Please welcome today's paranormal guest author D.B. Jackson! D.B. is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles (Thieftaker, A Spell of Vengeance, Thieves' Quarry).
EJ: When did you begin writing?
DB: I wrote my first book when I was six years old. Seriously. It
wasn’t very good, and I illustrated it myself, which made it worse. But
that was my first fiction, and I suppose I’ve wanted to write stories
ever since. But I began writing professionally after finishing my Ph.D.
in the spring of 1993. I had several months before I was going to
start applying for university teaching jobs, which were to be listed in
the fall. My wife said to me, “Since the day I met you, you’ve talking
about writing a novel. You have the summer -- why not try writing and
see if you love it as much as you think you will?” I did, and when I was
offered a contract with Tor, I chose to pursue a writing career and
leave academia. I’ve been writing ever since.
EJ: What brought you to the paranormal genre?
DB: Actually, I first encountered fantasy when I was eleven years old
and attended a sleepaway camp. The camp drama counselor was putting on
an abridged production of The Hobbit, and I auditioned for it, not
because I knew anything about the play, but because I didn’t have much
else to do for that session. I got the part of Bilbo, and fell in love
with the story.
When I got home, I read the book, and loved that, too. A few years
later I read Lord of the Rings. Then Ursula K. LeGuin’s EarthSea
trilogy. Then Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books. And by
this time I was pretty much hooked on fantasy. I read Dune as well, and
found that I liked science fiction nearly as much. But it was reading
that got me hooked. And when I started getting serious about writing,
late in high school, speculative fiction was the stuff I wanted to
write, just as it was the stuff I wanted to read.
EJ: If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
DB: Well, I can certainly tell you what powers I wouldn’t want: I
wouldn’t want to be able to discern the future -- I don’t want to know
what life is going to bring; I much prefer to be surprised along the
way. And I wouldn’t want to be able to read people’s thoughts -- I just
think that it would be a matter of too much information, if you know
what I mean.
I think the power I would want most would be the ability to shape-shift,
particularly if I could retain at least some level of awareness and
personal identity in any form. I would love to know what it is like to
be a hawk, a wolf, a hummingbird, an elk, etc. I could go on listing
creatures I’d like to be, but you get the idea. I think having that
ability would be not only handy, but also very cool.
EJ: Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.
DB: Thieves’ Quarry, the second book in my Thieftaker Chronicles (the
first book, Thieftaker, came out last year, also from Tor books), is a
stand-alone murder mystery set in pre-Revolutionary Boston. My lead
character, Ethan Kaille is a thieftaker, which is sort of the 18th
century equivalent of a private detective; he recovers stolen items for a
fee. He’s also a conjurer. In this book, which takes place on the eve
of the British occupation of Boston in September/October 1768, he is
hired by representatives of the Crown to investigate a magical attack on
a British naval vessel that kills every man on board. And in the
course of his investigation, he has to grapple with the deepening
political struggles between loyalists and the Sons of Liberty; he has to
thwart several thieves who are all racing to recover a cache of
smuggled pearls; and he has to overcome a conjuring power the likes of
which he has never faced before.
It’s really a fun book -- a ton of stuff is going on, and Ethan is
caught in the middle of all of it. And I also believe it’s the best book
I’ve written to date, in terms of plotting, pacing, character. It just
all came together so well with this novel.
EJ: If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?
DB: I would probably want Mark Wahlberg to play Ethan. To my mind, he
is the actor who looks the part, and whose acting best meshes with how I
see the role. In the role of Sephira Pryce, Ethan’s rival in
thieftaking, who is cruel, ruthless, shrewd, beautiful, and sexy as
hell, I would probably want Olivia Wilde. She’s not only a fine
actress, but she also has the look I’d want -- alluring, but also
strong. And in the role of Ethan’s love interest, Kannice Lester, I
would cast Emma Stone, whose work I love, and who has a softer,
somewhat more accessible look -- again, perfect for the role.
Thieves' Quarry (Thieftaker #2) by D.B. Jackson.
Ethan Kaille isn’t the likeliest hero. A former sailor with a troubled
past, Ethan is a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those
who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down
miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering
political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing
revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even
more dangerous to his health.
When one hundred sailors of King George III's Royal Navy are
mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor, Ethan is thrust into
dire peril. For he—and not Boston’s premier thieftaker, Sephira Pryce—is
asked to find the truth behind their deaths. City Sheriff Edmund
Greenleaf suspects conjuring was used in the dastardly crime, and even
Pryce knows that Ethan is better equipped to contend with matters of
what most of Boston considers dark arts. But even Ethan is daunted by
magic powerful enough to fell so many in a single stroke. When he starts
to investigate, he realizes that the mass murderer will stop at nothing
to evade capture. And making his task more difficult is the British
fleet's occupation of the city after the colonials' violent protests
after the seizure of John Hancock's ship. Kaille will need all his own
magic, street smarts, and a bit of luck to keep this Boston massacre
from giving the hotheads of Colonial Boston an excuse for inciting a
Release Date: July 2, 2013
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Don't miss our review of Thieves' Quarry posted earlier this week. Thieves' Quarry is an intriguing mix of historical fiction, magic realism, and urban fantasy you'll want to check out.
Thank you D.B. for joining us here today at From the Shadows!
To learn more about D.B. Jackson and his books, please visit his website.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Q+A with D.B. Jackson (Thieves' Quarry)
Labels: author interview, D.B. Jackson, historical fiction, magic, Thieftaker Chronicles, Thieves' Quarry, urban fantasy
Bestselling author E.J. STEVENS has written and independently published 15 speculative fiction books. She is the author of four series, including the WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian horror series, the HUNTERS' GUILD urban fantasy series, the award-winning SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, and the award-winning, bestselling IVY GRANGER urban fantasy series.