Sunday, March 31, 2013

Guest Blogger: Phoebe Wray

Once again, I'm pleased to host a guest blogger. This time it's author Phoebe Wray, member and former President of Broad Universe, who now has three books and multiple short story publications to her credit.

I asked Phoebe to participate in the "Next Big Thing" blogging meme where an author answers ten set interview questions. Here are her answers.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

Still unknown… J3 is what I’m calling it in my head, but that’s not the final one and it’s doesn’t make sense. Probably something like Jemma7729: The Legacy.  Or maybe Jemma: The Legacy

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Since this is a series, where the idea came from really goes back to why I wrote Jemma7729 seven years ago. It was because I was so pissed off about George Bush’s wars and waste of people and money. I sat listening the news and thought, “WHAT IF…there were a government so repressive it lumped all crimes and misdemeanors—from petty theft to murder—into one category: Inappropriate Behavior. That was the original title of the book. EDGE changed it when the published it.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

It’s science fiction. Sometimes additional categories… dystopian, futurist. The novels are set in 2241, in North America.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmmm. Hadn’t really thought of that, although I do have ideas about Jemma7729 as a SciFi Channel movie. A younger Paget Brewster type would be terrific as Jemma. At the time I wrote it, and I thought about Angelina Jolie. And, as I am still totally in love with Stargate SG-1 (I want to go through that gate SO much)… I always saw Teryl Rothery,  who played Dr Fraser, as Annie.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Unfair question!  I’ll quote what Louise Marley said… “Brave New World meets The Handmaid's Tale, with some serious ass-kicking along the way.”

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

J2 is published by Dark Quest Books.  EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy published Jemma7729 but did not want to do a sequel. Dark Quest is publishing it as an ebook.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I developed it from a long short story to the first novel draft in about a year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I guess what Louise said, above. Actually, I had not read very many SF books by women when I wrote it. Have since, though.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The idea. I’m interested in how we govern ourselves; how we make laws and what we consider putting bars around.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

J2 is a clone. She’s like Jemma, but not really. She has no life experience, outside of the lab. Plus, she is aged artificially. The scientist who made her was investigating longevity in clones. I wanted to think about how we learn things, what can be taught, what’s in our genes… Her brain is “enhanced” with microchips. She can’t control that. She HAS to keep learning. It’s a minor but important theme in J2 and comes back to bite her in the third book.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: The Stephen King Library Desk Calendar 2013

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Stephen King Library Desk Calendar 2013

Published by Bookspan, 2012
Art Director: Tricia A. McGoey
Designed by Joseph Zwielich
128 pages, spiral bound

You'd think that with all the electronic calendars, To Do lists, and other personal management software that there is no need for a physical desk calendar. That's exactly what I thought when I opened the gorgeous Stephen King 2013 Desk Calendar.

But then I got busy, and no matter how many lists and reminders I had electronically, at the end of the day, I knew what I had to do above all else and needed somewhere to write that down, somewhere where I wouldn't be distracted by lower-priority items. And that, dear friends, is where a physical desk calendar comes in handy.

But even if your schedule isn't as crazy as mine, you might appreciate the calendar just for the beauty of it. In rich dark greens and orange, the prismatic cover catches and compels you. The thick spiral binding says, “Use me. I won’t break” – and I don’t think it will.

Or, if not for the beauty, how about the interesting tidbits? For example, January 2 is the date that Stephen and Tabitha were married. Oddly enough, it's the wedding anniversary of two couples from his books: Annie Wilkes and Ralph Dugan (from Misery) and Lois Chase and Ralph Roberts (from Insomnia).

Articles and excerpts decorate each folio, making for interesting reading throughout the week.
Definitely an item of beauty and purpose for any Stephen King fan.

Available from the Stephen King Library.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another Interview Podcast: Gordon Linzner

In this episode, I interview writer Gordon Linzner, who currently lives in New York, where he sometimes functions as a tour guide.

For many years the editor and publisher of Space and Time magazine, he also found the time to write short stories and four novels: The Spy Who Drank Blood (1984), The Oni (1986), The Troupe (1988), and The Hounds of Hell (2008, with Ron Fortier).

You can listen to the podcast directly at or download it from iTunes.

This episode concludes the series of short interviews conducted at Necon 2012, where I asked established writers about their vampire fiction. Many of them had written vampire fiction that I hadn't heard about because I was busy with work, night school, or life at the time of publication.

Previous interviewees in this series are writer F. Paul Wilson, who has been writing bestsellers for over thirty years; Heather Graham, guest of honor, New York Times bestselling author of over 150 novels and novellas; Jeff Strand, also guest of honor, who exquisitely mixes comedy and terror, Hal Bodner, witty writer and bon vivant; and Scott Goudsward.

Broad Universe 2013 Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt! The New England chapter of Broad Universe is conducting a scavenger hunt. Print out a brochure, then get it signed by the authors pictured there, and you could win $100 worth of books.

Author Terri Bruce describes the hunt and provides a link to the brochure on her web site:

2013 Broad Universe Scavenger Hunt

How do you play?
1. Obtain the Scavenger Hunt brochure (you can download and print a copy here or you can get a copy at any event attended by one of the participating authors)
2. Between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 obtain as many signatures as you can by attending author events featuring the participating authors
3. Be entered into the raffle once for each completed form - enter as many times as you like (the catch is that each author can only sign one form per person per event)
4. Full details are on the back of the Scavenger Hunt brochure

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Celebrating Women Genre Authors in the Classroom

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is holding a celebration of teachers the second week in March, 2013. On Saturday, March 16, members of the New England Chapter of Broad Universe, a non-profit, international, educational organization of men and women dedicated to honoring, celebrating, and promoting women’s contributions to the literature of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other speculative fiction, will discuss celebrating women genre authors in the classroom.

This event is free and off-street parking is available.

Join Trisha Wooldridge, Rachel Kenley, Phoebe Wray, and Inanna Arthen for the discussion:

Saturday, March 16, 2013
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Annie's Book Stop Of Worcester
65 James Street
Worcester MA 01603

For directions: or call 508-796-5613

Celtic Mythology and Its Influence on Fiction

Looking for a different way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year? How about attending a panel discussion where two New England authors discuss Celtic mythology and its influence on fiction.

"If you like stories featuring Druids, fairies, banshees, leprechauns, pookas, or silkies, then you won't want to miss this one!" says author Terri Bruce, who has always been fascinated with the origins of myths and legends, especially those featuring the afterlife or King Arthur. Her Paranormal/Contemporary Fantasy series, Afterlife, draws heavily on Celtic burial and afterlife beliefs and features pookas, hobs/brownies, banshees, and various other folklore creatures.

She'll be joined by author Helen Collins, who has a long-standing love of myth and legends, which she has formally studied. Helen has been on archeological trips through remote regions of Ireland and is the author of several science fiction novels, including Mutagenesis and Neurogenesis.

This event is free. Join them Saturday, March 16, from 1-3 pm at 

Books and Boos
514 Westchester Road
Colchester, CT 06415

(Note that the driveway is on Loomis Road.)

See their website for more information.