Tag Archive: featured

My good friend, Laurence O’Bryan is reknowned as a puzzle master. Read his first book ‘The Istanbul Puzzle’ to find out. Recently I asked Laurence (or LOB as I call him) about using puzzles within his novels. He offered to write my a guest post about it.

In my mystery novel, The Istanbul Puzzle, Sean and Isabel discover a clue early on, a photograph of a mosaic. The mosaic is similar to the iconic Christian images of the Virgin & Child that are so well known all around the world. Here is an example from the Louvre museum in Paris. This is a copper plate believed to have been “taken” from Constantinople in 1204. “Looted” is probably what they meant:

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What themes are being overused? Vampires and zombies are everywhere, and now soft-core erotica is hot, but trends come and go. The challenge is to write something that will outlast the trends and stand up over time.


  • Do you see ebooks threatening traditional publishing? It’s just another option. Self-publishing is no more a threat than YouTube is to blockbuster theatrical releases. There are more options for audiences, but it’s also easier than ever to get a lot of content as well as create and distribute it.
  • Do you prefer to read established authors or debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read? I read a lot of newer, indie authors but in general I like the tried-and-true favorites. There is still something to be said for the quality of a traditionally published book–if nothing else, at least the author had to jump through competitive hoops to get attention, and publishers still employ editors.


  • Do you have a target each day? As a self-publisher, I am in the business of selling books. So I have both a job and an art. Writing is for fun, but I have to sell the books if I want to write more. So my life is a mix of creation and promotion. Fortunately, I enjoy all aspects of writing as an art and business.


  • After so many books, how do you keep them unique? Every book has its on life, its own season, its own arc–usually superimposed over whatever is happening in the writer’s own life and head during that time.


  • Do you remember the first time you saw your book in a shop? No. I never felt that sort of thrill, although I did enjoy opening the first box of printed books. By the time a book is published, it is usually long after the emotional act of creating it, and I’d rather focus on the work in progress.

Robert Vardeman (who is sometimes called Vardebob) is a living legend in fantasy and science fiction.  I am going to borrow directly from Wikipedia for this:

Vardeman’s fantasy series include the War of Powers (6 volumes co-authored with Victor Milan), Cenotaph Road (6 volumes), The Swords of Raemllyn (9 volumes co-authored with Geo. W. Proctor), The Jade Demons (4 books), The Keys to Paradise trilogy, The Demon Crown trilogy, and a British-published trilogy called “The Accursed.” Vardeman is currently involved in the novelizations of the fantasy game series, God of War.

Vardeman’s science fiction works include the Weapons of Chaos trilogy, 3 published books in the “Masters of Space” series, the Biowarriors trilogy, and the stand-alone novels “The Sandcats of Rhyl,” “Road to the Stars,” and “Ancient Heavens.” The 1991 techno-thriller “Death Fall” is a related novel, although works set in a contemporary setting are often not categorized as science fiction.

Recently, I grabbed Bob’s “The Sandcast of Phyl” when he offered it for free as an ebook.  We got to talking…

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Michael K. Rose is a good friend who writes some great science fiction in the Sullivan’s War series. He is also on the epic task of writing 12 novels in 12 months. His first month was a great success with the completion of Sullivan’s Wrath.

Michael is also an avid supporter of authors rights and leads the charge to make the reviewing process fair and believable – a position I also support and condone.

Here is Michael in his own words.
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This one is a bit special for me, as I have always thought L. E. Modesitt, Jr’s book were brilliant. Apart from that, the Recluce saga is over a dozen books long and continue to entertain the masses. I have approached many authors now as part of this Interview series and there are many special ones for me, but when Lee replied to my email, I almost fell over.

I even got to ask L. E. Modesitt, Jr a second set of questions, which are at the top of this interview. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did talking to him.
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The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt

Greg Hildebrandt, Jr.
Dynamite Entertainment

Pub Date                Oct 16 2012

More Title Details

  • ISBN9781606903490
  • Price29.99
  • CurrencyUSD
  • EditionPaperback


The million-selling Lord of the Rings calendars created during the ’70s by renowned fantasy artists Greg and Tim Hildebrandt are now considered artistic masterpieces. The Tolkien Years of the Brothers Hildebrandt collects all that fantastic art, while telling the untold story behind the creation of those cherished illustrations.

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Where do I start with this one?  Ben Bova is a living legend in the field of science fiction.  To date, he has written over fiction and non-fiction 110 books, with many of them considered classics.  Ben has been involved in science fiction for forty years, after starting as an editor at Analos Science Fiction.

His Grand Tour series is incredible in scope, as it details the human coloinsation of the solar system.  The series started in 1985 and has been a tour-de-force ever since (apologies for the pun).  In fact, Ben has just completed yet another Grand Tour book entitled New Earth, which should be out soon.

If you like your science fiction and have not read Ben Bova, then I only have one question for you.  Why not?

Over to you, Ben.


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How do you classify Joe R. Lansdale.  The simplest is saying he writes horro, but that is not strictly true.  Joe’s books belong in a genre that I would call gonzo.  His books are comedy slash horror slash mystery slash ironic slash a couple of other things.  I have been reading Joe’s since Savage Season and am proud to say I have a limited edition signed copy of The Magic Wagon.

Reading one of Joe’s books is like stepping into a parallel universe where many things are not quite the same any more.  Situations that are not likely to occur in the normal world are more likely to occur in his world.

My early favourites are The Drive In novels, but the Hap and Leonard books are a riot as well.

So, on to the interview with Mr Lansdale.

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Brad Fleming is thriller writer!  I seem to have a lot of thriller writer friends lately.  Brad and Joe McCoubrey are two of my new favourites.  This post is to help Brad celebrate the release of his new book called Role of Dishonour.  Here is the party details on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/455967957775042/.

As part of the celebrations, Brad agreed to an interview for my blog.  So, without wasting any more time here it is.

I will squeeze this in quickly though.  Here is a video for Role of Dishonour:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwwJbaldN-s&feature=youtu.be

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I met JC through Facebook and quickly we found we had similar senses of humour.  It became quickly apparent to both of us that we both rather dry.  That really means that only she laughwed at my stuff and I laughed at her stuff!

So, on to JC herself.  She writes science fiction with a hint of romance in it.  So far, they have been very succesful.  Currently, she is working on three other books (at once).  I have borrowed this from her blog.

he traces her lifelong infatuation with SF/Adventure to growing up in West Central Florida during NASA’s most exciting years, often watching space launches from her back yard.

JC got her start as a stringer for the Tampa Tribune in 1991.  Since that time, she has been a member of the RWA, TARA, TWA and PINAWOR, and is currently a member of Pennwriters and the Science Fiction Romance Brigade.

When not writing in her haunted hospital, JC lives with her husband, three children, five dogs, twenty chickens and a horse in a century-old house in a tiny rural community, and enjoys spending her free time sewing, camping, and heckling theoretical physicists on the Science Channel.

And now on to the interview.

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