Category Archives: Interviews

Exclusive Author Interview: Rob DeBorde

SciFiChick.com was recently able to interview author Rob DeBorde to talk about his latest release PORTLANDTOWN and, of course, zombies!

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Can you tell us a bit about PORTLANDTOWN in your own words?

Portlandtown is the story of the Wyldes, a uniquely talented family living in Portland, Oregon in 1887 who face off against an undead outlaw and his horde of living-challenged brethren. Okay, that’s the studio pitch. For the reader I’d add this: it’s not just about zombies. Yes, more than a few slack-jaws stumble their way through the pages of Portlandtown, but it’s much more of an adventure than the zombie apocalypse. Plus there are voodoo cowboys, steam-driven totem poles, and a tent-full of old-timey circus freaks. Zombies versus Old West oddities? Yup.

Who is Joseph Wylde?

Joseph is a husband, father, and owner of Wylde’s Booksellers & Navigation. The fact that he’s also blind has not hindered him in the slightest. In fact, he sees the world better than most, which makes him quite good at his side job helping to investigate and resolve delicate situations—the kind his clients would rather not talk about. He’s also a reformed criminal who once rode with a very, very bad dude known as the Hanged Man. Joseph would rather not talk about that.

Why do zombies and westerns seem to mesh so well together?

It’s the hat. Zombies look great in ten-gallon hats. Plus it’s a bit more of a challenge to take on the undead with only a six-shooter, a shovel, and not much else. And, of course, westerns are cool. Imagine the Man with No Name hunting zombies. That’s cool. Now imagine if the Man with No Name was a zombie. You see where this is going, right? Cool.

Zombies have become extremely popular lately. What makes PORTLANDTOWN stand out?

Continue reading Exclusive Author Interview: Rob DeBorde

Exclusive Author Interview: Lana Krumwiede

Lana Krumwiede joins SciFiChick.com today for a Q&A to discuss her upcoming dystopian debut Freakling. (Reviewed here).

Can you tell us a bit about Freakling in your own words?

Freakling is a story about power– how it brings unexpected consequences and responsibility. Human nature seems to include a desire for more power, but in the end, you still have to choose between right and wrong. More power only increases the stakes. In fact, the first title that I chose for this book was Power Struggle, which sums up these ideas nicely, but it was much too generic for a book title. The word “freakling” was already in the manuscript I’d written, an insulting name I had invented for people with weak psi, and my editor thought that would make a much more intriguing title. She was right!

How much time did you spend in world-building this fascinating world of psi with all of the rules and limitations?

This story began with world-building. I had this idea about a place where everyone had telekinetic powers. How might that happen? What would that be like? There would have to be some inherent limitations, but what would they be and how would that work? How would telekinetic powers influence education, politics, technology, communication, transportation, industry? And on and on. All of that was swirling around in my head before I had a character or a plot in mind. I knew from the beginning that the main character would not have psi, but I didn’t know who he was or what he wanted until much later.

The hero of your story has what others believe is a crippling disability. But when we see how those without psi powers live, those with psi seem like the ones to pity. Was this a part of your initial story idea?

Yes, exactly. I liked the idea of a reverse super hero story– a story where everyone else has the super powers, but not this one kid. I think everyone feels that way sometimes, especially during adolescence. I also liked the idea of a person who would be perfectly normal in our world, but in a different context, this person is seen as inferior. Most of us worry way too much about how we compare to others. Taemon has a lot going for him, but he can’t see it because of all the expectations that surround him.

Is this world set in the future, or is it just a separate fantasy world?

Continue reading Exclusive Author Interview: Lana Krumwiede

Exclusive Author Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

SciFiChick.com recently had the opportunity to interview author Sarah Beth to talk about her latest release Vessel. Her novels Ice and Enchanted Ivy are two of my top favorite young adult novels that I always recommend. And last year’s Drink, Slay, Love was a fantastic vampire romance novel.

Reviews:
Ice: http://scifichick.com/2009/11/11/book-review-ice/
Enchanted Ivy: http://scifichick.com/2010/10/07/book-review-enchanted-ivy/
Drink, Slay, Love: http://scifichick.com/2011/09/20/book-review-drink-slay-love/

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Can you tell us a bit about VESSEL in your own words?

VESSEL is about a girl who lives in a harsh desert land and is destined to sacrifice herself so her clan’s goddess can inhabit her body… but her goddess never comes.

Can you talk about Liyana’s character and the reason for her sacrifice?

Once a century, the goddess of the Goat Clan claims a human body and uses it to work the magic that fills the wells, revitalizes the oases, and increases the herds. Without this infusion of magic, the clan will wither and die.

Liyana has been chosen to give her body to the goddess. She doesn’t want to die, but she is willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of her clan and especially for the sake of her four-year-old brother. She is both brave and extremely practical as she faces her own death.

The creatures in VESSEL seem very unique. Where did the idea for the wolves of sand and serpents of glass come from?

I use the Rule of Awesome to develop my ideas. (Okay, yeah, I made up that term just now.) It goes something like this:

Me: I want to write about a desert.
My brain: Okay. But is it awesome?
Me: Deserts have sand storms. And wolves.
My brain: Okay. But is it awesome?
Me: The wolves are made out of sand.
My brain: Okay. But is it…
Me: And there are dragons made of sand… no, sky serpents made of GLASS. Unbreakable glass! And monstrous worms. And gods and goddesses that displace human souls when they…
My brain: Okay, okay! Write that.

This seems to be your first novel not set in world similar to present day Earth. Was that a natural progression that your fantasy world-building has taken?

Continue reading Exclusive Author Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

Exclusive Author Interview: Alex Bledsoe

SciFiChick.com was recently able to interview author Alex Bledsoe to discuss his Eddie LaCrosse series and recent release, Wake of the Bloody Angel. (Reviewed here.)

Can you tell us a bit about Wake of the Bloody Angel in your own words?

Like all the prior Eddie LaCrosse novels, this one is a mystery at heart. Eddie is hired by his landlord, the enigmatic Angelina, to discover what happened to the great love of her life, the pirate Black Edward Tew. He vanished twenty years earlier on his way back to her with the richest pirate treasure ever recorded. To follow this very cold trail, Eddie enlists the help of Jane Argo, another sword jockey who was once a pirate captain herself. They charter a pirate hunting ship, crewed by former buccaneers now barely on the right of side of the law. There are battles, horrors and surprises before the final revelations about the fate of Black Edward.

What is a sword jockey? How did you come up with this idea?

In my secondary-fantasy world, he’s the equivalent of a private detective. People hire him to find things out, to discover if other people are doing bad things, and to resolve problems. I invented the designation because there wasn’t an equivalent accepted term in fantasy. The closest would be “mercenary,” I suppose, but that doesn’t include solving mysteries or locating missing persons. I wanted something that had the same slang feel as “private eye” or “shamus,” but was particular to a faux-medieval world. “Sword jockey” seemed to fit.

The Eddie LaCrosse series has the feel of a detective novel or an urban fantasy but is set in a more traditional fantasy world. Was there a reason you went this unconventional route?

For years–and we’re talking at least twenty of them–I tried to write the story that became the first novel, THE SWORD-EDGED BLONDE, as a more traditional fantasy. It never worked, or rather, it never came to life. It was a compendium of tropes, all done better by other fantasy authors, and all failing to create the effect I was after. Finally I realized that, since I adored reading hard-boiled detective novels as much as I did fantasy, that perhaps combining the detective-style narrative voice with the accoutrements of fantasy would create something interesting. And it did. I just wish I’d thought of it sooner.

How do you see Eddie’s relationship with Liz progressing?

Continue reading Exclusive Author Interview: Alex Bledsoe

Carrie Vaughn Exclusive Interview and Giveaway

Author Carrie Vaughn talks about her wildly popular Kitty Norville urban fantasy series and most recent installment, Kitty Steals the Show with SciFiChick.com. And keep reading for a chance to win a copy of the book!

Can you tell us a bit about KITTY STEALS THE SHOW in your own words?

Kitty goes to London for a conference on paranormal studies. Shenanigans ensue, of course! Kitty gets to meet vampires and werewolves in another country and see how they interact, and reunites with some old friends along the way. London’s a great city to write about, and I hope read about!

How has Kitty’s character evolved over the years?

She’s gotten stronger, she’s learned to take care of herself, and then she’s learned to take care of the people around her, her family and friends, her pack, and so on. Now, she’s learning to be a leader. The way I’ve looked at it — as the series has progressed, her sphere of influence and power have expanded, and she’s grown to meet the challenge.

How many books do you have planned for Kitty Norville?

I can’t say exactly. I have an end point in mind, but if I keep getting ideas in the meantime, I’ll keep writing. I’m under contract for four more at the moment.

KITTY STEALS THE SHOW is your tenth installment in the series. How do you keep your ideas as well as characters fresh and exciting?

The first trick is starting with a character who has a lot of potential for growth and adventure, then stay true to that character. There are a lot of corners of Kitty’s world to explore, a lot of different folklores, locations, and stories to tell. I’m always trying to find a new story rather than rehash an old one, and I try to let the characters grow and develop naturally. That makes for the most satisfying stories, I think.

Urban fantasy/paranormal novels are popular and widespread right now. What different about the Kitty Norville series that sets it apart from the others?

Continue reading Carrie Vaughn Exclusive Interview and Giveaway

Exclusive Author Interview: Wesley King

Wesley King joins SciFiChick.com today for a Q&A about his young adult debut The Vindico and the future of the series.

Tell us a bit about The Vindico in your own words.

The Vindico is a literary take on the awesome world of superhero comics. It explores the grey areas between good and evil while following five very different and very relatable young protagonists through their training as the next generation of super villains.

I love the X-Men meets The Breakfast Club analogy – as they’re a group of regular teens with various struggles, suddenly given super powers. Do you relate to any specific character – whether from your story or The Breakfast Club?

I never really related to any characters on The Breakfast Club; I never quite felt enough like a jock or a nerd or a general badass to identify with one or the other. But I just loved the idea of changing perceptions. In terms of The Vindico, I think I relate to James the most, but I always get a great sense of amusement writing from Hayden’s perspective. He’s just such a jerk. I think I wanted to be that confident growing up, but never quite figured out how to do it.

The Vindico centers on the super villains and we see their reasons for hating the League of Heroes. Will we get to know the “Heroes” better in future installments?

Absolutely. In fact, the murky areas around the League of Heroes become a central point of the sequel, and the protégés are thrust into the conflict.

How about the Hero protégés?
Continue reading Exclusive Author Interview: Wesley King

Exclusive Author Interview: SJ Kincaid

On this latest stop for the Dark Days of Summer tour, SJ Kincaid joins SciFiChick.com today to talk about her latest book Insignia.

Can you tell us a bit about Insignia in your own words?

Insignia is the story of Tom Raines, a teenaged video gamer who’s recruited to become a government weapon in a future world war fought over resources and territory in space.

Tom Raines is gifted at virtual reality gaming. Are you into gaming? Did you have to do much research for the subject?

I’m not a gamer myself, but my best friends in college were (and still are) very into videogames, so I definitely drew a lot of my inspiration from them. I had a lot of fun making up the scenarios for the videogames featured in the story.

In your future Earth, countries are at war in space, instead of traditional wars fought with a huge loss of life. How did you come up with this vision of the future?

I actually came up with it after reading the article that gave me the idea for Insignia. I was reading about likely future technological developments, and one development mentioned was the increasing use of unmanned drones, especially for warfare. This image came into my mind of two great powers fighting a vast battle with fleets of these unmanned drones, and it struck me that with the human element removed, it was almost like a videogame. I wondered exactly what two superpowers would have to fight over in the future, and immediately concluded it would have to be resources and territory in the solar system. Why? Because it makes sense, and because it’s much more awesome.

Are there any sequels planned for Insignia?

Yes! I have a contract for three books.

What’s next for you after Insignia? Any other stories on the horizon?

I get ideas now and then, but I’m someone who thinks obsessively about the manuscript I’m working on, and I can’t really put any mental energy into anything else until I’m done with my current love. I’m always writing, though, so I assume there will certainly be something after Insignia.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

It took me a while to get published—seven manuscripts in fact. I’m very grateful it was such a long, difficult road, because I feel I appreciate this opportunity far more than I would have, had I hit a homerun my first manuscript. I’m also far more confident about my writing than I was starting off.

What inspires you?

Everything does. A lot of the ideas I had for Insignia I had while studying the human brain in a class. When my brain’s occupied with something completely unrelated, I seem to have this steady stream of ideas for fiction.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

There are two authors I love above all else: Susan Kay, who wrote a fantastic Tudor novel called Legacy, and Joseph Heller, who wrote Catch-22. It’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s pure hilarity, and strangely moving, too. In YA, I’m enjoying the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and I really enjoyed Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?

Waste tons and tons of time on the internet.

Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for featuring Insignia, SciFiChick!


Insignia releases from Harper Teen on July 10th.

Benedict Jacka Exclusive Interview and Giveaway!

Author Benedict Jacka stops by SciFiChick.com today on his blog tour for an exclusive interview! Jacka has written the recent release Fated as well as the sequel Cursed which releases today.

Can you tell us a bit about Alex Verus?

Alex is a diviner: he can see the probabilities of possible futures. He was originally trained as a Dark mage and it ended badly, and when he went to the Light mages that ended badly too. As a result he’s ended up divorced from magical society, running a small magic shop in North London. He’s been keeping his distance from other mages for years, and they’ve been happy to forget about him . . . until the events of the first book, Fated.

What can you tell us the sequel Cursed?

After the events of Fated Alex is on better terms with the Light mages, but that doesn’t mean they like him. When a new adaption of an old life-draining ritual surfaces, Alex gets caught between several groups, Light and Dark, who all want to get it. Along the way Alex also has to deal with a monkey’s paw, find out who keeps sending assassins after him, and figure out what to do with Luna’s new boyfriend.

Alex is a mage with a unique ability. Are all of your mages (light and dark) the result of his or her gifts (something they’re born with), or can it be a choice?

The type of magic that a mage can use is set by their personality, so the question of choice vs nature in magic works exactly the same way as it does in psychology. Mages definitely do start out with a certain inclination magic-wise, but it can also change depending on the choices they make and (especially) what they use it for, in the same way that the actions you take affect your long-term character. I spend a lot of time working out this sort of world-building information – there ended up being so much of it that I started putting it in a series of weekly articles on my website called the ‘Encyclopaedia Arcana’ because putting it all in the books would have slowed them too far down.

How many books do you have planned for Alex Verus?

Lots! *laughs* #1 through #3 are written, I’m writing #4 now, and I’ve got ideas for #5. As long as people are going to keep buying Alex Verus novels then I’m going to keep writing them . . . at least for the moment. I’m sure a natural end point will come sooner or later for the series, but right now I don’t know when that will be.

What’s next for you, besides your these Alex Verus novels? Any other stories on the horizon?

Nope, it’s all Alex Verus all the time right now! I’m spending the bulk of my free time on writing Alex Verus #4 and most of what’s left goes on Encyclopaedia Arcana articles.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

I actually started out as a children’s fantasy author, and for a long time that was how I saw myself. My first three novels were children’s fantasy or young-adult fantasy, depending on how you look at it, with a this-world-and-otherworld style, and I’ve written several others too. The more I kept writing, though, the more I noticed something odd – I seemed to do best when I only did either ‘childrens’ or ‘fantasy’ but not both. Finally I tried just doing ‘fantasy’ with the Alex Verus series, and I haven’t looked back since then.

What inspires you?

Weather. I can spend ages staring out of the window at clouds and sky, usually while my brain replays little bits and pieces of past stories and films and books. The one thing I can’t stand is not having an outside view.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of my old favourites – I read it so many times as a boy that I practically know it off by heart. I’m also a fan of Jack Vance, especially his later books like the Lyonesse series. Agatha Christie is great, and there are very few of her books that I don’t own a copy of, and it’s probably not a surprise to anyone who’s seen any of the Alex Verus covers that I’m a fan of Jim Butcher. More recently I’ve also been reading my way through Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series.

What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?

Skating. I had a set of four-by-four skates when I was a little kid and I switched up to inline skates when they came in. I’ve been skating almost as long as I’ve been walking and it’s still how I get around London if I have the choice. (Actually, I’m just about to skate down to the London West End as I’m typing this now.)

Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for the interview, and hope you enjoy the book! It’s been quite nerve-wracking watching the Alex Verus novels roll out, but I’ve been really encouraged by all the positive feedback I’ve gotten. Hopefully Cursed will be as well-received as Fated was, and I’ll be able to keep writing more in the series!

Courtesy of the Ace Books, I have a copy of Cursed by Benedict Jackafor one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 15. I’ll draw a name on June 16, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Benedict Jacka Exclusive Interview and Giveaway!