Episode 97: Mercedes Lackey

An interview with Mercedes Lackey, prolific author of science fiction and fantasy, recently named the 38th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Website
www.mercedeslackey.com

Twitter
@mercedeslackey

Facebook
@mercedeslackey

Mercedes Lackey’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

Mercedes Lackey, recently named the 38th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), was born in Chicago Illinois on June 24, 1950.  The very next day, the Korean War was declared.  It is hoped that there is no connection between the two events.

She was raised mostly in the northwestern corner of Indiana, attending grade school and high school in Highland Indiana.  She graduated from Purdue University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  This, she soon learned, along with a paper hat and a nametag will qualify you to ask “would you like fries with that?” at a variety of fast-food locations.

After spending time in jobs ranging from artist’s model to lab technician at the Mosquito Genetics Project to short-order cook, she took training and became a computer programmer.  About this time she discovered science fiction conventions and the Society for Creative Anachronism, and began attending functions of both, more often in costume than not.

She had always written from her early teens, and developed this hobby by writing fan-fiction for various amateur magazines.  In the 1980s she took a job programming computers for a major airline and as a consequence moved to Oklahoma, where she continued to write.  At this time she met both Marion Zimmer Bradley (author of The Mists of Avalon, and .C J Cherryh, both of whom helped mentor her from the ranks of the amateur into those of the professional writers.  

In 1985 her first book was published.  In 1990 she met artist Larry Dixon at a small dcience giction convention in Meridian. Mississippi, on a television interview organized by the convention.  They began working together from that time on, and were married in Las Vegas at the Excalibur chapel by Merlin the Magician (aka the Reverend Duckworth) in 1992.

They moved to their current home, the “second weirdest house in Oklahoma” also in 1992.  She has many pet parrots and “the house is never quiet.”  She has 144 books in print, and publishes between five and six books a year, alone or in collaboration.  Some of her foreign editions can be found in Russian, German, Czech, Polish, French, Italian, Turkish, and Japanese.  She is the author, alone or in collaboration, of the Hunter, Heralds of Valdemar, Elemental Masters, Secret World Chronicles, 500 Kingdoms, Diana Tregarde, Heirs of Alexandria, Obsidian Mountain, Dragon Jouster, Bedlam Bards, Shadow Grail, and other series and standalone books. In November 2021 she was named the

She has continued her hobby of costuming. She also does art-needlework and beadwork, sometimes combining these hobbies with her doll-making, usually sending these as gifts or to charity auctions as well.  She always has several of these projects going at any one time, because they give her the opportunity to think about her stories while her hands are busy.  Occasionally she costumes porcelain dolls as one of her characters to be sent as charity auction pieces. Her current project is a set of Secret World Chronicle dolls.

A night owl by nature, she is generally found at the keyboard between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

Episode 96: Brendan Wilson

An hour-long interview with Brendan Wilson, former Army ranger and paratrooper and NATO defense planner and diplomat, master martial artist, and author of The Achilles Battle Fleet, Book 1 in the Mei Ling Lee Trilogy.

Website
www.brendanwilsonwrites.com

Facebook
@brendanwilsonwrites

Instagram
@brendanwilsonwrites

Brendan Wilson’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

Following 25 years of military service as a US Army ranger and paratrooper, Brendan Wilson retired as a lieutenant colonel and then joined NATO where he served as a defense planner and diplomat for the next 15 years. During the course of his 40 years of work as a soldier and diplomat, he saw service in war-torn Libya, Ukraine, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq.  A former coach and team captain for a military martial arts competition team, he holds master ranking (8th Dan) in three different martial arts, and won the silver medal in the 2009 US Open for Taekwondo.

In retirement Wilson turned his efforts to filmmaking. He wrote and produced two award-winning short films (Doug’s ChristmasA Child Lies Here) and served as executive producer for ten episodes of the award-winning web series, Greetings! From Prison starring SNL’s Chris Redd.  Moved by seeing human lives upended in war-torn areas, Wilson is earning his law degree and, once qualified as an attorney, plans to volunteer to help refugees.  A former assistant professor who taught military history and the Univerity of Colorado, Wilson holds a Ph.D. in international relations and has about a dozen publications on defense-related topics. He is the father of two adult children. 

Wilson lives a quiet life in Sycamore, Illinois. He spends his days writing, hiking, studying law and practicing his martial arts. The Achilles Battle Fleet, the first book in the Mei-Ling Lee Trilogy, is his first novel.

The First Novel of the Mei-Ling Lee Trilogy

Naval Academy martial arts champion Lieutenant Mei-Ling Lee serves in a backwater assignment as an aide to the inspector general of a rag-tag group of starships thrown together as a convoy evacuating civilians from a contested area of the galaxy. When the convoy is attacked, she finds herself thrust into the center of a galactic struggle as the chief of staff for the newly formed Achilles Battle Fleet. As the conflict continues, Lee is forced to draw upon her martial arts skill and her inner strength as she fights alongside the Fleet’s marine commando unit. Struggling with budding romance, new friendships and startling betrayals, Lee becomes the warrior she was meant to be.

Episode 95: Noah Lemelson

A long conversation with Noah Lemelson, author of the dieselpunk fantasy novel The Sightless City (Tiny Fox Press) and assorted short stories of the weird and fantastic.

Twitter
@NoahLemelson

Website
www.noahlemelson.com

Facebook
@NoahLemlesonAuthor

Noah Lemelson’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

​A short-story writer and novelist based in Los Angeles, Noah Lemelson writes science fiction, fantasy, surreal horror, “insert-adjective-here”-punk and “all sorts of weird nonsense.” After receiving his B.A. in Biology from the University of Chicago in 2014, he made a hard pivot into the world of fiction, and in 2019 completed his MFA in Creative Writing at CalArts.

Noah’s debut dieselpunk fantasy novel, The Sightless City was released in July 2021, from Tiny Fox Press. He has also published short fiction in online magazines such as Space Squid, Literally Stories, Silver Blade, and Allegory.

Episode 94: Garon Whited

An hour-long conversation with Garon Whited, author of (among many other things) the popular Nightlord series, about his creative process.

Website
www.garonwhited.com

Twitter
@garonwhited

Facebook
@author.garon.whited

Instagram
@garonwhited

Garon Whited’s Amazon Page

The Introduction:

Garon Whited was born in Kansas in 1969 or 1970; the original birth certificate is suspiciously unavailable and other records do not agree. After following his parents around the South for several years, he finally caught up to them and settled somewhere between Texas and Arkansas.

Garon attended several universities whether he was a student or not. While he was in college, he studied many subjects, none of which were helpful in earning a living. At present, he writes stories in the hope people will feed him. He has written several novels and various short stories and shows no signs of stopping. Having fought drunken dragons, sleepy medusae, snarky boojums, and quite a few loons, he is uniquely qualified to write fantastic fiction. His work tends toward the optimistic: Even his apocalyptic sci-fi novel has a surprisingly feel-good attitude.

When he’s not writing stories, Garon is still telling them. Garon is a fan of Role-Playing Games and started playing many years and many editions ago. It may have encouraged him to write by providing material.  Garon loves to read, usually science fiction and fantasy. Strangely–perhaps ironically–he is not usually a fan of vampire novels.

Episode 93: Lavie Tidhar

An hour-long conversation with Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award, Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, Campbell Award, and Neukom Prize-winning author, speaker, and book columnist for the Washington Post, about his creative process, with a focus on his new novel The Escapement (Tachyon Publications).

Website
lavietidhar.wordpress.com

Twitter
@LavieTidhar

Facebook
@lavietidhar

Lavie Tidhar’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

Photo by Kevin Nixon. (c) Future Publishing 2013.

Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Osama (2011), Seiun-nominated The Violent Century (2013), the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize-winning A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), and the Campbell Award and Neukom Prize-winning Central Station (2016), and Locus and Campbell award-nominated Unholy Land (2018), in addition to many other works and several other awards. His latest novel is The Escapement (Tachyon Publications). Other recent novels include By Force Alone (2020) and debut children’s novel Candy (2018 UK; as The Candy Mafia 2020 US). He is also the author of the comics mini-series Adler..

Lavie works across genres, combining detective and thriller modes with poetry, science fiction, and historical and autobiographical material. His work has been compared to that of Philip K. Dick by the Guardian and the Financial Times, and to Kurt Vonnegut’s by Locus.

Lavie’s media appearances have included Channel 4 News, BBC Radio London and others. His speaking engagements have included a wide range of events, including for the Ministry of Defence, Cambridge University, English PEN, the Singapore Writers Festival and various Guest of Honour appearances in Japan, Poland, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, China and elsewhere. Occasional commissions include work for Conde Nast, Braingle/Puzzle Tales, I Speak Machine/Penguin Random House, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum Berlin and New Scientist.

Lavie is currently a book columnist for the Washington Post, and a Visiting Professor and Writer in Residence at Richmond, The American International University in London.

Episode 92: Laurell K. Hamilton

An hour-long conversation with Laurell K. Hamilton, bestselling author of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry series, with a special focus on her new Zaniel Havelock series.

Website
www.laurellkhamilton.com

Twitter
@LKHamilton

Facebook
@LaurellKHamiltonOfficial

Instagram:
@official_lkhamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton’s Amazon page

The Introduction

Laurell Kaye Hamilton is an American multi-genre writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry.

Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her New York Times-bestselling Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.

Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live.

Laurell was born in rural Arkansas but grew up in northern Indiana with her grandmother. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University). She lives in St. Louis with her family. In her free time, Laurell trains in Filipino martial arts with a specialization in blade work.

Episode 91: Joshua Palmatier

An hour-long chat with Joshua Palmatier, author of the Throne of Amenkor, Well of Sorrows and Ley fantasy series for DAW Books, and publisher of multiple anthologies through Zombies Needs Brains LLC.

Websites
www.joshuapalmatier.com
www.zombiesneedbrains.com

Twitter
@bentateauthor

Facebook
@joshua.b.palmatier

Joshua Palmatier’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

A professor of mathematics at SUNY Oneonta, Joshua Palmatier has published nine novels—the Throne of Amenkor series (The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, The Vacant Throne) with DAW, the Well of Sorrows series (Well of Sorrows, Leaves of Flame, Breath of Heaven) with Baen and Zombies Need Brains, and the Ley series (Shattering the Ley, Threading the Needle, Reaping the Aurora) with DAW. He is currently at work on the start of a new series.

He has also published numerous short stories—“Mastihooba” in Close Encounters of the Urban Kind and “Tears of Blood” in Beauty Has Her Way (both edited by Jennifer Brozek), “The River” in River (edited by Alma Alexander), and “Daughter of the Sands” in Apollo’s Daughters (edited by Brian Young).

Episode 90: David Liss

An hour-long conversation with David Liss, author of fourteen novels and numerous novellas and short stories, as well as a writer for numerous comics, with a focus on his newest novel, The Peculiarities.

Website
www.davidliss.com

Twitter
@David_Liss

Facebook
David Liss

David Liss’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

David Liss is the author of fourteen novels, as well as numerous novellas and short stories. His previous books include A Conspiracy of Paper, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity, and Edgar awards for Best First Novel. The Coffee Trader was also named a New York Times Notable Book and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s 25 Books to Remember. Many of his novels are currently being developed for television or film.

Liss has worked on numerous comics projects, including Black Panther and Mystery Men for Marvel, The Spider and Green Hornet for Dynamite, and Angelica Tomorrow.

Episode 89: Violette Malan

An hour-long (and then some) conversation with fantasy author Violette Malan, author of The Godstone (DAW Books), and creator of the Dhulyn and Parno sword-and-sorcery series, The Mirror Land series, and (as V.M. Escalada) the Faraman Prophecy.

Website
violettemalan.com

Facebook
@VioletteMalan108

Twitter
@VioletteMalan

Violette Malan’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

Violette Malan is the author of the Dhulyn and Parno sword-and-sorcery series and The Mirror Lands series of primary world fantasies. As V.M. Escalada, she’s the author of the Faraman Prophecy, including Halls of Law, and Gift of Griffins. Her latest novel is The Godstone (DAW Books).

She strongly urges you to remember that no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

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Episode 88: Ryan Van Loan

An hour-long conversation with fantasy author Ryan Van Loan, author of The Sin in the Steel and The Justice in the Revenge, the first two books in the Fall of the Gods series (Tor Books), which concludes next year with The Memory in the Blood.

Website
www.ryanvanloan.com

Twitter
@ryanvanloan

Ryan Van Loan’s Amazon Page

The Introduction

Ryan Van Loan is a fantasy author who served six years as a sergeant in the United States Army Infantry (Pennsylvania National Guard), where he served on the front lines of Afghanistan.

Ryan has traveled around the world, wandering Caribbean island haunts, exploring the palaces and cathedrals of Europe, and hiking with elephants in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. His work has appeared in numerous places, including Tor.com and Fireside Magazine. His debut novel, The Sin in the Steel (Tor Books), Book One in the Fall of the Gods series, came out in Summer 2020. The sequel, The Justice in Revenge came out July 13, 2021, and the conclusion to the series, The Memory in the Blood drops in Summer 2022.