Interview with ALICE JAMES

JamesA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Alice James?

Well, it’s not a pseudonym, though I was meant to be called Ruth. Apparently after 52 hours of labour, when I finally deigned to pop out, my mother decided I looked like an Alice. Very kind of her because at that point I would have come up with something less flattering.

But I’m digressing, my all-time favourite hobby after touching my face. I’m a maths graduate who trained as a COBOL programmer who threw it all away to become a writer and editor. I somehow got stuck in finance and worked for Bloomberg, The Sunday Times, the FT, investment magazines, banks, fund managers… you name it. I don’t know quite how that happened, but I met some interesting people on the way. I began writing novels just recently and can’t see me stopping. Continue reading

Interview with JANE YOLEN

133576271Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Jane Yolen?

I have been in the book making business since my first book (non-fiction) came out in 1963. But I had been in publishing before that as an editor, magazine writer, and poet.

Tachyon are due to publish your latest story collection, The Midnight Circus, in October. How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

Who knew Jane Yolen, the fairy-tale writer, author of the Commander Toad in Space books, and the How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight series, wrote dark fantasy and dark science fiction. Yet she had stories in World’s Best Horror several times over her long short story writing career. Not dark slasher fiction, but the frisson of terror, the haunt of oppression, the creak of a door where no door exists, kind of darkness. Continue reading

Interview with CARRIE VAUGHN

VaughnC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Carrie Vaughn?

Person, author, collector of hobbies, usually a traveler but that’s on hold for the moment.

Your new story collection, Kitty’s Mix Tape, is due to be published by Tachyon in October. It’s the final instalment in your Kitty Norville series: how would you introduce the series to a potential reader, and what can fans of the series expect from this book?

The series is about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. She has lots of adventures along the way. Kitty’s Mix Tape collects most of the short stories related to the series I wrote after about 2010 — plus four brand-new, never before seen stories. As usual with the Kitty-related short stories, they often feature the supporting cast, revealing their secret back stories, and including lots of other fun snippets and easter eggs that fans will enjoy. Continue reading

Interview with KRISTINA PÉREZ

PerezK-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Kristina Pérez?

Gosh, I’m not sure I’ve had enough coffee yet to properly answer that question. Improper answer: half-Argentine, half-Norwegian native New Yorker. Literary agent, medievalist, and the author of fantasy and sci-fi novels.

Your new novel, Bright Raven Skies, will be published by Imprint in August. It’s the third novel in your Sweet Black Waves trilogy: how would you introduce the series to a potential reader? And what can fans of the first two books expect from the new one?

Pitched as Graceling meets The Mists of Avalon, the Sweet Black Waves trilogy is a Tristan and Iseult retelling that stars Branwen, Iseult’s lady’s maid and nascent sorceress. Fans of the series know that you wouldn’t like Branwen when she’s angry, and let’s just say that she’s having a very hard time keeping her darker urges — and magic — under control. Continue reading

Interview with R. B. LEMBERG

LembergRB-AuthorPic (Bogi-Takács)Let’s start with an introduction: Who is R.B. Lemberg?

I am a queer, bigender immigrant writer, editor and academic originally from Ukraine, Russia, and Israel, now living in Kansas. My favorite genre is epic fantasy, but I write science fiction, magic realism, slipstream, and sometimes even horror. I also write poetry and non-fiction. I have a wide range, and I’m rarely bored!

Your debut novella, The Four Profound Weaves, is due to be published by Tachyon in September. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

The Four Profound Weaves is a novella that follows two transgender elders on a journey of identity and adventure — they must learn to weave from Death itself to defeat a tyrant who hoards the bones and souls of his victims. The book is a stand-alone, set in my Birdverse universe. I’ve been publishing in this world since 2011, but only short work so far. Each story set in Birdverse stands alone, but together they add up to something greater — a rich tapestry of many perspectives, stories, and lives. The Four Profound Weaves is the first Birdverse book in print — the rest of the published pieces are online. It’s a good gateway into the world — you do not need to know anything else. Continue reading

Q&A with CLIFFORD JACKMAN

JackmanC-AuthorPic (© Antoine Tanguay)Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Clifford Jackman?

I’m a lawyer and novelist who lives in Guelph with my wife and two sons. My first novel, The Winter Family, was longlisted for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award.

Your new novel, The Braver Thing, is due to be published by Random House Canada in August. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

The Braver Thing is like a combination of Treasure Island and Animal Farm, about a group of pirates that forms to chase a big score and then struggles to govern themselves. Continue reading

Interview with MARIE BRENNAN

BrennanM-AuthorPicWelcome back to CR! It’s been a little while, so let’s start with an introduction for new readers: Who is Marie Brennan?

Well, at one point I wound up calling myself “an anthropological compost heap from which stories sprout,” which might be as good a description of my writing as any. I’m a fantasy novelist and short story writer (and occasional game writer, too), with an academic background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore, which leaves its fingerprints all over my work.

Your new novel, Driftwood, will be published soon by Tachyon. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

The tagline is “where worlds go to die,” but that sounds a little grim, doesn’t it? Driftwood is a setting composed of the fragments of broken worlds, brought together by some unknown force. Driftwood the novel is a fix-up of short stories previously written in that setting, with a new novelette and a frame story to link all the pieces together. If you feel like there might be a thematic connection between the setting and the form of the novel, well, you’re not wrong! Continue reading

Interview with TIM MAJOR

MajorT-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Tim Major?

I’m an SF/horror writer. I live in York in the UK with my wife and two sons, and I’m a freelance editor by day and a writer… well, also by day, actually – I need as much sleep as I can get, with two young kids in the house. I’ve published four novels, a short story collection, and a non-fiction film book about the 1915 silent film Les Vampires, as wells as lots of stories in various places.

Your latest novel, Hope Island, was published recently by Titan Books. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

Different readers have described it in quite different ways. I’d say it’s about a mother trying to reconnect with her daughter on a remote Maine island, who encounters a bunch of strange things: creepy island children, a strange artistic commune that has a mysterious archaeological find on its property… and lots of dead bodies. But there’s a lot about sound and silence, which some readers have really responded to – I suppose the book’s a bit unusual in that respect. A lot of the horror elements revolve around sound. Continue reading

Interview with DJANGO WEXLER

WexlerD-AuthorPicWelcome back to Civilian Reader! It’s been a little while, so for newcomers let’s start with an introduction: Who is Django Wexler?

Hi! I’m Django Wexler. I’m currently an author of fantasy series of various kinds — military, middle-grade, and young adult. Before that I was a software engineer and worked on AI research and programming languages. I’m very into games of all sorts (tabletop, board games, wargames, video games, etc) and watch a fair bit of anime. I read a lot, anything SFF on the fiction side and history, economics, and science on the non-fiction side. I’m a big fan of cats.

Your next novel, Ashes of the Sun, is the start of a new series and is due to be published by Orbit. How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

Ashes is an epic fantasy set in a post-fantasy-apocalypse — the aftermath of the collapse of a powerful magical civilization, with survivors living amidst the ruins. It’s about two siblings named Gyre and Maya; at a young age Maya is identified as having the potential to be a powerful wielder of magic and taken to be trained with the Twilight Order. A decade later, their paths cross again. Maya has grown into a committed believer in the Order’s mission of defending civilization, while her brother Gyre has sworn revenge on the callous authority that destroyed their family. Continue reading

Interview with WAYNE SANTOS

SantosW-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Wayne Santos?

The simplest, one-line answer is “Canadian-Filipino Gen-X Geek.” That sums up everything in a nutshell. I’m a second-generation Filipino that grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, which some refer to as “Texas North.” I’m a child of the 80s, so I was there when Neuromancer made its debut, everyone was flipping out over Blade Runner, and I did watch The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the theatre. I also did time rolling four, six, ten, and 20-sided dice in Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop role-playing games, and, yes, we did it in the basement.

But I also graduated out of university and then spent the next 13 years or so living and working in Southeast Asia, specifically Singapore. That was an eye-opener, since I looked Southeast Asian, but had a North American accent, and sensibility, so it was confusing for everybody. It was a weird feeling to grow up looking like a minority, but not feeling like one, because I shared the same culture as everyone else. Then move to another country and switch to not looking like a minority, but feeling like one, because I culturally did not belong in this world, but no one knew it as long as I kept my mouth shut. Continue reading