Interview with DJANGO WEXLER

WexlerD-AuthorPicWelcome back to Civilian Reader. For new readers, let’s start with an introduction: Who is Django Wexler?

Hmm. Fantasy novelist, games enthusiast, student of history and economics, once and future programmer, cat wrangler. Something like that?

Your latest novel, The Infernal Battalion, will be published by Ace in January. It’s the fifth novel in your Shadow Campaigns series. How would you introduce the series to a new reader, and what can fans of the first four books expect from this new novel?

The Shadow Campaigns is military fantasy set in a Napoleonic world – muskets, cannon, cavalry, and subtle and hidden magic. It follows the spectacular career of Janus bet Vhalnich, a young officer who rises fast amidst a revolution, focusing on the men and women who follow him and where their loyalties truly lie. Continue reading

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Interview with E.C. AMBROSE

AmbroseEC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is E.C. Ambrose?

E.C. Ambrose writes The Dark Apostle series of adventure-based historical fantasy novels, beginning with Elisha Barber from DAW Books. An art school drop-out, the author is both a graduate of and an instructor for the Odyssey Writing workshop, and a participant in the Codex on-line neo-pro writers’ workshop. In addition to writing, E. C. works as an adventure guide, teaching rock climbing and leading hiking, kayaking, climbing and mountain biking camps. Past occupations include founding a wholesale business, selecting stamps for a philatelic company, selling equestrian equipment, and portraying the Easter Bunny on weekends.

Your latest novel, Elisha Daemon, will be published by DAW in February 2018. It’s the fifth novel in your Dark Apostle series. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader? And what can fans of the previous novels expect from the newest instalment?

The Dark Apostle is an adventure-based historical fantasy series about medieval surgery.  These books enter some grim territory, being true to the reality of 14th century life and medicine — the research was half the fun! Writing Elisha Daemon was a special challenge because it had to hit bigger and harder than the previous volumes and reveal the perfect climax for all of Elisha’s struggles. The perfect ending is both surprising (“Wow, I didn’t see that coming!’) and inevitable (“Of course that’s what had to happen!”).  I’m hoping I nailed it. It brings together old and new characters with the culmination of some of the ideas I’ve been playing with throughout the books. Continue reading

Interview with KEN SCHOLES

ScholesK-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Ken Scholes?

He’s just this guy. Sorry. Douglas Adams reference. I’m Ken Scholes. I’m a dad to a couple of wonderful twin girls. I am a civil servant and sometimes consultant who plays music in the gaps. And I write stuff.

My short stories have been showing up in print since 2000, and have been collected in three volumes published by Fairwood Press. In 2005, I won the Writers of the Future award and tackled my first novel. A year later, Tor picked it up along with the other four (unwritten) books in the series a decade ago this month. Lamentation came out in 2009, and the others have gradually followed.

Your next novel, Hymn, will be published in December by Tor Books. The final book in your Psalms of Isaak series, how would you introduce the series to a new reader?

The world’s most important city is destroyed on the first page of the first book and a mixed group of people impacted by that desolation set out to play their role in history as they try to solve who destroyed the city of Windwir and why. It is a distant future post-apocalyptic saga about human resilience and human nature. I reckon I would point them toward the first novel to give it a try. I am told that the books get progressively better after the first one. Of course, I am too close to it all to see it clearly. Continue reading

Interview with JOSHUA REYNOLDS

ReynoldsJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Joshua Reynolds?

I’m a freelance writer and semi-professional monster movie enthusiast. I’ve had around twenty odd novels published, and around two hundred or so short stories, over the past decade, since I began my career. Which is a lot, now that I think about it.

You’ve got a few novels coming out this year, so I thought I’d split this interview into sci-fi and fantasy.

Sounds good!

Black Library recently published Fulgrim, your latest contribution to the Horus Heresy series. In December, your second Fabius Bile novel, Clonelord is also due out. Both focus on the Emperor’s Children traitor legion. How did you approach the two novels, and were there any challenges to addressing the same Legion during different eras?

Not really. It was mostly a matter of building on the work of authors like Graham McNeill, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, James Swallow and Nick Kyme regarding the characters. I tend to approach all work in a shared universe – whatever universe it happens to be – the same way: I like to make sure that what I’m working on slots neatly into the meta-story set out by others, while still going in the direction I want it to go. Why write tie-in fiction, if you’re not going to tie-in to anything, after all? Continue reading

Interview with CATHERINE CERVENY

CervenyC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Catherine Cerveny?

I am a total nerd fan-girl on the inside, but seem like a straight-laced conservative on the outside. I have degrees in English and History, and a Master of Library and Information Science — a professional shusher — but currently work in logistics and transportation, where I use math and science every day. I didn’t see that one coming. I love to read and have a “To Be Read” mountain of books large enough to ski down and potentially hurt myself if I fell at the bottom. I love traveling and try to go on at least one amazing trip a year, if possible. I am also married to someone who generally tolerates and indulges my quirkiness fairly well. Continue reading

Interview with GERALD BRANDT

BrandtG-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Gerald Brandt?

You sure don’t start with the easy questions, do you? Chances are you’d get different answer if you asked this on a Tuesday than if you asked on a Friday. I guess I’m a dad first and foremost. I’m quite surprised at how much my kids, not necessarily define me, but make me who I am. After that I’m an author, and last on the list I’m a computer guy. Hey, it’s a living. I rock climb, I ride motorcycles, and I walk the dog every morning.

Your new novel, The Rebel, is due to be published by DAW in November. It’s the third novel in your San Angeles series, and looks rather cool. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader, and what can fans of the first two novels expect from this latest installment?

Everyone likes to say their book is “X meets Y”, like “Bladerunner meets Snow Crash.” I tend not to do that. I describe the San Angeles series as eighty percent thriller and twenty percent science fiction, with a pace that will leave you breathless (I hope). It’s got assassins that will stop at nothing to get the job done, corporations that are as huge as they are corrupt, massive sections of land taken over by cities that reach up to seven levels high. And, in the midst of it all, a motorcycle courier that has seen too much to be left alone. Continue reading

Interview with CHRIS BROOKMYRE

BrookmyreC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Chris Brookmyre?

I am a writer from Glasgow, Scotland, author of twenty-one novels, eighteen of them crime thrillers. My novel Black Widow won the 2016 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and in 2017 was named Theakstons Old Peculier British Crime Novel of the Year. As well as writing books, I collaborated with videogame developers RedBedlam to adapt my 2013 novel Bedlam into a first-person shooter that was released in 2015 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Your latest novel, Places in the Darkness, has recently been published by Orbit. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

It is a thriller in the tradition of the great Shane Black movies like Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, about two mismatched investigators forced to work together, but with two major differences. One is that the buddy cop duo are both women, and the second is that the whole thing takes place aboard the Ciudad de Cielo (City in the Sky), a space station where 300,000 people live and work developing what would be the Earth’s first interstellar craft. It is a place where ambitious scientists and engineers go to work on cutting edge technology, but also where many people go to escape the things that went wrong in their lives back on Earth. The city’s private police force boasts that there has never been a murder aboard (though they do have a liberal interpretation of what constitutes an accidental death), but that changes when a dismembered body is found floating in zero-gravity. Continue reading