Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Stephen Blackmoore Author Interview


Photo Credit: Kari Blackmoore

Stephen Blackmoore is the Los Angeles based author of the noir / urban fantasy Eric Carter series, including DEAD THINGS, BROKEN SOULS, the upcoming HUNGRY GHOSTS, and the stand-alone CITY OF THE LOST. He has written tie-in novels for the role-playing game Spirit of The Century (KHAN OF MARS), the video-game Wasteland 2 (ALL BAD THINGS) and the television series Heroes Reborn (DIRTY DEEDS), as well as part of the Gods & Monster series (MYTHBREAKER). His short stories can be found at FIRESIDE FICTION, PLOTS WITH GUNS, and in anthologies such as URBAN ALLIES, DEADLY TREATS, DON'T READ THIS BOOK, UNCAGE ME and many others.

        
  


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
The value of ducking in time.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
Oh, wow. I've had most of my childhood bricked up behind a wall with a cask of Amontillado to keep it company. Let's see. I think Through The Looking Glass. I liked Alice In Wonderland, but it was all over the place, just sort of spattered across the walls.

Also TTLG is chess. Alice moves across the land according to chess rules for a Pawn trying to get to the other side of the board to become a Queen.

But Through The Looking Glass has rules, and structure. They might be rules that only make sense to a child, and the book might meander from time to time... okay, quite a bit, actually, but you can see structure there. It's an awesome book to desconstuct.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Failure is not a failing. Write, submit, accept rejection, write again better and repeat. The more you do and screw up, the better going to get.

In your newest book, FIRE SEASON (ERIC CARTER #4); can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
Eric Carter is a modern day necromancer. He sees ghosts, talks to the dead, etc. While trying to find his sister's killer, he gets enmeshed in the plots of the Aztec death goddess Mictecacihuatl, who's going by Santa Muerte, and her husband Mictlantecuhtli, king of Mictlan and technically sort of dead.

While he's dealing with all the death god shenanigans, he ends up really pissing off the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, when Eric refuses to burn down Mictlan, the Aztec land of the dead with magical fire.

FIRE SEASON continues that storyline.

Los Angeles is burning.

During one of the hottest summers the city has ever seen, someone is murdering mages with fires that burn when they shouldn't, that don't stop when they should. Necromancer Eric Carter is being framed for the killings and hunted by his own people.

To Carter, everything points to the god Quetzalcoatl coming after him, after he defied the mad wind god in the Aztec land of the dead. But too many things aren't adding up, and Carter knows there's more going on.

If he doesn't figure out what it is and put a stop to it fast, Quetzalcoatl won't just kill him, he'll burn the whole damn city down with him.

Aside from Eric, which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?
The character of Gabriella. She's a bruja who was running her own mini criminal empire in Downtown Los Angeles, masquerading as some hundred year old witch because nobody was taking seriously just how dangerous a ruthless, murderous, five-foot-tall twenty-five-year-old mage with a sociology degree and a desire to help the homeless could actually be.

Then her secret came out when she lost everything in a building fire. All of a sudden things crumble around her and she's spent the next two books rebuilding her organization and, in a lot of ways, herself. By the time FIRE SEASON happens, her organization is on the ropes, she's losing people through attrition against other gangs who have more resources than she does, and she needs a win.

She's still the same ruthless, murderous, five-foot-tall twenty-five-year-old mage with a sociology degree and a desire to help the homeless, but desperation and maybe a little bit of quarter-life crisis is making her take too risks that she's going to have to pay for later.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I think any character from any book would dislike Eric if they spent more than fifteen minutes with him. He's rude, snarky, and distrustful. Not that he doesn't have a reason to be, it's just tough to be around for too long.

But, I dunno. Harry Dresden, maybe? They'd hate each other on sight. Carter would think he's a stuck-up asshole, and Dresden would probably try to kill him because in a moral black and white world a Eric would not be considered a good person. It would get ugly. Eric doesn't fight fair. In fact he's probably more likely to lock Dresden in his apartment and set the building on fire than get into a stand-up fight if he could avoid it.

He might get along with John Constantine and Sandman Slim. I think they'd have a lot of deep philosophical discussions after too many bottles of mezcal.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?
Eric's world has expanded. He's learned a lot of things about himself and his family and has had to question a lot of his assumptions, figure out what forgiveness looks like, and how to do the right thing. He tries. He's always tried. He's just never been very good at it.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Keys, wallet, glasses, phone. I know. I'm boring.

What did you do for your last birthday?
I don't think I did anything, actually. I've never been a huge fan of celebrating my birthday, so it's always felt like just another day to me.

The fourth book of this dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

Los Angeles is burning.

During one of the hottest summers the city has ever seen, someone is murdering mages with fires that burn when they shouldn't, that don't stop when they should. Necromancer Eric Carter is being framed for the killings and hunted by his own people.

To Carter, everything points to the god Quetzalcoatl coming after him, after he defied the mad wind god in the Aztec land of the dead. But too many things aren't adding up, and Carter knows there's more going on.

If he doesn't figure out what it is and put a stop to it fast, Quetzalcoatl won't just kill him, he'll burn the whole damn city down with him.

Praise for the Eric Carter Series

"Blackmoore can't write these books fast enough to suit me. Broken Souls is hyper-caffeinated, turbo-bloody, face-stomping fun. This is the L.A.-noir urban fantasy you've been looking for." —Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

"Demons and dark magic and gods of death: what's not to like? Blackmoore's hard-charging prose hits like a bullet fired from a cursed gun.... Fast becoming my favorite urban fantasy series, Broken Souls is a welcome addition to the necromancer chronicles of Eric Carter. Read this book. Read it now." —Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds

"Eric Carter's adventures are bleak, witty, and as twisty as a fire-blasted madrone, told in prose as sharp as a razor. Blackmoore is the rising star of pitch-black paranormal noir. A must-read series." —Kat Richardson, author of the Greywalker novels

"Broken Souls is a deliciously gritty thrill ride. I can't get enough of Stephen Blackmoore's warped imagination and superb noir sensibilities. This is a must-read for any fan of awesome things." —Jaye Wells, author of the Sabina Kane series

"Fans will find plenty to enjoy in the long-awaited third outing of necromancer Eric Carter. Blackmoore infuses his increasingly detailed and dangerous urban fantasylandscape with grim yet fascinating characters, and ensures that every step of Carter's epic journey is a perilously fascinating one." —RT Reviews (top pick)

"Blackmoore's third urban fantasy featuring Los Angeles-based necromancer Eric Carter (after Broken Souls) is freewheeling and laced with smart-alecky banter.... Blackmoore keeps the action brisk and the mood light, sprinkling his text with breezy witticisms." —Publishers Weekly

"The entire series toes the line between gritty and dark but with heart. It ramps up the shock value and the tension without ever feeling like you've crossed the line into something uncomfortable and unreadable. Tight prose, memorable characters." —Fantasy Writers' World

You can purchase Fire Season (Eric Carter #4) at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you STEPHEN BLACKMOORE for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of Fire Season (Eric Carter #4) by Stephen Blackmoore.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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