidden abilities into such a rigid society would have some inherent conflict. I chose the Edwardian era because it's such an opulent and beautiful time--and I absolutely love Downton Abbey.



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

Jessica:  So much research! But it was all a lot of fun--everything from what people ate in the early 1900s (the aristocracy enjoyed decadent 10-course meals) to how they spent their time (London while Parliament was in session, and hunting and sporting in the country during the summer). It always surprised me to learn just how many technological advances they had: trains, cars, the subway in London, electricity.



TQ:  In Arcana who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Jessica:  Katherine and Lord Thornewood were both the easiest to write because they had such strong voices. Lord Blackburn probably gave me the most trouble just because he has some secrets to keep hidden.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoliery lines from Arcana.

Jessica:
A deep tug at the core of me, and my power unfurls, sliding over my skin like silk. The familiar smell of energy releasing washes over me, like the refreshing scent of the earth right after it rains.


TQ:  What's next?

Jessica:  This isn't official news yet, but there WILL be a second book set in the Arcana world--though Katherine and Lord Thornewood are present in the book, the focus will be on Lucy, Katherine's sister. It's tentatively slated to be released Spring of 2016.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jessica:  Thank you so much for having me!





Arcana
Talos, November 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014
A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome-or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine's family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London's most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother's enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin-and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere-hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine's arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor-even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?





About Jessica

Interview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014
Jessica Leake has been in love with historical England ever since her first literary crush: Mr. Darcy. After embarking on a quest to bring her own intriguing and headstrong characters to life, she decided to quit her day job as a clinical therapist and spend her time weaving arcana with words. She lives in Greenville, SC with her brilliant husband, three painfully cute children, and two mischievous dogs. She invites you to visit her at jessicaleake.com.


Website  ~  Twitter @JessLeake  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+  ~  Pinterest


Interview with Martin Rose, author of Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell - October 28, 2014


Please welcome Martin Rose to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell is published today by Talos.  Please join The Qwillery in wishing Martin a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Martin Rose, author of Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell - October 28, 2014




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

Martin:  Like a lot of writers, I was young. I had some obstacles, but I fell into it when I was twelve. And it's hard to say why, why writing was the thing. I just had stories inside me, and it was self-evident the only natural answer was to let them out. So I started sending out stories to print publications when I was 13. I was very secretive about it, I didn't tell anyone, or ask for help. I still have my first rejection letter from Dani D'Atillio at Death's Realm back in 1994.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Martin:  Ambidextrous. Nowadays I make a general outline, but I pantsed Bring Me Flesh something fierce.



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

Martin:  Time. Always time. On the surface, it's hard for any writer who starts early in their career to find time, especially if they're not in a financially comfortable place in life. But there's this whole other aspect of time involved in writing that is just not very sexy. It's learning how to deal with time when your heart isn't in it, and how, you know, you could be spending your time on all these other very pleasurable distractions that life provides you. It's not exciting to spend hour after hour in a chair, pecking at the keyboard. And there are all these days and months and years ahead of you, spent waiting for editors and publishers and agents to get back to you. You have to learn to mitigate and leverage time, because if you don't... you give up. Nothing breaks a writer with greater efficiency than Time. And I think that's true of any profession that requires discipline and mastery.



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

Martin:  I read it all. A lot of books have stuck with me, but it's hard to say what made an influence, because I really, really have a deep desire to innovate language, to create a voice and a style that is all its own, and not beholden to the past. When I was a teenager, I cut my teeth on Lloyd Alexander, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Robert R. McCammon, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexandre Dumas and Edith Wharton. When I got older I found Graham Greene, David Sedaris, Donna Tartt, Robin Hobb, Charlotte Bronte. I read a lot of non-fiction. Economics, political science, history. These days I'm going through Laird Barron's back catalog with a great deal of enjoyment, as well as John Langan, Stephen Graham Jones. Read my first John LeCarre book, and I'm looking forward to reading more of him. Anyone can track my readings on goodreads.com.



TQ:  Describe Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell in 140 characters or less.

Martin:  Love the dead without the guilt. Blood, bullets, conspiracy, and a very dysfunctional family.



TQ:  Tell us something about Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell that is not in the book description.

Martin:  Well, without giving too much away, there's a suit of armor and a troublesome infestation of flies. There's a particular part I'd love to tell people about, but it would spoil the surprise.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell? Your publisher describes the novel as "...an imaginative spin on the hard-boiled detective genre and a new twist on the zombie novel." Why zombies? Are your zombies the classic Romero zombie or something else?

Martin:  I'd written a short story with Vitus, a few years back, I think in 2009, and that became the springboard. It was just meant to be a one off short that ended up in a zombie anthology, but Vitus had a persistent voice.

Out of the entire monster catalog a writer can choose from, zombie was not really ever on my list; but I found that a zombie of Vitus's caliber gave me a lot of play I couldn't get out of other monsters that have really come back into public focus, like vampires and werewolves. And vampires and werewolves are often spun to be very sexual, mysterious and seductive creatures, in the popular sphere. But with Vitus, there was no expectation for that kind of glamor. He's not attractive, he's not happy, he's got a lot of trauma. And rather than go with classic Romero zombie – not to say you won't find an element of that in Bring Me Flesh as well – Vitus is self-aware of his monstrousness, and the only reason he has that self-awareness is because he takes medication to keep him sentient. Zombies' continuing popularity is really a sign of a zeitgeist. It's not going away anytime soon. The BBC is running a program called "In The Flesh", about a boy who happens to be a zombie, and is being integrated back into society through medication. I expect our culture will be taking this subject farther to reflect the various social, economic, and political issues that have become too controversial, or uncomfortable, to talk about openly.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell?

Martin:  Some was accidental. I have a friend who's an officer in NYC, and I'd done some research with him about evidence rooms that inadvertantly ended up forming a particular character in the book. I ended up taking the research into some interesting spaces – for instance, I spent a lot of hours poring over materials dealing with the subject of leprosy in medieval times. When I was young, my step-mother told me about a leper colony in Hawaii, and that really began to form the basis for another character. Vitus's back story takes the reader to Kosovo, and the conflicts that erupted in Yugoslavia during the 90s, the NATO airstrikes, and I brushed up on that. Hopefully I didn't screw any of that up, but if there are mistakes, they're all mine. But Kosovo is where Vitus ends up. The recent wars involving the middle east are probably the most accessible to the reader, but I wanted to delve into an area that people would be less knowledgable about, (Kosovo, Bosnia, and Sarajevo) and unable to form instantaneous opinions on.



TQ:  In Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Martin:  They're all hard. I'm not a large fan of turning my characters into avatars for myself. That doesn't mean I don't take little things from experience and just patch them in places to bolster the identity of a character and flesh them out. But because I don't necessarily want characters to reflect my attitudes or personality, it actually can be quite a grind, to build a person from scratch and make them breathe for the reader, when you may not even like the character yourself. That's what made Vitus the hardest. His brother, Jamie, was a bit of a surprise, but still hard. I did not expect him to flesh out as much as he did. There were intense psychological scenes in the last half of the book I had to take breaks through. I think having empathy makes it harder. That quality creates an obligation to care more about what happens to everyone, even the villains.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell.

Martin

"Another man walked in my shoes. I never really got to know him, the boy that I was. At twenty years of age, he died ignobly as part of a military sanctioned, pharmaceutical experiment. In his place, I was born – as a darkling encased in rotting meat, a walking, talking corpse, still picking pieces of his wife and son from his teeth. A convenient tragedy packing heat. I was a pathetic human and I made for an even more pathetic monster."



TQ:  What's next?

Martin:  Hopefully, a follow up, if Skyhorse wants it. I'll be a tourist in the zombie universe for another book or two, if circumstance allows; and then I'll move onto other pastures. I'm always writing. Anyone interested can keep up with my commentary, observations, news, and unwanted opinions over at my wordpress, www.martinrose.org.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Martin:  Thanks for having me, and happy reading to everyone. There're amazing books coming out this month; I know I'll be reading quite a few of them myself!





Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell: A Horror Novel
Talos, October 28, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 232 pages

Interview with Martin Rose, author of Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell - October 28, 2014
Vitus Adamson is falling apart. As a pre-deceased private investigator, he takes the prescription Atroxipine hourly to keep his undead body upright and functioning. Whenever he is injured, he seeks Niko, a bombshell mortician with bedroom eyes and a way with corpses, to piece him back together. Decomposition, however, is the least of his worries when two clients posing his most dangerous job yet appear at his door looking for their lost son.

Vitus is horrified to discover the photo of the couple's missing son is a picture-perfect reproduction of his long dead son. This leads him to question the events of his tormented past; he must face the possibility that the wife and child he believed he murdered ten years ago in a zombie-fugue have somehow survived . . . or is it just wishful thinking designed to pull him into an elaborate trap?

Unfolding like a classic film noir mixed with elements of a B-movie, Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell is an imaginative spin on the hard-boiled detective genre and a new twist on the zombie novel. In Vitus Adamson, you will find a protagonist you can care about and invest in as he takes you through his emotional journey of betrayal and quest for redemption.





About Martin

Martin Rose lives in New Jersey, where he writes a range of fiction from the fantastic to the macabre. Visit martinrose.org for details.



Interview with Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant - October 7, 2014


Please welcome Karina Sumner-Smith to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Radiant, the first in the Towers Trilogy, was published on September 30, 2014 by Talos.



Interview with Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant - October 7, 2014




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

Karina:  I started writing seriously when I was thirteen, after falling into a writing “flow state” for the very first time. The real world fell away; I was truly in the fantasy world of my imagining, seeing the characters, listening to them talk – and scribbling as fast as I could to keep up. I’d never experienced anything like it before. I decided then and there that I was going to be an author, and started trying to get published shortly thereafter. (Of course, the journey from there to here took twenty years!)



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Karina:  Pantser. I actually think that many authors’ processes rightly belong somewhere between those two extremes, but I definitely live near the pantsing end of the scale. I do enjoy freewriting about a scene or character before diving into the next big story arc, but find that my experience is more like driving into the light from a car’s headlights than having a map for the whole trip.



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

Karina:  Finding the discipline to write consistently – especially on those days when the words refuse to flow.



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

Karina:  Oh, so many! When I was learning to write, I studied the works of Octavia Butler and Sean Stewart, trying to figure out what made their books so elegant and captivating. Usually, though, I’d just end up caught up in the story again, and forget to analyze entirely.

While I try to read widely, my heart truly lives in the fantasy genre. A few of my current favorites include Robin McKinley, Guy Gavriel Kay, Daryl Gregory, Michelle Sagara, Laini Taylor, and Mike Carey.



TQ:  Describe Radiant in 140 characters or less.

Karina:  A homeless girl in a magic-run city attempts to save the ghost of a girl who hasn’t died.



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

Karina:  At its heart, Radiant is the story of a very unlikely friendship that develops between two young women. There are so many things about the world that I hope to explore in more detail in future works, but this is really a character story about love and sacrifice and the connection between two people from wildly different places and backgrounds.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Radiant? Please tell us a bit about how your magical system works in Radiant.

KarinaRadiant is actually based on a short story I published a number of years ago, “An End to All Things.” It was written in a blaze of inspiration – but even after it was published, the characters stayed with me. I knew that there was more to Xhea and Shai’s story, and more to their world. Since I don’t plot my work out in advance, the only way to know what happened next was to keep writing.

As for the magical system, the novel takes place in a world where everything runs on magic. Magic is currency and identification; you need magic to open doors, to buy food, to call a taxi.
Everyone generates some magic – some just a little, some in unthinkable quantity – but the magic that your body creates is something that you cannot change. Being rich is not a thing you earn, it’s a thing that you are, while poverty is literally in your blood. And into this world comes Xhea, the main character, who has no magic at all.



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

Karina:  My favorite kind: all about the apocalypse! While the novel itself takes place many years after a new civilization has risen from the ruins of our world, much of the story is set in the Lower City, where people live in crumbling buildings on the ground rather than in the floating Towers above. I wanted to get all those little details of decay and destruction right – and make sure that any deviations from what “should” happen were planned consequences of the world and its magic, rather than accidents.

The workings of the City and Lower City were also very much influenced by the daily news. Radiant is a fantasy novel, yes, but it’s also all about poverty and economics and corporate warfare. (And ghosts. Lots of magic and ghosts.)



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

Karina:  I think that the easiest and hardest both was Xhea, the main character. In some ways, writing from Xhea’s point of view was effortless; the ways she saw her world, the rhythms of her thoughts and voice, were always so clear to me. Yet her life had never been an easy one, and her character was definitely shaped by her years of poverty and ostracization. It was a tough balance trying to write the character authentically – her mistrust and defensive reactions and the hurt underneath it all – while still trying to keep her accessible and sympathetic for the reader.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoliery lines from Radiant.

Karina:

Before her the ground was black and grey, the cracked roadway darkened by the shadow of her bowed head and slumped shoulders. She stared at the image she cast—no face, no will, only a puppet to the sun’s slow fall. Just the shape of a girl where no light fell.



TQ:  What's next?

KarinaRadiant is the first in a trilogy, and books two and three, Defiant and Towers Fall, are both due out in 2015. I’m so excited to share these stories, and hope that Xhea and Shai find readers who love them as much as I do.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Karina:  Thank you for having me!





Radiant
Towers Trilogy 1
Talos, September 30, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant - October 7, 2014
Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.

When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.

With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.





About Karina

Interview with Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant - October 7, 2014
Photo by Lindy Sumner-Smith
Karina Sumner-Smith is a fantasy author and freelance writer. Her debut novel, Radiant, will be published by Talos/Skyhorse in September 2014, with the second and third books in the trilogy following in 2015.

Prior to focusing on novel-length work, Karina published a range of fantasy, science fiction and horror short stories, including Nebula Award nominated story “An End to All Things,” and ultra short story “When the Zombies Win,” which appeared in two Best of the Year anthologies.

Though she still thinks of Toronto as her home, Karina now lives in a small, lakefront community in rural Ontario, Canada, where she may be found lost in a book, dancing in the kitchen, or planning her next great adventure.



Website  ~  Twitter @ksumnersmith  ~  Goodreads  ~  Pinterest

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith


2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.


Karina Sumner-Smith

Radiant
Towers Trilogy 1
Talos, September 23, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith
Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.

When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.

With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.


Note: This is the actual cover!


2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcana by Jessica Leake


2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcana by Jessica Leake


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.



Jessica Leake

Arcana
Talos, November 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcana by Jessica Leake
A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome-or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine's family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London's most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother's enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin-and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere-hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine's arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor-even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Cash Crash Jublilee by Eli K. P. WilliamInterviw with Gabriel Squailia, author of Dead Boys - March 4, 2015Guest Blog by Gabriel Squailia: I, Zombie - February 21, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2014 WinnerInterview with Jessica Leake, author of Arcana - November 18, 2014Interview with Martin Rose, author of Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell - October 28, 2014Interview with Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant - October 7, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Arcana by Jessica Leake

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