Interview with RY HERMAN

HermanR-AuthorPic (Kate Haag)Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Ry Herman?

I was born in the US, but am now a permanent Scottish resident. For most of my life, I’ve been writing and directing theatrical plays, and working a variety of odd jobs. Some of them were very odd indeed – I had one job which could best be described as typing the number five all day long. My hobbies include baking bread, playing tabletop roleplaying games, and reading as many books as humanly possible.

Your debut novel, Love Bites, is due out in July. It looks rather fun: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s a queer romcom with a supernatural twist. After a painful divorce, Chloë is struggling to leave the house. When she’s bullied into a night of dancing by her busybody aunt, she meets Angela, an astronomy Ph.D. student. Sparks fly and romance blooms. The only trouble is, Angela can only come out at night, and has sharp and deadly teeth. Continue reading

Interview with JACKSON FORD

FordJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Jackson Ford?

A gigantic flaming sh*thead who thought it would be fun to write paranormal action thriller novels set in Los Angeles, despite never having been there, and is frankly amazed that anything ever came of it. Fortunately, he also happens to be the alter ego of Rob Boffard, who has been to LA and is a much better writer.

Your new novel, Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air, will be published by Orbit in July. It looks rather fabulous: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

While it is part of a series, each book can also be read as a stand-alone. You definitely don’t have to start with the first one! Jump in wherever.

The books document the adventures of Teagan Frost, a government agent with psychokinetic abilities who dreams of living a normal life and running her own restaurant. I’d introduce it to the reader by saying: it’s the best book you’ll ever read, and if you disagree, then f*ck you. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE by Nicole Jarvis (Titan)

JarvisN-LightsOfPragueI only spotted The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis today on Titan’s website. Sure, the cover was what grabbed my attention, but the synopsis sounds very promising, too. An urban fantasy set in “gaslight-era” Prague, I’m rather looking forward to giving this a try. here’s the synopsis:

In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters – secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavica, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischer — a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady — a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle — he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp captured in a mysterious container. Now, as it’s bearer, Domek wields its power, but the wisp, known for leading travellers to their deaths, will not be so easily controlled.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavica that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

The Lights of Prague is due to be published by Titan Books in North America and in the UK, on July 21st, 2020.

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Interview with S.A. HUNT

HuntSA-AuthorPic (Kate Pierce)Let’s start with an introduction: Who is S.A. Hunt?

S.A. Hunt is… a hillbilly, a witch, a soldier, a wanderer, a rock chick, a gunslinger, a lover, a dreamer, a doer…

… Good God, that all sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? But I feel like at this point I’ve earned the right to editorialize my life a little bit. I’m Samara Hunt, but my friends call me Salem. I’m a horror author living on the shores of Lake Michigan, a transplant from the Appalachian hills of Georgia. I love dogs and bicycles. I’m 80% Irish, 10% coffee, and 10% nightmares.

Your next novel, the brilliantly-titled I Come With Knives, is due to be published by Tor Books in May. The sequel to Burn the Dark, it looks really cool. How would you introduce it to a potential reader? And what can fans of the first novel expect from the sequel?

If you liked where things were going in Burn the Dark, the story continues in I Come With Knives, and everything gets turned up to eleven. I can’t wait for y’all to read the vineyard scene and the new, expanded ending. There’s at least two car accidents, dismemberment, and lots of running from cat-possessed people. Continue reading

Quick Review: NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron/Gollancz)

BardugoL-AS1-NinthHouseUSAn intriguing first novel, in an intricately realized setting

Alex Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. A dropout and the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved crime — the last thing she wants is to cause trouble. Not when Yale was supposed to be her fresh start. But a free ride to one of the world’s most prestigious universities was bound to come with a catch.

Alex has been tasked with monitoring the mysterious activities of Yale’s secret societies — societies that have yielded some of the most famous and influential people in the world. Now there’s a dead girl on campus and Alex seems to be the only person who won’t accept the neat answer the police and campus administration have come up with for her murder.

Because Alex knows the secret societies are far more sinister and extraordinary than anyone ever imagined.

They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living…

This novel received a lot of buzz in the lead up to publication. This often makes me a little nervous. Nevertheless, I thought the synopsis sounded really interesting — it looked like it might have The Magicians vibes about it (a series by Lev Grossman that I loved). After reading this, I think that impression was correct, although I would stress that this is very much its own thing. Ninth House was a fascinating urban fantasy/campus novel mash-up. I enjoyed this, and I’m now really looking forward to book two. Continue reading

Interview with ALEXANDER DAN VILHJÁLMSSON

VilhjalmssonAD-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson?

I am an Icelandic fantasy author, who currently lives in Reykjavík. I write in both Icelandic and English and translate my own work (by necessity).

Your next novel, Shadows of the Short Days, is due to be published by Gollancz in July. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Shadows of the Short Days is set in a fantastical, alternate version of Iceland called Hrímland. The story follows two outcasts, Sæmundur and Garún. Garún is a revolutionary activist slash visual artist, who uses psychoactive, sorcerous graffiti to alter the world. She is fighting for a better society for herself and others who are oppressed by the colonial rules of Hrímland, the Kalmar Commonwealth. Sæmundur is a drug-addicted, outcast galdramaður, a magician who will do anything to reach full mastery and understanding of the extremely dangerous type of magic he practices. Both of them will sacrifice anything to reach their goals, pay any price. Continue reading

Interview with SUYI DAVIES OKUNGBOWA

OkungbowaSD-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Suyi Davies Okungbowa?

I was born and raised in Benin City, Nigeria to parents in academia, so reading and stories have always been a big part of my life. Benin’s an ancient city, see, dates back to the 11th century, so there isn’t much going on there. I experienced most of the world through books (and cable TV, haha). I had my primary, secondary and tertiary education within the same walls of the University of Benin. Since then, I’ve moved around a bit, working in engineering, professional services, marketing and communications and digital learning. Currently, I’m an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where I also teach writing to freshmen and sophomores.

Your debut novel, David Mogo, Godhunter, is due to be published in July by Abaddon. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

Well, I initially pitched the book to David [Moore] as American Gods-meets-The Dresden Files, set in Lagos. Since then, I’ve heard it called everything from Constantine-meets-Black Panther to a godpocalyptic thriller. To a potential reader, I’d say if you took a demigod’s identity crisis, mixed it with a failing, overcrowded city’s god infestation, and set a wizard’s fire under it, what you get is David Mogo, Godhunter. It features Yoruba orisha mythology, but also draws on myths and legends from other Nigerian ethnicities like the Edo pantheon (where I’m from) as well as the Urhobo and Igbo. Continue reading

Interview with KEREN LANDSMAN

LandsmanK-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Keren Landsman?

I’m a mother, a writer, a blogger and a doctor. I’m a specialist in Epidemiology and public health. I work in the Levinski clinic, which is a free STI clinic in Tel Aviv, as a physician, and in the mobile clinic for people in prostitution in Tel Aviv which the clinic operates. I also work for the Ministry of Health as an Epidemiologist, in charge of STI Epidemiology in Israel.

I am a founding member of Mida’at, a volunteer NGO dedicated to promoting public health in Israel, and I also currently manage Mida’at’s volunteers. Lastly, we just adopted three kittens, so most of my time is dedicated to preventing them from demolishing our home…

Your latest novel, The Heart of the Circle, is due to be published in August by Angry Robot Books. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

The Heart of the Circle is about people fighting for their rightful place in society. Sorcerers in Tel Aviv fight for their right to be who they are and to live their lives without fear of persecution. I’m currently working on the sequel, but The Heart of the Circle is a stand-alone novel. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE HEART OF THE CIRCLE by Keren Landsman (Angry Robot)

LandsmanK-TheHeartOfTheCircleSpotted this today on Angry Robot’s website, and the cover caught my eye — I love the way it looks like a poster that’s been slapped up onto a wall (the folds and bubbling between the letters, etc.). Then I read the synopsis, and thought it sounded really interesting.

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in North America and in the UK, on August 13th, 2019. Not sure if it’s the first in a planned series. Here’s what it’s about:

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?

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Upcoming: SHADOWS OF THE SHORT DAY by Alexander Dan Vilhjámsson (Gollancz)

VilhjalmssonAD-ShadowsOfTheShortDaysUKI first learned about this novel this morning, when I spotted some Tweets from various Gollancz peeps announcing that ARCs had come in. I’m not sure how I managed to miss it entirely before today, but it sounds fantastic. Alexander Dan Vilhjámsson‘s Shadows of the Short Day is set in “a strangely familiar alternate Reykjavik where wild and industrialised magic meet”, and is pitched as “perfect for fans of… Lev Grossman’s The Magicians or China Miéville’s The City & The City“. Colour me most definitely intrigued.

The novel is due to be published in July 2019 by Gollancz, in the UK. Here’s the synopsis:

On frost-covered streets beneath the northern lights, an outcast guerrilla artist and a rebellious, drug-addicted sorcerer will start a revolution.

Sæmundur the Mad, addict and sorcerer, has been expelled from the magical university, Svartiskóli, and can no longer study galdur, an esoteric source of magic. Obsessed with proving his peers wrong, he will stop at nothing to gain absolute power and knowledge, especially of that which is long forbidden.

Garún is an outcast: half-human, half-huldufólk, her very existence is a violation of dimensional boundaries, the ultimate taboo. A militant revolutionary and graffiti artist, recklessly dismissive of the status quo, she will do anything to achieve a just society, including spark a revolution. Even if she has to do it alone.

This is a tale of revolution set in a twisted version of Reykjavik fuelled by industrialised magic and populated by humans, interdimensional exiles, otherworldly creatures, psychoactive graffiti and demonic familiars.

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