Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interview with Harry Connolly and Giveaway - August 31, 2011

Please welcome Harry Connolly to The Qwillery.

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

Harry:  I like to think of myself as quirkless. I made a serious effort some years ago to remove ritual, habit, and all the other crutches some writers have. I don't write in yellow ink on black paper. I don't play a mix tape of Beastie Boys and steam locomotive sound effects. I just try to focus and do the work.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Harry:  Yes! Actually, I plot out the beginning and middle of the book and trust that the end will reveal itself in the first draft.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Twenty Palaces series?

Harry:  A whole crazy mix of things, but for this answer I'll focus on one: it's standard for modern urban fantasy to have a "magic police squad" in it somewhere--people who decide what's allowed and what isn't--and the protagonist is often a loner who won't be held back by the rules.

Well, I don't much like that trope, and I wanted to recast those loners as villains.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world in the Twenty Palaces series?

Harry:  It's pretty much our world, except that extradimensional monsters occasionally slip in to feed on us. Because I didn't want the magic or the monsters to be religious or folkloric (mostly), the research has been mostly to make sure the creatures I put in the book are *not* similar to the creatures of myth and legend.

TQ:  Please briefly describe the system of magic in the Twenty Palaces world.

Harry:  Actually, how the magic works is a mystery in the series, gradually revealed over the books, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail.

I will say that there is summoning magic, which calls and (hopefully) binds extradimensional creatures to our world. Other kinds of magic affect the world (and the people in it) in various direct and subtle ways. Both are cast by making specific marks on solid surfaces, along with other components.

TQ:  Describe Circle of Enemies (Twenty Palaces 3) in 140 characters or less.

Harry:  People have begun to notice Ray's string of successes for the Twenty Palace Society, and that's a bad thing.

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

Harry:  The final 40 or so pages.

TQ:  In Circle of Enemies, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Harry:  The easiest was Wally King, because I understood his relationship to Ray and the other characters. I knew how he felt and what he wanted.

There was no "most difficult" though, because the book is about a circle of people who were once family but have drifted apart, who have strong bonds and deep resentments, who see things as they really are or maybe don't. The whole "circle" was difficult to write, because their relationships to Ray and each other were so complicated.

TQ:  Do you and Ray Lilly have anything in common?

Harry:  We both like mystery novels. We both hate to have dried sweat on our faces. Aside from that, we're not really alike at all.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Twenty Palaces series?

Harry:  Plan? Is this "plan" a custom among you Earth People?

I'm going to keep writing them as long as I feel I can wring a worthwhile story out of them, and as long as readers want to read them.

TQ:  What's next?

Harry:  The next Twenty Palaces novel is written and the one after that has been started. I also have a book trailer for my newest novel:

I also took a break from the grimmity grimness of the Twenty Palaces series to write a light urban fantasy with a 65 year old socialite and pacifist in the lead. My agent has that on her to-read pile right now. Beyond that, I have a few ideas I want to explore, and I have been wanting to branch out into other genres for a while. We'll see.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

About the Twenty Palaces Series

Circle of Enemies
Twenty Palaces 3
(Del Rey, August 30, 2011)
Former car thief Ray Lilly is now the expendable grunt of a sorcerer responsible for destroying extradimensional predators summoned to our world by power-hungry magicians. Luckily, Ray has some magic of his own, and so far it’s kept him alive. But when a friend from his former gang calls him back to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles, Ray may have to face a threat even he can’t handle. A mysterious spell is killing Ray’s former associates, and they blame him. Worse yet, the spell was cast by Wally King, the sorcerer who first dragged Ray into the brutal world of the Twenty Palace Society. Now Ray will have to choose between the ties of the past and the responsibilities of the present, as he and the Society face not only Wally King but a bizarre new predator.

Game of Cages
Twenty Palaces 2
(Del Rey, August 31, 2010)

As a wealthy few gather to bid on a predator capable of destroying all life on earth, the sorcerers of the Twenty Palace Society mobilize to stop them. Caught up in the scramble is Ray Lilly, the lowest of the low in the society—an ex–car thief and the expendable assistant of a powerful sorcerer. Ray possesses exactly one spell to his name, along with a strong left hook. But when he arrives in the small town in the North Cascades where the bidding is to take place, the predator has escaped and the society’s most powerful enemies are desperate to recapture it. All Ray has to do is survive until help arrives. But it may already be too late.

Child of Fire
Twenty Palaces 1
(Del Rey, September 29, 2011)
Ray Lilly is living on borrowed time. He’s the driver for Annalise Powliss, a high-ranking member of the Twenty Palace Society, a group of sorcerers devoted to hunting down and executing rogue magicians. But because Ray betrayed her once, Annalise is looking for an excuse to kill him–or let someone else do the job.

Unfortunately for both of them, Annalise’s next mission goes wrong, leaving her critically injured. With the little magic he controls, Ray must complete her assignment alone. Not only does he have to stop a sorcerer who’s sacrificing dozens of innocent lives in exchange for supernatural power, he must find–and destroy–the source of that inhuman magic.
For more information about the Twenty Palaces books including excerpts and more. please visit Harry's Twenty Palaces site:

About Harry Connolly

Harry Connolly lives in Seattle with his beloved wife, his beloved son, and his beloved library system. You can find him online at

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win Mass Market Paperback copies of the 3 Twenty Palaces novels (Child of Fire, Game of Cages, and Circle of Enemies) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Mysteries, Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Mysteries? 

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

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

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

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

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, September 7, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Urban Fantasy, of course :)
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 blog mention

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    impy80 at hotmail dot com

  2. I have really been into urban fantasy lately. Thanks for the giveaway.

    I am a follower

  3. Why not a bit of everything? :) I like paranormal mysteries precisely because they blend a diferent things together. Plus a lot of urban fantasy novels are detective novels at their core.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower



  4. I love urban fantasy, but I've been reading some good paranormal mysteries lately, as well!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 tweeted:!/jwitt33/status/108951144457449472

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  5. I love various genres of writing, however I do have the tendency to read more of the paranormal mysteries and urban fantasy. I love the concepts that authors come up with for their storylines and I most enjoy it when you have a series. You always have something to look forward to.

  6. I sometimes read Paranormal Mystery but Urban Fantasy is my favorite!

    +1 comment

  7. How on earth could I choose? I love all three genres/subgenres. I guess everything comes full circle in the end, so mystery.

    GFC Anne38

  8. Urban Fantasy
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  9. I am a follower and email subscriber. I love urban mysteries. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read these books.

  10. What incredible reads. Thank you for sharing today and for the awesome giveaway opportunity. I love all three mystery, UF, and paranormal mysteries. My current first choice is UF, but love a good paranormal mystery. I would love to read these wonderful books.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 shared on facebook - Denise Zaky


  11. Wow, sounds great. Urban fantasy is great stuff. follower
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  12. I would go with Urban fantasy as well. For me mysteries are a bit dicey as most of them have to be really good and lately I haven't found as much as I have in UF subgenre.


    PS: I an a GFC follower.

  13. Mysteries, Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Mysteries - can I say all of the above? My first choice would be urban fantasy, then paranormal mystery and then mystery though, but I do like them all.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  14. A great Mystery makes for brilliant reading.

    I follow.


  15. All of the above!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 Twitter mention:!/lesleyboogie/status/109065926858653696
    +1 blog mention:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    drakeLa90 at aol dot com

  16. I read almost nothing but urban fantasy.
    I'm a gfc follower.


  17. All of the above!! I'd love to be entered to win.

    old gfc follower

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  18. I love them all. I love cozy mysteries (which is slightly embarrassing), I love UF a ton, and I like paranormal mystery as long as it's not too silly

    tjotjoc at gmail dot com

    I'm a GFC follower!

  19. Urban fantasy all the way!~

    +1 Follower
    +1 Tweeted!!/Neku234/status/109101411001843712
    +1 Comment


  20. Paranormal mystery? I must read some if this.

    GFC follower: Frederikke Reimer

  21. (+1) Actually, urban fantasy and paranormal sounds the same to me. But I want a shot at that 3 Twenty Palaces novels so I would say urban fantasy :)

    (+1) Follower. My GFC name is Cherry.

    (+1) Twitted:!/cherrymischivus/status/109125832630468608



    (+1) Blog sidebar:

    Thank you for the chance to win 3 Twenty Palaces novels!!

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-darkward [at] yahoo [dot] com

  22. Urban Fantasy.Though Paranormal Mystery comes to a close second.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower-Janhvi Jagtap
    +1 i tweeted-!/justjanhvi/status/109225758035156993

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  23. Definitely Urban Fantasy for me :)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower


  24. Urban Fantasy although I do like stories with a good mystery in them

  25. Lately, more and more paranormal mysteries have been catching my fancy.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower (booklover0226)

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  26. Again,urban fantasy, of course! I enjoy the fact that there's a lot more detail. The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite UF books.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  27. Urban Fantasy, If you like Syfy's "Sanctuary" you will probably like Connolly. I know I would love to read all three and have them in my library.
    See the link on my blog:
    I follow the Qwillery through leestewarttaylor(at)

  28. Whereas the question for the Kittredge novels was nigh impossible to answer, this one's easy. Urban without a doubt!
    I do like good mysteries, but not that often and as for PR, I read them sometimes - Anita Blake to name one - but that subgenre doesn't do it for me.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    +1 Follwer
    +1 Comment


  29. urban fantasy!!

    +1 for follower

    thanks for the giveaway!!


  30. Urban Fantasy. Would you classify King Rat by China Miéville as Urban Fantasy? Also loved the opening of The Fionavar Tapestry's "The Summer Tree" by Guy Gavriel Kay--it opens in downtown Toronto, then moves to a fictional land: nice blend!

    These Harry Connolly books sound great, and LOVE the trailer!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 Tweet


  31. I have a hard time categorizing books as either UF or paranormal mysteries exclusively. A number of books I've read recently seem to fall under both categories! If I had to choose though... I would go with paranormal mysteries.

    I am a follower.

    Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

    ssosborn AT gmail dotcom

  32. contest answer paranormal mysteries

    all 3 .Mysteries, Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Mysteries?

  33. Between those 3 choice, I'll pick Urban Fantasy, tho I like the other 2, as well.
    I'm following on GFC as MJB and on email.
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  34. Urban fantasy, but can I have a little bit of all three??? :)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  35. I like all three! Darnit. Although they all can cross over each other a lot as well. I'll go paranormal mystery just to go against the grain.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    april dot vrugtman at gmail dot com

  36. Depending on the day Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Mysteries. Really a close close tie depending on my mood at the time.


    blog link -

    tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/111304782777548800

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  37. I can't really choose, I love all three!

    +1 comment
    +1 tweeted!/ningenjanai/status/111611546341359616
    +1 shared on my blog

    greenleafs_girl (at) yahoo (dot) com