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2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts


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 2017 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer 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 December 9, 2017.


Vote for your favorite November 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts
Cover design by Will Staehle





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts
Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio
Cover photo by Getty Images





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts
Cover illustration © Adam S. Doyle
Cover design by Jacqueline Nasso Cooke
Cover design © Prometheus Books





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts
Cover design by Alicia Tatone
Cover photos by © Michael Steden/Shutterstock (book); 
© MrVander/Shutterstock (star burst)





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts
Cover artwork and design by Keith Negley





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November Debuts
Cover design by Jamie Stafford-Hill
Cover photographs: house by Francey/Sutterstock.com;
stars by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team

Interview with Tracy Townsend, author of The Nine


Please welcome Tracy Townsend to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Nine is published on November 14th by Pyr.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Tracy a very Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Tracy Townsend, author of The Nine




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Tracy:  Thanks for having me! I started writing when I was very young -- second or third grade -- and my earliest projects were all comics, mostly featuring talking animals in Sunday morning funnies-type situations. I read broadly, everything from Beverly Cleary to Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. By the time I was in middle school, I’d graduated into creating what folks today would call fan fic, though I don’t know that I knew the term or if it was really widely in use in the early 90s. My first major project was a James Bond fan fic novella written entirely in longhand in a spiral notebook that was supposed to have been for history notes. I wrote because I admired certain storytellers and I wanted to understand how they created these remarkable things I admired so much. I’d gone to writing workshops and been in writing clubs, but all but the best of those experiences felt like the blind leading the blind. The only way to figure out how the magic was done was to crawl up inside the stories and reverse engineer them myself, in my own way. I kept in the habit throughout high school, writing episodic series on demand for friends with really specific tastes, and writing short stories featuring characters my friends and I played in tabletop RPGs. I loved writing to my friends’ prompts best of all; it was this perfect gift for them I could create, something we shared together. It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized I really wanted to write professionally. Prior to meeting some really formative peers and instructors there, it had always just been something I was good at, but felt like a bit of an impostor actually doing.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Tracy:  Oh, I’m definitely a hybrid -- just one trouser leg on at any given time. I tend to start with a very vivid concept or character, and I start building up scenes and situations to explore it. I keep myself moving by jumping from each clearly visualized moment to the next. After I’ve built a good head of steam doing that, I step back to review what I’ve created and figure out what pulls it all together. What are the events I’m focused on, and how are plot beats coming into being? Do I have things in the right order? What’s the throughline? It’s during that pause, answering those questions, that I plot out the gaps in my narrative, and only then do I resume writing. The fact that I love writing in close third from multiple characters’ points of view means this kind of hop-around drafting process works when I’m getting a project off the ground. The downside is that knitting all the pieces together can be intensely surgical -- and sometimes leads to dead ends, scenes that end up on the proverbial cutting room floor. I admire writers with fast, efficient plotting and drafting processes, but I’ve never been able to create a project that interests me if I have to imagine the whole narrative from a cold start.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Tracy:  I work full time as a teacher at a public boarding school for gifted students. I know a lot of other writers who are also teachers and parents, too, of course, but the particular kind of school where I teach involves a level of hands-on stewardship of the students -- involvement in their clubs, their social events, their lives in the early and late hours of the work day -- that’s pretty atypical. Everyone struggles to achieve work-life balance. But in a lot of senses, my work is my life, and I tend to wear myself down serving both masters. I can’t stand disappointing people, so if something’s going to get short shrift when time and energy are at a premium, it will almost always be me.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Tracy:  I grew up reading comics (X-Men, Elfquest, Wolverine, Bone) and playing tabletop board games, so my whole youth revolved around variations on the “mismatched people bound by circumstance save the world” theme. I love that trope and there’s always some piece of it in anything I write. I love it because it’s much less about the “save the world” stuff and really more about a given story’s take on “found family.” I grew up far away from my nearest relatives, aside from my parents and brother, and so the “family” I turned to most often was the family of friends I collected, through school and writing and general geekdom. The way people who love each other because they chose each other bond, and how those bonds push and pull at them just as fiercely as blood-bonds, fascinates me because it’s so much a part of my lived experience. My husband teases me all the time about plot just being my excuse to get people in a room being emotional at each other. Really, he’s not wrong.



TQDescribe The Nine in 140 characters or less.

Tracy:  2 ret. mercs & a teen thief are nobody's 1st choice heroes, but when God's lab book is stolen, its 2nd best or seconds left 2 save humanity



TQTell us something about The Nine that is not found in the book description.

Tracy:  I wrote The Nine to be a fantasy work that mashes up a lot of my favorite things -- political machinations, conspiracies, heists, found family, “mandatory unretirement,” steam- and clockpunk stylings, redemption arcs, interspecies conflict, gray morality. That’s far more than back cover copy alone could address, sure. But the thing I’m proudest of was Publishers Weekly’s review of The Nine’s “nearly flawless writing.” I about fell out of my chair in shock -- and relief that the effort had been recognized! I wanted to give my readers a feeling of prose-level care and craft that no back cover copy can effectively promise. I wanted to make a beautiful monster. It’s up to everyone else to decide if I succeeded.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Nine? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Tracy:  The idea for The Nine actually comes from Talmudic legend: the lamed wufniks, which Jorge Luis Borges writes about briefly in his Book of Imaginary Beings. Reading Borges piqued my interest and got me reading the Talmud and Kabbalah for details that eventually became important to the idea of the fate of mankind resting on the shoulders of a kind of “sample” population.

It’s only through a genre like fantasy that I could take my next thought -- that this seemed like a very strange cosmological variation on a scientific experiment -- and turn that into the premise of a novel. I love the slipperiness of fantasy, how it bends everyday logic and supplants it with its own sets of rules of conditions. It can be heroic, cautionary, escapist, political, pessimistic, or hopeful. I knew The Nine needed to be fantasy because I needed to bend and break a lot of rules and fuse together a lot of different visual and narrative styles to pull it off. But really, much more than it being the right tool for this particular story, it was the one I wanted most to explore and push into the shape I desired. They say you should write the book you wish was already out there for you to read. The Nine is the book I needed and wanted but never quite found.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Nine?

Tracy:  Oh, God, so much research. I researched autopsies and human anatomy. I researched Gothic architecture. I researched early photographic technologies, and deadly toxins, and period hats and footwear, guns and ammo, rappelling gear, and particle physics. And all of that was before my first round of revisions.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Nine.

Tracy:  Adam Doyle (whose amazing portfolio of work you can find here) was my cover artist, and I couldn’t be happier. I hope he does the art for the rest of the series. He’s done covers for Chuck Wendig and Maggie Stiefvater (which was great for my six degrees of publishing separation ego, let me tell you) and illustrations for Fantasy Flight Games. That last credit was hugely exciting for my friends and me, because we’ve played many of the games he’s contributed to. Adam starts with sketches and ultimately creates paintings which are later rendered into the cover images. That’s what gives The Nine’s cover that murky, swirling depth. If you look closely, there are a lot of smaller images buried in the background of the city behind the pictured characters -- gears and pipes and skulls, great atmospheric notes. Adam read the book in manuscript form and asked me for some additional information about the named character from it so he could refine his vision of individual figures. I’ve never asked him if he had a specific moment from the book in mind for the cover, but honestly, that’s because I feel I already know the answer, down to chapter and page. This “Avengers, assemble!” moment featuring Rowena, the Alchemist, and Anselm really helps focus the sprawling narrative around the characters whose actions will do the most to shape its outcome.



TQIn The Nine who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Tracy:  Often, my easiest character to write is Anselm. He’s easy because his way of seeing other people is so entirely alien to me. He’s a cynical, manipulative, self-assured egoist, smart and acid-tongued -- the sort of person you want on your side because it’s too dangerous having him against you. Writing characters less like me is easier than the ones more like me, because I think of it as deep character acting. (I worked in theater quite a bit years ago, and though I’m an indifferent actor, I’m a very good line coach, and in a lot of ways, that’s what writing a close POV really is -- line coaching yourself as author.) When the character itself chafes me, I’m more conscious of the need to stay in character, and that keeps me focused.

Haadiyaa Gammon, on the other hand, is very hard for me to write most days. I understand her completely, and even relate to the pressures she feels. That makes me work harder to ensure I’m examining her choices thoughtfully. She’s done things she regrets, but did them because she didn’t trust anyone else to do the right thing in her place. Gammon isn’t afraid of the sacrifices it takes to serve the pragmatic good or of being the bad guy for the right cause. I’ve been there, in my own way.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Nine?

Tracy:  I don’t even think twice about “including social issues” in my writing because if I’m doing my job right, they’re already there. Part of the reason genre fiction is so powerful is that it defamiliarizes the conditions of our world, or extrapolates them through thought experiment, or supplants them with foreign elements, all with the hope of giving us insight into human nature. Authors and readers stare down a funhouse mirror of reality through so-called “escapist” fiction. Genre has always done this, to varying degrees. It’s just begun to do it more overtly in recent years, which is what makes it seem to some readers as if “social issues” are suddenly everywhere. They always were there. Now, authors are simply doing more to highlight them in their narratives.

As for this book, the world of The Nine is full of the problems caused by plutocracy, imperialism, xenophobia, and exceptionalist ideas of power and influence. Sometimes, these issues are present the way air in a room is. Other times, they’re spoken of directly. Since the crux of the plot is about mankind’s survival -- whether it can prove itself worthy of its place in existence -- I have to hold humanity accountable for what it’s done. That’s where the anxiety about our fate really lies. Are we worth it? Do we deserve this world? Is it too late to make good on the ills we’ve done, as individuals or as a people?



TQWhich question about The Nine do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Tracy:  You know, nobody asks about character names, and I wish they would. There’s a specific story behind almost every one. I agonize over names. They do a lot to form a character, and often to Easter egg in details about who or what they really are. Probably the best name story of all is Rare’s.

Rare is an important secondary character in The Nine, and part of the web of happenstance and conspiracy that pulls the three main characters (Rowena, Anselm, and the Alchemist) together. I was listening to an excellent BBC radio drama production of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris at the time I was first drafting The Nine. There was a character whose name I kept hearing as “Rare.” (Important to remember here that the actors all had quite perfect English accents, and so the rhotic pronunciation was strongly in evidence throughout the recording.) I thought it was simply marvelous that this character -- a love interest central to the main character’s emotional trauma -- had such a lovely, unusual name. I also knew the character I was writing at the time was going to be at the center of a lot of bad emotional history for the main characters in The Nine. It was perfect, so like a good little magpie, I stole the name.

Much later, long after the first draft was complete, I was in a used bookshop and saw a copy of Solaris on the shelf. I grabbed it and started leafing through, only to discover that the character in question’s name was actually Rhea. The actors’ rhotic “r” following the “a” had totally thrown me. But by then, I was too attached to Rare being Rare to possibly rename her.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Nine.

Tracy:  It’s up to readers to find where these moments come from. This first one is for the sheer pleasure of banter: “Turpitude is my problem, not degeneracy. A law-abiding life was out of the question from the start.”

This second comes from a moment a little further on: “He could feel his convictions yawning like an unknotted purse, dropping in bits and pieces from his mental vault.”



TQWhat's next?

Tracy:  It’s time for The Nine’s sequel! It has a working title and hopefully it doesn’t change along the way, but I’ll be keeping it secret for at least awhile longer. You can expect to hear more about the series and what’s in store for its characters soon. For now, suffice it to say the drama surrounding the missing book, the Ecclesiastical Commission, and the aigamuxa and lanyani species is far from resolved. Pursuing its loose ends will take the characters outside of Corma, the city setting for the first book, and into the rest of the world the so-called Grand Unity shaped.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Tracy:  Thank you! I’d love to hear from your readers. Talk to me via email at tracy at tracytownsend dot net or on Twitter (@TheStorymatic).





The Nine
Thieves of Fate 1
Pyr, November 14, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Tracy Townsend, author of The Nine
A book that some would kill for…

Black market courier Rowena Downshire is doing everything she can to stay off the streets and earn enough to pay her mother’s way to freedom. But an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares.

The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, but when a frightened and empty-handed courier shows up on his doorstep he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see—the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.

Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating a stolen book that writes itself may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon learns the text may have been written by the Creator himself, tracking the nine human subjects of his Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.

This unlikely team must try to keep the book from those who would misuse it. But how can they be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen to them when it reveals a secret no human was meant to know?





About Tracy

Interview with Tracy Townsend, author of The Nine
Photo by Jennifer Bronson
Debut author Tracy Townsend holds a master’s degree in writing and rhetoric from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from DePauw University, a source of regular consternation when proofreading her credentials. She is chair of the English Department at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, an elite public boarding school, where she teaches creative writing and science fiction and fantasy literature. She has been a martial arts instructor, a stage combat and accent coach, and a short-order cook for houses full of tired gamers. Now she lives in Bolingbrook, Illinois with two bumptious hounds, two remarkable children, and one very patient husband. Her short story “Late Arrivals” was published by Luna Station Quarterly in March 2016.


Website  ~  Twitter @TheStorymatic  ~  Facebook



The View From Monday - November 13, 2017


Happy Monday!

There are 4 debuts this week:

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy 1) by S. A. Chakrabotry;

The Last Man in Europe by Dennis Glover;

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang;

and

The Nine (Thieves of Fate 1) by Tracy Townsend

The View From Monday - November 13, 2017 The View From Monday - November 13, 2017
The View From Monday - November 13, 2017 The View From Monday - November 13, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Rebel (San Angeles 3) by Gerald Brandt;

Star's End by Cassandra Rose Clarke is out in Trade Paperback;

The Art of Murder (Jericho Sands 2) by Casey Doran;

The Light the Binds (Sundered World 3) by Nathan Garrison;

The Exiled King (Bone Magic 4) by Sarah Remy;

The Inside Out Man by Fred Strydom;

Beyond the Empire (The Indranan War 3) by K. B. Wagers;

and

Artemis by Andy Weir.

The View From Monday - November 13, 2017 The View From Monday - November 13, 2017
The View From Monday - November 13, 2017 The View From Monday - November 13, 2017
The View From Monday - November 13, 2017 The View From Monday - November 13, 2017
The View From Monday - November 13, 2017 The View From Monday - November 13, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - November 13, 2017



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

November 13, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
I, The Constable (e) Paula M. Block
Terry J. Erdmann
SF - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Night of the Hunter (e) Susan Harris PNR - Ever Chace Chronicles 4
Angel Slayer (e)(ri) Michele Hauf PNR - Of Angels and Demons Series 2



November 14, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Overneath Peter S. Beagle F - Collection
The Rebel Gerald Brandt SF/CyP/AP/PA - San Angeles 3
Dark Deeds Mike Brooks SF/SO - Keiko 3
The City of Brass (D) S. A. Chakraborty F/HistF - The Daevabad Trilogy 1
Star's End (h2tp) Cassandra Rose Clarke SF
Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Philip K. Dick SF - Collection
Seventh Decimate Stephen R. Donaldson F/DF - The Great God's War 1
The Art of Murder Casey Doran H/PsyTh - Jericho Sands 2
Future Home of the Living God Louise Erdrich Dys
Deadhouse Landing: A Novel of the Malazan Empire Ian C. Esslemont F - Path to Ascendancy 2
HALO: Legacy of Onyx Matt Forbeck SF - HALO
The Light That Binds Nathan Garrison F - Sundered World Trilogy 3
The Last Man in Europe (D) Dennis Glover F/Bio
Into the Drowning Deep Mira Grant CF
The Eye of Medusa David Guymer SF - Iron Hands 1
The Witch War of Fiddlehead Creek C.L. Hernandez DF - The Complicated Life of Deegie Tibbs 2
The Eterna Solution Leanna Renee Hieber HistF/UF  - The Eterna Files 3
After the End of the World Jonathan L. Howard H/AH/GH - Carter & Lovecraft 2
The Fall of the House of Cabal (h2tp) Jonathan L. Howard H/SP/GH - Johannes Cabal Novels 5
Ice: 50th Anniversary Edition Anna Kavan Dys/PA - Penguin Classics
The Secret Life of Souls (h2tp) Jack Ketchum
Lucky McKee
PsySus
From a Buick 8 (ri) Stephen King SF/AC
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance (D) Ruth Emmie Lang CF/MR/P
Strange Sight Syd Moore PM - An Essex Witch Museum Mystery 2
The Mountain of Kept Memory (h2tp) Rachel Neumeier F
The Throne of Amenkor Joshua Palmatier F/DF - Throne of Amenkor Omnibus
The Two of Swords: Volume Two K. J. Parker F - The Two of Swords 2
The Exiled King Sarah Remy F - Bone Magic 4
The Walworth Beauty Michèle Roberts Hist
Oathbringer Brandon Sanderson F - The Stormlight Archive 3
The Inside Out Man Fred Strydom H/Sus/PsyTh
Creatures of Will and Temper Molly Tanzer F/HistF
The Long and Short of It Jodi Taylor SF/TT - The Chronicles of St. Mary's Collection
Jain Zar: Storm of Silence Gav Thorpe SF - Phoenix Lords 2
The Nine (D) Tracy Townsend F/DF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Thieves of Fate 1
The Faerie Handbook: An Enchanting Compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects Carolyn Turgeon
The Editors of Faerie Magazine
FM
Beyond the Empire K. B. Wagers SF - The Indranan War 3
Artemis Andy Weir SF/Th
The Complete John Wayne Cleaver Series: (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, I Don't Want to Kill You, Devil's Only Friend, Over Your Dead Body, Nothing Left to Lose) (e) Dan Wells SupTh/F/DF - John Cleaver
The Forsaken Throne Jeff Wheeler F/HistF - Kingfountain 6
Legacies (e) F. Paul Wilson SupTh - Repairman Jack 1
The Complete Book of the New Sun: (The Shadow of the Torturer, The Claw of the Conciliator, The Sword of the Lictor, The Citadel of the Autarch, The Urth of the New Sun) (e) Gene Wolfe F - New Sun
The Emerald Circus Jane Yolen FR/HistF/Clara at the Edge - Collection
Mandelbrot the Magnificent: A Novella Liz Ziemska Bio/F/HistF/MR



November 15, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Anomaly: The Rubicon Skip Brittenham (Creator)
Brian Haberlin (Creator)
SF - Anomaly
My Life for Your Life (e) Tessa Gratton
Karen Lord
HistF - Tremontaine Season 3 #6
J. G. Ballard D. Harlan Wilson SF/HC - Modern Masters of Science Fiction



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
Bio - Biography
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FM - Folklore and Mythology
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - MashUp
Noir - Noir
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PHR- Paramormal Historical Romance
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsySus - Psychological Suspense
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
Ref - Reference
RP - Role Playing
Sc - Science
SH -Superheroes
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SP - SteamPunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts




There are 12 debut novels for November.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The November 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 November cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on November 15, 2017.

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 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for November 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



S. A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass
The Daevabad Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager, November 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 522 pages
     Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass—a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for . . .





Ash Fitzsimmons

Stranger Magics
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 21, 2017,
eBook, 400 pages
     Urban Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
No one holds a grudge quite like a faerie . . .

All Colin Leffee wants is to be left alone: to run his used bookstore in peace, and to quietly drink himself to sleep every night in an attempt to drown out the memories of eight-hundred-plus years of existence.

Unfortunately, when a sullen teenage changeling is flung out of Faerie and onto his doorstep, the long-suffering, wayward son of Titania knows his dreams of solitude are dust. Colin—or Lord Coileán, as he is known to the Faerie court—must track down Meggy, the love of his life, and figure out how her child ended up in Titania’s clutches to begin with.

But with family, it’s never simple. He finds Meggy, only to see her yanked into Faerie—and the doors between the realms slammed and locked behind her. Now, it’s not just her life& at stake . . . but the fate of magic itself.

Always the loner, Colin reluctantly joins forces with an intensely stubborn wizard, a young priest-in-training who fancies himself a knight, and his half brother Robin (the last most definitely not by choice) on a quest to reopen the doors and restore the balance between the realms. And with exiled queen Mab plotting in the shadows to take Titania’s throne, and the wizards of the governing Arcanum hiding their own agenda, Colin can’t be sure whom to trust—or whether he’ll live long enough to see the mission through.





Dennis Glover

The Last Man in Europe
The Overlook Press, November 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
     Fiction, Biographical

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
What was Orwell’s world like? Is Orwell’s world still our world? Is Big Brother still watching you?

April, 1947. In a run-down farmhouse on a remote Scottish island, George Orwell begins his last and greatest work: Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Forty-three years old and suffering from the tuberculosis that within three winters will take his life, Orwell comes to see the book as his legacy—the culmination of a career spent fighting to preserve the freedoms which the wars and upheavals of the twentieth century have threatened. Completing the book is an urgent challenge, a race against death.

In this masterful novel, Dennis Glover explores the creation of Orwell’s classic work, which for millions of readers worldwide defined the twentieth century, and is now again proving its unnerving relevance. Simultaneously a captivating drama, a unique literary excavation, and an unflinching portrait of a writer, The Last Man in Europe will change the way we understand both our enduringly Orwellian times and Nineteen Eighty-Four.





Robert Guffey

Until the Last Dog Dies
Night Shade Books, November 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
     Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic,
     Satire, Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
A young stand-up comedian must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor in this darkly satirical debut novel.

What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?

Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.

Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways.

What would you consider the end of the world?

Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.





Daniel A. Hoyt

This Book Is Not For You
Dzanc Books, November 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
      Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
Utilizing an innovative mashup of genres, ranging from pulp fiction, dark comedy, and metafiction, This Book Is Not for You charts the actions of nineteen-year-old Neptune, a misfit and punk haunted by the death of his parents. Having fallen in with an anarchist group determined to blow up a university building, he steals the dynamite instead, igniting an entirely different brand of trouble: the murder of his mentor; a three-way manhunt; and the mystery of the Ghost Machine, a walkman that replays snippets from his own twisted past.

Told in a nonstop chain of Chapter Ones, Daniel Hoyt’s debut novel explores the clash between chaos and calm, the instinct for self-destruction and the longing for redemption.





Megan Hunter

The End We Start From
Grove Press, November 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 160 pages
     Literary Fiction, Dystopian

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
A Fall 2017 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection

"The End We Start From is strange and powerful, and very apt for these uncertain times. I was moved, terrified, uplifted—sometimes all three at once. It takes skill to manage that, and Hunter has a poet's understanding of how to make each word count."—Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring 


Preempted by publishers around the world within days of the 2016 London Book Fair, The End We Start From heralds the arrival of Megan Hunter, a dazzling and unique literary talent. Hunter’s debut is a searing original, a modern-day parable of rebirth and renewal, of maternal bonds, and the instinct to survive and thrive in the absence of all that’s familiar.

As London is submerged below floodwaters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place. The story traces fear and wonder as the baby grows, thriving and content against all the odds.

The End We Start From is an indelible and elemental first book—a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a tale of endurance in the face of ungovernable change.

"Virginia Woolf does cli-fi."¯Independent (UK)





Ruth Emmie Lang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
St. Martin's Press, November 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy, Magical Realism,
     Paranormal

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
"Told with brains and heart" —Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment

"Bristles with charm and curiosity" —Winston Groom, New York Times bestselling author of Forrest Gump

"A wholly original and superbly crafted work of art, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a masterpiece of the imagination." —Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List and Sweet Forgiveness

"Charlotte's Web for grown-ups who, like Weylyn Grey, have their own stories of being different, feared, brave, and loved." —Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave

Finding magic in the ordinary.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.





Andrea Lawlor

Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl
Rescue Press, November 1, 2017
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
      Fantasy, Magical Realism

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
It’s 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flâneur with a rich dating life. But Paul’s also got a secret: he’s a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Women’s Studies major to trade, Paul transforms his body at will in a series of adventures that take him from Iowa City to Boystown to Provincetown and finally to San Francisco—a journey through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure.

Andrea Lawlor’s debut novel offers a speculative history of early ’90s identity politics during the heyday of ACT UP and Queer Nation. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections.





Fonda Lee

Jade City
The Green Bone Saga 1
Orbit, November 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 512 pages
     Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
     (Adult Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
Award-winning author Fonda Lee explodes onto the adult fantasy scene with Jade City, an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kungfu, set in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

FAMILY IS DUTY. MAGIC IS POWER. HONOR IS EVERYTHING.

Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for — and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone — even foreigners — wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones — from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets — and of Kekon itself.

Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.





Kari Maaren

Weave a Circle Round
Tor Books, November 28, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy, Science Fiction,
     Time Travel, Coming Of Age

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
Discover your inner child once again in this debut fantasy adventure for fans of Madeleine L'Engle, Diana Wynne Jones, and E. L. Konigsburg.

When the unexpected moves in next door, anything can happen in Weave a Circle Round, Kari Maaren's debut in this YA-friendly fantasy adventure.

Freddy doesn’t want people to think she’s weird. Her family makes that difficult, though: her deaf stepbrother Roland’s a major geek, and her genius little sister Mel’s training to be the next Sherlock Holmes. All Freddy wants is to survive high school.

Then two extremely odd neighbors move in next door.

Cuerva Lachance and Josiah definitely aren't normal. Neither is their house, which defies the laws of physics. Neither is Freddy’s situation, when she suddenly finds herself stuck thousands of years in the past with her very, very weird neighbors. And that’s only the beginning.


“I adored this brilliant book from start to finish. It left me reeling with delight and I can't wait for the rest of the world to get as lost in its pages as I was.” —Charles de Lint

“I'd have loved this book when I was twelve, and I love it now.” —Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy-Award winning author Jo Walton





Ruby Namdar

The Ruined House
Harper, November 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 528 pages
     Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
"In The Ruined House a ‘small harmless modicum of vanity’ turns into an apocalyptic bonfire.  Shot through with humor and mystery and insight, Ruby Namdar's wonderful first novel examines how the real and the unreal merge.  It's a daring study of madness, masculinity, myth-making and the human fragility that emerges in the mix."

—Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin
 
Winner of the Sapir Prize, Israel’s highest literary award

Picking up the mantle of legendary authors such as Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, an exquisite literary talent makes his debut with a nuanced and provocative tale of materialism, tradition, faith, and the search for meaning in contemporary American life.

Andrew P. Cohen, a professor of comparative culture at New York University, is at the zenith of his life. Adored by his classes and published in prestigious literary magazines, he is about to receive a coveted promotion—the crowning achievement of an enviable career. He is on excellent terms with Linda, his ex-wife, and his two grown children admire and adore him. His girlfriend, Ann Lee, a former student half his age, offers lively companionship. A man of elevated taste, education, and culture, he is a model of urbanity and success.

But the manicured surface of his world begins to crack when he is visited by a series of strange and inexplicable visions involving an ancient religious ritual that will upend his comfortable life.

Beautiful, mesmerizing, and unsettling, The Ruined House unfolds over the course of one year, as Andrew’s world unravels and he is forced to question all his beliefs. Ruby Namdar’s brilliant novel embraces the themes of the American Jewish literary canon as it captures the privilege and pedantry of New York intellectual life in the opening years of the twenty-first century.





Tracy Townsend

The Nine
Thieves of Fate 1
Pyr, November 14, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
     Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales,
     Legends and Mythology

2017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts
A book that some would kill for…

Black market courier Rowena Downshire is doing everything she can to stay off the streets and earn enough to pay her mother’s way to freedom. But an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares.

The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, but when a frightened and empty-handed courier shows up on his doorstep he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see—the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.

Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating a stolen book that writes itself may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon learns the text may have been written by the Creator himself, tracking the nine human subjects of his Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.

This unlikely team must try to keep the book from those who would misuse it. But how can they be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen to them when it reveals a secret no human was meant to know?

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November DebutsInterview with Tracy Townsend, author of The NineThe View From Monday - November 13, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge - November Debuts

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