Monstress: An Interview with Marjorie Liu

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

Marj-Monstress-Issue-1-Cover-smallOn November 4th, Image launched a new comic series called Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. Liu is already well known as a New York Times Bestselling novelist, and from her work on Marvel titles such as Wolverine, X-23, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men. I had a chance to interview Marjorie about Monstress.

Derek Kunsken: I read Monstress, and I have to say I was absolutely floored by how beautiful it is. I’ve seen Sana Takeda’s work with you on X-23, but it seems like all the stops were pulled out here. Not only that, the setting is original and the theme of inhumanity reminds me of Scott Snyder’s Wytches.

Marjorie Liu: You’re so kind. I’ve also been floored by Sana’s work on this book. I had a vision, I knew what I wanted Monstress to look like — but Sana took those ideas and just made them explode on the page. Her character designs, too, totally altered the story. I had one idea of what the book was going to be about — and then I saw what the monster looked like — and everything changed in that moment. For the better.

The revelations in the world of Monstress feel both fast and slow, drinking from the firehose, but piling up the questions on the side. Maika seems to be neither fully human nor Arcanic. Can you talk about Maika as an outcast character?

Read More »

Finding One Girl in the Whole Solar System: Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance

Sunday, November 1st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Radiance Catherynne Valente-smallCat Valente changed the way I collect books.

Actually, there’s a bit of a story there. I first met Cat at the World Fantasy Convention in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2005. We had tiny side-by-side booths in the back corner of the vast Dealer’s Room. I was hawking the first few issues of my fledgling adventure fantasy magazine, and she was selling her first books, including her novel The Labyrinth, and her poetry collection Apocrypha. We hit it off immediately. At the end of the con I bought a copy of The Labyrinth, and she autographed it for me. “I’ve only signed a few of these,” she admitted. “And I never know what to write.”

Fast forward to 2006, at the World Fantasy Convention in Austin, Texas. Cat’s fourth novel, In the Night Garden, had just been released, and everyone was talking about it. It would eventually receive a World Fantasy Award nomination, and win the Tiptree Award. I bought a copy, and asked her to sign it. “I still don’t know what to write when I autograph books,” she confessed. “What should I say?”

“Well, if you’re leaving it up to me,” I said, “I think you should write, ‘To My One True Love, John.'” Cat laughed, scribbled something in the book, and I left happy.

Now, I bring a lot of books home when I go to conventions. I mean, a lot. Boxes filled with books. I sit in my big green chair and unpack them happily, humming to myself. Sometimes my wife Alice will come and watch disapprovingly, and comment how some of the money I used could also have come in handy feeding and clothing our children. Rarely, as she is going on in this manner, a book will catch her eye. Even more rarely, as happened in this instance, she will open a book. And it just so happened that this time she opened my brand new copy of In the Night Garden.

“Who is Catherynne M. Valente?” my darling wife asked, in a casual voice that ten years of marriage had taught me was absolutely not-at-all-casual.

Read More »

Hearing Gulf: A Conversation With Allyson Johnson

Thursday, October 29th, 2015 | Posted by Julie Czerneda

This Gulf of Time and Stars-smallI’m delighted to have the chance to introduce you to the voice of the audiobook edition of This Gulf of Time and Stars, as well as the Trade Pact trilogy. Hi Allyson!

Allyson: Hi Julie! It is truly a pleasure to be having a conversation with you about the Trade Pact world. Ordinarily, the only person I’m able to speak with about a book is the engineer who’s recording me. So this is a real treat!

For me too. I didn’t expect to be involved with the audiobook process at all, let alone meet the actor! You and I have had a few phone calls to discuss vocabulary over the four books. Anyone who clicks on the sample of the latest will know at once what a wonderful job you’ve done, Allyson. I know you prepared well in advance. You told me you listened to your own recordings of A Thousand Words For Stranger, Ties of Power, and To Trade the Stars before you tackled Gulf. What did that help you accomplish?

Thanks so much for your kind words. To be honest, although I tuned into a few choice sections of the other two titles, I only had time to listen to Trade all the way through, prior to recording Gulf. But I always take copious notes about character descriptions, vocal characteristics, accent choices, pronunciations, etc. whenever I prep a book. So I was able to refer back to the index cards I’d previously created for the trilogy and create a spreadsheet that would allow for quick and easy reference in the booth. It had, however, been three years since I’d last entered Trade Pact space, as it were, and there’s nothing like hearing long passages of dialogue to refresh my mind. Listening also reminded me of plot points I hadn’t thought about in a long time, which allowed me to pick up where the story left off once I actually began narrating Gulf. I try to be mindful of the fact that listeners sometimes elect to hear books in a series back-to-back. So I need to make the transitions between those stories as seamless as possible.

Read More »

Making Comics and Animated Shorts: Ian McGinty and Welcome to Showside

Saturday, October 24th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

welcome-to-showsideComic artist Ian McGinty has worked on Adventure Time, Hello Kitty, Fraggle Rock and many other titles, for publishers such as Archaia, BOOM!, Dynamite and now Z2. Ian is making his creator-owned debut with Welcome to Showside at Z2 Comics 28 October, 2015.

Not only that, but Welcome to Showside has also been developed into an animated series, with McGinty serving as showrunner and one of the voice actors. I wanted to e-interview Ian to chat about his successes.

Thanks for the chance to chat, Ian! You must be crazy busy in these last days of October!

Haha, yeah it’s definitely been pretty insane on this end, but it’s also been super rad and exciting to see everything coming together. A lot of hard work on many people’s parts have gone into Welcome to Showside, both the comic and the animated show, and to finally be seeing the end result, it’s like, damn, you know? I never expected such a great response from people, and it’s still sort of sinking in.

Read More »

My Bookish Ways Interviews Howard Andrew Jones

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Beyond the Pool of Stars-smallKristin Centorcelli, Editor in Chief at book blog My Bookish Ways, interviewed our Managing Editor this week about the release of his new Pathfinder Tales novel, Beyond the Pool of Stars. Here’s a snippet in which Howard talks about the Pathfinder setting.

Golarion is a rich and vibrant world, and part of why I was a fan of Paizo products long before I started working for them. It generally has a high medieval technological level, with magic intercalated into many aspects of various of the world’s cultures.

One of the reasons I set this book (and its sequel – more on that in a moment) down in tropical Sargava is that I wanted to take my readers to somewhere new. There are a lot of fantasy stories with elves and dwarves set in and around feudal societies with stone castles and mighty forests.

Mirian’s world is one of beaches and ships and the lap of waves, and the cool darkness of mysterious ocean depths. She doesn’t wear armor or carry a long sword, although she might carry a cutlass. She doesn’t contend with goblins or the fey, but with monsters of the deep and lizard folk, and even the prejudice of the colonial culture ruling her homeland. She’s of mixed race, but owing to her coloration the colonials see her as native.

Read the complete interview here, and see our previous coverage of Beyond the Pool of Stars here.

Pathfinder Tales: Beyond the Pool of Stars was published by Tor Books on October 6, 2015. It is 347 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Tyler Jacobson (see the complete wraparound art here). Read more at Howard’s website.

Talking Over the Drowning City: An Interview with Christopher Golden, Co-Author of Joe Golem, Occult Detective

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

Joe Golem Occult Detective-smallI’ve been e-interviewing different comics creators (indie comics guys Mirror Comics and graphic novelist-turned-TV producer Jay Odjick) as well as comic book editors (Xander Jarowey, Heather Antos, Jake Thomas, and Daniel Ketchum, all from Marvel Comics).

This time out, I wanted to chat with Christopher Golden, a best-selling author and one half of the writing team (along with Mike Mignola) on the 5-issue series Joe Golem: Occult Detective, from Dark Horse. Issue #1 comes out in November, but Dark Horse was kind enough to share an advanced view with Black Gate for this interview :)

Click on any of the artwork in this article for bigger versions.

Hey Christopher. Thanks for the chance to chat. I read a review copy of Joe Golem, Occult Detective, and really enjoyed it. I hadn’t seen the world of the Drowning City before, but it was compelling.

Glad you dug it. Mike and I spent a lot of time crafting this world, making sure all the weird pieces fit, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what readers think.

Read More »

Laxmi Hariharan on Marketing Books in India, Her Ruby Iyer Series, and Bombay as a Modern Day Dystopia

Friday, September 25th, 2015 | Posted by Emily Mah

LaxmiRubyLaxmi Hariharan is both an indie author and a marketing professional. Her latest book, The First Life of Vikram Roy, is now for sale.

Black Gate readers will appreciate that Laxmi helped launch the SyFy Channel in Europe. Her Ruby Iyer Series is about a young woman in present day India, who is knocked off a train platform one morning, onto a live wire. 10,000 volts of electricity later, she doesn’t die as might be expected, but rather becomes much more than she ever dreamed she could be. Interlaced with her story is the mileau of modern India and ancient Bombay.

While most indie authors focus primarily on western publishing markets, Laxmi put a good portion of her resources towards marketing in her native India. As one of the first indie authors to break into this market, she’s in the ideal position to share what she’s learned from the experience.

Read More »

Call for Nominations! Meet Author, T.L. Zalecki, as She Gives an Insider’s Look at the Kindle Scout Program and Discusses Her Current Project: The Lost World (SIRENS Book 2)

Monday, September 14th, 2015 | Posted by Emily Mah

HeadshotSirensT.L. Zalecki was one of the first speculative fiction authors offered a publishing contract via the Kindle Scout program, and her debut novel, Rising Tide (SIRENS Book 1) was recently published by Kindle Press. Her second book in the series, Lost World, is now up on the Kindle Scout site, where readers can nominate it, and if it is published, receive a free copy. I’m devouring Rising Tide right now. It’s scientifically plausible mer-people in a near future dystopia with government conspiracy to boot!

Tanya was kind enough to sit down with me for a Skype interview to discuss her experience with the Kindle Scout program and share insights into how it works. As one of the first forty authors selected for a publishing contract, she set up her Rising Tide campaign while the site was still in beta. In this interview, we discuss the process of selection on Kindle Scout, the timeline for publication, and the types of rights that the publisher seeks. This program is something to consider if you want the freedom of indie publishing with some of the editing and marketing support of a big publisher.

Read More »

Sharing Creative Space: An Interview with Marvel Editor Daniel Ketchum

Saturday, August 15th, 2015 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

ketchu 3So far in this series, I’ve interviewed Marvel Associate Editor Jake Thomas, Assistant Editor Xander Jarowey, and Assistant Editor Heather Antos about their roles in the production process and their editorial voices.

Today, I wanted to e-talk about the sharing of creative territory between writer and editor. So, I’m having an e-conversation with Marvel Editor Daniel Ketchum, who edits A-Force, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Storm, X-Force, X-Men and other books.

Daniel, in an interview you mentioned that part of your job is deciding which villain the X-Men fight in the next issue. I suppose I assumed (naively) that the writer got to decide most things. How do you divide creative decision-making roles with your writers?

Haha. Truth be told, that answer I gave is more of an easy-to-grasp oversimplification of what Marvel editors do. Four times out of five, the conversation with a writer at the outset of a story arc starts with them pitching the story they want to tell. (That other one time is when something like AXIS or SECRET WARS comes up and you just shouldn’t avoid addressing it.)

Read More »

Victor Milan Talks Planet Paradise, His Many Pen Names, and a Plastic Dinosaur with Metallic Paint on It

Friday, August 7th, 2015 | Posted by Emily Mah

DinoLordsCoverSmall 74250_126262914098950_3697860_nI had the opportunity to sit down with Victor Milan last month to discuss his current release, The Dinosaur Lords. As a member of his writers group, I’ve read the early drafts of this novel and am very excited to see it in print. George RR Martin refers to it as “Game of Thrones meets Jurassic Park,” and that’s a pretty good synopsis.

Set on the lost Earth colony of Paradise, feudal society humans live among dinosaurs of all epochs – wild dinosaurs, tame dinosaurs, and even war-mount dinosaurs. Hence the awesome knight on dino-back image that graces the cover of the book. Combine this with the sudden manifestation of a mythical angel of doom, and you’ve got the kickoff event of the story.

While Victor Milan is a well-known, prolific author, many people don’t know how prolific. On top of the dozen novels out under his own name, he’s also written many, many more under pen names. His career so far spans thirty-one years of publishing history, including the infamous midlist apocalypse of the 1980’s. Together, he and I discuss the ups and downs of the business and his journey so far.

Read More »

  Earlier Entries »

This site © 2015 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.