close

The Qwillery | category: Rebel Angels

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

The View From Monday - November 18, 2013


It's Monday. This past weekend I nearly finished Dying is My Business by Nicholas Kaufmann. I'm really enjoying it. Unfortunately I had to stop reading just ahead of what I hope will be the exciting conclusion. I think I know what is going to happen, but I'm probably wrong because that would be too obvious. We'll see.

A reminder: The Qwillery is looking for reviewers. If you are interested head to this post to fill out the form.



The View From Monday - November 18, 2013



There are no debuts (that I am aware of) this week.  However there are novels out from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Bloodstone (Rebel Angles 2) by Gillian Phillip;

and

Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War (The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin) by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.





November 18, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural (h2tp) Victoria Nelson History and Criticism
Beyond the Rift Peter Watts SF



November 19, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tyrannia: and Other Renditions Alan DeNiro SF - Collection
The Rapture of the Nerds (h2tp) Cory Doctorow
Charles Stross
SF
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Visual Companion Jude Fisher F - Movie Tie-In
Temporary Monsters (e) Craig Shaw Gardner UF - Temporary Magic 1
The Orphans' Promise Pierre Grimbert F - Secret of Ji 2
Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War Richard Ellis Preston Jr. SP - Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin 2
Dawn of the Aspects Richard A. Knaak F - World of Warcraft
The Great Betrayal Nick Kyme F - Warhammer: Time of Legends
Hercules Fred Van Lente F - Myths and Legends 6
We Will Destroy Your Planet: An Alien's Guide to Conquering the Earth David McIntee SF/Satire
The Severed Tower J. Barton Mitchell F - Conquered Earth 2
Ghosts of Old Edo Miyuki Miyabe H - Apparitions
Watcher of the Dark Joseph Nassise Su/Th - Jeremiah Hung Supernatural Thriller 3
Accidentally Married to...A Vampire? Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Accidentally Yours 2
Bloodstone Gillian Philip F - Rebel Angels 2
Metatropolis (h2tp) John Scalzi (ed) SF - Anthology
Singer of Souls (e 1st) Adam Stemple UF
Steward of Song (e 1st) Adam Stemple UF
The Curse Keepers Denise Grover Swank H
Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel (e 1st) Ronda Thompson PNR
Doctor Who: Essential Guide to 50 Years of Doctor Who Various SF - Doctor Who
Master of Dragons Chris Wraight F - Warhammer: Time of Legends
The Hermetic Millennia (h2tp) John C. Wright SF - Count to a Trillion 2



November 20, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Thirteen Steps in the Underworld: A Tor.Com Original (e) Su-Yee Lin F



November 22, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide: Contraptions, Creations, and Curiosities Anyone Can Make Thomas Willeford SP - Crafts


e - eBook
e 1st - First time in digital format
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

F - Fantasy
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2013 Winner

The 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars winner for February is Gillian Philip's Firebrand with 33% of the votes cast. Firebrand (Rebel Angels 1) was published by Tor Books in the US on February 19, 2013.  The cover artwork is by Steve Stone.



2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2013 Winner





The final results:

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2013 Winner





The February Debut Covers

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2013 Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue soon with voting on the March 2013 Debut covers.


Interview with Gillian Philip, author of Firebrand, and Giveaway - February 19, 2013

Please welcome Gillian Philip to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Firebrand, Gillian's US Adult debut, is out today, February 19, 2013, from Tor Books.  You may read Gillian's Guest Blog - That Sinking Feeling - here. Happy Publication Day to Gillian!




Interview with Gillian Philip, author of Firebrand, and Giveaway - February 19, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Gillian:  Thank you, Sally! I’m delighted to be here, and thanks for inviting me!


TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Gillian:  I was writing stories when I was very little - I know this because, embarrassingly, my mother kept them all. Usually they involved horses or cats or (as I got older) The Man From UNCLE. I should really have got out more - as a teen my idea of a good time was sitting in my bedroom with a brand new notebook, and filling every page with screeds of rambling spy/animal/fairy stories (sometimes all three combined). Really I just wanted to imitate the books I loved.

I always wanted to be a professional writer but it took me a long time to believe I could do it. When I came home to Scotland in 2001, after being an expat for 12 years, I had to make a decision about my career, and I promised myself two years to get a novel published. It took longer than that, but once I’d started I didn’t want to give up.


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

Gillian:  I’m not sure I have one. I just have all the usual irrational writing habits and foibles: crying buckets when I kill a favourite character; spending half my working day googling attractive actors to cast in the books; giving my laptop a human name; calling my pets and family by character names when I’m not thinking. I know lots of other writers who do all those things... Oh, I do buy myself a ring for every book. My preciouses.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Gillian:  Very much a pantser... with a dash of plot. I like to know roughly where I’m going, but I don’t care about knowing how I get there. That’s kind of the fun part anyway - finding out what happens. If it gets me interested, it’s more likely to interest a reader. The reason I put off writing for so long was that I thought all ‘real’ writers created intricate story plans. I thought Ruth Rendell woke up in the morning with a fully formed plot, and all she had to do was write it down. Maybe she does, but an awful lot of writers don’t, and I wish I’d know that sooner.


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

Gillian:  The blank page. I really, really like the redrafting, editing and fixing stage. But I find it horribly difficult to get into the groove for the first draft. Once I’m there, it’s fine, but the first chapters are horrible, and with every book, I always think this is the time I’m not going to be able to do it.


TQ:  Describe Firebrand in 140 characters or less.

Gillian:  A young Sithe finds his destiny, his heart, his courage, and the people he loves - just in time to be in danger of losing them all.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Firebrand?

Gillian:  I never meant to write it! I’d written Bloodstone (now the second in the Rebel Angels series), and it just wasn’t right. Eventually I figured out why - I was telling the wrong story. There was a minor villain called Seth who essentially took over. Once I realised it was his tale I should be telling, it all came right. I went back four centuries to investigate his back story, and that turned from a few pages of notes into 100,000 words: and there was my first draft of Firebrand. After I’d written that, the other books fell into place - I had to rewrite them altogether, with a whole different focus, but that was fine by me. Seth wouldn’t leave me alone till I’d told his story, and he kept me right.

I do get a lot of inspiration from landscape too - much of Firebrand’s setting came from a Hebridean island called Colonsay, one of my favourite places in the world. The remains of Seth’s father’s dun are there, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.


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

Gillian:  Research isn’t my favourite thing, but I knew I’d have to do a lot of it when I realised Seth’s story went back four centuries. As it turned out, I had a great time (though Seth doesn’t) - it was a fascinating period, right in the middle of the Scottish Reformation and the witch-hunts (which were a lot more brutal in Scotland than they were in England). I went back to primary sources, like contemporary accounts of witch trials and the Daemonologie written by King James VI and I. I came across a price list for the services of a witch-executioner that was absolutely chilling.

I went back to Scottish myths and legends, too - stories I knew already, but not in depth. I love the Scottish and Irish faery myths, and I have a really soft spot for kelpies, the man-eating horse monsters of legend. I knew I definitely wanted some of those. And the series title comes from a myth I only discovered during my research - that the faeries are the rebel angels who fell from Heaven, or at least, the angels who fell on land. The ones that fell in the sea became the selkies or seal people; the ones who got caught in the sky became the Northern Lights. There are several local variations of that myth, but that’s my favourite version.


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

Gillian:  Seth was definitely the easiest character to write because his voice was so clear. If I got stuck on a plot point, or something wasn’t working, he put me right pretty fast. The hardest character was Catriona - she didn’t fit in with any of the other characters, or not for a long time, and I found her almost as frustrating as Seth does. But in her own quiet way, she carved out a place, and I couldn’t do without her.


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

Gillian:  A scene when Seth and his brother Conal are leaving the fortress of the queen, and there’s rather a lot of violence. I just like it because Seth is at his rudest and stroppiest, and I’m fond of those aspects of his character. I also like the part where he masters his kelpie, though. I love a wild, slightly out-of-control horseback ride myself.


TQ:  What's next?

Gillian:  I need to do some rewrites on Bloodstone (Rebel Angels Book 2) before it’s published in the US, and I’m also working on the fourth book, Icefall, for its UK publication next year. There’s a crime story I’m keen to get back to - provisionally titled Spitting Distance. I write animal fantasy as one of the Erin Hunters - work I absolutely love - and I’m currently writing the fourth book of her series about dogs, Survivors (and I’ll be touring the States in May to promote Book 2). For the same company I also write a children’s fantasy adventure series, Rookery Island, and the third book is my next immediate project. I have a packed schedule right now, but that’s the way I like it. :-)


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Gillian:  Thank you very much for having me - it’s been fun!




About Firebrand

Firebrand
Rebel Angels 1
Tor Books, February 19, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
US Adult Debut

Interview with Gillian Philip, author of Firebrand, and Giveaway - February 19, 2013
It is the last decade of the sixteenth century: a time of religious wars in the mortal world. But the Sithe are at peace, hidden behind the Veil that protects their world until their queen, Kate NicNiven, determines to destroy it.

Seth MacGregor is the half-feral son of a Sithe nobleman. When his father is assassinated and Seth is exiled with his brother Conal to the full-mortal world, they vow not only to survive, but to return to reclaim their fortress and save the Veil.

But even the Veil's power cannot protect the brothers when the brutal witch-hunts begin….

Brimming with intrigue and rebellion, Firebrand is the first book in the Rebel Angels series by Gillian Philip, the Carnegie Medal–nominated author of Crossing the Line and multi-award-nominated Bad Faith.





About Gillian

Interview with Gillian Philip, author of Firebrand, and Giveaway - February 19, 2013
Gillian Philip is a full time author and ghostwriter for young adults and children. She writes in whatever genre grabs her, including contemporary crime, historical and urban fantasy, horror, and dystopian science fiction. Her books include Crossing the Line, Bad Faith, The Opposite of Amber and the Rebel Angels series - Firebrand, Bloodstone, Wolfsbane and (published next year) Icefall. She has written Darke Academy as Gabriella Poole, the Survivors series as Erin Hunter, and two Beast Quest instalments as Adam Blade.

Gillian was born in Glasgow, lived in Barbados for twelve years and now lives in the north-east Highlands of Scotland with her husband, twins Jamie and Lucy, three dogs, two cats, a fluctuating population of chickens and many nervous fish.

Website  :  Facebook  :  Twitter





The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will a hardcover copy of Firebrand (Rebel Angels 1) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question: 

What is one of your favorite places in the world?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions 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.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST 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, February 26, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Guest Blog by Gillian Philip - That Sinking Feeling - January 23, 2013

Please welcome Gillian Philip to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Firebrand, Gillian's US Adult debut, will be published on February 19, 2013 by Tor Books.



Guest Blog by Gillian Philip - That Sinking Feeling - January 23, 2013




That Sinking Feeling

Everybody knows the bad ones stick. That’s not conventional wisdom, it’s inescapable. It doesn’t matter how many good reviews you get as a writer (or for all I know as an artist, a journalist or a PPI compensation salesman), it’s the lines of loathing you know off by heart.

I know writers who won’t read their Amazon reviews, not even the good ones (at least, they say they don’t), and I do wonder if I should join them. (I know I won’t. Reviews are like cigarettes; they can kick-start your morning; they can make you as content as a chilled-out cat; but you never know which one is going to kill you. It doesn’t stop you going back to them.)

Of course the twisty-gut feeling when you read a bad review isn’t nice, but it isn’t that part of it that’s got me thinking. Reviews are a Good Thing, even when they aren’t good, if you see what I mean. There are bad reviews that are well-deserved, and ones that are downright entertaining (I’m thinking of a recent film review of Les Mis which I thoroughly enjoyed for the sheer snarkiness, though I have no views on the film because I haven’t seen it yet). Of course books should be honestly reviewed, and potential readers should be warned off the bad ones as much as they’re encouraged to try the good ones. It isn’t that.

What’s got me thinking is the stickiness-factor - not because of the hurt to one’s delicate feelings about one’s precious book-baby, but because of the potential damage to its future siblings. The democratisation of reviewing is wonderful, giving exposure both to fresh opinions and to authors who might not get the newspaper space, but the flipside of it is that anything you write is going to offend somebody, somewhere. Subjective opinion, personal taste, all that.

And it isn’t nice making people unhappy, so you tend not to want to do it again. It’s a little like having an editor-after-the-event. Editing, too, is a Good Thing. Like a sharp review, it points out what you hadn’t noticed, highlights your weak spots, encourages you to do better and go further. You have to listen and learn, but here’s the thing: you also have to know when to stop and say no.

Somebody didn’t like my portrayal of women in Firebrand. That took me aback when I first read the review, because most people thought my women were strong and individual - except for one, who starts out weak and ineffectual. She’s a victim, and for a while my hero holds her in contempt, largely because he’s an arrogant son of a bitch who’s used to strong women. That contrast was too much for this particular reviewer.

Now, on an intellectual level, I disagree with the review although I respect the reviewer’s opinion (it wasn’t abusive or rude). On a visceral level, I’ve never stopped agonising about it. Should I have written my character that way? More importantly, would I ever write her that way again?

Before the self-flagellation gets out of hand, I want to defend the way I wrote my character. She’s a young sixteenth century girl who’s been raised in a strict religious environment. She’s not used to the concept of standing up for herself, but she does anyway, and as a result terrible things happen to her. And they happen because they would have, in real life. She wouldn’t have got away with her defiance, had she been a real girl in the real sixteenth century, and to write her otherwise would have felt like a betrayal. And had my hero been warm, understanding and mature about it, he wouldn’t have been himself. Any writer will tell you that describing their characters’ actions, dialogue and attitudes doesn’t mean you’re condoning them or suggesting them as a healthy way of life.

That’s the theory. But when a reader takes exception to the way your story and characters develop, it does bring you up short. It should. We should all take responsibility for what and who we write.

When I read the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, I was shocked by the change in Katniss. She didn’t seem like the character I’d grown to know and love, and I didn’t like it. I’ve visited the Amazon reviews since, and I know I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. But she was for real. Suzanne Collins knows Katniss better than anyone, and she knew how she’d change after all that had happened to her. It wasn’t nice, I didn’t like it, but it felt true and I’m sure that even with a time machine and a second chance, Suzanne Collins would write her the same way.

And I just don’t know if I’d be that strong. I can’t write Firebrand again, but would I write another weak female character to go with the strong ones? I hope I would. There are women who are weak, and I don’t want to write a book full of role models. This girl changes, but I must have lost that reader before she did. I don’t like that. I hate that I lost my reader before any of my characters had a chance to change and grow, before the reader’s mind was made up. In my head I know the characters needed the time they took; in my heart I want to grab the reader and shout, ‘Stop! Wait! Give them a bit longer! Look at their world!’

And next time, I’m afraid I might hurry it. Next time, I might ensure that a female character is not-raped, when most likely she would be, because of a post I read recently bemoaning the use of rape as a plot device. Maybe there’s a writer out there now, tearing up their manuscript about a kid with cancer because there’s been a recent article regretting the preponderance of ‘sick-lit’.

And there should be those articles! There should be those opinions! Debate is good! Because this is where I should come to some kind of rousing and decisive conclusion, but as I don’t have one, I only have questions. It’s a problem with me, not reviewers (every time I say ‘you’ or ‘one’, I of course mean ‘I’). I would seriously love to know how much agonising other writers do. None? Lots? Would you change your story because of a review or a tweet or a searing blog post?

Can you, should you, crowd-source your characters? It’s a serious question. And now I’m off to torment myself on Amazon...





About Firebrand

Firebrand
Rebel Angels 1
Tor Books, February 19, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
US Adult Debut

Guest Blog by Gillian Philip - That Sinking Feeling - January 23, 2013
It is the last decade of the sixteenth century: a time of religious wars in the mortal world. But the Sithe are at peace, hidden behind the Veil that protects their world until their queen, Kate NicNiven, determines to destroy it.

Seth MacGregor is the half-feral son of a Sithe nobleman. When his father is assassinated and Seth is exiled with his brother Conal to the full-mortal world, they vow not only to survive, but to return to reclaim their fortress and save the Veil.

But even the Veil's power cannot protect the brothers when the brutal witch-hunts begin….

Brimming with intrigue and rebellion, Firebrand is the first book in the Rebel Angels series by Gillian Philip, the Carnegie Medal–nominated author of Crossing the Line and multi-award-nominated Bad Faith.
Preorder





About Gillian

Guest Blog by Gillian Philip - That Sinking Feeling - January 23, 2013
Gillian Philip is a full time author and ghostwriter for young adults and children. She writes in whatever genre grabs her, including contemporary crime, historical and urban fantasy, horror, and dystopian science fiction. Her books include Crossing the Line, Bad Faith, The Opposite of Amber and the Rebel Angels series - Firebrand, Bloodstone, Wolfsbane and (published next year) Icefall. She has written Darke Academy as Gabriella Poole, the Survivors series as Erin Hunter, and two Beast Quest instalments as Adam Blade.

Gillian was born in Glasgow, lived in Barbados for twelve years and now lives in the north-east Highlands of Scotland with her husband, twins Jamie and Lucy, three dogs, two cats, a fluctuating population of chickens and many nervous fish.


Website : Facebook : Twitter


Interview with Gillian Philip, author of the Rebel Angels series - Giveaway -  November 22, 2013The View From Monday - November 18, 2013Interview with Michele Lang, author of the Lady Lazarus Trilogy, and Giveaway - March 7, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2013 WinnerInterview with Gillian Philip, author of Firebrand, and Giveaway - February 19, 2013Guest Blog by Gillian Philip - That Sinking Feeling - January 23, 2013

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×