Episode 176: Tobias S. Buckell & Dave Klecha – Runes of Engagement

A chat with Tobias S. Buckell and Dave Klecha about their new humorous collaborative fantasy novel, Runes of Engagement.

Websites
Tobias S. Buckell
Dave Klecha

Bluesky
@tobiasbuckell.bsky.social
@daveklecha.bsky.social

Instagram
@daveklecha

Threads
@daveklecha

Tobias S. Buckell’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for Runes of Engagement
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

The Lord of the Rings meets Call of Duty in this delirious mashup pitting confused soldiers against legendary monsters. This riotous campaign of a novel could only have sprung from the nerdy minds of a science fiction award-winner and an extreme amateur landscaper.

No one could have been prepared for the day when orcs, trolls, and dragons fell from portals in the sky. But now a very tough but not-quite-prepared platoon of Marines is trapped on the wrong side. The enchanting world looks like Middle Earth, but to the dismay of even the geekiest soldiers, is nothing like it.

While the Marines fend off dangerous, improbable, and very rude assailants, their mission is to escort a Very Important Princess who could broker a crucial strategic alliance between worlds. What could possibly go wrong?

Praise for Runes of Engagement

[STARRED REVIEW] “Will be catnip to readers who love this combination of military SF, alternate history, and fantasy. ”Library Journal

“Fun, action-packed, occasionally gritty, and full of jokes for geeks and Marines alike.”
Jim C. Hines, author of Terminal Alliance

About Tobias S. Buckell & Dave Klecha

Tobias S. Buckell

Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times bestselling writer and World Fantasy Award winner. He was born in the Caribbean, grew up in Grenada, and has lived in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. He is the author of the popular Xenowealth series (Crystal Rain), along with other standalone novels and almost one hundred stories. His latest novel is A Stranger in the Citadel. Buckell lives in Bluffton, Ohio.

Dave Klecha

Dave Klecha was born in Detroit and studied Russian and history in college. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. In addition to writing, Dave engages in a number of other creative pursuits, including acting, set-building, scriptwriting, and extreme amateur landscaping. His fiction has appeared in the Subterranean Press MagazineClarkesworld, and various anthologies. Klecha lives in Rochester, Michigan.

Episode 175: Lynne Shaner – Journey to Everland Bay

A chat with author Lynne Shaner about her debut fantasy novel, Journey to Everland Bay.

Website
lynneshaner.com

Facebook

Threads
@lynne.shaner

Lynne Shaner’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for Journey to Everland Bay
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

A Heroine’s Journey for our times.

Jemma Avalon, an unconventional mage-in-training, longs to return to Everland Bay, her ancestral homeland, and find a way to join the renowned magical research institute there, like the women in her family before her.

Daughter of a gentle part elf-fae mother and a father with fiery dragon blood, an unusual combination even in the magical world, ten years after her mother’s sudden death, she is working at a major museum in DC, where magic is all but outlawed. Her father wants her to assimilate and live without magic, but Jemma is determined to fully embrace her heritage.

When an ordinary day at the museum takes an extraordinary turn, Jemma is rocketed to an Everland Bay Institute under violent siege, where dark-arts mages threaten everything important to her. Once there, she joins forces with her companions and works feverishly to save Everland Bay from crumbling under enemy attack. In so doing, she finds a path to her own strength and mastery, and her heart’s true home. 

Praise for Journey to Everland Bay

“A beautifully engaging fantasy teeming with dragons, fae, magic and the importance of family and friendship. A joy to read from beginning to end. I found myself rooting for our main heroine, Jemma, as she grew into a wonderful and powerful young woman. I am already looking forward to the next work in this thrilling series!” – Julie Boglisch, author of The Elifer Chronicles and The Requiem of Stones series and standalone Ghost of a Memory

About Lynne Shaner

Lynne Shaner

Lynne Shaner has been captivated by fantasy, myth, and fairy tales since childhood, when her mother first read Charlotte’s Web and The Wind in the Willows to her.

She lives in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, close enough to Lake Michigan to walk to the shoreline every day. Shelves overflowing with books line her home, and there is always a knitting project on her needles. Lynne lives with her husband and Merlin, her small, adorable pup. When not writing, she can be found reading and knitting in her garden, where she grows herbs, flowers and story ideas.

Her work has appeared in various literary magazines. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing/fiction from Johns Hopkins.

Episode 174: Adrian Tchaikovsky – Service Model

A chat with critically acclaimed award-winning British author Adrian Tchaikvosky about his latest science fiction novel, Service Model.

Website
adriantchaikovsky.com

X
@aptshadow

Mastadon
@aptshadow

Threads
@aptshadow

Bluesky
@aptshadow.bsky.social

Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for Service Model
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

Murderbot meets Redshirts in a delightfully humorous tale of robotic murder from the Hugo-nominated author of Elder Race and The Final Architects Series

To fix the world they must first break it further.

Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service.

When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into its core programming, they murder their owner. The robot discovers they can also do something else they never did before: they can run away.

Fleeing the household they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating into ruins and an entire robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is having to find a new purpose.

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to overcome the limits of your programming.

Praise for Service Model

“With humor, heart, and hope balancing out the decay, this glimpse of the future is sure to win fans.”Publishers Weekly

“A surprisingly thoughtful and compelling story . . . Readers who love a good postapocalyptic hell ride, AI-centered adventures, and robot/human companion stories, such as A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, will appreciate.”Library Journal, starred review

A deliciously witty dystopian thriller”Waterstones

“Picking up an Adrian Tchaikovsky book is proof you love your brain and want it to be happy.”John Scalzi, author of Starter Villain

About Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading before becoming a professional author in 2007. He is a keen role-player and board gamer and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.

Adrian primarily explores deep themes, such as artificial intelligence and alien awareness within epic galactic and fantastical settings.

He has a deep interest in the animal world specifically insects from his studies in Zoology and has a particular penchant for spiders. 

Read some free stories.

Episode 173: Ann Charles – Time Reaping in Deadwood

A chat with USA Today-bestselling author Ann Charles about Time Reaping in Deadwood, the latest installment in her popular humorous mystery/fantasy series.

Website
anncharles.com

Facebook
@AnnCharlesAuthorPage

X
@AnnWCharles

Instagram
@Ann_Charles

Pinterest
@AnnWCharles

Anne Charles’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for Time Reaping in Deadwood
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

Time is a tricky devil. And so is that blasted imp!

Violet Parker needs to catch the little terror before it wreaks even more havoc in the Black Hills. But now that she’s saddled with this dang Timekeeper gig, she has a lot to juggle, like the real monsters wanting to tear the flesh from her bones just for fun.

If she can’t figure out how to wrangle “time” to save her family, the Grim Reaper might come swinging for them next.

But what about that danged honey-loving imp?

Praise for the Deadwood series

“What a voice! Hilarious, original, and genuinely wonderful. This fresh and feisty mystery will instantly win your heart. Loved it!”Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity-winning author 

“I laughed (a lot), cried (a little), and wanted to stab a certain family member. This story brings all the feels!”Renee George, USA Today Bestselling Author 

“Watch out Stephanie Plum, because Violet Parker is coming your way.”Deborah Schneider, RWA Librarian of the Year 2009 and author of Promise Me 

About Ann Charles

Ann Charles

Ann Charles is a USA Today-bestselling author who writes award-winning books that are splashed with humor, mystery, suspense, romance, supernatural elements, and whatever else sounds fun.

Ann has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington. She is a member of Novelists, Inc. She is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and a book in the other.

When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cats.

Episode 172: Brian Nelson – The Great Unmaking

A chat with critically acclaimed Amazon-bestselling thriller author Brian Nelson about The Great Unmaking, Book 3 in his trilogy, The Course of Empire.

Website
briannelsonbooks.com

Facebook
@BrianNelsonTheAuthor

Brian Nelson’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for The Great Unmaking
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

A propulsive, mind-expanding thriller—and the world-shaking conclusion to the Course of Empire trilogy—about bold scientific dreams turning into nightmares … or perhaps new beginnings …

After usurping control of the world’s most powerful military technology, General Chip Walden knows the endgame is near and tasks scientist Eric Hill with one final assignment. Helped by the love of his life, Jane Hunter, Hill is haunted by premonitions of a coming catastrophe as the technology he created takes on a life of its own.

As Hill attempts to avert disaster, FBI Special Agent Bud Brown seeks revenge for the murder of his fellow agents by eco-terrorist Riona Finley. But what no one realizes is that forces are at work that have already decided humanity’s fate. With the clock ticking toward an irrevocable apocalypse, it’s no longer a question of if the world can be saved, but who will be the chosen few that survive.

The Great Unmaking is the grand conclusion to Brian Nelson’s magisterial trilogy that James Rollins has called “a must-read adventure.”

Praise for The Great Unmaking

“In The Great Unmaking, Nelson crafts an adrenaline-charged, white-knuckle thriller that is sure to leave you breathless. Fans of Crichton, Rollins, and Crouch will love this superb and final installment of the Course of Empire series.”Andrews & Wilson, Wall Street Journal-bestselling authors of the Tier One series

“Extraordinarily enjoyable, The Great Unmaking is the grand finale of Nelson’s epic adventure. It’s also hands down the most ingenious take on the apocalypse narrative that I have ever read. This is an edge-of-your-seat thriller.” – Moisés Naím, author and contributing editor to The Atlantic

“So clearly and forcefully presented that readers will find it hard to put the book down. Nelson has outdone himself.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“I came to The Great Unmaking as a fresh reader. Three hundred fifty pulse-pounding pages later, I closed the book, thoroughly convinced of Nelson’s mastery of a fever-pitch plot…Nelson’s series explores the lines between pastoral idealism and the inevitable gluttony and decay of human civilization…High-paced, plot-driven, and brimming with action…A thinking person’s military techno-thriller…What’s not to love?” – Strand Magazine

About Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson

Brian was born and raised in Ohio and is a graduate of Miami University. After a brief stint as a Systems Engineer for General Motors he set off for the University of Arizona to study Creative Writing.  

After graduation, he spent two years in Venezuela as a Fulbright Scholar and turned his research into the critically acclaimed book, The Silence and the Scorpion, a “clocked” account of the 2002 uprising against Hugo Chávez. The book was named one of “The Best Books of the Year” by The Economist and was considered by The New York Times as “the most thorough investigation of the April 11th massacre and the subsequent coup.” 

His second book, The Last Sword Maker, an action-packed thriller about a high-tech arms race between the United States and China that follows, follows a diverse cast of characters as they strive to be the first to make the next generation of weapons using a mixture of artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology. It began his Course of Empire trilogy, which continued with Five Tribes, longlisted by Reading the West for best novel of 2021, and concluded with his latest, The Great Unmaking.

Brian’s other work has appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Christian Science Monitor and The Southern Humanities Review, among others. He lives in Denver with his wife and two children.

Episode 171: Samantha Mills – The Wings Upon Her Back

A chat with Locus, Sturgeon, and Nebula Award-winning author Samantha Mills about her debut novel, The Wings Upon Her Back.

Website
samtasticbooks.com

Instagram
@samtasticbooks

Bluesky
@samtasticbooks

Goodreads

Amazon Links for The Wings Upon Her Back
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

In this gripping debut novel from acclaimed Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus Award-winning author Samantha Mills, a disgraced soldier fights to make sense of her world and the gods who abandoned it.

The Wings Upon Her Back is an action-packed, devastating exploration of the brutal costs of zealous loyalty.

Zenya was a teenager when she ran away to join the mechanically-modified warrior sect. She was determined to earn mechanized wings and protect the people of Radezhda, the city she loved. Under the strict tutelage of a mercurial, charismatic leader, Vodaya, Zenya finally became Winged Zemolai.

But after twenty-six years of service, Zemolai is disillusioned with her role as an enforcer in an increasingly fascist state. After one tragic act of mercy, she is brutally cast out and loses everything she worked for. As Zemolai struggles for her life, she must question her sect, their leader, and even the gods themselves.

Praise for The Wings Upon Her Back

[STARRED REVIEW] “In the city-state of Radezha—a towering metropolis constructed vertically to reach the five slumbering gods in the heavens—discontent is stirring. Devoted to the mecha god, patron of the city’s warriors and keeper of the law, Zemolai has spent 26 years rising in the ranks of her sect until she receives the ultimate sign of devotion: mechanized wings attached to ports along her back. One fateful evening, returning home from a brutal, month-long mission patrolling Radezha’s borders, Winged Zemolai performs a single act of mercy that results in the destruction of everything she has ever known. Zemolai is shunned by her god, and the wings are ripped from her back, leaving her permanently disfigured. With no one to turn to but the rebels that she unknowingly saved, the Once-Winged Zemolai’s disillusionment continues to grow as her eyes are opened to the increasingly fascist state she has spent her life defending. The Wings upon Her Back is a triumphant debut novel. The complex narrative examines the intricacies of blind devotion, self-image, and the hidden motivations behind martial control. For fans of C. L. Clark’s The Unbroken looking for a timely perspective on the human cost of destructive nationalism.” —Booklist

[STARRED REVIEW] “Mills debuts with an intricate and intriguing science fantasy set in the divided city of Radezhda. Five sects each serve one of five gods who sleep behind portals floating high above the land. After a brutal civil war, the mecha sect, a group of human warriors with their nerves wired into mechanical wings that allow them to fly, reigns supreme, led by power-hungry Winged Vodaya. After Vodaya’s closest confidant, Winged Zemolai, returns home tired and aching from a month of border patrol, she makes what is perhaps the worst mistake of her life: letting a spy go free. Cast out of the sect and left to die on the streets of Radezhda, Zemolai is miraculously saved by another sect, forcing her to decide whether to beg Vodaya’s forgiveness or betray her people. Toggling between two timelines, Mills juxtaposes Zemolai’s adult regrets and childhood hopes to devastating effect. Much like the winged warriors it follows, the story begins on the ground and takes flight as the characters attempt higher stakes battles and plans, eventually achieving a complete aerial view of Zemolai’s life and the full history of Radezhda. This cathartic adventure will stay with readers long after the final page.” Publishers Weekly

[STARRED REVIEW] “Mills’s debut novel is complex and haunting, filled with beautiful prose and timely themes of political and religious upheaval and personal journeys.” — Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW] “An absolute must-read—to paraphrase a line from the novel, fantasy fans will find themselves in literary heaven.”Kirkus

About Samantha Mills

Samantha Mills

Samantha Mills is a multiple award-winning author living in Southern California. She has published a dozen short stories, appearing in Uncanny Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Escape Pod and others. In addition to winning the Nebula, Locus, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial awards for her short story “Rabbit Test” in 2023, Sam has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, made the Locus Recommended Reading List and the BSFA long list multiple times, and was included in the best-of anthologies The New Voices of Science Fiction and The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2023.

She grew up in Southern California, where she still lives with her family and cats. She graduated from the University of Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Pre- and Early Modern Literature, and received a Master’s in Information and Library Science from San Jose State University. In the other half of her life, she is a trained archivist specializing in primary documents, with a particular focus on helping local historical societies and research libraries preserve and manage their collections.

When Sam isn’t working, writing, or taking care of children, she’s watching B-movies, binding books, and crocheting stuffed animals.

Episode 170: Thomas R. Weaver – Artificial Wisdom

A chat with successful startup and tech entrepreneur Thomas R. Weaver about his award-winning debut techno-thrillerl, Artificial Wisdom.

Website
thomasrweaver.com

X
@tom_weaver

Facebook
@thomasrweaver.fiction

Instagram
@tom_weaver

Threads
@tom_weaver

TikTok
@thomasr.weaver

Amazon Links for Artificial Wisdom
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

In 2050, the earth’s climate is out of control. A heatwave has killed millions across the Persian Gulf, including the wife of journalist Marcus Tully. But he has a lead like no other: the heatwave was unnaturally diverted from hitting the USA thanks to geo-engineering.

The president who gave the order is now running for an even greater office: dictator of the nation states, with a short-term mandate to make the hard decisions the nations can’t in order to prevent a climate apocalypse. His final opponent is the world’s first AI politician, Solomon, governor of New Carthage, a floating, domed city-state protecting the elite. Solomon’s creator may have the evidence Tully needs to make his case to the world, but in the middle of the most important election in history, someone will do anything to stop the truth from coming out.

Praise for Artificial Wisdom

Winner of the 2024 Independent Press Award, Best Techno-Thriller

“In this timely novel, Weaver seizes upon big-picture concerns of the real-world moment—including global warming, ethically bankrupt leadership, and the disintegration of trustworthy news sources—to create a vision of a future worth fearing. [Readers] inclined toward futuristic narratives about present-day issues will find this novel hard to put down.”   Kirkus Reviews

“A cracking read that’s full of twists, turns and thought-provoking ideas. It’s the best debut to cross my desk by a long way.” – Mark Leggatt, McIlvanney Prize-Longlisted Author of Penitent

Artificial Wisdom is a jaw-dropping debut that feels like a blaring wake-up call for the audience to appreciate the potential dire consequences of climate change and Artificial Intelligence. At first both subject matters seem to have their own gravitas but it’s the brilliance with which Thomas R. Weaver has connected the two trending topics to create a narrative that may seem to be some decades into the future but whose seeds are very well planted as you read this review.” – Best Thriller Books

“With a noir-ish style of writing – clipped, to the point, and immediately arresting — this takes a page-turning murder mystery into fresh territory, with a future-world fans of political sci-fi will be totally drawn into, and of-the-moment ethical issues everyone can relate to. Add to that a universal character journey of a man set on finding out why his wife died, and you have a sparky story that’ll satisfy a range of reading tastes.” – LoveReading

About Thomas R. Weaver

Thomas R. Weaver

Thomas R. Weaver writes stories about tomorrow to help make sense of today.

Aside from writing, Thomas is a UK-based tech entrepreneur. His last startup was acquired by Just Eat Takeaway; his new one is still in stealth but backed by a major Silicon Valley tech accelerator. 

After successfully launching a tech startup in the restaurant hospitality space which transformed payment and ordering experiences he realized he had no more excuses not to do what he always wanted to do: write fiction. Despite swearing to friends and family (none of whom apparently believed him) that he’d never run another startup again, he recently started another one focussed on bringing some of the ideas in Artificial Wisdom, his debut novel, to life, specifically around communicating in augmented reality. 

In Thomas’s spare time, he is an avid cook, and loves drawing, painting, and chess. He usually writes immediately after a workout and spa session down his local gym. Thomas collects more books than he has time to read, especially if they have beautiful covers, like Folio editions. He’s a sucker for great covers.

Episode 169: Sara Wolf – Heavenbreaker

A chat with New York Times-bestselling author Sara Wolf (the Lovely Vicious and Bring Me Their Hearts series) about Heavenbreaker, her new science fiction novel.

Website
authorsarawolf.com

Substack
swolf.substack.com

X
@Sara_Wolf

Instagram
@authorsarawolf

Sara Wolf’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for Heavenbreaker
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

About the Book

Bravery isn’t what you do. It’s what you endure.

The duke of the powerful House Hauteclare is the first to die. With my dagger in his back.

He didn’t see it coming. Didn’t anticipate the bastard daughter who was supposed to die with her mother―on his order. He should have left us with the rest of the Station’s starving, commoner rubbish.

Now there’s nothing left. Just icy-white rage and a need to make House Hauteclare pay. Every damn one of them.

Even if it means riding Heavenbreaker―one of the few enormous machines left over from the War―and jousting against the fiercest nobles in the system.

Each win means another one of my enemies dies. And here, in the cold terror of space, the machine and I move as one, intent on destroying each adversary―even if it’s someone I care about. Even if it’s someone I’m falling for.

Only I’m not alone. Not anymore.

Because there’s something in the machine with me. Something horrifying. Something…more.

And it won’t be stopped.

Praise for Heavenbreaker

“A genre-bending, viscerally written thrill ride.”Xiran Jay Zhao, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Iron Widow

“Wolf balances the unflinching action with evocative worldbuilding, considerate characterization, and a thoughtful exploration of the hope found in quiet places. This astonishes.”Publishers Weekly, starred review 

“While the SF elements (including intricate worldbuilding and mind-blowing revelations regarding the aliens that humankind defeated in that distant war) are brilliantly done, it’s the insightful characterization and emotional vulnerability of Synali that powers this story. Her pain, incendiary anger, self-doubt, and ultimate courage will resonate with more than a few readers. Synali could be the next Katniss Everdeen—the potential is certainly there. A highly palatable fusion of SF elements.” —Kirkus, starred review

About Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf lives in Portland, Oregon, where the sun can’t get her anymore. When she isn’t pouring her allotted life force into writing, she’s reading, accidentally burning houses down whilst baking, or making faces at her highly appreciative cat. She is the author of the NYT-bestselling Lovely Vicious series and the Bring Me Their Hearts series. 

Episode 168: Dan Flanigan – An American Tragedy

A chat with novelist, playwright, poet (and practicing lawyer) Dan Flanigan about An American Tragedy, third book in his Peter O’Keefe crime-fiction series.

Website
danflaniganbooks.com

Facebook
@eAuthorDanFlanigan

X
@_DanFlanigan

Dan Flanigan’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for An American Tragedy
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

About the Book

No good deed goes unpublished

In the scorching summer of 1988, amidst the frenzy of the Satanic Panic gripping the nation, private detective O’Keefe finds himself thrust into a trial like no other. As he strives to establish his fledgling agency, the last thing he anticipates is being drawn into a harrowing legal battle. But when Virginia Montrose, “Miss Ginny” to her students and his daughter Kelly’s most beloved teacher, is accused of heinous crimes against her current and former students, O’Keefe faces a moral quandary unlike any before.

Despite the risks and the overwhelming stigma, O’Keefe’s encounter with the shadowy child protection figures driving the prosecution sparks a fierce determination to seek truth and justice.

In this gripping tale of courage and conviction, O’Keefe’s resolve is put to the ultimate test as he confronts the darkest facets of human nature and dares to challenge the prevailing hysteria. O’Keefe must summon every ounce of his strength to uncover the shocking truth while struggling to reverse the relentless tide of injustice.

About Dan Flanigan

Dan Flanigan

Dan Flanigan is a novelist, poet, playwright, and practicing lawyer (you can find his legal bio here). He has written a book of poetry (Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love and Death) and of short fiction (Dewdrops). He has published three books in a detective series (Mink Eyes, The Big Tilt, On Lonesome Roads) chronicling the adventures of private detective Peter O’Keefe and the characters in O’Keefe’s orbit as they grapple with the scams, schemes, and scandals of the last four decades of American life. The fourth book, An American Tragedy, to be published on June 25 and now available for pre-order, focuses on the harrowing Satanic and Moral Panics of the 1980s and 90s.

Dan and his wife Candy created Sierra Tucson, a prominent alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Arizona, and he serves on the Board of World Childhood Foundation USA, dedicated to ending child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Episode 167: E.C. Hibbs – The Shade Between Shadows

A chat with author, artist, and storyteller E.C. Hibbs about the first book in her new Nightland Quartet, The Shade Between Shadows.

Website
echibbs.weebly.com

Facebook
@echibbs

Instagram
@e_c_hibbs

TikTok
@e_c_hibbs

YouTube
@echibbs

E.C. Hibbs’s Amazon Page

Amazon Links for The Shade Between Shadows
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

About the Book

I didn’t think myself truly silent. I possessed a voice, as sure as any other. It was simply not the same as any other I had met.

The year is 1838. Queen Victoria has ascended the throne. And within the United Kingdom lies Nightland: a sprawling forest filled with darkness and danger.

Beatrice has always been different. She has not spoken since childhood, communicates through drawings, and hates to be touched. And she is a grey: half-English and half-Nightlander.

When she is forced into servitude across the border, she hatches a plan to escape with siblings Anselm and Gretchen. But gaining her freedom will be no simple task, for first, she must unravel the secrets of her master, Prince Edward. A man rumoured to have murdered his wife — and who shares Beatrice’s ability to see people’s souls.

About E.C. Hibbs

E.C. Hibbs

E.C. Hibbs was born by the sea in Cheshire, northwest England, which she describes at “a quaint little corner of the world that folks might know thanks to a certain grinning cat.” Her village was only a street long, filled with Victorian cottages and encased in woodland. She was brought up around a log fire, on a steady diet of fairy tales and a huge collection of books.

​When she was twelve, she completed my first novel. She says, “It sucked. A lot. But it sowed the seeds of a distant dream. In a childhood which was both beautiful and dark, words were an anchor.  needed to make sense of the tangle of thoughts in my head; breathe life into the fantasies I saw. Writing was a way for me to both escape the world and make sense of it.”

Emma attended the University of Chester, studying animal behaviour, specializing in marine and polar ethology and ecology, working with more than eighty species of animals—everything from rabbits to rhinos—and eventually gaining a master’s degree in Wildlife Conservation. But all the while, she was writing stories.

The same week she graduated with her BSc (Hons), her debut novel, Blindsighted Wanderer was published. Then she jumped on a plane and headed to Finland. It marked the beginning of her  winters inside the Arctic Circle, once again surrounded by woods and huddled around a log fire, in another village barely a street long. It became her second home: a place which seemed to be woven from magic and myth. She spent the next few years between there and England, always writing, always creating. 

Now, she says, “my life is a wonderful balance of all the things I love the most. I spin novels and short stories, write calligraphy for heritage books, and give talks on the history of fairy tales. Thanks to a photographic memory, I’m also a traditional storyteller, with over 1000 performances under my belt, in front of such names as Ed Byrne, Colleen Rooney, and James McAvoy. On top of that, I’m a 2nd Dan black belt in Shotokan karate, and I helped to break a Guinness World Record on the world’s biggest catwalk.”

She concludes, “My path has certainly been interesting so far, with its share of both light and dark. But it’s my path, and I choose to own it. It’s not always made it easy to fit in, but that’s never bothered me. I still see the world with a sense of childlike wonder and hope I never lose that. So I’ll carry on creating, exploring reality through a lens of fantasy, expressing myself in the silent language of words and stories. 

​“And now, I can share that vision with you: with everyone who doesn’t fit the mould, who finds magic and adventure in every question they ask.”