Interview: A Conversation with Ernest Cline, Author of Armada and Ready Player One
Guest Post , Interview / May 20, 2016

Today, we are happy to feature a conversation with Ernest Cline, author of Armada and Ready Player One!   Q) Let’s get right to the elephant in the room. The news is now out that your debut novel, Ready Player One, will be made into a film by Warner Brothers and legendary director Steven Spielberg (set to debut in theaters March of 2018)! What did you do when you got the news? A) I pinched myself a few hundred times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming—then I re-watched all of his movies—including the Indiana Jones films, which helped inspire certain elements of RPO’s story, along with T. and Close Encounters, two Spielberg films that played a large role in inspiring Armada. His work has influenced me throughout my life and writing career, so it’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to collaborate with him on the film adaptation of a story that his work helped inspire.   Q) What do you think of the casting announcements that have been made already? A) I think they’re fantastic! I’ve been a fan of Ben Mendelsohn’s acting since the ’80s, and his portrayal of John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises…

Guest Post: Cécile’s Relationship With Her Mother by Danielle Jensen
Guest Post / May 19, 2016

Today we’re pleased to welcome Danielle Jensen. Her most recent novel, Warrior Witch was released May 3rd and completed the Malediction trilogy. She stopped by to chat about the relationship between the series protagonist, Cécile, and her mother. Family relationships can always be quite intriguing and this one is no exception!     This post will have Stolen Songbird and Hidden Huntress spoilers, so don’t proceed if you haven’t read the novels!     Quite early in Hidden Huntress, I heavily hint that Cécile’s mother, Genevieve, is actually Anushka. The reason for this early reveal was that I believed the central mystery was not Anushka’s identity, but rather the answer to the riddle of the prophecy that brought Tristan and Cécile together. I was also interested in creating a circumstance where the reader knew or suspected the villain’s identity before the protagonist did. It has always fascinated me how the family members of serial killers are always so shocked to discover that their spouse/parent/sibling has been carrying on such horrible activities. How the idea that said spouse/parent/sibling might be a murderer never once having crossed their minds, despite it being obvious to an outsider presented with the facts. How having an emotional…

Excerpt: Borderline by Mishell Baker
Excerpt , Guest Post / April 14, 2016

Last week happy to welcome Mishell Baker for an interview, and also ran a 5 star review for her book Borderline. Now, here’s an excerpt from Borderline so you can check it out for yourself:     ABOUT MISHELL BAKER Mishell Baker is a 2009 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and her short stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Redstone Science Fiction, and Electric Velocipede. She has a website at and frequently tweets about writing, parenthood, mental health, and assorted geekery at @MishellBaker. When she’s not attending conventions or going on wild research adventures, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children. Borderline is her debut novel.   About the Book

Interview and Giveaway with Stephanie Burgis, Author of Masks and Shadows
Guest Post , Interview / April 8, 2016

Today we are excited to share an interview with Stephanie Burgis, author of Masks and Shadows which releases April 12, 2016. If you missed it, be sure to check out our review. Also, don’t miss the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post!   Hi Stephanie, I found your book Masks and Shadows to be a very enjoyable and fun read! Thank you for joining us today to answer a few questions.   Could you tell us a bit about Masks and Shadows in your own words? Sure! Masks and Shadows is a romantic historical fantasy novel brimming with alchemy, opera, and forbidden romance. It’s set in the isolated palace of Eszterháza, where dangerous schemes are brewing behind the golden walls, and the drama on the stage of the court opera house may soon be supplanted by a much more deadly drama in the audience.   Music plays a wonderful role in your book. I noticed that you have worked for a British opera company and also studied music history. Do you have any fun or interesting stories or facts you can share with us that relate to either of those?   I first fell in love with opera when I was…

Interview with Mishell Baker, Author of Borderline
Guest Post , Interview / April 7, 2016

Today we are happy to welcome Mishell Baker, author of Borderline. In case you missed our review of her book, it received 5 full stars! Definitely worth checking out.   Welcome to the Speculative Herald, Mishell! Thank you for answering some of my questions.   For those who may be unfamiliar with the story, can you give us a brief synopsis ofBorderline? A double amputee with borderline personality disorder gets recruited to a secret organization policing traffic between our world and a parallel magical one. Her first assignment is to find a missing fey nobleman who has vanished somewhere in Los Angeles. As she follows the trail of clues she begins to uncover a conspiracy that could lead to a war between the worlds.   Borderlineis a combination of several unique elements: the film industry, the realm of the fey, characters with mental illnesses, and more. How did you decide to bring all these elements together in a story? They say “write what you know,” especially with a first book, and so it began with my attempt to write about the things most familiar to me: Los Angeles, mental health, the entertainment industry. But I can’t seem to write any story…

Guest Post: What Was Your Perspiration For Writing This Novel? by Matthew De Abaitua
Guest Post / February 26, 2016

Today we’re pleased to welcome Matthew De Abaitua. His upcoming novel, The Destructives will be released March 1st and he stopped by to answer the question What Was Your Perspiration For Writing This Novel? Yep, you read that right. Perspiration! Curious? He explains it all below with a great look into what it really takes to write a novel.   What Was Your Perspiration For Writing This Novel?   Authors are often asked about the inspiration behind their novels. But, as the saying goes, writing is only ten per cent inspiration. The other ninety per cent is perspiration. So let’s talk about that. To write The Destructives, I needed a laptop running Scrivener, headphones playing ambient electronic music, a tea pot serving proper tea, and a cat offering distraction. The novel was written in the hallway of my home and the headphones were necessary to screen out the sound of my children. Cyril Connolly wrote that an enemy of a writer’s promise is the pram in the hall. What would Cyril have made of the author in the hall? Working – perspiring – in such a position, I had two choices: either I wrote a fast-paced, angry science fiction adventure, or an experimental literary novel…

Interview with Marc Turner, Author of Dragon Hunters
Guest Post , Interview / February 10, 2016

Today we are excited to share an interview with Marc Turner, author of The Chronicles of Exile. The second book in the series, Dragon Hunters, released yesterday February 9th, 2016. If you missed it, be sure to check out our review.   Marc Turner is the author of the epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of the Exile. Book one, When The Heavens Fall, was published in 2015. Book two, Dragon Hunters, is out in the US and the UK in February 2016 Book three, Red Tide, will follow in September 2016.       INTERVIEW   Q: Thanks for taking the time to stop by today, Marc. For those readers who have yet to discover the awesomeness that is The Chronicles of the Exile, please feel free to introduce yourself.   A: Thanks for having me.   I’m Marc Turner, and I write epic fantasy novels with a dark edge, of which When the Heavens Fall was my first. The second book, Dragon Hunters, has just been published by Tor in the US and Titan in the UK, and it features Chameleon priests, dimension-hopping assassins, and sea dragons being hunted for sport.   When I’m not writing, I’m doing more writing, reading, playing computer…

Guest Post and Giveaway: Romance in Speculative Fiction by Anna Kashina
Giveaway , Guest Post / December 24, 2015

Today we’re pleased to welcome Anna Kashina to talk about Romance in Speculative Fiction! Also be sure to check out our giveaway for the first two books in her Majat Code series. The third one, Assassin’s Queen, releases this June. Hope you enjoy!       Romance plays a big role in our everyday life. Because of that, I find it to be a very natural element of fiction as well. In fact, I have been writing for quite a few years before I realized that my adventure fantasy books tend to have prominent romance elements, often skirting the border between fantasy and romance. By now, writing fantasy seems unthinkable to me without putting at least some elements of romance into it. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I have been born and raised in Russia, where the word “novel” is actually the same as the word “romance” (in Russian “roman”, used equally in both senses). While I have switched languages since then and now write solely in English, it is possible that this word play in itself has affected my mind set early on. So did my reading. When I grew up, every book I read had a…

Guest Post: Building A World – The Differences Between A “Real World” Setting And Creating Your Own.
Guest Post / November 9, 2015

James A. Moore’s latest book in the Seven Forges series, City of Wonders, made our list of most Anticipated Releases for the fall, so we were very excited at the chance to have him chat with us a bit about his writing. Writing is hard work, the amount of time that goes into the stories we readers devour in hours is impressive. When we saw Mr. Moore had a number of books published that were not in a fantastical setting, we thought it would be great to hear his thoughts on writing in a real world setting versus creating a unique world just for the story.     Building A World: The Differences Between A “Real World” Setting And Creating Your Own.   I spent most of my years as a writer working in the real world. That is to say a world just like this one we all inhabit, give or take a few sideways trips into the Weird Zone. A ghost, a werewolf, strange things from beyond, the Fae making a trip into our realm. That sort of thing. It can be a challenge, but it’s also a slightly easier route to take. How do I mean? Well, first, it…