Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Interview with Jim N. Duncan and Giveaway - April 6, 2011

Please welcome J.N. Duncan to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

TQ:  Describe Deadworld in 140 characters or less.

J.N.:  Struggling FBI agent gets caught up in centuries-old conflict between two vampires.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

J.N.:  I'm a big plotter. I'll work out my story for several weeks before I actually start writing, and if things go according to plan, I'll have a chapter by chapter breakdown of the whole thing before word one gets on the page. Conversely, I do little, other than broad stroke characterization before I start, working that out as the story goes on the page. The drawback to that is I end up editing a lot of dialogue in my stories.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

J.N.:  The bulk of my reading has come from fantasy and thrillers. A couple of my favorite authors/books is G.R.R.M.'s Ice and Fire Saga and King's Dark Tower series. The best writer I've read in the past year or so though, is Tana French. Wonderful, wonderful mystery writer.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

J.N.:  Given my above quirk, I'm totally a plotter. That said, often my plotting for a chapter will be something like, "investigates crime scene and sees ghost." This obviously leaves a fair bit to the imagination, so in some ways, I pants my way through, but I always know the general direction things are heading. I'll also "plot" my characterization out to some degree, designating points in the story where significant emotional develop points or conflicts arise. This is far more up in the air compared to the physical action of the story, but I still have clear goals in mind for the development of my characters. I am not the sort who can sit down at a starting point and then "see what happens." My brain doesn't function well that way.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Deadworld?

J.N.Deadworld was my "break" from writing a fantasy novel, which I had just finished after three years (and which I still plan on doing something with in the future). I went from third person epic, to first person thriller. Basically I wanted to do something different, and being a fan of the paranormal and big thriller reader, I wanted to write a paranormal thriller (which honestly, is what a lot of urban fantasy is, in my opinion). To that end, I am fond of vampire stories. I think they make cool villains, and so I went at it with the thought, "How can I take the vampire story in a little different direction?" What I ended up with, based on other favorite characters I've loved to read, is something along the lines of (and please don't take this as a literal blend because it's not) Eve Dallas meets Roland the Gunslinger. But it all started with the vampire character and his backstory, and where it might end up in present day.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Deadworld?

J.N.:  Honestly, not a whole lot. I looked up and got some general info about the FBI and how it's structured and operates, kinds of crimes they investigate, how they interact with local authorities and such. But I didn't want to get too detailed, because for one, it's so easy to get that stuff wrong, but also the story isn't about the FBI. I just wanted enough to make the elements feel legit. The nice thing about the paranormal end is that there really are no set rules. I'm free to create however I want as long as the rules are consistent. It was, and still is, a lot of fun developing how the living and dead aspects interact in my stories.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

J.N.:  Hmmm, tough one. I love the turning point in the middle of the book, very intense scene, at least it was to write it. Piano scene between Nick and Jackie was fun to write. And I loved the sequence in the funeral home. Hopefully readers find that one as dramatic as I did.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Deadworld series?

J.N.:  I am contracted for three books right now. Beyond that all depends on the readers. I'd love to keep writing it though. The series is heading in a very intriguing direction, I think.

TQ:  What's next?

J.N.:  Next up is The Vengeful Dead. It'll be out in October, and I'm just starting into book three, which I'm tentatively titling The Lingering Dead.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

J.N.:  It was great being here, and really glad to answer questions and talk about the book and being a writer. This is fun stuff.

About J.N.'s Books

(Deadworld 1)
She’s as tough as anything haunting Chicago’s streets. But to deal with an inhuman power that won’t stay buried, this FBI agent needs help that comes at an immortal price…

Jackie Rutledge has seen her share of supernatural killers. But her latest murder case is what recurring nightmares are made of. Brutally exsanguinated human victims, vanishing-into-the-ether evidence, and a city on the edge of panic mean that she and her psychic partner, Laurel, are going to need more than just backup …

So Jackie is fine with any help rugged P.I. Nick Anderson can give—even if that includes the impish ghost and sexy vampire who make up his team. But Nick is hiding secrets of his own. And Jackie’s investigation has plunged them both into a vengeful game reaching back centuries—and up against a malevolent force hungry for more than just victory…

Look for The Vengeful Dead in October 2011.
About J.N.
J.N. Duncan is a father of four and an aspiring teacher, living in Ohio. He's got as many pets as kids, and a partner who is published as well (romance author Tracy Madison). He's a big fantasy gamer, sf/f geek, lover of astronomy, and generally scores pretty high on the nerd scale, if one were to measure such things.

J.N.'s Links

Website (under construction)

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Deadworld.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What kind of supernatural help would you like on your investigative team?

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.

Who and 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 Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. The stronger the better, those wise and magical is also good. So a dragon I guess :)

    I am a follower.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  2. I think the best help would be a were wolf bc of strength and smell or a vamp bc of agility and strength....thanks
    Hollybwright at

  3. I guess the most obvious answer would be a psychic! Or any other powerful magic user.

    I'm a gfc follower.


  4. Congratulations on the new series, Jim. Deadworld is definitely on my TBR list.

    I'd want a vampire for strength, speed and ability to recover from most physical damage and a shifter with good scenting abilities, strength and speed (and good in the day time) and someone with magical ability.


  5. That's a tough one! I would probably want a witch of some sort, and a strong one that can shape shift and stuff.

    leilani @

  6. I would like a ghost on my investigative team..cuz they could totally sneak around and no one would see them. They could evesdrop

  7. Compulsion ftw. That way we can do anything :)
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  8. I think the ability to read minds would help with anything!
    I am a blog follower.
    I tweeted the giveaway & I'm a follower!

  9. I would like a telekinetic on my team. I find something oddly appealing about I can kill you with my mind. ***Qwill don't enter me I own a copy.***

    Jim; I have a planned trip to Ohio 1st weekend in June where can I find a Deadworld signed copy, or you to sign my copy?

  10. A mind reader... maybe (don't want them in my brain) or maybe a shape shifter. Hm...

    I'm a gfc/twitter follower
    books (Dot) things (at) yahoo (Dot) com

  11. I would say invisibility. A bit unconventional but you could be very sneaky!
    +1 comment
    + GFC follower

    the girl on fire

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  12. I would like a Were. One who could smell/sense if any being was near - especially if that being were dangerous.
    blog follower linda (at) gordonvalley (dot) com

  13. A mind reader would be very useful and maybe a shifter as a backup...
    great post - I really enjoyed reading it!
    greetings, Ina

    I'm a follower
    inale87 at gmx dot at

  14. Sounds great!

    I would really go with a mind reader. Would really make finding out info a lot easier.

    -tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/57285207551770624
    -post -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  15. A mind reader would be great but s/he also should have compulsion...maybe a witch could be good, too.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower GFC

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  16. ESP I cheating? That does cover a range of abilities. It's a package deal :)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  17. I would choose a mind-reader to help! ;)
    I'm a GFC follower (Cristina Marques)

    thanks for the contest! The book looks awesome!!

    cris_mv at hotmail dot com

  18. A great supernatural help would be a psychic, I think. Or someone who can tell if others are lying.
    Thank you for the great giveaway! Loved the interview. ;)
    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow (Karla Vollkopf)
    +1 for a Tweet:!/vollkopf/status/57789350519382016

    kah_cherub at hotmail dot com