Author Archive

Ian Miller is an artist, illustrator and writer based in the U.K. He graduated from the Painting Faculty of St Martin’s School of Art in 1970. Between 1975 and 1976 he worked for Ralph Bakshi on his Feature animation Wizards and in the 80′s worked on a second Bakshi film called Cool World. Since then Miller has done pre-production work on numerous films including Shrek.

The first collection of his work was published in 1979 by Dragon’s Dream under the heading The Green Dog Trumpet. This was followed shortly afterwards by a second volume entitled Secret Art. Miller is currently working on numerous private commissions, films and projects, including ‘The Broken Novel’.

His new book, The Art of Ian Miller, was just released this week from Titan publishing.

Hre’s my chat with Ian about his work…

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Tim Lebbon is the author of nearly thirty books, including The Island and, with Chris Golden, the acclaimed Hidden Cities series. He is the winner of numerous British Fantasy Awards and a Bram Stoker Award. He lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife and children.

His brand new book, Coldbrook, just came out from Titan, and since I loved the book so much, I was thrilled to ask Tim a few questions about it!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the new book, COLDBROOK! I absolutely loved it. I hesitate to call it a zombie book, because it’s so much more, but what was your inspiration for it? Where did the idea come from?
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BOOK REVIEW: Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In an underground facility among the Appalachians, a door has been opened into another world, but now something has come through that threatens the very existence of our world.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Interesting characters, solid story, lots of zombie action with a big twist.
CONS: Quite a few dream/vision sequences that pulled me out of the narrative a bit.
BOTTOM LINE: This is not your momma’s zombie book. Coldbrook is an intelligent thriller that offers much more than flesh eaters on the prowl.
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Donna Glee Williams is a writer, seminar leader, and creative coach. A sort of Swiss Army knife of the page, Donna Glee has seen her work published in anthologies, newsstand glossies, literary magazines, academic journals, reference books, big-city dailies, online venues, and spoken-word podcasts, as well as on stage and CD recordings. These days, her focus is on speculative fiction, aka fantasy and science fiction.

Her novel, THE BRAIDED PATH, came out in March, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about it, and more!
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

The Bram Stoker Award final ballot was recently announced, reminding me why horror as a genre is so much fun, so in that spirit, I asked our panel these questions:

Q: What first piqued your interest in horror, and why do you enjoy writing in the genre? What direction do you see the genre taking in the future, and who are a few of your favorite horror writers, books, or stories?

Here’s what they had to say…

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I’m a huge fan of the Jessie Shimmer series by Lucy A. Snyder, and frankly, I think it’s a series that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. So far, there are three books in the series: SPELLBENT (nominated for a 2010 Bram Stoker Award), SHOTGUN SORCERESS, and SWITCHBLADE GODDESS, and frankly, I want more! Well, because of Kickstarter (and Alliteration Ink), we may get more! DEVILS’ FIELD is the new book, and it’s only got about 30% more to go before meeting its goal, but it sure would be nice to exceed that goal. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to help continue a great series, and support an awesome author in the process!
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MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Rachel Morgan must deal with magical mayhem in Cincy while also juggling her forbidden feelings for Trent Kalimack in the penultimate book in the Hollows series.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Attention to detail is flawless in a fully realized magic-rich Cincinnati, and longtime fans will be very satisfied.
CONS: While fans will be satisfied, this one is not for the uninitiated. Make sure you’re caught up before diving into this one. Also, it gets off to a pretty slow (but steady) start. I personally like this, but it may try the patience of some readers.
BOTTOM LINE: With intricate characterization, plotting, and a story line that stays very true to firmly established back stories, Harrison more than delivers in one of the best urban fantasy series going.

[Note: There are no spoilers for this book, although there may be for prior books. This review assumes you're caught up with the series.]
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

I love novels that can walk the lines of multiple genres, so, in that spirit, I asked our panelists these questions:

Q: As a writer, why do you think it’s important to step outside of your comfort zones when writing, perhaps to explore other genres? What books have you read that blur the lines between genres and do it effectively?

Here’s what they had to say…

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger and The Marbury Lens. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle is his seventh novel, followed by 100 Sideways Miles, his eighth, coming in September 2014. He lives in Southern California.

I honestly do not think of “genres” at all when I write. I also don’t envision a targeted audience. I know that this goes against the philosophy of the majority, but it’s how I write. I write the story that pleases me, and I write it entirely for myself. I’m not a big fan of “comfort zones” when writing, either, because being comfortable sounds too much like sticking to the same old formula. I like to experiment with plot, narrative style, content, and structure every time I start something new. This is frequently challenging, but it keeps things interesting, too. I don’t like feeling bored or boxed in by a particular brand. So it’s always been the most difficult thing for me to precisely categorize any novel of mine in terms of genre and what it might be comparable to.

I think a lot of Vonnegut’s work scatters across the constraints of genre. I also admire Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume and Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. In terms of YA literature, I’m a big fan of A.S. King’s work.

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Kim Harrison, dark urban fantasy author of the New York Times best selling EVER AFTER, was born and raised in the upper Midwest. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. She’s currently developing what comes after the Hollows between working on the Hollows books. When not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.

Kim was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the new Hollows novel, THE UNDEAD POOL, and much more!
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Mark Frost studied directing and playwriting at Carnegie Mellon University. He partnered with David Lynch to create and executive produce the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks. Frost co-wrote the screenplays for the films Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of eight previous books, including The List of Seven, The Second Objective, The Greatest Game Ever Played, and The Match.

The 2nd book in his Paladin Prophecy series is titled Alliance and came out in January. Mark was kind enough to tell us a bit about it…


Kristin Centorcelli: I’m a huge fan of your work (especially THE LIST OF SEVEN and THE SIX MESSIAHS), and now you’ve got a YA series, THE PALADIN PROPHECY, under your belt. The 2nd novel in the series, ALLIANCE, just came out, will you tell us about it?

Mark Frost: ALLIANCE continues the story of Will West and his friends at the Center, resolving some mysteries, deepening others, as they all begin to realize the extent – and ultimate source – of their mysterious abilities
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Nick Cutter is the pseudonym for an established author, and his first novel (under Nick Cutter), is The Troop. He originally wanted to be called Lemondrop Pennyfeather, but that didn’t quite work out.

Nick stopped by to talk about The Troop, and more!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congratulations on your new novel, THE TROOP! It’s gotten lots of great buzz (from Stephen King, no less!). Will you tell us a bit about it?

NC: Well, sure. It’s a pretty simple story. Five Boy Scouts and their troop leader find themselves quarantined on an isolated, un-populated island off the coast of Prince Edward Island, in Canada. It’s their misfortune that some rather nasty critters are sharing the island with them, which makes things rather miserable for the boys.
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[Here's an addendum to the Mind Meld about 2013 Debut Authors on Lessons They've Learned Since Getting Published, coming from Yangsze Choo]

There were so many wonderful debut authors in 2013, so I asked a few of them this:

Q: What was the most fun/unusual/interesting/etc thing you’ve learned since becoming a published author?

Here’s what they had to say…
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Gregory A. Wilson is currently an Associate Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City, where he teaches creative writing and fantasy fiction along with various other courses in literature. His first academic book was published by Clemson University Press in 2007; on the creative side, he has won an award for a national playwriting contest, and his first novel, a work of fantasy entitled The Third Sign, was published by Gale Cengage in the summer of 2009. He is a regular panelist at conferences across the country and is a member of Codex, the Writers’ Symposium, Backspace, and several other author groups on and offline.

He is currently in the process of submitting his second and third novels, Icarus and Grayshade respectively, to publishers, and he has new short stories out in the anthologies When The Villain Comes Home, edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy, and Triumph Over Tragedy, alongside authors like Robert Silverberg and Marion Zimmer Bradley. He has had three articles published in the SFWA Bulletin. On other related fronts, he did character work and flavor text for the hit fantasy card game Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, and along with fellow speculative fiction author Brad Beaulieu is the co-host of the podcast Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans, a show which discusses (and interviews the creators and illustrators of) speculative fiction of all sorts and types. He lives with his wife Clea, daughter Senavene–named at his wife’s urging for a character in The Third Sign, for which he hopes his daughter will forgive him–and dog Lilo in Riverdale, NY.

His latest project is the crowd funded graphic novel version of Icarus.


Kristin Centorcelli: Greg, will you tell us about your new Kickstarter project, Icarus?

Gregory Wilson: Icarus: A Graphic Novel is a graphic novel based on my novel of the same name, being published by Silence in the Library Publishing. It’s a story which follows the adventures of Icarus and Jellinek, two beings who are, on the surface, as different from one another as they could possibly be. Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned young man with wings, incredible powers, and no memory of anything other than his name; Jellinek is a short, flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a two-tailed lava resistant creature called a “solar” for a companion, and a general dislike of everyone around him. Together, they must defeat a race of tyrants that has enslaved the world of Vol into which Icarus plummets, and through the course of the story they discover that they are more alike than they can possibly imagine. Icarus is illustrated by the insanely talented Matt Slay, a professional comic artist.
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

There were so many wonderful debut authors in 2013, so I asked a few of them this:

Q: What was the most fun/unusual/interesting/etc thing you’ve learned since becoming a published author?

Here’s what they had to say…

April Genevieve Tucholke
April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Some interesting/unusual things I’ve learned as a 2013 debut:

  1. Use discretion when telling people you’re a writer. There is a 95 percent chance you will end up in a Fifty Shades of Grey conversation.
  2. Being an author means people will assume you’re rich and that you drink all the time. No matter what. They just will.
  3. “April Genevieve Tucholke” is far, far too long a name. It’s cocky, almost arrogant. What was I thinking?
  4. People will try to sell you their ideas for your next book. Try not to kill them.
  5. People will ask you how your sales are, and you will be too stunned every damn time to think of a good comeback.*
  6. If you leave your book lying around your parents will read it when they stay for the holidays. And you will regret those steamy scenes.
  7. Getting to meet (and occasionally hang out) with other authors never gets old.
  8. Readers rule.

* Such as: “I don’t know. How’s your salary?” or “Here’s my bank info. Why don’t you log on and check things out for
yourself?”

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Anne Charnock’s first novel A Calculated Life (47North) is one of seven nominated works for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award. It’s also a 2013 Kitschie finalist. It was originally self-published. Anne’s journalism has appeared in The Guardian, New Scientist, International Herald Tribune, and Geographical. She was educated at the University of East Anglia, where she studied environmental sciences, and at the Manchester School of Art. She travelled widely as a freelance foreign correspondent and spent a year overlanding through Egypt, Sudan and Kenya.

In her fine art practice, she tried to answer the questions, What is it to be human? What is it to be a machine?

Ultimately she decided to write fiction as another route to finding answers.

Anne and her husband met as students at UEA. They live in Chester and London where both their sons live. They are active in the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project and, as often as possible, they take to the road in their little campervan.
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Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series.

His short story, PEACE IN AMBER, just came out, and I was thrilled to chat with Hugh about the new story, and more!

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Tim Lebbon is the author of nearly thirty books, including The Island and, with Chris Golden, the acclaimed Hidden Cities series. He is the winner of numerous British Fantasy Awards and a Bram Stoker Award. He lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife and children.

His brand new book, Alien: Out of the Shadows, will be out from Titan at the end of January, and Tim stopped by to answer a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Your new novel, Alien: Out of the Shadows will be out at the end of January and is the first of a new trilogy! It also features the beloved Ellen Ripley. Will you give us a bit of a teaser as to what fans of the films can expect from the new book?

Tim Lebbon: The premise of the new trilogy (which is actually a very loose trilogy, with the stories linked by theme but little else) actually came directly from Fox, and I had to develop my part of it. My novel features Ellen Ripley in a new adventure, in new surroundings, and with new characters. Although fans will meet one other character that they know. To say more would be to give stuff away, but…in the 57 years that Ripley was adrift between Alien and Aliens, she wasn’t always asleep.
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INTERVIEW: Alma Katsu, Author of The Taker Trilogy

almakatsuAlma Katsu is the author of THE TAKER and THE RECKONING (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster), the first two novels in a trilogy about desire, obsession and the dark things we sometimes do for love. The Taker, which has been widely compared to the early work of Anne Rice, was selected by ALA/Booklist as one of the top ten debut novels of 2011 and translation rights have been sold in 14 languages. The third book in The Taker Trilogy, THE DESCENT, just came out on Jan. 7th!

Alma was kind enough to chat with me about the new book, closing out a trilogy, and more!
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Bitten – A New Syfy Series Based on the Books by Kelley Armstrong

I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, especially the books featuring Elena Michaels, the world’s only female werewolf. So I was very excited to see that a new series is premiering on Syfy on Jan. 13th (10/9c) that’s based on the books!
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

With all of the blockbuster, bestselling titles out there, and so many quality stories available, it can be easy for other titles to be overlooked, so this week, we asked our authors and panelists:

Q: What lesser-known books have you recently read that you think deserve more attention, and why?

Here’s what our panelists had to say…

Andrea Johnson
Andrea Johnson Andrea is the redhead behind Little Red Reviewer. She reads mostly scifi and fantasy, adores books that are older than she is and in her spare time enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. Someone at her day job recently told her she sounds taller on the phone.

Just reading this Mind Meld is going to make my TBR explode, isn’t it?

Everyone talks about Kage Baker’s Company series, but it’s a long series that has to be read in a certain order, making it look almost as intimidating as McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga (or moreso, since very few people will tell you what The Company series is actually about). Want just a taste to see if The Company schtick is for you, not to mention Baker’s writing style? Plant yourself in front of the short story collection In The Company of Thieves for a handful of short stories that take place in the world of The Company. There are contemporary tales, a comedy of errors, plenty of history fiction, and even a steampunk story. I can’t think of a better way to get introduced to Kage Baker if you’re not familiar with her work. I always get a little sad thinking about this series, because there will never be another book written in it.

And speaking of long intimidating series and authors who have passed away, I was insanely impressed with Iain Banks’ The Quarry. Lack of the famous middle initial means this isn’t a science fiction novel. It’s just a novel about a man’s last weekend with all his old friends, and his socially handicapped son. We get the story from the son’s point of view. When you hear the name Iain Banks, it’s so easy to jump right to “oh em gee, the Culture novels! You have to read The Culture novels!”. But what if you don’t want to read a Culture novel? What if you tried and you didn’t like them? The Quarry is all the Banks snark with none of the WTF.

On a much happier note is an anthology I just finished the other day – Sidekicks, edited by Sarah Hans. It’s from a smaller publisher, Alliteration Ink, and has very few big names to brag about in the table of contents. But that subject! Everyone loves a superhero movie (or at least that’s what IMDB tells me), but what about their sidekicks, their partners, their helpers, the guy or gal who gets the supersuit dry-cleaned and picks up coffee on the way to the Batcave? Some of the heroes know they’re in a partnership with their sidekick, other hero/sidekick relations are much more complicated. With far more depth and far less spandex than I expected, it was a very impressive collection. The sheer variety of hero/sidekick relationships and types of stories included makes this anthology worth some more mainstream attention.

Wow, I’ve been reading a TON of short fiction this year! My final book that I read recently that I think should get more attention is Clarkesworld Year Four, which includes all the original fiction published in Clarkesworld Magazine. It doesn’t matter how much screen-reading I do, I’ll always prefer a thinly sliced dead tree in my hands. Unfortunately, my propensity towards print makes it difficult to keep up with the all the short story magazines I enjoy, such as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Apex. Getting a copy of Clarkesworld Year Four opened my eyes to fact that many magazines publish annual volumes of all of the original fiction that was published in their magazine and/or on their website. Can you say Best of Both Worlds? I get award winning and innovative short fiction, and a book in my hands! All the annual volumes of the short fiction magazines should be getting more attention.

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