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!
Register for Boskone 57 today!

About DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

DJ is a year 3 medical student in his clinical rotations, who in his spare time, loves to interview authors about all the books that he has no time to read :)
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