Tuesday, August 20, 2019

SPFBO 5 Interview: Virginia McClain, author of Blade's Edge


Please welcome Virginia McClain to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. Virginia has submitted Blade's Edge to SPFBO 5.

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







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

Virginia:  Well, I still have a collection of very short stories that I wrote in crayon about some hedgehog knights and their dragon adversaries. The spelling is very creative. I was about five or six. The stories are all illustrated. I'm sorry to say that my drawing skills have not improved over the years, but I like to think that both my writing and spelling are substantially better off.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Virginia:  These days I am a firm hybrid. I was a pure pantser for quite a while, but I've gotten a bit more methodical over the years. My first novel started with nothing more than a vague idea of a character and a single scene and then I was off and running. These days I do detailed character sheets, and vague outlines before I start any book. It tends to leave me with less work when it comes to revisions.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Virginia:  I have a 2.5 year old so these days the hardest thing about writing is finding time to write without distractions. My daughter is wonderful, but if she's in the room it's generally difficult for me to get anything done besides advertising and graphic design work.



TQDescribe Blade's Edge using only 5 words.

Virginia:  Estranged friends united against corruption.



TQWhat inspired you to write Blade's Edge?

Virginia:  I was living in Japan, spending a fair bit of my time visiting the local shinto shrines and buddhist temples, and began to wonder what things would be like if the shinto spirits came out to interact with people regularly and if something like zen meditation were the key to magical practices. That was the first spark of the idea that turned into the world of Gensokai and the characters within.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Blade's Edge.

Virginia:  The artist is the fabulous Juan Carlos Barquet (I ran a Kickstarter just so I could hire him to do the cover) and the artwork is sort of a combination of a few different elements from scenes in the book, not an exact rendering of a particular scene.



TQIn Blade's Edge who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Well, [spoiler redacted] was the easiest because [spoiler redacted] but [spoiler redacted] was the hardest, because [spoiler redacted]. So, [spoiler redacted] [spoiler redacted] [spoiler redacted]. Yeah.



TQDoes Blade's Edge touch on any social issues?

Many. The most prominent are governmental corruption and systemic misogyny.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Blade's Edge.

Virginia:

       "Sachi narrowed her eyes at Mishi and tilted her head to one side. She thought for a moment before she replied.
       “Kuma-sensei once told me that the family we choose is even stronger than the family we’re given.”"



TQWhat's next?

Virginia:  Well, Blade's Edge's sequel was released in 2017, and since then I've been working on a humorous urban fantasy series called Victoria Marmot. I'm currently working on the fifth and final book in the series and plan to release both books four and five in the fall of this year. After that, I plan to start work on a third Chronicles of Gensokai book (the same series that Blade's Edge starts).



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Virginia:  Thank you!





Blade's Edge
Chronicles of Gensokai 1
Artemis Dingo Productions, January 23, 2015
     eBook, 314 pages
Also available in Trade Paperback

The Kisōshi, elite warriors with elemental powers, have served as the rulers and protectors of the people of Gensokai for more than a thousand years. Though it is believed throughout Gensokai that there is no such thing as a female Kisōshi, the Rōjū ruling council goes to great lengths to ensure that no one dares ask why.

Even as young girls, Mishi and Taka know that they risk severe punishment - or worse - if anyone were to discover their powers. This shared secret forms a deep bond between them until, taken from their orphanage home and separated, the two girls must learn to survive in a world where their very existence is a crime. Yet when the girls learn the dark secret of the Rōjū council, they discover that much more than their own survival is at stake.





About Virginia

Virginia thinks dangling from the tops of hundred foot cliffs is a good time. She also enjoys hauling a fifty pound backpack all over the Grand Canyon and sleeping under the stars. Sometimes she likes running for miles through the desert, mountains, or wooded flatlands, and she always loves getting lost in new places where she may or may not speak the language.

From surviving earthquakes in Japan, to putting out a small forest fire in Montana, Virginia has been collecting stories from a very young age. She works hard to make her fiction as adventurous as her life and her life as adventurous as her fiction. Both take a lot of imagination.

She recently moved to Winnipeg with her husband (a Manitoba native) and their dog.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

Monday, August 19, 2019

SPAWN #300 - Todd McFarlane Covers!


SPAWN #300 TODD MCFARLANE COVERS REVEALED


PORTLAND, Ore. 08/17/2019 — Image Comics is pleased to finally reveal the highly anticipated Todd McFarlane covers for the upcoming milestone SPAWN #300 issue by Todd McFarlane, President at Image Comics and creator of SPAWN.

The record-setting SPAWN #300 hits stores on Wednesday, September 4. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, August 12.

  • SPAWN #300 CVR A MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190014
  • SPAWN #300 CVR B B&W MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190015
  • SPAWN #300 CVR C CAPULLO - Diamond Code JUN190016
  • SPAWN #300 CVR D CAPULLO VIRGIN - Diamond Code JUN190017
  • SPAWN #300 CVR E CAPULLO & MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190018
  • SPAWN #300 CVR F B&W CAPULLO & MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190019
  • SPAWN #300 CVR G CAMPBELL - Diamond Code JUN190020
  • SPAWN #300 CVR H OPENA - Diamond Code JUN190021
  • SPAWN #300 CVR I ALEXANDER - Diamond Code JUN190022
  • SPAWN #300 CVR J PARODY VAR MCFARLANE - JUN190023
  • SPAWN #300 CVR K 25 COPY (limited) CAPULLO & MCFARLANE VIRGIN - JUN190024
  • SPAWN #300 CVR L 50 COPY (limited) MCFARLANE  VIRGIN - JUN190025
  • SPAWN #300 CVR M CAMPBELL VIRGIN - JUN199041
  • SPAWN #300 CVR N CAMPBELL B&W - JUN199042
  • SPAWN #300 CVR O OPEÑA VIRGIN - JUN199043
  • SPAWN #300 CVR P OPEÑA B&W - JUN199044
  • SPAWN #300 CVR Q BLANK SKETCH CVR - JUN199116
  • SPAWN #300 CVR R NYCC EXCLUSIVE

Momentum and frenzied buzz surrounding the classic antihero series continues to build leading into historic SPAWN #300 and record-breaking SPAWN #301 when SPAWN becomes the longest running creator-owned comic in the world.

SPAWN is currently being adapted for film—a gritty, R-rated reimagining—which will mark Image President, co-founder and SPAWN creator, Todd McFarlane’s film directorial debut. McFarlane, an Emmy/Grammy-winning producer/director is also on board as screenwriter and producer.

SPAWN sold an unprecedented 1.7 million copies at the time it was released and is one of the world’s best-selling and longest-running monthly comic books, with hundreds of millions sold worldwide in more than 120 countries, and 15 different languages.

The comic became an Emmy Award-winning animated series on HBO and a New Line Cinema feature film that grossed more than $100 million. McFarlane went on to direct and produce award-winning and critically acclaimed projects for top movie studios and record labels.

Follow Todd McFarlane on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook



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 - August 19, 2019


Happy Monday After the Hugo Awards!


There are 3 Debuts this week:

Lies of Descent (Fallen Gods' War 1) by Troy Carrol Bucher;

and

American Magic by Zach Fehst.

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



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Meet Me in the Future: Stories by Kameron Hurley

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.

August 20, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Emperor's Fist: A Blackhawk Novel Jay Allan SF - Far Stars 4
Black From the Future: A Collection of Black Speculative Writing Stephanie Andrea Allen (Ed)
Lauren Cherelle (Ed)
SF - Anthology
The Ninth Circle (ri) Alex Bell SF/Sus
And Cannot Come Again (h2tp) Simon Bestwick DF/GH/SS
The Cruel Stars John Birmingham SF/SO
Turning Darkness Into Light Marie Brennan F/HistF
Lies of Descent (D) Troy Carrol Bucher F - Fallen Gods' War 1
Parable of the Talents (ri) Octavia E. Butler Dys/CW/SF/AP/PA/CoA
Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories Ellen Datlow (Ed) GH - Anthology
Our War Craig DiLouie Dys/Pol/Th
American Magic: A Thriller (D) Zach Fehst SupTh/UF/Tech
Ahab's Return: or, The Last Voyage (h2tp) Jeffrey Ford HistM
American Saint Sean Gandert LF/SF/HL
Hamilcar: Champion of the Gods David Guymer F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter Guy Haley SF/SO - Horus Heresy: Primarchs 12
The First Girl Child Amy Harmon HistF/RF
The Warehouse Rob Hart TechTh/HSF/Dys
Champions of the Mortal Realms Darius Hinks
Evan Dicken
Nick Horth
Robbie MacNiven
F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
Radio Dark Shane Hinton AB/PA
Meet Me in the Future: Stories Kameron Hurley SF - Collection
Automatic Eve Rokuro Inui
Matt Treyvaud (Tr)
SF/SP - Automatic Eve
Threadbare Elle E. Ire SF - Storm Fronts 1
The Falling Sword Ben Kane Hist - Clash of Empires
Servants of the Imperium Nick Kyme
Danie Ware
Ian St. Martin
SF - Warhammer 40,000
Inch by Inch Morgan Llywelyn SF/PA/AP/TechTh - Step by Step 2
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume 2 Graham McNeill SF/SE - Warhammer 40,000 2
Blood Communion (h2tp) Anne Rice Occ/Sup/PSupTh - Vampire Chronicles 13
Needle in a Timestack: And Other Stories (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
Hawksbill Station (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF/TT
Up the Line (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
Water and Wind John F.D. Taff SupTh/H - The Fearing 2
Empty Hearts Juli Zeh
John Cullen (Tr)
PolTh/Dys/LF



August 21, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Best of British Science Fiction 2018 Donna Scott (Ed) SF- Anthology



August 22, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Hellrider (ri) JG Faherty H - Fiction Without Frontiers
The Darkest Lullaby (ri) Jonathan Janz H - Fiction Without Frontiers
A Killing Fire (ri) Faye Snowden Th - Fiction Without Frontiers



August 23, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
River of Souls T L Bodine H



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
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History & Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HL - Hispanic and Latino
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
Tech - Technology
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
W - Westerns

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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019 Hugo Awards - Winners


The Winners for the 2019 Hugo Awards have been announced by Dublin 2019 Worldcon. The Hugo Awards were presented at Dublin 2019 An Irish Worldcon in Dublin, Ireland, August 19, 2019.

Congratulations to all of the Winners!

Winners in green.




2019 Hugo Awards Winners

Best Novel
  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
  • Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
  • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)


Best Novella
  • Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press / JABberwocky Literary Agency)


Best Novelette
  • “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
  • “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” by Tina Connolly (Tor.com, 11 July 2018)
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth,” by Daryl Gregory (Tor.com, 19 September 2018)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Thing About Ghost Stories,” by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
  • “When We Were Starless,” by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld 145, October 2018)


Best Short Story
  • “The Court Magician,” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018)
  • “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society,” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
  • “STET,” by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine, October 2018)
  • “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat,” by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine 23, July-August 2018)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)


Best Series
  • The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross (most recently Tor.com Publishing and Tor/Orbit)
  • Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)
  • The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard (most recently Subterranean Press)
  • Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)


Best Related Work
  • Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
  • Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, by Alec Nevala-Lee (Dey Street Books)
  • The Hobbit Duology (documentary in three parts), written and edited by Lindsay Ellis and Angelina Meehan (YouTube)
  • An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000, by Jo Walton (Tor)
  • www.mexicanxinitiative.com: The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76 (Julia Rios, Libia Brenda, Pablo Defendini, John Picacio)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, by Ursula K. Le Guin with David Naimon (Tin House Books)


Best Graphic Story
  • Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colours by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
  • Black Panther: Long Live the King, written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino and Tana Ford (Marvel)
  • Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden (First Second)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 4, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 9, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)


Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • Annihilation, directed and written for the screen by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (Paramount Pictures / Skydance)
  • Avengers: Infinity War, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
  • Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios)
  • A Quiet Place, screenplay by Scott Beck, John Krasinski and Bryan Woods, directed by John Krasinski (Platinum Dunes / Sunday Night)
  • Sorry to Bother You, written and directed by Boots Riley (Annapurna Pictures)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)


Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
  • The Expanse: “Abaddon’s Gate,” written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Simon Cellan Jones (Penguin in a Parka / Alcon Entertainment)
  • Doctor Who: “Demons of the Punjab,” written by Vinay Patel, directed by Jamie Childs (BBC)
  • Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe, directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society / Bad Boy Records / Atlantic Records)
  • The Good Place: “Janet(s),” written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
  • The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram, directed by Trent O’Donnell (NBC)
  • Doctor Who: “Rosa,” written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, directed by Mark Tonderai (BBC) 


Best Professional Editor, Short Form
  • Neil Clarke
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Lee Harris
  • Julia Rios
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
  • E. Catherine Tobler


Best Professional Editor, Long Form
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Anne Lesley Groell
  • Beth Meacham
  • Diana Pho
  • Gillian Redfearn
  • Navah Wolfe


Best Professional Artist
  • Galen Dara
  • Jaime Jones
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Yuko Shimizu
  • Charles Vess 


Best Semiprozine
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Fireside Magazine, edited by Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, social coordinator Meg Frank, special features editor Tanya DePass, founding editor Brian White, publisher and art director Pablo Defendini
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editors Troy L. Wiggins and DaVaun Sanders, editors L.D. Lewis, Brandon O’Brien, Kaleb Russell, Danny Lore, and Brent Lambert
  • Shimmer, publisher Beth Wodzinski, senior editor E. Catherine Tobler
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, Vanessa Rose Phin, Vajra Chandrasekera, Romie Stott, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons Staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien


Best Fanzine
  • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus
  • Journey Planet, edited by Team Journey Planet
  • Lady Business, editors Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla and The G
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
  • Rocket Stack Rank, editors Greg Hullender and Eric Wong 


Best Fancast
  • Be the Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, hosted by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia, hosted by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • Our Opinions Are Correct, hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show, produced by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke, hosted by the Skiffy and Fanty Crew


Best Fan Writer
  • Foz Meadows
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Charles Payseur
  • Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Bogi Takács 


Best Fan Artist
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Meg Frank
  • Ariela Housman
  • Likhain (Mia Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth


Best Art Book
  • The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga Press /Gollancz)
  • Daydreamer’s Journey: The Art of Julie Dillon, by Julie Dillon (self-published)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History, by Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Sam Witwer (Ten Speed Press)
  • Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, ed. John Fleskes (Flesk Publications)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – The Art of the Movie, by Ramin Zahed (Titan Books)
  • Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, ed. Catherine McIlwaine (Bodleian Library)


John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • Katherine Arden (2nd year of eligibility)
  • S.A. Chakraborty (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (1st year of eligibility)
  • Jeannette Ng (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Vina Jie-Min Prasad (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Rivers Solomon (2nd year of eligibility) 


Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
  • The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz)
  • Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books)
  • Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
  • The Invasion, by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books / Scholastic)
  • Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen)

BOG BODIES Coming in March 2020



NEW SURVIVAL HORROR GRAPHIC NOVEL—BOG BODIES—SET TO LAUNCH FROM IMAGE COMICS IN MARCH 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. 08/18/2019 — Image Comics is pleased to announce an original graphic novel, Bog Bodies, by writer Declan Shalvey (Injection, Savage Town), artist Gavin Fullerton (Bags [Or A Story Thereof]), colorist Rebecca Nalty (Xena, Glow), letterer Clayton Cowles (Die, Savage Town), and editor Heather Antos coming to Image Comics in March 2020. 
A cold, poignant story of crime, survival, and regret, Bog Bodies follows an Irish gangster on the run after a job gone wrong who encounters a young woman lost in the Dublin mountains. Injured and unarmed, the unlikely pair must try to evade their pursuers and survive the desolate bog that has served as burial grounds for unspeakable murder throughout history.

Bog Bodies original graphic novel (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1330-9) will hit comic book shops on Wednesday, March 4 and bookstores on Tuesday, March 10. You can pre-order it 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.

Friday, August 16, 2019

SPFBO 5 Interview: Rafael Hohmann, author of SunRider


Please welcome Rafael Hohmann to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. Rafael has submitted his novel Sunrider 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?

Rafael:  Oh goodness, some awful zombie story back in my high school years. I had delusions of grandeur that the book would net me millions within a few months and I would see my picture on the Times magazine within the year. I had two friends and my mom each buy a copy of the book. Good times. I still have a dust-covered copy in my office somewhere.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rafael:  A detailed outline plotter, with moderate pantsing as I write and hit my plot key-points.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rafael:  Time management. I've got a full-time job, little kids, and a college degree I'm working toward. But writing is my passion and so I do what I must to get my hours in each day.



TQDescribe SunRider using only 5 words.

Rafael:  Unworthy mortals obtain godly powers.



TQWhat inspired you to write SunRider?

Rafael:  I got tired of reading politicized fantasy that kept drawing me back to modern worldly problems. I wanted escapism. Also I was tired of dwarves, elves, and dragons.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for SunRider.

Rafael:  I was both a 3-D animator and digital artist for a few years and had both the tools, programs, and know-how to create the cover myself. After a lot of fan feedback and reiterations, I have the cover you see today (the print edition is only ever so slightly different). I also put cool maps in the book series.



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

Rafael:  The easiest character to write has also been at times the hardest. Wahala, who is a main antagonist and a female lead, is only second-in-command to "the true baddy of the story". She wants to usurp him and take charge over her people. Her character development, her corruption and slow change as she becomes more and more like the very person she hates the most has been easy because I really love her as a character and am invested in her, but difficult because plotting her slow ideological shifts and her growth in power need to be done so carefully.



TQDoes SunRider touch on any social issues?

Rafael:  Social to the fantasy world I created. I understand having issues that readers can connect to, but there is a fine line that needs to be balanced between creating believable societal conundrums vs. adding our Earthly dilemmas. I didn't become an author to preach, I became an author to allow readers to escape away from Earth's issues for a while.



TQ:   Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from SunRider.

Rafael:  
“Leave those of ye that are wise, stay those of ye that are fools! For if I won’t budge, a fool I be, marching through Lenova, sword in hand, defending those that can’t fight! A fool shall I be on the day I die by the weapon of my foe! A fool shall I remain, from now until the end of all time, having challenged unstoppable enemies, unbreakable armies, even fate itself! And when Mal’Bal is at his highest, he will be defeated by the greatest fools of all.”

Tuliah laughed. “I still got a hop to my step, don't I?” She frowned and tapped her lips. “Granted I wasn't really there...”

“Wait, so I was dancing by myself? In front of everybody?” Finn yelped, feeling his cheeks grow even hotter.

“I suppose so!” Lady Tuliah said with a giggle not appropriate for her age. “But everyone was drunk anyways. I doubt they'll remember!”

Finn put his hands over his face, shaking his head. He could hear the elder woman laughing uncontrollably on the other side of the wall.

“If—if you had seen your face as I had! Dancing about and gyrating with no one near you, your rear bouncing along like two lopped potatoes in a sack!”


TQWhat's next?

Rafael:  I'm currently in book three in the SunRider Saga and I will be continuing the series until it is finished, but I have many other book ideas ready to go afterward!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rafael:  Thank you! It was my pleasure!





SunRider
The SunRider Saga 1
July 27, 2017
    Kindle eBook, 454 pages
August 1, 2017
    Trade Paperback, 452 pages

I have seen men become Gods and I have seen Gods become dust...

Magic pieces of armor rain from Lenova’s skies, granting common men God-like abilities. These individuals have been dubbed the Star-Children, and their magical suits of armor can reshape land, nations, and the future of man. Each of them wield a seemingly random and distinctive power: the
capability to create clouds of gems, the skill to bend lightning by command, the means to suck the air out of one’s lungs. They are marked by the bracers they wear: a single piece donning their arm, a piece which shifts and slides, forming their unique armored suits of might.

"A perfect mix of super-powers and fantasy!"

No one knows why these bracers have fallen from Lenova’s skies, picking seemingly random individuals to hold such power. In the absence of knowledge and with superior beings now in existence, chaos reigns. The few Star-Children with morals wield their powers with honor, those with darker intentions...seek blood and conquest.

In the midst of this emerging chaos, teenager Finn SunRider only cares for escaping the mines within the burning desert of the Crust and exploring the world he lives in. When an ancient bracer different from those which have fallen from the sky grafts onto Finn’s arm and the last of a dead race
warns that albeit no future is certain, he will be thrust in the middle of godly battles and mystery, Finn’s plans of freedom take a different turn.

From flaming, coal-covered vat-worms and two-directional streams to floating cities and slagged landscapes, follow a fantasy adventure of epic proportions!





About Rafael

​Born near the oceanic coast of Brazil and inside the dungeon of a castle, Rafael moved to the United States at the age of six. He spent his young years cliff climbing, exploring abandoned mines, and drawing strategy maps to survive the zombie apocalypse. Obsessed with sharing stories with others, he writes daily and talks a bit too much about books. You can often find him gorging on sushi and quoting The Office. He is an epic fantasy author whose SunRider series has been number one on Amazon. He's helped the fantasy writing community through teaching at conventions and sharing his knowledge with those who dream of creating their own books. His works have inspired epic musical compositions by famous composer Will Musser and his focus on monsters and lore have garnished him praise by his peers.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Twitter

Thursday, August 15, 2019

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts




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

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

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










Cover design by Larry Rostant





Cover art by Micaela Dawn










Cover design by Francesca Corsini





Jacket design and illustration by Jarrod Taylor










Jacket art by Ryan Pancoast
Jacket design by Katie Anderson





Cover art by Gemma Sheldrake

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Interview with Keren Landsman, author of The Heart of the Circle


Please welcome Keren Landsman to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Heart of the Circle was published on August 13, 2019 by Angry Robot.







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

Keren:  I've been writing since I learned how, but I think my first try at writing something that I meant to publish was a trilogy about a 16 years old girl (guess how old I was then...?) whose brain was transplanted into a robot's body, and was sent back in time to fight criminals. It was awesome, and I had planned to do a trilogy, but sadly quit after 20 pages... I still love that story since it was the first time I tried writing "for real".



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Keren:  I think everyone is a hybrid of sorts. I'm mostly a discovery writer, and I almost always start writing with just a sense of the main character and the world it lives in. It causes me to get stuck a lot of times, and I throw away tons of pixels, but it's the price you pay when you don't plan.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Keren:  The writing itself! I love it when it's easy, but usually finding the correct phrase or the perfect word can take hours and even days. Putting the words, one after the other, is agonising for me. I hate editing too. The story is done, the pain is over, but then I have to dig into it again and correct everything I missed. I prefer the planning (which I rarely do) and the talking about how awesome the story is going to be (before I actually write it).



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Keren:  The world. My family. Great books and short stories that I had the immense pleasure to read. Terrible books and short stories that taught me how not to write. Talking with writers. Talking with non writers. Working as a physician in a free STD clinic. Working as an epidemiologist in the ministry of health. Talking online with vaccine-hesitant parents. Reading the news. Talking to people with different life experience than mine. But mostly, editing. I was extremely lucky to work with great editors throughout the years who helped me to shape my writing and taught me how to better utilise my tools.



TQDescribe The Heart of the Circle using only 5 words.

Keren:

Out. For. A. Circle.
Bitch.
(An edited Buffy quote)



TQTell us something about The Heart of the Circle that is not found in the book description.

Keren:  It originally started as a short story. I aimed for a 15000 word story about am equal rights movement and magic. But the characters were so much fun, and I just couldn't stop wondering what will happen next, that I just continued writing.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Heart of the Circle? What appeals to you about writing Contemporary / Urban Fantasy?

Keren:  I love urban fantasy and have done ever since I first read Narnia. The idea that magic can exist so close to me, and that I just need the find the right key to unlock it, is astounding. The reason The Heart of the Circle is set in Tel Aviv is because I wanted magic near me. I wanted my world, my everyday life in a book, and I wanted a sweet, funny, light story to be set in that location. Well, I got 50% of my plan. That's better than most writing plans I have!



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Heart of the Circle?

Keren:  Aside from the obvious - talking with psychologists to better understand empathy and psychopathy in real world, police officers to make sure the police work sections would be reliable, a few historians to find how to place alternative history in a real Israel, digging for hours in Reddit/drugs to better describe some of Reed's experiences, and loads of motorcycle forums and articles for the shortest description in the world regarding the bike mentioned ("Green"). My favorite two researches were talking for hours with my dad, who is a firearms specialist, to describe the gun that is used in one scene.



TQ:   Please tell us about the cover for The Heart of the Circle?

Keren:  There are two covers - the Israeli one was designed by Imri Zertal and it shows a circle of women. It is a very calm cover which emphasizes the community sense of the book. The English cover was designed by Francesca Corsini, and it shows a graffiti-like resistance poster, which is inspired by the underground feeling in it. I love how two people saw two completely different interpretations to the same book. It's amazing.



TQIn The Heart of the Circle who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Keren:  The easiest were Reed's parents. Since they are very similar to my own, I just used my love for my parents and mixed it with all the little fights, the pettiness and the resentment that arises in many child-parent relationships. The hardest to write was Oleander. In the original draft he was a minor character, a woman, and was mainly for comic relief. Only in later rewrites did he switch sex, gender, earned a bigger role, and started influencing major parts of the plot. It was hard writing him since he is one of the characters farthest away from my and my experiences.



TQDoes The Heart of the Circle touch on any social issues?

Keren:  Yes and no. There are a few social issues that are dealt with in the book. I tried to touch on human rights, LGBTQ rights, marginalized population, and the importance of different support systems. However, I don't define those as "issues" necessarily. I believe they should be a part of everyday life. I think people should treat everyone with respect and support, without discrimination.



TQWhich question about The Heart of the Circle do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Keren:  I would love to be asked how essential the fantastic element is to the story.
I think it is. I couldn't have told the same story the way I wanted it without Reed's empathy, Daphne's visions etc. Even though a lot of things are similar between our world and theirs, which sometimes might cause the illusion that the fantastic element is not needed, I couldn't have made the story work without magic. And fire bolts.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Heart of the Circle.

Keren:

“How did I feel when I found out Reed was an empath? I felt like a six-year old who made his baby brother want to disappear.”



TQWhat's next?

Keren:  I'm currently working on a few short stories with long-overdue deadlines. After I'm done with those, my eldest reminded me that I promised him and his sister to write a book with them as heroes in a post apocalyptic world, and now I MUST write that. After that... we'll see.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Keren:  Thank you for having me :)





The Heart of the Circle
Angry Robot, August 13, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Sorcerers fight for the right to exist and fall in love, in this extraordinary alternate world fantasy thriller by award-winning Israeli author Keren Landsman.

Throughout human history there have always been sorcerers, once idolised and now exploited for their powers. In Israel, the Sons of Simeon, a group of religious extremists, persecute sorcerers while the government turns a blind eye. After a march for equal rights ends in brutal murder, empath, moodifier and reluctant waiter Reed becomes the next target. While his sorcerous and normie friends seek out his future killers, Reed complicates everything by falling hopelessly in love. As the battle for survival grows ever more personal, can Reed protect himself and his friends as the Sons of Simeon close in around them?

File Under: Fantasy [ Love Squared | Stuck in the Margins | Emotional Injection | Fight the Power ]





About Keren

KEREN LANDSMAN is a mother, a writer, a medical doctor who specializes in Epidemiology and Public health, and a blogger. She is one of the founders of Mida’at, an NGO dedicated to promoting public health in Israel. She works in the Levinski clinic in Tel Aviv. She has won the Geffen Award three times, most recently for the short story collection Broken Skies.









Website  ~  Twitter @smallweed

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Interview with Eugen Bacon, author of Claiming T-Mo


Please welcome Eugen Bacon to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Claiming T-Mo is published on August 13, 2019 by Meerkat Press.







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

Eugen:  Aha, let’s talk about English composition, as in elementary school subject… I was the teacher’s nightmare, or bliss. Such vivid imagination from what an early age—one couldn’t tell where reality closed, and fiction opened.

But my first published piece was ‘Morning Dew’, and I have a certificate from the Writers Bureau to show for it! I later republished the short story as ‘The Writer’—it is a cathartic piece that is also autoethnographic, fictionalised. It was also my first earnings as a writer.




TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Eugen:  So pantser. When I write short stories, my writing is a search, a journey, a coming through… I often start with a skeleton, a general idea, and the writing shapes itself. Characters tell their story and the story’s ending astonishes me.

But the hybrid birthed itself with Claiming T-Mo and other longer works—I had to find structure for the outcomes I sought, for example in my book Writing Speculative Fiction (2019) by Macmillan International.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing? How does your background in computer science affect (or not) your fiction writing?

Eugen:  Time—there are never enough hours in a day, this is my biggest writing challenge. But I’ve learnt to steal hours, to write under pressure. I’d likely be taken aback, utterly stupefied by time if I had plenty of it to borrow!

My background in computer science complements my writing. I’d like to think the scientist in me is learning passion, aesthetics, vision and creativity from the artist. And the artist in me is learning structure, curiosity, attention to detail and organised scepticism from the scientist.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Eugen:  Toni Morrison. Ray Bradbury. Michael Ondaatje. Peter Temple. Authors as mentors who seduce me, magnetise me in the boldness of their writing that pays attention to mood, prose, characterisation—writing that listens to the playfulness of language.



TQDescribe Claiming T-Mo using only 5 words.

Eugen:  Him, her: mother, wife, daughter.



TQTell us something about Claiming T-Mo that is not found in the book description.

Eugen:  The novel was first named Outbreeds to introduce characters within the context of ‘being different’, a breed of others with an anti-hero. It nearly became A Puzzle-Piece Woman.



TQWhat inspired you to write Claiming T-Mo?

Eugen:  It was the creative artefact of my PhD in writing, where I approached the study with two research questions linked to ‘writing different’:
Can a writer of short fiction productively apply a model of stories-within-a-story to build a novel; and if so, what techniques or experiences are transferable from one form to the other?

Does literary writing contribute to the quality of works in science fiction, fantasy or speculative fiction?
In Claiming T-Mo I created purposeful adaptations, embedded vignettes layered, and amounting to a cohesive novel that is almost like a story circle. It flows smoothly from one point to another, each story part bearing a concealed self-sufficiency interlinked and layered into a composite. And I bet you won’t notice.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Claiming T-Mo?

Eugen:  I paid attention to speculative fiction comprised of embedded stories carefully placed within the novel, stories continued rather than expanded. I wrote story by story, creating in a discipline already familiar, while layering the novel with characters, timelines, motifs and interplay—a sum of the parts.

I researched story cycles—how texts are held together by arrangement, thematic ties or a collective protagonist (for example Silhouette). I borrowed from the concept of the ‘rhizome’ that philosopher Gilles Deleuze and his collaborator psychoanalyst Felix Guattari produced in A Thousand Plateaus (1987)—where a rhizome ‘has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo’. I also found fascination in art as language—playfulness in the language of writing.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Claiming T-Mo.

Eugen:  Remember Him, her: mother, wife, daughter? There, no spoilers. Micaela Dawn (@DawnMicaela on Twitter) is phenomenal in her illustration and conceptual art. And Meerkat Press is simply awesome! What a mesmeric cover from my simplistic idea: An ancient world picturing three women and a man. Staring at the horizon.



TQIn Claiming T-Mo who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Eugen:  Silhouette was a breeze—her psycho-spiritual journey to find healing from deep wounding in the hands of significant males in her life. She remains the character who haunts other characters across the story, the omniscient narrator from whose eyes we see.

Odysseus was a tough nut to crack. Read the novel, you’ll see why.



TQDoes Claiming T-Mo touch on any social issues?

EugenClaiming T-Mo addresses themes around the challenges and possibilities of being different, a scrutiny of embodiment, the nature of being, the ‘self’ and ‘other’ and dichotomy.



TQWhich question about Claiming T-Mo do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Eugen:  
Q. Is there a sequel?

A. No. (I think the story is complete within itself.)

Q. How do you pronounce Myra?

A. My (as in ‘my name is…) Rah (as in ‘ra-ra-rasputin’)


TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Claiming T-Mo.

Eugen:  
T-Mo happened exactly one week after the puzzle-piece woman with fifty-cent eyes. —in Salem’s story

It started with a name. And ended in a swim. —in Myra’s story


TQWhat's next?

Eugen:  A few works in the pipeline, including:
  • a collection of short speculative fiction by Meerkat Press (2020)
  • a literary dark fantasy that is also a mystery / adventure, set in Australia
  • a speculative prose poetry collaboration with an amazing award-winning poet and translator, A/Prof. Dominique Hecq, who was also my PhD supervisor.


TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Claiming T-Mo
Meerkat Press, August 13, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 260 pages

In this lush interplanetary tale, Novic is an immortal Sayneth priest who flouts the conventions of a matriarchal society by choosing a name for his child. This act initiates chaos that splits the boy in two, unleashing a Jekyll-and-Hyde child upon the universe. Named T-Mo by his mother and Odysseus by his father, the story spans the boy’s lifetime — from his early years with his mother Silhouette on planet Grovea to his travels to Earth where he meets and marries Salem, and together they bear a hybrid named Myra. The story unfolds through the eyes of these three distinctive women: Silhouette, Salem and Myra. As they confront their fears and navigate the treacherous paths to love and accept T-Mo/Odysseus and themselves, the darkness in Odysseus urges them to unbearable choices that threaten their very existence.





About Eugen

Eugen Bacon is a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. She has published over 100 short stories and articles, together with anthologies. Her stories have won, been shortlisted and commended in international awards, including the Bridport Prize, L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, Copyright Agency Prize and Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards. Her creative work has appeared in literary and speculative fiction publications worldwide, including Award Winning Australian Writing, AntipodeanSF, Andromeda, Aurealis, Bards and Sages Quarterly, and through Routledge in New Writing. Creative nonfiction book – Palgrave MacMillan (2019)


Website  ~  Twitter @EugenBacon