Joe Abercrombie Interview

Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law trilogy and Best Served ColdI have been a fan since the first book in the First Law found me in a bookstore, so I was very excited to ask him a few questions.  We talk shop on everything from doing research for fantasy books to the inspiration behind his next book to his favorite curse word and more.

joe abercrombie

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Jessica Bendinger Interview – Bringing It On

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Bendinger, screen writer, director, and now author.  Her best-known work, at least in my age demographic, is writing Bring It On.  Jessica also wrote and directed Stick It, with Missy Peregrim and Jeff Bridges, and last December she published her first novel with Simon & Schuster, titled The Seven Rays.  It’s a young adult caper into karma and destiny and love and teenage hilarity, and I got the scoop on her inspirations, intentions, and more in our conversation…which you can read below!

Jessica Bendinger

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Lynn Kurland Interview – Romancing the Nine Kingdoms

Lynn Kurland is the author of the Nine Kingdoms romantic fantasy series, as well as a best-selling romance author.  For all my love of dark, bloodspurting, knights who say–er, frak–fantasy, I also love the lighter side of fairy-tale, love-story high fantasy, so this series fits right in to one of my reading sweet spots.  I enjoyed the chance to ask Lynn some questions about how this series came about, what’s been most different for her in switching between genres, how far the story might go, and more.  Keep reading to find out what she had to say!

lynn kurland


You can check out reviews of Lynn Kurland books as well.

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L.E. Modesitt Jr. Interview + Imager Review

L.E. Modesitt, Jr., is the best-selling author of several fantasy and science fiction series, and a name you can’t get through any bookstore’s SFF section without encountering.  I am only familiar with his work on the Imager Portfolio.  From the first book it became one of my favorite fantasy series, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to talk about the books with him.  While I did get some great insight into certain elements in the series, the discussion somehow veered off into cultural territory that I found even more fascinating.  Note on that:  I’m breaking from my usual interviewing presentation and leaving my responses intact, even when they are long, because I’m not sure his answers would make sense without my set-ups.  That being said, I hope you enjoy the perspective!

L.E. Modesitt jr

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Nocturne by Syrie James Review

Let me be honest:  Nocturne by Syrie James is not the sort of novel that I naturally gravitate to.  I read it because it was offered to me and sounded interesting enough to try–the sort of book that a friend lends you, or that you pick up from the airport bookstore’s limited options, at least for me.  The book does not attempt to hide what it’s about; if the cover doesn’t give it away, the first chapter from the hero’s point of view does, so I don’t feel it’s a spoiler to say that this is a vampire love story, and to admit that my primary point of interest was whether, in our collective exhaustion with the variations on the form, this new story might go back to what vampires are supposed to be.

Nocturne Syrie James

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Sharon Shinn Interview – Writing, Fantasy, and Troubled Waters

Sharon Shinn is the author of nearly two dozen fantasy novels, including the bestselling Twelve Houses and Samaria series.  She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

*editors note – below I’ve combined 2 separate interviews we conducted with Sharon Shinn and put them in one easy to read location. You can also read reviews of many of Shinn’s novels discussed below.

sharon shinn

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A Madness of Angels + The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin Review

This book is well-named.  Its title and subtitle are intriguing–they got me to look at its premise.  Which is also intriguing:  Two years after his murder, Matthew Swift wakes up again.  His house is no longer his house, and his closest friends are all dead.  He has no refuge except his wits and his quest for vengeance….

madness of angels

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Juliet by Anne Fortier Review

I haven’t been as excited about a book as I was when I got to the end of Juliet in a long time.  A year, maybe.  Anne Fortier has managed what might well be the impossible:  making Romeo and Juliet fresh again.  Not in the way that West Side Story did, by re-setting and re-casting the story, but by taking the plain old medieval Italy Romeo and Juliet story and telling it straight and telling it well.  The premise of the book is that modernday Julie Jacobs finds out that she is really Giulietta Tolomei, last daughter of a cursed house, and a great-to-the-nth-power niece of the Juliet, the real Juliet, the one Shakespeare based his story on–Giulietta Tolomei of 1340 Siena.  Julie travels to Siena in search of a family treasure, but all she finds is a nest of convoluted clues, murky stories from the past, absurdly superstitious locals…and, perhaps, her destiny.

 Anne Fortier

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Shana Abé Interview + The Treasure Keeper + The Time Weaver Review

Shana Abé is a bestselling author normally found in the Romance section, but whose latest books are fantasy (or at least fairy tale) crossovers.  She’s also a personal favorite of mine–verify on our favorites page, if you doubt–and has just finished up her fabulous historical-fiction shapeshifter series that started with 2006’s The Smoke Thief and continued through five books to last month’s The Time Weaver.  I was beyond pleased when she agreed to an interview and completed my trifecta of conversations with my favorite writers.

shana abe

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Adam Rex Fat Vampire Interview

Adam Rex is an amazingly talented children’s illustrator, as well as being an author of both children’s and YA novels.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in person last month at BEA, and I made sure to line him up for an interview later before we parted ways.  His new novel, Fat Vampire, is due out next month, and it ‘s not your typical vampire novel.  Nor is it your typical coming of age novel.

adam rex

Here I’ve got Adam talking about his inspiration for the story, his influences as a writer, his view of what it would be like to live forever (hint:  it’s not all sunshine and roses), and much more.  Sink your teeth in and enjoy!

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The Forever War by Joe Haldeman Review

For reasons I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I prefer to read fantasy over science fiction, but I prefer SF movies over fantasy.  So I don’t actually read a lot of true science fiction novels.  The Forever War is a book my SF-reading fiance tossed my way as an outstanding novel that also presaged or even directly influenced several of my favorite SF pieces (Ender’s Game and the short film Letters from a Distant Star, to name two).  He also threw it at his best friend who is neither a grand reader nor much of an SF reader–and he actually finished it, which kind of speaks to the book’s qualities to engage and retain your interest.

 Joe Haldeman

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The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer Review

I’m assuming if you’re reading this you like Twilight and have already read the other books, yes?  And you want one of two things from me here–a recommendation about whether this new novella is worth picking up and paying the $9-$14 for (discount dependent), or a discussion of OMG What It Revealed.  In the interests of pleasing everyone (myself included!) I’ll do both.  Clearly delineated, so if you’re in the first camp you can get your recommendation spoiler-free, and then come back later to talk about it.

 Bree Tanner

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin Review

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first book in a new series (The Inheritance Trilogy, which lends itself to some potentially hilarious confusion with The Inheritance Cycle) by a new author, and I think that shows.  The story and the world had quite a fascinating premise, but it was executed with mixed results, at least for me.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
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Heat Wave + Naked Heat by Richard Castle Review

New York City is in the grip of a heat wave, and Detective Nicki Heat is in the grip of a stubborn case.  Real estate mogul Matthew Starr was pitched from his balcony, and the only suspects either have alibis or could not have accessed his apartment at the time of the murder.  The case gets more complicated when a second body enters the mix along with a multi-million dollar art theft.  And, as if things weren’t complicated enough, Detective Heat has a ride-along with her on this case:  Pulitzer-winning journalist Jameson Rook….

Richard Castle

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Quatrain + Fortune and Fate + Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn Review

Quatrain is a collection of, as the name suggests, four all-new novellas from Sharon Shinn.  Each is set in a distinct world established from previous books, and each story stands firmly against the others.  Shinn did an excellent job of varying the up four short pieces, not just the setting but also the characters and even the type of stories themselves.

sharon shinn

Check out our lengthy interview with Sharon Shinn as well.

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Evermore by Alyson Noël Review

Evermore is the first book in Alyson Noël’s new YA series, The Immortals.  Fittingly, considering the title, a lot of E words popped into my mind when I was thinking of how to describe it:  Enchanting.  Exciting.  Enthralling.  Enticing.  All of them words, as well, of seduction and magic, which are two of the book’s main themes.

The third is loss.


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Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by E. Van Lowe Review

Never Slow Dance with a Zombie is a novel for young adults.  I read a fair amount of YA books, and I’m never quite sure how to judge them.  I mean, I can tell you whether I enjoyed it, of course, but it’s hard for me to gauge how the book’s intended audience would react—I suspect in large part because I never read YA fiction when I was at that age, but only after becoming an adult who got bored with relentlessly adult novels.  So, my thoughts on this book may be a little bit harder than would be the thoughts of the typical 14-year-old girl.

Never Slow Dance with a Zombie

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Darkborn by Alison Sinclair Review

Darkborn is a fantasy novel that I’m not quite sure how to further classify or qualify.  It’s not quite romantic fantasy, because even though it has strong themes of love, it is not a love story.  It’s not sword and sorcery, because there are no swords and almost no sorcery.

 Alison Sinclair

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Best Served Cold + The Heroes + The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie Review

Since the books in the First Law trilogy cannot stand alone, I consider them to be one work.  One super-massive-red-giant, thousands-of-pages-long, split-into-three-volumes work.  That makes Best Served Cold Joe Abercrombie’s sophomore effort–which is not to say it’s sophomoric, despite the copious amount of f-bombs.

Joe Abercrombie

Check out my interview with Joe Abercrombie.

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Gabrielle Faust Interview

Elena recently caught up with Gabrielle Faust, author of the Eternal Vigilance series, to talk about inspirations, favorite vampires, and what happened to Texas’s football stadium when Austin got bombed in the apocalypse.  Read on for a fascinating look at her thoughts on vampires, dystopian futures, and more!

Gabrielle Faust

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