Friday, January 28, 2011

Guest Blog by Trent Jamieson & Giveaway - January 28, 2011

Please welcome author Trent Jamieson to The Qwillery.

Death takes the Stage and Why that's a Good Thing.

The character of death has always lurked at the edge of fiction, occasionally taking centre stage. And, right now, there are a heap of novels being published featuring Death (or people working for Death, Psychopomps, Reapers, whatever you want to call them). Death is the new black.

And, having devoted the last few years to writing about Pomps, I can understand the appeal. In fact, I think it's a very good thing.

With Death you get a chance to really explore life, after all what places life in starker relief than death? Death’s inescapable we’re all heading there. And yet it's so easy to ignore the important stuff: a life well lived; a love well loved; being open to the opportunities to not just help yourself, but others, too.

These seem to me to be absolute imperatives. But just as there many approaches to the subject of death, there are at least as many approaches to living a good life.

When I started my Death Works books with Death Most Definite, that was one of things that I wanted to look at. Surely, if you work for Death you’d have everything else sorted?

Then, of course, I realised that sometimes this just wouldn’t hold true. All of us can forget the meaningful things, as though this life is never going to end. And, maybe if you work so closely to death (people dying, crossing over) you're even more susceptible to forgetting that you're going to die, too. After all, death is what happens to other people. Not you.

Which is exactly the thinking of my protagonist, Steven de Selby. He has pretty much everything, but he’s really taken it for granted. By yanking it away from him, I could explore just what happens to a character when they realise what they thought was important, isn’t really that important, after all.

The results are messy for poor Steve. But mess makes great story! Steve is fundamentally a good person who has lost his way. If the Death Works books are about anything they’re about him facing up to that, scrambling in the dark perhaps, but moving towards being a better person.

In book two, Managing Death, Steven has to deal with the fallout from the first book. He has to get his house, and his business in order, and he may not be up to the task. He's moved higher up the chain of command, and is greater risk of losing sight of everything that's important to him.

He can be a bit of an idiot. He makes a lot of mistakes. But his heart is in the right place, even if his head isn’t. Oh, and there’s something out to destroy the world, something so big that people are starting to ignore it, in the hope that it will go away.

If I’ve done my job properly these books should be funny, dark, a little scary, and possessed of a heart that beats with love and terror.

When Death is your job title you never know what tragedies the working day will bring. But the stakes are always high, and you forget that at your peril. Let’s hope Steve has a good memory.

Death Works Series 

Death Most Definite
Book 1
Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But that's exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him.

Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. D's his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead to the underworld but now his clients are his own colleagues, friends, and family.

Mr. D's gone missing and with no one in charge, the dead start to rise, the living are hunted, and the whole city teeters on the brink of a regional apocalypse-unless Steven can shake his hangover, not fall for the dead girl, and find out what happened to his boss- that is, Death himself.

Managing Death
Book 2
It's not easy being Death. For starters, people keep dying. And then, they keep getting up again.

Steven de Selby got promoted. This makes the increasing number of stirrers (and the disturbing rumors of a zombie god rising sometime soon) his problem. That time management seminar he keeps meaning to take would also remind him that he's got a Death Moot to plan, a Christmas party to organize, and an end-of-the-world thing to avert.

Steven must start managing Death, before Death starts managing him, or this time the Apocalypse will be more than Regional.

About Trent

Trent Jamieson lives in Brisbane, Australia. A multiple Aurealis Award winner for short fiction, he has taught short story writing at the Qld University of Technology, and Clarion South. Death Most Definite, Book One of the Death Works Series was published by Orbit Books in September 2010. Book Two, Managing Death was released in Jan 2011, and Book Three The Business of Death is due for publication in September 2011. He has just sold a two book series of Steampunkish novels to Angry Robot Books, the first of which, Roil, is due for publication in September 2011.

September's going to be a busy month!

His webpage is at

He also produces a series of ridiculous writing blogs called Trent's Book Corner.

Watch them at your peril here

The Giveaway

What:  One commenter will win Mass Market Paperbacks of the first 2 Death Works books: Death Most Definite and Managing Death.

How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery what sort of supernatural or paranormal job you would like to have? Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you in case you are a winner. If The Qwillery can't contact you, you can't win!

Who & When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, February 4, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. If I had to choose a paranormal job I think I'd like to do some sort of organizational kinda of job, like preven humans from knowing about paranormal activities and such. Or I'd like to help ghosts (very Ghost whisperer, I know, but still)!

    +1 comment
    +1 I'm a follower
    +1 twitter!/AliasLucia/status/30983592825847808

  2. Um. I think a paranormal CSI-ish job, along the lines of PUPI & Bonnie, from LA Gilman's books (like Pack of Kies) would be interesting.

    I enjoyed this interview. It's moved the books from the "that might be interesting to read someday" list to a firm spot on the TBR. Thanks, QQwill and Trent!
    (No, I do not mean that sarcastically, even if the evil QQwill keeps pointing out so many new releases that I *have* to read, that my TBR List is looking less like a list and more like a novel...LOL!)

    +3: comment, follower, retweeted.

    Happy Reading!

  3. I think I'd like to be a healer. I would say clairvoyant, but I think most of them end varying degrees of nutso.

    I'm a gfc follower.


  4. Oh, I'm going with Bethany. Healer. Wouldn't mind that one, but I'd be a healer with some paranormal group so I'm not drained all the time.

    I'm a GFC follower

  5. I think a demon hunter would be a good job - protecting the innocent from nasty creatures out to harm them.

    GFC follower

  6. Vampire hunter! I think it'd be an exciting job! :D

    +1 Following
    +1 Comment


  7. I would be a paranormal real estate agent, with a specialty in Vampire homes.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  8. +1 comment- I would be a paranormal personal assistant because they always seem to need help with the details, and the extra bonus is that if I am good at my job I could get turned paranormal myself!

    +1 follower

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  9. Well seeing as we are talking about Death here, the first thing that springs to mind is the great satirist Terry Pratchett's take on that character.

    I love all the Discworld books so my choice of a paranormal job would be to be Death's assistant (like Alberts is in the books).

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com.

    +1I am a Follower via GFC.
    +1 for comment

  10. Paranormal job of my choice? Easy! GHOSTBUSTER, of course! How can anyone choose anything else? ;)!/redbakersen/status/31288889889005568


  11. Definitely would like to be working for Herne or one of his ilk.

    Followed the blog (great book reviews, by the way!) and stalking you on twitter and fb :)

  12. I want to be special agent of the FBI in the unsolved cases and Paranormal ( like x-files ).

    +1 follower

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  13. I'm very excited about this series. I'm pretty sure I will enjoy reading about Steven *g*

    1) Hummm actually being a grim reaper would be the perfect job for a very ironic way. I try to avoid any kind of talk about death, so having to deal with it on an everyday basis (and being the one taking lives) would probably help me deal with it lol. (I'm thinking Dead Like Me). Otherwise I could always be Death's secretary (hey, someone has to bring him coffee!)

    +1 I tweeted about it (@pattepoilue)

    +1 I'm a follower of The Qwillery =)

  14. Vampire doctor? I probably wouldn't be very busy since most can heal themselves. Maybe they need a dentist more than that.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com
    +1 GFC follower

  15. great giveaway- love to be a paranormal handler-
    follow via gfc

  16. I would want to be able to detect magic being used and identify and see it.

    blog follower
    tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/31956733224034305
    blog -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  17. I would like to look after retired paranormal's. Run a retirement village and look after them. Just think of all the great stories I'd get to hear! Loved the article, and can't wait to read Trent's books.
    Am now following.

  18. I think I'd like to be in some sort of regulation department. To prevent he exposure of the supernatural community to the humans. (I'm totally taking this from Harry Potter :P)

    -I'm a follower

    Thank you!
    entrelibros_blog at

  19. I would choose to be a paranormal private investigator.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog follower
    +1 Tweet: