B57 Mini Interviews with Steven Popkes, Clea Simon, and Sarah Morrison

Good morning! Hope everyone is having an amazing day! Today we are interviewing Steven Popkes, Clea Simon, and Sarah Morrison!

Steven Popkes

Steven Popkes is mainly known for his short fiction and novellas. That said, there are three novels out there for people to read: Caliban Landing, Slow Lightning and Welcome to Witchlandia. He has been collected several times in various “Best of…” anthologies. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife. Together they have a dog, a cat, forty turtles and twenty three chickens. The turkeys just visit. His son just visits.

Visit Steven on their website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Boskone and Readercon are the conventions that seem to have the most investment in the written word as opposed to media, costume, etc. I have nothing against these other things but my personal investment is in the written word.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

The process of writing. The nature of world building. The experience of character exploration.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

Boston in Winter
Miserable weather here
Boskone is like spring

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why? 

If we’re viewing the film as reality, I would have liked to be in the discussion between the elves before they decided they needed a grand council. There must have been some really vitriolic interchanges about what Elrond was going to do.

If we’re looking it as film making, I would like to have watched the Hayden scene on the space station in 2001.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

There’s a side character that keeps showing up in my fiction. He is a man born in ancient Sumer but who is still living. His name is Fred Hibbert. He first showed up as the boss of a character in my story This Old Man. But he’s shown up in different places since.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

Scanners live in Vain, Cordwainer Smith

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

A convention in Chicago in winter of 1978. Both Gene Wolfe and Algys Budrys was there. Gene Wolfe said to cling to that which everyone you knew said should be eliminated: that was yours.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

The print version of my novel Welcome to Witchlandia has now been released. My short story collection, Simple Things, will be out in December. Next year my novel, God’s Country, will be released.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Anti-gravity belts– they’ve been around since the pulps. With them one could fly under their own power like Heinlein’s The Menace from Earth.

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Clea Simon

The author of more than two dozen mysteries featuring cats, three nonfiction books, and one punk rock urban noir, World Enough (Severn House), Clea Simon likes to keep busy. The Boston Globe best-selling author’s most recent mysteries range from the dystopian black-cat narrated Cross My Path (Severn House) (the third Blackie & Care mystery) and the snarky pet noir Fear on Four Paws (Poisoned Pen) (Pru Marlowe #7) to the cozy A Spell of Murder, the first Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, which Polis Books will publish in December. Clea lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband and one (1) cat. She can be reached at http://www.cleasimon.com

Visit Clea on their Twitter or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

The level of engagement! Seriously, I go to a lot of cons and what struck memost last year (my first year) was not only how much people had read but how engaged they were in the topics. Serious discussionis rare these days. Serious discussion of the ethics of paranormal cats even more so – and at a con? Just love how committed everyone is, and really want to bring it myself.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I wish I could say something more esoteric, but I lived in Narnia for so many years (I was quite sure the woods between the worlds – from “The Magician’s Nephew” – was the beech forest behind my house). Possibly, Robert Graves'”The Big Green Book” might come close, with those wonderful Sendak illustrations and that big, floppy dog (who never chased rabbits again…)

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

“An Incantation of Cats,” my second Witch Cats of Cambridge, came out in January). Once again, three littermates must help their human, and in this second outing has the magical feline sisters learning to work together. I love my quirky witch cats. I hope readers do too! (I’m going to be setting up events but don’t have anything yet).

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

I have often thought the elven rope that Galadriel gives Sam would be useful. Especially as I am crap at knots.

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Sarah Morrison

Sarah Morrison is a fantasy illustrator who costumes in her spare time. You can find her work at http://sarahmorrisonillustration.com

Visit Sarah on their Facebook or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

I enjoy the mix of things and people I can find at Boskone. Personally, I’m mostly here for the art, especially hearing and watching professional artists talk about art and their techniques. The art show is always amazing, and Boskone is a welcoming place for aspiring artists to get to meet and chat with professionals. I also occasionally listen to authors read from their works, and I like to take part in the whimsical magic behind NarniaCon (the coat check).

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Maybe not relevant to one specific piece, but I, like many artists, end up painting my friends and family in my artwork. Sometimes another friend will comment “Oh! I really love that painting you did of so-and-so, but I think it would be so weird to have a painting of them hanging on my wall.” It’s a lot of fun painting my friends, though, and often more fun to do a preparatory photoshoot with them than with a hired model who I don’t know. I personally love recognizing some of the people in the paintings of illustrators I admire. I’d hang them on my wall.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

I’ve always loved a variety of things in the science fiction and fantasy realm (growing up on Astroboy, the usual childrens’ fairy tales, and Star Trek TNG of course), but it wasn’t until a friend lent me a bunch of Dragonlance books in High School that I finally really discovered the depths of the genre. Dragons and magic everywhere, that was the best, and I’d never seen art like Larry Elmore’s covers before. The world of fantasy illustration was suddenly open to me and I loved it.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Hey, can we get Niven’s stepping discs please?Seriously. I’d be making so much use out of them. The internet helps us keep in touch with people far away but it’s just not the same – plus it takes at least an hour to get anywhere local by public transit.

Register for Boskone 57!
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B57 Mini Interviews with Charlaine Harris, Vincent O’Neil, and Walter Jon Williams

Morning all! We are officially in December, and to kick off our December set of min-interviews, we have Charlaine Harris, Vincent O’Neil, and Walter Jon Williams!

Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is the best-selling author of mystery and urban fantasy novels and short stories. She lives in the south, on a cliff, with four dogs and her husband.

Visit Charlaine on their FacebookTwitter or website.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

I’m really looking forward to talking about my new series, the Gunnie Rose books, because they’re so different from anything I’ve written before. I have a new publisher, new editor, and new series; all cause for celebration.

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why?

It’s so hard to pick just one. When Darcy and Elizabeth come to an understanding in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE? When Maxwell sees dinosaurs in JUST ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER? When Rae Seddon is kidnapped in SUNSHINE? I believe I’ll choose the scene in THE ROOK when the traitor(s) are revealed. I would love to watch the battle from a safe vantage point.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

I’m the opposite of ruthless, so I’ve always enjoyed writing ruthless characters. Pam and Niall in the Sookie books and Paulina in the Gunnie Rose books are among my favorites.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

Ray Bradbury’s DANDELION WINE, which I read when I was in my early teens. I also remember LET’S KILL UNCLE (Rohan O’Grady) with fondness. I’m about to reread it.

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

I was nominated for an Agatha, so my publisher asked me to attend Malice Domestic. I didn’t know there were conventions for readers and writers of genre books. It was a whole new world for me. Of course I didn’t win, but discovering literary conventions definitely changed my life.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

The Time Machine, from HG Wells’ book of the same name. I am so curious about solving old crimes; I’d love to travel in time to do that.

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Vincent O’Neil

Vincent H. O’Neil is the Malice Award-winning author of the Exile murder mystery series, as well as the theater-themed mystery Death Troupe. He’s also written two horror novels called Interlands and Denizens, featuring the historian Angela “Ree” Morse. Writing as Henry V. O’Neil, he recently published the fifth and final novel in his military science fiction Sim War series with HarperCollins. The books in that series are Glory Main, Orphan Brigade, Dire Steps, CHOP Line, and Live Echoes. A native of Massachusetts, Vincent is a graduate of West Point and holds a master’s degree in international business from The Fletcher School.

Visit Vincent on their Facebook or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

There’s something for everyone at Boskone. Panels, music, crafts, games, get-togethers, open-mike events, signings, readings, you name it. I’ve been coming to Boskone for years now, and it’s amazing how many people consider this the one convention they will not miss. Everyone’s very friendly, the organizers are on top of everything, and the only real problem is choosing what you’re going to do. There’s so much going on here that the schedule extends late into the night—but if you need a break, some of the best times I’ve had were chats with strangers in the con suite / hospitality area. Boskone’s a winner, so don’t miss it.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

If you really like
Science fiction / fantasy
Boskone is the best

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

In 2017 HarperCollins published the fifth and final novel in my military science fiction Sim War series, which I wrote as Henry V. O’Neil. I had a lot of fun creating what turned out to be dual main characters in that storyline, but the thing I enjoyed most was the way some of the secondary characters grew right alongside them. Without giving too much away, the story focuses on the Mortas family, powerful players in a decades-long war against a humanoid enemy called the Sims. The Mortas family has lots of deadly enemies, and so has serious security in the form of bodyguards who are both tough and smart.

The leader of that security force is a man named Hugh Leeger, who started out as the personal bodyguard to a Mortas child who has grown up and is fighting in the war. Leeger is intensely loyal, directs the family’s extensive spy network, and frequently participates in strategic decisions. Unfortunately, he’s also watched the head of the family make increasingly questionable choices in the name of political expedience, which forces Leeger to question if he’s even on the right side anymore. Although I outlined and wrote every word of the story, Leeger’s inner conflict was something that basically wrote itself—while also making him one of the most interesting characters in the series.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

Frank Herbert’s Dune did it for me. I read it as a young teenager, and was instantly pulled into the universe inhabited by the Atreides and their blood enemies the Harkonnens. The book is so well-written that in no time at all I was completely invested in the characters and really wanted to know how this thing would turn out.

The story exists on the macro level—witha tangle of feuding noble families, a tyrannical emperor, a shadowy sisterhood with awesome powers, a spacing guild, and a lot more—as well as on the micro level, with details like how to walk on the surface of the planet Dune without attracting the attention of the deadly sandworms. Dune’s got action, betrayal, philosophy, folklore, romance, humor, and a cast of unforgettable characters—what’s not to like?

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

I liked the Marauder’s Map from the Harry Potter books the moment it was introduced, and would love to have something like that in real life. Imagine a guide that showed you every inch of a place—including hidden chambers and passages—as well as the locations of every person (even those shielded by magic) on the grounds. Managing mischief would be a LOT easier with something like that.

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Walter Jon Williams

Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning author who has been listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and the Times of London. He is the author of twenty-seven novels and three collections of short fiction. His latest novel is Quillifer, a picaresque fantasy adventure.

Visit Walter on their Facebook or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

The thing I best like about Boskone is that it’s still about the books.I have no problem with media conventions, but books are my preferred medium for transmitting stories, and Boskone shares my obsession.

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

It was my local New Mexico convention, Bubonicon, around 1972.The guest of honor was Ted White, who edited the magazines Amazing and Fantastic.Since then I’ve traveled around the world to attend conventions, but I always try to attend Bubonicon.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

My fantasy novel QUILLIFER THE KNIGHT, sequel to QUILLIFER, was released late in 2019.

Of QUILLIFER, George RR Martin wrote: “For all of you who need some great fantasy to read while you’re waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER… try QUILLIFER, by Walter Jon Williams. WJW is always fun, but this may be his best yet, a delight from start to finish, witty, colorful, exciting and amusing by turns, exquisitely written. There’s a dash of Cugel and a dollop of Flashman in Quillifer, son of Quillifer, but this butcher’s boy remains uniquely his own man. I loved meeting him and look forward to seeing him again.”

Don’t take my word it’s good, take his!

Register for Boskone 57!
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B57 Mini Interviews with Errick Nunnally, Lisa Hertel, and Leigh Perry

Happy (belated) Turkey Day! Hope everyone’s pants still fit them! XD If you are still recovering from your food coma, I suggesting grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting down to read about three more participants we are honored to have this year: Errick Nunnally, Lisa Hertel, and Leigh Perry!

Errick Nunnally

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Errick Nunnally served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school would be a safer—and more natural—pursuit. He strives to develop his strengths in storytelling and remains permanently distracted by art, comics, science fiction, history, and horror. Trained as a graphic designer, he has earned a black belt in Krav Maga/Muay Thai kickboxing after dark. Errick’s successes include: the novel, BLOOD FOR THE SUN; the upcoming novel, LIGHTNING WEARS A RED CAPE with ChiZine Publications; a comic strip collection, LOST IN TRANSITION; and first prize in one hamburger contest. The following are some short stories and their respective anthologies: PENNY INCOMPATIBLE (Lamplight, v.6, #3); JACK JOHNSON AND THE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE OF THE GALAXY (The Final Summons); WELCOME TO THE D.I.V. (Wicked Witches); A FEW EXTRA POUNDS (Transcendent); YOU CALL THIS AN APOCALYPSE? (After The Fall); and A HUNDRED PEARLS: PROTECTORS 2 (stories to benefit PROTECT.ORG). He came to his senses and moved to Providence, Rhode Island with his two lovely children and one beautiful wife.

Visit Errick on their FacebookTwitter or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Both casual and professional, access to participants, low-key, well-run, reasonable cost… A lot of things! I know quite a few people regularly in attendance and it has been a pleasure making this sci-fi emphasized event a regular convention to attend. Plus, I get to meet creators I admire AND I got to meet my favorite sci-fi writer, David Gerrold, one year. I even had the pleasure of serving on a panel with him. I wish I found myself in California with any regularity so we could chat in-person again. Damn it, Boskone, thanks for reminding me… *sob*

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

Super-powers and stuff. I mean, we generalize it by saying “superhero,” but my latest novel isn’t exactly about heroes in the costumed, organized sense. Ergo, I am looking forward to talking about such things! I think “people with abilities” crosses all genres and that’s a conversation worth having.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

There once was a con called Boskone,
Who’s location happens to be Bos-tone.
I dropped a friend off one year,
Saw a car marked F451 in the rear,
and knew I better get my ass into there.

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why? 

Just about any of the insane stories that Harlan Ellison is tangled up in. Oh, to be present for such scandalous bombast… Or maybe on the set for the filming of THEM. But, y’know, without the racism of the 1950s. Ugh, this is a hard question, y’all.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Filkers: Listeners often know your most popular music. Which of your other, less well-known songs, affects you deeply? What is it about that song that speaks to your creative spirit?

In my novel, Blood For The Sun, the secondary character, Seth, has a complex relationship from the past with Alexander, my main character. They’re entangled somewhere between loyalty and love and I thought he turned out to be a very fine, subtle character to write. Seth’s love and loyalty to a woman, Constantina, that Alexander loved but couldn’t safely be with because she’s already involved with a powerful leader, Curry, that both Seth and Alexander work for. Compounding the problem is that Alexander’s mental problems have erased the fine edges of memories that held both Seth and Constantina. It’s a personal conflict and I was very happy with how it turned out.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

I’ll be working on a re-release of my first novel, Blood For The Sun, and it’s sequels. I’ll also be penning an international thriller about fleeing Afghanistan and dodging a shady security outfit–no supernatural or sci-fi aspects. Challenge accepted!

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

The replicator from Star Trek: The Next Generation so that no one would go hungry.

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Lisa Hertel

Lisa Hertel is an artist at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, the largest artists’ colony on the east coast. She works in clay, watercolors, alcohol inks and encaustics (painting with wax), and more. Visit her there for monthly first Saturday open studios, or take a class; see her website at http://www.cogitation.org for more information, or search for “The Cogitation Zone.” In her spare time, Lisa helps run literary SF conventions. She used to be a pharmacist before becoming a professional artist.

Visit Lisa on their Facebook, Twitter, or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Boskone was the first con I ever went to; since I was 17, I only missed a couple of them. I love it for the art show, which is one of the best; the variety of dealers; and the amazing program participants. Every year Boskone seems to get both “big name” pris who don’t go to any other convention, and interesting new people. And the program is always fascinating.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

Jon Singer, the guest of honor, and I are both potters and chemistry geeks. Jon and I have plotted up a program item on pottery and chemistry. I joke that we might be the only ones to attend, because glaze chemistry, while fascinating to me, isn’t exactly a popular subject! However, I trust Jon’s ability to make everything interesting. If we do get the item on program, I hope some people will come hear about us talking about vitrification, red glaze chemistry, lead glaze, chromium, ash glazes, cones, frits, fluxes, and flocculants.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

I’ve always loved fantasy. As a child, I had a record of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and my aunt gave me Winnie the Pooh when I was four, and I’m sure I read it right away. I was slow to come to science fiction, though; I’d pretty much read most of the other fiction in the house when I picked up Ray Bradbury’s collection I Sing the Body Electric, and got hooked.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

Over the summer, I moved my studio from Lowell to Haverhill, and I’m still playing catch-up, trying to establish myself in my new location, build a new customer base, and make all the things that didn’t get made over the summer. For 2020, I’m going to be concentrating on that.

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Leigh Perry

Leigh Perry is two authors in one. As Leigh, she writes the Family Skeleton series about an adjunct English professor who solves mysteries with her best friend, Sid, an ambulatory skeleton. The Skeleton Makes a Friend is the most recent. As Toni L.P. Kelner, she’s the author of eleven novels: eight Laura Fleming mysteries and three “Where are they now?” mysteries, and has published a number of short stories. Along with New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris, she co-edited a series of bestselling urban fantasy anthologies. She won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story for “Sleeping With The Plush,” and a RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award for Mystery Series. She’s also been nominated for the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Derringer awards. Leigh and her husband, fellow author Stephen P. Kelner, live north of Boston with one of the daughters, a guinea pig named Clara and a whole lot of books. Visit her online at LeighPerryAuthor.com.

Visit Leigh on their Facebook,  Twitter, or website.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

I’m always interested in talking about the writing process, and kvetching about the publishing process.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

A Southerner came up to Boskone
Unaware that it was a cold zone
She got covered in snow
From head down to toe
And cosplayed the role of a snow cone

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

The first SF I read was HAVE SPACESUIT–WILL TRAVEL by Robert Heinlein, and I was hooked.A lot of Heinlein’s work is problematic, but not this book. It’s still just an amazing piece of work.

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

Stellarcon held on campus at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was tiny, and I think Karl Edward Wagner was the GoH.

I entered the costume contest, dressed as a hobbit; I wandered the book room; I hung around the art show, which was very tiny but still impressed me; and I tried to get into filking and didn’t. A great weekend!

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

I’ve got a couple of short stories I want to write, perhaps a new series, and a seventh Family Skeleton book. I’ve got two mystery short stories coming out: one in ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERY MAGAZINE and one in the anthology SHATTERING GLASS.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Star Trek’s transporter. The idea of zooming to the other side of the world without having to go through an airport just makes my heart sing.

Register for Boskone 57!
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B57 Mini Interviews with E.C. Ambrose, Liz Delton, and Adam Stemple

Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed our first two sets of Boskone 57 min-interviews last week! We are back again this week with E.C. Ambrose, Liz Delton, and Adam Stemple! Find out who else wants to use the TARDIS,  whose love for sf/f was sparked by The Thirteen Clocks, and whose first convention ever was actually Boskone!

E.C. Ambrose

E. C. Ambrose wrote “The Dark Apostle” series of dark historical fantasy novels about medieval surgery. The Dark Apostle started with Elisha Barber (DAW, 2013), described in a starred Library Journal review as, “beautifully told, painfully elegant”, and continues with Elisha Magus, Elisha Rex, and Elisha Mancer, concluding with Elisha Daemon, in 2018. As Elaine Isaak, she is the author of The Singer’s Crown (Eos, 2005), and its sequels, as well as the “Tales of Bladesend” epic novella series. Her short fiction has won the Tenebris Press Flash Fiction contest and appeared in Fireside magazine and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Editorial credits include Love Free or Die, and two additional volumes of the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction series.In the process of researching her books, Elaine learned how to hunt with a falcon, clear a building of possible assailants, and pull traction on a broken limb. The author is a graduate of and an instructor for the Odyssey Writing workshop. In addition to writing, Elaine works as a guide, teaching rock climbing and leading outdoor adventure camps.

Visit Dana on their FacebookTwitter or website.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

A convention in Boston they say
is the best on a wintery day!
authors galore
art show and more–
For Boskone, it’s hip-hip-hooray!

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Filkers: Listeners often know your most popular music. Which of your other, less well-known songs, affects you deeply? What is it about that song that speaks to your creative spirit?

In my Bone Guard series of international thrillers, one character is the protagonist’s former commanding officer, a jerk everybody calls “Gooney.” He’s large, loud, irreverent, and damn good at his job. He’s a foil to the protagonist in some super fun ways: they really get under each other’s skin.But Gooney’s the guy he needs for an undercover assignment in The Nazi Skull–with some surprising results.I had so much fun writing for Gooney in both of the books–and now in a couple of side stories as well. Can’t wait to get to know him better.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

The Thirteen Clocks, by James Thurber, is a self-aware fairy tale that is both light and moving.I read it with my parents at an early age, and I still love it.Favorite quote:”I can feel a thing I cannot touch and touch a thing I cannot feel. The first is sad and sorry, and the second is your heart.”

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

The Somebody Else’s Problem Field from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams–so I can reverse-engineer it and use my new “Everybody’s Problem Field” to illuminate some things we all need to pitch in to solve.

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Liz Delton

Liz Delton writes and lives in Connecticut, with her husband and amazing son. She studied Theater Management at the University of the Arts in Philly, always having enjoyed the backstage life of storytelling. She loves reading and writing fantasy, especially the kind with alternate worlds. Liz is the author of the Arcera Trilogy, and the Realm of Camellia series. World-building is her favorite part of writing, and she is always dreaming up new fantastic places. She loves drinking tea and traveling. When she’s not writing you can find her hands full with one of her many craft projects. Visit her website at lizdelton.com

Visit Cat on their Facebook, Twitter, or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

This is my first Boskone! I can already tell it’s going to be full of my kind of people: people who love letting their imagination run wild, and who love exploring new worlds on the page or screen. Fantasy and sci-fi are my greatest passion, so I’m very excited to make new reader and author friends. I’m honored to be a part of this convention with so many talented authors and artists.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Filkers: Listeners often know your most popular music. Which of your other, less well-known songs, affects you deeply? What is it about that song that speaks to your creative spirit?

One of my favorite sidekicks is Thistle, from my latest book The Starless Girl (Realm of Camellia Book 1). He is a flying squirrel with a little bit of magic and a lot a bit of sass. He tries to help Kira, our leading lady, after she gets tricked into an agreement with the local mountain spirit. When writing a magical flying squirrel, it would be easy to pull off a squirrel-ex-machina and have him fly in and solve every problem–so I made sure to give his magic some limitations, and give him a bit of an attitude that gets in his way.

Artwork by Shellsweet
Link here: http://www.lizdelton.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Liz-Delton-Squirrel-Sticker-Commission-PNG-Transparent.png

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

The next book in the Realm of Camellia series should be released in 2020; it’s tentatively titled The Storm King. At the moment I don’t have a release date, but ask me at Boskone: I’m hoping I’ll know by then! I’m also working on writing the third book in this series right now.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

The TARDIS, without a doubt (From Doctor Who!) I just love the idea of being able to explore history, the future, and other worlds, but still be able to return home as if no time has passed and make a cup of tea afterward. Of course, I would love it if it came with the Doctor (Matt Smith is my Doctor), but that definitely always seems to invite all kinds of shenanigans and danger, so bring it on!

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Adam Stemple

Adam Stemple is a writer/poet/musician/web designer/poker player who grew up in Western Mass but has lived the past 30 years in Minneapolis, MN. His three most recent publications are Crow, Not Crow, a picture book with Cornell Library of Natural Sounds,the short story, The Ghost of Lady Rei, in the anthology Lace & Blade 5, and a poem for Reckoning 3 entitled “The World Ended in Ice.”

Visit Grady on their Facebook,  Twitter, or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Boskone was my very first convention. So even though I moved to the Midwest thirty years ago, I love coming back to Boskone.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

Mental illness and creativity is always a favorite topic of mine (bummer right?).

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Filkers: Listeners often know your most popular music. Which of your other, less well-known songs, affects you deeply? What is it about that song that speaks to your creative spirit?

Grandma McClaren and Martes from Singer of Souls for very different reasons. And the dwarves in The Seelie Wars trilogy.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

For movies, Forbidden Planet started me down the road and Star Wars solidified it. Meanwhile, I had an anthology of the greatest science fiction stories of all time (may even have been titled that) that I devoured. Who Goes There?—which was the basis for John Carpenter’s The Thing absolutely gutted me.

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

Boskone! I encountered the very wild early days of Boskone as a teenager.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

So much! I have stories out with Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores (cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com) and Orca Literary Magazine (orcalit.com). I have a Patreon (www.patreon.com/adamstemple) where I’m putting up stories and songs constantly. I’m self-publishing a fantasy novel, which is a new kind of adventure for me. So, basically doing the same as always: writing and playing music.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

The Improbability Drive from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Because of course I would.

Register for Boskone 57!
Register for Boskone 57 today!

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Join the Boskone 57 Book Club, featuring The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

One of Boskone’s annually featured sessions is the Boskone Book Club. This year, we will be gathering on Sunday, February 16, 2020.

Join us for a lively conversation that brings con-goers together to discuss the YA science fiction novel The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (our Young Adult Fiction Guest).

Boskone’s own Bob Kuhn will lead the discussion; Holly Black will join the group halfway through for a Q&A session with fans. Since this is the first book in a series, no spoilers will be given beyond the first book.

To participate, please read the book and come ready with your thoughts and questions for a lively discussion. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

   Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

   To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

   In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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Get Ready for the Boskone 57 Book Party

Get ready for fun at the Boskone 57 Book Party! Come meet the presses and authors who have new books coming out at Boskone! This is your chance to see what’s new from authors you already love as well as those you have yet to discover.

Boskone is holding our annual book party on Saturday night during the convention to give our authors and publishers the opportunity to show off their new and upcoming titles.

Boskone 57 Book Party

The Boskone 57 Book Party


Day: Saturday, February 17th
Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
Location: Con Suite, Galleria Level, Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel

Authors & Publishers: You don’t have to be a program participant to participate, but you do have to submit a request to participate and space is limited.

If you have a new book that was (or will be) published within the last year, we invite you to participate in the Boskone 57 Book Party. Bring your books and swag to share with readers who come to mix, mingle, and talk fiction with Boskone’s authors.

Authors and publishers (with a new book and a membership for Boskone 57) who would like to join the party, should email us at Program@boskone.org with your book’s information, including:

  • Title:
  • Author Name:
  • Release Date:
  • Publisher:
  • Cover Image URL (if available):

Again, please note that space is limited. Contact us as soon as possible to let us know that you’re interested in joining the party. The more the merrier!

Boskone Register TodayRegister for Boskone 57 today!

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B57 Mini Interviews with Cat Scully, Grady Hendrix, and Dana Cameron

Hope that everyone enjoyed the first set of mini interviews on Wednesday! Continuing with the first week of Boskone 57 ‘s mini interviews is Cat Scully, Grady Hendrix, and Dana Cameron! See who wrote another haiku about Boston’s snow, who wants you to talk about killer animals them, and who fell in love with Boskone at their first convention last year!

Cat Scully

Cat Scully is the author-illustrator of JENNIFER STRANGE, out next July 2019 with Haverhill House Publishing. She has illustrated more than thirty world maps for clients like Penguin-Random House, Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, and Sourcebooks.

Visit Cat on their Facebook, Twitter, or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

I loved attending my first Boskone last year and speaking on some fantastic art panels. After one of the panels, I was approached to work in game development working with a fantastic team on an unannounced title. After some pitches and artist tests, I landed the role I work in now. I absolutely wanted to come back to Boskone after that experience

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

My book Jennifer Strange, which is part comic and part novel, comes out later this year. I’d love to be on both some writing panels and art panels talking about what it’s like to work as both writer and artist on a project, designing my own book cover and what that was like, what it’s like to work in video games as a designer, and how to write scripts (I’ve written scripts for animation, commercials, and now I assist with video game writing)

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

It was Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of the Unicorns series. I read that book until it fell apart. I loved the idea of a family legacy, a secret world of fantasy only reachable by taking a leap of faith from atop a clock tower. The moment with science-fiction for me was the Matrix – I still love the idea of philosophical science fiction, the chosen one stories, and imagined technological futures and how far we might go to explore technology without considering the consequences.

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

Dragon Con was my first. I participated in the parade, dressed up as Death from Sandman, and was particularly inspired by all the writers on panels I met as well as the artists selling prints at their booths. Almost ten years later, I made it into the Dragon Con art show (last year) and felt tremendously proud to be standing alongside the artists I met long ago as a fellow professional. The picture I included is of me dressed as the new design for Wonder Woman taken by the late comic artist Jeremy Dale, who passed a few years ago. He was the first artists I ever commissioned for a piece and really encouraged me to get serious about my art. He’s one of the people who I feel like I owe my career to.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

Jennifer Strange releases July 21, 2020 at this year’s Necon, which is taking place in Salem, MA this year! I’m tremendously excited to be sharing my debut book.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

An Alethiometer from the Golden Compass books by Phillip Pullman. I’d love to have a symbolic truth-teller in my pocket to guide me wherever I go.

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Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix is the award-winning author of the novels Horrorstor, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and We Sold Our Souls. He’s also the author of Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom of the 70’s and 80’s, as well as the screenwriter of Mohawk and Satanic Panic.

Visit Grady on their Facebook,  Twitter, or website.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

I’m really hoping someone needs to have a conversation about killer animals. I feel like it’s a forgotten genre in horror but there used to be so many of them and they’re so great. Please, someone talk to me about killer animals???

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why?

I’m assuming by “fly” you mean some kind of horrible Cronenbergian half-human, half-fly creature like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly only way less attractive. In that case, I’d love to be a “fly” clinging to the wall during the Christmas feast in Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander. The food always looks delicious and I’d have a really ungainly body and could only cling to the wall for so long before my horrible appendages gave out, sending me crashing into the middle of the table, flopping around in the delicious dinner, dissolving it with my own vomit and then lapping it up like a fly. The thought of these appalled, well-mannered Swedes looking on and trying not to faint sounds like Christmas magic to me.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

“Are You My Mother?” was a children’s book about a lost, and slightly stupid bird whose mother was seemingly replaced by a variety of unlikely objects. It taught me the true meaning of terror.

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Dana Cameron

Dana Cameron writes across many genres, but mostly crime fiction and urban fantasy in every possible form. Dana’s work has won multiple Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards, and has been nominated for the Edgar Award. Her six Emma Fielding archaeology mysteries were optioned by Muse Entertainment, and the first, Site Unseen, was made into a movie for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Dana will be one of the Writer Guests of Honor at Necon this July, and when she’s not traveling or visiting museums, she’s usually yelling at the TV about historical inaccuracies.

Visit Dana on their FacebookTwitter or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Boskone is constantly evolving and improving. The organizers work like demons to make the panels and other events diverse and inclusive, and I’m always certain to find new authors I need to know about!

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

Spec fic on the wharf/ Gray harbor and wintry skies/ Boskone brings blizzards.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

Artists: Fans love looking at the portfolio of artwork and asking artists about some of their most well known images. Which of your images, that receives less attention from fans, do you hold dear? What is it about the creation of that piece that makes it so special for you?

Filkers: Listeners often know your most popular music. Which of your other, less well-known songs, affects you deeply? What is it about that song that speaks to your creative spirit?

I think my favorite side character is Gerry Steuben, who is an ex-cop PI. He’s a werewolf and one of the Fangborn, a family of supernatural creatures who protect humanity.He was the main character in “The Night Things Changed,” which was my first Fangborn short story, which was published in WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE (Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner were the editors). It was my first urban fantasy story, and I had so much fun with Gerry that I wrote a flock more short stories about the Fangborn, which eventually led me to writing my three novels set in that ‘verse. Zoe Miller, an archaeologist and werewolf, is the protagonist there, and what I like is Gerry has always so certain about the Fangborn and what they do, Zoe questions everything, because she didn’t grow up knowing who she was. It’s hard on Gerry, because she’s basically challenging his faith.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

There were lots of moments that sent me toward SF/F. STAR WARS (Episode IV) came out when I was twelve, blew my mind, and sent me scurrying to the SF sections of the local bookstore and library. Another was finding Andre Norton’s WRAITHS OF TIME, which featured an archaeologist, Tallahassee Mitford, who moved through time/space to Meroe. I read The Lord of the Rings books dozens of time during junior high, and later, on one of my first dates with my then-boyfriend, now husband, he recommended Robert Heinlein’s collection, THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW (I also read THE STAND, by Stephen King because of him). They were also running Doctor Who, with Tom Baker; I adored Leela.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

I have a few short stories that should be coming out then, in THE DYSTOPIAN STATES OF AMERICA (which is dystopian and satirical), and one in SHATTERING GLASS: A NASTY WOMAN PRESS ANTHOLOGY! (this one is an AKA Jayne story, my “retired” covert operative who can’t stay retired).

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

A TARDIS, from Doctor Who. No question.

Register for Boskone 57!
Register for Boskone 57 today!

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