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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Goth Chick News: 13 Questions for Chad Bednar, Author of Keeper of the Sins

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Chad BednarWe met author Chad Bednar at this year’s Chicago Comic Con when he lured us into his booth with his stories promising vampires, evil artifacts, and the Vatican.

What can I say?  Not all girls like chocolates and flowers.

After reading the first installment in his Keeper of the Sins series, it was obvious that you all needed to meet Chad as well.  With Black Gate being an oasis for emerging authors, where they can always be assured of a cushy chair, an adult beverage, and a warm welcome – everyone, meet Chad Bednar.

Chad, meet everyone.

GC: How did you first get into writing?  Was it to meet girls?

CB: No, nothing that weird.  Besides, I met the girl of my dreams in a cadaver lab (GC: Really? You’re always welcome in the Goth Chick News office in that case).  I started writing because I had more to say, but only thought of the perfect way to say it later.  My brain is irritating that way.

What was your inspiration for Keeper of Sins?

It’s a dovetailing of a number of my interests.  I am constantly distracted by all things fantastical.  If the SyFy channel had been around when I was younger, I would have starved to death in front of it.  The question of faith is a journey I’ve wrestled with, and this is my lifelong research.

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Mark Lawrence and the Prince of Fools

Friday, July 4th, 2014 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

Mark Lawrence-smallI’d been wanting to talk with the talented Mark Lawrence about his writing process for a long time and the occasion of his release of Prince of Fools (not to mention the wining of a certain prestigious award) seemed like as good a justification as any. Mark kindly answered all of my questions in detail. I hope you’ll find them as interesting as I did.

Howard Andrew Jones: Congratulations on winning the David Gemmell Legend Award. What was the ceremony like?

Mark Lawrence: Thanks, it was the only award I’ve ever been interested in winning, so it was very gratifying to do so!

I couldn’t tell you what the ceremony was like. I’ve only been further than ten miles from my hometown once in the last ten years. My youngest daughter (10) is very disabled and I’m needed to look after her. Even when we have carers in I still need to be around to lift her. So getting away is very difficult indeed. Add to that the fact that I was sure I had zero chance of winning!

I do know the event was held at the headquarters of the Magic Circle in London which is a very nice venue and it was well attended. My agent received the award on my behalf. I would loved to have been there.

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On the Deck of a Sinking Ship: An Interview with Robin Riopelle

Saturday, May 31st, 2014 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

Deadroads 9781597805131Robin Riopelle is the debut fantasy author of the novel Deadroads, released by Skyhorse Publishing’s newest imprint, Night Shade, in April of 2014.

The publication of her first novel was a bit more stressful than it normally would be, because her original publisher, Night Shade Books (NSB), teetered on the edge of bankruptcy a year ago, just as the novel was about to be released.

So, just to start with the basics of the story, when did you write Deadroads, what is it about, and what was the process to sell it to Night Shade?

Deadroads was written fairly quickly about 3 years ago. I was inspired, I guess you could say, really intrigued by the connection between Acadian and Cajun cultures.

I’ve always liked darker fiction and I have always written stories with an element of magic, but not capital M magic. Supernatural elements in my stories need to feel organic and slight. Deadroads is about a fractured family with roots in both Louisiana and New Brunswick, and about how they come together while trying to find out what killed their father. Of course, a larger and more ominous mystery about their parents’ past is revealed.

And there’s ghosts. A lot of ghosts.

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Author Spotlight on James Sutter

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

redemption engineI recently got a chance to talk with my friend (and editor) James Sutter about his new novel, The Redemption Engine, which debuts this week. In this wide-ranging and honest Q&A, James talked about his book and characters, the writing process, misperceptions about genre fiction — particularly of the tie-in flavor — and his hopes and dreams.

What would you say to someone wary of reading game fiction? (I would personally point them towards your first novel, Death’s Heretic, being number three on the Barnes & Noble Book Club’s 2011 Best Fantasy list.) But what would you say?

 

I would say that I used to be wary of it, too. As a kid, I read a ton of tie-in novels for properties like Star Wars, Dragonlance, etc. Then I got older and snobbier, and decided that anything with a logo couldn’t possibly be quality art. I won’t pretend there wasn’t evidence for that — a lot of tie-in books aren’t great. But as Theodore Sturgeon taught us, a lot of any art form isn’t great.

Once I started working in the game industry and realized just how many fabulous authors have done or currently do tie-in work, my opinion changed again. When you’ve got folks like Brandon Sanderson and Greg Bear writing tie-in novels, can you really claim that they’re somehow going to lose their chops just for that one book? And the truth is that great authors have always written novelizations, scripts, tie-ins, and other work-for-hire. Hell, Isaac Asimov himself wrote the novelization for Fantastic Voyage.

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Art of the Genre: An Interview with David Martin

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Scott Taylor

tumblr_mwxucxtvi61ro2bqto1_500So it’s April, which is a lovely time of year here in L.A., with moderate temperatures in the mid-60s and 70s most days as the city gets ready for June Gloom to set in and cast a shadowy marine layer over everything for a month.

I was hoping to relax in the splendor of Ryan Harvey’s satisfied silence at the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as Kandi’s casting as innocent bystander #3 for the next Michael Bay film (you know, the beautiful young woman who gets filmed in slow motion from a gratuitous boob angle as some huge vehicle flies over her head), when my phone decided to ring.

Now there is only one person that calls me when I really, really don’t want to get a call, and that is always our editor John O’Neill.  To make things worse, this time not only was he intent on sending me out for an interview to the New Mexico desert (temps already climbing in to the 90s), but I was to take Goth Chick with me.

Why?  I have no idea, as her mission was coded ‘top secret’, although my money is on a clandestine meeting with UFO witnesses around Roswell.  Whatever the case, I soon found myself boarding a plane (yes, out of Long Beach again) with Chick.  I was pleased, however, that she was searched by the TSA four times before she made it through security, but that joy quickly evaporated when I had to sustain the brunt of her dark mood for the two-hour flight into Albuquerque.

Still, Chick is always fun to have around, and after a few miniature bottles of vodka, followed by a solicitation to join her in the ‘Mile High Club’, she was back to her caustically lovely self.  Now I know what you’re thinking, but a gentleman never kisses and tells, and besides, what happens above Vegas, stays above Vegas.
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Rising Star Indie Publisher Mirror Comics on their Weird Western Mission Arizona

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

a MISSION_GN_00_cover_02bMission Arizona, the graphic novel from indie publisher Mirror Comics, recently came out on ComiXology. I already had a paper copy and loved this take on the weird western (like the dark weird westerns Buried Eyes by Lavie Tidhar or A Feast for Dust by Gemma Files), but I knew less about making comics or the changes in the comic book industry with e-comics sites like ComiXology, so I decided to chat with Mirror. Dominic Bercier is the president and publisher (and artist of Mission Arizona), while Kristopher Waddell is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher (and the writer of Mission Arizona). Both live in Ottawa, Canada.

Mission Arizona is a dark weird western about an old west town that has an unpleasant crossing with the supernatural world. Its outlaw hero is destined, by fate and birth, to face this supernatural evil.

Derek: Where does Mission Arizona come from? It’s got a bit of a spaghetti western feel, overlaid with the destiny of facing off against a terrible evil, but begins with a travelling showman sequence. How did these different flavors make it into the mix?

Kris: My interest in writing in this genre came from my childhood experiences watching old Roy Rogers and Gene Autry westerns with my Dad. Horror has always interested me because I’m fascinated by the abject, and our culture’s obsession with fearing the other. It probably doesn’t help that I watched Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws and Alien at a very young age.

In Mission, I really wanted to explore loss and redemption. Padre Martin Risk loses his wife and child, Samuel Risk loses his home and his family, while the town of Mission loses its soul. I wanted to write about the struggle and the consequences of dealing with loss, and the protagonist’s fight for redemption.

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Basic Dungeons and Dragons is Still Kicking: An Interview with Module Writer Geoff Gander

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

To_End_the_Rising_Web_CoverGeoff Gander is a dark fantasy writer and D&D module-creator living in Ottawa, Canada. Geoff and I met over early morning coffee to talk gaming.

Derek: So, you write Basic D&D modules. You’ve had 2 modules printed by Expeditious Retreat Press. Even when I was a small town teenager, I could still get my hands on a variety of role playing games, especially AD&D, making Basic seem like yesterday’s news. Now, twenty-five years later, people are paying you money to write modules for Basic. Where’s that market coming from?

Geoff: We’re seeing the rise of old school gaming in classic pen-and-paper RPGs as well as computers. Many old schoolers who played D&D and similar games in the 80s are now introducing the games to their children, or they may have followed the general flow of gaming culture towards the latest products on the market, and have grown nostalgic for what got them into the hobby in the first place.

There are also people like me, who grew dissatisfied with the quality of mainstream gaming products and stayed with the systems they enjoyed, long after they went out of print.

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Magic, and Miracles: An Interview with Bruce McAllister

Saturday, January 25th, 2014 | Posted by Garrett Calcaterra

Bruce McAllister-smallBruce McAllister lives in idyllic old town Orange, California. Outside his 1914 craftsman-style home, wild parrots squawk as they fly overhead from sweet gum tree to palm tree to an aged church bell tower in the distance. Inside, the home is neat and sparsely furnished. The only semblance of clutter is in McAllister’s writing office, where the desk is smattered with a few sheets of loose-leaf paper, and where along the sidewall, piled on top of a fold-out table and in plastic bins beneath it, he keeps his cobble collection. These fossil-riddled rocks are from the Santiago Creek riverbed where he routinely walks with his dog Madge. Like the seashell collection he had as a boy — and which plays a prominent role in his newest novel, The Village Sang to the Sea: a Memoir of Magic — these cobbles are a reminder of the wonder in the world around us, “rationale mysticism,” as he calls it.

Similar to Brad Latimer, the protagonist in The Village Sang to the Sea, McAllister grew up in a military family and lived in Italy for a time. Like Brad, his hunchback teacher caught him writing a story one day and, rather than punish him, the teacher encouraged him.

When he was sixteen, McAllister became nettled with another teacher, this one back in the United States, who was overemphasizing the importance of symbolism in literature. In an act of annoyed defiance, McAllister wrote a now famous letter, which he sent to 150 authors, including the likes of Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Fritz Leiber, wherein he asked their thoughts on symbolism in their work and whether it was ever purposeful. To his surprise, the vast majority of the authors wrote back. “It was a miracle they responded,” he says.

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