Thursday, October 31, 2019

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - How We Fell Apart by Gail Z. Martin






How We Fall Apart

By Gail Z. Martin

Do we go out with a bang or a whimper?

In our near-future post-apocalyptic adventure series, Wasteland Marshals (co-written with Larry N. Martin), that's the key question.

Simultaneous nuclear strikes to the world's capitals set of a chain reaction of events that unmakes modern civilization. The governments are gone, financial markets have cratered, the power grid is unreliable, and the secondary effects of the nuclear strikes have drastically remade the world survivors face.

Lucas Maddox and Shane Collins are the last two US Marshals in the Pennsylvania/West Virginia/Maryland territory. Not only do they deal with troublesome humans, but they've also got their hands full with the supernatural creatures that have ventured out of the shadows with the retreat of technology. The survivors band together in different enclaves, and Shane and Lucas move from group to group, fending off highwaymen, opportunists, and the occasional werewolf and feral experimental robot.

We envisioned the Wasteland Marshals series as being 'Boondock Saints meets The Walking Dead." I love the tension between technology and magic. I'm intrigued by the ways people might respond to the collapse of civilization and how they could revive old ways of doing things. In Lucas and Shane's world, the people with the best survival skills included folks from Renaissance festivals, the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Amish, historical reinactors, living history museums, universities and libraries. Those groups are the bulwark of retaining modern knowledge and reviving low-tech ways for humanity to survive and rebuild.

I'm intrigued by the idea of what remains when we strip away our technology and modern conveniences, and how we rediscover and reinvent old ways enable us to rise from the ashes. I'm also interested in what cultural essentials we take with us--the myths and legends (TV shows, comics and pop culture), the key memories of the way things were 'Before' and the stories we choose after the world goes to hell, about who we were.

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new guest blog posts, giveaways and more! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour at www.GailZMartin.com





Wasteland Marshals
Wasteland Marshals 1
Falstaff Books, July 2019
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 126 pages

The world ended. Then things got tough.

Shane Collins and Lucas Maddox were US Marshals before. Before the world ended. Before civilization crumbled. Before Shane developed strange powers. Before there were monsters.

Now they’re still Marshals, but they ride through the wreckage of what once was the United States, helping the ragged groups of survivors they find survive against the challenges of a world gone insane, and the people who still want to exploit others. Because as long as there are people, there will be predators.

And as long as there are predators, there will be men and women who stand against them. Lucas and Shane are two of those men.

Wasteland Marshals launches a new post-apocalyptic fantasy series from Gail Z. & Larry N. Martin, who brought you Spells, Salt, & Steel.





About the Author

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Inheritance, Vengeance, Convicts and Exiles, and Assassin’s Honor. Together with co-author Larry N. Martin, new books include Spells Salt and Steel: Season One, Night Moves (Spells Salt and Steel #5), Wasteland Marshals and Cauldron: A Joe Mack Shadow Council Archives Adventure. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series.

Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on www.Facebook.comWinterKingdoms, at www.DisquietingVisions.com blog, on www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com. Never miss out on the news and new releases—newsletter signup link http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Interview with Sean McDonough


Please welcome Sean McDonough to The Qwillery. Sean is one of the fabulous horror writers that I met at CT HorrorFest last month. His most recent work is The Class Reunion which was released on October 29, 2019.







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

Sean:  The first thing I remember writing is an attempt at a Goosebumps book when I was ten. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that the plot revolved around a haunted carousel.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Sean:  100% a pantser. I think if the writing is organic, the best thing I can do is get out of the way. The closest thing I do to plotting is a scribbled note in the margins for something I want to do twenty pages down the road.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Sean:  The hardest thing for me is reminding myself that plot problems don’t have to unfold in a straight line. When I get to an interesting problem, my first instinct is to write out the solution with a battering ram. Good fiction comes with twists and turns, and I have to remind myself to keep the problem solving messy.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Sean:  80s horror. The books and movies of that decade had such an honest, unpretentious embrace of the wild gruesomeness that makes horror the mainstay genre of sleepovers and weirdos at the back of the bus. I try to write my own work in a way that captures that joyful carnage.



TQWhat appeals to you about writing horror?

Sean:  I like that horror is about breaking the rules. The dead come back to life. The thing bumping under the bed really is a creature. We root for the monsters instead of the white knights. Everything that the world is supposed to be gets inverted in a horror story.



TQDescribe your new novella, The Class Reunion, using only 5 words.

Sean:  Classic slasher style served fresh.



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

Sean:  The easiest character was my main character Vickie. Her strengths and flaws really came together very early on. From there, I just had to sit back and see if she could survive the bloody gauntlet I laid out for her. The hardest was Alex. He’s one of the popular kids who, on the service, had it all put together. I had to find a way to get into his humanity without interrupting the flow of the story.



TQYou've described The Class Reunion as a slasher novella. For you what elements are essential for a slasher novella / novel?

Sean:  The most essential element is a memorable killer. It’s not enough to give a knife to a masked maniac, you have to make sure you do something to make him memorable. Which brings me to essential element number two- make sure the deaths are memorably outrageous.



TQDo you write any different types of horror? Tell us a bit about your other works.

Sean:  I write all kinds of horror. Aside from my previous slasher slasher novel, I’ve also written a creature feature and a massacre at a cursed amusement park.



TQ:   What's next?

Sean:  Up next is an old school witchcraft story with a grotesque twist.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sean:  Pleasure was all mine.





The Class Reunion
October 29, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 150 pages

The graduates of Saint Regina Academy have broken into their abandoned elementary school for an impromptu reunion.

...But there’s someone else inside the school with them. He wants their flesh. He wants their blood. And he’s going to make sure that this is a class reunion that nobody ever forgets.





About Sean

Raised on Goosebumps, the horror section at Blockbuster, and other things he shouldn't have been exposed to at eight years old, Sean McDonough is a fresh new voice in horror fiction. His books evoke a sense of gleeful gruesomeness and dark humor, perfect for keeping the Halloween spirit alive all year long.

You can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/houseoftheboogeyman/

Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/houseoftheboogeyman/

And you can peruse my works at https://www.amazon.com/Sean-McDonough/e/B07SJWGX6M/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Clock Coming in January 2020


IMAGE/TOP COW COUNTS DOWN TO NEW SERIES
THE CLOCK
SET TO LAUNCH THIS JANUARY

PORTLAND, Ore. 10/29/2019 — Image/Top Cow Productions is pleased to announce the forthcoming Matt Hawkins (Think Tank) and Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) collaboration—The Clock—a new dystopian, four-issue miniseries timed to launch this January 2020.

In The Clock, within three weeks, hundreds of millions of healthy people worldwide contract various forms of aggressive cancer and its proliferation—seemingly a viral outbreak—stumps the best scientific minds available. But after a leading cancer researcher loses his wife and watches his nine-year-old daughter begin to succumb to the same illness, he must race against the clock to end a global conspiracy that could propel the world straight into WWIII… or worse.

The Clock #1 (Diamond Code NOV190031) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, January 8.

The Clock #1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

SPFBO 5 Semi-Finalist Review - Our 4th Semi-Finalist




It is my first year as an SPFBO judge, and I am so excited and honored to participate on Team Qwillery. I was tasked to read six books at least 30% or at least 50 pages. From there, I am to choose which book should continue on to the semi-finals. Choosing was a difficult task because the books are so different in style, age range, and subject content. I have including some brief content review and some information on the various books.


The following 5 books have been eliminated:

Quest
by A.J. Ponder
Genre: Coming of Age Fantasy, YA, Fairy Tale Fantasy
Series/Standalone: Series - The Sylvalla Chronicles

This was a fun and quirky story. Set in the style of Terry Pratchett, the humor was great. It turns fantasy cliches on their head. Princess Sylvanna dreams of the life of high adventure and quests. It is pretty dull being a princess. We meet a cast of oddball characters and shenanigans. The writing is well done, although I got lost a few times in the multiple POV. It is a solid read, and I enjoyed it.



The Dark Yule
by R.M. Callahan
Genre: Paranormal Suspense, UF
Series/Standalone: Series - Pumpkin Spice Tales

The Dark Yule is about a cat, specifically a Main Coon cat named Pumpkin Spice. Cats are not what they seem. They can see monsters, ghouls, and all the horrible creatures of the night that humans can not see. I loved this premise. I like to think that cats are actually like this and they battle the nefarious and evil. They basically just put up with us humans. It kind of fits if you have ever owned a cat. The characterization was fantastic. Pumpkin Spice is so cool, so proud and full of sass. Her adventure is dark and reminded me a bit of a Neil Gaiman book with Lovecraftian overtones.



Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings
by Lydia Sherrer
Genre: Humorous Fantasy, New Adult, YA, Supernatural Mystery
Series/Standalone: Series - The Lily Singer Adventures

This story is the adventures of Lily Singer, intrepid wizard not a witch.

Character-wise, Lily is stuffy and unsure of herself outside of magic. The first book is an adventure between Lily and Sebastian involving an old house, and ghosts. Sebastion is a witch, not a wizard, and in that, there is a bit of classicism as to what kind of magic is proper magic. This story was fluffy and fun, although the book as a whole was confusing. I was unsure how the various parts fit together as a single entity. It was more like short stories with a common set of characters and theme.



Tooth Goblins
by Ash Teroid
Genre: Children's Sword & Sorcery
Series/Standalone: Standalone

Tooth Goblins is an original middle-grade fantasy story. It takes the legend of tooth Faires and turns it on its ear involving fairies, goblins, teenage boys, and a quest. The story was a lot of fun but lost me in some of the writing, and it dragged a bit.



Alban's Choice
by Monica Zwikstra
Genre: Action & Adventure
Series/Standalone: Standalone

This story started strong, Zwikstra employed well-done worldbuilding and characterization. Alban and Rahan are strong characters put into a life-changing predicament. But as the story progressed, I became lost in the minor plot points. There was just too much to follow.








My Semi-Finalist Selection

Oblivion by Andy Blinston!

Oblivion
Rakkan Conquest 1
Falbury Publishing, November 1, 2018
Kindle eBook and Trade Paperback, 410 pages
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Greek & Roman Myth & Legend

Darius wakes surrounded by blood. Most of his mind has been stolen, and the dark figure that took it wants the rest.

Caught in a raging war between the human empire and fiery rakkan invaders, he soon learns his fearsome powers have made him an enemy to both.

Unable to tell friend from foe, he must fight to escape a fate worse than death. His only helper is a mysterious female warrior who promises to restore him to former glory. But can she be trusted?

Is he ready to discover the horrifying truth of who he was, and why he's wanted?

If you like fantasy full of mystery and action, you’ll love this book.



Elizabeth's Review

Oblivion had me at the get-go. The opening scene is harrowing, and it sets the stage for the main protagonist's motivations throughout the story. Darius, the main character, is complicated. His memory has mostly disappeared. He does not know who he is or what he is capable of. The only thing he has is a traumatic memory of him as a child. Even though the "mind-wipe" can be tropey in most books, I found Blinston's use of the "mind-wipe" plot device interesting. Especially within the context of his created world. What would a great warrior do if he could not remember himself? This is especially true when set against other morally grey characters. Blinston kept the suspense and confusion as to what is right and correct for much of the novel.

One of the best parts of Oblivion is the supporting character of Lex. Often in dark fantasy, female characters can be written flatly. They can be the seductress or the crone. Or, they could be haughty and overly-harsh. I find this especially true in the Wheel of Time stories. Jordan had a difficult time writing female characters that didn't always pull their braids or fluff their skirts when angry. It gets old. Blinston did a good job with Lex. She is tough, as one would need to be tough existing in the Oblivion world, but she has broken parts of her that make her a more realistic character. It allows the audience the opportunity to understand her actions and her emotional plight. It gives her three dimensions when often women are written in two. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series to see how her character develops. Her story was left on quite the cliffhanger, and if it plays out, can drastically change the path that she takes.

Darius, as the main protagonist, was solid. He isn't perfect. He makes some stupid decisions and behaves in childish ways occasionally through the story. I think the childish reactions to some situations were a good conscious choice on the author's part. Again, a character that is too much of one thing can ring flat. Darius has parts of him that are emotionally broken, much like Lex. This allows the reader to understand and empathize with his plight. Empathy makes this story work.

The villain of the story, Archimedes, is scary. Not, horror movie scary. But so dark and morally gray that his intentions, which are entirely logical and fine to him, shock and appall other characters in the story and by extension the reader. It is often that the scariest characters in books are ones that are entirely sure of their actions, even if those actions are horrendous. They don't think of themselves as the villain. They think themselves as the hero and act accordingly. Archimedes is like that. Although the reader does not understand the entirety of his actions until later in the book, the effects and consequences of disobedience to him are stark; he is too powerful not to obey.

The only slight detractor to this story was pacing. The story lulled in a few spots where Blinston was building backstory. This slowed down the pace significantly for me. The story picks up immediately, usually in the form of an action sequence, and moves the plot forward. But those lulls slowed the pacing down.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this story immensely. It is a great dark fantasy read up there with other notable works in the genre. Blinston left the story wide open for the next book, which is exciting. I want to know what is going to happen with the characters and look forward to reading the next one.

Monday, October 28, 2019

East of West to End With Issue #45


JONATHAN HICKMAN & NICK DRAGOTTA’S LONG-RUNNING SCI-FI WESTERN EAST OF WEST TO END WITH THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN

Issue #45 will be the final issue in the series and will land on shelves this December 2019 from Image Comics


PORTLAND, Ore. 10/28/2019 — The long-running, science fiction/western crossover series East of West by Jonathan Hickman (House of X, Powers of X) and artist Nick Dragotta (Howtoons, Fantastic Four) will come to a show-stopping end with the final issue of the series, East of West #45, set to land in stores this December from Image Comics.

“In this business, it isn’t often that you get to end a project exactly the way you want to, and I think that’s what makes this one so special,” said Hickman. “We started East of West with a story we wanted to tell and we’ve had the incredible honor of having a bunch of fans make that story a reality. So, enjoy it. God knows we have."

The beloved dystopian series first launched as a monthly series from Image in March 2013 and explores a dystopian America, divided into seven nations, wherein the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are cast as heroes.

Dragotta added: “It all goes down in East of West #45, an extra-length, action-packed issue that has been one of my favorites to draw. Creatively with Jonathan, Frank, and Rus, East of West has been an incredible ride, and none of it would have been possible without you—the readers—and Image Comics. We did it, 45 issues... thank you and enjoy the end times.”

In East of West #45, the epic world-building, political intrigue, and character drama wrap up into a final showdown that will shock fans.

The East of West series will be collected into ten trade paperbacks and three deluxe hardcover editions total. East of West, Vol. 1-9 trade paperbacks are available now and East of West: Year One and East of West: Year Two deluxe hardcovers are available now.

East of West #45 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, December 25.

East of West is also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

The View From Monday - October 28, 2019


Happy Monday!

There are no debuts this week.


From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London 7) by Ben Aaronovitch is out in Mass Market Paperback;

The Queen of Swords (Golgotha 3) by R. S. Belcher is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Arabella and the Battle of Venus (The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 2) by David D. Levine is out in Mass Market Paperback;

The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons 2) by Jenn Lyons;

Shield of the People (Maradaine Elite 2) by Marshall Ryan Maresca;

and

Carpe Glitter by Cat Rambo.

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.

October 29, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Lies Sleeping (h2mm) Ben Aaronovitch UF/CF - Rivers of London 7
When the Earth Had Two Moons: Cannibal Planets, Icy Giants, Dirty Comets, Dreadful Orbits, and the Origins of the Night Sky Erik Asphaug Science/Space Science
The Queen of Swords (tp2mm) R. S. Belcher HistF/SF/SP - Golgotha 3
Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents Boxed Set Octavia Butler SF/LF
The Friend of the Desert Pablo D'Ors
David Shook (tr)
MR/Zen/LF
Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants (h2tp) Mathias Énard
Chalotte Mandell (Tr)
LF
Rejoice, a Knife to the Heart (h2tp) Steven Erikson SF/AC
Fever Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings 16
Inferno! Volume 4 Guy Haley
George Mann
et al.
F - Inferno! Series 4
Salvation Lost Peter F. Hamilton SF/SP/SE - The Salvation Sequence 2
Ghosts William Huggins SF
Shattered Bonds Faith Hunter UF/CF/P - Jane Yellowrock 13
Wheel of Time Premium Boxed Set I: Books 1-3 (The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time
The Dragon Reborn (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 3
The Great Hunt (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 2
The Eye of the World (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 1
Conflict of Honors (ri) Sharon Lee
Steve Miller
SF/SO - Liaden Universe 6
Arabella and the Battle of Venus (h2mm) David D. Levine SF/SP - The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 2
The Name of All Things Jenn Lyons F - A Chorus of Dragons 2
Shield of the People Marshall Ryan Maresca UF/F - Maradaine Elite 2
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek Rhett McLaughlin
Link Neal
HU/SF
The Death House Sarah Pinborough Dys/FC
Carpe Glitter Cat Rambo UF
Sisters of the Vast Black Lina Rather SF/SO
Of Blood and Bone (h2tp) Nora Roberts P/PNR/SupTh/SF/AP/PA - Chronicles of The One 2
The Well of Ascension (ri) Brandon Sanderson F - Mistborn 2
Captain Marvel: Liberation Run Prose Novel (h2mm) Tess Sharpe SH - Marvel Novels
Alien Archives: Eighteen Stories of Extraterrestrial Encounters Robert Silverberg SF/AC/HU/SS
The Red Feast Gav Thorpe F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar 1
Odsburg Matt Tompkins AB/SF/HU/LF
Alien: Prototype Tim Waggoner MTI/SF/AC



October 31, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Best of Greg Egan Greg Egan SF - Collection
Laughter at the Academy Seanan McGuire F/H - Collection
Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction Glyn Morgan (Ed) Charul Palmer-Patel (Ed) LC - Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies LUP



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



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M&D - Mystery & Detective
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

Friday, October 25, 2019

SPFBO 5 Interview: Clayton Snyder, author of River of Thieves


Please welcome Clayton Snyder to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. Clayton has submitted River of Thieves to SPFBO 5.

Follow the fate of all the entrants at http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2019/06/spfbo-5-phase-1.html






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

Clayton:  Never had a title. It was an awful piece about an angel who fell from heaven to hunt demons, but ended up captured by a man in the city, kept chained to a doghouse, and fed a steady diet of heroin.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Clayton:  Pantser. Outlines tend to burst into flame around me.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Clayton:  The middle. It gets all squishy.



TQDescribe River of Thieves using only 5 words.

Clayton:  Idiots on a questionable mission.



TQWhat inspired you to write River of Thieves?

Clayton:  That's a whole can of worms, but in short, I wanted to poke a little fun at the world, fantasy tropes, and certain ideas.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for River of Thieves.

Clayton:  The cover was done by Shayne Leighton.



TQIn River of Thieves who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Clayton:  Nenn. The book is from her point of view. Hardest was probably Cord. It's difficult to maintain that level of insanity without having him look incompetent.



TQDoes River of Thieves touch on any social issues?

Clayton:  A whole bushel of 'em.



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

Clayton:

"We were the worst kind of people. For the best reasons. We understood that, even if no one else did."


"As corpses go, Cord proved a constant thorn in my side."



TQWhat's next?

Clayton:  Currently working on the sequel, pieces for three anthologies, and have a novel due for release in October 2020.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Clayton:  Thank you for giving your time!





River of Thieves
Thieves' Lyric 1
April 2019
Kindle eBook and Trade Paperback, 324 pages

We were the worst kind of people. For the best reasons.

After a robbery gone horribly wrong, cursed thief Cord broadens his horizons and plans to execute the heist of a lifetime. With fellow thief and knife connoisseur Nenn in tow, the two build their ragtag crew to target the heart of the kingdom - Midian, the seat of tyrant King Anaxos Mane. As treachery, horrifying creatures of nightmare, and opposition bar their path at every turn, the gang must depend on skill - intellectual, martial, and magical - to deliver them an endless summer and keep them free from the clutches of evil despotism. If they don't sh*t the bed first.





About Clayton

Born in Michigan and moved to North Dakota, he's a full-time dabbler and part-time author, pursuing his dream of writing. He's been published in several small magazines, and maintains a blog, Nod.

In his free time, he yells at clouds and accidentally gets nominated for awards.


Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @claytonsnyder2

FARMHAND - New Story Arc Starting in Issue 11


FARMHAND SPROUTS NEW TERRORS IN UPCOMING STORY ARC THIS NOVEMBER FROM IMAGE COMICS
Issue #11 begins the third chapter of this dark hit series

PORTLAND, Ore. 10/24/2019 — Eisner Award winning, New York Times bestselling cartoonist Rob Guillory (Chew) will kick off an unsettling, suspenseful new story arc of Farmhand hitting shelves in November from Image Comics. This arc will lead into the halfway point for the series, which is planned to run for 30 issues total.

Farmhand is also in development for television by AMC/AMC Studios. Guillory is set to write the pilot for the series and will executive produce alongside LaToya Morgan (The Walking Dead, Into the Badlands).

After last issue’s game-changing events, Farmhand #11 sees a weakened Jedidiah Jenkins in search of guidance from an old friend. Unfortunately, her mystical wisdom points to a dark future for the residents of Freetown.

Farmhand #11 (Diamond Code SEP190187) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 20.

Farmhand #11 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.

Farmhand, Vol. 1 trade paperback (ISBN: 9781534309852) and Farmhand, Vol. 2 trade paperback (ISBN: 9781534313323) are both available now at your local comic book shop and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

SPFBO 5 Interview: T.A. Frost, author of Up To The Throne


Please welcome T.A. Frost to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. Toby has submitted Up To The Throne to SPFBO 5.

Follow the fate of all the entrants at http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2019/06/spfbo-5-phase-1.html







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

T.A.:  Thank you! The first fiction I remember writing was a story about a time traveller, when I was 12. I wrote it in a small blue notebook from school. It was somewhere between H.G. Wells and Dr. Who, and featured illustrations by the author. It will never, ever see the light of day.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

T.A.:  A hybrid, I think. I know that I find plotting tricky, so I try to compensate by making a lot of notes. Know your weaknesses and all that!



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

T.A.:  Probably editing. As I've written more, I've become more confident in putting down a rough first draft and refining it in the editing stage. However, that does mean that the editing takes more work. Also, reading reviews can be nerve-racking, but perhaps waiting for them is even worse!



TQDescribe Up To The Throne using only 5 words.

T.A.:  Renaissance Revenge Becomes Unexpectedly Complicated!



TQWhat inspired you to write Up To The Throne?

T.A.:  A mixture of history, noir crime and real-world annoyance! The one thing that tipped me over the edge was seeing a bit of old artwork in a D&D manual and thinking "I'd like to write about someone like that". The end result is very different to the inspiration, but that picture gave me the little push that I needed.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Up To The Throne.

T.A.:  It was made by Claire Peacey of Autumnsky, and I think it's absolutely beautiful. It shows Giulia, the lead character, walking towards an illegal boxing match at the docks. I think it does a great job of reflecting the mood of the novel.



TQIn Up To The Throne who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

T.A.:  The lead character, Giulia, was perhaps the easiest. She's nothing like me, but she has this clear, driven attitude, like a P.I. in a crime story, that's easy to write. A noblewoman, Tabitha Corvani, was the hardest. She's untrustworthy, insincere and yet weirdly admirable, and that was difficult to convey.



TQDoes Up To The Throne touch on any social issues?

T.A.:  Yes, perhaps inevitably. A lot of the characters are eccentrics, outcasts or people looked down upon as second-class. There's a subplot about the political expediency of persecution, and religious trouble is always brewing. That said, I didn't set out to preach a message: those issues arose naturally in the story and had to be treated with the gravity that they deserved.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Up To The Throne.

T.A.:

“You owe someone for something?”

“Yes.” Giulia stood up. “I owe them for a lot. But they’re the ones who’re going to pay.”



TQWhat's next?

T.A.:  There will be a stand-alone sequel, named Blood Under Water, out in July 2019, and I hope to do a third book next year. Also, I'm working on a much longer epic fantasy quartet, and a series of light SF novels about a domestic robot reprogrammed as a spy.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

T.A.:  Thank you for interviewing me!





Up To The Throne
Dark Renaissance 1
December 2018
Kindle eBook and Trade Paperback, 531 pages

Revenge is never simple...

Giulia Degarno returns to the city-state of Pagalia with one intention: to kill the man who scarred her and left her for dead. But Publius Severra is no longer a mere criminal, and has risen to become a powerful politician - and perhaps the only man who can save Pagalia from anarchy. Now, as Severra stands poised to seize the throne. Giulia must choose between taking her revenge, and saving her home.

Up To The Throne is a dark fantasy novel set in a magically-enhanced Renaissance: a dangerous world of assassins, alchemists and flying machines. It is a world where artists and scholars cross paths with feuding nobles and clockwork monsters - and death is never far away.





About T.A. Frost

Toby Frost is the author of a wide range of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The six Space Captain Smith novels, published by Myrmidon Books, are comedic space opera set in a barely-functional British Space Empire threatened by giant ants and enraged lemming-people. Expect daring adventure, space battles, excessive tea consumption and small talking horses. Think "Blackadder meets Flashman in space" and you've got the idea.

Toby's most recent novel is Up To The Throne, a dark story of intrigue and revenge set in a magically-enhanced Renaissance. It's the first book in a trilogy: the second and third stories will be out in 2019.

Straken, published by Black Library, is a military science fiction novel set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Full of grim adventure and black humour, it and tells of Colonel Straken of the Imperial Guard. Colonel Straken's adventures continue in a number of short stories anthologised by Games Workshop.

Toby's website is at: http://tobyfrost.com
The Space Captain Smith site is: http://spacecaptainsmith.com
More information on Up To The Throne can be found at: http://uptothethrone.co.uk/

UNEARTH, VOL. 1 Available in January 2020


THE X-FILES MEETS ANNIHILATION IN GRUESOME NEW HORROR PAPERBACK—UNEARTH, VOL. 1—OUT THIS JANUARY 2020 FROM IMAGE COMICS

PORTLAND, Ore. 10/23/2019 — Prolific horror writer Cullen Bunn (Harrow County, The Sixth Gun) teams with fan-favorite writer Kyle Strahm (Spread) and rising star artist Baldemar Rivas to present the first story arc of their subterranean nightmare Unearth, Vol. 1 to readers this January 2020. Unearth, Vol. 1 is best described as The X-Files meets Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation in a series perfect for fans of HBO’s Chernobyl and will collect issues #1-5 of the bestselling body horror series into trade paperback.

In Unearth, Vol. 1 a flesh-warping disease ravages a remote village in Mexico and a scientific task force travels to the inhospitable area to investigate the contamination. As victims of the illness are transformed in horrible ways, the task force traces the source of the disease to a nearby cave system—where they discover a bizarre, hostile ecosystem and a supernatural revelation from which they may never escape.

Unearth, Vol. 1 trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1492-4, Diamond Code OCT190071) will be available on Wednesday, January 8 and in bookstores on Tuesday, January 14. It can be pre-ordered at your local comic book shop and on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.

Unearth, Vol. 1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

SEA OF STARS, VOL. 1 Coming in January 2020


MIYAZAKI-ESQUE SPACE ADVENTURE SEA OF STARS, VOL. 1 SET TO HIT STORES FROM IMAGE COMICS THIS JANUARY 2020

“There is a genuine earnestness on each page. Aaron and Hallum treat their leads with respect and build a believable father-son relationship. The dialogue is smart and doesn't rely on massive exposition dumps...The story is lean without feeling hollow.”
—Comic Book Resources

“Delivers some jaw-dropping action and twists before the final page.” —ComicBook.com

PORTLAND, Ore. 10/23/2019 — The first story arc of the epic, critically acclaimed science-fiction adventure Sea of Stars—by writing duo Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards, Thor) and Dennis Hallum (Cloak & Dagger, Vader: Dark Visions), artist Stephen Green (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.), with colors by Rico Renzi (Spider-Gwen), and with letters and design by Jared Fletcher—will be collected into trade paperback and available from Image Comics this January. Sea of Stars, Vol. 1: Lost in the Wild Heavens will collect issues #1-5 of the intense, galaxy-spanning comic book series that features all the scope and heart of the The Neverending Story crossed with imaginative weirdness of a Miyazaki animation.

Being a space trucker may sound like a cool job, but in reality it can be boring as hell. In Sea of Stars, Vol. 1 a recently widowed Gil gets a long-haul gig across the universe, he figures it’s safe enough to bring his young son Kadyn along for the ride. But when their “big rig” gets bitten in half by a gigantic Space Leviathan, Gil is separated from his young son—with a breached suit that’s venting oxygen at an alarming rate. He’ll have to defy the odds and stay alive long enough to rescue Kadyn. But Kadyn seems to be getting all the help he needs from a talking Space Monkey riding a Space Dolphin… or maybe it’s the strange powers he’s suddenly manifesting.

Sea of Stars, Vol. 1: Lost in the Wild Heavens trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1495-5, Diamond Code OCT190059) will be available on Wednesday, January 15 and in bookstores on Tuesday, January 21. It can be pre-ordered at your local comic book shops on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.

Sea of Stars, Vol. 1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

THUMBS Trade Paperback Coming in January 2020


CYBERPUNK THRILLER THUMBS FROM AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT SEAN LEWIS & AWARD WINNING ARTIST HAYDEN SHERMAN TO HIT STORES THIS JANUARY 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. 10/23/2019 — Award winning playwright and comics writer Sean Lewis (Coyotes, The Few) re-teams with award winning artist Hayden Sherman (The Few) for the pulse-pounding technology thriller, Thumbs. This trade paperback collects the complete series, issues #1-5, of the rapid-paced, science-fiction series and will be available from Image Comics in January 2020.

Adrian Camus, a rockstar tech designer, recruits children who excel at his games into his real-life war against the Power, a group of politicians and advocates aiming to take Camus’ tech away from the people. Following a life-altering injury, eponymous recruit Thumbs finds himself torn between two sides of the muddy, escalating conflict. Heartfelt, action-packed, and forward-thinking, Thumbs is a standalone story that fans of Black Mirror, Blade Runner, and Tokyo Ghost won’t want to miss.

The Thumbs trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1359-0, Diamond Code NOV190068) will be available on Wednesday, January 29 and in bookstores on Tuesday, February 4. It can be pre-ordered at your local comic book shops on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.

The Thumbs trade paperback will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.