Author Interview with Shaun Hume

Shaun Hume reached out to me a few weeks ago regarding a possible review for his book (he complimented me on my book covers, which is the fastest way to this author’s heart) (other than salty black licorice). Unfortunately, I was unable to fit him into my schedule, but I was still intrigued enough that I had to know more!


ewan pendle and the white wraithABOUT THE BOOK

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

Paperback | eBook


Since your reviewers bring up the Harry Potter connection, I think the most important thing potential readers might want to know is how are your books different from the Harry Potter universe?

Maybe the most important world difference between Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter is the lack of magic. Magic does exist in the world of Creatures and Lenitnes, but it’s a relatively new discovery. While it certainly is an emerging aspect (hence the rather newly formed Witch Clique), few people understand it, and even fewer can perform any magic at all.

The other main difference would be the number of strong and unique female characters. I’m a massive HP fan, and love it dearly, but there really aren’t many girls within the story who take on much of a narratively propelling role. In my story it was a conscious choice to create more female characters, purely because I find them more interesting to write. This, I think, gives much more scope to the story and its characters.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Jennifer Loring

Late last year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a novella for a holiday anthology, “No One on Earth” (part of Starstruck Holidays). Today, I’m happy to revisit this sexy speculative fiction story through an interview with author Jennifer Loring.


no-one-on-earthABOUT THE BOOK

Jon, a psychic since childhood, has never felt at home in the world, even less so after his lover died on Winter Solstice a year ago. Since his abilities failed him when he needed them most, he turns to alcohol and rejects his family’s assertion that he is a Star Child—an alien/human hybrid. When Jon’s sister suggests he should look into the legend of Handsome Fellow, Jon decides that if he cannot find happiness himself, he will bring it to others.

Erukkass’ people, a species of interdimensional aliens, have been observing Earth and interacting with humans for so many centuries that some Native American tribes believe their ancestors originated from the stars. After his lover passed away in what appears to be a medical accident, he accepts a scientific mission… but not for the reasons his government expects. He has located his beloved on another timeline, in another universe—ours—and he will not leave without him.

Jon returns home from work one evening to find a gift of his own—a strange young man waiting for him. Erukkass unveils one stunning revelation after another, including the truth behind his lover’s death and the nature of time itself. Can he and Jon forge a future together, or will two timelines that have always intersected, no matter when or where, finally be forced to diverge?


The mixture of themes for the Starstruck Holidays anthology is pretty unique. Did you already have your story written, or did you write it specifically for the anthology call?

I wrote it specifically for the anthology. That’s not something I do very often, but the call intrigued me enough to give it a shot. Plus, I really wanted to write something about indigenous culture. It’s largely untapped aside from some of the more horror-oriented legends like the skin-walkers and the wendigo. Continue reading

Schedule for Cleveland ConCoction 2017

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I’m looking forward to returning to Cleveland ConCoction for my second year (March 10-12)! It’s a great mix of literary, media, gaming, and costuming focus, with something for everyone. It’s also my favorite con in terms of they way they are set up to promote authors, with an Author’s Alley where the con sets up it’s own bookshop so authors don’t have to lug their books around all weekend, and where authors can hang out and meet fans during downtime. I was so pleased to be invited back.

Let me know in the comments where you’ll be at this con so I can be sure to say hi! Or, here’s my schedule so you know where to track me down.

Friday

  • 12:00 PM: Author Perspectives on Fan Fiction
  • 9:00 PM: What is Urban Fantasy?

Saturday

  • 12:00 PM: Vampires, Werewolves, and Gods — Rewriting Legends
  • 2:00 PM: Author Showcase — Reading from the Steel Empires series, following by time for signing
  • 9:00 PM: Why Villains Matter

Sunday

  • 11:00 AM: Post Apocalypse — How Will It End?

 

Holiday Letter 2016

lucy-christmas

Lucy would like to remind everyone that she is the best present (and that the heating vent is warm).

Happy holidays to all of my readers! Every year, my husband and I send a card and newsletter to family and friends. Since I include all of you in that category, below is a (slightly redacted for privacy) copy of the newsletter. I hope you are all having a great holiday of your choice.

(In case it’s not obvious, the name I actually use in day-to-day life is Hanna!)


Dear Family & Friends,

This has been a year of changes in the Gribble household, but for the most part, they have all been for the better. Continue reading

Book Release and Author Interview: SEVEN NOBLE KNIGHTS by J.K. Knauss

7nkl-blog-tour

Congratulations to author J.K. Knauss on the release of her historical fiction novel, Seven Noble Knights. I’ve had the honor of previously interviewing this author about her contemporary fantasy novel, so it’s fun to revisit and look at how the same author can have inspiration for completely different projects. Keep reading after the jump for more information about the book and purchase links.


Vengeful Ladies and Bloody Cucumbers: J.K. Knauss on Seven Noble Knights

Spain is not a common location for European historical fiction, considering the proliferation of fiction set in medieval/renaissance England and France. What drew you to tell a story set there instead?

I’ve inexplicably loved Spain since I was about ten years old. The four years between that and when I was “allowed” to start learning Spanish were the longest of my life. Some people say I was born in the wrong country. Something about the beauty and uniqueness of Spain latched onto me and never let go. If I start talking about what’s great about Spain, I may never stop!

You’ve previously published a contemporary fantasy novel, Awash in Talent. What inspired you to make the switch to historical fiction?

It’s funny how life works out. I wrote Seven Noble Knights first—Awash in Talent arose as a break from historical accuracy. Yet Seven Noble Knights is being published second.

I’ve always been a writer, and I also started an academic career in medieval Spanish literature. When I finished my PhD, I came up with a way to combine my great passions: historical fiction! I think the historical aspect was an inevitable bridge between those two worlds, because being an academic and being a writer have quite a bit else in common. (Need for solitude, need for readers, the need to be insane to try it…) Continue reading

Con Report: ChessieCon 2016

chessielogoI had a fantastic time attending my first ChessieCon convention this past weekend! Everyone on the convention staff was lovely, and I made some great new friends.

I’d also like to specifically commend this particular convention for their dedication to accessibility throughout the events, such as offering gender neutral restrooms and reserving seats in every room for people with physical or sensory issues who might need them.

Friday

lee-and-jon-concert

Lee Budar-Danoff and Jon Budar-Danoff in concert.

I had no issues picking up my participant packet on Friday, and I arrived in time to see my local NaNoWriMo organizer perform her concert! Lee is a fantastic guitarist and singer, and I enjoyed listening to both original works and covers during her “Dystopian Set.” (Her husband Jon provides lovely backup.)

Since I had some time to kill before my reading, I ducked into the last half of a presentation on “Finding the Funny in Star Wars and Star Trek.” The presenters were delightful, and I managed to stalk them the rest of the weekend (more on that later).

Afterward, Lee and Jon were kind enough to return the favor and attend my reading, where I read short passages from both Steel Victory and Steel Magic for the audience. Continue reading

Con Report: TridentCon 2016

I’ve been to a lot of conventions, from tiny little things hosted at the local mall to the epic scale of DragonCon. I’m not at the point in my career where I can afford to turn down invitations, and I’m so pleased that I accepted the opportunity to sell books at a local gaming convention known as TridentCon. I thought it was brilliant that the organizer invited local speculative fiction authors rather than having an entire slate of games dealers. It is the rare table-top gamer who is not also a science fiction and/or fantasy fan. Continue reading

Author Interview with A.M. Justice: Parallel Paths Redux

A few weeks ago, a lovely speculative fiction author contacted me out of the blue with an interesting proposal. She had stumbled across me on the Internet and thought it would be fun if we did a bit of cross-promotion since we had so much in common. She featured me with an interview on her blog and today I’m happy to return the favor! Check back here next Tuesday for my review of A.M. Justice’s excellent fantasy novel, A Wizard’s Forge.

How much do we have in common, exactly? Besides both being medical writer/editors and military brats, today we even discovered that we share the same wedding anniversary and are married to men with the same name!


As someone who also writes crazy genre-bending speculative fiction, I’m always interested in other author’s perspectives. What made you decide to introduce elements of science fiction in a story that could easily stand alone as high fantasy?

In my day job as a medical writer, I’m required to back up every statement with documented evidence. I want what we call an evidence base to exist in my fiction too, because I like to understand why things happen. Setting A Wizard’s Forge on an alien planet rather than a fantasy world allowed me to give the humans who live among weird creatures like the Kragnashians a “documented” reason for being there. It also allowed me to let my imagination run wild and invent whole new species, rather than populate the world with elves, dwarves, and the other usual suspects of fantasy. Finally, a science fiction setting lets me play with science and religion as belief systems as Vic, the atheist, argues with her religious friends about human origins.

The next book, A Wizard’s Sacrifice, dives deeper into some of the science fiction elements. Readers will learn the biological nature of Vic’s power, which involves neurological parasites called the Woern. The fact that wizardry comes from an infection has major implications for Vic’s developing romance with Ashel, as well as her relationship with his family members. In fact, how the Woern are transmitted and their beneficial and negative effects on people is a main plot driver in Sacrifice. Readers will also see the Devices used a lot more, and will glimpse something of the nonmagical origins of these transporters. There will be a lot more interaction with the Kragnashians, Knownearth’s indigenous and highly intelligent giant insects, and lastly, there will be time travel! Continue reading