Posts Tagged ‘Guest Blog’

Freya Robertson – Guest Blog

November 10, 2013 - 8:58 pm No Comments

I asked Angry Robot author Freya Robertson to write a guest blog for me and prompted her with a question about writing genre as a female author.

So welcome to Freya, and here goes!

Kia ora (that’s Kiwi or New Zealand for hello!) and thanks for having me on the blog.

I’m here to talk about Heartwood, my debut epic fantasy from Angry Robot Books.

You asked me the question about what it’s like to write in this genre as a female writer. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure my experience has been any different than it would have been if I was a guy. I don’t think about my gender much in my involvement with the F&SF genre, and I’m sure part of that is due to my being a gamer.

In gaming—both in RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and online games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, there is no difference in statistics between male and female characters, and this definitely had an impact on the way I presented the sexes in Heartwood.

In many ways, the novel is a traditional epic fantasy. It has a quasi-medieval European setting, and the high stakes and scope of the novel mean it sits comfortably in the epic genre. However, I wanted to change a few things to ensure it had a more modern flavour. It has no elves, orcs or dwarves, and instead the creatures are formed from the elements, with Darkwater Lords rising from the ocean to steal the holy tree’s heart.

The other way I attempted to modernise this fantasy was by creating more of a gender balance than was traditional in the medieval world. The Heartwood army contains both men and women, and the leader of the army is a woman. I wanted to create a strong female lead who is convincing as a leader but also able to retain her femininity, and hopefully Procella, the Dux of the Exercitus army, fulfils that role.

I haven’t really encountered any problems along the publishing road because of my gender. Angry Robot certainly has no issue with female authors! There will, of course, always be those readers who refuse to read certain authors because of their gender, and I’ve also had a reviewer state that he didn’t like the fact that I also write romance. Oh well, it’s his loss! Heartwood is an epic fantasy full of adventure, battles, castles, religion, folklore, history and big, epic themes. And as the largest book that Angry Robot has published so far, it’s certainly something to get your teeth into!

TD: Thanks so much for taking the time to join us. Heartwood came out 27th Oct 2013.


Jay Posey Three Competition

July 31, 2013 - 10:23 am No Comments

Three Blog Tour Banner

I asked Jay Posey, author of post apocalyptic novel Three, the following question: There is a plethora of post-apocalyptic fiction at the moment, but how do you think the world will end and will you do to survive?

JP: I have to admit I don’t think I’m smart enough to accurately predict what the actual End of the World will be like. But I tend to think that whatever The End is, it won’t come as a result of any one particular event, but will instead be the culmination of many different events.
We humans will probably be our own undoing in some form or fashion. Whether through the use of some catastrophically destructive weapons of war, an accidental unleashing of a biological agent, or some other something (“I ate what now?”), I suspect our technology will have a hand in The End. I also expect that the human propensity for over-reaction and panic will probably be a significant contributing factor. But I don’t think that humans alone will be the ultimate cause.
When it comes, if I’m around, I think the best hope I’ll have to survive will start with building a resilient community. For all the stories out there about lone survivors, in reality people need people. So forming a community where everyone has a diverse set of skills and each is willing to help support the other is a big step in the right direction. And I think the biggest key to achieving that community comes down to trust, which is why it’s just plain good policy to be a good neighbor. COMMUNITY SERVICE PLUG: Every time you engage your own local community in some positive way, you’re building trust capital with those people that very well might come in handy once The End is upon us all. Help your neighbors!
Another piece is making sure I’ve got a plan in place. And not just one plan, but multiple plans that account for a number of different scenarios. There’s a saying that the biggest problem with most emergency plans is that they forget the emergency. It’s hard to keep in mind that those roads you’re counting on using, or that fuel you’re expecting to have, or those phone calls you’re planning to make, any one or all of those things might be gone. A retired Green Beret once taught me a handy planning tool; the PACE acronym.
PACE stands for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency, and it’s a great tool to help you make a resilient plan. Your Primary plan is the one you want to use, and Alternate is what you go to if your expected conditions change. Contingency is for if (when) something goes wrong, and Emergency covers what to do if everything goes wrong. Of course when The End comes, I’ll probably be tempted to skip straight to Emergency, but knowing my options ahead of time is always a good thing.
And finally, and maybe most importantly, it’s probably worthwhile for me to go ahead and live my life now in such a way that if The End comes upon me suddenly, I’m alright with what I leave behind. Living generously, regularly showing your family how much you love them, and generally doing what you can to make your community a better place for everyone are all great ways to be prepared.
But really, people have been predicting the end of the world pretty much since it began, and somehow we’re all still here, maybe despite the odds. For as much strife and drama we humans create, it’s still amazing to me how much we’re able to surprise ourselves in challenging times. In every major catastrophe, there always seems to be a precious few that run towards the calamity instead of away from it, those who willingly face their own destruction in the hopes that they might rescue or preserve another. It doesn’t seem to take that many to inspire the rest of us to greater things; just three or five percent maybe. As long as that heroic remnant of people remains among us, I think we’ve got a better shot at making it than even I usually give us credit for.

Now it’s competition time:
The deadline is the end of Jay Posey’s virtual tour so it is 12th August

Those great peeps at Angry Robot are going to give away 2 copies on Jay’s book Three and don’t forget they’re signed! I’m sure Jay would have no problem dedicating them, if required.

Each stop on this Blog Tour of Three by Jay Posey has a unique question. Be sure to enter your answers into the giveaway by dropping by My Shelf Confessions
and enter your answers in the rafflecopter widget! You can answer as many or as few as you like as each answered question gets you an extra entry!

Here’s the questions for my stop: Question #13 – What kind of boots is the man wearing in the chapter 1 excerpt of Three?”

To read the extract click below
Here is the link for the extract on ISSUU, with embed link:

Good luck and let me know if you win!