Monday, July 15, 2019

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts




Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2019 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on July 31, 2019, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite July 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




Illustration by Kathleen Jennings
Cover design by Christine Foltzer





Cover art by Yoshi Yoshitani















Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Cover illustration by Karla Ortiz





Cover design by Adam Auerbach
Cover photo of stars courtesy of Shutterstock










Cover art by Mikio Murakami





Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio
Cover illustrations by Shutterstock

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall;

Snow Over Utopia by Rudolfo A. Serna;

and

The Rage of Dragons (Burning 1) by Evan Winter.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.   (Max Gladstone was featured in the DAC in 2012.)

and

Howling Dark (Sun Eater 2) by Christopher Ruocchio.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.







Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

July 15, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Conversations From the Edge: The Galaxy's Edge Interviews (e) Joy Ward SF/HC/LC



July 16, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel Baoshu SF/AC/HSF - Remembrance of Earth's Past 4
Earth Ben Bova SF/HSF/AC - Grand Tour 22
Someone Like Me (h2tp) M. R. Carey PsyTh/Occ/Sup/LF/SF/SupTh
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Four Neil Clarke (Ed) SF -Anthology
The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction Neil Clarke (Ed) SF - Anthology
Vox (h2tp) Christina Dalcher CW/Dys/PolTh
Talking to Robots: Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures David Ewing Duncan Comp/Intelligence/Semantics/Robotics/Tech/Eng
This Is How You Lose the Time War Amal El-Mohtar
Max Gladstone
SF/TT
Unforeseen: Stories Molly Gloss SS - Collection
The Border Keeper (D) Kerstin Hall F
The Mere Wife (h2tp) Maria Dahvana Headley LF/CF
The Seas (h2tp) Samantha Hunt CoA
Modern Japanese Short Stories: Twenty-Five Stories by Japan's Leading Writers Ivan Morris H/FairyT/FolkT/LM/P/Japanese - Anthology
Howling Dark Christopher Ruocchio SF/SO/HSF/AC - Sun Eater 2
Snow Over Utopia (D) Rudolfo A. Serna SF/PA/Dys
Children of the Lens (ri) E.E. 'Doc' Smith SF/Classics/SO - Golden Age Masterworks
Baby Teeth (h2tp) Zoje Stage PsyTh/FL/H
Low Chicago (h2tp) George R.R. Martin (Ed)
Wild Cards Trust
SF/SH/ - Wild Cards 18
Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe Heather Webber CW/MR/ST+R
The Rage of Dragons (D) Evan Winter F/African American - Burning 1



July 17, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Absolute at Large (ri) Karel Capek SF



July 18, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Paradox of Blackness in African American Vampire Fiction Jerry Rafiki Jenkins LC - New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AA - Action and Adventure
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Eng - Engineering
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
Ke - Kindle eBook
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SS - Short Stories
ST+R - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
Tech - Technology
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2018 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners



The 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners have been announced.
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.


Winners are in green.


NOVEL
  • Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape)
  • In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey (John Joseph Adams Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Little Eve by Catriona Ward (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group)
  • Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (Double Day/Raven Books)
  • We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books)


NOVELLA
  • Judderman by DA Northwood (Gary Budden) (Dead Ink Books/Cinder House Publishing)
  • The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp (Tor.com)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com)
  • The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky by John Hornor Jacobs (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza (Dorothy, a Publishing Project)


NOVELETTE
  • "Adriftica" by Maria Dahvana Headley (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • "Blood and Smoke, Vinegar and Ashes” by D.P. Watt (The Silent Garden)
  • Ghostographs: An Album by Maria Romasco Moore (Rose Metal Press)
  • "Help the Witch" by Tom Cox (Help the Witch)
  • "The Black Sea" by Chris Mason (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, April 2018)


SHORT FICTION
  • Back Seat” by Bracken MacLeod (Lost Highways)
  • Hell” by David Hansen (The Charcoal Issue of Fairy Tale Review, March 2018)
  • How to be a Horror Writer” by Tim Waggoner (Vastarien: A Literary Journal vol 1., issue 2 – Summer / Grimscribe Press)
  • The Astronaut” by Christina Wood Martinez (Granta 142: Animalia)
  • "The Woman Dies" by Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton (online edition of Granta 144: genericlovestory)


SINGLE-AUTHOR COLLECTION
  • All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma (Undertow Publications)
  • From Deep Places by Gemma Files (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Garden of Eldritch Delights by Lucy A. Snyder (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Quartier Perdu by Sean O'Brien (Comma Press)
  • The Human Alchemy by Michael Griffin (Word Horde)


EDITED ANTHOLOGY
  • Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations, edited by Michael Bailey and Lucy A. Snyder (Written Backwards)
  • Robots vs Fairies, edited by Navah Wolfe and Dominik Parisien (Saga Press)
  • The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism, edited by The Silent Garden Collective (Undertow Publications)
  • This Dreaming Isle, edited by Dan Coxon (Unsung Stories)
  • Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto (Black Balloon)


The 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on Sunday, July 14, 2019, at Readercon 30 in Quincy, Massachusetts.

COFFIN BOUND Launches in August


NEW COMIC BOOK SERIES COFFIN BOUND LAUNCHES THIS AUGUST WITH GRINDHOUSE ACTION SET IN A SANDMAN-ESQUE FANTASY WORLD

Industry tastemakers rave about the goth-and-grit aesthetic for the new Image Comics title


PORTLAND, Ore. 07/13/2019 — Image Comics forthcoming ongoing comic book series Coffin Bound by Dan Watters (Sandman Universe: Lucifer) and artist Dani (2000AD, Girl with No Name) with colorist Brad Simpson (JESUSFREAK, MCMLXXV), letterer Aditya Bidikar, and designer Emma Price, set to launch this August.

Cars! Guns! Entropy! Coffin Bound follows Izzy Tyburn, who is chased by an unstoppable killer and has decided that if the world won’t have her in it, it can have nothing of her at all. She’s re-treading her life, leaving nothing but burned rubber, ash, and the sun-scorched bones of those who get in her way. Ride shotgun on an unforgettable road trip through blood-splattered, grindhouse action best described as Bitch Planet and Mad Max: Fury Road set in the dark, twisted fantasy world of Sandman.

Coffin Bound #1 (Diamond Code JUN190026) hits stores on Wednesday, August 7. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, July 15.

Coffin Bound #2 (Diamond Code JUL190117) hits stores on Wednesday, September 11. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, August 19.

Friday, July 12, 2019

SPFBO 5 Interview - Casey White, Author of Silvertongue


Please welcome Casey White to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. Casey has submitted her novel, Silvertongue, to SPFBO 5.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Casey:  I think like many authors in our generation, I did start out by dabbling in fanfiction when I was a teenager. But since that's a whole mess I think a LOT of us would like to just forget, we'll move straight past it!

The first piece that I can consciously remember writing as long-form fiction was a story called Seafoam. I've actually only been writing for a little over two years, and this pretty much kicked it off for me. It was a piece centering on an island nation and its sea god, and a struggle for 'ownership' of the people's minds between that god and his competitors.

I only got a few chapters into it, because, well, yay early fiction, but the idea stuck with me. When I started writing Chosen, the piece that would become my first novel and eventually my first completed series, it took a ton of inspiration from and recycled a lot of characters from Seafoam.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Casey:  No doubt hybrid will be the safe answer for most authors, naturally - but I do fall more on the 'pantser' end of the spectrum than plotting, for sure. When I start writing a piece (once I've written the first chapter, usually) I try to come up with a central conflict for the book/series, and then a loose destination or ending that I'll be working towards.

From there, I'll generally put together a bullet point list with 5-10 'key scenes' that will happen along the path, and then I start writing. I find that if I try and plan too much out or make things too concrete, I have a hard time actually writing it. Chapters also wind up changing pretty dramatically in the act of writing them, so I've found that most of my planning is pretty useless except on that big-picture level.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Casey:  Like most authors, I think that finding the will to sit down every day and start writing is probably the toughest part. But once you start, it's easier to keep going, so building that habit is really important.

Besides for that? I think that sometimes I have my mind so clearly on where I want to be that I lose sight of how to get the characters and story there, and my story maps melt into a pile of mush. Usually that plays out in scenes where I know what I want to have happen, but don't really know what that looks like. And, well, the solution for that is the same as before - picking something and just diving in. You can fix everything in edits!



TQDescribe Silvertongue using only 5 words.

Casey:  Suspenseful. Character-driven and punchy. Ominous.



TQWhat inspired you to write Silvertongue?

Casey:  Oh, dear.

Each of my novels that I've written (six books across 3 series) originally started as a writing prompt, actually, and was then published chapter by chapter to my readers as they were written. Silvertongue was no different, and sometimes it's tough to say exactly where that spark comes from. But a simple concept was presented - an immortal or very ancient being, working behind the counter at a McDonald's - and then my mind went crazy trying to come up with rational explanations for how that would be possible. Why he'd be there. How he's so old.

At a certain point, once you've come up with all those rationalizations, you look at what you've got and realize that it's a full magic system and a decently fleshed-out setting. That was when it started changing from a one-off short piece into a book, and eventually into a series. Of course, I've been incredibly fortunate to have people reading along who took interest in the piece, and their constant support has been an incredible source of fuel to keep the writing going.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Silvertongue.

Casey:  Oh my goodness! It's a bit of a story xD

I was actually supposed to have a totally different artist for the cover - a month before publication they dropped out of doing the project, and I was left hanging with no cover and a nearly-finished book.

Enter Ismael Gil Morillo!

Within a day of accepting the project he gave me a sketch, and I think I had the final cover you see on my book within a week, week and a half later. I was completely blown away by it, and fell in love instantly.

Rather than depicting a specific scene, the cover simply focuses on the main character of Silvertongue (Jon Christensen) and his magical 'relic'. As the source of his supernatural abilities, Ismael decided to have it glow - which gave the whole cover an ominous, brooding look that just clicked so very hard with the book.

In short, I'm incredibly thankful that I wound up finding him and being able to work on this, and I hope that the cover is as eye-catching for others as it is for me!

https://www.ochentayochoart.com/



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

Casey:  So...as for the easiest, the book follows Jon and this odd, immortal man he meets, whose name is Aedan. Aedan is...a little different. He's ancient, yes - but he's also incredibly cranky, he's wickedly sarcastic, and him being ostracized and hunted down for so many years has left him with absolutely no filter either physical or verbal.

Aedan, then, is a complete release - Anything he feels like doing, he does. That could be cracking jokes, that could be snarking, that could be killing someone. Part of his character identity is a lingering want to do good even when the world has gone wrong, but that leaves him a lot of room to play around! He's a blast to write, since there's no hemming or hawing about what he'd do :)

I don't think that there's a character that notably stands out as being 'hard' to write - the characters that I've struggled with, historically, are ones where I wasn't quite sure what they were trying to be or who I was trying to force into molds that they didn't fit. There were a few smaller characters in the series that I think this definitely applies to, but as they get more screentime, they settled down into their roles in my eyes and got easier.



TQDoes Silvertongue touch on any social issues?

Casey:  When I write a book, I really do set out to focus on story and characters first and foremost. I personally choose to avoid focusing on hot-button social issues, as I tend to write punchy fantasy or scifi novels, and I think it would be very easy for it to come off like I was making light of an issue or using it as a tool. I very much don't want that, I want to make sure that if I have issues like that as major elements in the story, I'm giving them the care and attention they deserve. As such, I don't have any social issues as the core of my novel.

What I will say, though, is that there are a lot of social issue type things running in the background, for a reader that is willing to look and read between the lines to the things that aren't being explicitly stated.

On a broader scale that looks more at conceptual issues versus directly relating them to our society, Silvertongue does have a heavy emphasis on human trafficking and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals in the magical sub-culture Jon discovers. It's not a kind world, and the powerful rule. The story also follows Jon's slow transformation from idealistic newcomer to more jaded veteran, and the idea of their powers being a strong temptation that corrupts even well-intentioned individuals is an ongoing theme.

So, the TL:DR version - there are definitely some issues in Silvertongue that could be seen as related, but they're a step removed and run as subtext to the main storyline rather than the central focus.



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

Casey:  Oh, geez. That's a bit hard xD I haven't thought of this before, actually. Most of the quotes I love are either a little spoilery or a little profane, I think, but here are a few favorites -

On the lighter side, a scene where the main character returns home to find the secondary lead chilling on his couch:

“How did you get in?” I said stupidly.
Aedan did take his eyes off his shows at that, casting a derisive look my way. “Really?”
“I’ve got the key,” I mumbled.
His smirk widened. “That’s adorable, Jonny.”

And on the more serious side, a letter left behind by the secondary lead after the main character decides to take an active role in their magical society:

You’re not the first person I’ve seen set out with good intentions. Most of them wind up acting just like the rest, given a few years and a bit of temptation. It’s hard to say no when it’s all so easy. And in the end, they’re monsters just like all the rest.
Matt started out with the best of intentions, too. Knew him a lot longer than I’ve known you. Didn’t stop me from doing what needed doing.
Don’t be a Matt.



TQWhat's next?

Casey:  Next? Well, Silvertongue went and grew beyond my original concept, as my projects tend to do! So, I'm currently planning on its series, Remnants of Magic, being a four-book series. That leaves me at about 90k words into book 2 right now (Wanderer), and promises to take a while yet.

Besides for that, I'm currently working on a prequel series for the Flameweaver Saga, which was my debut series as well as my entry for SPFBO 4! It's secondary to my continuing work on Silvertongue's sequel(s), but still very much something I'm passionate about.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Casey:  Thank you for putting the time into this and the reviewing that you do for the SPFBO!





Silvertongue
Remnants of Magic 1
February 16, 2019
Kindle eBook, 594 pages
 Also available in Trade Paperback

After another long day at work, all Jon Christensen wanted was a cheap burger and some peace and quiet.

When he pulled into the McDonald’s, Jon only had the usual cares on his mind. His sister. The bills. A career with seemingly nowhere to go.

But after a confusing encounter at the cash register triggers a violent episode in the parking lot, he’s quickly pulled into a world he doesn’t understand. His few careless sentences - and the odd gift of languages he’s kept hidden for years - wind up thrusting him right into the middle of a chaotic magical free-for-all, a battle taking place in the shadows of society. Entangled in an increasingly complex web of violence and lies, he's left with a choice: adapt, or die.

Surrounded by strangers, Jon must struggle to survive, searching out friends amidst a sea of foes. If he can get his group of strays and rejects to work together, there’s a chance they might just make it out alive.

Should he fail, the consequences will be dire - not only for Jon, but also for those he loves.





About Casey

Casey White was born in Michigan in 1991, and lives there still. She splits her time - spending her days working the desk as a civil engineer, and her nights writing fiction ranging from fantasy to scifi and everything in-between.

Her stories tend towards the more personal - she favors first person or over-the-shoulder third person that matches punchy, fast-paced storytelling with ongoing internal dialogue.

Her fiction can be found at her website, http://www.inorai.com, or at the subreddit where she publishes her novels one chapter at a time - https://www.reddit.com/r/Inorai/

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Nintendo Download, July 11, 2019: Build the Fantasy World of Your Dreams


This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 – To stop the worshippers of an ancient evil, you must join forces with the mysterious Malroth and build a ravaged world into the realm of your dreams. In this RPG adventure, you’ll explore huge islands, gather and craft with materials, design towns, level them up and defend them from monsters and bosses. As you progress, you’ll unearth crafting and building recipes. Dash, glide, explore underwater, fast travel and play in optional first-person perspective as you try to find them all. In the Isle of Awakening, you and up to three other Builders can explore together in local wireless* or online** play. The DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 game will be available on July 12.
    • GOD EATER 3 – Devour monstrous gods with your allies! The latest numbered entry in the popular God Eater franchise has finally come to the Nintendo Switch system. Now you can experience the game’s intriguing story, distinct characters and stylish, high-speed combat whenever you’re on the go, both alone and with friends*. The GOD EATER 3 game will be available on July 12.
  • Nintendo Mobile
    • Dr. Mario World – Nintendo’s newest mobile game, Dr. Mario World***, is now available for smartphone devices. In this free-to-start puzzle and virus-matching puzzle game, meddlesome viruses have the in-game world in a panic, and Dr. Mario and friends must eliminate them by matching capsules with viruses of the same color. Dr. Mario World can also be played together with friends and family around the world. In Versus Mode, players can turn up the intensity by challenging their friends or any other players online to a one-on-one showdown in real time.
      Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp – Starting with Hello Kitty® and Cinnamoroll on July 11, in-game items featuring popular Sanrio® characters are coming to the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp*** mobile game for a limited time. The Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Sanrio Characters Collection event gives players the opportunity to obtain adorable in-game items like sofas, beds, hats and dresses featuring various Sanrio characters.

DLC:
  • DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 DLC: Fans who want to expand the range of things they can make in DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 will have multiple options when one free DLC pack and three packs of paid DLC hit starting on July 26. Fans can purchase each paid pack of DLC separately or save on the combined cost of each pack with the Season Pass for only $20.99. Different packs offer different content, such as new locations to explore, additional recipes, new quests and a variety of customizable options like clothes and hairstyles.
  • Full version of game required to use DLC. Sold separately.

Interview with Rena Rossner, author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood


Please welcome Rena Rossner to The Qwillery. The Sisters of the Winter Wood is now out in Trade Paperback from Redhook.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece that you remember writing?

Rena:  I think I was in second grade, and it was a story about a bunny named Jenny LaHare. (There was also a real Jenny LaHare – a stuffed rabbit dressed in a pink flowered bonnet and dress and pinafore, who slept in my bed every night. I think I named her after my sister’s best friend Jen Levine…)



TQ Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rena:  I am a pantser and it is both a blessing and a curse. I am insanely jealous of authors who can plot out their novels – and authors who can plot in general. For me, my best work happens when I least expect it, and it is precisely when I decide exactly what will happen in a scene that my characters decide to do something completely different. But somehow, those are also the best moments – the places where magic happens. It’s really hard to trust yourself, to trust your subconscious, but it’s really what I’ve learned that I must do.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rena:  The most challenging thing for me about writing is plotting – I really love to let the story take me where it will, but that often means that my plots need work. I am much more invested in the lyricism of my sentences – the “prettiness” of the writing, than I am in the actual plot of the story, so I often have to force myself to focus, and that’s really hard. I also write really slowly, so I’m majorly envious of writers who can put down thousands of words in a session, while for me, every 100 words feel like a major victory.



TQDescribe The Sisters of the Winter Wood using only 5 words.

Rena:  A Jewish fairy tale about sisters. (That’s 5 if you don’t count the “A”!)



TQTell us something about The Sisters of the Winter Wood that is not found in the book description.

Rena:  There are moments when the forest comes alive, and also where things characters see in the woods are not exactly the reality. Those were some of the parts I enjoyed writing the most.



TQWhat appeals to you about writing Historical Fantasy?

Rena:  Two things: One, that it is a space where I can re-insert women into the story. Most of history has been written by men, and in seeking testimony and stories about what life was like in Dubossary (the town my mother’s father’s family came from, on the border of Moldova and Ukraine,) in the late 1800s and early 1900s, nearly all the stories I was able to find were either by men or about men. But I know that were women there, and I know that they had stories to tell, that some of them were certainly heroines in their own right. But their stories were lost to me – their stories are lost to us. One of the only ways that we can get those stories back (after doing copious amounts of research into what was, and what might have been,) is to imagine them. And secondly, fantasy is a place where we can rewrite history. It is only in fairy tales and fantasy where anything can happen – heroes can become villains and villains get the chance to redeem themselves. It’s a really important space, because it can help us make sense of our present, and find ways to make sure that if we are faced with a similar situation, we may have the tools or the power to make different choices – to ensure a different outcome.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Sisters of the Winter Wood?

Rena:  I didn’t know much about the history of the real town of Dubossary when I first started out. I was simply looking for a place to set my tale, and I decided to start reading some of my family’s genealogy books (which I had never read before.) I found a poem online that was part of the Dubossary Yizkor (Memorial) book that echoed some of Goblin Market, it mentioned that the town was full of orchards and vineyards, berries, grapes, pears, apples, and melons, and I knew where I had to set my book. I also discovered, via that Yizkor Book but also via family testimory, that the Jews from that town fought back and made sure that a pogrom didn’t happen there. But it didn’t last. Starting in September 1941, the Nazis came to Dubossary and forced 600 Jews into the main synagogue and burnt it to the ground, after which they systematically wiped out the entire Jewish population. Today, there are 18,000 Jews buried in mass graves in the forests surround the town and only about 100-150 Jews left from the town. It is a bittersweet tale, and I read many many words of testimony from survivors who grew up in Dubossary in order to be able to bring the story to life. I wanted to bring to life the shtetl as it was before tragedy befell the town, to tell a story of courage, resistance and resilience, not a tale of tragedy.



TQDo have a favorite folk or fairy tale?

Rena:  I think that GOBLIN MARKET is certainly my favorite fairy tale, which is why I spent so many years thinking about to write a re-telling. But I am also definitely partial to The Twelve Dancing Princesses – I once write a kind of twisted short story based on that tale…



TQ In The Sisters of the Winter Wood who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rena:  Liba was the easiest character for me to write, because she is the most like me. I struggled with Dovid the most. I wanted to strike the perfect balance between his naivete and his sweetness, but also to give him a backbone and to find a way for him to come into his own.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

Rena:

“She didn’t waste her time trying to smooth herself into something she wasn’t. She was powerful because she forged her own path.”


“If you want to know the history of a town, read the gravestones in its cemetery.”


“Sometimes even the smallest voice can have a big opinion.”


“That’s what the forest teaches you – change can come in the blink of an eye – the fall of one spark can mean total destruction.”


“Mami always says that fairy tales are real. With my head in my swan-mother’s lap,I start to believe – and I wonder which tale is ours.”



TQWhat's next?

Rena:  I’m working on another fairy tale retelling that will also be based on my family history but this time set in Romania - part Hansel and Gretel, part Boys with Golden Stars (a Romanian fairy tale,) and it features a girl who falls in love with a star. It’s another story about sisters, and it’s a story about how we tell stories, and how those stories change us.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery!





The Sisters of Winter Wood
Redhook, June 18, 2019
Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 25, 2018

Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner’s debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.

“With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world.” –Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe

In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumble of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell – despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.

As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true…and could save them all.





About Rena

Photo by Tomer Rottenberg
Rena Rossner lives in Israel, where she works as a literary agent. All eight of her great grandparents immigrated to America to escape the pogroms, from towns like Dubossary and Kupel. It is their story, together with her love of Jewish mythology and fantasy, which inspired her to write The Sisters of the Winter Wood.








Website  ~  Twitter @renarossner

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Special Pokémon Edition of Nintendo Switch Lite



Nintendo Reveals Special Pokémon Edition of Newly Announced Nintendo Switch Lite System

The Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition Will Be Available Nov. 8

REDMOND, Wash., July 10, 2019 – A special Pokémon-themed version of the newly announced Nintendo Switch Lite system will be available in North America starting Nov. 8. The Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition features stylish cyan and magenta buttons and illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokémon from the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games* for Nintendo Switch. This unique system will be available at a suggested retail price of $199.99, while supplies last.

“November is shaping up to be a big month for Pokémon fans, with the arrival of this special hardware followed by the launch of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games one week later,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “The Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition will be a great gift for Pokémon fans who want to play the latest games on the go.”

In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, players will embark on a new adventure through the Galar region, where they’ll catch, battle and trade newly discovered Pokémon and uncover the mystery behind Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta. The Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games are available Nov. 15 for all Nintendo Switch systems.

The Nintendo Switch Lite device can play all games in the robust Nintendo Switch library that support handheld mode**, although some games will have restrictions. The standard edition of the Nintendo Switch Lite system launches on Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $199.99 and will be available in three different colors: yellow, gray and turquoise.

For more information about Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, visit http://pokemon.com/swordshield. For additional information about Nintendo Switch Lite, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/lite/#first-look.

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/.

* The Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games are sold separately from the Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition system.
** For games that support tabletop mode, players can wirelessly connect Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) to Nintendo Switch Lite. In these cases, users will need to have a device to recharge Joy-Con controllers, such as the Joy-Con Charging Grip.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch system and the Nintendo 3DS family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.7 billion video games and more than 740 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS family of systems, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii and Wii U systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.com.

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Nintendo Introduces Nintendo Switch Lite!



Nintendo Introduces Nintendo Switch Lite, A Device Dedicated to Handheld Game Play

A New Addition to the Nintendo Switch Family, Nintendo Switch Lite is Compact and Lightweight, Making it Easy to Take on the Go

REDMOND, Wash., July 10, 2019 – In a video today, Nintendo introduced Nintendo Switch Lite, a device designed specifically to play Nintendo Switch games in handheld mode. The Nintendo Switch Lite system launches Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $199.99 and will be available in three different colors: yellow, gray and turquoise. A carrying case and screen protector set for Nintendo Switch Lite will also be available.

“Adding Nintendo Switch Lite to the lineup gives gamers more color and price point options,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “Now consumers can choose the system that best suits how they like to play their favorite Nintendo Switch games.”

The flagship Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017 and offers three different play modes: playing in TV mode by placing the system into a Nintendo Switch dock, playing cooperatively or competitively in tabletop mode by sharing Joy-Con controllers and playing in handheld mode. The system comes with either Gray Joy-Con controllers or Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con controllers.

Nintendo Switch Lite has integrated controls and is smaller than the flagship version of Nintendo Switch. It has no kickstand and, as a dedicated handheld gaming device, does not support video output to a TV. Therefore, it does not come with a dock or HDMI cable. For a full list of the differences between Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/compare.

The new device can play all games in the robust Nintendo Switch library that support handheld mode*, although some games will have restrictions. Compatible game modes will be listed on the back of game packaging and in Nintendo eShop.

Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite owners can get together to enjoy compatible multiplayer titles like Super Mario Maker 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate together via Nintendo Switch Online** or local wireless multiplayer***.

For additional information about Nintendo Switch Lite, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/lite/.

* For games that support tabletop mode, players can wirelessly connect Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) to Nintendo Switch Lite. In these cases, users will need to have a device to recharge Joy-Con controllers, such as the Joy-Con Charging Grip.

**Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online play. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com/switch-online

***Additional systems and software required.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch system and the Nintendo 3DS family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.7 billion video games and more than 740 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS family of systems, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii and Wii U systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.com.






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Sanrio Character Items in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for a Limited Time


Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Adds Sanrio Character Items for a Limited Time



REDMOND, Wash., July 9, 2019 – Starting with Hello Kitty® and Cinnamoroll on July 11, in-game items featuring popular Sanrio® characters are coming to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp mobile game for a limited time. The free Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Sanrio Characters Collection event gives players the opportunity to obtain adorable in-game items like sofas, beds, hats and dresses featuring various Sanrio characters.

“Nintendo and Sanrio share a love of fun characters and bringing smiles to people’s faces,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This partnership represents the latest example of our goal of finding new and creative ways for fans to engage with Nintendo IP.”

In addition to adding items featuring Sanrio characters to the game, the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Sanrio Characters Collection event will also see Sanrio characters featured in weeks of in-game rewards and events:
  • A Hello Kitty bow special in-game gift will be given to all Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp players.
  • From July 11 to July 22, a Gyroidite Scavenger Hunt will allow players to make limited-time in-game Hello Kitty amenities and Sanrio Characters tees.
  • Fortune cookies in the Sanrio Characters Craft Collection will come packed with cute rewards.
  • Players can participate in Sanrio Characters Goals #1 for exciting rewards such as animal maps and fortune cookies.
  • Items that feature Sanrio characters will be rolled out gradually, with Items Collection #1 launching on July 11 featuring Hello Kitty and Cinnamoroll. In late July, Collection #2 will feature Pompompurin and My Melody. And in early August, Collection #3 will feature Little Twin Stars and Keroppi.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available on iOS and Android devices. For more information about the game, visit https://ac-pocketcamp.com/en-US/site. The game is free to start, with in-app purchases available. Internet connectivity is required to play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Data charges may apply. May include advertising.

©1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. Used Under License.

About Sanrio®: Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, and home to many other beloved character brands including ChococatTMMy Melody TMBadtz-Maru TMKeroppi TMGudetama™ and Aggretsuko™. Sanrio was founded on the ‘small gift, big smile®’ philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration to offer quality products, services and activities that inspire unique consumer experiences across the world. Today, Sanrio’s legendary breadth of products are available in over 130 countries and in retail locations including department, specialty, national chain retailers and Sanrio boutique stores. To learn more about Sanrio, please visit www.sanrio.com and follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch system and the Nintendo 3DS family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.7 billion video games and more than 740 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS family of systems, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii and Wii U systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at https://www.nintendo.com/.