Tag Archives: D.B. Jackson

[GUEST POST] D.B. Jackson on The History Behind The Historical Fiction Behind the THIEFTAKER CHRONICLES

D. B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first two books as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasies, Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, volumes I and II of the Thieftaker Chronicles, are both available from Tor Books in hardcover and paperback. The third volume, A Plunder of Souls, will be released in hardcover on July 8. The fourth Thieftaker novel, Dead Man’s Reach, is in production and will be out in the summer of 2015. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera. You can follow D.B. Jackson via his website, Facebook, on Twitter (as @DBJacksonAuthor), and GoodReads.

The History Behind My Historical Fiction

by D. B. Jackson

Boston, July 1769: The city of Boston, Massachusetts — which is really little more than a town by modern standards (a population of approximately 15,000) — is in the midst of a hot and humid summer, not unlike those that still settle over Southern New England every July and August. There is no air conditioning, of course; a fan is something to be held in hand and waved to and fro. Food cannot be refrigerated, much less frozen. Social mores with regard to fashion dictate that despite the heat, men should wear full-length breeches and long-sleeve shirts, often with waistcoats or jackets. Women are to wear full-length dresses complete with stomachers and petticoats. Oh, and there is no internal plumbing, so no showers.

This is merely the most superficial way of conveying a basic truth: Boston in the pre-Revolutionary Era, the setting for the books of my Thieftaker Chronicles, bore little resemblance to the technology-laden world in which we live today. This is hardly an earth-shattering observation. But it becomes more significant when one considers that in creating my characters for the Thieftaker books such superficial differences were the least of my concerns. The third Thieftaker novel, A Plunder of Souls is to be released on July 8. (It follows the publication in 2012 of Thieftaker, and in 2013 of Thieves’ Quarry.) The book is set during that sweltering summer I mention above, but my lead character, Ethan Kaille, and those characters with whom he interacts, take in stride the discomforts of heat and humid air. In that respect the summer of 1769 is little different from every other summer they have known.

More to the point, their thoughts are consumed with two other, far more momentous circumstances: Boston is under military occupation. And cases of smallpox have been reported throughout the city.
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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Fantasist D.B. Jackson (aka David B. Coe)

D.B. Jackson, a.k.a. David B. Coe, was born the youngest of four children who all grew up to be writers. His novels include Children of Amarid, volume one of The LonTobyn Chronicle. Which is one of my favorite fantasy series. In 1999, The Lon Tobyn Chronicles was awarded the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award by the (IAFA). Thereafter followed the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands, five volumes, and Blood of the Southlands set in the same world. He’s also written Robin Hood, a tie-in novelization for the Russell Crowe film and is a founding member and proud contributor to the Magical Words blogsite, dedicated to the craft and business of writing. The Magical Words crew collaborated on How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion from BellaRosa Books. His first urban historical fantasy, Thieftaker, released from TOR last year, and the sequel, Thieve’s Quarry, is out now. Both are fantasies set in the Revolutionary War period and absolutely blasts to read. David can be found online via Facebook, Twitter as @DavidBCoe and @DBJacksonAuthor or via his website dbjackson-author.com .

SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in science fiction and fantasy come from?

DB Jackson: Reading. Started reading Tolkien, then McCaffrey, Donaldson, and Kay.  Guy Kay is probably my favorite and the writer I most want to emulate.

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MIND MELD: Where is Urban Fantasy Headed?

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

Urban Fantasy remains as a strong and vibrant subgenre of Fantasy. Like any subgenres, over the last few years, new authors, new ideas and new motifs have often radically reshaped a genre once known for “supernaturals in the night” into a much broader category. We asked this week’s panelists:

Q: Where do you see Urban Fantasy going from here?

This is what they had to say…

Tad Williams
Tad Williams is best known as the author of the Otherland series. His most recent work, Urban Fantasy, is The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

The problem with knowing where a genre is going starts with defining the genre itself. What exactly is “Urban Fantasy”? There’s always been a category of work in what was then just called “Science Fiction” that fits this bill, from Bradbury’s October Country stuff to Sturgeon and Leiber and many others, including myself and many contemporaries. (I’d love to know what my book War of the Flowers was if it wasn’t urban fantasy.) But these days it’s also a consumer category — that is, it’s meant to narrowcast to people who apparently like fantasy stories that don’t take place in the traditional epic-fantasy environments of imaginary pasts. At the moment that means lots of fairies, vampires, werewolves, and zombies, most of which used to be thought of as components of “Horror”. So it’s hard to say. The trendy stuff — hello, bloodsuckers! — will peak and dwindle, just like serial killer novels did, but there will always be stories that can rightly be called Urban Fantasy. So I suspect it’s not a question of whether the waves will still come in — they will — but what kind of surfers will be on them. Memes will rise and decay (mostly through incestuous overuse) but as long as people stay interested in what lies behind ordinary life, I suspect the genre, at least the part that is about storytelling, will stay strong.

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