Author Interviews

Authors, thanks so much for spending time with us!

Ada Palmer talks TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING and gives away a book!

Ada Palmer is true Renaissance woman: she's a professor by trade, specializing in history and the history of ideas at the University of Chicago, a Manga Scholar, composer, and has published the nonfiction work Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance. Palmer's fiction debut, Too Like the Lightning, is a complex and broad-reaching work of sci fi, that smartly wraps several interconnected mysteries within a serious suite of philosphical and cultural themes. I was able to grab some time with Ada Palmer as she was in the midst of promoting the book. One commenter with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address will win a copy of Too Like the Lightning. See below for details.
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Gwenda Bond talks LOIS LANE: DOUBLE DOWN and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature is glad to host Gwenda Bond for another chat with Jana — this time, in celebration of Ms. Bond’s second novel in the DC Comics universe, Lois Lane: Double Down. She and Jana discuss authorial freedom, the most amazing detective trio in the history of head-canons, and bubbly drinks. One commenter with a U.S. mailing address will win a copy of Lois Lane: Double Down!

Jana Nyman: Writing within an established universe, with established characters, can’t be easy. How much leeway does DC Comics allow you with the Lois Lane novels? Do you have guidelines that you know you’ll have to work within, other than expected characterizations of Lois and Clark? Does someone at DC have to approve your manuscripts before they go to print, or are you relativ... Read More

Charlie Jane Anders talks ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY and gives away a book!

Charlie Jane Anders’s novel All the Birds in the Sky came out earlier this year, and has been very well received. This unusual tale follows the lives of a witch and a super-scientist who were best friends in middle school, and raises lots of questions about science, magic, popular culture, and coming of age. Anders is well known for her short fiction and her work on the pop-culture website IO9. Anders recently read at a bookstore event in Petaluma, California, which Marion attended, and took some time to talk about the book, her influences, San Francisco, and Writers with Drinks.

One commenter with a USA or Canadian address will win a signed copy of All the Birds in the Sky.

Marion Deeds: You are a very well-known essayist and columnist with a track record with short fiction, but All the Birds i... Read More

Author Philip Reeve talks RAILHEAD, Easter eggs, and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature welcomes Philip Reeve, whose most recent novel, Railhead, is accruing rave reviews (including ours). Jana chatted with him about Easter eggs within his novel, his thoughts on grimdark, and more. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Railhead!

Jana Nyman: I recently discovered that Railhead is being adapted to film, so congratulations are absolutely in order! How excited are you to see your novel morph from page to screen? Are you involved with the process at all?

Philip Reeve: Yes, Warner Brothers bought the rights for the director Doug Liman, and I believe they have someone at work on a script — I’m not involved in the process in any way. Doug Liman’... Read More

Mark Andrew Ferguson chats LOST BOYS SYMPHONY

Today, Mark Andrew Ferguson visits Fantasy Literature to celebrate the paperback release of his well-received debut novel, The Lost Boys Symphony, which brings mental illness, time travel, and the bonds of friendship into a compelling and cohesive whole. He was kind enough to talk with Jana about his novel, sharing insight into his writing process and an upcoming project. One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Lost Boys Symphony!

Jana Nyman: I appreciated your treatment of Henry’s mental state: you took a serious approach with a very real illness and added a fantastical layer to it, which then affects Gabe and Val as well. Did you worry while writing that readers might think you were making light of mental illness in some w... Read More

Jordanna Max Brodsky chats THE IMMORTALS, Artemis, and gives away a book!

Fantasy Literature is pleased to welcome Jordanna Max Brodsky, whose recently-published novel, The Immortals, brings the ancient Greek gods to modern-day Manhattan in a supremely entertaining way. She was kind enough to chat with Jana about the inspirations and challenges she faced in bringing disparate elements together into a cohesive whole, and we’ve got a copy of The Immortals to give away to one lucky commenter!

Jana Nyman: Many books which feature Greek gods and mythology are kid-friendly or YA-oriented, even though the original stories can contain some very adult themes and events. What inspired you to write for a more mature audience?

Jordanna Max Brodsky: I’m glad yo... Read More

Tim Hanley talks about INVESTIGATING LOIS LANE and gives away a book!

Today Fantasy Literature welcomes Tim Hanley as he celebrates the release of his second book, Investigating Lois Lane: the Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter. (Jana, unsurprisingly, loved it.) Mr. Hanley was kind enough to chat about the Daily Planet’s most-decorated employee, his research methods, and his favorite tea. Plus, we’ve got a copy of Investigating Lois Lane to give away!

Jana Nyman: What was your initial impetus behind writing a comprehensive survey of Lois Lane as she appeared in various media like comic books, television, and film throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries?

Tim Hanley: In part, I wanted to write about Lois just because she's such a great character. I read a bunch of Lois comics for my first book, Wond... Read More

Lee Kelly talks about A CRIMINAL MAGIC and gives away a book!

Today, Fantasy Literature welcomes Lee Kelly, whose second novel, A Criminal Magic, was released in February of 2016 (and Jana thought it was fantastic). Ms. Kelly was kind enough to chat with Jana about inspirations, sorcery, jazz music, and letting the reader become part of the creative process. Comment below for a chance to win a copy of A Criminal Magic!

Jana Nyman: The idea of a government-sanctioned prohibition of sorcery — particularly in the vein of the very real prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. in the early 20th century — makes sense when you think about it, but I’ve never seen it implemented before. How did the idea come to you, and did the concept undergo any revisions as you wrote A Criminal Magic?
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Kevin Hearne talks about IRON DRUID CHRONICLES and gives away four books!

Thanks to retired reviewer Justin Blazier who recently caught up with Kevin Hearne at his local bookstore. Kevin is celebrating the release of Staked, the next installment in his popular IRON DRUID CHRONICLES. Leave a comment for a chance to win one of three paperback copies of Hounded, the first book of the series, or one hardcover copy of Staked. This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada... And here's Justin:Last week, Kevin Hearne, author of THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES, was scheduled for a book signing in Crescent Springs, KY, which just happens to be about a mile from my house. I had just recently discovered Kevin’s work at that very book ... Read More

Robert Jackson Bennett talks CITY OF BLADES

Since the publication of Mr. Shivers in 2010, award winning writer Robert Jackson Bennett has not looked back. He has won the Shirley Jackson award twice, once for Mr. Shivers and once again for American Elsewhere in 2013. His current series is the brilliant second-world fantasy THE DIVINE CITIES. Bennett’s work is wildly imaginative and heart-breakingly human. City of Stairs introduced us to The Continent, a collection of conquered city-states still mourning their fall from glory, and the island nation of Saypur, who rebelled against the slavery imposed by the Continent and became conquerors themselves.... Read More

Daniel José Older talks MIDNIGHT TAXI TANGO

Daniel José Older wrote the YA urban fantasy Shadowshaper, co-edited the fantasy anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and has had his short fiction published at Tor.com. He is the author of the new urban fantasy series BONE STREET RUMBA, the latest of which, Midnight Taxi Tango, was released on January 5, 2016. When he’s not writing fantasy, Older composes and plays music, conducts writing workshops, and blogs about his decade of experiences driving an ambulance. Despite this busy schedule, Older took some time to answer some questions for Marion and Jana about social media, music, and his latest book.

One commenter with an address in the USA or Canada will win copies of both Half... Read More

Greg Van Eekhout talks about OSTEOMANCY with Marion

Greg Van Eekhout has written middle grade novels like Kid vs Squid, adult SF (The Norse Code) and his well-known OSTEOMANCY trilogy, set in a magical California, where sorcerers absorb the magic of mythical creatures by eating their bones. Against this backdrop, Daniel Blackland struggles to survive, and maintain his created family. The final book in the trilogy, Dragon Coast, is out now. Greg chatted with me about magic, families, tacos and the awesome power of the avocado. One commenter with a USA or Canadian address will win a copy of Dragon Coast.

Marion Dee... Read More

Michael Livingston talks about THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN

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

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

Marion chats with Ann Leckie

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 commente... Read More

Bradley Beaulieu chats with Jana and Bill

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

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

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

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

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?

Stephen Aryan

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Marion chats with David Walton about science and faith

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 provisionally called Read More

Jana chats with Cindy Dees

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 tricked me into trying my f... 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