C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".
He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.
We have a wonderful interview with Megan Mackie, author of The Finder of the Lucky Devil series with new book Death and the Crone.
Tell us about Death and the Crone?
This book is a spinoff story from my main series, The Lucky Devil. It is a side story about a character I introduce in the second book of the series, The Saint of Liars, named Elias, a mysterious wizard who is the cousin of the main character, Rune Leveau.
Who are the two leads and what are they like?
The story is from Margaret’s point of view. Contrary to the convention, she is an old woman in her 60s, homeless and entirely undesirable by anyone in the world. The story follows her point of view. Because of her status in life, she is also feisty and takes no crap from anyone. Elias by contrast is an easy-going, accepting, while being young-looking and beautiful and it drives Margaret crazy, because she can’t figure him out or what he wants from her.
Why did you choose to make the main character an older woman?
The whole idea for the book came about when I was wondering why every book that has a immortal guy of some type in it, they are always going for someone between the ages of 16-25. Why would they want someone who is just starting life, when they themselves have lived so much of it.
Why did you choose to make her homeless?
I needed Margaret to be someone who came from a situation that it would be quickly understood why she would say yes to Elias’s proposition. Having nothing to lose allowed me to jump right in to the story.
What can you tell us about the setting?
The story takes place in the same world as my main series, which is an alternate Chicago where magic and technology are in competition with each other. This is a world where magic has always existed, including magical creatures who have normal, mundane jobs, such as a centaur actuary or a mermaid dog groomer. Technology and cyber enhancements are the new thing that is wowing this society.
How does this relate to your Finder of the Lucky Devil series?
Elias is very connected to the main story and going forward Margaret will appear in the main books as well.
What is the secret to writing a good urban fantasy romance?
Each of the characters needs to grow and develop from their relationship, the idea of better together than apart. But just to tell a good story in general, you need the relationship to state some sort of opinion, it has to mean something that you want to get across from these to characters being together. It’s the opinion you’re conveying that can makes the story truly unique, even if you have all the elements from the billions of stories that have come before it.
Do you have any criticisms of the genre?
I do think that UF is getting stuck in the same stories, badass women and beast-like men going on personal journey’s of badassery, which to be fair I do enjoy, but there’s been a lot of the same stories and the same journeys. I’ve been asking questions of this genre, like can a heroine be badass and unsure of herself too? What does she need to learn about herself? Can she simply be small and quiet, can she be vulnerable, can she be the smartest person in the room and undermine herself because she doesn’t know to trust that. Real questions that I wrestle with, can that be seen as heroic. Can just having a good, honest heart be enough?
What are the attractive and disturbing parts of Elias a.k.a Death?
Elias is charming, sweet and fairly unflappable, but he’s also disconnected from life, just cruising along in it, jumping from relationship to relationship. I don’t want to go into too much about why he’s called Death, but he is definitely avoiding something.
How has reception been for the Finder of the Lucky Devil series?
Very good. Most people who give the books a chance, love them and it is fun to hear from my fans about details and ideas that the got from the books.. The trick is just getting people to crack the covers. Most are often very surprised and it has been a thrill when they come back for the next books.
Any advice for indie writers?
You have to write a book that you like to read. Your taste in story is the only one that really matters.
What can we expect from you next?
There will be another spin-off book publishing soon that follows another character that disappeared into the mist from the first book and that story is about what happened to her. After that the audiobook version of Finder of the Lucky Devil should be out and I am currently working hard on the official third book of the main series.
Thanks for your time!
TIAMAT'S WRAITH is the latest volume of the Expanse. The Expanse struck science fiction like a breath of fresh air and is basically serving as Game of Throne's slightly less successful brother in bringing genre fiction to the mainstream. It's a high concept series about wealth, power, politics, and an alien molecule that defies the laws of physics. Honestly, you can tell how much I like the Expanse in the fact that I'd still be happy to read the series if they ditched all of the alien technology business completely.
THE EXPANSE is one of the best series currently out there. It's also a series which has had its ups and downs. Some of them I've given 3 stars and others I've given 5 stars. I've always come back to it, though. Here, PERSEPOLIS RISING is setting the stage for the end of the line as we time skip 30 years to when our heroes are now in their 60s. They don't act like they are sixty so maybe it's a case of "sixty is the new thirty" thanks to advanced medical technology of the future but they do creak a bit more.