Saturday, 26 October 2013

Clive Algar, author of Comets

Comets by Clive Algar is available for Kindle from Amazon:
US:  Comets by Clive Algar
UK:  Comets by Clive Algar

Comets by Clive Algar
Comets by Clive Algar

Set in the rich and fascinating milieu of Cape Town in the 1830s, with its shifting patterns of social awareness and the growth of scientific knowledge, Comets tells the story of James and Isabelle Forster, whose lives, and those about them, are changed irrevocably not only by the appearance of a real comet - Halley's - but by "human comets" including the aristocratic Michael Percy, the young Charles Darwin and a recently-emancipated slave couple, Adam and Catharine Cupido.  James and Isabelle's comfortable upper middle-class existence threatens to spin out of control as they confront moral crises they seem unable to resolve.

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Author Quiz interviews Clive Algar...

What is it you love most about writing?
I love the infinite scope for creating new worlds.  As a writer of mainly historical fiction (19th and early 20th century) I enjoy placing fictional characters among real historical characters to create events that could have happened.  I love the blank page waiting for me to fill it.

Where did the inspiration for your first novel, Journeys to the End of the World, come from?
Journeys is set in three different eras, but takes place largely during, and just after, World War 1.  I have had a fascination with the "Great War" since I was a child, as my late father fought on the Western Front, was mentioned in dispatches, was gassed in the trenches and saw things he could not bear to tell me about.  As I heard little about the war from him I read a great deal about it and, when the time came to write my first novel, I was drawn irresistibly to some aspect of the "Great War".  The aspect I chose was "shell shock", but I also related it to its unnamed equivalent a century earlier, and to post-traumatic stress disorder a century later.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Andrea R. Cooper, author of Viking Fire

Viking Fire by Andrea R. Cooper is available for Kindle from Amazon:
US:  Viking Fire (Crimson Romance)
UK:  Viking Fire (Crimson Romance)

Viking Fire by Andrea R. Cooper
Viking Fire by Andrea R. Cooper

In 856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

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Author Quiz interviews Andrea R. Cooper...

What is it you love most about writing?
I love meeting new characters. I am a pantser, so I discover things while writing at the same time as a character does. I do know the ending-ish, but I allow my characters to develop along with the story. It’s a thrill when a character does something I wasn’t expecting.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Peter G. Pollak, author of Last Stop on Desolation Ridge

Last Stop on Desolation Ridge by Peter G. Pollak is available for Kindle from Amazon:
US: Last Stop on Desolation Ridge
UK: Last Stop on Desolation Ridge

Last Stop On Desolation Ridge by Peter G. Pollak
Last Stop on Desolation Ridge by Peter G. Pollak

Can you imagine how you'd feel if you woke up with no memory but knowledge certain that someone wants you dead? That's what Logan Gifford had to deal with when rescued from a gully on a desolate road in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. You'll hang on every word as you follow his attempt to stay alive and recover his past.

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Author Quiz interviews Peter G. Pollak...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work as an author.
After retiring from the company I founded, I decided to try to finish one of the dozen or so novels I'd started, but never gotten very far on. The half dozen people I sent copies to offered encouragement, so I self-published The Expendable Man, a political thriller, which is still my top-selling novel, in 2011. I followed that the next year with Making the Grade, a police procedural featuring a protagonist who has just been named the first female detective on her squad and, early in 2013, with a suspense novel, Last Stop on Desolation Ridge. I'll release another police procedural whose hero is a retired cop this fall, but I'm also working on an heroic fantasy epic which I hope to sell to a publisher when it's completed.

If you were to write a novel outside your usual genre, which genre would you like to experiment with and why?
It seems in the past that writers specialized in one genre or another, but I haven't felt confined to stick to one genre, perhaps because my reading tastes are so eclectic. As a young man, I read a lot of science fiction, and I read classics in literature courses in college and dabbled in mysteries, literary fiction and historical fiction over the years. But I found I really enjoy multi-volume fantasies, such as Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. So, while having written two suspense and two crime novels, I'm putting most of my effort into completing a fantasy series. I hope that will show my best writing and most creative story telling.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Author Quiz is taking a break...

Since I started Author Quiz just over a year ago, the number of visitors to the blog has steadily grown, with the most popular interviews having recieved over 500 page views.

However, it does require a regular commitment out of my schedule every week to upload and format the interviews and unfortunately very soon I won't be able to guarantee the necessary time, as for the next few months I'll be away backpacking around the world.  I've therefore decided that to avoid making commitments I can't keep, Author Quiz will be placed on a break while I'm away.

Things will keep running for a while yet, however, as any interviews already submitted have been scheduled to be featured over the next few weeks.  Also, to be fair to anyone who's working on an interview at the moment, any interviews which are submitted before the end of October will also be featured.

After that though, as I'll be away travelling I unfortunately won't be able to guarantee the normality to my schedule to work on the blog on a regular basis and therefore the safest decision is to place the blog on hold for a few months until I get back from my travels.

Finally, massive thanks to all the authors who have sent in interviews over the last twelve months, and also to all the readers who have visited the blog.  Author Quiz has now featured interviews from over fifty authors covering more than fifty different genres, so thanks again to everyone who has contributed interviews over the last year.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Java Davis, author of Depression Carpenter

Depression Carpenter by Java Davis is available for Kindle from Amazon:
US: Depression Carpenter by Java Davis
UK: Depression Carpenter by Java Davis

Depression Carpenter by Java Davis
Depression Carpenter by Java Davis

Jackson Ferry is born into a privileged New York family, losing them in a car accident at the start of The Great Depression. Young and wealthy, he needs to justify his good fortune that contrasts so starkly from most of America.  Skilled in carpentry, he drives to the Gulf of Mexico, working on building projects all around the gulf with Chin, his peculiar friend and partner from Florida.  Where Chin is happy-go-lucky, Jake is thoughtful, always searching for more, using carpentry to strengthen his self-esteem.  But together, they are a powerful team.

In Alabama, after camping in a local cemetery, they find themselves among some fresh recruits for FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  Further up the road, the pair is adopted by a Negro community, giving Jake his first real lessons in race relations.  Jake veers off to Baton Rouge and reminds himself what it’s like to be wealthy.  But he leaves Louisiana after ten weeks to continue his Gulf coast journey.

When Jake lands in Galveston, Texas, he stays for several years to help rebuild the island as it recovers from massive floods, sponsoring an inter-racial school for the island's orphans.

Ultimately, Jake learns to accept himself and makes peace with his circumstances.

This book took nine months to write.  The research to learn about the Gulf coast states during The Great Depression was fascinating, especially the horrendous history of Galveston, Texas.  The years of The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl continue to interest me, and I would love to write more historical fiction about this era.  I’m also a classic car enthusiast and researched an appropriate station wagon for the trip, a Ford “Woodie,” a photo of which is on the book’s cover.

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Author Quiz interviews Java Davis...