Tag Archives: Night Child

[COVER ART] Deadly Desire (UK) – Keri Arthur & Pre-Order Pimping

(From here.) Hachette/Piatkus in the UK (and Australia et al) has thankfully gone with a new look for Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series, starting from the upcoming seventh book, Deadly Desire. “Thankfully?” you ask. First of all, I know nothing about art and design, but when I look at something, I can pretty much tell straight away whether I like it or not. And the earlier UK covers for the series were…quite obviously PhotoShopped. Like there was no pretence of Riley actually being at Southbank or wherever. So while I very much appreciated the publisher putting in an effort to include a bit of Melbourne in the scenery, otherwise I wasn’t too impressed. And they made Riley a brunette instead of a redhead.

But let’s forget the past, because Hachette/Piatkus has improved their design, and I approve. Well done, folks 🙂

And Jes Battis’ A Flash of Hex is now pre-orderable. I know I mention a lot of books, but I really want you to consider buying this author’s OSI series (starting with Night Child). I’m the first to admit to being under-whelmed by a lot of books, so when I find something I’m genuinely impressed with, I want to share my enthusiasm. There seems to be a lot of urban fantasy stuff published of late, but Night Child is one of the genuine stand-outs. There’s a lot of intelligence and smarts in it – and not just street smarts or what the CIA calls “intelligence”. And I actually connected with the characters, which doesn’t usually happen for me.

Okay, bed-time now…

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[COVER ART] A Flash of Hex – Jes Battis

Totally made of pretty, aye? Shadows, sparkles, vibrant colour and a misty haze…It comes from the hands of Timothy Lantz – you may recognise his name as the cover artist for a lot of Juno Books, including Chris Howard’s Seaborn. But I decided to look up upon viewing Jes Battis’ Night Child – and it’s not just fab art; the story’s pretty awesome, too 😉

You’re looking at what’ll be on the cover of Jes Battis’ A Flash of Hex (or A Flash of Hextacy, I’m not entirely sure). It’s the second OSI novel due out in June 2009. No pre-order links available yet, but keep your eye out – I know I will.

Mind you, the cover still needs the author and title added, but Penguin Ace will take it from here. In the meantime, we can has this pretty.

My Top 10 Books Published in 2008

Weekly Geeks is doing a thing where everyone compiles their own list of the best books they’ve read that were published in 2008. Admittedly, my list kind of skews to the ones I’ve read more recently, because I remember them better. So hard to pick just 10. But here there are:

Michelle Maddox
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 29th July 2008)

THREE. Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die. TWO. The man she’s been partnered with – her only ally in this nightmare – is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him? ONE. No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the COUNTDOWN.

Mary E. Pearson
The Adoration of Jenna Fox
US: Henry Holt & Co. BYR (29th April 2008); AU: Allen & Unwin Children’s (February 2009)

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

Stephenie Meyer
The Host
Hachette (US, UK, AU: 6th May 2008)

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Rachel Cohn
You Know Where to Find Me
Simon & Schuster (US: 4th March 2008)

First cousins Laura and Miles grew up like sisters. Miles thought of Laura as the golden one – smart, beautiful, rich, and popular – while Miles considered herself the unwanted one – an unattractive, underachieving outcast. Laura’s suicide shatters Miles and leaves her feeling completely alone, and sets Miles on a dangerous downward spiral. But in the strength Miles finds in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, she is able to rebuild her life in unexpected ways.

Jes Battis
Night Child (OSI, Book 1)
Penguin Ace (US: 27th May 2008)

Tess Corday soon realises that there is not going to be anything ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not Mia Polanski, the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp’s pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem. Under pressure from her boss, Tess is trying to go by the book on this one. But when Mia reaches out to her, she risks her career to help the girl. And finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever. Or possibly end it…

Kristopher Reisz
Simon & Schuster Pulse (US: 19th February 2008; AU: 17th April 2008)

Daniel Morning seems perfect – handsome, charismatic, intelligent. But living up to everyone’s expectations has cost him the right to make his own decisions. The urge to shatter those expectations is beginning to gnaw at his insides. Then Daniel meets Misty. She’s smoky, rebellious, tender…and much more. She decides to let him into her pack of outcasts – and in on their little secret: She and her friends have learned to shape-shift, and have been prowling the night as wolves. Daniel soon falls in love with the primal sensation of shifting, just as he’s falling in love with Misty. The freedom to follow his most basic instincts is like nothing he’s ever felt. But Daniel will slowly come to realise that such freedom comes at a price…

Jeri Smith-Ready
Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 13th May 2008)

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, ’60s psychedelia, ’80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they’re vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned. Ciara’s first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station – and the link it provides to their original Life Times – the vampires would “fade,” becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover is a matter of life and un-death. To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as “WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around – next to Ciara’s complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the “gimmick” enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren’t so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher – and the perils graver – than any con game Ciara’s ever played…

Eve Kenin
Hidden (Northern Waste, Book 2)
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 1st July 2008)

Tatiana has honed her genetic gifts to perfection. She can withstand the subzero temperatures of the Northern Waste, read somebody’s mind with the briefest touch, and slice through bone with her bare hands. Which makes her one bad-ass chick, all right. Nothing gets to her. Until she meets Tristan. Villain or ally, she can’t be sure. But one thing she does know: he has gifts too – including the ability to ramp up her heart rate to dangerous levels. But before they can start some chemistry of their own, they have to survive being trapped in an underground lab, hunted by a madman, and exposed to a plague that could destroy mankind.

Michele Lang
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 26th February 2008)

THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN…And her name is Talia Fortune. Her mission: capture the cyber outlaw, Kovner, a man who knows she is more than just a sheriff – Talia is also a woman, with a woman’s desires. Scion of the Fortune family and primary shareholder of the mega-conglomerate FortuneCorp, she is the Hand of Fate…or at least of the Home Office. With the power to punish, she’s been sent to Fresh Havens – a corporate off-world colony run by her uncle. But the colony is full of hidden danger. Sabotage, deception, destruction…it will take every ounce of Talia’s strength and courage, fighting skills honed in the Amphitheatre and knowledge learned at the Academy, just to survive. Her ability to love and trust will be sorely tested, especially in the clutches of her quarry, the Outlaw of Fresh Havens, her cyber-lover and now her enemy. He and the answers lie in the Gray Forest, in a reality beyond the bubbledome, the Grid, and everything she’s ever known. Her future lies in…NETHERWOOD.

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008; AU: 1st October 2008)

Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shape-shifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the un-dead?

Random Stats
Books published by Dorchester SHOMI:
Books published by Simon & Schuster: 4
YA fiction: 3
Futuristic: 5

September 2008 Reads

Reminder: September 2008 Releases & October 2008 Releases.

Blood Bound – Patricia Briggs “…a decent read.” Buy

Night Child – Jes BattisNight Child stands above most…Definitely one of my favourite books of the year…” Buy

Netherwood – Michele Lang “…outstanding, a true example of fabulous world-building…if you’re looking for an ace setting with vivid detail, you’ve come to the right book.” Buy

The Bride of Casa Dracula – Marta Acosta “Highly quotable, this third book is the best in the series…” Buy

Blood Lite – Kevin J. Anderson (ed.) Pre-order

Night Shift – Lilith Saintcrow “…enjoy the ride…a good, different read.” Buy

Awaken Me Darkly – Gena Showalter “Fascinating world-building and a unique serial killer make Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly an engrossing read.” Buy

[REVIEW] Night Child – Jes Battis

Jes Battis
Night Child (OSI, Book 1)
Penguin Ace (US: 27th May 2008)

The mystical is also believable in Jes Battis’s ace début novel.

An Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver’s Mystical Crime Lab, Tess Corday arrives at a crime scene where a vampire is dead. A note and photo on the vamp lead Tess to Mia Polanski, a thirteen-year-old in danger but whom also possesses great power, and Lucian Agrado, a necromancer who’s liaison to the vampire community. And the action heats up as the investigation deepens…

Vancouver is a welcome diversion from the seemingly endless stream of American cities in urban fantasy. Jes Battis gives a right good dose of Canadian flavour that makes the setting all the more enjoyable. (Even necromancers have to love the Canucks.) Tess may kick arse with her athame, but she also makes mistakes in life, which make her instantly relatable. Fellow investigator Derrick Spiegel may be gay, but he’s not the cliché type who discusses men, shoes and fashion with the straight heroine – in other words, Derrick is refreshingly real. Children in fiction commonly are precocious, and in that circumstance Mia is no different. But unlike others, Mia doesn’t grate on the nerves.

Then there’s Lucian…he’s rare, a character actually worth fancying. Many a time I’ve come across love interests whom readers are supposed to like, but I just don’t get the hype. Lucian, however…yes, he’s hot. But he also teaches Tess about the world at large, and herself. And he doesn’t overdo that alpha male thing, either.

It’s so nice to have an author willing to go the extra mile to make their world more realistic. Most writers will explain things simply as “magic”, and leave it at that. But Mr Jes goes further to explain the magic, and investigative procedures, which makes the book worthier. Even demons’ skulls aren’t ordinary. And how necromancers came about is fascinating. Then there’s the subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it social commentary: We monitored the police lines twenty-four hours a day for any calls that might relate to paranormal activity. Kind of like how the USA’s Patriot Act monitors alleged terrorism – only less evil.

I actually did hug this after reading, and not just figuratively. I read a lot of books, both bestsellers and mid-lists, and Night Child stands above most of them. Definitely one of my favourite books of the year, and one of only a few in the urban fantasy genre. Get your hands on Night Child now, but you’ll have to wait until June 2009 for a sequel.

Which Cat is More Impressed?

Different location for this photo. Manny was lying on the heating vent, looking out the window, and I decided not to move him. But is he as impressed with Jes Battis’s Night Child as the author’s own Guinevere is?

Happy Birthday, Jes Battis & Jackson Pearce

(Images taken from here and here respectively.)

Today is May 21st, the birthday of Jes Battis [author of Night Child (27th May 2008)] and Jackson Pearce [author of As You Wish (sometime in 2009)]. Help them celebrate by purchasing Night Child and…sending Jackson more lambies/goats (sorry, we can’t pre-order your book yet) 😉

And gear up for the release of A. J. Menden‘s Phenomenal Girl 5 (8th November 2008) by purchasing an Elite Hands of Justice top, mug, bag, sticker and/or button. See what’s for sale here. (I like the Raglan top and the mug the best.)

My reading order has changed because while at the library to collect my reservation…I brought some other books home too. Oops. But I just grabbed what I saw on the trolleys; I didn’t take my list and look up the catalogue.

Nose isn’t as runny, but it’s blocked up so I’m breathing through my mouth. Yeah, I’m now one of those creepy heavy breathers.

From http://www.allthetests.com/tests/smart.php3: Congratulations! You got a score of 6! Your Rating: Normal Intelligence


It had to be done. The cat is Guinevere Anastasia Battis, flatmate of Jes Battis. The regal lady of the house tolerated being photographed with her flatmate’s first novel, Night Child (27th May 2008). And yes, there will be a sequel – currently titled Hextacy, but that could change. Release date unknown.

It’s been raining over the weekend here in Melbourne. Manny’s been outside and got rained on, both Saturday and Sunday. Had to be towel-dried, and then used the heating vent as a blow-dryer. Currently having naptime on the couch. During the week, though, I’ll have to perk him up so he can be photographed with a new book that arrived on Friday.

Reading schedule has changed again, due to the new book’s arrival. Conducted another interview. Am currently in the process of changing my book newsletters and blogs from my old address to my proper one. Am up to L authors.

Sore throat began on Friday night. Still here. Listened to Madonna’s Hard Candy again this morning, and I still love it.

A. J. Menden’s Website is GO!

Jes Battis has received an author copy (or author copies???) of his first novel, Night Child (27th May 2008). Visit his blog to see it posing with resident regal cat Guinevere. (She seems to tolerate it, which is good news.)

A. J. Menden‘s website is now open. It even includes the copy for her first novel, Phenomenal Girl 5 (8th November 2008):

Lainey Livingston has just been made a member of the Elite Hands of Justice, the world’s premiere cadre of superheroes. Her work with the Red Knights and the Power Squad was impressive; her apprehension stats are above normal, and her great strength and ability to fly are equally remarkable. But no one gets a free pass to active duty, and Lainey’s next test is going to be her hardest. She’s to train with the Reincarnist.

Robert Elliot, the Reincarnist. A magician who has lived multiple lifetimes, he’s the smartest man in the world — and Lainey’s last obstacle. He was personally responsible for seeing Pushstar wash out. But his eyes are the softest, kindest that Lainey has ever seen, and he’s just the sort to knock her for a loop. Lesson #1: Romantic entanglements among crime fighters are super exploitable, and falling in love with a man who “can’t die” is like waving a red flag at a bull. Especially not when the most fiendish plot ever is about to break over Megalopolis like a wave of fire.

If you shop at Chapters (a Canadian bookseller), you can pre-order the book here.

Nicked from A. J. Menden:

LiveJournal Username
Your Primary Super Power Energy Control (ex. Fire, Cold, Electricity, etc)High Tech Devices / ArmorIntangibilityKung FuMagicMatter Manipulation/TransmutationProbability Control/ LuckPsionics(Mental Powers)Shape shiftingSuper Human Intellect/DeductionSuper SpeedSuperhuman Physical AbilityTantric YogaWeather ControlZapping (eye beams, sonic scream, etc)
Cape? CapeHalf CapeCape AND Cowl/HoodFeather BoaNO CAPES!!
Identitiy Public, my real identity is commonly known.I have no identity other than my superheroic one.I keep my real identity hidden from most.No one but I knows my real identity.
Origin Accident Involving Blowup DollAlien Abduction/ExperimentationAlien HeredityBitten by Radioactive CreatureBlessed by / Champion of Divine Power(s)Constructed (Robot, Replicant, etc)CursedGovernment/Military ProjectGranted Item/Weapon of Cosmic PowerIntense TrainingMassive Amounts of Lethal RadiationMutantSelf ExperimentationSheer Inner Badass NatureToxic Chemical AccidentYou�re just that wealthy/influential
Location of Head Quarters �School� For the GiftedArtificial IslandCrystalline Fortress in the ArcticFashionable Hair SalonFloating CitadelGovernment FacilityHippie Co-OpMoonbaseNight ClubNo permanent HQ, We�re organized in cellsOrbiting SatelliteOstentatious Complex DowntownRefurbished House or BrownstoneRental in a Trailer ParkSecret CaveStarshipTempleUndersea ComplexYour Mom�s Basement
Primary Costume/Uniform Colors
Why are you a Superhero? BoredCommanded/Ordained by the DivineDestinyDutyFlip of the CoinI can get away with beating people upI can get away with wearing this outfitI get sooo much tail being a SuperheroI prefer �Vigilante�I�m paid a sh*tload of cashIt beats the hell out of Tech SupportIt�s my fetishIt�s my way of defying my dark destinyIt�s the right thing to doMerchandizingMy deeply messed up backgroundMy friends wouldn�t go for being villainsSuperhero? I�m a spy for the badguys!With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility
Your Superheroic Codename
The veteran grim member of the team onlylive_twice
The sexist and crass but annoyingly effective one chloe_saunders
The bright-eyed novice or sidekick mikko1283
The teammate that will eventually go evil or insan persephone_qd
The inept yet determined/reoccurring supervillain mistful
The sinister Arch-Villain and team’s greatest foe lixia84
The perky civilian that keeps getting kidnapped vpettersson
How often does your team actually ‘save the day’?

This Fun Quiz created by Shannon at BlogQuiz.Net

Free Daily Horoscopes at DailyHoroscopes.Biz

[INTERVIEW] Jes Battis

Meet Jes Battis, author of the urban fantasy Night Child (Penguin: 27th May 2008). Let’s learn…

Night Child
Tess Corday, Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver’s Mystical Crime Lab, is used to seeing dead vampires. But there’s nothing ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp’s pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem.

Soon she finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever – and possibly end it.

Tez Miller: You look a bit like Tory Belleci from Mythbusters…or am I incorrect in this respect?
Jes Battis: Well, that’s an awesome compliment, since I’ve always been secretly in love with Tory. I love whenever they cover him in ballistics gel and other goop.

I’d never heard the name Jes before you. How did it come about? Is it pronounced “Jez”, or differently?
It’s short for Jesse. I’m not sure when I started going by Jes – probably in middle school because it seemed cooler. Usually, people think my name is Jessica. Sometimes when I’ve given my name at Starbucks, the barista will call out “Jessica?” and I’ll have to grab my coffee with a smile. Friends from New Zealand tend to call me “Jiss”, or that’s how it sounds, which is actually a lot cooler.

Jessica? But you’re a man, baby! (Just as long as the Kiwis don’t decide to rename you “Jism”.) But you’re not just Jes – you’re Dr Jes! Tell us about your journey to doctorhood.
That’s a long and boring story, but I’ll give you the highlights. I didn’t actually plan on going to college – wanted to write full-time after high school and just pick up a few courses. But I fell asleep, woke up, and suddenly had a PhD. I started out loving medieval literature for its ties to modern fantasy, but wrote my M.A. thesis on a First Nations author (Eden Robinson), and wrote my doctoral thesis on LGBT fantasy writing. So maybe I just can’t make up my mind. I moved to New York last August for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was meeting great new people, working with a few of my academic idols, and finally finding good pizza.

Who cares about pizza? You have Tim Horton’s in Canada, which still hasn’t come to Australia, damn it! (Sorry, got a little angry there.)

Your postdoctoral research involves gay and lesbian teen literature. One of my favourite authors is Alex Sanchez. What other authors do you recommend?
Alex is great. I was going to have him come down for a YA reading series at the Harvey Milk School here in New York, which is a small school for at-risk LGBT youth that was created after the murder of Harvey Milk in San Francisco in 1978. But it didn’t end up happening. I can also recommend the work of David Levithan, Brent Hartinger, Julie Ann Peters, Zoe Trope, Scott Heim, and Mercedes Lackey. Right now I’m reading One For Sorrow by Christopher Barzak. Very little academic work has been done on LGBT teen literature. My project compares the type of novels listed above – mostly by gay adults – with work actually produced by teens themselves, including zines, blogs, online forums, and amateur writing. I discuss work from a variety of archives, including the New York Gay and Lesbian Historical Collection, the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Historical Society, the Gay and Lesbian Center in Toronto, and the Matthew Shepard Collection at the American Heritage Center in Wyoming.

You’re from a place named Chilliwack. Is it as spicy as it sounds? 😉
It is not. But we did used to have our own song in high school, called “We Are the Mighty Corn Village”. Chilliwack is about two hours east of Vancouver, and my parents still live there.

Corn Village? Are tortillas made out of cornflour? We can pretend the town’s spicy if we try…

Let’s talk Vancouver. Word in Australia is that it’s a lot like Melbourne (where I live). Is this an urban myth, or have you experienced both cities and can confirm? (For the uninitiated, Melbourne is famous for music, sport, comedy, coffee and legalised brothels.)
Vancouver is a study in contradictions. From what my Australian friends tell me, it is in fact a lot like Melbourne. Very mellow, full of artists and writers and hipster kids; but Vancouver has some amazing history. It has a significant Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South Asian populations, as well as a number of intersecting First Nations communities. Sex-work is technically legal in Vancouver, although the Communicating Law makes it possible to arrest sex-workers who ‘solicit’ work (i.e. survival-sex workers who work at street-level). Escort workers are at risk. I talk about this situation (to the best of my ability, as someone who isn’t a sex-work activist but who’s done a lot of reading and had a lot of conversations with much smarter people) in the current book that I’m working on, Hextacy, which is the sequel to Night Child.

Speaking of Melbourne, my fellow Melburnian Keri Arthur blurbed your novel. Word is our nationalities share the same sense of humour. Do Canadians tend to get along better with Australians than Americans?
Yes. As I’m writing this in an America pub in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I fear for my safety. But yes. We do.

I don’t know the proper term, so I call people from Vancouver “Vancouverines”. Would the locals be cool with that, or have I unintentionally offended someone?
Vancouverites. Or ‘fucking hippies’. I get called that a lot.

Bugger that; “Vancouverines” sounds better.

Okay, so what’s Canadian you doing living in the USA? Is this a long-term thing, or will you return to the True North?
My dad is American, so I have dual citizenship (although I didn’t when I first moved here, which is a long, fraught story involving the DHS). I moved here because I wanted to be somewhere different, and because a lot of the academics I wanted to work with were living in New York. I taught in the Film and Media department at Hunter College last year, and am affiliated (not sure what that means) with the CUNY Graduate Center. I don’t know where I’ll end up, to tell you the truth, but I think about it a lot. Vancouver is a pretty big part of my identity.

What are the pros and cons of living and not living in Canada/US?
I have no health-care, and my oldest friends and family still live in Canada. So those are the cons. Also, race relations here operate very differently than they do in Canada. Canada is much more subtly and perniciously racist. In New York, you get to see race and class conflicts every day on the subway. In Vancouver, you might not notice unless you were living in the Downtown Eastside. Pros? Well, New York isn’t the United States, per se. It’s a microcosm. In some ways it’s both a fantasy and a parody of itself. One big pro is that they make much better bagels. And Manhattan really does have the greatest transit system, even if it is constantly under construction.

I so want to work “microcosm” into my everyday speech – thank you for the word, Wise One!

So you like Summer Heights High. (And who freaking wouldn’t? If it’s good enough for Perez Hilton, it’s good enough for you.) Who’s your favourite – Jonah, Ja’mie or Mr G, and why?
I love Jonah Takalua. The scene where he gets kicked out of school is so real and heartbreaking. That’s why I love the show. It can be just so unexpectedly good in those small, real moments. But of course I adore Ja’mie. Her justification for why there should be a Year 11 formal is amazing rhetoric. And the musical finale in the end? Come on. “She’s a party girl, with a…bad habit…a bad habit for drugs!”

It was kind of sad when Ja’mie’s boyfriend made her feel “less hot”. I do like what Mr G had to say about Annabel/Jessica: “She’s what the kids would call a slut. Which is a terrible thing to say about someone who’s just died. But apparently there’s no denying she was one.”

Okay, shameless pimping/whoring time: writing Night Child involved researching forensic techniques. Tedious study, or a craic? Do you think the creators of CSI should take a hike, or do you approve of their programmes?
I love forensics, so the research was actually exciting for me. I was always a big fan of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter and Mo Hayder, but I wanted to see a crossover with fantasy. Lots of UF books feature great, noir-style crime-fighting, and I kept thinking: what if they had to do an autopsy? What would that look like? I wanted a cross between Blade II, Buffy, and CSI. And speaking of CSI…it’s a tough question, since I’m a big GSR fan (and Nick/Greg, of course). I think the first three seasons had great science, even if the time-factor was exaggerated (you have to imagine that their crime lab has an infinite budget, and very complicated DNA testing can be done within minutes and printed out as an easy-to-read Excel document). They’ve slipped recently, but I still watch for the character drama. Want to know how to write a painful but gorgeously complicated, adult relationship? Watch Gil and Sara on CSI. The Miami and New York spin-offs are fun, but the science takes a back seat to the pretty visuals (and outfits – why are they wearing Armani to a blood-soaked crime scene?) Bones is supervised by Reichs, who actually has a PhD in Forensic Anthropology. But the show can be boring at times. Maybe I just can’t see David Boreanaz in any other role but Angel?

The problem I have with Bones is that it’s too different from the books. Where’s Canada? Where’re the Canadians? Where’s Charlotte? And why did they have to make up the Jeffersonian and Booth, anyway?

You’ve written academia exploring Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Farscape. What’s your next academic project? (If you’re doing sci-fi/fantasy, how about Red Dwarf?)
My next book will come out of the work I’m doing on LGBT youth, and it’s tentatively called Queer Future: The Writing Lives of Gay and Lesbian Teens. I have a volume of essays forthcoming from Lexington in 2009 called A Dragon Wrecked My Prom: Teen Wizards, Mutants, and Heroes. Just signed the contract for that one, and it will include scholarly essays on teen wizards and superheroes. Then there’s an as-yet-unattached project on gay and lesbian graduate students, called Trans/Scripts. I’m busy.

Am so I glad I live in a country where proms don’t exist…

Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong, Michelle Rowen/Maddox, Jes Battis…Canadian authors of urban fantasy are becoming more popular (and deservingly). Any plans to take over the world (or maybe just America)? 😉
Tanya Huff and Mercedes Lackey really defined the genre in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Lackey’s Tregarde mysteries are critically underrated, and Huff’s vampire series just keeps getting reissued, so people still love it. I love Armstrong’s Dime Store Magic. She writes amazingly hot sex scenes. And her emphasis on relationships and family has definitely been an influence on my own writing. I think Canadians like fantasy because they feel like the Canada/America border is a kind of portal to Narnia. We have an inside/outsider perspective.

Which reminds me, I still need to get my filthy mitts on Personal Demon

Do you write in silence, or do you need some kind of sound, whether it’s music, TV or otherwise?
Oh, I’m very easily distracted. Right now, I’m listening to Wintersleep, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, Goldfrapp, the Rocky Horror Soundtrack, Greg MacPherson, Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, DAM, MC Solaar, Ani diFranco, the Cinematic Orchestra, M. Ward, Iron and Wine, etc. For TV, I love The Wire, Tell Me You Love Me, Lost, Supernatural (though I’ve lapsed a bit in watching), Rome, Carnivale, Six Feet Under, and Summer Heights High, of course.

Goldfrapp’s one of my absolute favourites! And I’m I’m looking forward to Madonna’s Hard Candy

What published works of yours can we look forward to in the future (near and/or far)?
Well, there’re the ones I listed earlier. I have plans for a few YA books, as well as some more traditional heroic fantasy with a twist. I’d eventually like to write an academic book on forensics in literature, but that’s a long way off. And I have some ideas for screenplays.

Are you an outliner or seat-of-the-pants writer?
Both. I wrote my last outline on a ten-hour bus trip from Toronto to New York.

In which foreign countries/languages would you most like to be published?
Arabic. Spanish. German (they have the best covers).

And fantasy’s selling really well in Germany, I hear, which is even more good news.

Thanks for dropping by, and have a lovely day! 🙂
Thanks for the interview!

Relevant Links

You can purchase Night Child online from: Amazon, Amazon CA & Amazon UK.