close

The Qwillery | category: The Witch of Babylon

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Guest Blog by D.J. McIntosh - Libraries For a New Age

Please welcome D.J. McIntosh to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Witch of Babylon, D.J.'s US debut, was published on October 16, 2012. You may read an Interview with D.J. here.



Guest Blog by D.J. McIntosh - Libraries For a New Age



Libraries For a New Age

We’re all familiar with the fate of the famous Egyptian library at Alexandria but did you know one of the first libraries existed centuries earlier in Mesopotamia? That library plays an important role in my novel, The Witch of Babylon. In the 7th century BC, one of Mesopotamia’s great kings employed hundreds of scribes to copy and create clay tablets which can be considered early books. The king stored these at the royal library in his capital city of Nineveh. Less than fifty years later, Nineveh was completely destroyed, its treasures looted and the city burned. Oddly enough, the fires helped to preserve the tablets and thousands of years later, when British explorers excavated the remains of Nineveh, the library was discovered. Over ten thousand of these tablets are now kept in another remarkable library – the British Museum.

It is thanks to the foresight of the ancient king that we know so much today about the life, culture and history of Mesopotamia. In that library you can find medicinal treatments that are still effective today, wonderful poetry and blow by blow accounts of military campaigns.

Libraries today play quite a different role. They are a central gathering spot for the community – an opportunity for new moms to get some much needed social time, a valuable study aid for students at all levels, a great resource for authors and journalists, a refuge for people out of work who need to use a computer and the place where children are introduced to the magic of stories. From the vast archives of the Smithsonian to our local public libraries, their primary purpose as the repository for the wealth of knowledge of nations and cultures remains its most vital role.

This may be why, when cultures come into conflict as they do most glaringly in times of war, libraries are the first to come under attack. At the time of the crusades, Mongol invaders destroyed the House of Wisdom, a fabulous library in Baghdad, and threw so many manuscripts into the Tigris that the river was said to run black with ink. When the Germans retreated from Naples Italy in WWII, many of the books in lodged in the library at the Royal Palace were burned. And in the recent Iraq war, the archives at Babylon were badly damaged.

In many western countries today, libraries are coming under a different kind of pressure. Budget restraints and cutbacks are forcing many to close or severely curtail services. And with the digital age upon us, it is an open question as to whether libraries can survive. Will great search facilities like Google and Bing eventually make libraries redundant? They have always proved adaptable to new conditions in the past so I think libraries will master this new challenge too. I’m sure all of us who love books sincerely hope so.




The Witch of Babylon

The Witch of Babylon
Mesopotamian Trilogy 1
Forge Books, October 16,2012
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

Guest Blog by D.J. McIntosh - Libraries For a New Age
Out of the searing heat and sandstorms of the infamous summer of 2003 in Baghdad comes The Witch of Babylon, a gripping story rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world.

John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York's art world. Caught between his brother's obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq's National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.

Aided by Tomas, an archaeologist, and Ari, an Iraqi photojournalist—two men with their own secrets to hide—John races against time to decipher a biblical prophecy that leads to the dark history behind the science of alchemy. Kidnapped by villainous fortune hunters, John is returned to Iraq, where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery—if he can stay alive long enough to find it.

International thriller-writing sensation D. J. McIntosh makes her American debut with The Witch of Babylon.




About D.J. McIntosh

Guest Blog by D.J. McIntosh - Libraries For a New Age
D.J. (Dorothy) McINTOSH is the former co-editor of the Crime Writers of Canada's newsletter, Fingerprints, and is a Toronto-based writer of novels and short mystery fiction. Her short story "The Hounds of Winter", published in Blood on the Holly by Baskerville Books (Toronto, 2007), was nominated for the 2008 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story. "A View to Die For" appeared in Bloody Words: The Anthology, also published by Baskerville Books (Toronto, 2003). McIntosh graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto.



Website : Facebook : Twitter : The Witch of Babylon




Interview with D.J. McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon, and Giveaway - October 17, 2012

Please welcome D.J. McIntosh to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Witch of Babylon, D.J.'s US debut, was published on October 16, 2012.


Interview with D.J. McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon, and Giveaway - October 17, 2012


TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery!

D.J.:  Thanks very much Sally – glad to come aboard and love your questions.


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

D.J.:  I’ll often write late in the day, sometimes until midnight. The witching hour I guess!


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

D.J.:   J.R.R. Tolkien and Frank Herbert rate really, really high. I’ve gone back to their books again and again. Some of their perspectives may have rubbed off because although not strictly supernatural, fantastical elements slip into my work more and more often. It’s not just the worlds that Tolkien and Herbert created which are so absorbing but the central human truths at the heart of their stories.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

D.J.:  Plotter first and foremost. Satisfying genre fiction depends heavily on a good plot.


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

D.J.:  The first draft. Once that’s done, making all the revisions feels like pure bliss.


TQ:  Describe The Witch of Babylon (Mesopotamian Trilogy 1) in 140 characters or less.

D.J.:  A deadly game reveals the truth about a famous story the world believes is just a myth.


TQ:  Tell us something about The Witch of Babylon that is not in the book description.

D.J.:  “The Witch” belongs to the genre of antiquity or historical thrillers and these books are often an Indiana Jones-like romp through many countries in search of an elusive and priceless relic. My novel, although like that, has a much darker side because it’s partially set against the backdrop of the Iraq war and even though it’s fictional, it highlights some of the fearsome events that that took place in the early days of the war.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Witch of Babylon?

D.J.:  When I began writing “The Witch” I knew little about Mesopotamian history or alchemy. I actually began with the Book of Genesis and quickly learned that a number of stories in Genesis are based on much older Mesopotamian myths. It took years to bring myself up to speed on both the origins of alchemy and Assyrian literature and history. My primary sources were books and the internet. All that time spent though, turned out to be a labor of love because the research was so fascinating.


TQ:  What is one of the oddest things you found during your research?

D.J.:  That a mistress of a French king died from poisoning after taking a drink saturated with gold particles.


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

D.J.:  The easiest to write was John Madison, an art dealer and the central character, maybe because I like him and was drawn to his persona as I began writing the book. I wanted a character who seemed like a real person, not a hero figure who would use military or police skills to get him out of difficult situations. The hardest to write was the lead woman – Laurel – because of her complex nature.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Witch of Babylon?

D.J.:  When they find the treasure and it’s revealed what it is.


TQ:  What's next?

D.J.:  Hard at work on Book 2 in the trilogy, The Book of Stolen Tales. It features John Madison on the hunt for a rare 17th century Italian anthology of fairy tales. As his quest deepens, the dark origins of these tales appear to come to life. I’m especially excited about this because 2012-2013 is the 200th anniversary of the Grimm brothers first book!


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery!




The Witch of Babylon

The Witch of Babylon
Mesopotamian Trilogy 1
Forge Books, October 16,2012
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with D.J. McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon, and Giveaway - October 17, 2012
Out of the searing heat and sandstorms of the infamous summer of 2003 in Baghdad comes The Witch of Babylon, a gripping story rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world.

John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York's art world. Caught between his brother's obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq's National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.

Aided by Tomas, an archaeologist, and Ari, an Iraqi photojournalist—two men with their own secrets to hide—John races against time to decipher a biblical prophecy that leads to the dark history behind the science of alchemy. Kidnapped by villainous fortune hunters, John is returned to Iraq, where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery—if he can stay alive long enough to find it.

International thriller-writing sensation D. J. McIntosh makes her American debut with The Witch of Babylon.





About D.J. McIntosh


Interview with D.J. McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon, and Giveaway - October 17, 2012
D.J. (Dorothy) McINTOSH is the former co-editor of the Crime Writers of Canada's newsletter, Fingerprints, and is a Toronto-based writer of novels and short mystery fiction. Her short story "The Hounds of Winter", published in Blood on the Holly by Baskerville Books (Toronto, 2007), was nominated for the 2008 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story. "A View to Die For" appeared in Bloody Words: The Anthology, also published by Baskerville Books (Toronto, 2003). McIntosh graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto.



Website : Facebook : Twitter : The Witch of Babylon








The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of The Witch of Babylon from Forge Books! US ONLY

How:   Answer the following question: 

Do you believe that myths have some truth to them?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012


Announcing the four newest authors who will be featured in the Challenge - A. J. Colucci, Rob DeBorde, D.J. McIntosh, and John Park.



A.J. Colucci

The Colony
Thomas Dunne Books, November 13, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants--an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.

The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.

When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan.

A.J. Colucci's debut novel is a terrifying mix of classic Michael Crichton and Stephen King. A thriller with the highest stakes and the most fascinating science, The Colony does for ants what Jaws did for sharks.




Rob DeBorde

Portlandtown
A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes 1
St. Martin's Griffin, October 16, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
(fiction debut)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.

Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.




D.J. McIntosh

The Witch of Babylon
Forge Books, October 16, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
(US debut)

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
Out of the searing heat and sandstorms of the infamous summer of 2003 in Baghdad comes The Witch of Babylon, a gripping story rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world.

John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York's art world. Caught between his brother's obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq's National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.

Aided by Tomas, an archaeologist, and Ari, an Iraqi photojournalist—two men with their own secrets to hide—John races against time to decipher a biblical prophecy that leads to the dark history behind the science of alchemy. Kidnapped by villainous fortune hunters, John is returned to Iraq, where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery—if he can stay alive long enough to find it.




John Park

Janus
ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.




Guest Blog by D.J. McIntosh - Libraries For a New AgeInterview with D.J. McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon, and Giveaway - October 17, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 8, 2012

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×