The Qwillery | category: Interview | (page 4 of 58)


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Interview with Ryder Windham, co-author of Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor

Please welcome Ryder Windham to The Qwillery. Ryder and Adam Bray are the co-authors of Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor from Harper Design.

Are you looking for a great gift for the Star Wars fan on your list? Here you go!

The QwilleryWelcome to The Qwillery. Your book, Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor, was recently published by Harper Design. Why did you decide to explore the evolution and design of Stormtroopers?

Ryder Windham:  I'd previously worked on Star Wars: The Complete Vader, which I co-authored with Pete Vilmur, so when becker&mayer editor Delia Greve offered me the assignment, that's all the reason I needed to a closer look at the faceless soldiers behind Vader.

TQHow did your collaboration work?

RW:  Adam Bray and I worked on separate sections of the book, and actually decided to split it up by time period. I wrote the chapters that covered the 1970s through the early 1990s, and Adam wrote the subsequent chapters.

TQTell us something about Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor that is not found in the book description.

RW:  The book is an affectionate tribute to concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, sculptors Brian Muir and Liz Moore, numerous toy designers, and members of the 501st Legion. I'm especially fond of the Star Wars costumers who've helped me organize and promote blood drives all over the world. In 2014, I co-founded the World Blood Drive, an annual international event, and designer Juan José Matamoros, a member of 501st Legion Ecuador Outpost, used a stormtrooper for that year's emblem.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor.

RW:  Rosanna Brockley, a designer at becker&mayer, designed the cover for Stormtroopers. She did a great job.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor?

RW:  I have a fairly extensive library of Star Wars books and magazines, so I went through those to gather as much as I could about stormtroopers. I re-read all the Star Wars comic books and comic strips from the 1970s and early 1980s so I could note the various stories that featured unmasked stormtroopers, without their helmets, as I found that information interesting. I also interviewed several people, including Anthony Forrest, who played the sandtrooper that Ben Kenobi "mind-tricks" at the Mos Eisley roadblock in Star Wars (1977).

TQWhy do you think that Stormtroopers are so iconic?

RW:  I could talk at length about the transformative power of a mask and costume, but Imperial stormtroopers are so iconic because no one else ever made white armor look so sexy.

TQIn your opinion, what is the most striking change made to the Stormtrooper design over the years?

RW:  The lenses in First Order stormtrooper helmets offer better visibility than the original helmets, but the original 1970s costumes are infinitely more sexy.

TQWhat's next?

RW:  I'm writing a tie-in novel for Scraper™, an upcoming virtual-reality game produced by Labrodex Studios. I know Adam is also working on some exciting upcoming projects, but unfortunately he is sworn to secrecy.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

RW:  You're welcome, and thank you for having me!

Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor
Harper Design, October 24, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages

Foreword by John BoyegaJust in time for the next blockbuster, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this unique and beautifully designed compendium with removable features traces one of the franchise’s most iconic characters—the stormtrooper—from initial development through all nine Star Wars movies to their many iterations in TV, comics, videogames, novels, and pop-culture.

Star Wars: A New Hope, the very first installment in the beloved science-fiction series, introduced the Imperial stormtroopers—the army of the fearsome and tyrannical Galactic Empire. Charged with establishing Imperial authority and suppressing resistance, these terrifying, faceless, well-disciplined soldiers in white have become a universal symbol of oppression.

Star Wars Stormtroopers explores these striking warriors and their evolution in depth for the first time. Ryder Windham and Adam Bray trace the roots of their creation and design, and explore how these elite troops from a galaxy far, far away have been depicted in movies, cartoons, comics, novels, and merchandizing.

Filled with photographs, illustrations, story boards, and other artwork, this lavish officially licensed book comes complete with removable features, including posters, stickers, replica memorabilia and more, making it an essential keepsake for every Star Wars fan, as well as military, design, and film aficionados.

About the Authors

Ryder Windham has written more than seventy Star Wars books, including The Complete Vader with co-author Pete Vilmur, The Bounty Hunter Code with Daniel Wallace, and Millennium Falcon Owner’s Manual. An avid blood donor, he has worked with members of the Star Wars costumer clubs—the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs—to help promote voluntary blood donations all over the world.

Adam Bray is the author of guides to Star Wars Rebels and a coauthor of numerous books about Star Wars, LEGO Star Wars, and Marvel. He has written for and National Geographic News, and contributed to around forty guides to travel in Southeast Asia. His talents have extended to other spheres, including illustration, music, archaeology, spelunking, and working with chimpanzees. Follow Adam Bray on Twitter and Facebook: @AuthorAdamBray, at, and at

From the collection of Gus Lopez

From the collection of Gus Lopez

From the collection of Gus Lopez

From the collection of Gus Lopez

Ksenia Topps Troopers: Topps Trading Cards by Ksenia Zelentsova, 
© Topps, image courtesy of the artist

Gentle Giant McQuarrie Stormtrooper bust: courtesy of Steve Sansweet

Interview with Glynn Stewart

Please welcome Glynn Stewart to The Qwillery. Interstellar Mage, the first novel in the Starship's Mage Red Falcon series, was published on October 14th by Faolan's Pen Publishing.

Interview with Glynn Stewart

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

Glynn:  Thanks for having me!

I have always written. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write, I always had so many ideas to try and get out of my head.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid? What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Glynn:  Mostly a plotter, though probably at least partially a hybrid. I write an outline, of varying levels of detail, before I get started, but the final book usually has at least one major divergence from the outline.

TQDescribe Interstellar Mage in 140 characters or less.

Glynn:  Magic meets light speed as a simple cargo starship – powered by magic – is dragged into politics and an underworld crime war.

TQTell us something about Interstellar Mage that is not found in the book description.

GlynnInterstellar Mage brings back many of the characters from Starship’s Mage that didn’t show up in the rest of the series—and they’re about the only people on the new ship without secret agendas!

TQDoes Interstellar Mage tie-in to any of your other series - Starship's Mage, Castle Federation or Duchy of Terra?

Glynn:  It’s the first book in the second series of the Starship’s Mage universe, starting off a trilogy that runs in parallel to the second and third books of that series.

The first Starship’s Mage series follows Damien Montgomery as he goes from an unemployed (and desperate) jump mage to Hand of the Mage King. It starts with Starship’s Mage itself, but readers can also start with Hands of Mars.

This second series is intended as a second starting point for readers, following the captain of Damien’s first ship – David Rice – as he takes over the Red Falcon and has misadventures of his own.

TQWhat is Space Fantasy?

Glynn:  It depends on who you ask! Star Wars is, of course, the biggest known example of it. There have been a few series over the years with magic in space, or with psionics to the point where it may as well be magic!

For myself, it’s taking a setting where the engineering and science and so forth are done with as much fidelity as possible, and then a layer of magic is put in place to allow for the “impossible” things that are such a feature of the space opera genre.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Interstellar Mage?

Glynn:  A lot of my technical and scientific research for this setting is already done and written up in assorted setting bible documents.

One of the things I had to codify for Interstellar Mage though was freight rates and scale. Given the scale of interstellar shipping in the setting—starship captains rarely deal in less than a standard 10,000 ton shipping container—the numbers get odd when you break them down to a per-ton level.

For the cost of getting about ten tons of cargo from China to the United States today, you could get a 10,000 ton shipping container from Earth orbit to orbit of the Alpha Centauri colonies.

Of course, getting it into and down from orbit is an entirely different story!

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

Glynn:  Easiest was David Rice. I’ve already been in his head and he fits into one of my standard “character archetypes” quite handily.

Hardest was probably Maria Soprano. I’ve written female characters before who were, basically, Honor Harrington style badasses. Soprano is a badass in her own right, but she’s also a more actively sexual and feminine character, which was a difficult balance to walk and not one I’m sure I got right.

TQWhich question about Interstellar Mage do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Glynn:  “Who else is coming back from Starship’s Mage?”

A bunch of people, but most notable I think are Kelly LaMonte and Alaura Stealey, two very different, very badass ladies who both have a dramatic impact on the story.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Interstellar Mage.

Glynn:  “So far two people have tried to kill you and we’ve been dragged into one major political crisis. This all feels far too familiar. Are you sure Damien was our bad luck charm?”

TQWhat's next?

Glynn:  We have a release schedule up on the website at that we keep reasonably updated.

Next release after this is Changeling’s Fealty, another foray into Urban Fantasy for me, followed by the sixth and final Castle Federation book, Operation Medusa, which I am currently writing.

My co-writing project with Terry Mixon should also see a second release this fall, and the Red Falcon series has two more books next year.

And then, well, we return to the Starship’s Mage primary timeline with the first book of UnArcana Rebellions.

I have a busy year coming up!

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Glynn:  Thank you for having me!

Interstellar Mage
Starship's Mage: Red Falcon 1
Faolan's Pen Publishing Inc., October 14, 2017
Kindle eBook

Interview with Glynn Stewart
Mars destroyed his ship — but gave him a new one.
Mars drafted his Mage — for the good of humanity!
He should have known that wouldn’t be the end of it…

Captain David Rice has a new ship, a new crew, and a new set of Jump Mages to carry him between the stars. All he wants is to haul cargo, make money and keep his head down.

His past, however, is not so willing to let him go. An old enemy is reaching out from beyond the grave to destroy any chance of peace or life for Captain Rice—and old friends are only making things more complicated!

All he wants is to be a businessman, but as the death toll mounts he must decide what is more important: his quiet life or the peace humanity has enjoyed for centuries…

About Glynn

Interview with Glynn Stewart
Glynn Stewart is the author of Starship’s Mage, a bestselling science fiction and fantasy series where faster-than-light travel is possible–but only because of magic. Stewart’s other works include the science fiction series Castle Federation and Duchy of Terra, as well as the urban fantasy series ONSET.

Writing managed to liberate Stewart from a bleak future as an accountant. With his personality and hope for a high-tech future intact, he now lives in Canada with his wife, his cats, and a portable cast of thousands for readers to meet in future books. You can learn more about Glynn Stewart at his website,

 Facebook  ~  Twitter @glynnstewart

Interview with Glynn Stewart Interview with Glynn Stewart
Interview with Glynn Stewart Interview with Glynn Stewart
Interview with Glynn Stewart

Interview with Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft Trilogy

Please welcome Tom Doyle to The Qwillery. War and Craft, the 3rd American Craft Trilogy novel, was published on September 26th by Tor Books.

Interview with Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft Trilogy

The QwilleryWelcome back to The Qwillery. War and Craft, the 3rd and final novel in the American Craft Trilogy, was published on September 26th. What are your feelings about the Trilogy being finished?

Tom Doyle:  Thank you very much for having me back!

My go-to simile about finishing a trilogy is that it’s like sending the last kid to college: bittersweet mixed with a lot of “So now what?”

But it’s also a big victory for me, because back in 2014 when I was diagnosed with throat cancer, I thought this might not happen. But I and the book made it, and we’re both fine, thanks.

TQDescribe War and Craft in 140 characters or less.

TMD:  Lt. Scherie Rezvani faces Furies, vengeful spirit of Madeline Morton, Armageddon in Shangri-La, and the end of the world as we know it.

TQTell us something about War and Craft that is not found in the book description.

TMD:  The strange friendship between 21st century soldier Scherie Rezvani and oft-times evil 19th century ghost Madeline Morton (the smaller figure in white on the cover) is the central bond of this novel, and what these two characters are willing to do for each other is an important hinge of the plot. In a trilogy of odd couples, this may be the oddest.

TQWhat appealed to you about writing an alternate historical America?

TMD:  The original hook for me was writing a distinctly American mythos, like what L. Frank Baum did with Oz, only for adults. That mythos had to emerge from our history, literature, and folklore. I don’t think many SF/F writers have tried that--mostly, they import bits of old European folk & myth and Americanize them.

Once that was my course, I decided that I would follow the Tim Powers rule--I would strive to get all the factual historical details correct, yet I’d give an occult, cryptohistorical explanation to those facts.
The whole process was a lot of fun. I could pick out shining bits of history like a magpie and create connections with paranoid-schizophrenic abandon.

TQIn the American Craft series who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

TMD:  The easiest character was Roderick Morton, who is Madeline’s even eviler twin brother and the main villain of the trilogy. Perhaps I should have made him more difficult to write, more morally gray or nuanced, but I have a lot of those sorts of characters in my books, and I wanted one character who was self-consciously and unabashedly the bad guy. He was so easy to write because he’s usually having so much fun being evil. That’s not to say that he’s beyond reason or that we can’t relate to some of his desires. He wants an immortality that’s not also a cage, and he wants the power to defend it. He’s willing to risk the entire world for his goals, but it’s a calculated risk. Where he goes utterly beyond moral understanding is in his relations with women, and the model for those relations is his abuse of his sister, Madeline. The deep conflict between brother and sister is one of the major arcs of the trilogy.

The Puritan craftsman, Major Michael Endicott, has maintained his position as my most difficult character to write. In the earliest draft of American Craftsmen, he started as an extremely obnoxious two-dimensional foil for the main protagonist Dale Morton. But I found that the story kept on wanting a lot more from Endicott. So I rewrote him as a bit stiff and hapless, but also as a fundamentally decent person in a difficult position. Still, at the end of book 1, he had a lot of room to grow, so I made him the first-person point-of-view character for my second book, The Left-Hand Way. Lo and behold, he turned out to be a great leading character to write. I sometimes wonder if Anne Rice was as surprised by Lestat.

TQIn the American Craft series which character surprised you the most?

TMD:  Madeline Morton has replaced Endicott as the character who most surprised me. If the main character is the one who changes the most, then Madeline is the trilogy’s main character. She begins as joyfully chaotic evil, driven by a desperate yet ambivalent clinging to her centuries-long life. After Madeline’s physical death, she is unusually protective of Scherie, though she offers this protection in a manner peppered with rage, sarcasm, and mockery. As noted above, her friendship with Scherie is central to War and Craft. Madeline’s changes aren’t simple (she doesn’t become a good spirit), but they are nonetheless fundamental.

TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in the American Craft novels?

TMD:  When I started the series, I gave the books a very centrist and what I thought was a largely noncontroversial politics: that America and its institutions could unite people with disparate values in its service. That point seemed more important than my personal views on any given issue.

One of these characters united by American ideals was Scherie Rezvani, an Islamic-American daughter of Iranian immigrants. This wasn’t something I made a fuss over, because structurally this is a very old move: tales of the military heroism of American newcomers are as old as the country. But times have changed since I wrote War and Craft, and Scherie’s background is now a political statement--and one I stand by.

One other statement in War and Craft has become more political than I first intended: “no one in the West seemed to care that, in Russia, that thing from Lubyanka’s subbasement was in charge at the Kremlin.” (This thing is earlier identified as the “Tsar of Bone.”) I was making a small jab at the authoritarian regime in Russia, not realizing that soon the struggle with that regime would move much closer to home.

TQWhich question about the series do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

TMD:  I’m apparently notorious for putting Easter Eggs and other allusions into my writing, so here are a couple of particularly obscure ones that I’ve wished someone would ask about. The names of Dale’s father (Willard L. Morton) and grandfather (Benjamin Franklin Morton) are nods to two fictional characters associated with two different wars. “Willard L.” is from Captain Benjamin L. Willard, Martin Sheen’s character in Apocalypse Now, and “Benjamin Franklin” is from Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, a.k.a. “Hawkeye” from MASH.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from War and Craft.

TMD:  Instead of trying to come up with a quote from later in the story, here’s the opening hook from the prologue “Terrible Beauties Are Born”:
        “All was quiet on New Year’s Day before dawn. Near Galway, below a thatched cottage like they kept for the tourists, the quiet old man called Oz came suddenly awake in his cave, as if the lack of noise had startled his sleep. He got up from his warm cavern bed and rubbed his gray stubble, cross with the world. He hadn’t had a foreboding since the peace in the North, except for the gentle one that came to all the old and told him that he must pass on his gifts soon, lest they be lost.

No use complaining. In the dark, Oz put on his worn white Aran sweater and one of the fancy fiber macintoshes the young ones preferred. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and, every joint hurting, climbed up the ladder to his cottage home.

He stepped outside. Beyond his yard’s low wall of rounded stone, the ground was flat and exposed. There’d be no surprises today. He made a sign of the cross in the air, and walked toward the town. They’d be coming from there, rested and ready.”

TQWhat's next?

TMD:  I’m working on a novel-length extension of my edgy space opera, “Crossing Borders.” I’m also creating abridgments of my three American Craft books for possible use in Graphic Audio productions.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

TMD:  Thank you for your thoughtful questions and your support of my work.

War and Craft
American Craft 3
Tor Books, September 26, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft Trilogy
America, land of the Free…and home of the warlocks.

The Founding Fathers were never ones to pass up a good weapon. America’s first line of defense has been shrouded in secrecy, magical families who have sworn to use their power to protect our republic.

But there are those who reject America’s dream and have chosen the Left Hand Path. In this triumphant conclusion to Tom Doyle’s imaginative alternate historical America, we start with a bloody wedding-night brawl with assassins in Tokyo. Our American magical shock troops go to India, where a descendant of legendary heroes has the occult mission they’ve been waiting for.

It all comes to a head in a valley hidden high in the mountains of Kashmir. Our craftspeople will battle against their fellow countrymen, some of the vilest monsters of the Left Hand Path. It’s Armageddon in Shangri-La, and the end of the world as we know it.


American Craftsmen
American Craft 1
Tor Books, June 30, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Hardback and eBook, May 6, 2014

Interview with Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft Trilogy
Ancient magic meets SEAL Team Six-with the fate of the United States hanging in the balance-in Tom Doyle's American Craftsmen.

US Army Captain Dale Morton is a magician soldier-a "craftsman." After a black-ops mission gone wrong, Dale is cursed by a Persian sorcerer and haunted by his good and evil ancestors. Major Michael Endicott, a Puritan craftsman, finds gruesome evidence that the evil Mortons have returned, and that Dale might be one of them.

Dale uncovers treason in the Pentagon's highest covert ranks. He hunts for his enemies before they can murder him and Scherie, a new friend who knows nothing of his magic.

Endicott pursues Dale, divided between his duty to capture a rogue soldier and his desire to protect Dale from his would-be assassins. They will discover that the demonic horrors that have corrupted American magic are not bound by family or even death itself.

The Left-Hand Way
American Craft 2
Tor Books, August 11, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft Trilogy
Poe's Red Death returns, more powerful than ever. Can anyone stop him before he summons an apocalyptic nightmare even worse than himself?

In The Left-Hand Way, the second book of Tom Doyle's contemporary fantasy series, the American craftsmen are scattered like bait overseas. What starts as an ordinary liaison mission to London for Major Michael Endicott becomes a desperate chase across Europe, where Endicott is both hunted and hunter. Reluctantly joining him is his minder from MI13, Commander Grace Marlow, one of Her Majesty's most lethal magician soldiers, whose family has centuries of justified hostility to the Endicotts.

Meanwhile, in Istanbul and Tokyo, Endicott's comrades, Scherie Rezvani and Dale Morton, are caught in their own battles for survival against hired assassins and a ghost-powered doomsday machine. And in Kiev, Roderick Morton, the spider at the center of a global web, plots their destruction and his ultimate apotheosis. After centuries of imprisonment, nothing less than godlike power will satisfy Roderick, whatever the dreadful cost.

About Tom

Interview with Tom Doyle, author of the American Craft Trilogy
Tom Doyle is the author of a contemporary fantasy trilogy from Tor Books. In the first book, American Craftsmen, two modern magician-soldiers fight their way through the legacies of Poe and Hawthorne as they attempt to destroy an undying evil--and not kill each other first. In the sequel, The Left-Hand Way, the craftsmen are hunters and hunted in a global race to save humanity from a new occult threat out of America's past. In the third book, War and Craft (Sept. 2017), it's Armageddon in Shangri-La, and the end of the world as we know it.

Some of Tom’s award-winning short fiction is collected in The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories. He writes in a spooky turret in Washington, DC. You can find the text and audio of many of his stories on his website,

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @tmdoyle2

Interview with Sage Walker

Please welcome Sage Walker to The Qwillery. The Man in the Tree was published on September 12th by Tor Books.

Interview with Sage Walker

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Sage:  The first most challenging thing about writing is doing it. The second most challenging thing about writing, once I’ve fought myself into doing it, is stopping for things like, oh, food and rest.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Sage:  The biggest influence always has been and always will be the experience of reading wonderful books.

TQDescribe The Man in the Tree in 140 characters or less.

Sage:  Life inside the hollow asteroid Kybele can be heaven or hell. How that works out is up to you and me and our neighbors. Ready for that? Here we go.

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

Sage:  The food is really good and Mena’s wines are coming along nicely. In fifty years or so, they will be magnificent.

TQThe Man in the Tree is described as hard science fiction. What appeals to you about writing hard SF?

Sage:  Once upon a time I did a “scientific experiment” and wrote an opening chapter in a fantasy world. I wrote the same characters and plot in an sf setting. Hands down, my critique group voted for the sf version. I accept their wisdom, for now.

TQWhat makes a story hard SF?

Sage:  Your question sent me out on a research loop. I like Ben Bova’s definition – “stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so central to the tale that if you took out the science or technology, the story would collapse. ” MiT could have been set on one of the mythical “lost continents” that were popular after the West’s discovery of the Americas, so it doesn’t fit Bova’s definition. But it tastes like hard SF. It’s all in the flavor.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Man in the Tree?

Sage:  Generation ship stories tend to give me a “But, wait…” reaction, and I’ve read many, many variations of how they might work and how they might fail. Reading really fun stuff is sort of research, isn’t it? I find the ftl dodge a bit dodgy, and if you’re going to build a star-crosser that might have an infinitesimal change of getting somewhere, you have to deal with the possible. Thereby hangs a lot of study. Beyond the basics of distance, speed, and materials, I looked at many odd things. A partial list of them can be found here:

TQIn The Man in the Tree who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Sage:  Archer had his lines and his quirks ready before I called him on stage. He’s an amalgam of some wonderful role models and mentors I’ve had the good fortune to know.

Helt was the hardest. I’m not a guy, and I don’t have a guy’s reactions to certain things, like what Helt thinks about the morning after sex. I depended on the males in my crit group to vet some of those reactions. Let’s just say I learned a lot, and if you think I’m smiling while I’m writing this, you’re right.

TQDo Whiteout, your debut novel, and The Man in the Tree share anything thematically?

SageWhiteout and The Man in the Tree have some family continuity in that Elena, in MiT, is the grandchild of Jared in Whiteout. Both novels probably show my fascination with the ways humans modify tech and tech modifies humans.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Man in the Tree.

Sage:  “I don’t waste that head of hers on committee meetings.” Mena Kanakaredes, displaying how not to waste a human resource.

TQWhat's next?

Sage:  There are seven generations of possibilities on Kybele. When the drones come back from Nostos with some analyses of destination biology, the definition of “human” may undergo some changes. Just sayin’.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sage:  You’re welcome!

The Man in the Tree
Tor Books, September 12, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Sage Walker
Humanity’s last hope of survival lies in space…but will a random death doom the venture?

Our planet is dying and the world’s remaining nations have pooled their resources to build a seed ship that will carry colonists on a multi-generational journey to a distant planet.

Everything is set for a bright adventure…and then someone is found hanging dead just weeks before the launch. Fear and paranoia spread as the death begins to look more and more like a murder. The authorities want the case settled quickly and quietly so as not to cause panic…and to prevent a murderer from sabotaging the entire mission.

With The Man in the Tree, Locus Award-winning author Sage Walker has given us a thrilling hard science fiction mystery that explores the intersection of law, justice, and human nature.

“Rapid-fire storytelling from start to finish!”—Greg Bear

Also by Sage Walker

Tor Science Fiction, October 3, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with Sage Walker
Sage Walker's suspenseful, Locus Award-winning first novel, Whiteout, takes us to a twenty-first century Earth where government means multinational corporation.

And daily living means a struggle to survive the effects of overpopulation, poverty, pollution, and hunger.

One last hope remains: Antarctica, the only source of pristine water and food left on the planet. Antarctica is protected from human exploitation by international treaty—and that treaty’s due for renegotiation.

The people who have the talents to influence the outcome of these negotiations run Edges, a company of media manipulators. They’ve been hired by one of the corporations for whom the current situation suits them just fine, and they’d like to keep it that way. This team knows that they have the skills to make whatever they want happen. But they also know that if they succeed, they might doom the planet.

About Sage

Interview with Sage Walker
Courtesy of the Author
SAGE WALKER is the author of Whiteout, which garnered critical acclaim and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. She was born in Oklahoma and grew up steeped in simile and sultry south wind from the Gulf. She entered college as a music major and exited with a B.S. in Zoology and eventually a M.D. A long time Taos resident, her company established the first full-time Emergency Physician coverage in hospitals in Taos, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe. She stopped practicing in 1987 and describes herself as a burned-out ER doc who enjoys wilderness, solitude, good company...and telling stories.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest

Michael J. Martinez Interviews Paul Weimer!

The Qwillery is extraordinarily thrilled to welcome Michael J. Martinez and Paul Weimer to The Qwillery discussing Paul's trip Down Under! The Qwillery highly recommends Paul's DUFF Report. It is beautifully written and lushly illustrated. And now over to Michael and Paul:

Fan Down Under: Paul Weimer on his DUFF experiences

By Michael J. Martinez

The absolutely lovely humans who run the Qwillery have been early and generous supporters of my work, for which I remain grateful indeed. And yes, I have a new book out Sept. 5, MJ-12: Shadows, the second in my series of super-powered Cold War spy thrillers.

But, you know, I figure if “super-powered Cold War spy thriller” didn’t grab you, I don’t know what a guest post could do to rectify that. So instead, I’m using this space to interview prolific SF/F reviewer, podcaster and super-fan Paul Weimer about his trip to Australia and New Zealand as part of the DUFF program. Because both Paul and DUFF are super cool.

What is DUFF? The Down Under Fan Fund helps American fans head to Australia and New Zealand for science fiction and fantasy conventions, and also helps fans from Down Under head to fan conventions elsewhere in the world. Paul was the DUFF delegate for 2017, and you can read about his adventures in his DUFF Report, available here for $7, with all proceeds going to the Down Under Fan Fund.

Without further ado, here’s the interview:

You've been involved in the SF/F community for a very long time. Tell me about the book, or books, that made you take the leap from reader to fan. Barring that, was there an incident or experience of some kind instead?

The advent of the High Blog Era of the Internet is what let me get into fandom in a real way, rather than just reading quietly. In the mid 2000's, I started to write short book reviews on my then-blog. This led to me participating in an online community that SF Signal was building. That got me gigs at The Functional Nerds, SF Signal itself, and I was off to the races. Podcasting came almost hand in hand with that, when I got invited to a SF Signal episode.

You're also an avid traveler. I've often thought travel has made me a better writer. Has it made you a better reader? A better community member/fan? A better reviewer?

Yes. Looking back on a travel adventure, its framed as a narrative, a story. Its moments, tender pieces, encounters, and an overall story from start to finish. Seeing how I construct my own story of my travels helps me write and think about how fictional stories work, or don't work.

What keeps you going within the fandom community? What keeps you coming back and staying involved?

Stubborness, persistence, determination and a desire to try and do good. I can try and do good, and use my powers to help illuminate authors, books, communities. Besides, I have one of the most mundane and boring jobs out there. Fandom is a way to channel my creative energies and escape the monochrome mundanity of daily life.

How different or similar is fandom in Aus/NZ? What stands out the most there?

For New Zealand, it was its tiny and very intertwined fandom/author community. The con in Taupo got 150 to attend, which means you could drop them into a Worldcon and have difficulty finding them again. There is also a strong recognition of the native (Maori) community and what that historical perspective and narrative brings to NZ SF and fantasy.

Australian fandom felt like a thousand points of light that do not interconnect as much as they themselves might like. The size of Australia meant that a National Convention (which moves every year) is mostly just the local population, with a few infusions from elsewhere. This means that the National Convention every year is a rotating set of people, rather than a repeat of the same far flung community. This gives Australian fandom the feel of a moveable feast.

For that matter, from what you've read and experienced, what perspectives to Aussies and Kiwis bring to the genre that we're missing out on?

The Aussies and Kiwis are very cognizant of being small players in the SF world. Getting visibility outside of their two smallish worlds is something they crave, and even more to the point, even New Zealand writers want more visibility just across "the ditch" in Australia.

There is also a strong ecological perspective in Australasian SF and fantasy, because climate change, invasive species, and other ecological problems are something they live with and cannot escape. It shows in their fiction, and in their panels and discussions.

What authors from Down Under should we be reading?

Plenty, but I will name just a couple: Thoraiya Dyer's debut fantasy novel, Crossroads of Canopy provides a lush world of Gods and life in the canopy of a rainforest. Cat Sparks strongly engages ecological perspectives in her fantasy and science fiction. Readers of Epic fantasy should be reading Helen Lowe, who has been quietly (too quietly from my perspective) putting out a strong, traditional epic fantasy series, the Wall of Night series. Even for its relatively comfortable lines, Lowe features strong female characters and a world where the often overweening patriarchal crap a lot of fantasy worlds revel in is nowhere to be seen.

What U.S. authors do you think would resonate particularly well with Aussie/Kiwi readers?

Kate Elliott, because I think writing in Hawaii as she does, has helped give her a perspective on worlds and societies and a global sort of understanding that Aussies and Kiwis can resonate with. Similarly, Max Gladstone, who has spent a lot of time in Asia, a part of the world very important to Australasia, has themes and ideas that will resonate well with readers down there. Similarly in the same vein, Ken Liu's fiction, both short and epic, would be something I think they could and should eat up with a spoon.

Your report has some gorgeous photography along with it. How long have you been shooting, what drew you to it, and for the photo nerds in the crowd, what rig are you using?

I came very late to photography in my life. Oh, I had a film camera since back in the early 90's, but many of the pictures I took on my first Trip to London them were plagued with pink blobs. I had no idea what I was doing and it showed. I discarded photography as a hobby worth doing for years.

Although I lost the roll and never developed the pictures, my last full day in Orange County, in 2003 was the next major attempt at trying photography again. I tried to document my trip to San Juan Capistrano, and started to feel what I had felt, and denied back on that London trip a decade earlier--that taking photographs of places, of adventures, was something I liked.

I got a digicam not long after arriving in Minnesota, ahead of a camping trip with my friends the Olsons. I thought taking some photos of our trip to Yellowstone might be fun. We went in 2005. Boy was I right. My first attempt at photography on a vacation turned out wonderfully, especially since I had a "big sister" in my friend Felicia, who had a DSLR and was not afraid to use it. I started practicing and learning more after that trip with my digicam, exploring Minnesota with my friends and on my own.

A second camping trip in 2007 to the Canadian Rockies was the clincher. Plenty of waterfalls and mountains convinced me that, yes, I liked this photography thing, especially a travel photography thing, and I wanted to capture better images. I bought a DSLR not long after that trip.

I currently shoot with a Canon 7D. My usual lens of choice is a 24mm Prime lens, although the "beast" of a 100mm macro lens got to see some good use on my DUFF trip.

Finally, waterfalls. What is it about shooting waterfalls?

Why waterfalls? First and foremost, the sound of rushing water makes them an appealing place to be around. I love visiting waterfalls because of the peace and balm they bring to me.

But why photograph them while I am at it?

Because waterfalls are in that space of being static and dynamic, remaining in place and yet ever changing, moment by moment, season by season. I can visit a waterfall in different seasons, different years, and due to the flow, the foliage, time of day, lighting and more, get an infinite variety of shots from the same cascade.

And if that wasn't enough, the sheer variety of waterfalls, from huge curtain ones to thin ones that plunge into a punchbowl means that a new-to-me waterfall will always have something I've not quite seen before.

Again, I urge you to buy Paul’s report and give it a read. It’s a very cool travelogue, has some great photos, and will make you want to book a trip post-haste. And the money is going to the Down Under Fan Fund to keep fans around the world connected.

Michael J. Martinez Interviews Paul Weimer!
About Paul

Paul Weimer is a SF writer, reviewer, and podcaster and an avid amateur photographer. When he isn’t doing any of that, he’s often found rolling dice and roleplaying. His audio work can be found on the Skiffy and Fanty Show and SFF audio. His reviews and columns can also be found at and the Barnes and Noble SF/F blog, amongst other places. Paul is best seen on Twitter as @princejvstin.

Michael J. Martinez Interviews Paul Weimer!
About Michael

Michael J. Martinez is the author of five novels, including the Daedalus trilogy of Napoleonic era space opera adventures and the MAJESTIC-12 series of spy-fi thrillers. His short fiction has appeared in Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Unidentified Funny Objects 4, Geeky Giving and Endless Ages: Vampire. He's a proud member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. You can find him online at or on Twitter at @mikemartinez72.

Michael's latest novel:

Michael J. Martinez Interviews Paul Weimer!
MJ-12: Shadows
A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 2
Night Shade Books, September 5, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

It’s 1949, and the Cold War is heating up across the world. For the United States, the key to winning might be Variants—once ordinary US citizens, now imbued with strange paranormal abilities and corralled into covert service by the government’s top secret MAJESTIC-12 program.

Some Variants are testing the murky international waters in Syria, while others are back at home, fighting to stay ahead of a political power struggle in Washington. And back at Area 51, the operation’s headquarters, the next wave of recruits is anxiously awaiting their first mission. All the while, dangerous figures flit among the shadows and it’s unclear whether they are threatening to expose the Variants for what they are . . . or to completely destroy them. Are they working for the Soviet Union, or something far worse?

Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One

Please welcome Alec Worley to The Qwillery. Judge Anderson: Year One was published on June 13th by Abaddon.

Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One

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

Alec:  I starting writing proper stories outside of school when I was around nine/ten maybe. Loads of Fighting Fantasy-type gamebooks with loads of gore. I was pleased to find out later in life that the headmistress put on a watch-list in secondary school for this crazy-sick horror story that I wrote for an English assignment. I also wrote stories to entertain my friends. My best mate would call me up of an evening to ask if I could write him something full of barbarians and swordfights. Good practice for a freelance career. As to why, I’ve always been into genre stories – horror, fantasy, sci-fi – and just wanted to be part of that world.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Alec:  Definitely a plotter. At this stage in my experience, at least, I have to work from tightly planned breakdowns. I have to know what’s driving a scene in terms of stakes, what the characters want, how much they know, what are the limitations of any fantasy mechanics at work in the scene (a big one this). Knowing all this stuff helps minimise mistakes in a first draft or at least help define what doesn’t work. I’ll then break down the breakdown scene by scene into smaller ‘draft zero’ type scene plans. Weirdly, establishing the beats of the scenes like this gives me the freedom to be spontaneous when actually writing, and suddenly the characters are coming alive in your hands and doing things you never expected.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Alec:  Ha! All of it. I’ve only just learned how to endure first drafts and to ‘fail early, fail fast’ as Pixar’s Andrew Stanton puts it. But overall, it’s the time it all takes. Unlike comics, which work on a strict page count, prose is much more the wild west. Every time I get a commission, I’m petrified I’ll miss the deadline as my word counts just keep rising and rising and rising. You end up feeling like you’re drowning. It’s horrible. I’m currently teaching myself to just focus on the time I’ve got and fill the hours with solid work.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does writing comics affect your prose writing?

Alec:  I love stories and storytelling, all the twists and turns and catharsis that melodrama can afford. Maybe that’s at odds with the fact that I also love really ornate, poetic prose like Mervyn Peake and Angela Carter. Carter just blew my mind when I was a teenager. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could write like that. It was like this beautiful alien language. Movies and TV were my first love as a kid, and I studied that form under my own steam so I guess I’ve got a decent sense of how to tell a story visually. Whether I’m writing prose or a comic, it always feels like I’m shooting a movie I can see in my head.

TQDescribe Judge Anderson: Year One in 140 characters or less.

Alec:  It’s a collection of three interlinked novellas covering Anderson’s traumatic first year on the street as a Psi-Judge.

TQTell us something about Judge Anderson: Year One that is not found in the book description.

Alec:  It was the toughest thing I’ve ever written, but I’m ridiculously proud of it.

TQWhat appeals to you about writing in the Judge Dredd world?

Alec:  Mega-City One is incredibly versatile. It’s like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld in that you can utilise it to tell pretty much any kind of story or explore any kind of idea. Anderson’s my favourite character in the Dreddverse and I was fascinated about what the world would look like seen through the eyes of a psychic cop, as well as an indomitable optimist and part of this terrible fascistic machine that is the Justice Department

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Judge Anderson: Year One?

Alec:  Tons! I did a lot of research into neuroscience and psychology to begin with, just to get a handle on exactly how Anderson perceives other peoples’ thoughts via telepathy. The first story (or first act), Heartbreaker, is about a killer stalking a futuristic dating site. The whole idea came about from my reading an article about a woman’s hellish experience of online dating. So I did lots of research into dating sites and the psychology behind them all, how they’ve affected our view of romance, sex and relationships, all the cultural politics behind that.

I also did lots of practical research into things like police tactics, guns, etc. I’ve got a friend (the same best mate who used to ask me to write barbarian stories for him) who’s a martial artist. He went through all the fight scenes for me. The second story, The Abyss, is set in a high-security psychiatric facility, which I based on Broadmoor Hospital. I did some writing exercises based my going through a book of homicide photos and used that as a basis for the prisoners’ streams-of-consciousness, which Anderson taps into at one point. That was a fun afternoon! Also, Anderson herself is suffering from depression and PTSD, so I dug into a lot of stuff there.

I do a lot of research into themes as well as nuts-and-bolts practical stuff. The Abyss was about the difference between justice and revenge, while the third story, A Dream of the Nevertime, was about the modern obsession with social justice, how that can be fetishized and become as destructive as the very thing it opposes, but also how to find the right balance, and so on. I think these things become more complex and ambiguous the deeper you dig into them. It’s good to explore other peoples’ ideas on different subjects too, as it broadens your own understanding, and allows you to explore things from every angle. But having done all that work, you then have to bury it all and dramatize it within the action. Preaching your opinions at the reader is polemics not storytelling.

TQIn Judge Anderson: Year One who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Alec:  I honestly can’t say anyone was easy to write! I have a tendency to overcomplicate. In this case, I may have over-explored everyone’s pathology in my own mind, and gotten carried away in terms of shading in all the characters, which makes the dramatic actions-reactions between them all the more interesting and unexpected, but also makes them that much harder to write.

Anderson herself, hands-down, is the toughest to write. As a psychic, she’s Kryptonite to drama. So in terms of plotting the story, I had to do a lot of juggling, as well as being very clear in my own mind about what was motivating her in every scene and how much she knew at any given time. It’s hard to keep a character like that conflicted rather than just have her solve her problems straight away. It doesn’t help that her sidearm carries several different types of bullets (explosive, heat-seeking, armour-piercing, etc) and she’s a star-pupil with Mossad-level training. So many times, I’d get to a point in the story and go, ‘Waaaaaaaait a second. What’s stopping her from just busting this guy straight away?’ A nightmare.

TQWhich question about Judge Anderson: Year One do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Alec:  I wish someone would ask, ‘What can I get out of this that I can’t get out of the comics?’ And I’d answer, ‘There’s only so far you can go in a five-page 2000 AD strip in terms of exploring character. Prose allows us to go on a kick-ass action-adventure, but also go deeper into Anderson’s character than we’ve ever been before.’

TQGive us one or two of your favourite non-spoilery quotes from Judge Anderson: Year One.

Alec:  “Anderson let him go.” [Writing that bit just about broke my heart.]

TQWhat's next?

Alec:  I’ve just finished another couple of Anderson comics (based on the 2012 Dredd movie), which are collected up in the graphic novel Dredd / Anderson: The Deep End (out 13 July). I’ve also got a few Dredd stories in the Dredd: The Cape and Cowl Crimes collection (out now). I’m doing another Star Wars project for Panini Germany, as well as more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics for Panini UK and more Warhammer shorts for Black Library. Other than these, everything I’m working on right now is either hush-hush or at the pitch stage.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Alec:  And thank you!

Judge Anderson: Year One
Abaddon, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One
The untold story behind Mega-City One's most famous telepath and Judge Dredd partner, Judge Anderson, in her first year on the job!

Mega-City One, 2100.  Cassandra Anderson is destined to become Psi-Division’s most famous Judge, foiling supernatural threats and policing Mega-City One’s hearts and souls. For now, she’s fresh out of Academy and Psi-Div themselves are still finding their feet.

Heartbreaker: After a string of apparently random, deadly assaults by customers at a dating agency, Anderson is convinced a telepathic killer is to blame. Putting her career on the line, the newly-trained Psi-Judge goes undercover to bring the romance-hating murderer to justice, with the big Valentine’s Day parade coming up...

The Abyss: Sent to interrogate Moriah Blake, leader of the notorious terror group ‘Bedlam,’ Anderson gets just one snippet of information – Bedlam’s planning on detonating a huge bomb – before Blake’s followers take over the Block. It’s a race against time, and Anderson’s on her own amongst the inmates...

A Dream of the Nevertime: Anderson – a rookie no more, with a year on the streets under her belt – contracts what appears to be a deadly psychic virus, and must explore the weirdest reaches of the Cursed Earth in search of a cure. She must face mutants, mystics and all the strangeness the land can throw at her as she wrestles weird forces...

About Alec

Interview with Alec Worley, author of Judge Anderson: Year One
Alec Worley was a projectionist and a film critic before writing short Future Shock strips for 2000 AD and creating two original series: werewolf apocalypse saga Age of the Wolf (with Jon Davis-Hunt) and ‘spookpunk’ adventure comedy Dandridge (with Warren Pleece). He writes the Teenage Muttant Ninja Turtles comics for Panini in the UK and has also written Judge Dredd, Robo-Hunter, Tharg’s 3rillers and Tales From The Black Museum and Realm of the Damned. This is his debut prose novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @alec_worley

Interview with Yoon Ha Lee

Please welcome Yoon Ha Lee to The Qwillery. Raven Stratagem (Machineries Of Empire Trilogy 2) is published today by Solaris Books.

Interview with Yoon Ha Lee

TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, Raven Stratagem (Machineries Of Empire Trilogy 2), is published on June 13th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote Ninefox Gambit (Machineries Of Empire Trilogy 1) to Raven Stratagem?

YHL:  Hello, and thanks for having me! The writing process was mostly the same! In both cases I started with a longhand rough draft written with fountain pen, although with Ninefox I just wrote in notebooks, while in Raven Stratagem, because it has three main POV characters, I color-coded the characters' chapters using pastel Clairefontaine paper in a binder. I also color-coordinated the fountain pen inks (pink paper and red ink for Shuos Mikodez because red is one of the Shuos colors, for example). It's ridiculous, but it made the structure of the book easier to see at a glance, and it appealed to my sense of frivolity. I took later drafts into Scrivener for ease of editing and revisions, and ran them by multiple beta readers, then did more revisions. For revisions, I would write quick summaries of each chapter on index cards along with the POV, and rearrange the index cards so I could quickly reshuffle my plot--especially useful when I had to add some chapters to Raven Stratagem and needed to reorganize the novel so that the midpoint event once again fell at the actual midpoint of the wordcount.

TQNinefox Gambit has been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke, Hugo and Nebula Awards. How does that affect your writing if at all?

YHL:  Well, it made me more of a nervous wreck for a while there, simply because it was so overwhelming! But honestly, while I'm honored for my book to be considered, it doesn't change the day-to-day work of writing. The words still have to get down on the page (or in the computer). Congratulations to all the Nebula winners, by the way!

TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when Ninefox Gambit came out that you know now?

YHL:  Mostly that the book publishing process takes months to years! I remember having one short story get published by a webzine literally weeks after I sold it. I'm pretty sure you can't do that with print books. It's more like what I imagine running a marathon would be like (if I could run marathons). You have to be in it for the long haul and keep sight of far-off goals.

TQWhat method or methods do you use to keep track of the characters and events in the Machineries of Empire Trilogy?

YHL:  I realized pretty rapidly that I was going to need a continuity bible. Mine is a 40,000-word Scrivener file that I...really should update more often, because it's outdated again, and from time to time I export dated copies in mobi format so I can put it on my Kindle for easy reference. For events, I have a timeline. It's hilarious, because I hate keeping track of dates, but given how obsessed the hexarchate is with numbers and dates, it was impossible not to.

For major characters, I do full write-ups on their personalities, quirks, notable traits, physical appearances, and so on. I also stat them up as if they were overpowered roleplaying game characters, with the caveat that since they're book characters they don't need to adhere to some notion of "game balance." And for some of the major characters I also write up their opinions of the other characters, which may or may not have much basis in reality, since characters have their own biases and misconceptions.

TQ Tell us something about Raven Stratagem that is not in the book description.

YHL:  Partway through the book, you'll get some more backstory on Shuos Jedao and Nirai Kujen and their entirely unhealthy alliance! This includes some things that Jedao himself isn't currently aware of.

TQ Please tell us about the cover for Raven Stratagem.

YHL:  The art is by Chris Moore, who also did the cover art for Ninefox, and it depicts one of the space stations in Raven Stratagem, the Fortress of Spinshot Coins. I think the starships are supposed to evoke ravens based on the title, which I thought was an especially nice touch. I'm thrilled by Moore's covers (I have seen previews of the one for Revenant Gun, which is the third book) and they're all gorgeous, but I have to admit that Raven Stratagem's is my favorite!

TQWhich character in the Machineries of Empire Trilogy (so far) has surprised you the most?

YHL:  I think Hexarch Nirai Kujen. Originally I'd written Ninefox Gambit as a standalone, and Kujen was a very minor character. He ended up becoming much more important than I'd intended. His personality also changed significantly, partly as a consequence of feedback from my sister and my husband regarding the very first draft of Ninefox, in which Jedao was an out-and-out sociopath. I mean, he's still not a particularly nice or good human being, but my sister and husband felt that having Cheris be overshadowed and bullied by someone so palpably evil would make the book too unpleasant for anyone to actually read. So I dialed Jedao back and redid his personality and motivations. But of course, I guess there's a conservation of sociopathy going on, so that Kujen, who was originally a cowardly mad scientist who pursued immortality because he was terrified to die, ended up as a sociopath in revisions. Sorry...? I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the third book to get much more background on him, although there's some more material on him in Raven Stratagem.

TQThe Machineries of Empire Trilogy is Space Opera. What do you think is the appeal of Space Opera?

YHL:  Well, I don't know about anyone else, but for me it's two parts Big Space Battles to one part not having to sweat the fine details of actual physics. Certainly there are space operas that adhere more strictly to known physics and engineering, but there's a whole spectrum of this stuff from technology as essentially magic (which is where Machineries falls) to harder sf, so there's something for everyone. I like physics fine and sometimes read hard sf for fun, but sometimes I don't want to sweat Lorentzian contractions or be bothered about how the FTL system makes no sense. (They rarely do, in my experience...)

The other thing I think might be particularly appealing about space opera is its romantic nature, not in the sense of kissing scenes but larger-than-life plots and personalities. I hear that in history two opposing approaches to understanding events are Big Personalities vs. Massed Social Forces. I think there's value to both approaches (I say, despite not being a historian), but space opera very definitely tends toward Big Personalities, which can be appealing as a fantasy of agency.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Raven Stratagem.


          “Look at the insignia,” the man said. “That’s some kind of officer, isn’t it?”
          Whoever the medics were, they clearly weren’t Kel.
          “That’s a lieutenant colonel, you dimwit.” The owner of the first voice sounded like they wished their companion were something smarter, like a slime mold.

TQWhat's next?

YHL:  I'm currently working on a Korean mythology space opera for middle grade readers called Dragon Pearl for Disney-Hyperion. The heroine is a shapeshifting fox spirit girl searching for her brother, who allegedly deserted from the Space Forces while hunting for the Dragon Pearl of the title--an artifact that can terraform worlds. As you can imagine, considering that this whole thing is set in space, I'm playing fast and loose with the source folklore and not sweating authenticity too much.

After that, I'll be working on a collection of hexarchate short stories called, appropriately, Hexarchate Stories. Half the material will be reprints of extant hexarchate material, and half of it will be new to the collection. And after that, who knows?

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

YHL:  Thank you for having me!

Raven Stratagem
The Machineries of Empire 2
Solaris, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Yoon Ha Lee
Captain Kel Cheris is possessed by a long-dead traitor general. Together they must face the rivalries of the hexarchate and a potentially devastating invasion.

When the hexarchate's gifted young captain Kel Cheris summoned the ghost of the long-dead General Shuos Jedao to help her put down a rebellion, she didn't reckon on his breaking free of centuries of imprisonment – and possessing her.

Even worse, the enemy Hafn are invading, and Jedao takes over General Kel Khiruev's fleet, which was tasked with stopping them. Only one of Khiruev's subordinates, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, seems to be able to resist the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao.


Ninefox Gambit
The Machineries of Empire 1
Solaris Books, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Yoon Ha Lee
To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics.  Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics.  Cheris's career isn't the only thing at stake.  If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris's best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own.  As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao--because she might be his next victim.

About Yoon Ha Lee

Interview with Yoon Ha Lee
Yoon Ha Lee's first novel, NINEFOX GAMBIT, came out in 2016 from Solaris Books and was shortlisted for the Nebula, Hugo, and Clarke awards. Its sequel, RAVEN STRATAGEM, is forthcoming in June 2017. He lives in Louisiana with his family and an extremely lazy cat, and has not yet been eaten by gators.

Website  ~  Twitter @motomaratai

Yoon Ha Lee has written guides to the factions of the hexarchate in his faction blogs at Solaris Books:








Interview with Craig Comer

Please welcome Craig Comer to The Qwillery. The Laird of Duncairn was published on May 2nd by City Owl Press.

Interview with Craig Comer

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

Craig:  Hello! In retrospect, I’ve always been writing. As a kid, I used to create stories and try to plot out longer works. I drew maps and dreamed up other worlds. At one point, I had a binder full of characters and story ideas. But I never tried to do anything professional until after college. I wrote a story. It got published online, and it clicked that I wanted to write and publish more. It was kind of a headshaking epiphany because I’d been creating stories for so long, I just hadn’t realized it.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Craig:  More of a plotter, but I’m definitely trying out different techniques. I think that’s important at the start—to try different approaches to writing in order to hone in on your author’s voice. My first novel is pantsed, and it’s sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Its structure doesn’t work at all. For The Laird of Duncairn, I focused on plotting what the big power players would do so that I could see how Effie’s actions impacted them. She’s a small fish in a big sea, so I needed to know everyone’s end-game first, then set her loose among them.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Craig:  A common one, I think—finding the time to do it. I sit at a computer for my day job, so wanting to spend more hours of the day fixed at a keyboard isn’t always appealing. But the stories keep coming, and I have to write them down somewhere!

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Craig:  I love to travel. We did a ton of road trips as a kid, and I was always reading or staring out the window taking in everything. I travel with my wife now, and we love to cook up stories for the places we’re visiting. The people around us probably think we’re a bit looney, hearing our discussions—types of poisons, why a non-existent mill burned down, why someone’s lover needs to be a bit older. You know, common conversation topics while sitting in a café or hiking a trail.

TQDescribe The Laird of Duncairn in 140 characters or less.

Craig:  An orphaned fey rallies those who revile her against an auld enemy as the battle over the FEY MATTER ravages the Highlands.

TQTell us something about The Laird of Duncairn that is not found in the book description.

Craig:  Though the book is only loosely historical—the setting is very much my imagining of Victorian Scotland rather than to-the-button accurate—I do have a few historical figures making appearances. And I left them as Easter eggs rather than letting them call attention to themselves. I thought it more fun that way, and it doesn’t alter the story in any way if you don’t catch them.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Laird of Duncairn? Why did you set the novel in Scotland?

Craig:  Like all my great ideas, it started with my wife. I’d written several fantasy short stories in imagined worlds, and she suggested I try writing in a place I knew well. I’d studied history in Scotland and lived there for a year, and fleshing out that setting came at a time when I’d thought of the Effie character. The two blended, and the tale started there. It was fun plopping her into the same pubs and castles I frequented while as a student, only set a hundred years earlier.

TQThe Laird of Duncairn is described as a gaslamp fantasy. What is a 'gaslamp fantasy'?

Craig:  To paraphrase Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the Eterna Files, gaslamp uses the same 19th century aesthetic as steampunk but uses fantasy elements in place of science fiction. It has ghosts, fairies, and magic systems rather than clockwork devices, gadgets, and mad scientists.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Laird of Duncairn?

Craig:  Beyond brushing up on Scottish history, I really focused on researching a mythology that wasn’t just a retelling of the Irish fairy courts. Scottish mythology is a hybrid of the Celtic and the Norse, and I found the tales from the Orkney and Shetland islands fascinating and fresh. So I used those where I could and plan to use more in the future.

TQIn The Laird of Duncairn who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Craig:  Edmond Glover, because he’s a buffoon. Everyone else has a lot more substance; Glover is blindly driven by his own obsessions. I hope that doesn’t say too much about me. :) The hardest was Effie because of the need to balance her personal growth with her need to serve the story.

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

CraigHow many dresses does Effie ruin during the book? The answer is just 4, I think, but it might feel like more. Her curiosity gets her into a lot mischief, and those dresses weren’t exactly designed for crawling through caves or crashing through trees!

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


“The fey will do anything to protect their substance. Unfortunately, the queen has more men and more bullets.”

Effie smiled, but her tone held sorrow in it. “I spent my childhood hunted by the queen’s minions, casting about for a home and a family. To be called a romantic is to admit I am part of a dying race.”

TQWhat's next?

Craig:  I’ve finished the rough draft of book II of the Fey Matter series and am about to start editing and revising it. I hope to have it out by the start of next year, and then a third book shortly after that. I’ve also started plotting out a contemporary mystery series set in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. I want it to have the feel of The Dresden Files meets Midsomer Murders.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Craig:  Thank you for hosting me! These were fun questions!

The Laird of Duncairn
A Fey Matter Novel 1
City Owl Press, May 2, 2017
    Trade Paperback, 344 pages
City Owl Press, May 16, 2017
    eBook,3 44 pages

Interview with Craig Comer
The year is 1882 Scotland, and the auld alliance betwixt king and fey has long been forgotten. Men of science, backed by barons of industry, push the boundaries of technology. When Sir Walter Conrad discovers a new energy source, one that could topple nations and revolutionize society, the race to dominate its ownership begins. But the excavation and use of this energy source will have dire consequences for both humans and fey. For an ancient enemy stirs, awakened by Sir Walter’s discovery.

Outcast half-fey Effie of Glen Coe is the Empire’s only hope at averting the oncoming disaster. Effie finds herself embroiled in the conflict, investigating the eldritch evil spreading throughout the Highlands. As she struggles against the greed of mighty lords and to escape the clutches of the queen’s minions, her comfortable world is shattered. Racing to thwart the growing menace, she realizes the only thing that can save them all is a truce no one wants.

About Craig

Interview with Craig Comer
Craig Comer is the author of the gaslamp fantasy novel THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN and co-author of the mosaic fantasy novel THE ROADS TO BALDAIRN MOTTE. His shorter works have appeared in several anthologies, including BARDIC TALES AND SAGE ADVICE and PULP EMPIRE VOLUME IV. Craig earned a Master’s Degree in Writing from the University of Southern California. He enjoys tramping across countries in his spare time, preferably those strewn with pubs and castles.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @CraigComer

Interview with Weston Ochse

Please welcome Weston Ochse to The Qwillery. Grunt Hero, the 3rd and final Task Force Ombra Novel, was published on April 25th by Solaris.

Interview with Weston Ochse

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

Weston:  Hi, Sally. I began writing when I turned 30. Scratch that. I actually began writing when I was 8, but that story was pulled from circulation by the school and I didn’t write for another 22 years.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Weston:  I’m a hybrid. I plot enough,t hen I pants it. I love it when a character surprises me. When they do, I know I have something special. I’m not sure that if I was a pure plotter if that would happen.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Weston:  Facebook.

TQDescribe Grunt Hero in 140 characters or less.

Weston:  Humanity fought the war and lost. Aliens now have the run of our Earth. When all hope is gone, all that’s left is to seek revenge.

TQGrunt Hero is the conclusion to your Task Force Ombra series. What are your feelings on wrapping up the series?

Weston:  I’d call this a trilogy, not a series. When I wrote the SEAL Team 666 books, I thought I was writing a trilogy, but it ended up being a series. What’s the difference? A trilogy is an enclosed literary environment where something special happens. A series is books that follow one after the other that don’t necessarily have a relation to the others except for characters and setting. Like the James Bond books. That was a series. I took what I learned about failing to write a trilogy with the SEAL Team 666 books and impressed them into the writing of the Grunt Trilogy. What are my feelings, you ask? I’m happy that I actually created a solid trilogy. I am sort of saddened to let Ben Mason go, though. He was a hell of a grunt.

TQTell us something about Grunt Hero that is not found in the book description.

Weston:  It has walruses.

TQWhat inspired you to write the Task Force Ombra series? What appeals to you about writing Military SF?

Weston:  I’ve spent 35 years in the military. They say write what you know. I’ve written thirty books and six out of the last seven books I wrote were military fiction. It’s appealing to my sensibilities right now to write military sf. I think there’s some really terrific writing out there, but not a lot by people who have been street level with a terrorist. There are feelings one has when they are in harm’s way that no amount of research can get you. In fact, I wrote Grunt Life while I was in Afghanistan and brought into it some of the feelings of mortality I was having then.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Grunt Hero and the series?

Weston:  I did a lot of research so I could get the Gun Porn right. Then there was science. I had a science guy who kept me straight. I’d ask him if I could do something, then when he’d stop laughing, he’d tell me what I could really do. I wanted the science behind everything to be as real as possible.

TQIn the Task Force Ombra series who was the easiest character to write and why? Which character surprised you?

Weston:  Ben Mason was the easiest to write for me, because he was essentially me. I included many biographical elements into that character. Michelle became the hardest to write, mainly because of what I did to her.

TQWhat's next?

Weston:  I wrote and turned in Burning Sky for Solaris, which is a military horror novel set in Afghanistan. I’m working on the sequel to that, Dead Sky and I’m also working on a few other books. I had a big short story year this last year. I worked on the franchises of Hellboy, X-Files, Joe Ledger, Aliens and Predator. The Hellboy and Predator stories have yet to be published. This fall I’m working with DC Comics on a project. I’m super stoked about that.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Weston:  No. Thank you!

Grunt Hero
A Task Force Ombra Novel 3
Solaris, April 25, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Weston Ochse
It is a time for heroes, for killers, for Grunts.

In this thrilling conclusion to the breakout military SF series, we find Earth plagued with millions of miles of terraformed cities, black vines crushing concrete, revealing iron and steel. Those unable to escape the vines are empty vessels waiting to be filled, living storage for alien algorythmic thought. What else can happen? What more can be done? This has always been a time for for heroes, for Killers, for Grunts, but are they enough?

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked to return to OMBRA to help them find these answers, and what he finds will send him over the edge. In the end, his efforts won't be about survival, they'll be about revenge, and his revenge will be served in a blaze.


Grunt Life
A Task Force Ombra Novel 1
Solaris, April 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Weston Ochse
This is a brand new Military SF series from Weston Ochse, an experienced military man and author.

Benjamin Carter Mason died last night. Maybe he threw himself off a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, or maybe he burned to death in a house fire in San Pedro; it doesn’t really matter. Today, Mason’s starting a new life. He’s back in boot camp, training for the only war left that matters a damn.

For years, their spies have been coming to Earth, mapping our cities, learning our weaknesses, leaving tragedy in their wake. Our governments knew, but they did nothing—the prospect was too awful, the costs too high—and now, the horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading, laying waste to our cities. The human race is a heartbeat away from extinction.

That is, unless Mason, and the other men and women of Task Force OMBRA, can do anything about it.

This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts

Grunt Traitor
A Task Force Ombra Novel 2
Solaris, July 28, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Interview with Weston Ochse
The breakout military SF series continues!

Their spies were among us for years. They mapped our electrical infrastructure, learned our weaknesses, until finally they flipped the switch and threw us back into the Dark Ages.

Only OMBRA and its battalions around the world seem capable of defending Earth from the next wave of attack—terraforming. But at what price can we gain our freedom from these yet to be identified aliens? They're pushing the human race to the edge of extinction if we can't find a way to change things. But what will we have to change? What will we humans become to survive this threat. This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked this question over and over as he dives deep into the nasty heart of an alien transformed Los Angeles. And in the end, he might be the last person on Earth defending not just our lives, but our humanity. 

About Weston

Interview with Weston Ochse
Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, border crossers, narco-bad guys, and human smuggling punks. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war.

Follow Wes on Twitter, and for more information visit the official Weston Ochse website.

Interview with G.S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes Novels

Please welcome G.S. Denning back to The Qwillery. The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles (Warlock Holmes 2) was published on May 16th by Titan Books.

Interview with G.S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes Novels

TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles (Warlock Holmes 2), was published on May 16th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote A Study in Brimstone (2016) to The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles?

G.S.:  Well, I’m still stealing time at nights and weekends. Still running off to friendly restaurants who will bring me diet cokes for 3 hours while I write and write. The biggest change is that I have the fan feedback from book 1. Now I can hear what my readers value about the series and include more of that. For example, I had no idea how much people would like Grogsson and Lestrade. I had to sneak a whole Grogsson-centric story into Hell-hound when I realized how much people wanted him and how little I had. (Oh, that’s The Adventure of the Solitary Tricyclist, by the way.)

TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when A Study in Brimstone came out that you know now?

G.S.:  The podcast “Writing Excuses” taught me a lot. Traditional publishing is slow. Be ready, fellow authors. Nothing happens quickly except deadlines.

Yet, I’ve learned to be exceedingly grateful that I went the traditional publishing route. I can go see my books, in book-stores and I didn’t have to drive them there and brow-beat the proprietors into carrying them. There’s an audiobook version and I didn’t have to call all the audio companies and beg. As much as people complain about how slow traditional publishing is and how small the per-book percentage that goes to the author, I know perfectly well that I could never, never, never have gotten Warlock this far on my own. Thanks to the whole team!

TQTell us something about The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles that is not found in the book description.

G.S.:  Part of it was a writing challenge to myself: write an origin story where the reader doesn’t realize they’re reading one. The book hasn’t been out long enough for me to find out if I’m really blindsiding people or they’re seeing through me. Time will tell.

TQWhich character in the Warlock Holmes series (so far) surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

G.S.:  John Watson surprised me most. As I conceived this series, it was centered around the arcane wellspring that was Holmes. In a way, it still is. Yet every adventure is narrated by John. He filters all the wonder through this veneer of normalcy. He’s the everyman character—he’s an extension of how the reader would feel if they were thrust into a world of monsters. I’m surprised by how much of this story has become about John and what he thinks and feels as the story swirls on.

As far as the hardest: the women. Most geek-readers, most Holmes fans and the bulk of my fan-base are women. But the original stories are from another age. Women are rarely important in the original stories—victims seeking protection, for the most part. Of course, there’s Irene Adler, who bests Holmes, but she is in only one of the 60 stories. I’m trying to build female characters we can relate to and root for. Read the descriptions of Violet Smith in book 2 and Violet Hunter in book 3 and you’ll see how much I’m trying to build in cos-play opportunity and (especially in Hunter’s case) fan-fic launch points.

TQWhat do you think is the ongoing appeal of stories. etc. based on Sherlock Holmes?

G.S.:  Oh man, there’s a bunch. We love the odd-couple friendship of Holmes and Watson—how this super-powered individual needs a tie to normalcy (and that’s true of Warlock and Sherlock in equal measure). We love the pace of the stories and the chance to guess along and match our wits against the greatest detective. We love the language and the exotic-yet-familiar feel of Victorian London. We love the cloying promise that adventure and wonder hide in this everyday doldrum we inhabit. Some of us just like John’s moustache. As much as people can talk about how dated and out-of-touch the stories are, there’s a reason these things have stayed in print in over 150 countries and 125 years.

TQSherlock Holmes has appeared in 60 stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. How do you pick which stories to use?

G.S.:  The horrifying-yet-wonderful thing is: if these books keep doing as well as they are now, I’ll eventually have to use all 60. I’m pacing myself so I don’t use all 4 novels too early (right now, book 3 hasn’t got one). I’ve been trying to start strong by using recognizable favorites like Study in Scarlet, Hound of the Baskervilles and Speckled Band. I chose Baskervilles as the second story I ever wrote, because –duh- there’s a hell-hound in it. There was really no challenge introducing a supernatural element in to that particular story. Then again, I’m saving The Sussex Vampire, for the same reason.

The real hard part is creating an overall arch for the stories—the tale of how Moriarty came back to power from near-ruin and tricked Holmes and Watson into destroying the world. Readers have been very patient with me in book 1 and 2, where the Moriarty element is more in the background. Spoiler-alert: he comes to the fore in book 3.

TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles.


“No murder! Bad Horse! If you make a habit of it, I shall be cross with you!” –Warlock Holmes to Silver Blaze.

“In a proof that small words can have great import, I am holding a copy of Two Gentlemen In Verona. By this author’s interpretation, Verona is a down-on-her luck servant girl who finds herself sandwiched—quite literally—between the affections of a country squire and a poor groom.” –John Watson presenting an inappropriate gift to Mrs. Hudson.

“Aaaaaaaaaaiiieeah! Tears and wreck and wrack and ruin! The black one has returned! Prince of tatters! Prince of ash!” –Fasoul the Turk to… well… actually not Moriarty, but the person standing beside him.

“You cannot assume an animal’s behavior, based entirely on its breed.” –Warlock Holmes’s questionable advice on pre-judging hell-hounds.

TQWhat's next?

G.S.:  Book 3—My Grave Ritual—is underway and will be released May 15, 2018. It features the return of Moriarty to Holmes and Watson’s world and the growing sense that if Watson keeps meddling in the world of monsters and gods, he’s certain to die. There’s *ahem* a bit more romance, as well.

I’m realizing it would take between 8 and 9 books to finish the entire Holmes canon and I’m planning out my long-game. The Chekhov’s guns for both Holmes and Moriarty are already in place, but there’s a lot of maneuvering to be done before the final confrontation.

We’ve had two nibbles already for adapting Warlock to the big-or-small screen. Nothing really in the works yet, but I’d love to see my Holmes and Watson take their place amongst the other filmed adaptations and I’m doing my best to keep the writing screen-friendly.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

G.S.:  Are you kidding? Thanks for having me back. All authors ever want to do is drone on and on about their work and you’ve provided us with exactly that chance. You’re like super-heroes and therapists, all rolled into one.

The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles
Warlock Holmes 2
Titan Books, May 16, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with G.S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes Novels
The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.


A Study in Brimstone
Warlock Holmes 1
Titan Books, May 17, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with G.S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes Novels
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

About G.S. Denning

Interview with G.S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes Novels
G.S. Denning is an author, improv comic, and speaker. ​

Before publishing Warlock Holmes, G.S. performed improv comedy for 20 years with Seattle Theatersports and Jet City Improv in Seattle, and SAC Comedy in Florida. He was a writer/performer for live shows at Disney's Epcot Center, wrote comedic reviews for Wizards of the Coast, and worked as a translation editor for Nintendo, ensuring that humor/context translated appropriately from Japanese to English video game scripts.

G.S. is extremely knowledgeable about history and all things pertaining to the geekiverse. He now gives engaging and educational talks to schools, inspiring students to turn their love of comic books and video games into a creative career or enriching hobby. He speaks at conventions, teaching writers improv comedy techiques that will improve their storytelling. He loves chatting on podcasts and is a terribly friendly geek. He has The Best Wife and The Most Beautiful Children and lives in Las Vegas.

Website  ~  Twitter @GS_Denning  ~  Facebook

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