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Ask the Authors and Artists! / A God in Chains opening
« Last post by hapthorn on August 07, 2019, 08:29:18 pm »
Iíve posted on Curious Fictions the first 4500 words of A God in Chains, my new Dying Earth adventure/fantasy novel, published last month by Edge SF and Fantasy Publishing.
British Fantasy Awards / Re: British Fantasy Awards 2019
« Last post by Rolnikov on August 05, 2019, 09:48:38 am »
I've been reading as many nominees as I can this year, as a kind of summer reading challenge.

I've just finished reading all the nominated novellas, and I've written a shadow juror blog post about them. Here it is.

Bear in mind the disclaimers: this is just for fun, completely unofficial, absolutely not endorsed by the society (although I think they would encourage us all to buy and read the nominees!), and I don't know anything about what the real jurors are thinking, the criteria they'll apply, or how they are deciding the awards. This is just what I'd be thinking if I were a juror in this category. Hope you find it interesting.
Ask the Authors and Artists! / WorldCon (Dublin): where I'll be
« Last post by hapthorn on July 27, 2019, 07:49:39 pm »
It starts with a kaffeeklatch. Thatís where readers and fans sit down in a small group with an author and talk about whatever moves them. Iíll be hosting one on Saturday, August 19, from 14:00 to 14:50. The location, at the Dublin Convention Centre, is Level 3 Foyer.

Later the same day, Iíll be on a panel entitled ďA gun, a gut, and three ex-wives: the appeal of the gumshoe in SFF.Ē  That one takes place in Wicklow Hall 2B, from 19:00 to 19:50.

Then on Sunday, August 18, theyíre giving me twenty minutes to do a reading, from 20:00 to 20:20 in Liffey Room 3.

And, finally, theyíve got me scheduled for an autographing session, the afternoon of Monday, August 19. But by then Iíll be on a plane back to Canada. I should be able to move it to a better time.
Promote Your Projects / Re: To Summon the Familiar
« Last post by grimshawl on July 24, 2019, 04:20:23 pm »
To Summon the Familiar is now also available as an audio book as of today.

Promote Your Projects / Re: Parallel Universe Publications
« Last post by David A. Riley on July 20, 2019, 10:57:05 am »
For those of you who prefer their books on Kindle, the good news is that A Distasteful Horror Story by Johnny Mains is now available as an e-book. Amazon UK £5.00 Amazon USA $6.27

Ask the Authors and Artists! / A God in Chains available for pre-order
« Last post by hapthorn on July 19, 2019, 08:01:21 pm »
A GOD IN CHAINS, my new Dying Earth fantasy, is now available for pre-order in paperback and Kindle editions.

Hereís the blurb:

He calls himself Farouche, after a character from legend, but his reality is that his memories and identity were stolen from him by a secret enemy.

In a far-future world of wizards and walled cities, he finds himself trailing a wealthy merchantís caravan across a dusty plain. Possessed of a soldierís skills, he hires on with the merchant and begins to build a life. But his efforts to discover his past reveal a dark prospect: was he a participant in a notorious massacre of innocents?

Will Farouche come to know the truth? Will he survive the journey across a lawless land to the remote city of Olliphract, ruled by half-mad thaumaturges? And when he finally lays bare the plot in which he has been ensnared, will it be too late?

Matthew Hughes delivers another dark fantastical adventure set in a decadent Dying Earth, where men and half-men and even the gods themselves contend for earthly power and unearthly prizes.

Hereís a link to the Amazon listing:  http://
Promote Your Projects / Re: Parallel Universe Publications
« Last post by David A. Riley on July 19, 2019, 10:53:04 am »

Ginger Nuts of Horror reviews Johnny Mains' A Distasteful Horror Story.

"A Distasteful Horror Story is an unusual and audacious debut novel, combining Mainsí love of genre with a rollocking and twisty narritive and a payoff that will, Iím sure, be hotly debated for some time to come. I found it to be a disturbing joy to read."

To read the full review click on this link:

For more information about this remarkable horror novel:

In connection with the release of Disorder, I was very pleased to be interviewed by international bestselling author Graham Brown, co-author of the NUMA Files series with the legendary Clive Cussler.

URL source:

Graham Brown questions for Disorder:

1. Which book (or other media) would you say is your largest influence?

Itís impossible to mention just one book or film. My favourite plot structuresóthe premises of novels and movies which inspire meórevolve around high-tech corporate conflicts and conspiracies, medical horror and suspense, and overambitious mad scientist protagonists. Examples of favourite books are Coma (Robin Cook, 1977), Watchers (Dean Koontz, 1987) and The Island of Dr. Moreau (H. G. Wells, 1896). My favourite films are The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986), Hollow Man (Paul Verhoeven, 2000) and Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982).

2. What part of the book was the most difficult to write?

The interaction and the balance between two extremely different twin sistersóa supermodel and a waitressóhow they are forced to cooperate in spite of disliking each otherís company. Their father is a cutting-edge molecular biologist, a key character caught up in a conspiracy.

3. What was the seed of the book, or the very first thing that came to you as you started the
writing process?

To me, there are first things rather than the first thing. Always plural. A multitude of things arriving at the same time. Like chemical components in a reaction flask, fragments of story ideasóthe molecules of fictional intrigueóinteract and form something new. Current examples: 1) What if nobody can be held responsible for unexpected deaths in connection with a clinical trial? (influenced by a true case); 2) What if the boundary between inner and outer reality is shifted as a side effect of neurologic medication? 3) Fiction today is reality tomorrow: quantum physics is revolutionising biochemistryóchemists have traditionally ignored quantum mechanics but it turns out this special physics has a massive effect on chemical and physico-chemical processes in living organisms.

4. Did the book change a lot through different drafts? How so?

It didnít change a lot. The perfectionist in me tends to write detailed, meticulous drafts from the start. The biggest change: a character was edited out because the book was getting too long.

5. If you had to pick any aspect of the book to change, what would it be?

A tricky question. Now, as I see it, if I picked an aspect of the book to change, I would undermine the version which has been presented to readers. I wouldnít do that and thereís nothing I want to change. Iím happy with the published version.

6. How much of yourself do you find in the protagonist? Was any of it intentional?

The protagonist is a female fashion model. Her inquisitiveness is the single most important and unpremeditated character trait I see in myself. However, I believe thereís more of myself in one of the scientist characters. From extensive firsthand experience as a scientist in various laboratories and high-tech research facilities, I know scientists better than I know any other kind of people. I know how they talk, think, behave, interact and plot their lives. Iím familiar with their instincts, worries, fears, desires and priorities.

7. Did you discover anything new/unexpected while doing research?

Nothing special springs to mind regarding Disorder. May I elaborate on this? To me, this question and its potential answers are multifaceted. First, it depends on how we define research. Life itself is a journey of discovery. I can base a novel on something Iíve read without having actively researched it. Reading articles from scientific journals is part of my lifestyle. Then, at some later point, I may decide to use something Iíve read somewhere as a plot device for a book. Another two near-future thrillers I already know I want to write are fuelled by my direct experience of the arena of colloid and interface chemistry. As for a new or unexpected discovery in connection with active research, a situation did show up in relation to the book Iím currently writing, Species, a novel which in part deals with the fast-moving field of paleoanthropology.

8. If this is your first experience writing in this genre, what drew you to write the book
specifically this way? (If not, what makes this genre one you like to write in?)

I write in the genre I enjoy reading the most, that is, the thriller genre. Actually, the genre picked me; not the other way around. Certain stories force themselves on me. This feeling, this opinion, that the subject chooses the author, isnít unique.

9. Did you ever find yourself burning out on the book? How did you get through that?

Not burning out. Iíve established a habit of keeping my writing momentum going. The all-important breaks to recharge my batteries include taking long walks and watching movies.

10. What do you most hope readers will take away from this book?

That nothing is impossible. There are routes which lead everywhere and, if we have enough willpower, weíll always find sufficient means. Every scientific fact today was once denounced by authorities, religions and the elite. The resistance to innovation has often been violent. Engineers and scientists have risked imprisonment or the death penalty. Every formulation or design was seen as foolish. Every discovery was an offense to traditionalists. Every creative idea was a breach of law and firm proof of dysfunctional reasoning. History shows many examples of ascertained impossibilities which sooner or later turned out to be possibilities or plain truths. And new thinkers have always struggled against headwinds in their fight against established knowledge.

11. Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others youíve written?

Neither easier nor more difficult. I tend not to differentiate between degrees of difficulty with reference to my books. Every novel is unique and has its own set of challenges. Writing a book is hard work, irrespective of the authorís talent, regardless of his or her experience.

12. Is this a book that could be easily adapted to other media (movie, podcast, etc.)? How
much do you think an adaptation might change it?

I believe any book can be turned into a film. How much an adaptation might change Disorder or any other book depends on the director and the screenwriter. Itís important to remember that filmmakers have the right to artistic freedom. They can be faithful to the source material but they donít have to be. Either way is fine with me. 

13. Has writing this book changed your worldview at all?

Not at all. I write for entertainment.

14. How much do you think your life impacted how the book turned out?

In line with what Iíve mentioned elsewhere, my direct experience of the world of science and the inner workings of a big-city hospital have a profound influence on Disorder and my forthcoming thrillers. 

15. Is there a certain place/time of day that most inspires you to write?

Inspiration plays no part. I write when I have the time to write. I work full-time at the hospital and have to schedule my writing around those hours: evenings, weekends, and during my annual leave from the hospital. My best place to write is at home and I must be alone in my workroom. Door closed. Desk facing not a window but a blank wall (learnt it from Ingmar Bergman). I also cover the window to shut out the world outside (learnt it from Ö I think it was Isaac Asimov). Phone turned off. No music. Silence. I canít write in public places.

16. Do you have a writing routine? How well do you follow it?

A writing routine is crucial, taking into account I work forty hours a week at the hospital. Instead of writing a certain number or words, pages or hours a day, I set production targets: 15,000 words of finished text (not a first draft) a month. I follow it quite well but the monthly goal isnít set in stone. Consistency is more important. I complete a novel in about six or seven months. Another three months to polish the text. Then, and only then, I send the manuscript to my editor.

17. Do you think any books (or other media) have been bad influences on your writing?

No. I read the way I watch moviesófor pleasure. And I know what I like. I tend to stay away from things I donít like.

18. If you could pick any book to write differently (yours or anotherís) which would it be?

Not until Iím satisfied with a manuscript, I send it to my fantastic editor in London. But let me say the following: An opportunity arose to republish my early novel Mr. Maniac in an expanded and repackaged version, featuring new material. Mr. Maniac was the best book I could write in 2016/17 and thereís nothing I regret about that release back then. That said, I appreciate the forthcoming expanded version of the story, retitled Schizoid. Schizoid is scheduled for publication in late 2019.

19. What writers do you look up to most, either for their writing or as human beings?

In no particular order: Robin Cook, Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton, John Saul. I read many authors, primarily in the thriller and suspense field, but those four are my favourites.

20. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Much like mastering surgery or playing the piano, it takes years of practice to become a good writer. You must reorganise your life. Work hard. And, be yourself. That way, your style of writing will be uniquely your own.
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