The Qwillery | category: Harper Voyager US


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Are You a Harper Voyager?

A great opportunity for U.S. fans of SF, UF and Horror!

Are You a Harper Voyager?


Are you a fan of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy or Horror? Would you like special access to e-galleys, author interactions, and swag? If so, the Harper Voyager US team invites you to apply to become a "Harper Voyager" super reader!

As a Harper Voyager super reader, you'll get special access to early review copies, special entry to an exclusive online forum where they can post reviews and thoughts about the exclusive book previews, engage in private author chats, and special interactions with Harper Voyager authors at regional events. Most of all, we hope our super readers will help generate excitement for our stellar authors!

Please Note: This program is asking super readers to post honest reviews on Goodreads and consumer sites, participation in online Voyager events; virtual support of Voyager authors across social media. If you chose to post these reviews online at consumer websites, you must disclose in the review that you received your copy for free and send us a link to the review.

Apply here:

Entry period: March 14, 2017 - May 4, 2017

Twenty Harper Voyager US super readers will be selected by May 19, 2017.

Terms and Conditions:

• You must be 18 or older to apply.

• Open to U.S. residents only.

• We expect to select 20 to 30 new Harper Voyagers this entry period.

*Harper Voyager will send each individual applicant one book in appreciation of their time and effort. One book per consumer. U.S. only.*

Interview with Rachel Dunne, author of In the Shadow of the Gods

Please welcome Rachel Dunne to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. In the Shadow of the Gods was published on June 21st by Harper Voyager.

Interview with Rachel Dunne, author of  In the Shadow of the Gods

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

Rachel:  I’ve been writing since I was a kid, always telling or scribbling down stories. I never really had a choice in being a writer—it’s just been something I’ve needed to do, and something that makes me incredibly happy.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rachel:  I’m a hybrid, only because I realized with this book that my usual pantsing wasn’t going to work. I outline chapters, give myself a concrete starting or ending point for each chapter, and then let the whole journey and all the details emerge as I’m writing.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rachel:  Not writing ahead in my mind! I’m constantly thinking through plot points and events, and a lot of times I’ll find myself writing whole scenes in my head—which sounds great, except that it triggers my brain to think I’ve already written that scene, so when I have to go actually write the words down, writing the scene feels almost boring. As much as I can, I’ve trained myself to stop mentally writing ahead; now, if I get a great scene idea or an awesome line, I write it down quick and then force myself to stop thinking about it until I can actually dedicate some real time to writing. Usually, the few jotted lines are enough to kick my brain back into the mindset that triggered the thought, and I can write the full scene without it feeling like a chore.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Rachel:  Reading, of course—I’ve been an obsessive reader all my life, and I’m constantly reading anything and everything. I think most stories are a mishmash of ideas pulled from other stories, bits and pieces rearranged in new and interesting ways. It’s wonderful to be reading something completely out of the norm for me, like mysteries or mindless celebrity gossip, and to find a piece of that—some twist or a quote or a tertiary character—that just clicks, and suddenly becomes a potential plot piece for my gritty epic fantasy. It feels like its own kind of magic.

TQDescribe In the Shadow of the Gods in 140 characters or less.

Rachel:  Twins are creepy!

No wait, let me try again: When the gods make war, people become the pawns—but pawns don’t always move in ways you’d expect. The pawns can have minds of their own...

TQTell us something about In the Shadow of the Gods that is not found in the book description.

Rachel:  There’s a lot of struggling with identity for the various characters, with the idea of fate—is it possible to escape your past, to become someone different than the person everyone else thinks you are? All of the point of view characters struggle with this at some point during the book, if not throughout, and this (hopefully!) adds a layer of depth and realism.

TQWhat inspired you to write In the Shadow of the Gods? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy in particular Dark Fantasy?

Rachel:  Fantasy has always been my favorite genre. I’ve spent most of my life devouring fantasy books, so writing my own was a no-brainer. I love the grittiness in dark fantasy, the way you can turn old tropes on their heads to make something fresh…but I also love the beautiful, lyrical language and introspection you can find in high fantasy. I wanted to bring those two ends of the fantasy spectrum together, and In the Shadow of the Gods is the result of that: something both gritty and beautiful.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for In the Shadow of the Gods?

Rachel:  I had to do some research on deserts for one of the sequences in the book, and even though the desert is only a setting for a handful of pages, I got really into that research. In general, settings are what I do most of my research on—I want all of my settings to feel real, and that starts with at least getting the basics right. I also did a fair amount of research on eye wounds—not a fun time, since eyes make me pretty squeamish.

TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rachel:  Scal is definitely the easiest—out of all the point-of-view characters, he’s the one that’s been lurking in my mind for the longest, so I feel like I know him best. His chapters just flow Plus, his voice is just plain fun to write. Joros is probably the hardest to write, because he’s a very different character than the other three points of view—Scal, Rora, and Keiro are all generally good people trying to do the right thing, but Joros…is kind of a bastard. He doesn’t have that nice, do-good core to him, so I need a totally different mindset when writing him.

TQWhich question about In the Shadow of the Gods do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Rachel:  “How do you deal with having multiple point of view characters?” The key is in the voice—my goal from the start was to make each of my characters sound different and distinct, so that even without any name cues the reader would be able to tell whose chapter they were reading within the first few sentences. I played around with so many styles before settling on the current four voices, and that in itself was a ton of fun.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from In the Shadow of the Gods.


“The words were trapped in him. Hard in his throat. So many things in all his lives he had never said. Too late, now. Always too late. There was a breaking here. A fracture in a slab of ice, spidering slowly but unstoppably outwards. There was an ending waiting for him, somewhere.”


“It was much like how he imagined things would be if he returned to his family’s home. Disgust and disappointment from both sides, and an excess of sullen glares. At least in the villages, Joros wasn’t causing his sisters to cry.”

TQWhat's next?

Rachel:  I recently turned in the manuscript for the sequel, so I’ll be working with my editor on that over the next few months. At the same time, I’ll be writing the third and final book in the series, which is both exciting and terrifying!

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rachel:  Thanks so much for having me!

In the Shadow of the Gods
A Bound Gods Novel 1
Harper Voyager, June 21, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook 400 pages

Interview with Rachel Dunne, author of  In the Shadow of the Gods
A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

About Rachel

Interview with Rachel Dunne, author of  In the Shadow of the Gods
Photo © Knotted Tree Photography
Living in the cold reaches of the upper Midwest with her great beast of a dog, Rachel Dunne has developed a great fondness for indoor activities. For as long as snow continues falling in Wisconsin, she promises to stay inside and keep writing.

Her first novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and will be published by Harper Voyager in June of 2016. Its two sequels will follow.

Website  ~  Facebook

Twitter @RachelKDunne

Harper Voyager US Announces Global Digital Publishing Opportunity for Debut Authors

Harper Voyager US Announces Global Digital Publishing Opportunity for Debut Authors

Harper Voyager US Announces Global Digital Publishing Opportunity
for Debut Authors

NEW YORK, NY - November 2, 2015: In this time of flux and accelerated evolution in the field of genre publishing, the editorial leaders of Harper Voyager Books are delighted to announce an exciting venture that will offer talented aspiring writers the chance to join the same science fiction and fantasy imprint that publishes such visionary authors as Richard Kadrey, Chuck Wendig, Raymond E. Feist, and many, many more.

For the first time since 2012, Harper Voyager is offering writers the chance to submit full, un-agented manuscripts for a limited five-day period. The publisher is seeking new authors with fresh voices, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and compelling storylines. In this Open Call, Harper Voyager will be seeking out novels written in the Urban Fantasy and Military Sci-Fi genres. Submission guidelines and key information can be found at

The submission portal,, will be open from noon ET on the 2nd to noon ET of the 6th of November 2015. The manuscripts will then be read, and all submissions will receive a letter notifying them of whether or not their submission is being offered publication on the Voyager list. As with every Harper Voyager project, the author will be paired with an editor, publicist, and marketing team in order to develop the manuscript and promotional efforts before and during publication.

The submissions and digital publications are spearheaded by Executive Editor David Pomerico. He notes that: “The last time we had an open call, we had over 4,500 submissions, and were able to add 10 new voices to our growing list. We know, though, that writers are always eager to connect with editors here, and we’re excited to offer them an opportunity to do exactly that. These are two sub-genres we are finding a lot of readers for—especially in the digital space—and I’m looking forward to finding some great new projects.”

For more information about the publisher, please visit:


HarperCollins, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLw). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world including the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children's Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. HarperCollins is a broad-based publisher with strengths in literary and commercial fiction, business books, children's books, cookbooks, mystery, romance, reference, religious and spiritual books. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins has published some of the world's foremost authors and has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott. Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, HarperCollins is the first publisher to digitize its content and create a global digital warehouse to protect the rights of its authors, meet consumer demand and generate additional business opportunities. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at
Are You a Harper Voyager?Interview with Rachel Dunne, author of  In the Shadow of the GodsHarper Voyager US Announces Global Digital Publishing Opportunity for Debut Authors

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