Interview with ANNA SMITH SPARK

anna-smith-spark-author-photo-1Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Anna Smith Spark?

I tweet as QueenofGrimdark, I’m an ex-fetish model, and I have a PhD in Victorian occultism.

No, honestly.

I’m a fantasy novelist from London, UK.  I have a background in history and literature: I studied Classical History for my BA, Cultural History for my MA and English Literature for my PhD. Which really was about Victorian occultism, looking at the way it intersected with the physical sciences and with politics. My only real interests in life are history, mythology and literature. I spent several years as an obsessive D&D player, but sadly no longer play. I’m obsessed with Warhammer miniatures as well (Chaos Warriors … oh. Oh oh oh), but don’t actually play Warhammer either. Continue reading

Interview with JON SKOVRON

SkovronJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Jon Skovron?

I’m originally from Ohio, where I was sentenced to an all boys Catholic Prep school. Eventually I escaped to Pittsburgh, where I studied acting in the conservatory program at Carnegie Mellon University. By the time I graduated, the one thing I was certain of was that I no longer wanted to be an actor. Instead, I took up the much more practical profession of author. Over the course of the next ten years, I wrote several failed novels, got married, had kids, got divorced, and had a couple of short stories published. My first Young Adult novel, Struts and Frets, was finally published in 2009. I had three more YA novels published before deciding to write my first fantasy novel for grown-ups, which ended up being Hope and Red, book one of the Empire of Storms. Continue reading

Interview with JASON ARNOPP

arnoppj-authorpicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Jason Arnopp?

He’s an author and scriptwriter, with a background in journalism. I started out as a rock journalist and spent over a decade in that field, which set me in good stead for presenting a music journalist as my titular character in The Last Days Of Jack Sparks. I mainly write supernatural fiction, hopefully with an edge and also the odd laugh. On a more personal level, I love horror movies, thrash metal, collecting old VHS videos and other fun stuff like gaming and conjuring.

Your excellent debut novel, The Last Days of Jack Sparks, was recently published by Orbit. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but how would you introduce it to a potential reader?

Thanks – I’m really glad you liked! I’d tell a potential reader that the book’s about an arrogant celebrity journalist who sets out to debunk the supernatural with his latest non-fiction book, only to end up dead. And on a more pretentious, thematic level, it’s about ego, certainty and belief, and how those three things intersect in the social media age. Oh, and death. Continue reading

Guest Post: “How I Do Research” by Miles Cameron

cameronc-authorpicBook four of the Traitor Son series, A Plague of Swords is out this week. Instead of talking to you about the book, I thought I’d discuss how I write, or more particularly, how I do research. To me, research is the very sinew of writing; learning things, and learning skills, is what fires my passion to write and also what allows me to fill pages not just with character, motivation, and plot, but with detail and incident that feel ‘real.’ (Or, gosh, I really hope you think it feels real…) Continue reading

Cover Reveal: THE REMNANT by Charlie Fletcher (Orbit)

fletcherc-3-remnant

Above is the rather good cover for Charlie Fletcher‘s third Oversight novel, The Remnant. Due to be published in March 2017 by Orbit Books in the UK and North America, the cover fits very nicely with the first two (below). Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the chance to read The Oversight and The Paradox, but I fully intend to do so. In the meantime, here’s the synopsis:

“The Oversight is most dangerous when most reduced. There are many dead and gone who did not remember that.”

The Oversight of London has been sworn for millennia to prevent the natural and the supernatural worlds from preying on each other.

Now, at its lowest ebb, with its headquarters destroyed and its last members scattered far and wide, this secret society will battle for survival and face the harshest foe it has ever met: itself.

I’m looking forward to reading all three of these. Hopefully soon.

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Guest Post: “Behind the Scenes of Chasing Embers” by James Bennett

tolkeinjrr-conversationwithsmaugSmaug. It must’ve started with Smaug. Smaug the Magnificent. As a boy of 8, I think that’s the first time I heard a dragon talk. A Conversation with Smaug by J.R.R. Tolkien is still one of my favourite illustrations. ‘Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air’, isn’t that how it went? And that was also, I think, the first time that the 8-year-old me heard about a dragon being able to talk. Smaug was red, of course. To this day, it’s my favourite colour.

As an adult, I’m pleased to note that Professor Tolkien also drew on ancient sources, from the ‘night-scather’ in Beowulf to the talking dragon Fafnir of the Völsunga Saga. Fafnir, as it happens, used to be a man, but his greed for gold eventually turned him into a dragon, so one could argue that the seed of Smaug, in a way, was entirely human. Here you see the roots of the myth you’re tapping, a vein that stretches back to the elemental serpents of Ancient China, those noble god-beasts who were often depicted in human form, and one that will surely stretch on long into the future. Continue reading

Interview with K.B. WAGERS

wagerskb-authorpicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is K.B. Wagers?

I have no idea. *laughs* “I am a writer stitched together with ink and dreams” would be the fanciful answer. I’m a native Coloradan, a pretty stubborn Taurus, a lover of coffee and cats (though I prefer if my cats stay out of my coffee), a fan of explosions, and a hopeless optimist.

Your debut novel, Behind the Throne, was recently published by Orbit. It looks interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

I am honestly so awful at this! It’s been awesome to have reviews for the book because my words tend to fail me when I’m asked to talk about my work. Behind the Throne is a story about a woman coming to grips with her past and her family, something that’s challenging enough on its own; but when people are trying to kill you it adds a whole other level of difficulty. When Hail finds out that her sisters have been murdered and she’s the only person left to help her empire, she trades in her gunrunning life for a crown and discovers that life in a palace is even more dangerous than the underside of the galaxy. Continue reading