Monday, May 21, 2018

Interview with RR Haywood


Please welcome RR Haywood to The Qwillery. Extinct, the 3rd novel in the Extracted Trilogy, was published on May 17, 2018 by 47North.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

RR:  Hi! Thank you for having me. Cor, blimey – sounds evil doesn’t it? A plotter, a pantser or a hybrid? They’re like the gang names of societal groups in a dystopian future that roam the skeletal remains of the cities and the vast wastelands. The Plotters plot and scheme and work to the plan. They’re organised and ruthless whereas the Pantsers run free and lawless, going where the day takes them, having cray cray shenanigans and wild parties, and there, in the background skirting the fringes, are the quieter yet still playful Hybrids.

I’m so writing that as a book. Copyrighted! Bugger off other writers. Mine mine mine…
Er, so I guess I do all three, and I can take equal amounts of pleasure from writing within each discipline.

You cannot beat those days when you sit down with a plan and hit a mammoth word count. That sense of accomplishment is not to be underestimated.

Likewise, sitting down to a white blank page and simply going at it with action / reaction and flying by the seat of your pants is just gorgeous, but aye, you are more likely to stall and write yourself into a corner that way.

Mostly I write hybrid. With The Undead (UK’s best-selling zombie series – woohoo! Get the plug in) I set the characters the end goal for the day / scene / plot, but how they do that, and what happens on the way is down to them.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

RR:  I adore writing fast-flowing, rapid-fire dialogue with multiple characters each with their own voice, and I would gladly fill a whole book with that, but damn it, readers want pesky annoying things like plots and protagonists and antagonists and other stuff. I guess self-indulgence is the answer and learning that what I love to write the most may not be the things people like to read the most.



TQDescribe Extinct (The Extracted Trilogy 3) in 140 characters or less.

RR“A book with people in it doing time travel!” No, that’s awful. Hang on, let me try again… “Time travel, dinosaurs, big bombs and big bunkers…” argh, that’s even worse. Gosh, this is hard. “Extinct is the third book in the Extracted series and it’s awesome…”

I give up.



TQTell us something about Extinct that is not found in the book description.

RR:  (See above with my awful pseudo tweets)

Hmmm, a significant number of scenes are set against the backdrop of the allied destruction of Germany in 1945 during one specific period that saw over 1000 bombers in the skies in one day. It’s brutally realistic.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Extracted Trilogy? What appeals to you about writing SF and especially Time Travel novels?

RR:  There were a number of influencing factors. The Undead had been submitted to publishers and turned down, but with some very strong feedback that they loved my writing and style, but they did not want to invest in the zombie genre. That got me thinking of what to write next. At that time, I had recently read The Chronicles of St Mary by the wonderful Jodi Taylor which planted the time-travel seed in my mind. I had also always wanted to write my Grandfather as a character – he was in the Royal Navy in WW2. Eventually all of those things, plus a million others, all gave birth to Extracted.

My interest in time-travel was more about the impact such a thing would have and how governments would want to weaponise it.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Extracted Trilogy?

RR:  I researched the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to establish when I wanted certain parts of the story set, and within that I delved into the creatures and fauna and flora known to have existed in those times. There is still so much we do not know about our own distant past, and for a writer that is just fantastic because you can have one foot in reality, and the other in pure poetic make-it-all-up-land.

In all honesty, any scene can require research – anything from Public transport systems within a certain city to what you should do with a broken nose.

With regards to time travel – this is where I can be a little bullish in my attitude. Time travel does not exist. It is entirely fictional; therefore, it is down to the writer on how they want to play with it. I had a few people early on telling me that I had to include pre-destiny as the major plotline. Why? Yeah it might be a factor but there are no rules.



TQIn The Extracted Trilogy who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

RR:  Mad Harry Madden was the easiest. A British Commando from WW2. He was modelled on my own Grandfather. I knew what he looked like and I had his essence straight away. Writing Harry in any scene is just pure pleasure.

Miri is the hardest. That character is so layered it’s untrue, and even now, after three books, I’m still finding hidden motivations within her.



TQWhat are your feelings on concluding The Extracted Trilogy?

RR:  It ain’t over yet! 47North wanted a trilogy and that was delivered as planned. I have however, left myself lots of nice breadcrumbs to pick up and I will definitely go back into that world for more when I can.



TQ What's next?

RR:  Ooh exciting! The Undead is ongoing. We’re twenty-two books into the main series now and still going very strong with more planned.

I’m just finishing a new science-fiction story about a robbery on board a fleet of spaceships. It’s great fun and hopefully that will be going out to publishers very soon.

I’ve also written a new time-travel story which centres on an organisation that recruits and sends people back in time to “fix and tweak” things. That will also be pushed out soon I hope.

After that I have a ton of projects I want to do!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

RR:  Thank you so much for having me. It’s been very kind of you to give me this space to yack on and I hope I haven’t bored you all too much.

Take care
RR Haywood





Extinct
Extracted Trilogy 3
47North, May 17, 2018
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 418 pages

The end of the world has been avoided—for now. With Miri and her team of extracted heroes still on the run, Mother, the disgraced former head of the British Secret Service, has other ideas…

While Mother retreats to her bunker to plot her next move, Miri, Ben, Safa and Harry travel far into the future to ensure that they have prevented the apocalypse. But what they find just doesn’t make sense.

London in 2111 is on the brink of annihilation. What’s more, the timelines have been twisted. Folded in on each other. It’s hard to keep track of who is where. Or, more accurately, who is when.





About RR Haywood

RR Haywood is the Amazon #1 and Washington Post best-selling author of the international smash-hit time-travel series - EXTRACTED.

He is also the creator and author of THE UNDEAD. The UK’s best-selling zombie horror series. A self-published phenomenon that has become a cult hit with a readership that defies generations and gender.

He has lots of tattoos and lives in a cave somewhere underground away from the spy satellites and invisible drones sent to watch over us by the BBC. He is a certified, badged and registered hypochondriac and blames the invisible BBC drones for this.

Website  ~  Facebook

The View From Monday - May 21, 2018


Happy Monday!

There are 4 debuts this week:

Armed in Her Fashion by Kate Heartfield;

MEM by Bethany C. Morrow;

Freyja's Daughter (Wild Women 1) by Rachel Pudelek;

and

All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



And from formerly featured DAC Authors:

The God Peak (The God Wave Trilogy 2) by Patrick Hemstreet is out in Trade Paperback;

Originators (Netherspace 2) by Andrew Lane and Nigel Foster;

and

Hearts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet 2) by Cat Rambo is out in eBook.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.






Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

May 20, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Hearts of Tabat (e) Cat Rambo F - The Tabat Quartet 2



May 22, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tiger Striped Jennifer Ashley PNR - Shifters Unbound
Dead Men's Boots (ri) Mike Carey SupTh - Felix Castor 3
The Strasbourg Legacy (ri) William Craig AH/Espionage
1984 and Philosophy: Is Resistance Futile? Ezio Di Nucci (Ed)
Stefan Storrie (Ed)
Politics/SF/F/ HC - Popular Culture and Philosophy 116
Walkaway (h2tp) Cory Doctorow SF/AP/PA/TechTh
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (ri) Cory Doctorow SF/CyP
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (ri) Cory Doctorow SF/CyP
The Rapture of the Nerds (ri) Cory Doctorow
Charles Stross
SF/CyP
Makers (ri) Cory Doctorow SF/CyP
Eastern Standard Tribe (ri) Cory Doctorow SF/CyP
Still So Strange Amanda Downum F - Collection
American Hippo: River of Teeth, Taste of Marrow, and New Stories Sarah Gailey AH/W - River of Teeth
The Testament of Loki Joanne M. Harris FairyT/FolkT/LM
Armed in Her Fashion (D) Kate Heartfield DF/HistF/H
The God Peak (h2tp) Patrick Hemstreet TechTh - The God Wave Trilogy 2
The Immaculate Void Brian Hodge H - Collection
Aetherchrist Kirk Jones SF
In the Eye of Heaven David Keck F - The Tales of Durand 1
The Outsider (ri) Stephen King Th/Sus
Originators Andrew Lane
Nigel Foster
SF - Netherspace 2
MEM (D) Bethany C. Morrow LF/F/AfAm/HistF
84K Claire North
LF/Dys
Deadpool: Paws (ri) Stefan Petrucha MTI/SH - Marvel Universe4
Freyja's Daughter (D) Rachel Pudelek FairyT/FolkT/LM - Wild Women 1
Topaz Dreams (e) Patricia Rice P/Sus - Crystal Magic 2
Season of Storms Andrzej Sapkowski F - The Witcher 6
Echo Moon Laura Spinella R - A Ghost Gifts Novel 3
All the Ever Afters (D) Danielle Teller FairyT/FolkT/LM



May 23, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Spiraling (e) Marie Brennan F - Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 6
The Guile: A Tor.com Original (e) Ian McDonald SF



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
SciFan - Science Fantasy
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

2017 Nebula Awards Winners


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced the winners of the 52nd Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book.

The awards were presented in Pittsburgh, PA at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center on May 19, 2018 during the 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference.


2017 Nebula/Bradbury/Norton Award Winners
(Winners in green)

Novel
  • Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  • Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory (Knopf; riverrun)
  • The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty (Orbit US)
  • Jade City, Fonda Lee (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor; Orbit UK 2018)


Novella
  • River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Passing Strange, Ellen Klages (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “And Then There Were (N-One)”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3-4/17)
  • Barry’s Deal, Lawrence M. Schoen (NobleFusion Press)
  • All Systems Red, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven, JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing)


Novelette
  • “Dirty Old Town”, Richard Bowes (F&SF 5-6/17)
  • “Weaponized Math”, Jonathan P. Brazee (The Expanding Universe, Vol. 3)
  • “Wind Will Rove”, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 9-10/17)
  • “A Series of Steaks”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld 1/17)
  • “A Human Stain”, Kelly Robson (Tor.com 1/4/17)
  • “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time”, K.M. Szpara (Uncanny 5-6/17)


Short Story
  • “Fandom for Robots”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny 9-10/17)
  • “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM”, Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex 8/17)
  • “Utopia, LOL?”, Jamie Wahls (Strange Horizons 6/5/17)
  • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand”, Fran Wilde (Uncanny 9-10/17)
  • “The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”, Matthew Kressel (Tor.com 3/15/17)
  • “Carnival Nine”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/11/17)


The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
  • Get Out (Written by Jordan Peele)
  • The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit” (Written by Michael Schur)
  • Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green)
  • The Shape of Water (Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Written by Rian Johnson)
  • Wonder Woman (Screenplay by Allan Heinberg)


The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
  • Exo, Fonda Lee (Scholastic Press)
  • Weave a Circle Round, Kari Maaren (Tor)
  • The Art of Starving, Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
  • Want, Cindy Pon (Simon Pulse)


Additional Awards Presented:

Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award
  • John C. “Bud” Sparhawk


Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Sheila Williams


SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master
  • Peter S. Beagle

Melanie's Week in Review - May 20, 2018




Hello! I am writing this while watching highlights of the royal wedding. I am not really a royalist and but I decided to tune in anyway. Partly it was a good excuse to eat orange scones....which I have to say are delicious. It also meant I could use the antique tea set that I barely have an opportunity to take out of my china cabinet. Did you watch?

This wasn't one of my more prolific weeks reading. It was Wednesday when I realised I wasn't even halfway through a single book. In my defense it was the release of the season finale of both Lucifer and of Dynasty so I had to watch those.  So what did I read?


I read The Master, the 3rd Gameshouse Novella, by Claire North. I had reviewed the two previous books months ago and loved them. The final instalment does not disappoint. Silver decides to make a stand and challenge the Gamesmaster to the ultimate game - for control of the Gameshouse. The Gameshouse has sustained him for centuries along with the other elite players but he has decided he has had enough.  This is the ultimate game. The largest and most deadly game of chess ever played where not just the pawns are sacrificed.

This is a fantastic novella. Your head will be positively spin at the number of locations that Silver finds himself. North has a real gift of describing her characters and their environment without a lot of prose which means that she is able to send Silver on a manic journey from one country to the next and next and next in just novella. In this series North creates characters who you can't help but like even though they are pretty uncaring and rather evil. I was really cheering on Silver from the sidelines and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. If you want a great series of novellas that are both standalone but interconnected then look no further! These are must reads.


I was determined to finish The World Awakening by Dan Koboldt so that I could tell you all about it. So now I have a confession. I just couldn't finish it. I had planned to cheat as I got over halfway through and was going to skip to the end but I just couldn't. I discussed my inability to finish this book with the hubinator. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that meant I couldn't face reading it. As I mentioned book two was pretty dull and not much happened whereas in book 3 it was almost non stop action. The closest reason that the hubs and I could agree on was that it was just too juvenile and the hero wasn't very heroic. Its a shame as I really liked the first book. Sorry!


Well that is it for me for this week. I am planning to have more to tell you about next week. Promise! Until next week Happy Reading!





The Master
Gameshouse Novella 3
Redhook, November 3rd 2015
eBook, 100 pages

The Gameshouse is an unusual institution.

Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost though games of chess, backgammon – every game under the sun.

But a select few, who are picked to compete in the higher league, know that some games are played for higher stakes – those of politics and empires, of economics and kings . . .

And now, the ultimate player is about to step forward.





The World Awakening
Gateways to Alissia 3
Harper Voyager Impulse, February 13, 2018
   eBook, 448 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 3, 2018
   Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages

"The World Awakening is a great conclusion to what is a very readable and highly enjoyable series. Characters that are more than the sum of their parts, a world that has so much to offer, and a story that races along apace – the Gateways to Alissia books have it all." -- SFFworld

Quinn Bradley has learned to use the magic of another world. And that world is in danger.

Having decided to betray CASE Global, he can finally reveal his origins to the Enclave and warn them about the company’s imminent invasion. Even if it means alienating Jillaine…and allying with someone he’s always considered his adversary.

But war makes for strange bedfellows, and uniting Alissians against such a powerful enemy will require ancient enmities—as well as more recent antagonisms—to be set aside. The future of their pristine world depends on it.

As Quinn searches for a way to turn the tide, his former CASE Global squad-mates face difficult decisions of their own. For some, it’s a matter of what they’re willing to do to get home. For others, it’s deciding whether they want to go home at all.

Continuing the exciting adventures from The Rogue Retrieval and The Island Deception, The World Awakening is the spellbinding conclusion to the Gateways to Alissia fantasy series from Dan Koboldt.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No Second Printings for The Magic Order #1


MILLAR REVEALS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED THE MAGIC ORDER #1 WILL HAVE NO SECOND PRINTINGS

PORTLAND, OR, 05/18/2018 — In a letter to select comics retailers yesterday Mark Millar revealed that the #1 launch issue of his first title with NETFLIX—the hotly anticipated THE MAGIC ORDER with art by Olivier Coipel which was first announced at Image Expo—will not go to a second printing.

“FOC for #1 is this coming Monday and we hope you're suitably prepared. We want to get back to that crazy, exciting time where a first printing really meant something too and create a real collectibility here with NO SECOND PRINTINGS," said Millar. "We love the idea of making this genuinely sought after. So after inventory on the first and only print run is depleted, there will be no additional printings. That said, we’re very, very sure this is going to sell out, especially after you see the book and once you see the multimedia promotion that’s coming over the next three weeks.”

We live in a world where we’ve never seen a monster, and The Magic Order is the reason we sleep safely in our beds. Magic meets the mob in THE MAGIC ORDER, as five families of magicians—sworn to protect our world for generations—must battle an enemy who’s picking them off one by one. By day, they live among us as our neighbors, friends, and co-workers, but by night, they are the sorcerers, magicians, and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness…unless the darkness gets them first.

Millar's first NETFLIX comic book, drawn by the incredible Coipel (Amazing Spider-Man, Thor), THE MAGIC ORDER #1 hits stores on Wednesday, June 13th. The final order cutoff for comics retailers is Monday, May 21st.
  • MAGIC ORDER #1 (OF 6) CVR A COIPEL - Diamond code APR180455
  • MAGIC ORDER #1 (OF 6) CVR B B&W COIPEL - Diamond code APR180456
  • MAGIC ORDER #1 (OF 6) CVR C HUGHES - Diamond code APR180457
  • MAGIC ORDER #1 (OF 6) CVR D BLANK VARIANT - Diamond code APR180458



Watch THE MAGIC ORDER teaser trailer



ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Isola Issues #1 and #2 Rushed Pack to Print


ISOLA RECRUITS MORE READERS IN THE QUEST TO SAVE QUEEN OLWYN
Issues #1 and #2 rushed back to print 

PORTLAND, OR, 05/17/2018 — Image Comics is thrilled to announce that the first and second issues of the new hit fantasy series ISOLA—from acclaimed writer Brenden Fletcher (MOTOR CRUSH, Gotham Academy) and Eisner-winning storyteller and artist Karl Kerschl (Gotham Academy, The Abominable Charles Christopher)—are being rushed back to print in order to meet customer demand.

Queen Olwyn, suffering under the effects of a terrible spell, has fled her kingdom’s capital city with only her loyal Captain of the Royal Guard, Rook, for company—and for protection. With their supplies dwindling and their steps hounded by ruthless hunting clans, Rook leads her queen down a road fraught with peril...but it's a road they must walk if they're to restore Olwyn to the throne.

ISOLA #1, 3rd printing (Diamond code: APR188160) and ISOLA #2, 2nd printing (Diamond code: APR188161) will hit stores Wednesday, June 13th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, May 21st.


Select praise for ISOLA:

“This blew me away. Just amazing. Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, and Msassyk have
created something so beautiful.” —Tula Lotay

“Holy cow, folks, you are not going to want to miss this. Lovely and immersive.” —Kurt
Busiek

“This book is beautiful! It reads like a really high-end animation production!” —Dustin
Nguyen

“A stunner from the get-go.” —Annie Wu

“The name of Studio Ghibli co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki, is constantly brought up by
comic creators when they need a shorthand for describing a specific blend of
spectacle and emotion in their work, but the comparison is appropriate in the case of
ISOLA.” —AV Club

“Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, and MSASSYK have crafted something wondrous
here, and I highly recommend it. Give it a read.” —Bleeding Cool

“ISOLA is one of the most gorgeous books of 2018.” —Monkeys Fighting Robots

“ISOLA is brilliant! An atmospheric and intriguing story with masterful art.” —Frank
Quitely

“Read it.” —Comicosity


Isola #2, 2nd Printing
Isola #1, #rd Printing

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

The Weatherman Inspires A Synthwave Soundtrack


THE WEATHERMAN INSPIRES AN ORIGINAL, SYNTHWAVE SOUNDTRACK

PORTLAND, OR, 05/17/2018 — Image Comics is pleased to announce an original soundtrack for THE WEATHERMAN curated by synthwave phenomenon MAGIC SWORD and featuring song contributions from today's hottest synthwave artists including...
This original soundtrack will kick-off THE WEATHERMAN #1 anticipation with Magic Sword’s song “Colossus”. Experience it now at https://soundcloud.com/theweathermansoundtrack.

About THE WEATHERMAN:
Nathan Bright had it all: an awesome girlfriend, a kickass dog, and a job as the #1 weatherman on terraformed Mars. But when he’s accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human history—an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth—Nathan becomes the most wanted man alive, and a target of a manhunt that spans the galaxy. But is Nathan truly responsible for such a horrific crime? And why can’t he remember?

Confused, terrified, and ill prepared for life as the galaxy’s most wanted, Nathan’s fate lies in the hands of Amanda Cross, the disavowed government agent assigned to his case. Together the unlikely duo will have to rely on each other as they battle their way through the solar system in search of the truth buried in Nathan's lost memory...and the key to stopping the real enemy from carrying out a second extinction-level attack.

A full-throttle, wide-screen, science fiction epic about the damage we do in the name of justice and what it truly means to be redeemed…fans won’t want to miss THE WEATHERMAN.

Fans can first listen to MAGIC SWORD's track "COLOSSUS" and pre-order THE WEATHERMAN #1 at their local comic book store. The next song on THE WEATHERMAN soundtrack will release on the same day as issue #1—Wednesday, June 13th. The final order cutoff for comics retailers is Monday, May 21st.
  • WEATHERMAN #1 CVR A FOX - APR180464
  • WEATHERMAN #1 CVR B MARTIN - APR180465
  • WEATHERMAN #1 CVR C SCALERA (Limited) - APR188131


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.


Matteo Scalera Cover for The Weatherman Revealed


JAW-DROPPING MATTEO SCALERA COVER FOR THE WEATHERMAN REVEALED

PORTLAND, OR, 05/17/2018 — Image Comics is pleased to reveal a stunning, limited THE WEATHERMAN #1 cover featuring incredible artwork by Matteo Scalera (BLACK SCIENCE), colors by Eisner Award winning colorist Matt Wilson, and design by Tom Muller.

In THE WEATHERMAN, Nathan Bright had it all: an awesome girlfriend, a kickass dog, and a job as the #1 weatherman on terraformed Mars. But when he’s accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human history—an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth—Nathan becomes the most wanted man alive, and a target of a manhunt that spans the galaxy. But is Nathan truly responsible for such a horrific crime? And why can’t he remember?

THE WEATHERMAN #1 hits stores on Wednesday, June 13th. The final order cutoff for comics retailers is Monday, May 21st.
  • WEATHERMAN #1 CVR A FOX - APR180464
  • WEATHERMAN #1 CVR B MARTIN - APR180465
  • WEATHERMAN #1 CVR C SCALERA (Limited) - APR188131


ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What's the Appeal of Dark Fantasy? by Melanie R. Meadors


Please welcome the fabulous Melanie R. Meadors to The Qwillery writing about the Appeal of Dark Fantasy.

Melanie is co-editor of Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology, which is presently being funded via Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1330509990/knaves-a-blackguards-anthology.


About Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology:
Outland Entertainment is proud to bring you Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology. Featuring fourteen brand new tales of scheming anti-heroes and dark protagonists from the wrong side of the palace gates, Knaves brings together some of the finest fantasy authors in the industry in a book that will make readers wonder, “What is the ‘right side,’ anyway?” Authors include Mercedes Lackey, Anna Smith Spark, Cullen Bunn, Maurice Broaddus, Anton Strout, Walidah Imarisha, Cat Rambo, Lian Hearn, and more! Edited by Melanie R. Meadors and Alana Joli Abbott





What’s the Appeal of Dark Fantasy?

People read books for all kinds of reasons. Escape, enlightenment, laughter, inspiration, entertainment. But why would someone read a dark book about nasty people, dark times? Don’t we have enough of that in real life? Here are some reasons I learned when co-editing the book Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology, currently on Kickstarter.
  1. Live life on the dark side. Escapism can take many forms. Let’s face it. We’ve all, whether we want to admit it or not, have had fantasies about committing some sort of violence at least once in our lives. And that doesn’t mean we’re bad people. I mean, there are bad people out there who are doing atrocious things. Just watch the news. How can we NOT want revenge on people like that? But because we are not bad people, we don’t do those things in real life. Sometimes it can be satisfying to read about a Robin Hood type character who takes matters into their own hands, someone who can make a difference when the law’s hands are tied. Sometimes it can be satisfying to escape into a world where you can be that person who doesn’t care, who does what they want. Which takes me to number two… 
  2. “I do what I want!” Sometimes we just wish we could do whatever we wanted. And it doesn’t necessarily make us bad people. Not all protagonists of dark fiction are BAD people. They just don’t always go with societal norms. They don’t always behave in a way that makes them play well with others. One of the interesting aspects of dark fiction is that we can read through a story where this character wreaks havoc and causes chaos…and that was exactly what that story world needed. Sometimes, in a good way, to help people who needed help but who were being oppressed, and sometimes in a bad way, just to throw a wrench in things and show a weakness on the side of “good.” But in the end, it helps the world to see things that were broken so they can be fixed. It has to hurt to heal, sometimes.
  3. That gray area between good and bad. When we fight to save our children. When we hit someone to stop them from bullying someone else. When we fight to save ourselves. When we go to war to save an oppressed people. Is it wrong to blow up a building full of drug lords who prey on downtrodden people? Is it wrong to kill a man who has taken advantage of children, yet whom the law can’t seem to hold accountable? What IS good, anyway? It’s subjective. What’s good for one isn’t good for another. Dark fantasy explores a lot of this. Sometimes the protagonist is vindicated at the end, and is shown to be a “good” guy with maybe some questionable methodology. But other times, the protagonist is not, and is punished. Dark fantasy introduces us to the idea that sometimes the paths we are told to be the “good” ones are not necessarily the “right” ones or the only ones. These books make us think.
  4.  Sometimes, painful decisions have to be made. The heroes of dark fantasy aren’t always evil people. They sometimes aren’t even remotely bad. They are good people whose hands are forced to do things that go against their moral compass. Their stories are about the struggle they go through to make these decisions. Sometimes their stories are about the repercussions they face after making the decision. The stories of people who dared to stand up to oppressing forces: The results are good for the majority of people, but the action was not “socially acceptable,” so those people are shunned. Anyone who is a parent is familiar with the battle of, “This will make my child happy in the moment, but it’s bad for her in the long run,” or “My kid hates going to the doctor, but this has to happen for her to be healthy.” Sometimes, someone has to be the one to rip the bandaid off. To push society off the dock so it can learn to swim. And often, that person isn’t appreciated.
  5.  Villains are the heroes of their own stories. And reading their stories helps give us a new perspective on things. This doesn’t mean, by the way, that we have to agree with these people. Far from it. But the thing is, these vile people honestly believe they are doing the right thing. They think they are helping society, sometimes—and sometimes…they aren’t wrong. See the above, about pulling the bandaid off. Some methods, however, are less palatable than others. Say we have a character who wants to end war, and he decides religion is the cause of most wars. Well, why not just wipe out everyone from one side? Voila! Peace! Only…yeah. You just killed a whole lot of innocent people just because they were on the “wrong” side. Thanos in Infinity War was correct in his assessment that huge populations were running through resources and causing lots of suffering. Was he right in the solution he came up with? Without getting too spoilery, lets face it. He could have done a lot of other things with that infinity gauntlet. Would they have worked? Who knows? But his solution isn’t a fail-proof one, either. Looking at things from another perspective helps us think, however, and come to conclusions we might not have otherwise. It can strengthen our own convictions to see what goes through the minds of people who are on the other side.
  6.  Hope. That’s right. Reading about bad things can give us hope for our own world. A lot of dark fantasy portrays the best of even bad people coming out in a time of darkness. If those people can change, can make a sacrifice for the greater good, can’t we all? If people who are, to that point, self-serving, money-grubbing, only after number one, can suddenly turn around at the end and save the world through a decision of sacrifice, can’t we all? Can’t we all find the hero inside of us? And for the stories where there is no happy ending….well, at least WE don’t live there!
I’m having a lot of fun putting Knaves together and reading all the stories. We have stories from awesome folks like Linda Robertson, whose story really moved me because it was about a subject near to my heart, Toiya Kristen Finley, Clay Sanger, Anna Smith Spark, Cat Rambo, Maurice Broaddus, Mercedes Lackey, and more! I really hope you check it out.





About Melanie

Melanie R. Meadors is the author of fantasy stories where heroes don't always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. Her fiction has most recently appeared in the anthologies Champions of Aetaltis and Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters. Melanie is the co-director of the Gen Con Writer's Symposium and the publisher at Outland Entertainment. She's the co-editor of the anthology MECH: Age of Steel and Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology, and editor of Hath No Fury and Tales of Excellent Cats: A Monarchies of Mau Anthology. She is a blogger and general b*tch monkey at The Once and Future Podcast.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Interview with Tyler Whitesides, author of The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn


Please welcome Tyler Whitesides to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn was published on May 15th by Orbit.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first piece you remember writing?

Tyler:  I recently found a story I wrote when I was about seven years old. It was about a monster who went looking for dinner, but he couldn't find any so he went home only to find out that his monster mother had made dinner for him.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Tyler:  I would consider myself a hybrid, but leaning quite heavily toward being a plotter. I've found that if I don't plot enough, the story will ramble on with no end in sight. I'd say I plot about 70% and leave about 30% up to discovery as I write. Often, that unplanned 30% takes me by surprise and ends up being some of my favorite parts.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Tyler:  For me, I'd say the most challenging thing is dealing with expectations. Not just readers' expectations, but my own. Every time I sit down to write I feel a tremendous pressure to make this paragraph better than the last one I wrote. Make this chapter better than the one before, the next book better than the first one. I've got so many ideas swimming around in my head, I want to make sure I execute them the very best that I can. With that comes a lot of self-imposed pressure that can be crippling if left unchecked.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Tyler:  Books! I've loved fantasy since I was little and the things I read definitely influence my writing. As a young reader, I loved the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, and The Dark Is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. As a teenager, I devoured the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. Lately, I've been loving the works of Brandon Sanderson.

In addition to reading, I spent a lot of my childhood outdoors, hiking and exploring the mountains of northern Utah with my friends and family. The grandeur of nature and the mountains always inspired me - when a fog settled in and covered the peaks it was easy to imagine a company of travelers and their wizard guide coming down the slopes.



TQYou are the author of 2 best-selling children's series - Janitors and The Wishmakers. How different for you (or not) is writing for adults?

Tyler:  That's a great question. There are definitely similarities. The more I learn about writing, the more I realize that everything is about characters. Whether writing a children's book or an adult fantasy, the focus should be on crafting interesting characters whose actions are well motivated. In writing The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn, I tried to keep what I loved about writing for children - fast pacing, humor, and plenty of dialogue. But this book also allowed me to do things I'd never done in writing - explore heavier themes, develop more complex magic systems, and take a little more time inside the characters' thoughts. I loved both experiences, and hope to continue writing in both genres.



TQDescribe The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn in 140 characters or less.

Tyler:  Ardor Benn is a master of intricate plans, but he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Hired by a priest to steal the king's crown, Ardor assembles his team and begins an infiltration into high society. But he soon discovers that there is more at stake than getting paid.



TQTell us something about The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn that is not found in the book description.

Tyler:  The magic system is derived from harvesting a biproduct from the dragons and processing it down into powder. This "Grit" can then be ignited to create detonation clouds with varying effects. There are fifteen types, ranging from Grit that creates clouds of Light, or Heat, or even clouds of weightlessness.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Tyler:  There's something appealing about tackling a long story. I love reading them because they last. I like to live in the world and think about the characters and their situations. There is so much imagination in fantasy, allowing the reader to extrapolate what they want to learn from the story, whether that was really the author's intention or not.

I've always wanted to write an epic fantasy. The idea for The Thousands Deaths of Ardor Benn started with the magic system, an idea I had been kicking around in my brain for more than fifteen years. I was between projects for my children's series, and decided I would begin my first fantasy epic. I thought I'd pick away at it whenever I had some down time, and eventually finish in a few years. To my surprise, the characters really took hold of me and I was able to write the entire first draft in about six months.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn?

Tyler:  I spent some time researching geography, elevation, climate, and vegetation. The book takes place on a series of large islands that are rather unique, with a high cliff shoreline (think fjords, or the cliffs of Dover all the way around each island). I also did some research into flintlock guns, although the firearms in the story (while similar to flintlock) are powered by in-world magic. High society in the world centers around symphony concerts. I have a BA in music, so it was fun to remember some of the composition and musical form/analysis terminology.

At the end of the day, I was writing a fantasy book, so I obviously deviated from some of the facts in order to make all the pieces work within the world I was creating. After all, I was worldbuilding, not going for historical accuracy.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn.

Tyler:  Tommy Arnold did a great job with the artwork for the cover (and Lauren Panepinto on design). The character depicted is indeed Ardor Benn, the cunning master of heists, crouched atop the skull of a dragon. Although you can't see it in the artwork, the kingdom's throne is actually mounted atop that skull. I love the way Ardor is poised, ready to spring into action with an expression on his face that seems to say, "I got this."



TQIn The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Tyler:  Writing the chapters from Ardor Benn's point of view was really fun and flowed quite naturally for me. I was able to put a lot of humor into the character, and Ardor is constantly engaging in witty banter. He likes to pretend that nothing bothers him, when in fact he tends to care deeply about what he's doing. Too deeply, sometimes. Ardor moves the story along at a swift pace.

The most difficult character to write was Isle Halavend. He's the priest who hires Ardor to steal the crown. His chapters explore religion, truth, and history of the world, so I had to be very careful to stay consistent and check my own facts. Halavend harbors his true motives, but his chapters unveil a lot of earth-shattering epiphanies for everyone. Needless to say, it was a challenge to keep it all straight and get it right.



TQWhich question about The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Tyler:  Which type of Grit is your favorite, and what does it do? Visitant Grit is by far the most powerful type. It is controlled by the Wayfarist religion, and will only work for those that are worthy to detonate it. The effect is a cloud in which a holy paladin can appear, powerful enough to decimate life with his very presence.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn.

Tyler:

"This was madness and genius, mixed and detonated on the spot."
OR:
"It's our new hideout."
"The Bakery on Humont Street?" she read.
"A dangerous place, to be sure," added Ard. "Enough secret meetings there and none of us will be squeezing through a culvert grate."



TQWhat's next?

TylerThe Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is the first book in the Kingdom of Grit trilogy. The second book should be coming out in 2019. In the meantime, I have another children's book coming out this fall, which is the sequel to the Wishmakers. I love writing and I feel so fortunate to be doing this. Thanks to everyone willing to take a chance and pick up one of my books. I hope you enjoy!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Tyler:  Thank you for having me!





The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn
Kingdom of Grit 1
Orbit, May 15, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 784 pages
(Adult Debut)

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is the first in an action-packed epic fantasy series featuring master con artist Ardor Benn.

Ardor Benn is no ordinary thief. Rakish, ambitious, and master of wildly complex heists, he styles himself a Ruse Artist Extraordinaire.

When a priest hires him for the most daring ruse yet, Ardor knows he’ll need more than quick wit and sleight of hand. Assembling a dream team of forgers, disguisers, schemers, and thieves, he sets out to steal from the most powerful king the realm has ever known.

But it soon becomes clear there’s more at stake than fame and glory – Ard and his team might just be the last hope for human civilization.





About Tyler

Photo by Jamie Younker
Tyler is the author of bestselling children’s series, Janitors, and The Wishmakers. The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn is his adult debut. When he’s not writing, Tyler enjoys playing percussion, hiking, fly fishing, cooking, and theater. He lives in the mountains of northern Utah with his wife and son.











Website  ~  Twitter @twhitesides