Author Interviews

Authors, thanks so much for spending time with us!

Michael Livingston talks about THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN (and gives away a book!)

Jason talks with Michael Livingston, historian, author, and Professor of Medieval Literature at The Citadel in South Carolina. Michael's fiction debut was recently released: The Shards of Heaven, a historical fantasy mashup set in the ancient Roman Empire. Jason and Michael talk about the worries of a historian moving into the world to fiction and his passion for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Plus, we're giving away a copy of his book to one U.S. and one Canadian commenter. See below for details.

Jason Golomb: You've written a lot of in-depth and detailed history like ... Read More

Stuart chats with Cixin Liu, author of ’15 Hugo winner THE THREE BODY PROBLEM

Cixin Liu is the most popular SF writer in China, having won the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) nine times, but it wasn’t until 2014 that The Three-Body Problem, the first volume of his enormously popular THREE BODY trilogy, was first published in English. Amid the Sad Puppies controversy, it deservedly won the 2015 Hugo Award (first time for an Asian writer and first translated novel to win) and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award. The Three-Body Problem was translated by Ken Liu, author of the highly-regarded fantasy novel The Grace of Kings Read More

Ann Leckie Chats About ANCILLARY MERCY with Marion (plus giveaway!)

In 2013, Ann Leckie published Ancillary Justice, the first book in her RADCH EMPIRE series. The book swept the 2014 awards, garnering a Nebula, an Arthur C Clarke and a Hugo award for best novel. In 2014, Leckie followed it up with Ancillary Sword, and the final book of the trilogy, Ancillary Mercy, came out this October, and landed on the New York Times best-seller list. Leckie keeps a busy schedule with writing, book promotion, managing a family, and occasionally beading. She took a few minutes out of her day to chat about Ancillary Mercy, distributed consciousness and working on a surveying crew. One commen... Read More

Bradley Beaulieu talks epic fantasy & TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI (giveaway!)

Today, Bill and Jana chat with Bradley P. Beaulieu, whose most recent novel — Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, from DAW Books — is a richly detailed epic fantasy set in a bustling desert city. We discuss story structure, the difficulties in thinking outside genre molds, and literary influences. One lucky commenter will win their choice of a book from our stacks or a Fantasy Literature t-shirt!

Bill Capossere: Can you talk about your decisions regarding structure — the use of flashbacks, the ordering of them, etc. Did you start with this structure in mind or is it one you worked your way through? Did you have a specific goal in mind with the structure beyond just not using the same old same old linear structure?

B... Read More

Jana chats YA Horror with Lindsay Francis Brambles (and gives away a book!)

Today Jana welcomes Lindsay Francis Brambles, whose debut YA horror novel Becoming Darkness is available from Switch Press (Jana’s review can be found here). They discuss world-building, fictional texts within novels, and the practical challenges of conveying fantastical ideas. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Becoming Darkness! (see below for giveaway details)

Jana Nyman: In Becoming Darkness, Sophie Harkness’ voice is vulnerable, yet self-assured, with all the nuances of a young woman who struggles with the challenges of adulthood and maturity while realizing how very little she knows about the greater world. Was it difficult to authentically portray that voice on the page? How did her character come to you,... Read More

Marion Chats with Charles Gannon (and gives away a copy of his newest book!)

Dr. Charles E Gannon was the Director of the Graduate English Department at St. Bonaventure University in New York until 2007 when he left to focus full-time on writing. He is part of a group of SF writers who provide guidance and advice to various US intelligence and defense agencies. His fiction includes THE TALES OF THE TERRAN REPUBLIC as well as work with Eric Flint on the 1632 universe, STARFIRE, and David Weber’s HONORVERSE. The two previous TERRAN REPUBLIC books were each short-listed for the Nebula award, and Gannon just saw the release of the third book, Raising Caine.  (You can read my review of it here.) He took some time to talk to me about the se... Read More

Terry and Bill chat with Kameron Hurley (and give away two books!)

Today we welcome Kameron Hurley, the author of THE WORLDBREAKER SAGA, published by Angry Robot Books. The first two volumes are The Mirror Empire and Empire Ascendant, with a third, The Broken Heavens, expected to see publication in August 2017. Hurley’s saga deals with race, gender, sex roles, war, survival, slavery, genocide and many other hot topics in the context of war between and countries and between alternate worlds, with a number of philosophical issues raised along the way. We discuss the difficulty of writing about more than two genders, moral choices, and the challenge of writing about numerous societies and races and their counterparts in an alternate universe.

One lucky (and random) commenter with a U.S. address will win a copy of both The Mirror Empire and ... Read More

João chats with Stephen Aryan (and gives away a few copies of Battlemage)

Now winding down his hectic promotion schedule, Stephen Aryan joins us at Fantasy Literature to talk about his debut fantasy novel, Battlemage, his literary influences, and to tease us about what may be in store for the sequel, Bloodmage.

Three random commenters, two with a US address and one with a UK address, will win a copy of Battlemage. Start your comment with (US) or (UK) according to where you live to enter the giveaway, and please welcome, Stephen Aryan!

João Eira: Hi Stephen, hope everything is going well. To start things off, could you say something about your path to publishing Battlemage, your debut, and how Battlemage came to be?

St... Read More

Marion chats with David Walton about his recent SF thrillers and science and faith (giveaway!)

David Walton took some time out of his writing and promotion schedule to chat with me about Supersymmetry, Superposition, science and faith, and the novels he enjoys reading. One random commenter with a US address will win a copy of Superposition.

Marion Deeds: Supersymmetry felt like it completed the story that you started in Superposition, and you’ve said you hadn’t originally planned a sequel. Do you envision more stories is this world, though?

David Walton

David Walton: I’m not planning any more stories in this world, but you never know – as you said, I didn’t plan a sequel when I wrote Superposition! At the moment, however, I’m working on a new near-future SF thriller, this one ... Read More

Jana chats with Cindy Dees (and gives away a book!)

Today, I welcome Cindy Dees, an award-winning author of thriller and romantic suspense novels. Her fantasy debut (co-authored with Bill Flippin), The Sleeping King, is newly out from Tor Books (reviewed here). We discuss the challenges of multi-author novels, planning a series, and delicious milkshakes. And one lucky commenter will win a copy of The Sleeping King!

Jana Nyman: What drew you to the role-playing game Dragon Crest, and what inspired you to write a novel in that world?

Cindy Dees

Cindy Dees: My husband actually tr... Read More

Jana chats with Hilary Badger

Today, Hilary Badger stops by Fantasy Literature to talk about her YA debut novel, State of Grace, which I thought was interesting and compelling. We also discuss the complexities of language, the challenges of writing, and the importance of research. And one lucky commenter will win a copy of State of Grace!

Jana Nyman: How did the idea for State of Grace come to you?

Hilary Badger: I wanted to explore that feeling of a creeping doubt in the system that I remembered feeling really strongly as a teenager. At school I was served up chunks of palatable ideas about the right way to live, but from about age 13 I started to feel like I didn’t agree but that maybe I was the only one. Like Wren, I... Read More

Kevin chats with Seth Dickinson

We’re very excited to have novelist and short story writer Seth Dickinson here with us today. Most recently, Seth is the author of the short stories Kumara, Anna Saves Them All, and Sekhmet the Dying Gnosis: A Computation and the novel The Traitor Baru Cormorant (my review here), set to be published September 15th by Tor. Seth writes humorous and intriguing posts... Read More

5 Questions for Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline has been one of the hottest writers to hit the SF scene since his 2011 debut Ready Player One, a loving tribute to 1980s pop culture within a dystopian future world, became a runaway bestseller. The movie rights were quickly snapped up and the legendary Steven Spielberg has been tapped to do the film adaptation. It’s hard to get off to a more explosive start, and Ernie has finally produced a long-awaited second book, Armada, which was just released in July and is an action-packed story inspired by The Last Starfighter, Ender’s Game, and Star Wars. Ernie was kind enough to take some time out from his packed book promotion tour for Armada to answer ... Read More

Marion talks to Chris Willrich, and gives away a book

Chris Willrich is a novel and short story writer. His most recent book, The Chart of Tomorrows, completes the GAUNT AND BONE fantasy trilogy (here are my reviews). Recently, Chris took time to talk to me about writing, poetry, and being a librarian.

I've got a copy of The Chart of Tomorrows to send to one commenter with a U.S. address.

Marion Deeds: The GAUNT AND BONE series started, with The Scroll of Years, in a land very much like our China. In The Silk Map you introduced a nomadic people similar to the Mongols, who use hot-air balloons. In The Chart of Tomorrows, we have magic based on Scandinavian folklore… and even a bit of Celtic influence, I think. Do you just love folklore? I guess the mor... Read More

Jana Chats with Melissa de la Cruz (and gives away a book!)

Today, Melissa de la Cruz stops by Fantasy Literature to celebrate the paperback release of Vampires of Manhattan, the first book in her newest series, THE NEW BLUE BLOODS COVEN. She talks about John Milton, vampires and angels, and a martini recipe which sounds divine. And we’re giving away a copy of Vampires in Manhattan to one U.S.-based commenter!

Jana Nyman: In both your BLUE BLOODS and THE NEW BLUE BLOODS COVEN series, there are no vampires as they’re recognized throughout history — they’re actually fallen angels who spread a “Conspiracy” of misinformation to keep humans ignorant of the centuries-old war being fought right under their noses. Was this a deliberate effort on your part to stand apart from the other paranormal fantasy novels in the market, or a consequence of th... Read More

Jana Chats with Scott Hawkins

Today Scott Hawkins stops by Fantasy Literature to talk shop. We discuss writing, language, literary influences, and summer cocktails. One lucky U.S.-based commenter will win a copy of Hawkins’ debut novel, The Library at Mount Char, which I absolutely loved.

Jana Nyman: What drew you from computer sciences to writing fiction?

Scott Hawkins: It was the other way around. I more or less always wanted to be a writer, at least from the time I was twelve or so, but I knew the odds of success weren’t good. I hoped I’d have whatever it took to keep going, and the luck to get published eventually, but I didn’t think it was smart to bet on it. In a lot of Read More

Kat Chats with Xe Sands

Xe Sands (pronounced EK-see) is one of my favorite audiobook narrators. She performs in many genres, but I’m mostly familiar with her SFF titles such as Juliet Blackwell’s books, Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance, and Kelly Meding’s DREG CITY series. I’ve read several online interviews with Xe in which I learned all sorts of interesting Read More

Terry chats with Dan Wells

This week Dan Wells, author of The Devil's Only Friend, the first novel in the second JOHN CLEAVER trilogy, stops by to answer some questions about demons, mortuary science, and writing for young adults — or, as he calls it, writing. It’s a terrific book (as were all three entries in the first trilogy, here are my reviews), and Dan has some interesting things to say about it. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Devil's Only Friend to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Terry Weyna: What persuaded you to return to John Wayne Cleaver’s story of demon-hunting now, several years after you completed the first trilogy about Cleaver, written The Hollow City, and completed t... Read More

Bill chats with K.M. McKinley

This week K.M. McKinley, author of The Iron Ship, stops by to answer some questions about her fascinating debut novel set in a quasi-industrial world and centered on a quintet of siblings. It’s a book you’ll want to pick up, so read on to learn how it came about. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Iron Ship to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Bill Capossere: One of the aspects I liked quite a bit about The Iron Ship was that we were presented with a world with a clear sense of a future via industrial/technological mom... Read More

Marion chats with Peter Clines

The Fold, a science fiction thriller by Peter Clines, came out on June 2. I thought it was a perfect summer vacation read. Clines is known for the superhero-zombie series that began with Ex-Heroes, (reviewed by Pat, one of our guests) and for the horror novel 14 (reviewed by Kat). During a busy “launch” of The Fold, Clines took some time to answer a few questions for me.

I’ve got a copy of The Fold Read More

Jana Chats with Gwenda Bond

Today, Gwenda Bond stops by FanLit to chat about her newest novel, Lois Lane: Fallout, which I thought was both a fantastic story and a refreshing take on some old YA stereotypes. She was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the book and her writing process, and one lucky U.S.-based commenter will win a copy of Lois Lane: Fallout!

Gwenda Bond

Jana Nyman: The narrative of Lois Lane: Fallout is told strictly fro... Read More

Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal on the Brave New Worlds Tour

I had the chance to see Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal at Copperfield's Books in Petaluma California on May 7. I have a signed copy of Kowal's Of Noble Family and a signed copy of Brennan's Voyage of the Basilisk to give away to one lucky random commenter with a U.S. address.

Mary Robinette Kowal (left, with egret feather) and Marie Brennan take questions from the audience.

“We dress like this all the time,” Mary Robinette Kowal said in response to a casual question, as she and Marie Brennan sat down at the table in Copperfield’s Books. “Mine’s really comfortable. It’s like a nightgown.”

Marie Brennan lo... Read More

Bill Chats with Ken Liu

Today Ken Liu stops by to answer a few questions about his newest work The Grace of Kings, the first in a series of “Silkpunk” and an ambitiously structured novel that won me over for its change-of-pace narrative construction and original setting, as well for its somewhat rare focus on social and technological change in a fantasy world. We'll be giving away a copy of The Grace of Kings to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Bill Capossere: In my review, I mentioned how I’d had a hard time at the start with Grace of Kings, due to its narrative structure, which I described as both episodic and also very nearly a kind of linked-short-story form and which at the outset at... Read More

Five Questions for Robert Charles Wilson + Giveaway

Robert Charles Wilson’s new novel, The Affinities, comes out today. As I mentioned in my review of The Affinities, I was hooked from start to finish. At the end, I had a few questions for Wilson which he was willing to answer. So here are five questions and five answers for one of the 21st century’s best science fiction writers.

Ryan Skardal: Many of your works focus on watershed moments. These moments are often caused by mysterious forces from the future or outer space, but InterAlia's algorithm seems much more familiar given how much facebook apparently knows about us (or can predict). What inspired you to write about the social algorithms in The Affinities?

Robert Charles Wison[/captio... Read More

Marion Chats with Molly Tanzer about writing, hiking, and bears

In 2013, Molly Tanzer was nominated for the Sidney J. Bounds award, selected by the British Fantasy Society, for her linked story collection A Pretty Mouth. Her short fiction has appeared in Lovecraft eZine and other horror/dark fantasy markets. Vermilion is her debut novel. Tanzer has a Master’s in Humanities from Florida State University and currently lives in Colorado. Vermilion explores the adventures of Lou Merriwether; a half-Ch... Read More