close

The Qwillery | category: Interview | (page 55 of 58)

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011

Please welcome Anita Clenney to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

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

Anita:  Oh, I have so many…let’s see. I absolutely love mirrors. My husband thinks I’m insane. J  They’re not for looking at myself, but for the sheer art of them. It’s really the frames I love. I have several that are inexpensive, but look like they belong in a castle. Too bad I live in a small rambler. J

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

Anita:  Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites. I love her Outlander series. I love Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series, Elizabeth Peters and her Amelia Peabody series, just to name a few. I don’t know that any of them influenced me in more than a general way. I only found Diana Gabaldon’s books about a year ago. Thank goodness I did. I adore her writing.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Anita:  Some of each. I love the brainstorming process. That’s my favorite part, designing characters and worlds and layering them with mysteries and surprises. I don’t really outline, rather, I make a lot of notes, but I do know where the story is going before I start writing.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Awaken the Highland Warrior?

Anita:  The part about demons disguised as humans started with a dream. At the same time I had been considering writing a story about a warrior who was found buried but not dead. I love mysterious things.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Awaken the Highland Warrior?

Anita:  It didn’t require as much as it would have if it were historical. I did have to make sure Faelan’s history was accurate.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Anita:  I love all the scenes. In fact, I had to cut some scenes because the book was too long. One of my favorite is the opening, when she first finds Faelan. Part of that scene is posted in an excerpt here. I love the mystery and suspense of that scene.

TQ:  Who would you cast to play Bree and Faelan if Awaken The Highland Warrior was made into a movie?

Anita:  I think Bridget Regan of Legend of the Seeker would make a good Bree. For Faelan, I’m not sure. Gerard Butler could probably do the part justice, but he doesn’t look a lot like Faelan.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Highland Warriors series? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in Highland Warriors' world?

Anita:  There are three books planned for now. Possibly more. I love this series! No novellas that I know of.

TQ:  What’s next?

Anita:  I’ve turned in the second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, which is due out November 2011. I’m working on the third book now. It’s due out Fall 2012 and will answer a lot of questions for the series. It will also have some surprises. Here’s a blurb for each.

When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

A talisman belonging to Tavis Connor’s brother is the only weapon powerful enough to kill the demon hell-bent on stealing the clan’s Book of Battles so he can destroy the world. But the talisman has been locked in a time vault with Tavis’s brother and won’t open for 150 years. In desperation, the Scottish warrior breaks the clan’s sacred rules and uses another time vault to travel forward so he can protect the book and rescue his brother, or if he’s dead, finish his quest. But when Tavis finally wakes in modern-day New York, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. Anna MacKinley has been searching for her clan’s Book of Battles which has been missing for 150 years, but instead she finds a warrior with no memories who claims he’s come to save the world.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Anita:  You’re very welcome! Thanks for having me. I would love for readers to visit my website and look around. Join my newsletter for upcoming news and giveaways! My publisher will give away a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior to one commenter.


About Anita' Books

Awaken the Highland Warrior
(May 1, 2011)
Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011Historian Bree Kirkland has always been in love with the past, but when she accidentally wakes an ancient Scottish warrior who's spent the past 150 years sleeping in her backyard, her present is suddenly fraught with danger. Faelan has awakened from the time vault ravenous--in more ways than one. He grieves for his lost family, wondering who sent the woman to wake him. If she's a demon, Faelan will have to kill her. If she's innocent, she's unleashed the gates of hell in her backyard. Either way they must rely on each other to save their future.




Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders
 
 
 
 
 Excerpt:

      Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones. Thick vines crept over it, sealing in cracks left by time, while gnarled branches from the twisted oak hovered like outstretched arms. Protecting… or threatening?

     An owl screeched overhead as she scurried up the crumbling steps, wishing night hadn’t fallen, when shadows twisted into monsters and spirits came out to play. The burial vault lay open near the back of the crypt, waiting. Blood rushed past her ears, a sound like all the angels’ wings beating in unison. She moved closer and peered at the chest inside. It was ornate, made of metal and wood, with green gemstones embedded in each corner. It looked ancient, like it belonged in a museum or a pyramid, or perhaps Solomon’s Temple. The beauty of it struck her again, as it had when she’d first discovered it.

     She set the lantern on the edge of the burial vault and studied the markings on the chest. Swirls and shapes like writing shifted in the amber glow. Stretching out a finger, she touched the surface. Warm? She yanked her hand back and hit the lantern. It crashed to the floor, throwing the top of the crypt into darkness. Dropping to her knees, she scrambled for the light. A sound cut through the silence, scraping, like fingernails against stone. She grabbed the lantern, not daring to blink, then remembered the wind outside and the claw-like branches of the old tree.

     She placed the lantern securely on the vault cover she’d pushed onto the alcove and unfolded her hand. The metal disk she held was three inches in diameter and appeared to be made from the same metal as the chest, not silver, not gold. One side had deep grooves; the other was etched with symbols. With trembling fingers, she lined up the disk with the matching grooves on top of the chest and pushed. There was a series of clicks as the notched edges retracted.

     A voice rushed through her head. What lies within cannot be, until time has passed with the key.

     Bree whirled, but she was alone. Only stone walls stood watch, their secrets hidden for centuries. It was sleep deprivation, not ghosts.

     She pulled in a slow, steadying breath and tried to turn the disk. Nothing. Again, this time counterclockwise, and it began to move under her hand. She jerked her fingers back. A loud pop sounded and colors flashed… blue, orange, and green, swirling for seconds, and then they were gone. Great, hallucinations to go with the voices in her head.

     Her body trembled as she gripped the lid. This was it. All her dreams held on a single pinpoint of time. If this ended up another wild goose chase, she was done. No more treasure hunts, no more mysteries, no more playing Indiana Jones. She’d settle down to a nice, ordinary, boring life. She counted.

     One.

     Two.

     Three.

     She heaved open the chest.

     Terror clawed its way to her throat, killing her scream.

     The man inhaled one harsh breath and his eyes flew open, locking on Bree. A battle cry worthy of Braveheart echoed off the walls. Bree jumped back as metal flashed and a rush of air kissed her face. Petrified, she watched him crawl out of the burial vault, a wicked-looking dagger in his hand. Her scream tore loose as she turned and fled.

     Fingers grazed her shoulder, and she glanced back. The last thing she saw before her feet tangled with the shovel was the dead man reaching for her.


Embrace the Highland Warrior (Book 2) will be published in November 2011.


About Anita

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011
Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at http://www.anitaclenney.com/


Anita's Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  A Mass Market paperback copy of Awaken The Highland Warrior generously provided by Sourcebooks and a Mass Market paperback copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior provided by The Qwillery. That means that there will be two winners each receiving 1 book!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What's sleeping in your backyard?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011

Please welcome Lisa Renee Jones to The Qwillery.

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

Lisa:  Probably that I write most of my books with my cat by my side. She follows me to my office every morning and leaves when I leave. If I forget to bring her bed to my office in the morning she yells.

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

Lisa:  My fiancé has influenced my writing for numerous reasons. He loves books.We met in Barnes and Noble. He believes in me even when I don't. He LOVES paranormal and he's a big ole comic geek. All his talk about comics and paranormal stuff often come to mind when I am writing and I've indulged, and ended up liking things, I never thought I would have before meeting him.

As for writers I love. There are so many for different reasons. Donna Grant, Cynthia Eden, Caridad Pineiro, and Jennifer Haymore are all part of Dangerowmenwriting.com with me and I adore each of them as people and as amazing writers.

Karen Moning is a Goddess to me. She can write third person Highlanders and UF in first person, and I love both equally. I love Patricia Briggs Mercy series. I love Gaelen Foley and her way with words. I love Linda Howard-- especially Mr. Perfect. That book is one of my favorites EVER. I could go on and on.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Lisa:  I use to be a panster but I had an editor had HQ that wanted really detailed outlines in advance and it turned out, as much as I dreaded writing them, they helped me. I don't always stick to the plot I outline up front, but I come fairly close.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Michael?

Lisa:  The character himself came to me because I love hot alpha men and I think soldiers are so brave and true heroes. That makes them need, and deserve, love all the more.

TQ:  Why did you choose the name Michael for your male main character? and Cassandra for your female main character?

Lisa:  When I first start writing a story I play with name and roll them around. A character starts forming in my mind and names just come to me. Often there is nothing more to it than the name that feels like the character. But Michael was a little different. His name is the name of the Archangel Michael -- who protect and does battle -- who attends thinks necessary but not always pleasant. That embodied my character to me.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Michael?

Lisa:  Lots of research of medical research in terms of DNA tampering, as well as, conspiracy theories of Area 51. Legend of Michael isn't sci-fi. There are no aliens or alien ships-- but if there was DNA recovered from so incident even decades ago -- what medical research and possibilities could evolve? I've been to Vegas MANY times, so the Vegas scenes that are highly prominent in book 2, were easy to write realistically.

TQ:  Describe Michael in 140 characters or less.

Lisa:  He ain't no Superman. He's Batman. Dark and lethally hot.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Lisa:  When he follows her into the bathroom in the hotel not long after they are reunited, and its clear, despite all that has happened, the desire between them is still scorching hot.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Zodius Series?

Lisa:  I have three books contracted in the Zodius series. I have another 3 plotted.

TQ:  What's next?

Lisa

2011
--June A Taste of Pleasure Harlequin Spice Brief
--June Self published full length romantic suspense
-- Hot Secrets Book 1 in The Walker Brothers Trilogy
--July Bound and Pleasured Harlequin Spice Brief
--August Exposed and Pleasured Harlequin Spice Brief
--August Self published full length romantic suspense
-- Dangerous Secrets Book 2 in The Walker Brothers Trilogy
--October THE YARDELL CHRONICLES book 1 NOT DEAD ENOUGH --written as LR JONES -- Urban Fantasy
--November Zodius Book 2 THE STORM THAT IS STERLING

2012 so far:
--Spice Brief -- TBA
--March YARDELL book 2
--May THE DANGER THAT IS DAMION Book 2 of the Zodius series
--June Book 3 in The Walker Brothers Trilogy
--Sept Blaze trilogy book 1 - America's Next Top Dancer
--October Blaze trilogy book 2 - America's Next Top Dancer
--November Blaze trilogy book 3 - America's Next Top Dancer

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Lisa:  Thank you for having me!


About (some of) Lisa's Books

The Legend of Michael
Zodius 1
(May 1, 2010)
Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011
He is sin and satisfaction, lust and damnation, a lethal weapon created from greed. A human soldier injected with alien DNA, he is a legend. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side, and returned to the light. Women desire him, hungry for his raw passion. Men envy his power; they lust to control him. But there is no controlling a creature such as he, no taming the primal fires within him. Michael revels in his superior strength and trains as a fighting machine. But when he encounters scientist Cassandra Powell, he begins to long for a more human connection...









Pleasure with Purpose
(April 18, 2011)
e-book
Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011
Heather and Brad have been close family friends for ten years but both have secretly pined for each other, secretly fantasized about one sultry hot night together. So when fate delivers them a chance at that night -- will they take it -- and risk a lifetime of friendship being destroyed? Or will they pretend they can really wake up tomorrow and pretend it never happened?













Texas Hotzone Series:

Jump Start
Texas Hotzone 1
(January 1, 2011)
Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011
A battlefield moment of clarity leads Sergeant Bobby Evans back to the Texas town he fled long ago. His new mission—winning back the woman he wants, by any naughty means necessary.



Jennifer Jones spent seven years aching with the memory of Bobby's blistering kisses—and his sudden, silent departure. Now he's back, looking to pick up where they left off—naked and voracious. But Jen won't get burned again, no matter how hot Bobby turned out. Two torrid weeks, then she'll give him his marching orders…or not!





High Octane
Texas Hotzone 2
(March 1, 2011)
Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011
Well-known newspaper journalist Sabrina Cameron has arrived in Austin, Texas, to reinvent herself. Besides a new job and new friends, what better cure for her control-freak tendencies than to skydive for the first time in her life?

Supersexy jumpmaster Ryan "Cowboy" Walker is just the wild man to push Sabrina to her limits—both of them know it on sight. The high-octane experiences that follow, meanwhile, have nothing to do with leaping from a plane. Talk about losing control!

But when Sabrina's suddenly forced to choose between new loyalties and old…it'll not only force her to choose who she's going to be…but who she's going to be with.

 
 
Breathless Descent
Texas Hotzone 3
(May 1, 2011)
Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011
Ten years ago, an impulsive eighteen-year-old Shay White kissed Caleb Martin—her brother's best friend. The resulting chemistry was hot enough to send Caleb running. Now he's back…an ex-special forces operative getting his skydiving business off the ground. But Shay figures that all that sexual tension was a "forbidden fruit" sort of thing. A simple kiss should put that fantasy to rest, right?

Wrong. Instead, Shay and Caleb find themselves caught in a web of need and decide to finally do something about it…in the most exquisitely carnal way possible. Now Shay and Caleb are tumbling into a lust-fueled freefall—are they headed for a safe landing or the kind of crash that will change their lives forever?
 
For a comprehensive list of Lisa's Latest Releases click here and for Upcoming Releases here.


About Lisa

Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011
Award winning author Lisa Renee Jones has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance: contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. Her awards include first place in the Romantic Times Aspiring Writers Contest. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, CO, where she is working on her next Zodius novel, The Renegade Conquest (working title), to be released in November 2011. For more information, please visit http://www.lisareneejones.com/ and http://www.sourcebookscasablanca.com/.

Lisa's Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win the Texas Hotzone series (Jumpstart, High Octane, and Breathless Descent) and a Pleasure with Purpose e-book from Lisa and The Legend of Michael from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Human, Alien, or Half and Half?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011

Due to the Blogger outage this interview has been reposted and the date for giveaway entries extended for 1 day. If you have already entered, please note that I have your comment, but you are welcome to comment again.

Please welcome K.M. Ruiz to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

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

K.M.:  Thank you for letting me stop by! As for a quirk, I guess you could say I have a habit of writing in layers. I’ll write bare-bones stories, then go back and fill in more details. I assume the reader doesn’t need or want every last nitty gritty word in my head, so I’ll write ten words when I should really be using more. Then I’ll print it out in hard copy and continue adding stuff. It’s a weird process.

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

K.M.:  Melanie Rawn, C. J. Cherryh, David Weber, Karin Lowachee to name a few. I fell in love with Melanie Rawn’s Exiles series as a kid. C. J. Cherry’s Foreigner series is amazing. She writes really strong character focused stories that are just brilliant. I learned a lot by just reading her.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

K.M.:  I’m kind of a mix. I’m a plotter, in the sense that I’ve got an overall idea for a series and I usually know how a book will end before I figure out the beginning and middle. I’ll have a few major events that I know have to happen and I’ll write my way to them, which is where the punster part comes in. The mixture gives me a little more freedom. I find a chapter by chapter outline to be restricting, at least for me, but for the most part I do know the major things that need to happen before I start writing, I just have to get there.

TQ:  Describe Mind Storm in 140 characters or less.

K.M.:  Post-apocalyptic tale where human and psion survivors of nuclear war fight for their future but the best answer isn’t always the right one.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Mind Storm?

K.M.:  I loved comics growing up as a kid. Even though I haven’t been into them for quite a few years now, comics are still a big inspiration. I liked how a lot of the big plot arc questions in comics were never answered until the very end of the story (if then), but I also liked how there wasn’t always a clear-cut answer. Comics are great when it comes to the morally gray area and I tried to emulate that here.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Strykers Syndicate novels ?

K.M.:  Actually, quite a bit now that I think of it. I did some research on certain incurable diseases and how the body changes because of it to help differentiate psions from humans in the story. I’ve always been really into the sciences dealing with the human body, though I’m not an expert by any means. I wanted to try to ground psion powers as much as possible within the confines of the human body and digging through medical possibilities helped me with that. As much as I love comics, I wanted the story to be less fantastical in some ways.

I also did some research on the aftereffects of nuclear fallout, how it shows up as disease even generations down the line and how those same people are treated, both medically and culturally. In light of what happened recently in Japan, I won’t delve too deep. I will say that the tragedy in Chernobyl and a photo essay book called Chernobyl Legacy done by photographer Paul Fusco helped me form some ideas for the segregated society in Mind Storm. Even today people discard others who don’t fit their vision of normal and I wanted to bring that into the story.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Mind Storm?

K.M.:  Some of my favorite scenes would give away too much, so I’ll skip those! I like the scene between Lucas and Matron (a human scavenger), where they’re sitting in an abandoned weather station right before everything goes to hell. I like how it shows their motivations and how far they’ve come, that a psion and a discarded human can actually work together.

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

K.M.:  Lucas was the hardest character for me to write because I never got into his head. He’s very much a driving force of the plot, but I unintentionally wrote him with having a distance from the reader that was frustrating at times. And then I had to keep writing him like that for both books. Talk about wanting to strangle a character! Threnody was the easiest because I knew what motivated her, but I never got deep into her head either. She’s a soldier and soldiers are supposed to obey without question in this story and I wanted to showcase that attitude by not delving too much into her emotions. Threnody does learn to start questioning the status quo and that’s what made her easier to write than pretty much everyone else.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

K.M.:  Two books are planned so far. The second book is coming out sometime next year. I don’t know when yet, but I’m hoping spring.

TQ:  What's next?

K.M.:  I’m working on the second book, though I don’t know what title we’re going to use. A lot of the questions I purposefully left unanswered in Mind Storm get addressed in book two, I promise! I’m also working on a proposal for something else that I don’t want to say too much about since I’m still in the planning stages of it. It’s something I’m really excited about though.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K.M.:  Thanks so much for having me!


About K.M.'s Books

Mind Storm
Strykers Syndicate 1
(May 10, 2011)
Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011
After the world was nearly wiped out by a nuclear war 250 years ago, what’s left of society fights over the scraps of the Earth as the rich and powerful plan to secretly ascend to another planet. But the deadly new breed of humanity that the rulers have enslaved to protect their interests is about to change everything.

This is the story of Threnody Corwin, a psion with the ability to channel electricity like lightning through anything she touches. As a soldier-slave for the human government, Threnody is recruited by an unknown enemy: the son of Earth’s most powerful human family.

But Lucas Serca is far from human and he intends to make Threnody and her fellow psions meet their destiny, no matter how many people he has to kill to do it. Mind Storm chronicles the fight for survival by the psions and other gene-trash humans, before they’re killed by a corrupt world government or left to die on a crumbling Earth.


Strykers Syndicate 2 will be released in 2012.


About K.M. Ruiz

Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011
K.M. Ruiz lives in California with a cat or two for company and the occasional earthquake. She earned a B.A. in English (concentration in Creative Writing) and a minor in American Indian Studies from San Francisco State University. She likes her movies loud, her music louder, and when not writing, can be found traveling, looking for new ideas.

K.M.'s Links

Website: http://www.kmruiz.com/
Blog: http://km-ruiz.livejournal.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/KM_Ruiz





The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a hardcover copy of Mind Storm generously provided by K.M. Ruiz.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Science Fiction, science fact, or both?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, May 20, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Virna DePaul and Giveaway - May 11, 2011

Please welcome Virna DePaul to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

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

Virna:  I can write really fast. I wrote the partial for Chosen By Blood (my debut paranormal romantic suspense) in a weekend. Then, when an editor told me she needed the full in order to buy it, I got the full manuscript to her within a month (and that included having my awesome agent review it). Of course, I revised and polished it after it sold, but I was proud of the initial version, too. I'm thankful I don't have to write that fast regularly, and I've certainly experienced "writer's block," but I think one of the reasons I ultimately sold is because of my speed.

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

Virna:  Larissa Ione, JR Ward, Rhyannon Byrd, Lori Foster, Anne Stuart, Linda Howard are just a few. Lori Foster and Linda Howard have probably been the biggest influences on my writing. I love how they can balance an external plot with a romance. They both create sexy heroes and strong, relatable heroines.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Virna:  I'm a pantser with plotter tendencies. I wrote my first three manuscripts without plotting them. However, once I began submitting on partials, I learned to write a synopsis, an outline of the novel from beginning to end. I generally stick to the synopsis, but have no problem changing things as I write if I need to.

TQ:  Describe Chosen By Blood in 140 characters or less.

Virna:  Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and Otherborn— humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA—still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Para-Ops series?

Virna:  I started writing contemporary romantic suspense. When I was challenged by my agent to write a "big book" series to increase my chances of selling, I realized I love paranormals and editors couldn't get enough of them, so why not try writing one that combines elements of the special ops teams I love, and a whole new kind of supernatural world. One where supernatural creatures and humans must band together despite years of mistrust and war in order to finally attain peace. When I came up with the idea for the Para-Ops team, I thought of it as "special ops with fangs" or a cross between X-men and Romancing The Stone.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Para-Ops novels?

Virna:  I did a lot of research on the Internet, including research on North Korea, how to parachute from a plane in a high tech bat glider suit, and what kinds of special ops teams the FBI has developed. In addition, I reread many of the the paranormal books I'd already read to figure out how I could make my series different.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Virna:  I love the scene I refer to above in which the team parachutes out of a plane into North Korea. I also wrote a "Fight Club-esque"/Mixed Martial Arts/Wrestling scene in which the team participates in a fighting match.

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

Virna:  I definitely formed an idea of Knox Devereaux, the hero of Chosen By Blood, right away. I knew I wanted him to be alpha, but also elegant, honest, and honorable to a fault. His conflict and internal flaw--the inability to balance duty with desire--formed early on, as well, and helped give my story forward momentum. Hardest and why? I'd say the hardest character to write was Wraith. She's the team's ghost, and she's a blend of prickly bitchiness and vulnerability. I wanted to do her character justice by showing the pain of her background (she wakes up in an alley one day with no memory or vital signs), but also give her enough humanity so that readers can root for her as the heroine of Book 2.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Virna:  I'm contracted for two books and an option book. I'm currently writing the proposal for Dex Hunt, the team's werebeast, Book 3. Fingers crossed the first two books do well and Berkley picks up the third. I'd love to see Book 3s cover as I absolutely love the first two.

TQ:  What's next?

Virna:  Thankfully, I'm lucky to write for two wonderful houses. I write the paranormal books for Berkley, but I also get to write contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin. My debut Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Dangerous To Her, launches in September 2011. It's about an undercover cop who investigates a judge and ends up reuniting with his college love. Then in April 2012, my new series with HQN launches. I've also already self-published several novels, under Virna DePaul and Ava Meyers, and I plan on continuing to do that.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Virna:  Thank you so much, Sally. It's been a pleasure being with you today!


About Virna's Books

Chosen by Blood
A Para-Ops Novel 1
(May 3, 2011)
Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn- humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA-still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.




Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders












Chosen by Fate, A Para-Ops Novel 2, will be released in October 2011.






About Virna

Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor whose debut mass market paranormal romantic suspense novel, Chosen By Blood (Book 1 in the Para-Ops series), comes out May 3, 2011 by Berkley Books but is available for pre-order now! In addition, Virna writes contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin Romantic Suspense (Dangerous To Her, September 2011) and HQN (new series launching April 2012). Virna has also self-published several novels, including "A Vampire's Salvation," "This Magic Moment," and the craft book "Love Writing: How To Write And Publish Your Romance Novel Without Losing Your Perspective, Passion or Sanity." Visit her at http://www.virnadepaul.com/.

Virna's Links

Website
Twitter
Radio Interview with Virna on How She Really Does It

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:   Virna says: "I'd like to give away to one random commenter a Para-Ops tote filled with a Para-Ops mug, chocolate, sunglasses and other goodies, including a copy of my vampire e-novella, A Vampire's Salvation.  Open to international participants."

How:   Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is your favorite supernatural being?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Thursday, May 19, 2011****. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

**** The giveaway closing date has been extended by one day from May 18, 2011 to May 19, 2011 due to the Blogger outage.

Interview with Lexi George and Giveaway - May 4, 2011

Please welcome Lexi George to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

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

Lexi:  I guess my lack of them. I don’t wear a different hat for each character, or listen to music when I write, or burn a candle. Come to think of it, I’m pretty boring in that respect. I do require quiet to write—I have the concentration span of a gnat—and I start each writing session the same way. I always go back and read the previous chapter I’ve written to put myself in ‘the mood,’ and to try and remember where I was when I stopped. Also, I am a linear writer. I’m like a plow horse with my head down until I reach the end of the furrow. I don’t jump around from scene to scene. Wish I could! It would make it easier when I get stuck.

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

Lexi:  I fell in love with romance at the age of 13, when I discovered Georgette Heyer. She is a definite influence, even though I don’t write regency. Love her sly humor and quirky characters. I also love Jayne Ann Krentz in all of her various manifestations. Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels had a huge impact on me. She makes me sigh. I also love the Carpathians in Christine Feehan’s books; fell in love with the concept that they can’t see colors until they meet their lifemate. I loosely patterned the Dalvahni after them, in the sense that they are humorless and emotionless . . . until they meet the right gal.

I’m also a big fan of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Love her zaniness. She makes me laugh out loud. Charlaine Harris is another favorite. The Sookie Stackhouse novels—genius!
And I am something of a fantasy nerd. Lord of the Rings is high on my list, as well as The Belgariad by David Eddings. Those books definitely influenced my tendency to write about an ensemble of characters. I’ve read all the Harry Potter books multiple times. I’m a huge HP nerd.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Lexi:  I am a pantser with plotter envy. I start with the hero and heroine and the basic premise of the story—small town girl meets sexy demon hunter in pursuit of a rogue demon, chaos to follow. I usually knock out 50 or so pages to get a feel for my characters and then I get nervous and sit down and come up with a list of plot points. After that, I wing it for a while and try to connect the dots. About three-fourths of the way through, I sit down and sketch out the remaining chapters to make sure I get everything in and so I know how it’s going to end.

TQ:  Describe Demon Hunting in Dixie in 140 characters or less.

Lexi:  Sparks fly and worlds collide when a feisty, small-town florist is saved by a sexy demon hunter in pursuit of a rogue demon.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Demon Hunting in Dixie?

Lexi:  Rejection! After three years of trying in vain to get a fantasy romance published, I finally realized the universe was telling me loud and clear that it was not the time for that book. Since I love romance, I decided to try my hand at it. A member of my writing group sent me a link to an online romance group that was offering feedback on the first chapter of a paranormal romance. I decided to give it a shot and the book grew from there.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do?

Lexi:  I did some research on medieval clothing and weapons for my demon hunters, and I had to do research on flowers, since Addy is a florist. The rest was pretty organic, since the story is set in a small town (like my hometown) and peopled with zany Southern characters. One of the hardest things for me is dressing my characters! I do a lot of browsing on the internet to get clothing ideas.

TQ:  How did you come up with "Dalvahni" as a name for the inter-dimensional demon-hunters?

Lexi:  I totally made it up! Played around with the sound of different words until I found something I liked. Then I checked it out on the web to make sure it didn’t mean something rude in another language.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Lexi:  I loved writing the weenie in the bag scene!

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

Lexi:  Addy, my heroine, came easily to me, for some reason. She is a born rule breaker who has reined in her impulses to please her mama, but she has a wild and stubborn streak. She responds to stress and danger by being a smartass, and that was such fun to write.

Her friend, Evie, was a little tougher, because she is so shy and inhibited.

It was also fun to switch POVs. Brand is an alpha male from another dimension who hasn’t been to Earth since the Middle Ages. So the writing in his POV is more formal and flowery. Then, in Addy’s POV, I got to be funny and outrageous. Loved that mixture of styles.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Lexi:  Three!

TQ:  What's next?

Lexi:  Thanks for asking! I have a novella that is coming out in August from Kensington as part of a Halloween anthology called So I Married A Demon Slayer. I am very excited to be in the anthology with the awesome and fabulous Angie Fox and Kathy Love. The name of my novella is "The Bride Wore Demon Dust," and it’s also set in Hannah, the small town featured in the first book.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery


Lexi's Books

Demon Hunting in Dixie
(April 26, 2011)
Interview with Lexi George and Giveaway - May 4, 2011
A warrior, a demon, and the girl next door…



Looking For Trouble

Addy Corwin is a florist with an attitude. A bad attitude, or so her mama says, ‘cause she’s not looking for a man. Mama’s wrong. Addy has looked. There’s just not much to choose from in Hannah, her small Alabama hometown. Until Brand Dalvahni shows up, a supernaturally sexy, breathtakingly well-built hunk of a warrior from—well, not from around here, that’s for sure. Mama thinks he might be European or maybe even a Yankee. Brand says he’s from another dimension.

Addy couldn’t care less where he’s from. He’s gorgeous. Serious muscles. Disturbing green eyes. Brand really gets her going. Too bad he’s a whack job. Says he’s come to rescue her from a demon. Puh-lease. But right after Brand shows up, strange things start to happen. Dogs talk and reanimated corpses stalk the quite streets of Hannah. Her mortal enemy Meredith, otherwise known as the Death Starr, breaks out in a severe and inexplicable case of butt boils. Addy might not know what’s going on, but she definitely wants a certain sexy demon hunter by her side when it all goes down…

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


"The Bride Wore Demon Dust"
So I Married A Demon Slayer
(August 30, 2011)Interview with Lexi George and Giveaway - May 4, 2011
In the lusty humidity of the Deep South, among the neon lights of Vegas, and the glitz of high-fashion, demon slayers are the new sexy…

Hot! By Kathy Love

At Hot! Magazine, the devil really does wear Prada. When the CEO is an actual demon and the mail room guys are undercover demon slayers, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for an up-and-coming photographer and a model possessed by much more than a sweet tooth to fall in love.

What Slays In Vegas by Angie Fox

When a sexy succubus comes up against a fearless demon slayer intent on killing her boss, a truly wild Vegas night turns into a quickie wedding. But in a city where anything goes, a demon slayer wedding a succubus is strictly forbidden. Which doesn’t mean either is rushing to jump out of the marriage bed.

The Bride Wore Demon Dust by Lexi George

He’s perfection in a tuxedo—more so out of it—and on a mission to protect his Alabama gal from the mysterious mayhem intent on her destruction. But the bride is a spunky steel magnolia with special powers of her own, determined to drop-kick evil forces across the state line and give her slayer a run for his money.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


About Lexi

Interview with Lexi George and Giveaway - May 4, 2011Lexi George is an appellate lawyer by day and a romance writer by night. She started her writing career in the third grade penning bad poetry about hydrangea bushes and Erik the Red. Ironically, she ended up marrying a Viking, a Northern boy who came to Alabama with the Air Force and stayed.

She wrote poetry all through high school and college. And then she decided to go to law school and the muse left in a huff. The muse hated law school.

The muse returned when Lexi’s oldest child was a toddler and Lexi has been writing ever since. After piling up an impressive number of rejections on her first book, a fantasy romance that she worked on for more than ten years, Lexi decided to try her hand at something else. The result was Demon Hunting in Dixie, a paranormal romance about demon hunters in the Deep South.

The muse is very happy, and so is Lexi.
Lexi's Links


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  Lexi has generously provided two ARCS of Demon Hunting in Dixie. So 2 winners will be chosen from the commenters and each winner will receive an ARC of Demon Hunting in Dixie.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Demons or Demon Slayers?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011

Please welcome Kevin Hearne to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Today marks the release of Kevin's debut, Hounded.

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

Kevin:  Well, I’m not much of a fighter; I’m much closer to a pacifist, so fight scenes are tough for me to write. Fight scenes require special preparation. I have to drink a bit (sometimes a lot, using a proper flagon) to loosen my inhibitions and listen to death metal to get myself in the mood, or else I want to steer things toward a diplomatic solution. Of course that means I always have to go back and clean up the language when I’m sober, but that’s better than staring at a blank screen for hours and crying, “Why can’t they all just get along?”

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

Kevin:  Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson are a couple of my faves, as well as William Gibson. They’re all influential in terms of world building; I don’t write anything like them and I certainly wouldn’t want to compare myself to them. That would be akin to hubris!

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Kevin:  As Forrest Gump famously said, “I think it’s both happening at the same time.” I have skeletal outlines that serve as a scaffolding for my books, but sometimes I leave out parts, rearrange events, and then add something that I never planned on.

TQ:  Describe Hounded in 140 characters or less.

Kevin:  Gods! Whiskey! Demons! Polish witches! A vampire with a grudge against Thor! Redheads! A magic sword! Smoosh together, that's HOUNDED. :)

TQ:  If Atticus O'Sullivan was a beer-type beverage which one would he be and why?

Kevin:  Smithwick’s Irish ale! He’s got flavor and character without being inaccessible to the average drinker. And he goes great with everything.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Iron Druid Chronicles?

Kevin:  I’ve always wanted to talk to dogs, so that was part of it; I wanted to write about a character who could talk to animals, and Druids are one of the magical classes capable of doing it, if you believe your Irish myth. But I also wanted to explore Irish mythology (and other mythologies) a bit, taking the Fae back to their original Irish roots with the Tuatha Dé Danann. That part I blame on Disney. My daughter loved the Disney fairies and I was like, “No, sweet child o’ mine, those aren’t fairies. Someone in California made that stuff up to make money. It’s better to believe in stuff made up by Irishmen centuries ago to scare the bejesus out of you.” So that experience narrowed my focus on the Tuatha Dé Danann and the idea that they were the progenitors of the Fae.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Iron Druid Chronicles?

Kevin:  I looked at lots of old Irish stuff like The Annals of the Four Masters, the Ulster and Fenian Cycles, and then some historical sources like Julius Caesar’s account of the Druids. I also looked into modern Druidry and discovered it had very little to do with the real Druids who got wiped out by the Romans and St. Patrick. On top of this, since I was dealing with a 2,100-year old character, I had to come up with a timeline of where he was throughout our recorded history. Many of his adventures will never get to be told, but I had to spend the time doing it anyway so I don’t wind up putting him in two different places at the same time later in the series.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Kevin:  Pretty much every scene with the widow MacDonagh has a special place in me heart. That character is loosely based on me own dearly departed grandma, so of course I’m quite partial to her.

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

Kevin:  Oberon’s easiest. He gets the best lines, all the snarky stuff you always want to say but never think of in time. Malina Sokolowski was the hardest to write in all three books because I had to somehow create a smidgen of sympathy for her character when my narrator doesn’t trust her.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Kevin:  Seven or nine. Eight is right out! Of course, that’s assuming people buy the first three. J 

TQ:  What's next?

Kevin:  Currently I’m working on book four and hoping the demand will be there; it’ll be called TRICKED. I’m also working on an epic fantasy and a secret project I hope I’ll be able to announce sometime over the summer.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kevin:  Are you kidding, Qwill? I’m thrilled to be here! You like bacon and comic books and taking photographs of beautiful things, so I feel privileged to hang out with you, virtually speaking! Thanks so much!


About Kevin's Books

Hounded
The Iron Druid Chronicles 1
(May 3, 2011)
Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

Read the Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Hounded here

 
Hexed
The Iron Druid Chronicles 2
(June 7, 2011)
Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.
 
With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.
 
Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


Hammered
The Iron Druid Chronicles 3
(July 5, 2011)
Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011
Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.
 
One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.
 
Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


About Kevin

Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011
Kevin Hearne is a native of Arizona and really appreciates whoever invented air-conditioning. He graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and now teaches high school English. When he's not grading essays or writing novels, he tends to his basil plants and paints landscapes with his daughter. He has been known to obsess over fonts, frolic unreservedly with dogs, and stop whatever he's doing in the rare event of rain to commune with the precipitation. He enjoys hiking, the guilty pleasure of comic books, and living with his wife and daughter in a wee, snug cottage.
Kevin's Links

Website
Blog
Twitter

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed, personalized author copy of Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles 1) directly from Kevin!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Druids or gods?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Suzanne McLeod and Giveaway - April 27, 2011

Please welcome Suzanne McLeod to The Qwillery.

TQ:  What is your most interesting writing quirk?

Suzanne:  Thanks so much for having me here at the Qwillery! Hmm, writing quirk? Well, before I start writing I have to stick my fingers in my ears, hop on one leg whilst chewing a liquorice torpedo and humming the theme tune to Rocky. This helps me get in the mood— oh darn it, I can see by your expressions you don’t believe me. So I’ll own up. I don’t have any interesting quirks . . . unless you count calling all my yet-to-be-named characters, Dave . . . *g*

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

Suzanne:  Charlaine Harris, Kelly Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, Emma Bull, Mike Carey, Kim Harrison, Ann Aguirre, Tanya Huff to name a few. (I have a lotof favourites :-D). And I think that every book I’ve read has influenced my writing in some ways, but as my favourite genre is urban fantasy, those writers I love most have probably had more of an effect than others . . . *wanders off to dream of Eric* *g*.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Suzanne:  I’m a planster! (© Jaye Wells, my fab crit partner.) I plot out the major arcs of my books, usually starting with the murderer and working out why/how/when the baddie does the “horrible” deed. Then I weave the murder plot into Genny’s – my MC’s – life, and work a road map of scenes for the book. Then, I start writing! Which is where the plantster bit really comes in. Initially I follow my map but like any journey there’s always more than one road to reach “The End”. So as I write I take some unexpected, interesting and exciting detours, this leads to more “bad things” happening to my characters, and then I usually pull over to re-plot my road map so I still reach “The Ending” I planned :- ).

TQ:  Describe the Spellcrackers series in 140 characters or less.

Suzanne:  Spellcracking books set in London about magic, mayhem & murder – liberally spiced with hot guys, kick-ass chicks & super-cool supes!

TQ:  Tell us about The Cold Kiss of Death (Spellcrackers 2).

Suzanne:  Genny’s got a whole heap of problems, she’s being haunted by a ghost, her witch neighbours want her evicted, she’s not sure what Finn (her boss and sort of Ex) wants from her, and London’s vamps keep asking her out on the Town (all apart from the one she’s really interested in!). Then as she’s trying to sort her way out of all that, her friend is murdered, and Genny ends up the main suspect. She goes on the run, determined to find out who the murderer really is . . . And that’s when the evil author in me really starts to have fun! *g*

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Spellcrackers series?

Suzanne:  I love reading urban fantasy with its mix of the mundane, magic and murder, and I love series where the story follows the main characters’ lives, friendships and romances, and shows how they grow and change. I also like books to have relatively self-contained plots, especially when it comes to the baddie getting their comeuppance. So, when I started writing the Spellcrackers series, I wrote the sort of book I love to read :-D

TQ:  What sorts of research did you do for the series?

Suzanne:  Research for me usually falls into three categories. The first is where I daydream, er, do lots of thinking and make copious notes. This type deals a lot with characters, plot, how they interact, and how stuff in the Spellcrackers world, like magic or ‘how vamps become vamps’, frex, works.

The second part is where I mine myths and legends, reference books, the internet, TV documentaries and anything else that might have caught my interest, looking for cool little nuggets to back up any wacky ideas I might have, and search for those all important RL facts that make the world feel more real.

The third part is where I get to go shopping in London . . . oh, sorry, I meant “serious research” checking out the real places in the books, again so I can make them feel “real” *g*. And often I find these research visits give me lots of new, interesting ideas (and strangely enough, occasionally new shoes too! *looks innocent*).

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is your favorite scene or scenes in The Cold Kiss of Death?

Suzanne:  It has to be where Genny visits Southwark, the area round London Bridge. She goes to the Clink Museum, sees the replica Golden Hinde moored on the Thames, and climbs up Nancy’s Steps at the side of London Bridge (named for where Nancy, in the original musical of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, was murdered). Partly I love the scenes set there because they were some of the easy writing ones, but the main reason is when I researched the area, Mr Mc and I were on a short holiday in London, so they bring back lots of happy memories :- ).

TQ:  Which character in the series was the most difficult for you to write and why? Easiest?

Suzanne:  All the main ones have me tearing my hair out on occasion. If it’s not Finn being difficult, it’s Malik, and I’ve threatened to kill both of them off a few times if they don’t get their acts together! But the easiest characters are always the walk ons

TQ:  What's next?

Suzanne:  Genny’s next adventure is “The Bitter Seed of Magic” (out now UK, and Dec 2011 US). Genny’s trying to find a way to break an eighty-year-old curse which is making London’s fae infertile. The fae think they’ve got the perfect solution, but Genny’s convinced they’re wrong, and sets out to prove it. Then dead faelings – half fae, half human – start being fished out of the River Thames. It looks like the curse is responsible for their deaths, and as Genny investigates, she soon finds she has to crack the curse before she ends up the next victim.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Suzanne:  It’s been great to be here, thanks so much for having me!


About Suzanne's Books

The Sweet Scent of Blood
Spellcrackers 1
(US - April 27, 2010)
Interview with Suzanne McLeod and Giveaway - April 27, 2011
'My name is Genny Taylor. I work for Spellcrackers.com. It’s a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I’m good at – finding magic and cracking it – and the bonus is it’s run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me.

Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign – ­ oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool.

But only if you’re human.

And I’m not.

I’m Sidhe fae.

And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be.’

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.


Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders


The Cold Kill of Death
Spellcrackers 2
(April 26, 2011)
Interview with Suzanne McLeod and Giveaway - April 27, 2011
Genny Taylor works for Spellcrackers.com ±
Making Magic Safe. But her own life is anything but safe!

The ghost grasped her shift and ripped it open. The three interlacing crescents carved red-raw and bleeding into her thin chest didn’t look any better than the last dozen times I’d seen them. The wounds weren’t lethal – they weren’t even recent; she’d been dead for at least a hundred and fifty years – but my gut still twisted with anger that someone would do that to a child.’

Being haunted by a ghost is the least of Genny’s problems: she’s also trying to deal with the witch neighbour who wants her evicted. Finn, her sort-of-Ex – and now her new boss – can’t quite decide whether he wants their relationship to be business or pleasure. And then there’s the queue of vamps inviting her to paint the town red; how long before they stop taking no for an answer?

Just when it seems things can’t get any worse a human friend is murdered using sidhe magic. Determined to hunt down the killer and needing help, she turns to one of London’s most capricious wylde fae and the seductive vampire Malik al-Khan.

But all too soon she realises she doesn’t know who she can trust – and now Genny’s the one being hunted, not just by the police, but by some of London’s most powerful and dangerous supernaturals.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders

Book descriptions from Suzanne's website.

See my 4 1/2 Qwill review of The Cold Kiss of Death by clicking here.


About Suzanne
 
Interview with Suzanne McLeod and Giveaway - April 27, 2011
Suzanne McLeod is the author of the Spellcrackers.com urban fantasy series featuring Genevieve – Genny – Taylor, a sidhe fae, who cracks spells for a living. Suzanne has been a cocktail waitress, dance group roadie and worked for many years in retail management, before she started writing. She lives on the sunny (sometimes) South Coast in the UK with her husband and geriatric rescue dog.
Suzanne's Links
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win US Mass Market Paperback copies of The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers 1) and The Cold Kiss of Death (Spellcrackers 2).

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

In what city, town, or place would you like to see an Urban Fantasy set?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Sable Grace and Giveaway - April 26, 2011

Please welcome Sable Grace to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Sable Grace is Heather Waters & Laura Barone.

TQ:  What would you say are your most interesting writing quirks?

Heather:  Making up words and using real words incorrectly. I was picked on by my old critique group for years for that quirk, and I think our editor recently discovered it as well with my creative use of the word “stealthed,” which I’d used as a verb.

Laura:  Writing myself into a corner and leaving Heather to figure out how to get me us out of it. Okay, I call it a quirk, that goes right along with my inability to think about logic when in the midst of a scene, but I’m sure Heather would classify it as a major pain in her rear-end.


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

Heather:  My love for J.K. Rowling’s world building is unrivaled – for Julie Garwood’s characterization… for Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s way with humor and heart. They’re all three at the top of my list.

Laura:  Stephen King for his ability to take the simplest things and make them scary. J.K. Rowling’s for her storytelling skills. Jude Deveraux for her characterization and gifting one of my children with a love for reading.


TQ:  Are you plotters or pansters or a combination?

Heather & Laura:  We’re both pantsers at heart, but when you work on deadline, you have to pick up the disciplined traits of a plotter (unless you’re Nora Roberts or Stephen King) because you have to submit a synopsis of the book before it’s even written. Whether or not we stick to that synopsis…


TQ:  Describe Ascension in 140 characters or less.

Heather & Laura:  Vampyre doesn’t like humans. Must save them anyway.


TQ:  How did you collaborate to write Ascension?

Heather:  I usually will set up the plot and break down the scenes and provide a schedule. From there, we stick to the breakdown unless something feels wrong or needs tweaking.

Laura:  Once the hard work’s out of the way and we’ve agreed to everything that needs to happen as we see it at the moment, we work off each other’s scenes, letting the story build—and give us little surprises when things happen that we weren’t expecting or didn’t see coming. Since we pass the pages back and forth, each writing session starts with a round of editing, then it’s off to work on fresh pages to reach our daily quota.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Ascension?

Heather:  I was watching something completely unrelated on T.V. and got an image in my head of a woman hiding in a dumpster with police helicopters flying over head. She was rescued by a Vampyre who turned out to be Kyana. That scene was trashed and Kyana took the dumpster girl’s place as heroine, and Ascension was born.

Laura:  When she asked me to read that scene, I called her, all excited and told her she had to write the story because I was really interested in learning why the woman was hiding in the dumpster and what happened to her. She asked if it was something I’d like to work on too, and after making sure she wasn’t kidding, I let the idea of a creature with glowy red eyes take shape in my head. (That scene was cut, too, but Ryker’s claim as hero remained.)


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Ascension?

Heather & Laura:  Fun stuff! We walked around St Augustine and took pictures, mapped out the fort that we used for our headquarters, ate lunch….. Then there’s the mythology research which wasn’t a chore either. The rest was pretty much made up!


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Heather: I have to say, there’s a scene where Ryker takes a little swim in the River Styx that I enjoy quite a bit.

Laura:  I’m particular to a little fight scene where Kyana learns that there are some she can’t intimidate. Doesn’t stop her from trying, but he definitely leaves his mark on her.


TQ:  How many books are planned for the Dark Breed series?

Heather & Laura:  As many as the readers and our editor want!


TQ:  What's next?

Heather  & Laura:  Book 2 is still untitled, but is due for release in January 2012. Book 3 is turned in, no title or release date, but you’ll see many of the characters from Ascension in both of those.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Heather & Laura:  Thank you so much for having us! This was fun!!


About Ascension

Ascension
Dark Breed 1
(April 26, 2011)
Interview with Sable Grace and Giveaway - April 26, 2011
The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen . . . and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both . . .

Amazon  | B&N | Book Depository | Borders


About Sable Grace

Interview with Sable Grace and Giveaway - April 26, 2011
Sable Grace is the writing team of Heather Waters & Laura Barone, long time critique partners and friends who came together by fluke to discover their voices fit together quite nicely during an experiment of "I'll write the first sentence, you write the next." It was meant to be nothing more than a warm up exercise for each of them to get started on their own projects, but soon, the story became far more interesting than what they were supposed to be working on and Sable Grace was born.

Both Heather and Laura reside in Florida, are happily married, and are, well, complete opposites. (Think the Odd Couple on crack here.) Still, there's enough common ground for them to weave their words together in the voice of Sable Grace.

Heather also writes medieval romances under her real name, which you can find at www.heatherwaters.net, and Laura is a Golden Heart finalist for her highly sensual manuscript, Mr. Right Now.
Sable's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a mass market paperback copy of Ascension(Dark Breed 1).

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which Greek god, goddess, or demigod is your favorite?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with James Knapp and Giveaway - April 22, 2011

Please welcome James Knapp to The Qwillery. James is at Norwescon this weekend so if you see him tell him The Qwillery sent you!

TQ:  What is your most interesting writing quirk?

James:  I don't know if it counts as a quirk but I write my first drafts entirely in Notepad.

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

James:  Some of my favorite writers include Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Octavia Butler, Nancy Kress and Christopher Moore. Isaac Asimov made me fall in love with science fiction early on, and Frank Herbert definitely contributed to my love of the weird.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

James:  A plotter. In a lot of other aspects of life I'm a panster, but when it comes to writing I'm a plotter. I spend a great deal of time plotting a story (or series) in advance and I typically write a lot of world building material before starting a book just to kind of flesh things out in my head. That said, I won't reject new ideas that crop up mid-stream if I think they're good enough and logically fit (if it doesn't fit, I'll scrap it no matter how much I like it). Sometimes that means backtracking but if I think it works well enough I'll do it. On one occasion that meant a complete rewrite. Does that make me a closet panster?

TQ:  Describe the Revivors series in 140 characters or less.

James:  The technologically reanimated dead emerge as humanity's possible saviors from a slavery no one knew existed, but at an impossible cost.

TQ:  Tell us about Element Zero (Revivors 3).

James:  Without getting too spoiler-y, the series goes basically like this: State of Decay was about uncovering an unpleasant truth, The Silent Army was about choosing sides, and Element Zero is about fighting for what you believe in. In Element Zero we learn what Samuel Fawkes' endgame is, and what his actions in the previous two installments have been leading toward. These ‘real world’ events converge with those seen in Zoe's visions, though not entirely as she might have expected.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Revivors series?

James:  I wanted to tell a science-fiction adventure story and also a story about social dynamics and I feel like the revivors series has elements of both. The society the story takes place in is, in many ways, an exaggerated version of the one we live in now...not necessarily from a technological standpoint, but a from social one with a small but powerful top tier, a middle class just big enough and content enough to keep things stable, and then 'everyone else'. I'm also fascinated by the idea of perception vs. reality and the difference between them (if any). I’m getting into that in my next project too, though in a very different way.

TQ:  What sorts of research did you do for the Revivors series?

James:  It was more taking current trends and trying to imagine how they might play out if we were to flash forward a little ways. Not the revivor technology per se...I don't see anything on the map currently that might eventually result in our jump-starting the dead back to life, but for the other aspects of the world the story takes place in I tried to make things as 'real' as possible. The 'JZI' technology many of the characters use (the implants that allow them to communicate with others, alter their visual perception, link to remote computers, etc) has its roots in the here and now. The technology to allow a blind person to see different shades of light is being worked on today, and the idea of controlling an interface using thoughts is also in its infancy. I think if we jump forward far enough, we'll see something like the JZI.

TQ:  Which character in the series was the most difficult for you to write and why? Easiest?

James:  I realize this is a weirdly specific answer, but the most difficult characters to write were Calliope in the first book, and Faye in the second and third. The reason for that is because in both cases I decided to give the narrative for those characters a set of rules that I made myself stick to. For the first draft I just kind of let things flow, but during rewrites I tried to make sure that Calliope (in the first book, before she expands her horizons) used a narrative that was monosyllabic. Unless there was just no other way, everything she said or thought was in single syllables. As she grew, I relaxed that, but for book one I wanted a primal feel for her. I used a similar idea for Faye after the first book (I won't give away why). When her narrative changed, I came up with a 'cadence' for her, a set of syllabic rules that I think worked but it made writing her hard at times.

The easiest to write was Zoe, largely because Zoe thinks and acts in almost a stream of consciousness. Both in her narrative and her dialogue, she tends to blurt out in raw form whatever she is thinking or feeling.

TQ:  Are there any other genres in which you'd like to write?

James:  I would like to do a horror novel at some point. I've got something written which kind of qualifies I think, so we'll see. It's a standalone novel though, and I think those are a harder sell (to publishers, not readers). I've got a very black comedy (though sci-fi flavored) on a back, back burner.

TQ:  What's next?

James:  The project I'm working on now is a science fiction series which takes place in a world quite a bit different from the Revivors series. It has similarities in that both are somewhat 'near-future Earth-based' but the worlds are completely different. Nothing has been finalized yet but if things work out, then you can expect to see a much more futuristic world with a much more 'far out' mystery and adventure ride than Revivors. No zombies this go around, for good or ill.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

James:  Thank you for having me.


About James' Books

State of Decay
Revivors 1
(February 2, 2010)
Interview with James Knapp and Giveaway - April 22, 2011
Just because you're dead doesn't mean you're useless...

A thrilling debut novel of a dystopian future populated by a new breed of zombie

They call them revivors-technologically reanimated corpses-and away from the public eye they do humanity's dirtiest work. But FBI agent Nico Wachalowski has stumbled upon a conspiracy involving revivors being custom made to kill-and a startling truth about the existence of these undead slaves.



Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Borders
 



 
The Silent Army
Revivors 2
(October 5, 2010)
Interview with James Knapp and Giveaway - April 22, 2011
The pulse-pounding sequel to State of Decay
 
Federal agent Nico Wachalowski must stop Samuel Fawkes from awakening his own private army of zombies even if it means killing the woman he loves-now resurrected as a "Revivor"-permanently.



Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Borders












Element Zero
Revivors 3
(April 5, 2011)
Interview with James Knapp and Giveaway - April 22, 2011Technologically reanimated corpses are frontline soldiers engaged in a neverending war. Agent Nico Wachalowski uncovered a conspiracy that allowed Samuel Fawkes, the scientist who created them, to control them beyond the grave. And now Fawkes has infected untold thousands with new technology, creating an undetectable army that will obey his every command-a living army that just might represent the future of humanity...



Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Borders









About James

Interview with James Knapp and Giveaway - April 22, 2011
My name is James Knapp. Back in 1995, I used my table-waiting skills to get a job in the high-tech industry (you could do that back then) where I’ve been ever since. In my spare time, I joined the legions of hopefuls that one day my work would see print.

To that end, I began the long road of rejection, criticism (some constructive, some not so much), learning and honing that eventually brought me to the point where I can say the work paid off. I managed to acquire an agent (rockstar Jack Byrne, of the Sternig & Byrne Literary Agency), who managed to acquire me a three book deal with Penguin (Roc imprint).

I now live in MA with my wife Kim, who lends a keen eye to my work during the earlier drafts, and our four gluttonous feline murderers whose antics I not-so-secretly enjoy.

James' Links

Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Element Zero.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is your favorite zombie movie?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, April 29, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Douglas Hulick and Giveaway - April 19, 2011

Please welcome Douglas Hulick to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

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

Douglas:  I don't know if it's a quirk, but I can worry a sentence or paragraph to within an inch of its life if I'm not careful. Write once sentence, fiddle with it for five minutes, move on to the second sentence, then go back to the first again. It doesn't make for a high word rate some days, let me tell you.

I suppose the one thing that might qualify as a "quirk" is the music I listen to when I write. I don't always listen, mind you -- usually, I prefer silence -- but if I'm in a coffee shop or waiting room or the like and there's noise? Then I put on either surf music or a playlist of songs from the "Cowboy BeBop" soundtracks (a great anime SF show from the '90s). The music is only instrumentals, though; I can't write to music with lyrics.

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

Douglas:  Favorite? Well, in the genre, it has to be Roger Zelazny, Barry Hughart, Sean Stewart, Joe Abercrombie and Gene Wolfe. Outside the genre, you're looking at Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, David Liss and Arturo Perez-Reverte.

As for influences...in written form, you definitely have Zelazny and Chandler and Hammett from above, as well as George Alec Effinger. I'm looking at Liss more and more to see how he fits his historical research so seamlessly into his novels, and I have to say I think Bernard Cornwell is a master when it comes to pacing an adventure story. They've all taught me something, and I've consciously studied how they structure their stories, tell their narratives, or fill their characters with life.

Outside the writer's circle it gets harder. There's so much media I've seen over the years--from old black & white gangster movies to Quentin Tarantino's work to Richard Lester & George MacDonald Fraser's 1970's Three and Four Musketeer films (which are the best ones ever made) to TV shows like "La Femme Nikita" and "Burn Notice"--where does it all stop? How can you say where one influence ends and the other begins when you get to these more transitory, or at least immediate, forms of story? I can't say one of those held a stronger sway over me than another, especially when you consider how long it took me to develop Drothe and his world; a lot of it was osmosis, picking up an idea here, and inspiration there, and turning or twisting it to fit (or not fit, in some cases) the piece I was working on. But I can't pretend these things didn't impact me as well, even if I can't point to a specific film or show or scene and say, "That one"; the acknowledgement needs to be made.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Douglas:  A little of both, but more of a panster. I always try to know where the book is going, but that of course doesn't mean the story won't change between page one and "The End." If nothing else, I make sure I know what is coming for at least the next three chapters, so that I can set up the flow from one chapter to another and make sure I don't get too much of the same thing piling up one after the other.

I'm much more of a character writer, and so I tend to let them have their heads when things get rolling. Sometimes this works exceptionally well; other times? Eh, let's just say I have a lot of "scrap" files on my computer with wonderful bits of dialog or action or what have you that will never see the light of day. However, this also makes for a lot longer writing practice, and I'm hoping to work with at least a bit more on structure as time goes on.

I tend to refer to revisions as "pulling out the machete." While I'm pretty free-wheeling on the first draft, I'm ruthless when it comes to shaping and fixing things in the second. That's where the story really comes together and the layering begins.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Among Thieves?

Douglas:  I've wanted to be a writer since I was twelve. And I knew I wanted to write fantasy. But after that? Hmmm....

I don't think there was any one thing, really. Oh, there were bits and pieces: I distinctly remember having a very cinematic picture of two people standing over a third in the rain in a stable yard. This is where I met Drothe and Degan and Jelem (Jelem was the dead one), but quickly realized that wasn't the story they wanted to be in; but that's how I found the characters. Likewise, I can point to the first time I found a copy of a "Dictionary of the Underworld" by Eric Partridge. It's a dictionary of historical thieves' cant (criminal jargon) I bought on remainder in a bookstore in college. I didn't know it at the time, but it helped me better cement the culture and practices of the underworld of Ildrecca over the years, not to mention some of the characters. Then there's the P.I.-style character I used to write on a computer bulletin board in college, which helped give me Drothe's voice....

No, I can't really point to one thing: it was a process, driven by me simply wanting to write. Everything else was just added on over the years.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Among Thieves?

Douglas:  As I mentioned above, I stumbled across the concept of actual historical thieves' cant early on. That led to both learning more about historical criminal cultures, as well as some of their practices. There are pamphlets from the Elizabethan age that tell not only about the people who performed various crimes, but also how some of the crimes were carried out. This was invaluable for me not only in being able to see how criminals of the time operated, but also into getting an idea of how they were organized as well. And that was just the beginning. It's surprising how much is out there on this kind of thing now--it seems to be a growing field of academic study, which is just great for me.

I also have a B.A. and M.A. in medieval history, which helped quite a bit, if for no other reason than it gave me a lot to draw on. History is so chock-full of fascinating (and surprising) bits and pieces, it's hard not find inspiration there. A bit of a twist, a bit of a tweak, and voila!, you have a clever bit of something for your world.

Thirdly, I've been practicing and teaching historical rapier combat for over seven years now. This came in rather handy when writing the combat scenes (although it also got in the way at times: it's easy for me to get too detailed in describing a fight, which is why it's handy to have readers who don't handle swords to tell me when I've gone over the top in terms of detail or terminology).

TQ:  Describe Among Thieves in 140 characters or less.

Douglas:  Drothe, informant for a medieval mob, finds something he's not supposed to and gets in over his head. Danger, intrigue, and betrayal ensue!

(Hah, with one character to spare, even!)

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Douglas:  There's one scene where, after I wrote it, I simply sat back and smiled. It's not the most important or definitive or character-altering scene in the book, but the way it read just made me happy. I never changed it. And when I got my first copies of the book, I opened one and random and came to that scene again--and it still made me smile.

It's a scene where Drothe, the narrator, isn't quite all there (he's been wounded, and is sitting in the rain, bleeding), but is the one to notice an impending danger approaching and tries to do something about it. The way the images and sensation combined with his narrative voice just seemed to click. Like I said, I still smile at how it turned out.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Tales of the Kin series?

Douglas:  That's hard to say. I didn't conceive of this series as being a "trilogy" or "quartet" or anything like that. Each book is meant to stand on its own in terms of its main plot, with there being a sense of completion at the conclusion of each novel. I want the reader to be able to finish the story and not feel like they are balancing on the edge of a cliff, waiting for the next book to come out.

That said, there's also an over-arching storyline I'm trying to address in each book as well. That's more of a big-picture kind of thing, though, and something that can be dealt with in a number of ways in each novel: as a sub-plot, or part of the background, and so on. So while each book will have a definite "End", there will be aspects of the world and the occasional thread that won't always be resolved as neatly, since it is meant to be picked up again later.

But, getting back to your original question: I'm currently contracted for three books. If sales do well and my publisher wants more, I'll do some more; if not, then I'll be working overtime to finish up that bigger story arc by the end of book three. Either way, I don't want to leave readers hanging when everything is said and done.

TQ:  What's next?

Douglas:  Hard to say. Like I said, the Tales of the Kin is meant to be able to go for more books than contracted, but that doesn't mean it will. If it does, then that's what I'm going to be doing for at least a few more years; if not, well, I have a stand-alone urban fantasy that's 85% done. It's a lot of fun, and I'd love to get back to it and sell it. After that, I'm toying around with a fantasy in a French Revolution-era style setting. That's a period not as many people seem to play with in fantasy, and I think it has a lot of potential. However, I don't have anything more than one character and a very loose motivational arc for him, so that would need a lot more research and fleshing out before I was even ready to propose it to my editor. I've kicked around with a couple of steampunk ideas, too, and have a couple of protagonists in mind, but it's all tentative. Then there's the library at war with itself...

Yeah, no shortage of ideas.

Other than that? I'd like to get my life back into a regular rhythm. I've never been a fast writer, and doing a book a year is a new challenge for me ("Among Thieves" took over ten years). I'm getting a better handle on it, though, so I'm hoping that by the time I'm into Book 3, I'll have enough of a routine going that I can start fitting a few things back into my life that I've had to set aside for the last year or so while I learned how to be a professional writer.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Douglas:  Thanks so much for having me, and for featuring "Among Thieves" this April. I really appreciate it, and I hope the readers who took up the challenge to read the book enjoyed it.


About Douglas' Book

Among Thieves has 2 covers - US and UK.

Among Thieves
A Tale of the Kin 1
(April 5. 2011 - US)
Interview with Douglas Hulick and Giveaway - April 19, 2011Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.








 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Among Thieves
A Tale of the Kin 1
(April 1, 2011 - UK)
Interview with Douglas Hulick and Giveaway - April 19, 2011
An exciting new fantasy debut in the underground world of thieves...
 
Drothe is a Nose, an informant who finds and takes care of trouble inside the criminal organization he’s a part of. He also smuggles imperial relics on the side.
 
When his boss sends him to Ten Ways to track down who’s been leaning on his organization’s people, Drothe discovers hints of a much bigger mystery. Someone is trying to stir up trouble between lower-level criminal organizations, including the one Drothe belongs to. And there’s a book rumored to contain imperial glimmer (or magic) that a lot of very dangerous people seem to be looking for - including two crime bosses known as the Gray Princes.
 
When Drothe discovers the book, he finds himself holding a bit of swag that can bring down emperors, shatter the criminal underworld, and unlock forbidden magic…that's if he can survive long enough to use it.


About Douglas

Interview with Douglas Hulick and Giveaway - April 19, 2011
Photograph by Ben Zvan Photography
Douglas Hulick was born in Fargo, ND, but spent much of his life moving about the Midwest. Somehow, he kept ending up in the vicinity of Chicago, IL, which helps explain his abiding love of deep-dish pizza, Ferris Bueller, and Goose Island beer.

Growing up, there were always books in the house, and Douglas was encouraged to read both through example, as well as by the general policy of the house, which was that the answer was never “No” when it came to getting more books. Toys, games, and so on could be “no”, but not books. You see where this is going, yes?

Given this background, it was only logical that Douglas entered the University of Illinois with a dual major in computer science and mathematical theory–logical, that is, when you consider he changed majors within a year. After a few early academic hiccups (he got kicked out of school), as well as four different majors (psychology, business, liberal arts, and pre-law), Douglas settled into the study of history, with a minor in english. A Bachelor of Arts degree was eventually achieved, followed by a Master’s in medieval history at New Mexico State University. A PhD at an Ivy League university was considered, then happily discarded, after as year of study.

Needless to say, with his broad and varied academic background, it was only a matter of time before Douglas followed the storied path of so many Liberal Arts majors and took whatever the hell job he could find. Stints as a waiter, bartender, bookstore manager, pizza delivery driver, brewery worker, freelance RPG writer, and technical/business writer followed, until Douglas finally settled into the one career he seemed destined for: stay-at-home dad.

Somewhere along the way, a copy of “A Dictionary of the Underworld” by Eric Partridge fell into Douglas’s hands. Having sold a few fantasy short stories, Douglas thought a book that defined historical thieves cant (criminal jargon) and described some of the practices of that world might come in handy at some point. Little did he know.

Among Thieves, his first novel, grew out of this unlikely seed over the course of a decade. It was acquired by Roc/Penguin U.S.A. on Douglas’s 45th birthday in 2009.

Douglas lives with his wife and two sons in Minnesota. When not writing or chasing after his kids, he likes to practice and teach 17th century Italian rapier combat (in the tradition of Ridolfo Capoferro), cook, read, and hang out in coffee shops.

Douglas' Links

Website:  http://www.douglashulick.com/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/douglas.hulick
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/DougHulick

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of the US Mass Market Paperback of Among Thieves.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which cover do you like better - US or UK?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011Interview with Lisa Renee Jones and Giveaway - May 13, 2011Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011Interview with Virna DePaul and Giveaway - May 11, 2011Interview with Lexi George and Giveaway - May 4, 2011Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011Interview with Suzanne McLeod and Giveaway - April 27, 2011Interview with Sable Grace and Giveaway - April 26, 2011Interview with James Knapp and Giveaway - April 22, 2011Interview with Douglas Hulick and Giveaway - April 19, 2011

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×