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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

The new covers for Emma Newman's Split Worlds series have been revealed! The Qwillery is thrilled to have the new covers from Diversion Books to share with you. The Split Worlds is a fabulous series that you can learn more about at Emma's Split Worlds site.

In addition to republishing the original 3 novels (Between Two Thorns, Any Other Name, and All is Fair), Diversion Books will publish 2 additional Split Worlds novels. Read more about that here at Emma's blog where she revealed the titles for the 4th and 5th Split Worlds novels - A Little Knowledge (2016) and All Good Things (2017). The first three novels will be out soon!

I think that the new covers for the series are as wonderful as the original covers. I particularly love that the color theme has been preserved. What do you think?

Between Two Thorns

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

Any Other Name

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

All is Fair

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

A Little Knowledge

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!

The Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!
Click to Embiggen
(Original covers on top; New covers on bottom)

Melanie's Week in Review - June 1, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - June 1, 2014

Hopefully this post will be coherent and not a big ramble as I just got back from Canada and have a lovely case of jetlag. Thanks to Air Canada's old plane stock the hubinator and I ended up with seats where the sound didn't work on the TV system. That meant we had 6:57 hours of uninterrupted reading time...well apart from the food/drink service, duty free announcements and quite a bit of turbulence. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - June 1, 2014
I finished Sixth Grave From the Edge by Darynda Jones. I do really like this series and think it is quirky. I especially like the chapter headings....they are hilarious. Charley is a great character and her hottie boyfriend Reyes sounds as smouldering as the pits of hell where he was born. I do think that this instalment was the weakest of the series. There are so many subplots that my head was spinning by the end. Jones even starts one involving Charley and her father and does nothing with it. It feel like I had missed part of the book. Sometimes less is more. Sixth Grave felt like Jones was following some formula like

book plot = Charley must solve 2 murders + goof around with Cookie  x canoodle with Reyes \  convince Angel to work for her - drive to the abandoned asylum x drink lots and lots of coffee.

The ending was quite a shocker but this barely made up for the over egged sub-plots. I will still look forward to the next book but I hope Jones sticks to the Charley and Reyes plot rather than all the mini mysteries.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 1, 2014I then decided to take a plunge and bought the first book of the Legend of Eli Monpress series, The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron. If you will remember I read the Paradox series a few weeks ago which are written under Rachel's pseudonym Rachel Bach. When I expressed an interest to read her other series Rachel very kindly warned me they were quite different to the science fiction adventures of Devi Morris. The Eli Monpress series is fantasy which is different but equally good as the Paradox series. In The Spirit Thief, the accomplished thief and wizard Eli Monpress has kidnapped the king of Mellinor in an attempt to receive a hefty ransom and increase his bounty. Hot on his tails is Miranda on her oversized ghosthound who has been assigned the mission to apprehend Eli but ends up helping him in a plot twist that deserves to be read rather than talked about. Monpress finds that kidnapping a king isn't as straightforward as he hoped as the king's brother and equally powerful wizard is out to become king himself and bring back wizardry to Mellinor. It's up to Eli, his motley crew of companions and Miranda to save the day and the kingdom.

I like The Spirit Thief and think it was a solid start to a series. I also like Eli but I think I liked his companions more, especially Miranda (more of a reluctant companion) and her ghosthound Gin. You can't beat a giant talking dog. The story was equally split between Miranda and Eli which I think is unusual but effective.  I was slightly confused for the first 1/4 of the book about the spirits and how the wizards manipulated them as Aaron doesn't explain this until later in the book. Once I got my head around that aspect of the book it seemed to flow a lot more smoothly. I will be looking forward to reading more of Eli's adventures over the coming weeks.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 1, 2014
I then returned to a series I haven't read in months - The Split World series by Emma Newman. I finished Any Other Name on the flight home. I found it a bit difficult to get back in this series after such a long break but once I remembered 'who was who' then I eased back into the world that Newman has created. I am really conflicted about this instalment. While I like Cathy and feel sorry for her I also think she is quite whiny. This was totally unfair as she was being forced into a marriage of 'inconvenience' and her whole life was being controlled by her family and the other Fae. Overall, I find Any Other Name to be quite a 'middling book' which seems to really set the scene for the final book of the trilogy. I am not going to make the mistake of leaving reading it for too long this time!

Finally, I was trawling through my Amazon recommendations and, once I got over the horror of being recommended motorcycle themed books, I found The Scribe which is the first of the Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter. I am only a few chapters into this book but so far so good. I will let you know more next week so until then Happy Reading.

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013

Please welcome Emma Newman to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Emma's adult debut, Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds 1) was published in the US/Canada on February 26, 2013. (Yes, I realized very late this an adult debut!)  Any Other Name (The Split Worlds 2) will be published in the US/Canada on May 28, 2013 followed by All is Fair (The Split Worlds 3) in September.

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Emma:  Thank you, I'm delighted to be here!

TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Emma:  When I was 4, according to my grandmother, although I don't remember it! I'd been beavering away at her kitchen table for a while and when she asked what I was doing, I said "Writing a story, Nana."

I do remember writing stories throughout my childhood and into my teens. I think there were a number of reasons, chief amongst them being a disappointment that real life didn't have anything fantastical in it and writing to escape a lot of family troubles and upheaval. Certainly in my teens, writing fiction was my primary form of escapism. Well, that and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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

Emma:  I don't think I could truly say any of my quirks are interesting. Right now, the only thing that comes to mind that could be considered a quirk is that every time I sit down to write something new I say out loud: "I give myself permission to write complete and utter crap." It helps me to combat fear and the dreaded internal censor.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Emma:  Both. I outline major story arcs – across each novel and across the series – and I outline character development and key decisions/actions as far as I can. Then I outline about five chapters or so – just single sentences, some details occasionally if it's a complex scene and then I write them. Once they are done – or earlier if the plan doesn't fit – I outline the next five. I can't plan any further ahead than that as the story evolves once I'm inside the scenes. Sometimes a decision seems realistic in planning, but when I'm there, really inside the character's heads, it just doesn't work. I like that though – I would be worried if it didn't happen, because it would be likely I was writing dull characters without their own internal consistency and motivations.

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

Emma:  Managing fear. Well, I find that the most challenging thing about life, really, and seeing as writing is my passion, my livelihood and what I want to do for the rest of my life, it only makes sense that it's the biggest challenge.

The fear makes it hard to start, hard to finish, hard to let others read it – the list is endless. It also makes it so hard to know if anything I'm writing is any good. I think that's a universal problem though; I've had many conversations with fellow writers along those lines.

TQ:  Describe Between Two Thorns in 140 characters or less.

Urban fantasy - and a dash of noir - with feuding dynastic families, supernatural patrons, mad sorcerers, evil faeries and nice cups of tea.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Between Two Thorns?

Emma:  It grew organically. It started with a flash I wrote about a shopkeeper, an unhappy customer and a faerie in a bell jar and that turned into a weekly flash serial before I realised that what I was actually doing was building a world for my next series of novels.

So I suppose it kind of crept up on me.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Between Two Thorns?

Emma:  I visited several of the locations in Bath and London and took photos (I'm a bit of nerd when it comes to real world locations in books) and I read a lot of material about Regency and Victorian England, Anglo-Saxon politics, key events in British history and a lot of fairy tales. I've also read a lot about chemical elements, but don't want to give too much away.

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

Emma:  Sam was the easiest as he's just an average bloke who falls down the rabbit hole, so to speak. He's a mundane computer programmer living in Bath with an unhappy marriage, so I didn't need to make huge leaps of imagination to figure out how he'd react to the weird things that happen around him.

I think the hardest character was Cathy. I wanted her to be angry but not petulant, selfish but sympathetically so and she brings in a lot of the feminist themes that I really wanted to get right. It's been interesting seeing how people have reacted to her – I'm happy to say that many, many more people love her than I worried would be the case!

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Between Two Thorns?

Emma:  That's really hard to answer without giving anything away! When Lord Poppy first talks to Cathy is one of my favourites because he is just so delightfully horrid.

TQ:  What's next?

Emma:  Well, the second Split Worlds novel "Any Other Name" comes out in June and I've just handed in the third novel "All Is Fair" to my editor at Angry Robot. That's due out in October, so it's a busy year.

I'm starting my own podcast, so that's what I'm working on next, and, of course, the next novel but I can't say anything about that yet!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Emma:  And thank you for having me!

The Split Worlds

Between Two Thorns
The Split Worlds 1
Angry Robot Books, February 26, 2013 (US/Canada)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
March 7, 2013 (UK)

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013
Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

File Under: Urban Fantasy[ Gargoyle Sidekick | Finder's Keepers | A Rose By Any Other Name | Manners ]

Any Other Name
The Split Worlds 2
Angry Robot Books, May 28, 2013 (US/Canada)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
June 6, 2013 (UK)

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013
It’s been an interesting year…

Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both.

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society.

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

File Under: Fantasy [ How Grotesque | Taking Tea | Lords of Misrule | Sorcerous Magic ]

All is Fair
The Split Worlds 3
Angry Robot Books,  September 24, 2013 (US/Canada)
Trade Paperback and eBook
October 3, 2013 (UK)

[cover not yet revealed]
In love and war nothing is safe.

William Iris struggles to keep the throne of Londinium whilst hated by his own court and beset by outsiders, while Cathy discovers the legacy of her former governess. But those who dare to speak out about Society are always silenced. Sometimes for good.

While trying to avoid further torments from the mercurial fae, Sam finds himself getting tangled in the affairs of the Elemental Court. But an unexpected offer from the powerful and enigmatic Lord Iron turns out to be far more than Sam bargained for.

Max and the gargoyle are getting closer to uncovering who is behind the murder of the Bath Chapter and the corruption in London and Max finds the gargoyle's controversial ideas harder to ignore. Can he stay true to his sworn duty without being destroyed by his own master, whose insanity threatens to unravel them all?

File Under: Fantasy [ Grotesquerie | The Throne of London | Elementary, My Dear | Among Many Thorns ]

About Emma

Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013
Emma lives in Somerset, England and drinks far too much tea. She writes dark short stories, post-apocalyptic and urban fantasy novels and records audiobooks in all genres. The first book of Emma's new Split Worlds urban fantasy series called "Between Two Thorns" was recently published by Angry Robot Books. She is represented by Jennifer Udden at DMLA. Her hobbies include dressmaking and playing RPGs. She blogs at, rarely gets enough sleep and refuses to eat mushrooms. You can sign up for a year and a day of free weekly stories set in the Split Worlds at

Website  ~  Split Worlds  ~  Twitter @EmApocalyptic

Review: A Little Knowledge by Emma NewmanThe Split Words by Emma Newman - New Covers!Melanie's Week in Review - June 1, 2014Interview with Emma Newman, author of The Split Worlds series - May 4, 2013

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