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With My Own Twists and World

Lewis D’Ambra Author Interview

The Year of the Dark Spring follows a historian examining how the people of a planet long ago reacted to a comet in the sky. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

Each of the individual stories actually came first. They are inspired by some of the myths and religions of the ancient eastern Mediterranean and Near east (and a little of the Americas too), with my own twists and world added in. However, I felt the idea of linking these stories together with one event upon which the narrative hinged, such as a comet, was an interesting way to show how various people and cultures would react slightly differently to the same phenomena, according to their own understanding of the world and their own history. The historian taking a step back to examine these events in the round then felt like a natural place to introduce the reader to this world. An event that effected the whole world and brought some big changes to humanity is certainly something I think any historian would be interested in examining.  

What was the inspiration for the culture of your characters? Is it modeled after any particular society?

The world is roughly analogous to the classical period in the eastern Mediterranean and Near east. Having studied history at university, this period has always held a fascination for me and so each of the characters and cultures in the book are modelled off the societies of Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and with some Celtic influence in there too. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The book tries to delve into humanity, not only focussing on the internal conflicts we all have, but also the tests and tensions that inevitably develop within societies and cultures. I was trying to explore the ways in which human societies and cultures are tied to the world in which they exist and that they are inevitably shaped, influenced and changed by their environments. As those environments change and evolve, so human societies, and the way we interact with each other, inevitably have to do so too. Usually this happens over years, decades and centuries, but I felt that the comet was a device that would force this confrontation to happen over days and weeks, and so beginning to test people, societies, and cultures to their limits.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on the first book in a series set in the same world. During the prologue and epilogue of The Year of the Dark Spring, the narrator mentions the ongoing campaigns of Tekolger, the King of the Doldun. This series is intended to explore the aftermath of those campaigns and so is set about thirty years after the events of the The Year of the Dark Spring. The manuscript is finished, but being edited, so I am hoping I will be able to publish it within the next year.

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Eight hundred and thirty-two years after the fall of the great city of old Kolbos and the civilisation ending event known as the Dusk, a burning red streak appears in the sky above the world of Kolgennon. The flaming tail causes the sky to darken for weeks, turning spring from a time of new life and renewal to a time of desperation and turmoil. Old myths and old gods re-emerge as the magic and knowledge that was lost to the world during the Dusk begins to return. The comet pushes societies to their limits as they struggle to contend with an unending darkness. As tensions grow, the rumble of war comes closer and each of the cultures and peoples of Kolgennon interpret and react to the omens in the sky in different ways.

This collection of short stories is set in the world of Kolgennon, in a time akin to our own classical world. Each of the nine stories places the comet as the key event of the narrative and each follows a new protagonist, seeing the events of the dark spring through the eyes of a variety of characters and settings. The narrative is framed by a short prologue and epilogue from a historian reflecting back on this time and speculating on what went through the minds of the people that these events effected.



Set in the world of Perilisc, Jesse Teller returns to this world with another series sure to captivate readers. The Manhunters series starts off with Song, and tells two story lines that intertwine. Rayph Ivoryfist is an immortal magician that has his own personal demons to fight, but is bound by honor to protect the land and the boy he believes to be the next great ruler. When the prison he built is destroyed and all the evil had brought to justice is released he knew he needed help. Rayph than builds his own army of powerful beings, with his old friend Smear at his side. Parallel to the story of Ivoryfist preparing for battle is the story of Konnon, the father that wants a cure for his daughter’s paralysis. To help his daughter Bree, Konnon must work with his partner Glyss. Together the two of them have a reputation for being unstoppable and deadly. They live up to this reputation, knowing each other inside and out. The two pair’s separate missions will unavoidably end them up together in the town of Song, the question is, who is alive in the end?

Jesse Teller has a way with describing the setting that really makes you feel like you are there. The swamps that Rayph visits, you can almost feel the mud clinging to you, smell the decaying woods and animals used for sacrifices, and feel the tension that the people around the main characters create. The level of detail that goes into settings, also goes into the action. While this is great for really getting into things, those with a weak stomach for gore might not be pleased. Teller describes in detail the torture of some characters, and details the death of many. This level of detail may not appeal to all, but Teller can also detail the compassion and love between two characters just as well. The example of Konnon and his daughter Bree. There is no question about the devotion and love he feels for his daughter, it is relatable and pulls at the heart strings. A father’s undying love and willingness to do whatever he must to save her, no matter what the cost is to himself.

One of Teller’s greatest skills is relationships. Not romantic quest love relationships, but bonds between people and spirits. These bonds draw the readers in sometimes more than the story lines do because they are so powerful and relatable. As I read Song, I felt the bonds that form between Rayph and his army. The magic that makes it so they can all be connected is just a piece of the puzzle, they genuinely build a brotherhood and work as one. Konnon and Glyss while not blood brothers move as one unit together, they are bound and know each other so well there is no need for words. It is a great read for the relationship factor alone. If you enjoy studying and reading about human (or in this case non human) relationship Teller will not disappoint. Through his use of many magical creatures from humans, to fairies, to demons, all working together for a common goal the passion for survival and willingness to put all differences aside for is apparent. Perhaps it is a good lesson for modern society, put our differences aside and work together to defeat the evil looking to rip our world apart.

Pages: 319 | ASIN: B074GP13JC

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A Thief and a Master of Code

Danny Estes Author Interview

Danny Estes Author Interview

In The Paranoid Thief Randolph finds himself thrown into a strange cell after being tried and convicted for an atrocious murder he did not commit. What was the inspiration for the setup of this novel?

At work and as an author, I use computers all the time. Because of the complexity of programming, only those who constantly read up and experiment with programming code can truly understand how to create the world we now live in. But as a writer I can briefly pretend I’m apart of these masters of code. Yet I’d like to be more. So Randolph came into being. A thief and master of code. Still, the start of the book had to introduce Randolph in way the reader could catch his personality and some of his flaws. As for the set up for the first few chapters, I simply considered what would happen if companies took over the global economy.

The Paranoid Thief is told from Randolph’s point of view and we’re often treated with a humorous look at the world through his eyes. How do you find moments of levity in dramatic fantasy novels?

I love action adventure movies. Thus I try to write in a style which is not always serious. For me to do this, I picture myself as the main character and try to see the world I created through his or her eyes.

Randolph and Jill are intriguing and well developed characters. What was your inspiration for them and their relationship?

Although Randolph is purely fictional, I have met people who have a split personally. As I like to throw in surprises, something to make readers think, I thought what would happen if Randolph had no choice but to cope with someone whose personality swings far to the right and left. I’m also a bit of a romantic, thus after some trial-and-error Jill was born.

What is the next book that you’re working on and when will it be available?

My next book is call Braxton Snow P.I. In this book animals are like people, and my main character is an arctic wolf. With luck I hope to have the story out in 2 to 4 months.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

The Paranoid Thief“In the year 2050, the United States is owned by corporations. Citizens are mere commodities used to make the already wealthy CEOs richer. Professional hacker and cat burglar RANDOLPH McCANN finds his skills sought after by average people seeking relief from the oppressive corporate system.

Then his newest client—a powerful city official—murders a family and leaves damning evidence aimed at him. As the court’s lethal injection crawls through his veins, Randolph vows eternal vengeance on the man responsible.

He awakens to find he’s been kidnapped from his execution by a corporation that uses death-row criminals to gain political power through theft and assassination. He’s assigned MAJOR JILL WANDER as a partner, a tough ex-military sniper with a dual personality who is also wrongly accused on the public record.

When a job goes south, they join forces off the grid. With Jill’s help, Randolph evades law enforcement and closes in on the man who double-crossed him. And he can clear Jill’s name at the same time—if only he can keep her from killing the wrong people.”

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