Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guest Blog by Duncan McGeary - Horror… Happily - May 27, 2015


Please welcome Duncan McGeary to The Qwillery. Tuskers II: Day of the Long Pig was published on May 25th by Angelic Knight Press, an imprint of Ragnarok Publications.







Horror… Happily.
Duncan McGeary

         I was surprised that when I came back to writing, I chose to write horror. Even more, that I continued to write horror. Happily.
         It seems to me that horror is an open genre. There are no required formulas to the horror, as least as far as I can tell. Anything can be turned into horror -- any subject, any setting, any format; any other genre or no genre at all. The only expectation is that it has something scary in it. The fright can be physical, psychological, or spiritual, or any combination thereof.
         To me, it's a very freeing genre to write in. I just need to dig down into my own malaise of concerns and sure enough, there is always a twinge to be explore, which can be turned into something frightening.
         So far, I've delved into historical events, trying my best to be authentic and accurate about what happened to the Donner Party, and using werewolves as both real and symbolic elements.
         I've written a vampire trilogy that asked whether redemption could be achieved by anyone. An exploration of the religious and the spiritual.
         I've written a story about hyper-intelligent wild pigs on the rampage called Tuskers, who represent nature's revenge against mankind's neglect and arrogance.
         I've just finished two stories, one that include elements of Noir, with a gangster Golem, and another that is a sexual thriller involving Succubae.
         I love fantasy and mysteries, but it seems to me that they are trapped by convention, if not formula. That to break from these conventions, the form has to be stretched so much that it bends and sometimes breaks -- or at the very least, calls attention to the effort. Whereas horror can be bent in any direction and it won't surprise the reader.
         There are, of course, sub-genres within horror where the reader has expectations of certain conventions, but I don't have to go there; and even if I break from expectations, it seems to me that the horror readers are more open to such twists.
         I have yet to have an idea for a story that I didn't think could be improved by exploring the horror elements of that story.
         Or maybe I'm just twisted. Happily.





Tuskers II: Day of the Long Pig
Wild Pig Apocalypse 2
Angelic Knight Press, May 25, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 258 pages

Barry and Jenny inherited a fortune, with a single stipulation: that they hunt down and eradicate the Tuskers. They can only hope the Tuskers are gone. They aren't sure they can follow through on the genocide of an entire new species.

Genghis, the smartest and most ruthless of the Tuskers, survives. Deep in the desert, he breeds with the wild pig population. These mutants learn from humans, and quickly surpass them.





Previously

Tuskers
Wild Pig Apocalypse 1
Angelic Knight Press, January 12, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 238 pages

Barry had created a little piece of paradise in his southern Arizona backyard—until the javelinas came.

His battle to rid his property of the wild pigs soon escalated into war. Too late, he realized these weren't ordinary animals. They were something new, something meaner and smarter. These pigs weren't just at war with him; they were at war with the human race.

And the humans were losing.





About Duncan

I've lived in Bend, OR, my whole life (which is becoming increasingly rare in this boom town.) After graduating from the U of O in the '80s, I wrote the fantasy novels Star Axe, Snowcastles and Icetowers. While trying to write full time, I started filling in at a local book/comic book store called Pegasus Books and eventually became manager—then 30 years ago, I bought the store from Mike Richardson, who is now the publisher of Dark Horse Comics.

In the last few years, Pegasus Books has become stable and I've returned to writing like crazy. I sold a four book deal to Books of the Dead Press, followed by another trilogy, "The Vampire Evolution," which consists of Death of An Immortal, Rule of Vampire, and Blood of Gold.

I've been very busy with several other books in the works, and I'm proud to have sold my Wild Pig Apocalypse, Tuskers, to Ragnarok via their Angelic Knight Press Imprint. I hope you guys will check out all my books, as I try to make them entertaining, fast reads.

WebsiteTwitter @PegasusBooks

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Interview with Nathan Garrison, author of Veiled Empire - May 26, 2015


Please welcome Nathan Garrison to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Veiled Empire is published on May 26th by Harper Voyager Impulse. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Nathan a Happy Publication Day!







TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Nathan:  I honestly can't remember a time when I wasn't writing something or other. I think I've always been destined to become a storyteller, it just took this long until I had the bare minimum skills required to enter the fray.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Nathan:  Well, I tried pansting for about fifteen years and could never finish a book. Switched to plotting and wrote two and a half novels in two years. So I guess you could say I'm ... still on the fence?



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

Nathan:  Focus. I'm easily distracted. By noises and shiny objects, food, the internet, other writing projects that I'm not currently working on but just can't stop thinking about. You know, the usual.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Nathan:  Classic authors such as Tolkien and C.S. Lewis started me down the road to loving books, especially those of the speculative variety. My two favorite modern authors would probably have to be Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson, two writers with vastly different styles but whose depth of imagination is astonishing. My own writing falls somewhere between them, I think.



TQ:  Describe Veiled Empire in 140 characters or less.

Nathan:  A diverse band of revolutionaries fight against a tyrannical regime to reclaim their land's soul - and their own.



TQ:  Tell us something about Veiled Empire that is not found in the book description.

Nathan:  I hadn't originally intended for there to be any romance in the book, but some of it snuck in anyway. It even plays a small but vital role in the plot and, of course, the character development of those involved.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Veiled Empire? What appealed to you about writing Epic Fantasy?

Nathan:  I've always been drawn to the imagination and scope only found in epic fantasy. The sense of wonder on every page. The scale of the danger. The magic. Veiled Empire itself was my first (successful) attempt to tell my own story in such a world.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Veiled Empire?

Nathan:  I did quite a bit of research on the development and use of weapons, armor, and tactics. I didn't end up using much of it, though. With the amount of combat sorcery being flung about in this book, real-world models couldn't quite work.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Which character surprised you the most?

Nathan:  The easiest would have to be Mevon Daere, whom I consider the "mainest" of the main characters. It was around him - his personality and unique abilities - that the original seed of an idea for this story came about. I didn't have to strain much when writing his scenes.

The hardest was most definitely Voren. I knew the path I wanted him to take, but keeping his scenes interesting while he essentially remained in place was a challenge. More difficult still, however, was attempting to make every step of his character arc believable and compelling. I'm grateful for the struggle, though. I grew more as a writer while doing his scenes than while writing anyone else's.

The most surprising was Vashodia. She was always unpredictable, even for me. I'm pretty sure she knows more about the world I created than I do!



TQ:  Which question about Veiled Empire do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Nathan:

Q: Does it pass the Bechdel Test?
A: Yes it does! But not until later in the book, so if you're looking for that kind of thing please have patience. I assure you, it will be rewarded.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Veiled Empire.

Nathan:  From the first chapter, which is available to read on my website nathangarrison.com

Mevon:
"Their screams joined others, a dissonant chorus that filled the rocky enclave. The battle became like a song. No—a symphony! His blades sang the melody, ringing out in a low, buzzing roar that grew in intensity with each severed soul, while cries of panic and agony from his enemies created a bittersweet harmony, all backdropped by the pounding rhythm of his Fist’s relentless advance.

Beautiful."

Vashodia:
"Though the night was dark, it was not pure. Not even close. It was a passive thing, beset by two moons and a cacophony of stars. Vapid, hollow.

The darkness into which she now passed was everything night was not. It … filled, with intention and rapacity. The dark energy gathered here, thick as foam, made her giggle in delight."



TQ:  What's next? [this is where you share whatever literary you'd like to share]

Nathan:  I have a completed science fiction novel that I'm polishing up now, and several other books in various stages of planning. I hope to get better with every word that I write, and I'm looking forward to creating more worlds for readers to get lost in. For me, I know the best is yet to come.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Nathan:  Thank you for having me!





Veiled Empire
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 26, 2015
eBook, 412 pages

The Empire is Shrouded, not only by the barrier that covers the land, but by the lies and oppression of the mierothi regime. Magic is the privilege of the elite, and the people of this shadowed country have forgotten what it means to hope under their rule.

But there are some who would resist, with plans put into motion millennia before. For returned to the Empire is a valynkar, servant of the god of light, and with him come the strength and cunning that could tip the scales to end the Emperor's reign. He has gathered a group of heroes ready to ignite the flame of rebellion and fight against the dark power that has ruled for nearly two thousand years. A power that has champions of its own.

Nathan Garrison's Veiled Empire throws a mythical land into chaos, with races long thought forgotten, and magics only just discovered. Steel and sorcery clash as brave souls vie for freedom and control in this astonishing debut novel.





About Nathan

I have two great boys and an awesome wife who is way more supportive of my writing efforts than I deserve. I love playing guitar (the louder the better), cooking (the more bacon-y the better), playing board/video/card games with friends and family, and reveling in unadulterated geekery.

Born in 1983, I've been writing stories since my dad bought our first family computer. I grew up on tales of the fantastic. From Narnia and Middle-Earth to a galaxy far, far away, I've always harbored a love for things only imagination can conjure up. I count it among the greatest joys of my life to be able to share the stories within me.


Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Goodreads  ~  Twitter @NR_Garrison

Monday, May 25, 2015

Interview with Peter Orullian - May 25, 2015


Please welcome Peter Orullian to The Qwillery. Trial of Intentions will be published on May 26th by Tor Books. The Unremembered: Author's Definitive Edition was published by Tor Books on April 7th.







TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Are you a plotter, panster or a hybrid?

Peter:  Thanks for having me. The biggest challenge is wanting more time to write, and making peace with the fact that (for now) I still have to work the day job. I get up at 3:30 a.m. to write before going to towk. I don’t mind it. I like the early morning hours. But man, if I had all day to write . . . I think about how much more productive I could be, and I have to take a breath and try not to get to anxious about it.

That said, I’m also always trying to improve. That’s a different connotation to “challenge” than you’re probably using. But I’m always trying a new technique, or incorporating things I learn. I’ll keep pushing myself as a writer until I drop dead.

And I’m a mix of plotter and panster. I don’t have vast reams of notes on every chapter I write. But I have a general sense of what will happen. What I find, though, is that having this outline actually encourages me to color outside the lines. I wind up doing all kinds of things that aren’t in my outline. Go figure.



TQ:  In addition to being an author, you are a vocalist among other things. How does music affect your fiction writing?

Peter:  I think the music side of my life affects everything else in my life. Everything. I hear the world as much as I see and taste and smell it. That probably accounts for the fact that I listen to practically every genre of music—still working on EDM, though.

With my writing, then, I suspect music enters in a couple of ways. Most obviously, I have a music magic system. I’m happy to report that my early readers say it’s unlike anything they’ve ever read. I began building it with a notion: Magic in my world would be built on what I call “governing dynamics.” In other words, there would be principles akin to mechanical law in our world, e.g. magnetism and gravity. This just made sense to me.

Then, I figured that different cultures would develop their use of magic in different ways, but all still based on governing dynamics. The central principle here is something I call: Resonance. You can see where I began with an acoustical principle from our own world. But then I imbued it with new properties. Notably, Resonance has a quality very akin to quantum entanglement. The upshot is that I have several magic systems that all appear to work rather differently, but the reader understands they’re all unified by Resonance.

Beyond all this, though, I’ve built entire cultures that pivot on music; it’s their ethos, their way of communicating, and even the way the conduct war.

I have conservatories, and traveling troupes, etc., too. And even more fundamentally, there are performance taverns where folks go to escape their troubles by hearing some great music. Some of my favorite scenes are in just such a place.



TQ:  In April, The Unremembered (The Vault of Heaven 1) was re-released in an Author's Definitive Edition. What makes this edition definitive?

Peter:  Well, without going into all the gritty details, let me just say that not all writer/editor marriages were made in heaven. So, when I wound up with a new editor, one thing led to another and we decided that it would be best all around for me to do the book the way I’d intended to the first time. So, the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered is different in many respects: it’s vastly shorter, layers in some things that help it tie to Trial of Intentions better, the list goes on. It’s also got a glossary, exclusive short story from the POV of a creature from the Bourne (an area of my world)—by the way, this character is a POV character in Trial of Intentions, as well as chapter epigraphs, and even the first few chapters of Trial of Intentions. But the text is the main thing. Much stronger.



TQTrial of Intentions (The Vault of Heaven 2) will be published tomorrow. Please tell something about Trial of Intentions that is not found in the book description.

Peter:  I can’t even remember what’s in the book description. Heh. So, I’d probably say that one key thing about the book is: There’s a whole society of science in the book—colleges of mathematics, astronomy, physics, etc.—that factor importantly in the story. This has a lot to do with turning expectations upside down regarding one of my main characters. And I love the chapters set in this society.

I’d also add some of the character motivations go rather deep in Trial of Intentions. Specifically, I deal with the topic of suicide. The book’s not about that. But a few of the characters have this in their lives, and they’re dealing with the fallout. Those scenes are rather intense. I had a friend make this choice not long ago. And though it was always the case that suicide was part of my world—I’ve created a world with some harsh conditions—I can say that with hindsight, my personal experience got underneath the words. It got into the DNA of these characters and what they go through.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Trial of Intentions?

Peter:  Lots of stuff on mathematics, physics, philosophy, and cosmology. Also astronomy. I’m an amateur astronomer, so that was the most fun.



TQ:  You've written a number of short stories set in The Vault of Heaven world ("Sacrifice of the First Sheason", "The Great Defense of Layosah", "The Battle of the Round" and more)? How do these stories fit in with the novels? Is there a recommended reading order?

Peter:  No particular reading order is necessary. What I found is that some of the historical events were too big to put in the books. But they were stories I wanted to tell. So, I wrote them separately, with an to making them work on their own. Then, some of the tales are akin to “origin stories” for some of the characters.

If a reader reads the short stories first, they have these great “aha” moments when reading the books, because they have the deeper context when certain things are referenced. On the other hand, for readers of the books, if they’re interested in going deeper on events and people and the world, the short stories allow them to dive in on certain areas. The stories and books can work independently. But I think they’re stronger taken together.



TQ:  In The Vault of Heaven series who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why? Which character has surprised her the most?

Peter:  I’m not sure any one character was harder or easier to write than the next. With each, there were scenes or sections in the book where I either revised more or less.

And I don’t think I’ve been overly surprised by any of the characters. They’re pretty much behaving as I tell them to. It has been interesting, though, to note how much readers like Jastail. He’s pretty dastardly and broken.



TQ:  What do you hope readers take away from the Trial of Intentions specifically and from your fiction in general?

Peter:  Well, first, I want folks to know that they can dive into my series and world with Trial of Intentions. I wrote it as an entry point to the series, so you don’t need to have read the first book. As to talkaways, with Trial of Intentions I’m working to turn the crank on taking the familiar in the genre and change into what’s unique about my world. It’s things like the music magic, the use of science by one character to try and avert war as opposed to escalate to war (though, he may not succeed), and character motivation that are rooted in different kinds of painful pasts. And riding on top of all this is the notion of: intentions. I think they matter. And I weave them into the magic, the politics, the language.

In general? I’m not a writer of what some call “cause fiction,” by any means. Like many writers, I hope readers are entertained. But I will say that when a reader closes the books, my desire would be that they feel the least bit more hopeful. I know that sounds a bit maudlin, but I’d like to think that my stories introduce a sense that, despite the pains of life, there’s reason to hope.



TQ:  What's next?

Peter:  Well, I’m working on book three. And I’ve got several short stories coming out in anthologies over the next several months. Also, just released are The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One, and The Sound of Broken Absolutes. The short stories you mentioned above, as well as some new ones, are in the story volume. And Broken Absolutes is a novella that goes deep on the music magic. These all work on their own. But they’re also a good one to sample the universe where my books are set.



TQ:  Thank you fro joining us at The Qwillery!

Peter:  Thank you very much for having me. Fantastic questions!





Trial of Intentions
Vault of Heaven 2
Tor Books, May 26, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 672 pages

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god--and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind--in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures.

But there is dissent. One king won't answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse.

Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war.
And his choices may reshape a world . . . .

The second title in the Vault of Heaven series, Peter Orullian's Trial of Intentions is a mesmerizing fantasy epic that turns the conventions of the genre on its head



The Unremembered: Author's Definitive Edition
Vault of Heaven 1
Tor Books, April 7, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

Peter Orullian's epic fantasy debut The Unremembered has been critically acclaimed, earning starred reviews and glowing praise. But now it gets even better. In anticipation of the second volume in Orullian's epic series, and for one of the few times in our publishing history, we at Tor are choosing to relaunch a title with an author's definitive edition.

In addition to stunning updates to the original text, we're also including an exclusive short story set in the world of Vault of Heaven as well as a sneak preview of the sequel, Trial of Intentions, and a glossary to the universe.

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy however, they sealed the rogue god-and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortal kind-in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that protected humankind for millennia has become weak and creatures of nightmare have now come through. Those who stand against evil know that only drastic measures will prevent a devastating invasion.

Tahn Junell is a hunter who's unaware of the dark forces that imperil his world, in much the same way his youth is lost to memory. But an imperious man who wears the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far have shared with Tahn the danger. They've asked him, his sister, and his friends to embark with them on a journey that will change their lives . . . and the world . . . forever. And in the process, he'll remember . . .





The Sound of Broken Absolutes
Vault of Heaven Novella
Descant Publishing, May 16, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 192 pages

Two men. One old. One young. Both possess a gift. A gift of music with the power to change things. Even destroy. The younger is called back to his homeland. To war. The other embarks on an inward journey into his past as he sets to repair a broken viola. An instrument with meaning to him. A resonant kind. The music each man will make will have an absolute quality. And it will change them both.



The Vault of Heaven, Story Volume One
Descant Publishing,  February 3, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 252 pages

A mother considers the unthinkable to stop a war. A husband may lose everything to watch over a world. A scrivener learns the terrible risk in the words she’s translating. The power of many sacrificing as one. These and more are the stories collected in this volume. Stories of people. Stories of war and sacrifice and friendship. They help weave the rich fabric of Orullian’s epic fantasy series, The Vault of Heaven, deepening the resonance of the world he’s created.





About Peter

Peter Orullian works in marketing at Xbox, including leading the Music and Entertainment marketing strategy for Xbox LIVE, and has toured as a featured vocalist internationally at major music festivals. He has published several short stories. He is the author of The Unremembered and Trial of Intentions. He lives in Seattle.





Website  ~  Google +  ~  Facebook  ~ Twitter @PeterOrullian






Individual Short Stories

Sacrifice of the First Sheason
Tor Books, February 1, 2011
eBook, 32 pages

Palamon was part of the collective that formed the world, made its mountains, its people, its rules. When the fledgling world is threatened, only he will do whatever it takes to save it.



The Great Defense of Layosah
Tor Books, February 2, 2011
eBook, 32 pages

Layosah has lost five sons and her husband to her kingdom's endless wars; all she has left is an infant daughter and a dangerous idea.



The Battle of the Round
Tor Books, April 12, 2011
eBook, 31 pages

In wartime, what price honor, when the odds are against you, the enemy is remorseless, and it is the eleventh hour? A Sheason who lives to help his people faces a terrible choice on the battlefield when all defenses have failed and the only choice seems to be to do the one thing that separates him from his most hated adversary.



A Beautiful Accident
Tor Books, January 13, 2015
eBook, 32 pages

“In a culture where ritualized torture is used to teach its people strength through long-suffering, a foreign sufferer unintentionally teaches them something stronger . . . something gentler.”



The Hell of It
Tor Books, February 25, 2015
eBook, 32 pages

Some heroes don't carry blades or go to war. Some heroes are fathers desperately trying not to fail their sons.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Interview with K. M. McKinley, author of The Iron Ship - May 23, 2015


Please welcome K. M. McKinley to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Iron Ship will be published on May 26th by Solaris in the US and on June 18th in the UK.







TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

K. M.:  And thanks for having me!



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

K. M.:  When I was about 17, but there was an awful lot of thinking about writing, moaning about writing, and not very much actual writing for years. I've been a professional writer since 1997, but didn't get truly serious about fiction until around 2000. Then I really went for it, and started to train myself.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

K. M.:  Both. I've written to both methods and everything in between, from writing a super-detailed plot synopsis to sitting down in front of a blank screen with a vague idea of where I'm going. Sometimes, there is wine involved. All produce different kinds of story. I find that varying methods and styles prevents fatigue, no matter what you are writing.



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

K. M.:  Being able to produce a high enough volume of work to make enough money to live, and not getting utterly worn out doing so. But that's not very different to any kind of job, and I get to nap. It's a privilege to do any kind of writing as a job. Viewing it in terms of difficulty ignores the lot of people who have to get up at 6.00am, drive for two hours to some office they loathe and do the same thing day in day out for years. So, writing feels like a massive pain sometimes, but it's not really, is it?

Ah, you said challenging. Well, it is daily challenging, but only in a good way. Most of the time.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

K. M.:  Ursula Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, Robert Silverberg, Fritz Leiber, HP Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, MR James, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury, Gene Wolfe, JRR Tolkien, Neal Asher, Michael Swanwick, Adam Roberts, Dan Simmons, Geraldine Harris, Andre Norton, to name but a few.



TQ:  Describe The Iron Ship in 140 characters or less.

K. M.:  Man, I hate writing stuff that looks like I'm full of myself, but here goes:

Game of Thrones influenced magic-punk. A vividly realised neo-industrial world with a sprawling cast of characters. War, magic, machines, family, love and death.

That was my elevator pitch, pretty much.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Iron Ship that is not in the book description.

K. M.:  One thing I wanted to do with The Iron Ship is examine the agency of strong women who are trammelled by a genuinely patriarchal society. A lot of fantasies put a woman in a position of power in a male dominated set up without telling us how she got there. That's missing half the story. It's not as dull as it sounds, I hasten to add. On the contrary, it gave me loads of strong character notes, and some (I hope) really good characters of both sexes.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Iron Ship?

K. M.:  It's about a big family. I come from a big family. I wanted to explore family dynamics in a time of upheaval and change. That's part of it. Some of the rest I can't say without ruining not book one, but also book three! Ask me again when the series is finished, and I'll spill the beans.



TQ:  What appeals to you about writing Epic Fantasy?

K. M.:  Change again. Epic Fantasy has change at its heart. Unlike SF (I love SF) that says "what if?" fantasy kind of postulates "what else?" There's always some existential peril that threatens the established order of things. It is the fiction of the momentous. Thinning of magic, resurgence of magic, rebellion, the return of old evils... One might almost say that war is the stock in trade of epic fantasy. Some writers use this brilliantly; the sense of melancholy in The Lord of the Rings at the passing of time is almost overpowering, for example. I wanted to try this and make a good job of it. As I get older I think a lot about mortality, the fleeting nature of individual lives, but the continuity of nation, family and locality. All subject to change and bound into subjective history, of course. Hopefully I've captured that in the frame of a rollicking good adventure.



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

K. M.:  A fair bit - especially on, would you believe, iron ships. That and industrial processes. I drew a lot on modern history from the 18th and 19th centuries, but I didn't read up on it too much as I know a bit about it anyway. Write what you know!



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

K. M.:  A tough question. Were any easier or harder? I don't think so. They were all equal. Getting them to a point where there's enough material that their own existences spark into being, that's the hard part. Once that's done they come alive and do their own thing. Then you just watch them in a fugue state. With a headache, because your psyche's fractured into two dozen people.



TQ:  Which question about The Iron Ship do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

K. M.:  Holy cow! Another toughie. I actually don't want people to ask me about it, because I'll tell them EVERYTHING. I'm so eager to tell the story. I had to stop myself spilling the plot to this and the next book to my dad only yesterday. Maybe limit all interaction with me to approving nods, or disapproving shakes of the head? Then we'll all be safe.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Iron Ship.

K. M.:  Er, how about...

"If I do this, and I will, and you even think about leaving without me, I will kick you very hard, right in the balls, and then you'll be no use whatsoever to fancy miss spanner pants." She smiled dangerously. "I'm sure even you can understand that."



TQ:  What's next?

K. M.:  I've got a bunch of stuff to write this year, but I'll soon be starting on The City of Ice, the second book in the Gates of the World series.I am very much looking forward to that.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K. M.:  Thank you.





The Iron Ship
Gates of the World 1
Solaris, May 26, 2015 (US); June 18, 2015 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

An incredible epic fantasy begins!

The order of the world is in turmoil. An age of industry is beginning, an age of machines fuelled by magic. Sprawling cities rise, strange devices stalk the land. New money brings new power. The balance between the Hundred Kingdoms is upset. For the first time in generations the threat of war looms.

In these turbulent days, fortunes can be won. Magic runs strong in the Kressind family. Six siblings strive – one to triumph in a world of men, one to survive murderous intrigue, one to master forbidden sorcery, one to wash away his sins, one to contain the terrible energies of his soul.

And one will do the impossible, by marrying the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship, to cross an ocean that cannot be crossed.





About the Author

K. M. McKinley resides near Iverness, in Scotland, not too far from Loch Ness, but not too close either. You never know what’s going to come out of the water.

Friday, May 22, 2015

All Souls Trilogy Board Game - Penguin Books Upcoming Twitter Giveaway!


MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Penguin Books will be giving away a total of 10 All Souls Trilogy board games via their Twitter @PenguinPbks over the course of the next two weeks (among other great All Souls prizes). These will be random giveaways taking place on Tuesday 5/26 and Thursday 6/4.

To enter, check the Penguin Books Twitter feed during the mornings (Eastern Time) on those days and be sure to retweet the giveaway post by 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time—Penguin Books be randomly selecting winners around 5 p.m. from among the people who retweet.



Both sides of the game 
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Detail
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Detail 
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