Susan Kaye Quinn on Mind Control, Cashing Out Souls, and Publishing Your Own Way

Sunday, March 29th, 2015 | Posted by Emily Mah

The Legacy Human-smallSusan Kaye Quinn is an author and a rocket scientist who hails from the Chicago area. It’s hard to say what she’s best known for. Her YA science fiction Mindjack trilogy, noir science fiction Debt Collector serial, South Asian steampunk Dharian Affairs trilogy, and middle grade fantasy Faerie Swap have all been well received.

Her most recent release is dystopian cyberpunk The Legacy Human, which is the first book of her Singularity series. A member of the Indelibles (one of the first indie author groups to take off, back in the day) and the Emblazoners (an equally pioneering middle grade indie author group), she is also the author of The Indie Author’s Guide.

Now, this interview is a little out of sync with reality. I conducted it in September 2013, and then hit some technical difficulties, and then got buried by my startup business, so I apologize that the projects she’s talking about are now all published (but that means you don’t have to wait to read any of them.)

I have the privilege of sharing a German translator with Susan, and we both started our indie careers at around the same time (I’m E.M. Tippetts in indie world, a chick-lit writer). Together we’ve seen indie publishing evolve from an unheard of option with a strong stigma, to what it is today, providing both her and me a living. I’m just lucky.

She, on the other hand, is good, so I strongly recommend you hear what she has to say!

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Developing a Voice, Fine Tuning Scripts, and Getting Neurotic About Hair Color: An Interview with Marvel Comics Assistant Editor Xander Jarowey

Saturday, March 14th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

Amazing_X-Men_Vol_2_1

Did someone say “press gang”?

life after wolverineI recently interviewed Marvel Comics Associate Editor Jake Thomas, and now I’m having an e-conversation with Xander Jarowey. Xander is the Assistant Editor on All-New X-Men, Amazing X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and Legendary Star-Lord (all under Editor Mike Marts), Nightcrawler, X-Force and Magneto (under Editor Daniel Ketchum), and All-New X-Factor and Guardians Team-Up (for Editor Katie Kubert). He’s recently become the editor on Amazing X-Men and has also edited the Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan, and is the Editor of the upcoming X-Tinction Agenda.

Thanks for taking the time for the interview, Xander. How long have you been with Marvel and how did you get in? Internship? Job application? Press gang?

Thanks for having me! My path to Marvel was circuitous. I moved to New York to work in theatrical management. I worked a few internships and had a ton of fun, but I came to a point where I wasn’t 100% sure that I wanted to stay in the industry. I’m a huge comics fan and Marvel has always had a special place in my heart. Maybe I should blame it on the X-Men cartoon?

I looked at the Marvel site on a whim and saw an editorial assistant job. It sounded a lot like what I’d been doing in theatre. I got an interview, but lost the job to Devin Lewis (who is now the assistant editor for Nick Lowe on Spider-Man). He doesn’t know it yet, but payback is coming one day. Marvel got in touch with me after the interview and asked if I’d be interested in interviewing for an assistant editor position. I had to hold in my fanboy squeal. They gave me a script and a day to give them notes. After that I went through a series of interviews and somehow hoodwinked them all into hiring me. It’s been a fantastic year and a half ago since then.

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The Middle Child of Editorial: An Interview with Jake Thomas, Associate Editor at Marvel Comics

Saturday, February 14th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

I’m having an e-conversation with Jake Thomas, an Associate Editor at Marvel Comics. punisherHe’s got a ton of editorial credits, as Assistant Editor on titles like Captain America, Avengers, Age of Ultron, and many others, as well as Editor on Iron Fist the Living Weapon, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, The Punisher and others.

Let’s cover some of the basics first. Jake, you started at Marvel as an Assistant Editor. Editors oversee production. What do Assistant Editors do for the production process?

Marvel editors are involved in a lot more than just production.

A main Editor helps develop projects, gives story and art notes, helps with the marketing of the books, all kinds of things. The nuts and bolts of production are by and large the purview of the Assistants. Assistant Editors keep files moving, track schedules, write recaps, do ad lineups, gather reference, run proofs through our various checks and balances, a bunch of the behind-the-scenes work that allows the machinery of comics to keep functioning.

They also act as another set of eyes; they can give script feedback to their editors, check the art as it comes in to make sure the storytelling is solid and everyone’s in the correct costume. Important stuff!

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Goth Chick News Catches Up With Our Favorite Comic Horror Crush: Dirk Manning

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Dirk Manning

Dirk Manning

We first introduced you to Dirk Manning way back in 2011, courtesy of his nationwide tour promoting Nightmare World, his horror comic series.

As someone who spent a significant amount of my childhood reading contraband horror stories by flashlight under the covers, Manning’s work struck a chord with his vintage-look illustrations and old-school storylines.

So it’s no surprise that his work holds a place of honor on the bookshelves in the underground offices of Goth Chick News.  Nor is it probably a shocker that due to his genre of choice (not to mention the black top hat), that he’s become a personal favorite as well.

When I learned about Manning’s latest installment of his paranormal Mr. Rhee series, I had to ask him to spill some double-secret details just for you.  And being my favorite goth guy, horror-comic crush, he graciously complied.

Let’s wade in shall we?

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Goth Chick News: 13 Questions for Exorcist… er, Depossessionist Marcus Wynne

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Marcus Wynne

Marcus Wynne

Back at the end of October, we here at Goth Chick News wrapped up “the season” by reviewing a new release The Sword of Michael, written by a truly unique author, Marcus Wynne. You see, apart from being ex-military and the current CEO of a military consulting firm, Wynne is a “depossessionist” (not to be confused with an exorcist, so my bad in the original write up).

Now before I start getting jokes about working with the government and casting out demons, know that Wynne is dead serious. Since beginning his spiritual career, Wynne has dealt with (offed? banished? eradicated?) over 1,000 entities all over the US. When coupled with his job in the US Air Marshals, that pretty much constitutes covering our backsides on multiple fronts.

It’s probably pretty obvious why we all needed to know more about Mr. Marcus Wynne, so allow me to introduce him:

Everyone, this is Marcus – Marcus, meet everyone.

With the pleasantries out of the way, let’s get down to the serious questions…

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Attack of the Gnomes: An Interview with Kenny Soward

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 | Posted by John R. Fultz

Tinkermage-smallSend in the Gnomes! No, wait, Kenny Soward has already done that.

Tinkermage, the second volume of his GnomeSaga trilogy, was recently released by Ragnarok Publications. The Ragnarok edition of the series’ first volume, Rough Magick, has been available since October, and the concluding volume, Cogweaver, will be released in February 2015.

Ken’s first novel has been praised as “The Hobbit meets Aliens meets Dirty Old Man” and “a bone crushing, blood gushing visceral experience.” Reviewers also called it “a bit quirky and certainly brilliant.” He’s making the fantasy world stand up and take notice, not to mention coining the term “#gnomepunk.” Yes, this could be the start of a whole new fantasy sub-genre.

I first met Kenny at Haggin Hall, the sophomore dorm we shared at the University of Kentucky in the late 80s. We shared an interest in heavy metal music, Conan the Barbarian, and David Letterman. Ken lived just down the hall from me for two semesters and we had some good times. I remember Ken’s daily Top Ten lists (his sense of humor is irrepressible), playing a few killer sessions of Call of Cthulhu, and driving through a snowstorm looking for a practice space so we could form a band. (We didn’t find one.)

Cut to 24 years later — lo and behold we’re both fantasy novelists. Turns out we both studied creative writing at U of K under Gurney Norman, and both of us went through a few years dedicated to playing in different rock bands in separate cities (him in Cincinnati, me in Lexington). But I hadn’t seen or heard ANYTHING from Kenny since our sophomore year of college, since I had moved out of the dorm after that year. Then, earlier this year, I discovered Rough Magick and suddenly realized this was the same guy I knew in college. Thanks to the magic of social media, our friendship resumed immediately.

Naturally, I wanted to interview Ken for Black Gate, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do it! So let’s get started…

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Goth Chick News: From Hell Gets the Small Screen Treatment from FX

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

From Hell Alan MooreThe FX Network is making bank giving us the creeps.

Earlier this week, IMDB reported the network responsible for the nightmare-inducing American Horror Story is developing a TV series based on Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s critically acclaimed graphic novel From Hell.

From Hell was published in comic form from 1989 to 1996. It totals 572 pages and I own every one, having purchased the entire series in mint condition at a flea market.

Do not underestimate the opportunities at a flea market.

The comic book series depicts a fictional account of the gory Jack the Ripper killings in Whitechapel, London as part of a conspiracy by the Freemasons and the royal family. The series also used some historical facts and actual people involved with the case to create a narrative for the story.

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Black Gate Interviews C.S.E. Cooney: From Metaphor To Manticore

Monday, October 27th, 2014 | Posted by markrigney

C.S.E. CooneyWriter C.S.E. Cooney has published two stories in the mighty trove of Black Gate‘s online fiction catalog, “Life On the Sun,” and its prequel, “Godmother Lizard.” For the following interview, she and I met in the cavernous vaults of Black Gate‘s Indiana compound, where we lounged on Ottoman divans surrounded by steampunk tapestries and several thousand of John O’Neill’s second favorite sci-fi paperbacks. The results, transcribed by a Silicon Valley drone powered entirely by herbal tea, are as follows:

What do you write? Or, if it’s easier, what do you not write?

Well, I’ve never written a tech manual for aeronautics and robotics. Man, but if I did, then I could write all sorts of cool sci fi with my awesome SCIENCE KNOW-HOW!

I generally say I write Fantasy when people ask. With the understanding that I think “Fantasy” is a great umbrella term that tucks, um, ALL OF FICTION under its shadowy wings. But mostly I mean I write Secondary World Fantasy. With a bit of urbanish fantasy thrown in. And maybe a wee slice of sci fi when I’m feeling daring. And an even weesomer slice of horror, usually in the autumn. Oh, and a dollop of the Weird, when I’m in my Gabriel Garcia Marquez mood. Oh, and that one time I tried to write a Steampunk story but I’m still not entirely sure of the outcome…

Every story I write seems to require a whole different set of tools than the last story. One is constantly reinventing one’s toolbox. Thankfully, the good old standbys like “assonance” and “simile” don’t really change. Only get better. Or subtler. If subtle is better. I don’t do subtle very well, so I naturally think it IS better, mostly because it’s this mysterious thing.

Subtlety. I’m a big fan of it.

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An Interview with Emmy Jackson, Author of Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 | Posted by Patty Templeton

the untimely death of corey sanderson coverOH MY GAWD. I loved The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson. Seriously. It’s a dusty, road-dog, land-pirate adventure ride reminiscent of Mad Max. Comparing it to the Mad Max franchise may be unfair because The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson has SO MUCH MORE. There are shapeshifters! And I actually got to see a plethora of women in the world – evil women, good women, women on the road, women in town, women who have guns, women who have families. It sounds silly to crow about women – but a lot of books only have like…eh, maybe two women characters and one is usually a girlfriend. The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic road trip full of compelling characters of all ages, genders, and species. And, holy crap, the WORLDBUILDING! There are class issues. There are townies vs. road folk politics. There are gender and conception talks to be had. I want to see more of this world. I want to talk about this world with other people. I am so glad this is a SERIES.

Oh? You want to know more? What’s it about, you ask? I’ll tell you!

Ivy Anarim is scav. She drives the country delivering packages from one town to the next, scavenging for anything she can sell or trade along the way. She’s gotten used to being alone, though she’s searching for her twin sister, Holly. What Ivy doesn’t need is a bastard gleaner beating the crap out of her, trying to steal her rig.

The man who attacked Ivy did it near Hanson’s Home, a small town in the middle of nowhere. Hanson’s Home, they’ll aid her, but it isn’t outta kindness. Ivy is untouched by Empty Cradle – a disease that can hit a woman at any time in her life and leaves her barren. A woman untouched by Empty Cradle, that’s hard to find and Hanson’s Home wants a baby for their trouble.

Corey Sanderson wants to get the hell outta Hanson’s Home. He’s a kid who’s sick of living in the sticks. He wants to see the world and Ivy and her truck are the only ticket outta town.

Do Ivy and Corey make it out of Hanson’s Home? Where would they go if they did? Can a town kid like Corey Sanderson make it on the open road? Will Ivy ever find her twin? What the hell kinda weirdos are they gonna meet on their journey?

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Hellraising, Horror, and Whimsy: An Interview With Patty Templeton

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Frank Stascik

Patty Templeton

Patty Templeton

I first met Patty Templeton in a different life. I was a mouse with no tail, and she was a rat wearing an eyepatch. We were both in a dusty attic spying a sizable chunk of cheese that was placed in the middle of a large trap. She spun me a yarn about an adventure to meet the rodent god Capy Bara, and insisted that on her journey she learned a charm that would keep the trap from springing. But she had to concentrate. So while she focused her will, all I had to do was scamper over and snag the cheddar. Her tale was so convincing that I did… and then everything went dark. I trust she enjoyed the cheese.

I met her again in this life outside a Denny’s in a suburb somewhere going on 3am. I was leaning against a dumpster smoking, and she shuffled on by. She was dragging a rolled-up carpet towards a nearby drainage ditch. She paused for breath and told me that if I ignored the feet sticking out of the roll and helped her kick it into the ditch, she’d buy me breakfast and tell me a story. A kick and a roll later, I was fork-deep in chili mac and she was telling tales.

I’ve listened to her stories for the almost ten years since, and have found them thrilling, funny, witty, and completely unique. She went on to win the first Naked Girls Reading Literary Honors Award, which I discovered was a pointy award as she literally rubbed it in my face, as friends do. Now she’s gone and published her first novel, There Is No Lovely End, which contains outlaws, ghosts, curses, buildings that live, and a buckshot spray of other ghastly goings-on, all centered around the historical figure of Sarah Winchester. She let me ask her a few questions about it… 

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