Interview with EVAN WINTER

WinterE-AuthorPic-VivianHuiLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Evan Winter?

Hi Stefan!

Evan Winter is the son of Guyanese parents, Guyana being a country in South America that is often associated more closely with the Caribbean islands than its continental neighbors. My parents were an engineer/teacher and a teacher. I was born in London, England, where my father was completing his Masters in Chemical Engineering and then it was off to Zambia, in Central Africa, where I spent my youth. So, who am I: I’m an immigrant several times over who hails from one continent, was born on another, grew up in a third, and now lives on a fourth. I feel very much a person of the world and firmly believe that we are all far more alike than we are different. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE BLACK HAWKS by David Wragg (Voyager)

WraggD-1-BlackHawksUKI only learned about David Wragg‘s upcoming novel, The Black Hawks via the recent uptick in mentions on Twitter — ARCs have been made and (maybe) sent out to a luck few reviewers, and it is starting to generate some good buzz. The cover is attention-grabbing — same artist as for R.F. Kuang’s novels, perhaps? — and the synopsis also piques one’s interest:

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.

With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.

Prepare to join the Black Hawks.

The Black Hawks is the first novel in the Articles of Faith series, and is due to be published by Voyager in the UK, on October 3rd, 2019. (I couldn’t find a North American publisher, but that doesn’t mean one isn’t in the offing.) I’m very much looking forward to reading this one.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Interview with ANGUS MACALLAN / ANGUS DONALD

MacallanA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Angus Macallan?

The truthful answer is – nobody. Angus Macallan is a pseudonym for me, Angus Donald, and I’m an English novelist, 54, living in rural Kent, UK, who mainly writes historical fiction. I’m best known for creating a successful series about a gangster-ish Robin Hood called The Outlaw Chronicles. I always wanted to write a fantasy novel but I was advised that it was better to use a different name for a different genre of fiction. So my US publisher (Ace) and I came up with Angus Macallan as an alter ego, and that way I wouldn’t annoy the UK publishers (Bonnier Zaffre) of my historical fiction novels by luring away too many potential readers.

Your latest novel, Gates of Stone, was recently published by Ace Books. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Gates of Stone is an epic fantasy set in a sort-of 18th century Indonesia – magical swords, pirates, head-hunters, spies, sorcerers, and a kick-ass ruthless-bitch princess, as well as some really cool beasts called Ghost Tigers. It has three main characters, each on their own journey, and their paths cross at various times. I have only written volume one so far but I would like it to be a series, maybe three, six or even nine books. I have invented a world in which my characters could have multiple adventures. We will see, though. It depends on whether the first book takes off or not. Continue reading

Interview with LAVIE TIDHAR

Tidhar-AuthorPicCrop

Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Lavie Tidhar?

I am a mild-mannered writer by night, an eater of sandwiches by day. I tweet. I once spent a year living on a desert island. I also wandered into the jungles of Borneo, across the Gobi Desert, been on the Trans-Siberian, and once climbed a volcano in bare feet. I used to have long hair. I don’t know if that really answers the question. I’ve written a bunch of books.

The Violent Century is getting a re-issue in North America via Tachyon. I really enjoyed the novel, but how would you introduce it to a potential reader?

I think of it as a romance novel! But you could equally say it’s a spy novel, or a murder mystery, or a WW2 novel, or that it’s about the death of empire and the inevitability of history. You know, fun stuff. Or you could say, as Cory Doctorow very astutely pointed out, that it’s about slightly shit superheroes. Continue reading

Interview with PETER McLEAN

McLeanP-AuthorPicWelcome back to CR! For new readers, let’s begin with a quick introduction: Who is Peter McLean?

Hi, thanks for having me back! I’m a British fantasy author based in Norwich, England, which is a small city a couple of hours from London on the east coast of the UK. I wrote the Burned Man urban fantasy series a few years ago, but am now mostly known for last year’s Priest of Bones which came out October 2018 from Ace in the US and Jo Fletcher Books in the UK. I’m married to Diane and, like most authors, am owned by a cat.

Since we last spoke, you’ve started a new fantasy series that is generating a lot of great interest and reviews. How would you introduce the series to a new reader?

When my agent and I were first shopping Priest of Bones to editors we pitched it as “The Godfather with swords”, and I still think that’s a pretty accurate representation. It’s a gangster story set in a quasi-Tudor world, told in the first person narration of crime lord turned soldier turned priest Tomas Piety. In the tradition of mafia family epics, it’s a story of power and corruption, intrigue and revenge. Continue reading

Interview with CAMERON JOHNSTON

JohnstonC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Cameron Johnston?

Cameron Johnston lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife and an extremely fluffy cat. He is a swordsman, a gamer, an enthusiast of archaeology, history and mythology, a builder of LEGO, and owns far too many books to fit on his shelves. He loves exploring ancient sites and camping out under the stars by a roaring fire.

Your latest novel, God of Broken Things, was published this month by Angry Robot. The second novel in your Age of Tyranny series, how would you introduce it to a potential reader? And what can fans of the first book expect from this follow-up?

The Traitor God is part blood-soaked murder mystery and part swords and sorcery Lovecraftian apocalypse. God of Broken Things expands that universe and we get to see the ramifications of the events in The Traitor God, and also Edrin Walker’s discoveries about himself and who he wants to be, as opposed to who he was told he was for most of his life. Readers will get to leave the confines of Setharis and explore the snowy mountains of the Clanholds, where Walker confronts daemons, ancient spirits, an invading army, and worst of all, the extent of his own powers. Continue reading

Guest Post: “The Challenge of the Middle Books” by D.B. Jackson

JacksonDB-AuthorPicMy newest book, Time’s Demon, comes out on May 28 from Angry Robot Books. This is the second book in The Islevale Cycle, my time travel/epic fantasy trilogy, which began with Time’s Children (October 2018). This was a challenging – and ultimately rewarding – book to write for a number of reasons. Time travel stories are always difficult to construct because of the constant danger of creating paradoxes, anachronisms, and plotting loopholes. Epic fantasies come with their own challenges – the need to balance and keep track of multiple narrative strands and point of view characters.

Finally, and most importantly for our purposes today, Time’s Demon is the second book in a trilogy – the dreaded middle book – and as such it presented a unique set of issues. Now, not everyone is foolish enough to take on time travel in their novels, and hard SF, space opera, urban fantasy, grimdark, steampunk, and other varieties of speculative fiction are not necessarily any easier to approach than epic fantasy. But most if not all of us writing in our genre will eventually confront the dreaded “middle book” problem. So I would like to discuss my approach to second books. Continue reading