Interviews Archives

Author Beth Cato joined Fran Wilde on Cooking the Books podcast to celebrate her debut from Harper Voyager, The Clockwork Dagger.

You can read the first chapter of The Clockwork Dagger at Tor.com.

The ingredients for Cooking the Books podcast #004 – “The Clockwork Kitchen: Cooking the Books with Beth Cato” include:
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James Dashner was born and raised in Georgia but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He has four kids, which some might think is too many but he thinks is just right. Once upon a time, James studied accounting and worked in the field of finance, but has been writing full time for several years. (He doesn’t miss numbers. At all.)

In his free time, James loves to read, watch movies and (good) TV shows, snow ski, and read. (Reading was mentioned twice on purpose.) Most of all, he’s thankful that he gets to make a living writing stories and considers himself pretty much the luckiest guy on the planet.

I was lucky enough to interview James about the Maze Runner book series, the (huge!!) new movie based on it, and much more!


Kristin Centorcelli: I’m very, very excited for The Maze Runner movie, and really enjoy the books as well! What inspired you to write the series?

James Dashner: Lots of different things, accumulated over the years. I think the first spark came when I watched The Shining as a kid. I was scarred for life by the scene at the end where Jack chases his kid through the garden maze with an axe. Books like Lord of the Flies and Ender’s Game. The TV show Lost. I think you can see all those influences.
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MIND MELD: Books That Carried Us Outside Our Comfort Zone

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This week we asked our participants to talk about reading out of their comfort zone…

The right kind of author, and the right kind of book, can lure readers to try subgenres of fiction and genre fiction that they wouldn’t normally think to try. These authors and books lure unwitting readers into trying and embracing a new subgenre by virtue of being well-written, subverting genre expectations, and sometimes being a case of a favored author trying a new subgenre and following her into it.

Q: What authors and books have gotten you to try new subgenres of fiction and genre fiction?

Here’s what they said…

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Chuck Wendig, author of Blightborn, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.

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We have an additional entry on our Mind Meld on Disabilities in Speculative Fiction, from Nebula Award winning author Vylar Kaftan!

Q: What are some examples of speculative fiction titles where disabilities and disabled characters have been handled the right way? Are there specific disabilities that you’ve yet to see written into a speculative fiction story in a positive way?

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Christa Faust is a successful horror and crime writer. Her novel Money Shot for Hard Case Crime won the Crimespree Award and was nominated for several others. She has written tie-ins to Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Twilight Zone amongst others. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and loves vintage shoes and noir cinema. Christa is the author of three Fringe tie-in novels for Titan Books: The Zodiac Paradox, The Burning Man and the newly released Sins of the Father.


Alvaro Zinos-Amaro: The Zodiac Paradox, the first of your three Fringe novels, is an exciting, suspenseful thriller that does a great job of establishing the early relationships between Walter Bishop, William Bell, and Nina Sharp. How much of a Fringe fan were you before WB and Titan books approached you to write these tie-ins?

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Rob Bedford on The Functional Nerds Podcast

Rob Bedford, blogger and book reviewer for Tor.com, SFF World and SF Signal, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.

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Benjanun Sriduangkaew writes fantasy, science fiction, and has a strong appreciation for beautiful bugs. Her short fiction can be found in Tor.com, Clarkesworld,various Mammoth Books and best of the year collections. She is a 2014 finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her debut novella Scale-Bright is out now from Immersion Press.

[Note: I loved Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s Scale-Bright, and talked to her about the myths and legends that inspired it. Indeed, in contrast to references to King Arthur, Roland, Robin Hood or William Tell, Scale-Bright’s mythological matter comes from a completely different tradition. Here, she reveals the secret references and allusions in the novella. You may want to read Scale-Bright before reading this. You should read Scale-Bright in any event. - Paul Weimer]

Beyond The Great Wall Of Europe: The Myths And Legends of SCALE-BRIGHT

by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

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MIND MELD: Disabilities in Speculative Fiction

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Sarah Chorn’s highly successful Special Needs in Strange Worlds column…the recent Kaleidoscope anthology…the upcoming Accessing The Future anthology… Fiction focusing on discussions of disabilities, different abilities, special needs and different needs are increasingly important in the speculative fiction community.

With that in mind, here’s what I asked our panelists:

Q: What are some examples of speculative fiction titles where disabilities and disabled characters have been handled the right way? Are there specific disabilities that you’ve yet to see written into a speculative fiction story in a positive way?

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Here’s a 1984 video interview with Harlan Ellison in which he talks about George Orwell’s 1984, among other things….

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Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. There’s a story in there involving falling in love and flunking out of med school, but in the end it all worked out all right, and, quite frankly, the medical community is far better off without him, so we won’t go into it here. His debut novel, No Hero was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a funny, dark, rip-roaring adventure with a lot of heart, highly recommended for urban fantasy and light science fiction readers alike.” Barnesandnoble.com listed it has one of the 20 best paranormal fantasies of the past decade, and Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels described it as, “so funny I laughed out loud.” His short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Chizine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as anthologies such as The Book of Cthulhu 2 and The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year One.


Haralambi Markov: Hello, Jonathan. Welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s get right to it. Your sophomore novel – Yesterday’s Hero – is hitting the shelves soon. I’ll pretend I’ve no clue what it’s about. How would you sell it to me in as few words as possible?

Jonathan Wood: A team of misfit secret agents from England attempt to thwart the diabolical plans of a team of time-travelling Russian wizards. Hijinks and a zombie T-Rex ensue. How’s that?

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The recent graphic interpretation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book afforded me the chance to interview the legendary artist P. Craig Russell. I lept at the opportunity which lead to a discussion that touched on a variety of topics including Neil Gaiman, art, young adult fiction, Busby Berkley, and why Russell had no social life for three months.


RICK KLAW: Unlike your previous adaptations, you worked with a variety of artists. How does your approach differ when you aren’t doing the art?

P. CRAIG RUSSELL: The only difference in my approach to the art when working with other artists is that I put a little more effort into designing the picture within individual panels. If I’m doing it for myself I only need a few squiggles to remind myself weeks or months later what needs to be drawn in that panel. For other artists I spend more time on a recognizable composition, sometimes adding/suggesting background details.
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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, and the last post was so much fun, I thought it might be high time we give 2014 debut authors their turn:

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

Here’s what they had to say…

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Jack Heckel is the writing team of John Peck, an IP attorney living in Long Beach, CA who is looking forward to the upcoming release of Once Upon A Rhyme, and Harry Heckel, a roleplaying game designer and fantasy author, who is looking forward to the publication of Happily Never After.

“Jack” — er…”Jack” and Prince Charming, that is — kindly answered a few of my questions about ONCE UPON A RHYME!
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Sylvia Izzo Hunter, author of The Midnight Queen, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.

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MIND MELD: Underappreciated Genre Authors

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Even great writers can get lost among the ever-growing stacks and stacks of genre literature or fade from memory in the course of time. Sometimes a writer’s talent far outweighs his or hers status among the reading public. With that in mind we asked our esteemed panel the following question…

Q: Which genre author, living or dead, do you think deserves more recognition? Why?

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Amy Herrick is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Every morning, she and her dog take a long walk in Prospect Park looking for adventure. They’ve seen and heard many wondrous things there, some of which have served as inspiration for this story. The Time Fetch is her first book for young readers. Learn more at AmyHerrick.com.

Amy was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about how the The Time Fetch came into existence, her love of folklore, and what she’s working on next!

[Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers, we have three copies of The Time Fetch up for grabs -- check the bottom of this post for details about the give away!]


ANDREA JOHNSON: Your brand new book is The Time Fetch. Can you tell us what the story is about?

AMY HERRICK: The Time Fetch is a modern-day winter solstice fairy tale. It also has some elements of mythology and science fiction which crashed the party without an invitation.
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It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of M.L. Brennan’s American Vampire series. If you’re into urban fantasy you’ll want to read Generation V.

Recently I got the opportunity to read/review the third book in the series, Tainted Blood (out November 4 from Roc) and I loved it. I also got the opportunity to pick Brennan’s mind about the series.


NICK SHARPS: Sell me Tainted Blood (American Vampire #3) in one sentence.

M.L. BRENNAN: Fortitude Scott gets thrown into the deep end when his brother’s personal crisis means that he’s stuck monitoring the family territory – just in time for the murder of the werebear leader to land him and his wingwoman, kitsune Suzume, on the trail of a killer.
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Peter Liney was born in Wiltshire but has spent a large part of his life overseas. He has written sitcoms for ABC and Channel 4, and drama for the BBC and South African radio. The Detainee is his debut novel. He lives in Salisbury.

Peter was kind enough to chat with me about INTO THE FIRE, the next book in his dystopian series.


Kristin Centorcelli: Book 2 of your dystopian trilogy, INTO THE FIRE (after THE DETAINEE), is already out in the UK, and will hit the US in 2015. Will you tell us a bit of what we should expect from this instalment, and our hero, Clancy?
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Australian author Yolanda Sfetsos can be described as a wife, mother, writer, bibliophile, dreamer, animal lover, and lover of supernatural and all thing horror related. She was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk with me about her current science fiction romance series Recast, NaNoWriMo, how far e-publishing has come, and her other series. You can learn more about Yolanda by visiting her website, or following her on twitter as @YolandaSfetsos or Goodreads.

Let’s get to the interview!


AJ: You’re currently working on your Recast series, the first two of which (Wither and Clash) are being reprinted from Samhain publishing. Tell us a little about this series, and what types of plot lines readers can expect. From reading the synopses of the novels, I know my first question is “What’s a ‘recast'”?

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