Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Blog by Stephanie Dray and Giveaway - September 30, 2011

Does Historical Fiction Glorify Sexism, Racism and Class Discrimination?
by
Stephanie Dray
September 21, 2011

I write books set in the early Roman empire, a time during which a lot of horrible things were accepted as commonplace. Slavery was a normal part of life. Social class was enshrined into law. Women were sexual chattel, often without a say in their own lives and without representation in government. Human beings were forced to battle to the death in an arena for the entertainment of others.

In short, life wasn’t pretty.

In spite of this, people in the early Roman empire weren’t all that different than we are. Their aims for their lives have remarkable resonance with our own. They wanted to honor their forefathers. They wanted greater security and prosperity for their children. They were patriots. They believed in some forms of social mobility. They built beautiful things that are still a wonder to our eyes. They created governmental and public programs that worked more smoothly in some cases than our own. In short, they tried to instill a sense of order into the chaos of the world around them. They survived and thrived and bequeathed to us a wealth of knowledge without which we would be much poorer as a civilization.

So how to handle their portrayal in a fictional novel? Does one make the Romans out to be fascist monsters? (Certainly, that’s how my heroine sees them at first.) Does one take a stance of moral relativism and present them without censure and perhaps with a glow of rosy admiration? (Colleen McCoullough seems to take this approach.) Does one use humor to deflect readers’ discomfort in reading about such a ruthless way of life? (John Maddox Roberts seems to have gone this route.)

Or does one simply trust the reader to know that a portrayal of history is not an endorsement of it?

Until recently, I’d have thought it was understood that just because an author writes about something horrible doesn’t mean he or she is encouraging it. We do all understand that horror and thriller writers aren’t advocating murdering people, right? But it seems as if historical fiction and fantasy writers aren’t always given the same benefit of the doubt.

I’ve seen a bizarre slew of criticism lately, ranging from one author being accused of bigotry for writing from the viewpoint of a character with a documented distaste for Jews to another author being panned for her ancient heroine being insufficiently appalled by the institution of slavery.

Now, I’m all about reading the subtext and thinking critically about what a book’s true message is. I understand that an author can inadvertently write a body of work, the underlying theme of which makes you question the author’s values. (The combination of Frank Miller’s Sin City and 300 comes to mind.)

That said, some genuine effort at giving a fair reading to the author’s motives ought to be made before announcing, say, that George R. R. Martin is creepy. (I know. Martin isn’t a historical fiction novelist, but his fantasy is loosely based on the historical War of the Roses, so the reaction to his work is still relevant here.)

So why do historical fiction writers choose to revisit the past when it was a nearly unrelenting march of injustice, sexism, racism, and just about every other bad -ism you can think of?

My own primary motivation in writing historical fiction is to use it as a mirror to hold up against contemporary society. I want my readers to look at the ancient world and compare it to the world in which we live today. I want my readers to realize how far we have come. I also want my readers to realize that the progress of women’s liberation is not a straight line. There have been setbacks in the ancient past and there will likely be setbacks in the future against which we ought to be wary. I want my readers to compare the political propaganda we hear in the news today to the kind that was spewed by Augustus.

This is my intent. And yet, I realize that sometimes my intent is not conveyed. This may be because I’m not talented enough. It may also be because every reader carries their own baggage. Every reader’s experience of my novel is going to be unique to them. They are going to tend to see in it things that conform to their own world view.

But if their world view is that writers never write about the depravity of history unless it’s out of a creepy sense of wish-fulfillment, then their world view is spectacularly ill-informed.

Oh, I’m sure there are Civil War writers who really wish that slavery had never been abolished. (Newt Gingrich comes to mind.) I’m sure there are horror writers who use the therapy of putting pen to paper to keep them from sacrificing babies to Satan. I’m sure of it because given a large enough population of people, you will always find some percentage of sociopaths and freaks. However, since it’s very clear that those people are a deviation from the norm, why don’t we just assume that writers of fiction have some other more benevolent reason for writing about evil?

(Also, isn’t it worse to air-brush over the horrors of the past as if the world was so much better back then?)

Some authors write historical fiction for the same reason I do. Others write it because they have an obsession with documenting little known facts. Still others wish to put a human face onto an obscure time period. So they write about all the awful things people did back then. They don’t generally write about it because they want their audience members to pine longingly for the day when kings ruled absolutely and could behead their wives.

I’ve heard it argued that some readers do romanticize that past and wish to return to the glory days when women, peasants and brown people knew their place. This is horrifying, but the fact that lunatics and losers might read the wrong thing into a fictional novel has never been, to my mind, any real criticism against that novel.


About the Novels of Cleopatra's Daughter

Song of the Nile
Cleopatra's Daughter 2
Berkley Trade, October 4, 2011
Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra’s daughter has become the emperor’s most unlikely apprentice and the one woman who can destroy his empire…

Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.

Forced to marry a man of the emperor’s choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name. She quickly establishes herself as a capable leader in her own right and as a religious icon. Beginning the hard work of building a new nation, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests.

But it’s the magic of Isis flowing through her veins that makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra’s daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother’s throne be more than she’s willing to pay?


Lily of the Nile
Cleopatra's Daughter 1
Berkley Trade,  January 4, 2011
Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?



About Stephanie

Stephanie graduated from Smith, a small women’s college in Massachusetts where–to the consternation of her devoted professors–she was unable to master Latin. However, her focus on Middle Eastern Studies gave her a deeper understanding of the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion.

Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has–to the consternation of her devoted husband–collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.


Stephanie's Links

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The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Song of the Nile from Stephanie. (US/ Canada mailing addresses only)

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who is your favorite historical person? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, October 7, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Thursday, September 29, 2011

October 2011 Book Releases

Here is my list of books being published in October 2011. If there is something that I've missed, please leave a comment below. Any genre mistakes are mine. Leave a comment if you feel that the genre is wrong. Also note that this list is always under revision. Publication dates change. I try to keep this as accurate as possible.


October 1, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
Light, Time, and Gravity R. Scott Bakker SF
In Winter's Shadow Gillian Bradshaw HistF
The Levels Sean Cregan Urban Gothic-punk Thriller
Echoes: Wickedly Terrifying Tales from the Undergrowth Laura Dockrill F - Short Stories
Utterly Charming (ri) Kristine Grayson PNR - Charming 1
Brand New Cherry Flavor Todd Grimson H - A Novel of the Occult
Unleashed (d) Sara Humphreys PNR - Amoveo Legacy 1
The Goblin King Shona Husk PNR - Goblin 1
The Rose Garden Susanna Kearsley HistF / TT
Goodbye Milky Way Dan Makaon SF - Earth in Jeopardy Adventure
The Beautiful Torment of a Dream Andrew Portsmouth SF
Fade to Black Josh Pryor SFT
I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas Adam Roberts MU
Mr. Darcy's Bite Mary Simonsen MU
Retribution Steve Stanton SF - Bloodlight Chronicles 2



October 4, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
Demon Song Cat Adams UF - Bloodsinger 3
Forbidden Embers Tessa Adams PER - Dragon's Heat 3
Rising Tides Taylor Anderson SF/AH - Destroyermen 5
Angels of Darkness Ilona Andrews
Nalini Singh
Meljean Brook
Sharon Shinn
PNR - Collection
Knot Gneiss Piers Anthony SF - Magic of Xanth 34
Under the Midnight Sun Vivian Arend PER - Granite Lake Wolves 3 and 4
Carnelians Catherine Asaro SF - Skolian Empire 17
Better Off Undead DD Barant UF - Bloodhound Files 3
Song of the Beast (ri) Carol Berg F
The Bite Before Christmas (tp2mm) Heidi Betts PNR - Collection
The Night Strangers: A Novel Chris Bohjalian PT
Leviathans of Jupiter (h2mm) Ben Bova SF - Grand Tour 13
The Traitor's Daughter Paula Brandon F
The Lucifer Code (h2emm) Charles Brokaw F
Inferno's Kiss Monica Burns UF - Novel of the Order 3
Alan Wake (tpmm) Rick Burroughs F/H
Magebane Lee Arthur Chane F
Wolf at the Door MaryJanice Davidson PNR
A Touch of Crimson Sylvia Day PNR - Renegade Angels1
Necropolis Michael Dempsey SF
Chosen by Fate Virna DePaul UF - Para-Ops 2
Song of the Nile Stephanie Dray HistF - Cleopatra's Daughter 2
The Vengeful Dead J.N. Duncan UF - Deadworld 2
The Sacred Band David Anthony Durham F - Acacia Trilogy 3
Dark Peril (h2mm) Christine Feehan PNR - Dark 23
The Twilight of Lake Woebegotten Harrison Geillor MU
Dead in the Family (ri) Charlaine Harris UF - Sookie Stackhouse 10
Serpent's Kiss Thea Harrison PNR -Elder Races 3
Visions of Skyfire Regan Hastings PNR - Awakening 2
Starman Jones (ri) Robert A. Heinlein SF
In Memories We Fear Barb Hendee UF - Vampire Memories 4
Infidel Kameron Hurley EF - Bel Dame Apocrypha 2
Towers of Midnight Robert Jordan EF - Wheel of Time 13
Changes Mercedes Lackey F - Collegium Chronicles 3
Intrigues (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey F - Collegium Chronicles 2
H.P. Lovecraft Goes to the Movies: The Classic Stories That Inspired the Classic Horror Films H.P. Lovecraft H - Collection
Much Ado About Vampires Katie MacAlister PNR - Dark Ones 9
Down These Strange Streets George R. R. Martin (ed)
Gardner Dozios (ed)
UF - Anthology
Steel: And Other Stories Richard Matheson SF - Collection
Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion: A Novel Janet Mullany MU
Dead Mann Walking Stefan Petrucha UF - Hessius Mann 1
The Bradbury Report: A Novel (h2tp) Steven Polansky SF
Haunting Embrace Erin Quinn PNR - Mists of Ireland 4
Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse James Wesley Rawles SF
Vamparazzi Laura Resnick UF - Esther Diamond 4
Radiant Desire Inara Scott PNR - Handmaid's Seduction 1
Werewolf in the North Woods Vicki Lewis Thompson PNR - Wild About You 2
Blood Eternal Marie Treanor UF - Awakened By Blood 3
Dust (h2tp) Joan Frances Turner SF - Resurgam Trilogy 1
Frail Joan Frances Turner SF - Resurgam Trilogy 2
Dark Lover (ri) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 1



October 7, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
Hull Zero Three (h2tp) Greg Bear SF
Star Watchers Kelly Vang F (poetry)



October 11. 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
Phobos: Mayan Fear Steve Alten SF
Well-Tempered Clavicle Piers Anthony SF - Magic of Xanth
In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination Margaret Atwood SF - History & Criticism
Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance Kristina Wright (ed) SPER - Anthology
The Book of Dzur Steven Brust F - Vlad Taltos Omnibus
Harbor John Ajvide Lindqvist H
After the Apocalypse: Stories Maureen F. McHugh SF
Bearded Women Stories Teresa Milbrodt H
The Cold Commands Richard K. Morgan EF - A Land Fit for Heroes 2
Eyes to See Joseph Nassise UF - Jeremiah Hunt Chronicle 1
Snuff Terry Pratchett EF - Discworld 39
Enter, Night Michael Rowe H
The Dragons of Babel Michael Swanwick EF
The Children of the Sky Vernor Vinge SF
The Dark at the End F. Paul Wilson SFM -Repairman Jack



October 15, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
A Midwinter Fantasy Leanna Renee Hieber
L.J. McDonald
Helen Scott Taylor
Collection
To the Devil - a Diva! Paul Magrs SM
Technicolor Ultra Mall Ryan Oakley SF



October 16, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
Blood Drive Traci Houston UF - Vampire Otherkin 1



October 17, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
The Butcher of Anderson Station (e) James S.A. Corey SF - Expanse



October 18, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
Lord of the Wolfyn Jessica Andersen PNR - Royal House of Shadows 3
The Infernals: A Novel John Connolly FM
A Scanner Darkly (ri) Philip K. Dick SF
VALIS Philip K. Dick SF
Ashes of a Black Frost Chris Evans EF - The Iron Elves 3
The Shattered Vine Laura Anne Gilman EF - Vineart War 3
Aloha from Hell Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim 3
Beauty and the Werewolf Mercedes Lackey F - A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms 6
The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth Sarah Monette H
A Vampire for Christmas Laurie London
Michele Hauf
Caridad Pineiro
Alexis Morgan
PNR - Collection
Damned Chuck Palahniuk
Zone One: A Novel Colson Whitehead SF / H / Satire



October 21, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
The Heroes (h2tp) Joe Abercrombie EF



October 25, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
The Power of Illusion Christopher Anvil SF
Darkness Rising Keri Arthur PNR - Dark Angels 2
Master of the House of Darts Aliette de Bodard F - Obsidian and Blood 3
Kings War Maurice Broaddus UF - Knights of Breton Court 3
The High Druid of Shannara Trilogy Terry Brooks EF - High Druid of Shannara
Blue Dragon Kylie Chan F - Dark Heavens 3
Blood Ties Peter David F - Fable 2
Swell Corwin Ericson F
Worlds (h2mm) Eric Flint AH
Kultus Richard Ford H
Adam Jacquelyn Frank PNR - Nightwalkers 6
The Hollows Insider: New fiction, facts, maps, murders, and more in the world of Rachel Morgan Kim Harrison
Claimed by Pleasure Jaymie Holland PER - Wonderland 2
The Real Werewives of Vampire County Alexandra Ivy
Angie Fox
Jess Haines
Tami Dane
PNR
Mirror Maze (d) Michaele Jordan F
The Third Section Jasper Kent F /H - The Danilov Quintet 3
The Clone Redemption Steven L. Kent SF - Rogue Clone 5
Dragon Mound Richard A. Knaak EF
Fenrir (h2tp) M. D. Lachlan EF
Mouse and Dragon Sharon Lee
Steve Miller
SF - Liaden Universe 13
Devilishly Hot Kathy Love PNR
Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel Jonathan Maberry H
Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love (h2mm) George R. R. Martin (ed)
Gardner Dozios (ed)
F - Anthology
Echo Jack McDevitt SF - Alex Benedict 5
The Outcast Dead Graham McNeil SF - Horus Heresy 17
Trance Kelly Meding UF - Trance 1
Flesh and Blood Kristen Painter UF - House of Comarre 2
Ecstasy Untamed Pamela Palmer PNR - Feral Warriors 6
Extinction Agenda Marcus Pelegrimas H - Skinners 6
Citadel John Ringo SF - Troy Rising 2
Angel Town Lilith Saintcrow UF - Jill Kismet 6
The Bite Before Christmas Lynsay Sands
Jeaniene Frost
PNR
Daring Mike Shepherd SF - Kris Longknife
Beauty Dates the Beast Jessica Sims PNR
The Night Eternal Guillermo Del Toro
Chuck Hogan
H - Strain Trilogy 3
Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction Ian Whates (ed) SF - Anthology
The Shadow Reader (d) Sandy Williams UF
All Clear (h2tp) Connie Willis SF
Claimed Rebecca Zanetti PNR - Dark Protectors 2




October 27, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
The Kingdom of Gods N. K. Jemison EF - Inheritence Trilogy 3



October 28, 2011

TITLEAUTHORGENRE and SERIES
The Inheritance and Other Stories Robin Hobb
Megan Lindholm
EF - Short Stories
The Curse of Four Caitlin Kittredge UF - Black London



d - Debut
e - Ebook
h2emm - Hardcover to Enhanced Mass Market Paperback
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue

AH - Alternative History
EF - Epic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
FM - Fantasy Mystery
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
MU - Mashup
PER - Paranormal Erotic Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PT - Paranormal Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
SFM - Science Fiction Mystery
SFT - Science Fiction Thriller
SM - Supernatural Mystery
SPER - Steampunk Erotic Romance
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Interview with Christopher Buehlman - September 29, 2011

Please welcome Christopher Buehlman to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?



Christopher:  Perhaps it’s that I write a spare structure and layer up rather than writing in quantity and pruning. It could also be that I write ‘orally’ and always read sections aloud for rhythm and punch. But it could also be that I write in the buff while drinking mead, wearing a Viking helmet and listening to Wagner.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Christopher:  Hemingway and Fitzgerald are my favorites, which may also have nudged me towards setting my story in the 1930’s. I’m also fond of Cormac McCarthy-he has such a beautiful way of describing such gruesome events. Stephen King is seminal for me, though, as I was reading him far younger than I should have been. Maybe he taught me the what and the others taught me the how.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?



Christopher:  Ha! None of the above! Or both, if you insist. I have plot points that I sketch out, and I let the characters improvise their way between them. If the characters insist on a detour, I let them take it. Plot should come from character, never the reverse.

TQ:  Describe Those Across the River in 140 characters or less.



Christopher:  OMG Ths bk wl scr th sht out of u LOL no rlly its spooky & lush & gothic about a mn who has to nswr 4 th sins of his ancstr & hs a ht wife

TQ:  What inspired you to write Those Across The River?



Christopher:  I always wanted to write a horror novel, and finally took a stab at it in 2001. I knew the nature of the antagonists first, although I won’t discuss that here as I would prefer to let them introduce themselves to you at their leisure. Certain horrific images came to me, and soon a narrative formed itself around them. I shelved the first draft for many years and re-approached it, only now I had more life and writing experience, and a stronger bent towards the historical.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the novel?



Christopher:  I used all sorts of media-mostly books, the usual suspects, reading first-hand accounts of the Argonne offensive in the First World War, social histories of the Great Depression, histories about slavery and old plantations, books about PTSD and anything at all written during the period. I also leaned heavily on archival photos and newspaper articles. If you want to learn the cadence of 1930’s American speech, Turner Classic Movies is your friend. As is You Tube, should you wish to know how to start a Model A Ford in a hurry or clean a 1911 .45.

TQ:  Why did you set Those Across the River in Georgia?



Christopher:  It neighbors the state I grew up in (Florida), so I have been to and through Georgia quite a bit. I wanted the plantation in question to have harvested cotton rather than rice, indigo, sugarcane, tobacco or any of the other crops you might find in the Carolinas, say. Most importantly, however, I wanted the Savoyard plantation to be near the path of Sherman’s march.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Christopher:  The hardest character to write was the chief antagonist, at least until I figured out his angle. He had to have good reasons to be as bad as he was; the worst actions often come from a deep sense of moral entitlement.
The easiest was Martin Cranmer, the town’s self-educated bibliophile taxidermist, a functional alcoholic and a real wiseass.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the novel?



Christopher:  Frank and Eudora go to a nursing home to interview an old woman who actually went to the Savoyard plantation as a little girl. She doesn’t much like Eudora, and there is some wickedly funny friction between the two women. The scene also manages to convey some dreadful information-I often read that one at public events because it captures so much of the tone of the book.

TQ:  What's next?

ChristopherBetween Two Fires, coming out next Fall, is the story of a disgraced knight and a visionary little girl trying to survive in a plague-ravaged medieval France; a France that is also a battleground not only for the French and English, but for angels and devils locked in a second war for the throne of Heaven. I was unaware of the existence of a proper medieval horror novel, so I decided to write the one I wanted to read.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.




About Those Across The River

Those Across the River
Ace, September 6, 2011

Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...




About Christopher

Christopher Buehlman is a writer and performer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize in Poetry and a finalist for the 2008 Forward Prize for best poem (UK). He spent his twenties and thirties touring renaissance festivals with his very popular show Christophe the Insultor, Verbal Mercenary. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Language from Florida State University, where he minored in History. He enjoys theater, independent films, chess, archery, cooking with lots of garlic, and thick, inky, bone-dry red wines. He lives with his wife, actress Geneva Rae, and their rescued dog, Duck, who is believed to be the result of an encounter between a Shiba Inu and a Pit Bull.
Text from:  http://www.christopherbuehlman.com/about/

Christopher's Links

Website
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview with George Mann and Giveaway - September 28, 2011

Please welcome George Mann to The Qwillery. George writes one of my favorite series - the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series. The Immorality Engine, the 3rd book in the series, was released yesterday.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

George:  I think it's probably the unusual way in which I approach my first drafts. Because of the fact I still work full time and have a family to take care of, I try to fit my writing into any and all available time I can. A lot of the dead time in my day is my commute to and from the office, and as a consequence I've taken to 'writing' the first drafts of my novels by dictating them into my mp3 player as I drive. I then type them up later, polishing it and editing the manuscript into shape as I go. It takes a lot of dedication to work that way, but I find it helps a great deal.

I also write a fair amount on my iPhone these days, using an app called 'My Writing Spot'. I've written 10,000 words of the new novel on it in the last week!

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

George:  Most definitely a plotter. I use file cards to sketch out scenes and then flowcharts to plan the flow of those scenes into a narrative. I take a great deal of comfort in having a skeleton to hang my story on. Although it's rarely inflexible, and changes as I write. I don't allow the outline to constrain me, but it helps me to know where I'm going, so that if I do stray down a different path, I know where I have to get back to later if I'm to get things back on track.

TQ:  Describe The Immorality Engine (Newbury & Hobbes Investigation 3) in 140 characters or less.

George:  A steampunk occult mystery with secret societies, doppelgangers, clockwork horses and subterfuge.

How does that sound?

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Immorality Engine?

George:  There's two, and they're both action scenes!

The first takes place deep underground in some catacombs beneath the headquarters of an unusual cult. Veronica dons a steampunkish exoskeleton and pounds her way through the bad guys - and the walls - in an effort to save herself and Newbury from impending execution.

The second is a massive siege by an army of latter day knights, dressed in plate armour and bowler hats and riding clockwork horses while firing gatling guns and wind-up rocket launchers.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the Newbury & Hobbes Investigations world?

George:  I steeped myself in Victorian and Edwardian literature, chiefly in an effort to capture the tone. I especially made a point of rereading Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, War of the Worlds, lots of Sherlock Holmes and the case files of the classic occult detectives, Carnacki, John Silence, Flaxman Low. I also visited - and continue to visit - lots of Victorian properties around the UK, and read as much as I can about the history of the period - chiefly so I can work out how I want to mess it all up and play with it!

TQ:  What drew you to steampunk?

George:  I'm entranced by the notion of making a fantasy out of the past. We all do that anyway - every day - because we imagine what it must have been like to exist in the past. History, although based on everything we DO know, is nevertheless still a fantasy, a best approximation. I think with steampunk - and alternate history in general - we have the opportunity to play with that, to feed that nostalgia we feel for an age that never was or never could have been. And then, of course, there's the steampunk aesthetic, which appeals in so many ways. Who doesn't love airships?

TQ:  Do the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series set in London and your Ghosts series set in New York City have anything common?

George:  Absolutely they do! They're very loosely set in the same fictional universe, only 25 years later and on the other side of the Atlantic. With N&H I was keen to write a very traditional steampunk series, set in a foggy Victorian London and populated with characters like Holmes, Carnacki etc. With the Ghost books I wanted to look at the world stage 25 years AFTER the steampunk revolution, to see how the political landscape had been altered. America seemed to offer the best perspective for the characters to view that world. Those books are also my love letter to New York City, my favourite city in the whole world.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series?

George:  At least six. There are three more novels planned after The Immorality Engine, and I'm already well into writing the fourth, which currently bears the title The Executioner's Heart. There could be more after that, but we'll have to see. There's also a bunch of short stories and an original graphic novel in the works.

TQ:  What's next?

George:  Well, I have a couple more Doctor Who audio scripts to write after I've finished The Executioner's Heart, and then it's straight on to N&H #5, which is likely to be set on a massive, steampunkish sleeper train on an epic journey across Europe. Newbury - and at least two surprising people - will be onboard. After that, I have plans to write a Sherlock Holmes story featuring elements of my alternate history. Exciting times!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

George:  Thanks for having me!


About The Newbury & Hobbes Investigation Series

The Immorality Engine
Newbury & Hobbes Investigation 3
Tor Books (September 27, 2011)

On the surface, life is going well for Victorian special agent Sir Maurice Newbury, who has brilliantly solved several nigh-impossible cases for Queen Victoria with his indomitable assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, by his side. But these facts haven’t stopped Newbury from succumbing increasingly frequently to his dire flirtation with the lure of opium. His addiction is fueled in part by his ill-gotten knowledge of Veronica’s secret relationship with the queen, which Newbury fears must be some kind of betrayal. Veronica, consumed by worry and care for her prophetic but physically fragile sister Amelia, has no idea that she is a catalyst for Newbury’s steadily worsening condition.

Veronica and Newbury’s dear friend Bainbridge, the Chief Investigator at Scotland Yard, tries to cover for him as much as possible, but when the body of a well known criminal turns up, Bainbridge and Veronica track Newbury down in an opium den and drag him out to help them with the case. The body is clearly, irrefutably, that of the man in question, but shortly after his body is brought to the morgue, a crime is discovered that bears all the dead man’s hallmarks. Bainbridge and Veronica fear someone is committing copycat crimes, but Newbury is not sure. Somehow, the details are too perfect for it to be the work of a copycat. But how can a dead man commit a crime?
Amazon: Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million



The Osiris Ritual
Newbury & Hobbes Investigation 2
Tor Books, Hardcover (August 3, 2010), Trade Paperback (June 7, 2011)

Sir Maurice Newbury, Gentleman Investigator for the Crown, imagines life will be a little quieter after his dual success in solving The Affinity Bridge affair. But he hasn’t banked on the reemergence of his villainous predecessor, Knox, who is hellbent on achieving immortality, and seems to be pursued by a secret agent who isn’t quite as he seems….

The whole affair is so baffling that Newbury is reluctant to take time away from it to attend to the mysterious murders in the wake of the unveiling of an Egyptian mummy, let alone his partner Veronica’s apparent obsession with tracking the growing pool of young women who have disappeared after being used as props in a magician’s stage act. But it’s all part of a day’s work when your boss is the queen of England.

So begins a thrilling steampunk mystery, the second in the series of Newbury & Hobbes investigations, and a grand adventure quite unlike any other.
Amazon: Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million



The Affinity Bridge
Newbury & Hobbes Investigation 1
Tor Books, Hardcover (July 7, 2009), Trade Paperback (April 27, 2010)

Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen, and journalists.

But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side.

Queen Victoria is kept alive by a primitive life-support system, while her agents, Sir Maurice Newbury and his delectable assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes, do battle with enemies of the crown, physical and supernatural. This time Newbury and Hobbes are called to investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship and its missing automaton pilot, while attempting to solve a string of strangulations attributed to a mysterious glowing policeman, and dealing with a zombie plague that is ravaging the slums of the capital.

Get ready to follow dazzling young writer George Mann to a London unlike any you’ve ever seen and into an adventure you will never forget…



About George

George Mann was born in Darlington, County Durham, and is the author of over ten books, as well as numerous short stories, novellas and original audio dramas.

The Affinity Bridge (Tor), the first novel in his Newbury and Hobbes Victorian fantasy series, was published in 2008. Other titles in the series include The Osiris Ritual (Tor) and The Immorality Engine (Tor).

His other novels include Ghosts of Manhattan (Pyr) and Ghosts of War (Pyr), mystery novels about a vigilante set in a post-steampunk 1920s New York.

He has edited a number of anthologies, including The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction (Solaris) and The Solaris Book of New Fantasy (Solaris), and has written new adventures for both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who.

His most recent novels are Doctor Who: Paradox Lost (BBC Books), featuring the Eleventh Doctor alongside his companions, Amy and Rory and The Immorality Engine (Tor), the latest of his Newbury & Hobbes adventures.

George's Links

Website
Twitter


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of The Immorality Engine (US version) generously provided by Tor US.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which cover of The Immorality Engine do you like better?

US                                                             UK


Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 5, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Release Day Review - Blood Rights by Kristen Painter - 5 Qwills

Blood Rights
Author:  Kristen Painter
Series:  House of Comarré
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Orbit (September 27, 2011)
Price: $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780316084772
Review Copy:  ARC from Publisher

Book cover and description:

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarré -- a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.


My thoughts:

Blood Rights is the first book in the House of Comarré series. The Comarré are bred to be the most pure blood sources for noble vampires. As such they are highly valued. Blood Rights centers on Chrysabelle and the events that occur after the murder of her blood rights owner, Lord Algernon. Chrysabelle flees to her aunt in Paradise City, New Florida. She’s put in touch with Mal, a vampire who is considered anathema by vampire society.

Blood Rights is a terrific book. I’ve read many stories where the supernatural exists alongside of an unknowing humankind. This is one of my favorites. The world building is just so good – the mysterious House of Comarré, the machinations of the noble vampires, the world of vampires and beings outside the mainstream. There were little things I really enjoyed as well. For example, the names of the five houses of noble vampires delighted me. Against the backdrop of this wonderfully created world is a truly absorbing mystery. Who killed Lord Algernon and why?

Kristen Painter has not only created a fantastic world but has filled it with well-crafted characters, both primary and secondary. Chrysabelle and Mal are great foils for each other. The tension between them is well set up. The characters are multidimensional, even the truly horrific villain. The pacing of the Blood Rights is spot-on from beginning to end.

Blood Rights is one of those books that is a sheer joy to read. It features exceptional world building, fascinating characters, and a captivating story. I'm thankful that the second book in the series is out in November and the third book in December.

I give Blood Rights 5 Qwills.

Interview with Gena Showalter and Giveawy - September 27, 2011

Books-n-Kisses and The Qwillery are happy to team up to bring Gena Showalter to both of our blogs. Gena, we are both extremely excited to have you here today.


Gena:  I’m so happy to be here! Thank you so much for making it happen!

Q1)  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Gena:  I wouldn’t say ‘interesting’ so much as ‘frustrating.’ *g* I am over the top OCD about my books. Once I start one, I can’t stop. I eat, breathe and totally live the characters and their story. Seriously, I don’t think about anything else until the book is done. And yes, I’ve even called family members by character names. A terribly unbalanced way to live, but I honestly adore my job—even when the characters are naughty. Okay, especially when the characters are naughty.

Q2)   Have you always known you wanted to be an author?

Gena:  Actually, no. I played around with nursing for a while, but I had a terrible bedside manner so . . . that was a no go. But I had always loved to read romance novels, and I was always picturing scenes in my head, so ultimately writing seemed like the better fit.

Q3)  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Gena:  Pantser. I like to find out what happens when the readers finds out.

Q4)  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Gena:  I adore Kresley Cole, Karen Marie Moning, PC Cast, Jill Monroe, Nalini Singh, Larissa Ione, Jeaniene Frost, Meljean Brook, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Deidre Knight, Jessica Andersen, Shannon Butcher, Shelly Laurenston, Jennifer Cruise, JR Ward, and so many more! But my early influences were Johanna Lindsay, Julie Garwood, and Linda Howard.

Q5)  Gena, you have so many great series. How do you come up with so many great stories?

Gena:  Something I hear, see, or read will cause me to say “What if.” With the Lords -- what if men opened Pandora’s box? Alien huntress – what if (sexy and, okay, predatory) otherworlders walked among us? With the Intertwined series – what if a teenage boy had four human souls trapped inside his head? Everything grows from there.

Q6)  Do you have a favorite character out of all your series? If so who & why?

Gena:  I have several favorites J From the Lords, I am head over heels for William. He’s a narcissistic womanizer who thinks torturing his enemies is fun, but oh, is he sexy! I can’t wait to see him tamed. And by tamed I mean just as naughty but in love. From Alien Huntress, I want to run away with Hector. He’s as badass as a guy can be, with arms that morph into flame-throwers (literally), but when he falls for his woman . . . shiver! There is no one more loyal, no one more determined to protect.

Q7)  One of your newest releases is Dark Taste of Rapture (Alien Huntress Series 6) Can you tell us a little more about this book?

Gena:  Would love to! Here’s the blurb:

With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure…or unending pain...

Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped -- and he has a deadly secret. He is a walking weapon, capable of killing with a single brush of his fingertips. Little wonder he’s determined to remain on his own. But Noelle Tremain is a temptation like no other. She is beautiful and rich, with a party girl smile that hides a shocking vulnerability, and from the beginning his sizzling attraction to her is undeniable. For the first time, his stone-cold resistance is tested. But to be with her, he risks destroying her.

When a wealthy businessman is murdered in New Chicago’s seediest district, the two are partnered, and there’s no escaping what they both want: each other. Yet neither Hector nor Noelle knows what to fear more—the killer case, or their own lethal desires. . . .

Q8)  Another new release is Lord of the Vampires. Which is the 1st book in a 4 author series titled Royal House of Shadows. The other authors include Jill Monroe (The Lord of Rage, Sept 27), Jessica Andersen (The Lord of Wolfyn, Oct 25), and Nalini Singh (Lord of the Abyss, Nov 27). Can you tell us a little about your book.

Gena:  Once upon a time, the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved...

Q9)  You have a great explanation on the Royal House of Shadow’s website of how the four of you came up with this idea. Would you like to share that idea with us?

Gena:  We wanted tell our favorite fairy tales with fun new (and sexy!) twists! Jill Monroe retells Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jessica Andersen retells Little Red Riding Hood and Nalini Singh retells Beauty and the Beast. Me? I've always been fascinated by the story of Alice in Wonderland. A young girl wakes up in a whole new world, with no idea who (or what) to trust, fantastical magic around every corner, and her curious nature getting her into all kinds of trouble. I used to put myself in Alice’s place, wondering what I would do, where I would go. And of course, anytime I insert myself into a scene, I also insert a very sexy guy.

But I digress. This time, when I sat down to retell Alice, it wasn’t myself that I saw but Jane Parker, a studious scientist with a haunted past. One morning she wakes and finds herself trapped in mythical realm with Berserkers, shifters, and evil sorcerers. But the most dangerous creature of all? The vampire prince who has an insatiable hunger for her blood. Yeah, this wonderland has fangs—and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Q10)  What is next?

Gena:  I have a bang, bang, bang of releases! There’s Dark Taste of Rapture, my sexiest Alien Huntress novel yet (Aug 23rd), Lord of the Vampires (Aug 23rd), Twisted, the darkest of the Intertwined novels, (Aug 30th, and it's about a human boy who finds himself crowned king of the vampires), The Darkest Surrender (Sept 27th, Strider’s story and my personal favorite of the Lords of the Underworld novels), and Dating the Undead (co-authored with Jill Monroe, coming Jan 2012) This book teaches women how to date creatures of “myth,” and we had such a blast writing it!

Q11)  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Gena:  Thank you so much for having me! This was a blast!

Huge thank you to Gena for stopping by Books-n-Kisses and The Qwillery to talk about her newest releases.


About Gena's Latest Books

The Darkest Surrender
Lords of the Underworld
(HQN, September 27, 2011)
Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor's edge of surrender.

Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can't afford because he has an agenda of his own—steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter—the love neither had thought possible.…


Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million




Twisted
Intertwined 3
Harlequin Teen, August 30, 2011
Sixteen-year-old Aden Stone has had a hell of a week. He's been:

Tortured by angry witches. Hypnotized by a vengeful fairy. Spied on by the most powerful vampire in existence. And, oh, yeah, killed—twice.

His vampire girlfriend might have brought him back to life, but he's never felt more out of control. There's a darkness within him, something taking over…changing him. Worse, because he was meant to die, death now stalks him at every turn. Any day could be his last.

Once upon a time, the three souls trapped inside his head could have helped him. He could have protected himself. But as the darkness grows stronger, the souls grow weaker—just like his girlfriend. The more vampire Aden becomes, the more human Victoria becomes, until everything they know and love is threatened.

Life couldn't get any worse. Could it?


Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million




Lord of the Vampires
Royal House of Shadows 1
Harlequin, August 23, 2011
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out….

Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate "The Dark Seducer" had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.

In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai's memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.


Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million



Dark Taste of Rapture
Alien Huntress 6
Pocket Star, August 23, 2011
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter captivates with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, and a powerful AIR agent consumed by his desire for a woman he can never have. . . .

With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure . . . or unending pain. . . .

Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped—and he has a deadly secret. He is a walking weapon, capable of killing with a single brush of his fingertips. Little wonder he's determined to remain on his own. But Noelle Tremain is a temptation like no other. She is beautiful and rich, with a party girl smile that hides a shocking vulnerability, and from the beginning his sizzling attraction to her is undeniable. For the first time, his stone-cold resistance is tested. But to be with her, he risks destroying her.

When a wealthy businessman is murdered in New Chicago's seediest district, the two are partnered, and there's no escaping what they both want: each other. Yet neither Hector nor Noelle knows what to fear more—the killer case, or their own lethal desires. . . .


Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million




Gena's Links

Website
Official Facebook page
Twitter page
Young Adult page
Amazon page


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter at The Qwillery will win a signed copy of  The Darkest Surrender from Gena Showalter. Head over to Books-n-Kisses and enter for a chance to win there also! Two copies of the book will be given away - one at each blog. US mailing addresses only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:



What is your favorite book by Gena 
or 
which of her books are looking forward to the most?


Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter and/or your blog. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter or your blog multiple times.

Note:  It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Answer the question (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter and/or personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview with Isabel Cooper and Giveway - September 26, 2011

Please welcome Isabel Cooper to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Isabel:  I don’t really need peace and quiet to write: I completed most of No Proper Lady when I was at work, and have written the sequel while on lunch break or on the train. I’m very good at tuning out distractions when I’m writing, which lets me get work done, but which I suspect makes me reasonably hard to live with.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Isabel:  My favorites in fantasy and horror: Stephen King, Mercedes Lackey, Robin McKinley, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, S.M. Sterling, and E.E. Knight. In romance, my favorites include Emma Holly, Angela Knight, Julie Anne Long, Rose Lerner, and Susanna Fraser.

All of these writers have been pretty influential to my writing, since I pick up influences like a sponge. Lovecraft, King, Sterling, and Knight have probably contributed the most to my world-building (though I do a somewhat more optimistic universe than H.P.), while Carey, Holly, and Knight have been most influential on my romance plots.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Isabel:  That depends on how many meetings I have to sit through. I tend to write out vague plots when I’m in boring situations and need to look like I’m writing, then flesh things out more spontaneously.

TQ:  Describe No Proper Lady in 140 characters or less.

Isabel:  She’s an assassin from a future where demons rule Earth. He’s a Victorian occultist whose friend turned to a dark path. They fight crime!

TQ:  What inspired you to write No Proper Lady?

Isabel:  I tend to write stories in my head when I’m walking—I commute on foot a fair amount—and one of them started with a Victorian guy watching as a woman in leather armor skinned some sort of demon. That seemed to lend itself to time travel, and I decided I wanted to give my heroine a reason to come back in time: “sent from the future to change the past” came to mind, as it would for anyone of my generation, and the novel took off from there.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of No Proper Lady?

Isabel:  The Internet was very helpful, particularly since I wrote a lot of the novel at work, where looking things up in books would be risky! That said, I learned a lot from Daily Life in Victorian England, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, and Inventing the Victorians. It also helped that I’d taken a couple classes in college on magical belief and practice through the ages, and I keep in touch pretty well with the professor who taught them. Some of the material there provided the occult details.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the novel?

Isabel:  I’m really fond of the final confrontation and some of the lines I got there; I also quite like the dancing scenes, both the one where Simon is giving Joan lessons and the one where they’re actually at the ball. The fancy dress and the charge of dancing with someone you’re attracted to is a lot of fun to describe.

TQ:  In No Proper Lady, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Isabel:  Joan was definitely the easiest. Her voice came very naturally to me, and I had no trouble figuring out what she’d do in any given situation.
Eleanor, on the other hand, was really tough. I needed to show her progression out of trauma to a place where she can take initiative, and pacing that was hard.

TQ:  How many books are planned for Englefield series?

Isabel:  The Englefield series has three books so far: No Proper Lady, No Honest Woman, and No Time at All. Each is going to be a basically stand-alone novel, though with some characters overlapping.

TQ:  What's next?

Isabel:  Next is No Honest Woman, a novel set at Englefield when it becomes a school for future guardians of humanity—sort of Victorian magical X-Men. Two of the faculty start out fighting and end up falling for each other, while the students and their powers cause all sorts of trouble.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Isabel:  Thank you for having me!



About No Proper Lady

No Proper Lady
Englefield 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca (September 1, 2011)

It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.

England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and in 200 years demons will destroy it all. Unless Joan, a rough-around-the-edges assassin from the future, can take out the dark magician responsible. But to get close to her target she’ll need help learning how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.

Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.


About Isabel

Debut author Isabel Cooper lives in Boston and maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing. She only travels through time the normal way and has never fought a demon, but she can waltz. Her next book, No Honest Woman, will be in stores in April 2012. For more information, please visit http://isabelcooper.wordpress.com.







The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  Two commenters will win a copy of No Proper Lady from Sourcebooks. US and Canadian mailing addresses only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you were time traveling to the past, what is the one thing 
you would absolutely want to bring with you? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, October 3, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

The View From Monday - September 26, 2011

Welcome to the the last Monday in September. This is another busy week at The Qwillery.

Monday:  Interview with debut author Isabel Cooper - No Proper Lady (Englefield 1)

Tuesday: Interview with Gena Showalter - This is a joint interview with Books-n-Kisses

Wednesday: Interview with George Mann -The Immorality Engine (Newbury & Hobbes Investigations 3)

Thursday: Interview with debut author Christopher Buehlman - Those Across the River

Friday:  Guest Blog from Stephanie Dray - Song of the Nile

This week's releases are below. A book shopping list in PDF format may be found by clicking here. Click "File" on the left and then "Print (PDF)." Book trailers are below.

September 26, 2011

Cold Fire
Elliott, KateF - Spiritwalker Trilogy 2


September 27, 2011

Debris (d)
Anderton, JoSF/F - Veiled Worlds 1
Darkness Unbound
Arthur, KeriPNR - Dark Angels 1
Bound by Blood
Ashley, AmandaPNR -Bound 2
Myth-Interpretations
Asprin, RobertEF - Collection
Conquer the Dark
Banks, L. A.UF - The Dark 2
Must Love Vampires
Betts, HeidiPNR
The Hum and the Shiver
Bledsoe, AlexF
Cryoburn (h2mm)
Bujold, Lois McMasterSF - Vorkosigan Saga 13
Red Phoenix
Chan, KylieF - Dark Heavens 2
A Thief in the Night
Chandler, DavidF - Ancient Blades 2
In Blood We Trust
Cody, ChristineF/SP/W - Bloodlands 2
Vacation
Costello, Matthew J.H
Darkness Falling
Crowther, PeterSF
Bones of Empire (h2mm)
Dietz, William C.SF
Spider's Revenge
Estep, JenniferUF - Elemental Assassin 5
Weight of Stone
Gilman, Laura AnneF - Vineart War 2
The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes
Golden, Christopher (ed)H - Anthology
An Angel for Christmas
Graham, HeatherPNR
A Vampire Christmas Carol
Gray, SarahMU
Halloween
Guran, PaulaF/H/SF - Anthology
Bloodstone
Holzner, NancyUF - Deadtown 3
Oceanborne
Irons, KatherinePNR - Seaborne 2
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 22
Jones, Stephen (ed)H - Anthology
Alterant
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
Love, Dianna
PNR - Belador 2
Lord of Souls
Keyes, GregEF - Elder Scrolls 2
Bolos: Their Finest Hour (tp2mm)
Laumer, Keith (creator)SF - Collection
Redlaw
Lovegrove, JamesUF
The Immorality Engine
Mann, GeorgeSPM - Newbury & Hobbes Investigations 3
Steel and Other Stories
Matheson, RichardSF - Collection
Dead Bad Things (h2mm)
McMahon, GaryH - Thomas Usher2
Blood Rights
Painter, KristenUF - House of Comarré 1
Sins of the Angels (d)
Poitevin, LindaUF - The Grigori Legacy 1
Ganymede
Priest, CherieSP - Clockwork Century 4
All Men of Genius
Rosen, LevSF/SP
Troubled Waters
Shinn, SharonEF
The Darkest Surrender
Showalter, GenaPNR - Lords of the Underworld 10
Sexiest Vampire Alive
Sparks, KerrelynPNR - Love at Stake 11


September 28, 2011

The Revisionists
Mullen, ThomasSF


d - Debut
h2mm - Hardcover to  Mass Market Paperback
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback

EF - Epic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
MU - Mashup
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
SPM - Steampunk Mystery
ST - Supernatural Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy



Book Trailers


The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe





Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin