Friday, June 18, 2021

Interview with Justin Woolley

Please welcome Justin Woolley to The Qwillery. Shakedowners was published on June 14, 2021 by Lonely Robot Books.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Justin:  Ah, the single question capable of causing a room of authors to descend into hours of argument. It's most likely my engineering background but I am absolutely a plotter. I plan out my novels in detail before I start writing them. I know a lot of authors feel like doing this removes some creativity or discovery in the process of writing the first draft but I find that having a scaffold in place gives you room to be more creative. It removes the cognitive load of having to think about plot and gives you freedom to apply your full creativity in the scene you're currently working on.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Justin:  Authors always have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the actual craft of writing but outside of always trying to improve at the craft itself my biggest challenge when it comes to writing is time. I, like most writers, still have a job outside of my writing and a family and other commitments so scraping out more than an hour or two of dedicated writing time is hard. The upside to this is I've become very good at writing just about anywhere on just about anything that can make a mark on paper.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Justin:  My writing has many influences but if I had to reduce it down to a few major influences they would be: my background as an aerospace engineer which comes in particularly handy when writing science fiction and being exposed to fantasy and science fiction from a very young age. My biggest author influence would probably be Terry Pratchett. I absolutely devoured the Discworld series as a teenager and it changed my view of what fantasy and all genre fiction could be.

TQDescribe Shakedowners using only 5 words.

Justin:  Star Trek crewed by misfits.

TQTell us something about Shakedowners that is not found in the book description.

Justin:  It's not explicitly stated in the book description but I hope it comes across in the book itself - Shakedowners was the most fun I've ever had writing a book!

TQWhat inspired you to write Shakedowners?

Justin:  In a lot of ways Shakedowners was inspired by my early exposure to two things, Star Trek and British comedy. Both thanks to my father. When I was six or seven my Dad started collecting every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series on VHS tapes through a subscription service and this was soon followed by Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched both these shows from beginning to end more than once growing up and Star Trek became my first science-fiction love. On top of this Dad had another love he shared with me, Monty Python and that very British brand of absurdist comedy. Eventually I discovered Red Dwarf and Douglas Adams and saw that you could combine these two things into something spectacular. Shakedowners is basically my homage to these influences.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Shakedowners?

JustinShakedowners is certainly not hard science-fiction but one thing I pride myself on is using both my aerospace engineering background and research into the latest science to at least make much of the science plausible. Rather than just hand-waving problems like faster than light travel and space flight away I took the time to design technologies that, while fictional, actually address real issues with the physics of space-travel and communication across vast interstellar distances. This meant research into cutting-edge science like quantum entanglement and possible solutions to relativistic effects of space travel. I also ground the technology in ways that are realistic according to our current best understanding of physics, no laser-swords here.

TQWhat is Captain Iridius B. Franklin's favorite alien bar and favorite alien cocktail?

Justin:  Iridius's favourite bar is a little place on Procyon C called 'Arsonic Atmospheric' and he's partial to a Grantakian Razor Vodka on hallucinogenic ice.

TQIn Shakedowners who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Justin:  I think the easiest character in Shakedowners to write was Ensign Benjamin Rangi who is the helmsmen. He's the most outwardly comedic of the characters and his actions and dialogue just seemed to flow so easily. On the flip side the most difficult to write was the major antagonist of the story an alien synthetic lifeform that calls itself the Aegix. The Aegix was difficult to write because it is an artificially intelligent hive-mind. This meant trying to write a character that was comprised of a swarm of smaller life-forms and so had no real sense of singular identity and is also highly intelligent - vastly more so than a human. This meant trying to give the enemy a motivation that the reader understands but still doesn't seem to fully grasp - just like the characters in the story.

TQDoes Shakedowners touch on any social issues?

JustinShakedowners is by-and-large written to be an entertaining piece of science-fiction comedy but it's my view that all fiction touches on social issues whether the author does so willingly or not. In Shakedowners there is a subtle undercurrent throughout the piece that I've definitively included on purpose. It's certainly not front and centre in the narrative but I have included some discussion for the discerning reader about whether the seeming utopia of the Galactic Federation is quite as perfect as it seems. There are also indications that despite advancements in many ways humanity still has a habit of leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

TQWhich question about Shakedowners do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Justin:  Excuse me Justin, would you like to sign this movie option contract for Shakedowners with a blue pen or a black pen?

I'll take the blue one please.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Shakedowners.

Justin:  That is such a hard question! I'm going to cheat and say the opening of the actual story after the captain's log.

"No one in the universe would consider the FSC Diesel Coast an attractive ship. It was a hauler, a starship built purely for function, with as much thought put into aesthetics as a sledgehammer puts into the meaning of life."

I like this line because it is introducing the ship but it is also subtly telling you about the crew inside too.

TQWhat's next?

Justin:  Right now I'm working hard on the sequel to Shakedowners. I'm hoping to have it completed quite quickly so that readers don't have to wait too long for the continuing adventures of Captain Iridius Franklin and his crew!

Lonely Robot Books, June 14, 2021
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 298 pages
To boldly go where no losers have gone before...

Some starship captains explore strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilisations. Some lead missions of discovery through wormholes to the other side of the galaxy. Then there's Captain Iridius B. Franklin, someone who spent too long seeking out strange new bars and new alien cocktails.

After graduating bottom of his class at Space Command Academy Iridius Franklin hasn't had the glamorous career he envisioned, instead he hauls cargo ships full of mining waste, alien land whale dung, and artificially intelligent toy dogs across the stars.

Iridius does have talent though - he is exceptionally good at breaking starships. So, when not hauling freight, he is captain of a shakedown crew, a skeleton crew used to test newly constructed ships for faults before the real crew takes over.

While on a routine shakedown mission aboard the FSC Gallaway, soon to be pride of the Federation Fleet, Earth is attacked by an unknown alien life-form. With the galaxy in chaos, Captain Iridius B. Franklin finds himself, unqualified, understaffed and completely unprepared, in command of the most advanced starship in the galaxy.

Now, he just needs to not break it.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound : Powell's

Holly Kate photography
About Justin

Justin Woolley has been writing stories since he could first scrawl with a crayon. When he was six years old he wrote his first book, a 300 word pirate epic in unreadable handwriting called 'The Ghost Ship'. He promptly declared that he was now an author and didn't need to go to school. Despite being informed that this was, in fact, not the case, he continued to make things up and write them down.

Today Justin is the author of the Australian set dystopian trilogy The Territory Series consisting of the novels A Town Called Dust, A City Called Smoke and the recently released finale A World of Ash. He also writes the web serial Listening to the Other Side, a fictional blog about talking to the dead.

Justin lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two sons. In his other life he's been an engineer, a teacher and at one stage even a magician. His handwriting has not improved.

Website  ~  Twitter @Woollz

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton - Excerpt

Please welcome India Holton to The Qwillery with an excerpt from The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels.


Berkley Trade Paperback Original | On Sale: June 15th, 2021


There was no possibility of walking to the library that day. Morning rain had blanched the air, and Miss Darlington feared that if Cecilia ventured out she would develop a cough and be dead within the week. Therefore Cecilia was at home, sitting with her aunt in a room ten degrees colder than the streets of London, and reading aloud The Song of Hiawatha by “that American rogue, Mr. Longfellow,” when the strange gentleman knocked at their door.

As the sound barged through the house, interrupting Cecilia’s recitation mid-rhyme, she looked inquiringly at her aunt. But Miss Darlington’s own gaze went to the mantel clock, which was ticking sedately toward a quarter to one. The old lady frowned.

“It is an abomination the way people these days knock at any wild, unseemly hour,” she said in much the same tone the prime minister had used in Parliament recently to decry the London rioters. “I do declare—!”

Cecilia waited, but Miss Darlington’s only declaration came in the form of sipping her tea pointedly, by which Cecilia understood that the abominable caller was to be ignored. She returned to Hiawatha and had just begun proceeding “toward the land of the Pearl-Feather” when the knocking came again with increased force, silencing her and causing Miss Darlington to set her teacup into its saucer with a clink. Tea splashed, and Cecilia hastily laid down the poetry book before things really got out of hand.

“I shall see who it is,” she said, smoothing her dress as she rose and touching the red-gold hair at her temples, although there was no crease in the muslin nor a single strand out of place in her coiffure.

“Do be careful, dear,” Miss Darlington admonished. “Anyone attempting to visit at this time of day is obviously some kind of hooligan.”

“Fear not, Aunty.” Cecilia took up a bone-handled letter opener from the small table beside her chair. “They will not trouble me.”

Miss Darlington harrumphed. “We are buying no subscriptions today,” she called out as Cecilia left the room.

In fact they had never bought subscriptions, so this was an unnecessary injunction, although typical of Miss Darlington, who persisted in seeing her ward as the reckless tomboy who had entered her care ten years before: prone to climbing trees, fashioning cloaks from tablecloths, and making unauthorized doorstep purchases whenever the fancy took her. But a decade’s proper education had wrought wonders, and now Cecilia walked the hall quite calmly, her French heels tapping against the polished marble floor, her intentions aimed in no way toward the taking of a subscription. She opened the door.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Good afternoon,” said the man on the step. “May I interest you in a brochure on the plight of the endangered North Atlantic auk?”

Cecilia blinked from his pleasant smile to the brochure he was holding out in a black-gloved hand. She noticed at once the scandalous lack of hat upon his blond hair and the embroidery trimming his black frock coat. He wore neither sideburns nor mustache, his boots were tall and buckled, and a silver hoop hung from one ear. She looked again at his smile, which quirked in response.

“No,” she said, and closed the door.

And bolted it.

Ned remained for a moment longer with the brochure extended as his brain waited for his body to catch up with events. He considered what he had seen of the woman who had stood so briefly in the shadows of the doorway, but he could not recall the exact color of the sash that waisted her soft white dress, nor whether it had been pearls or stars in her hair, nor even how deeply winter dreamed in her lovely eyes. He held only a general impression of “beauty so rare and face so fair”—and implacability so terrifying in such a young woman.

And then his body made pace, and he grinned.

Miss Darlington was pouring herself another cup of tea when Cecilia returned to the parlor. “Who was it?” she asked without looking up.

“A pirate, I believe,” Cecilia said as she sat and, taking the little book of poetry, began sliding a finger down a page to relocate the line at which she’d been interrupted.

Miss Darlington set the teapot down. With a delicate pair of tongs fashioned like a sea monster, she began loading sugar cubes into her cup. “What made you think that?”

Cecilia was quiet a moment as she recollected the man. He had been handsome in a rather dangerous way, despite the ridiculous coat. A light in his eyes had suggested he’d known his brochure would not fool her, but he’d entertained himself with the pose anyway. She predicted his hair would fall over his brow if a breeze went through it, and that the slight bulge in his trousers had been in case she was not happy to see him—a dagger, or perhaps a gun.

“Well?” her aunt prompted, and Cecilia blinked herself back into focus.

“He had a tattoo of an anchor on his wrist,” she said. “Part of it was visible from beneath his sleeve. But he did not offer me a secret handshake, nor invite himself in for tea, as anyone of decent piratic society would have done, so I took him for a rogue and shut him out.”

“A rogue pirate! At our door!” Miss Darlington made a small, disapproving noise behind pursed lips. “How reprehensible. Think of the germs he might have had. I wonder what he was after.”

Cecilia shrugged. Had Hiawatha confronted the magician yet? She could not remember. Her finger, three-quarters of the way down the page, moved up again. “The Scope diamond, perhaps,” she said. “Or Lady Askew’s necklace.”

Miss Darlington clanked a teaspoon around her cup in a manner that made Cecilia wince. “Imagine if you had been out as you planned, Cecilia dear. What would I have done, had he broken in?”

“Shot him?” Cecilia suggested.

Miss Darlington arched two vehemently plucked eyebrows toward the ringlets on her brow. “Good heavens, child, what do you take me for, a maniac? Think of the damage a ricocheting bullet would do in this room.”

“Stabbed him, then?”

“And get blood all over the rug? It’s a sixteenth-century Persian antique, you know, part of the royal collection. It took a great deal of effort to acquire.”

“Steal,” Cecilia murmured.

“Obtain by private means.”

“Well,” Cecilia said, abandoning a losing battle in favor of the original topic of conversation. “It was indeed fortunate I was here. ‘The level moon stared at him—’ ”

“The moon? Is it up already?” Miss Darlington glared at the wall as if she might see through its swarm of framed pictures, its wallpaper and wood, to the celestial orb beyond, and therefore convey her disgust at its diurnal shenanigans.

“No, it stared at Hiawatha,” Cecilia explained. “In the poem.”

“Oh. Carry on, then.”

“ ‘In his face stared pale and haggard—’ ”

“Repetitive fellow, isn’t he?”

“Poets do tend to—”

Miss Darlington waved a hand irritably. “I don’t mean the poet, girl. The pirate. Look, he’s now trying to climb in the window.”

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels
Dangerous Damsels 1
Berkley, June 15, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
"The kind of book for which the word “rollicking” was invented.”—New York Times Book Review

One of Bustle’s Best New Books Out June 2021
A Popsugar Best Summer Read of 2021

A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.
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About India

India Holton lives in New Zealand. She's taught creative writing classes to high school students and written nonfiction and fiction pieces for various magazines. Learn more on her website and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Spotlight - Shutter by Melissa Larsen

Melissa Larsen's debut novel, Shutter, was published on June 15th by Berkley. We'll have an interview with Melissa later this month. In the meantime check out what others have to say about Shutter and admire that beautiful cover!

Berkley, June 15, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
“[A] chilling debut novel.” — The New York Times Book Review

A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker’s latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel.

In the wake of her father’s death, Betty Roux doesn’t allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn’t know what she wants, except to run.

When she’s offered the chance to play the leading role in mysterious indie filmmaker Anthony Marino’s new project, she jumps at the opportunity. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother warns against it, but Betty is too drawn to the charismatic Anthony to say no.

Anthony gives her a new identity–Lola–and Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she’s been looking for. The chance to reinvent herself. That is, until they begin filming and she meets Sammy, the island’s caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director.
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Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Photo © Emily Hlaváč Green
About Melissa

Melissa Larsen has an M.F.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has interned and worked extensively in publishing. She lives in San Francisco, and Shutter is her first novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @lisslarsen

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Interview with Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Please welcome Kathleen O'Neal Gear to The Qwillery. The Ice Lion, the 1st novel in The Rewilding Reports, was published on June 15, 2021 by DAW.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. You have written more than 48 books. How has your writing process changed over the years and what is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kathleen:  Writing styles definitely change throughout an author’s career. When I first started writing, I was in love with adjectives. It’s important, I think, to find the best single word to describe something. Adjectives get old really fast.

The most challenging thing I face is unconscious repetition. When I’m reading a draft manuscript, I notice that I apparently like beating my readers over the head with facts. Authors have to trust their readers: “They already know this. For goodness sake, don’t bore them.”

TQAre you a plotter, a pantzer or a hybrid?

Kathleen:  A pantzer. I love writing by the seat of my pants, living the story with the characters. Toward the end of the book, however, I make a list of the things that must happen, and the order they must happen, to bring the characters together. I guess that’s a rough outline, so maybe I’m actually a hybrid.

TQDescribe The Ice Lion using only 5 words.

Kathleen:  Teenagers. Abandoned. Glaciers. Giant lions.

TQTell us something about The Ice Lion that is not found in the book description.

Kathleen:  I’m an archaeologist. The book is a synthesis of past human behaviors projected into the future. We are an inventive species. We can--and will--use our knowledge to affect the climate. THE ICE LION asks a question: If we make a mistake, how can we possibly fix it?

The archaic humans and re-created Ice Age animals in the story were the ancient Jemen’s answer.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Ice Lion?

Kathleen:  Geo-engineering. There are a number of proposals for cooling the planet earth. They worry me.

TQThe Ice Lion is described as cli-fi. What is cli-fi and in your opinion why are we seeing more and more cli-fi novels/stories?

Kathleen:  Climate fiction (cli-fi) is an examination of human responses to climate change. Climate change is nothing new. Humans have been struggling to survive episodes of warming and cooling for millions of years, but we now have the technology to do something about it. That’s the scary part. Cli-fi is becoming more and more popular because we’re all worried. How much do you trust human judgment?

TQThe book description states that the Sealion People are Denisovans. Why did you choose Denisovans as the archaic humans for The Ice Lion? Are they the only archaic humans in the novel?

Kathleen:  There are three archaic species in the novel: Denisovans, Neandertals, and Homo erectus. I chose them for the same reason the ancient Jemen in the story did: These species survived in an Ice Age world, the Pleistocene, for hundreds of thousands of years before modern humans evolved. Despite the odds, one of them may just make it.

TQThe Ice Lion is the first novel in The Rewilding Reports. At this time how many novels do you have planned for the series?

Kathleen:  I finished Book 2, THE ICE GHOST, several months ago, and am working on Book 3, THE ICE ORPHAN. I don’t know how many books there will be—enough to finish the story!

TQWhat's next?

Kathleen:  For now, I’m delighted to be concentrating on the Rewilding Chronicles. There are always other stories flitting around in the back of my mind, but none have a stranglehold on my imagination. Yet. Maybe the story about the insane archaeologist abandoned on a distant world. Her excavation is very interesting…

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kathleen:  It’s always a pleasure! Thank you.

The Ice Lion
The Rewilding Reports 1
Daw, June 15, 2021
Hardcover and ebook, 304 pages
This cli-fi novel from a notable archaeologist and anthropologist explores a frozen future where archaic species struggle to survive an apocalyptic Ice Age

One thousand years in the future, the zyme, a thick blanket of luminous green slime, covers the oceans. Glaciers three-miles-high rise over the continents. The old stories say that when the Jemen, godlike beings from the past, realized their efforts to halt global warming had gone terribly wrong, they made a desperate gamble to save life on earth and recreated species that had survived the worst of the earth’s Ice Ages.

Sixteen-summers-old Lynx and his best friend Quiller are members of the Sealion People—archaic humans known as Denisovans. They live in a world growing colder, a world filled with monstrous predators that hunt them for food. When they flee to a new land, they meet a strange old man who impossibly seems to be the last of the Jemen. He tells Lynx the only way he can save his world is by sacrificing himself to the last true god, a quantum computer named Quancee.
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Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Neal Gear is a New York Times-bestselling author and nationally award-winning archaeologist who has been honored by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the United States Congress. She is the author or co-author of 50 books and over 200 non-fiction articles. Her books have been translated into 29 languages. She lives in northern Wyoming with W. Michael Gear and a wily Shetland Sheep dog named Jake.

Website  ~  Twitter @GearBooks

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Interview with Marissa Levien, author of The World Gives Way

Please welcome Marissa Levien to The Qwillery as part of the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The World Gives Way was published on June 15, 2021 by Redhook.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Marissa a Happy Book Birthday!

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Marissa:  I wrote this truly bonkers story for a kindergarten assignment… we would dictate the story to our teacher, and they would write it out for us. For most kids, it was just a couple sentences, something like “The cat ran into the tree to chase a squirrel. Then a bird flew away.” Mine was this long run-on paragraph about an alien in a cloud spaceship coming down to earth to bury the severed limbs of his ancestors. It drew some weird looks from the teachers, but six-year-old me was very happy with the finished product.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Marissa:  I’d say I’m a hybrid. I love outlines, but I also strongly believe that you should let your characters change and grow as you’re writing them, which means sometimes they’re going to change the story on you. When that happens, you just kind of have to go with it.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Marissa:  When writing a story, I always get bogged down in the middle. I always have a sense of how a book is going to begin, and how I want it to end, but the middle is where I get stuck. Sometimes it’s because I’m trying to force a plot through that’s not quite the right fit anymore, or because I’m avoiding the necessary conflict or change for my characters. But somewhere, about 150 pages in, I usually have to take a step back and shake off my preconceived notions of the story in order to keep going.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Marissa:  Everything influences my writing. I’m a very big fan of reading all genres, and even outside of literature, just taking in as much of the world as possible; paintings, dance, history, travel, politics, scientific theorems, you name it.

For this book, I read a lot of Calvino, a lot of Beckett, Douglas Adams, Karen Thompson Walker, and Emily St. John Mandel. Lots of existentialism and lots of humanity. One of my main characters is also an art appreciator, so I got to pull from some of my favorite artists, like Alma Thomas and Roman Opalka.

TQDescribe The World Gives Way using only 5 words.

Marissa:  A warm, humane, aesthetic, apocalypse.

TQTell us something about The World Gives Way that is not found in the book description.

Marissa:  Most of the descriptions talk a lot about the class structure in the book, the fact that my main character is an indentured servant. I don’t think many of them directly state that the book is an apocalypse story.

TQWhat inspired you to write The World Gives Way?

Marissa:  I’ve had apocalypses on the brain for a few years now (I’m sure the 2016 election had something to do with it), and I kept thinking about what it would be like to know that the end of the world is coming, and to just sit with that knowledge. There are plenty of thrillers and action movies about characters fighting to avert the end of the world, but I was interested in writing a character who was fighting to come to terms with the end of everything, and fighting to live their best life with the time left.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The World Gives Way?

Marissa:  I did a lot of research on what I consider to be the world’s most beautiful places: Tokyo, Mexico City, Istanbul, Petra, Tunisian deserts, Mediterranean coasts, the Himalayas. I was creating a world that had to be a little bit of everything all compacted into one, so I wanted to blend as much of the world together as possible. That meant also finding ways to blend cultures with food, religion, architecture, technology, etc. I did a lot of research and then tried to pepper it into the world of the story as subtly as possible.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The World Gives Way.

Marissa:  Lisa Marie Pompilio designed the book cover, and it’s beautiful. There’s a lot of teal and warm peachy-orange colors; we’ve been joking that the color palette accidentally matches the decorating in our house. It’s been very convenient for Instagram.

The cover shows a woman in profile, against a moon and backdrop of stars. The woman is meant to be Myrra, my main character. I don’t know specifically if this was the intent, but her posture to me suggests someone who has been beaten down a bit, but is also resolute and strong. It fits the character very well.

TQIn The World Gives Way who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Marissa:  Tobias was the easiest character to write, I think because he’s fastidious. I like writing characters who are buttoned up, who want everything just so; I think I’m a little like that, which might be why they’re easy to write.

Myrra was the hardest (and most rewarding) character to write-- she’s faced with pretty terrible circumstances throughout The World Gives Way, and I had to constantly reassess and delve more deeply into what was driving her, what pushed her to keep going.

TQDoes The World Gives Way touch on any social issues?

Marissa:  I ended up having quite a bit to say about class structure in The World Gives Way, which is funny to me because I don’t think I intended to write a book that was so focused on that. But the circumstances of the story, the nature of the social structure aboard a generation ship where people must buy their passage-- it very much demanded that class, wealth, and power all be evaluated, and I got more and more passionate about it the more I wrote. Now it’s one of the first things people note when they’re describing the book, this element of class dystopia. I didn’t know how many opinions I had about class and the wealth gap until I started writing them down, but it turns out I’m pretty angry about it.

TQWhich question about The World Gives Way do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Marissa:  I’m sometimes surprised that people don’t ask more about the thread of motherhood in The World Gives Way. This was another thing that came into the book by accident, but became very meaningful as I kept writing. Early in the book, Myrra is given charge of a baby, Charlotte, and as she deals with all the other conflicts thrown her way, navigating an apocalypse, running from the government, etc, she is also learning how to be a mother. Myrra’s own mother disappeared, and the push-pull of her caring for Charlotte and coming to terms with her own fraught upbringing becomes a huge driving force in the story. I’m at a time in my life where I’m on the precipice of having a family of my own, and I spend a decent amount of time wondering what kind of mother I’ll be, if I’m capable of such a monumental thing. I think that definitely found its way into the book.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The World Gives Way.


“The world is a relative concept”

“Who knows what keeps us from letting death in. Even now, when death waits at the threshold for the whole world.”

TQWhat's next?

Marissa:  I’ve been working on a haunted house book, which has been an absolute blast to write. It means I get to read a bunch of ghost stories and gothic romances, all in the name of research. I’ve set it on the Oregon Coast, an area where I grew up, which makes a nice change after all the worldbuilding I did in The World Gives Way. Earlier this year I took a trip out to Oregon to reacquaint myself with the landscape. I’m honestly surprised more people don’t set horror stories in the Pacific Northwest. It’s fantastically moody, with all the clouds and rain and dense impenetrable forests. I know Stephen King loves Maine, and the English have their wild moors, but the Pacific Northwest has always felt wonderfully haunted to me. I’m finishing up my first draft now. I’ll be eager to share it soon.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

The World Gives Way
Redhook, June 15, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
“Marissa Levien's debut novel is a thrilling adventure, and in a moment when we're all looking for escape pods, this is a great one.”—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author


In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist.

In fifty years, Myrra will be free.

Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.

But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what's left before it's too late.

A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

© Robert Mannis

About Marissa

Marissa Levien is a writer and artist who hails from Washington State and now lives in New York with a kindly journalist and their two cats. The World Gives Way is her first novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @marissalevien

Monday, June 14, 2021

The View From Monday - June 14, 2021

Happy Monday!

There are 2 debuts this week:

Shutter by Melissa Larsen;


The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

When Jackals Storm the Walls (Song of Shattered Sands 5) by Bradley P. Beaulieu is out in Trade Paperback;

Living Memory by Christopher L. Bennett;


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is out in Trade Paperback.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

June 14, 2021
Dreams for the Dying (e)
Adam Light

June 15, 2021
When Jackals Storm the Walls (h2tp)
Bradley P. Beaulieu F/DF - Song of Shattered Sands 5
Living Memory Christopher L. Bennett SF - Star Trek: The Original
Power Challenges Ben Bova SF/CrM/HSF - Power 5
The Long Tomorrow (ri)
Leigh Brackett SF/HSF
Boundless Jack Campbell SF - The Lost Fleet: Outlands 1
Mountains Oceans Giants: An Epic of the 27th Century Alfred Doblin
Chris Godwin (Tr)
Morhelion Dominic Dulley SF/SO - The Long Game
Terrifying Ghosts Short Stories Flame Tree Studio GH - Anthology
Rook Song Naomi Foyle SF/AP/PA/Dys - Gaia Chronicles 2
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions Neil Gaiman SS
The Ice Lion Kathleen O'Neal Gear SF/GenEng/AP/PA/CoA - The Rewilding Reports 1
A Room Made of Leaves Kate Grenville AH/LF/Hist
Million Dollar Demon Kim Harrison UF/P/PNR - Hollows (Rachel Morgan) 15
The Year of the Witching (h2tp) Alexis Henderson H/Occ/Sup/DF
Velocity Blues Clifford Royal Johns SF/GenEng
Path of Destruction Drew Karpyshyn SF/SO - Star Wars: Darth Bane Trilogy - Legends 1
Wasteland Kristin Keppler
Allisa Bahney
Dys - The Badlands 1
Beyond Mercedes Lackey F/DF - The Founding of Valdemar 1
Shutter (D) Melissa Larsen Sus/PsyTh/H
The World Gives Way (D) Marissa Levien LF/Dys/Disaster
The Oath A.M. Linden HistF - The Druid Chronicles 1
Tatterdemalion (ri)
Sylvia Linsteadt F/AP/PA
The Tangleroot Palace: Stories Marjorie Liu UF/P/SF/AP/PA
Mexican Gothic (h2tp) Silvia Moreno-Garcia HistF/Gothic/H
The Hollywood Spiral Paul Neilan Sus
Inside Man K. J. Parker DF
Black Sci-Fi Short Stories Tia Ross (Ed) SF - Anthology
Shatterpoint: Star Wars Legends (ri)
Matthew Stover SF/SO - Star Wars Legends
Heir to the Empire: Star Wars Legends (ri)
Timothy Zahn SF/SO - Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy 1

June 16, 2021
The Far Side of the Universe: A Original (e) noc SF

June 17, 2021
Sense8: Transcending Television Deborah Shaw (Ed) br Rob Stone (Ed) HC/SF

June 18, 2021
Beneath a Pale Sky Philip Fracassi H/SS

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Il - Illustrator
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
CrM - Crime and Mystery
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above

Saturday, June 12, 2021

2021 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominations

The nominations for the 2021 Will Eisner Comic IndustryAwards have been announced.

The winners will be announced in July during a virtual ceremony that will be part of Comic-Con@Home.

Best Short Story
  • “Garden Boys” by Henry McCausland, in Now #8 (Fantagraphics)
  • “I Needed the Discounts” by Connor Willumsen, in The New York Times (January 3, 2020)
  • “Parts of Us,” by Chan Chau, in Elements: Earth, A Comic Anthology by Creators of Color (Ascend Press)
  • “Rookie,” by Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso, in Detective Comics #1027 (DC)
  • “Soft Lead,” by Chan Chau,
  • “When the Menopausal Carnival Comes to Town,” by Mimi Pond, in Menopause: A Comic Treatment (Graphic Medicine/Pennsylvania State University Press)

Best Single Issue
  • The Burning Hotels, by Thomas Lampion (Birdcage Bottom Books)
  • Hedra, by Jesse Lonergan (Image)
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1, by John Ridley and Giuseppe Camuncoli (DC)
  • Sports Is Hell, by Ben Passmore (Koyama Press)
  • Stanley’s Ghost: A Halloween Adventure, by Jeff Balke, Paul Storrie, and Dave Alvarez (Storm Kids)

Best Continuing Series
  • Bitter Root, by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • Daredevil, by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto (Marvel)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
  • Stillwater, by Chip Zdarsky and Ramón K Pérez (Image/Skybound)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (IDW)

Best Limited Series
  • Barbalien: Red Planet, by Jeff Lemire, Tate Brombal, and Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Dark Horse)
  • Decorum, by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston (Image)
  • Far Sector, by N. K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell (DC)
  • Strange Adventures, by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Evan “Doc” Shaner (DC Black Label)
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (DC)
  • We Live, by Inaki Miranda and Roy Miranda (AfterShock)

Best New Series
  • Black Widow, by Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande (Marvel)
  • Crossover, by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw (Image)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Killadelphia, by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander (Image)
  • We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo (BOOM! Studios)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Bear, by Ben Queen and Joe Todd-Stanton (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Donut Feed the Squirrels, by Mika Song (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Kodi, by Jared Cullum (Top Shelf)
  • Lift, by Minh Lê and Dan Santat (Little, Brown Young Readers)
  • Our Little Kitchen, by Jillian Tamaki (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • Doodleville, by Chad Sell (Knopf/BFYR/RH Children’s Books)
  • Go with the Flow, by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Mister Invincible: Local Hero, by Pascal Jousselin (Magnetic Press)
  • Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan, by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)
  • Twins, by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones, by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Displacement, by Kiku Hughes (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence, by Joel Christian Gill (Oni Press)
  • A Map to the Sun, by Sloane Leong (First Second/Macmillan)
  • When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

Best Humor Publication
  • The Complete Fante Bukowski, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Department of Mind-Blowing Theories, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • FANGS, by Sarah Andersen (Andrews McMeel)
  • Wendy, Master of Art, by Walter Scott (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (DC)
  • What If We Were . . ., by Axelle Lenoir (Top Shelf)

Best Anthology
  • Ex Mag, vols. 1–2, edited by Wren McDonald (PEOW)
  • Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison, edited by Sarah Mirk (Abrams)
  • Hey, Amateur! Go From Novice to Nailing It in 9 Panels, edited and curated by Shelly Bond (IDW Black Crown)
  • Los Angeles Times, edited by Sammy Harkham (NTWRK)
  • Menopause: A Comic Treatment, edited by MK Czerwiec (Graphic Medicine/Pennsylvania State University Press)
  • Now, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Reality-Based Work
  • Big Black: Stand at Attica, by Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, and Améziane (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger’s, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color, by Mme Caroline and Julie Dachez, translation by Edward Gauvin (Oni Press)
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, by Derf Backderf (Abrams)
  • Paying the Land, by Joe Sacco (Metropolitan/Henry Holt)
  • Year of the Rabbit, by Tian Veasna, translation by Helge Dascher (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Memoir
  • Banned Book Club, by Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada, and Ko Hyung-Ju (Iron Circus)
  • Dancing After TEN: A Graphic Memoir, by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber (Fantagraphics)
  • Ginseng Roots, by Craig Thompson (Uncivilized)
  • I Don’t Know How to Give Birth! by Ayami Kazama, translated by Julie Goniwich (Yen Press)
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • When Stars Are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

Best Graphic Album—New
  • The Book Tour, by Andi Watson (Top Shelf)
  • Dragman, by Steven Appleby (Metropolitan)
  • Flake, by Matthew Dooley (Jonathan Cape)
  • Labyrinth, by Ben Argon (Abrams)
  • Paul at Home, by Michel Rabagliati, translation by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Pulp, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Black Hammer Library Edition, vol. 2, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormstom, Emi Lenox, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
  • Criminal Deluxe Edition, vol. 3, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Eight-Lane Runaways, by Henry McCausland (Fantagraphics)
  • Fante Bukowski: The Complete Works, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Herobear and the Kid: The Heritage, by Mike Kunkel (Astonish Factory)
  • Seeds and Stems, by Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Constitution Illustrated, by R. Sikoryak (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Parable of the Sower: The Graphic Novel Adaptation, by Octavia E. Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy and John Jennings (Abrams)
  • Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Mankind, vol. 1, by Yuval Noah Harari, adapted by David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave (Harper Perennial)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, adapted by Ryan North and Albert Monteys (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan, adapted by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Altitude, by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, translation by Edward Gauvin (SelfMadeHero)
  • Gamayun Tales I: An Anthology of Modern Russian Folk Tales, by Alexander Utkin, translation by Lada Morozova (Nobrow)
  • Goblin Girl, by Moa Romanova, translation by Melissa Bowers (Fantagraphics)
  • Irena Books 2-3, by Jean-David Morvan, Severine Tréfouël, and David Evrard, translation by Dan Christensen (Magnetic Press)
  • When You Look Up, by Decur, translation by Chloe Garcia Roberts (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • The Winter of the Cartoonist, by Paco Roca, translation by Erica Mena (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • I Had That Same Dream Again, by Yoru Sumino and Idumi Kirihara, translation by Beni Axia Conrad (Seven Seas)
  • I Wish I Could Say “Thank You,” by Yukari Takinami, translation by Yukari Takeuchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • A Journal Of My Father, by Jiro Taniguchi, translation by Kumar Sivasubramanian (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Ping Pong, vols. 1–2, by Taiyo Matsumoto, translation by Michael Arias (VIZ Media)
  • Remina, by Junji Ito, translation by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
  • Spy x Family, vols. 1–3, by Tatsuya Endo, translation by Casey Loe (VIZ Media)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • The Flapper Queens: Women Cartoonists of the Jazz Age, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
  • Gross Exaggerations: The Meshuga Comic Strips of Milt Gross, by Milt Gross, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press/IDW)
  • Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921 by George Herriman, edited by RJ Casey (Fantagraphics)
  • Little Debbie and the Second Coming of Elmo: Daily Comic Strips, August 1960–September 1961, by Cecil Jensen, edited by Frank Young (Labor of Love)
  • Pogo The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 6: Clean as a Weasel, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Art Young’s Inferno, by Art Young, edited by Glenn Bray (Fantagraphics)
  • Atlas at War! edited by Michael J. Vassallo (Dead Reckoning)
  • The Complete Hate, by Peter Bagge, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salty Sea, by Hugo Pratt, translation by Dean Mullaney and Simone Castaldi (EuroComics/IDW)
  • Little Lulu: The Fuzzythingus Poopi, by John Stanley, edited by Frank Young and Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Man and Superman and Other Stories, by Harvey Kurtzman, edited by J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics)

Best Writer
  • Ed Brubaker, Pulp, Reckless (Image); Friday (Panel Syndicate)
  • Matt Fraction, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC); Adventureman, November vols. 2–3, Sex Criminals (Image)
  • Jonathan Hickman, Decorum (Image); Giant-Size X-Men, X-Men (Marvel)
  • Jeff Lemire, Barbalien, Black Hammer, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog (Dark Horse); The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage (DC Black Label); Family Tree, Gideon Falls (Image)
  • James Tynion IV, Something Is Killing the Children, Wynd (BOOM! Studios); Batman (DC); The Department of Truth (Image); Razorblades (Tiny Onion)
  • Chip Zdarsky, Stillwater (Image/Skybound), Daredevil, Fantastic Four/X-Men (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Junji Ito, Remina, Venus in the Blind Spot (VIZ Media)
  • Pascal Jousselin, Mister Invincible: Local Hero (Magnetic Press)
  • Trung Le Nguyen, The Magic Fish (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Craig Thompson, Ginseng Roots (Uncivilized)
  • Adrian Tomine, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Gene Luen Yang, Dragon Hoops (First Second/Macmillan)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Michael Allred, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Marco Chechetto, Daredevil (Marvel)
  • Jorge Corona, Middlewest (Image)
  • Bertrand Gatignol, Pistouvi (Magnetic Press)
  • Mitch Gerads/Evan “Doc” Shaner, Strange Adventures (DC Black Label)
  • Sanford Greene, Bitter Root (Image)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Benjamin Adam, Soon (Europe Comics)
  • Alice Chemama, The Zolas (Europe Comics)
  • Jared Cullum, Kodi (Top Shelf)
  • Decur, When You Look Up (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • Antonio Lapone, Gentlemind (Europe Comics)
  • Anand RK/John Pearson, Blue in Green (Image)

Best Cover Artist
  • Jamal Campbell, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (BOOM! Studios); Far Sector (DC)
  • Simone Di Meo, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead (BOOM! Studio)
  • Mike Huddleston, Decorum (Image)
  • Dave Johnson, Butcher of Paris (Dark Horse)
  • Peach Momoko, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #19, Mighty Morphin #2, Something Is Killing the Children #12, Power Rangers #1 (BOOM! Studios); DIE!namite, Vampirella (Dynamite); The Crow: Lethe (IDW); Marvel Variants (Marvel)
  • Ramón K. Pérez, Stillwater (Image/Skybound)

Best Coloring
  • Laura Allred, X-Ray Robot (Dark Horse); Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Middlewest (Image)
  • Gipi, One Story (Fantagraphics)
  • Marte Gracia, Empyre, X of Swords (Marvel)
  • Dave Stewart, Promethee 13:13 (comiXology); Black Hammer (Dark Horse); Gideon Falls (Image); Spider-Man #4-#5 (Marvel)
  • Matt Wilson, Undiscovered Country (Image); Fire Power (Image/Skybound); Thor (Marvel)

Best Lettering
  • Mike Allred, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Deron Bennett, Bear, The Sacrifice of Darkness (Archaia); King of Nowhere, Something Is Killing the Children, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead (BOOM! Studios); Far Sector, Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red, Martian Manhunter (DC); Excellence (Image/Skybound); A Dark Interlude, Dark One, Relics of Youth, Resonant, Shadow Service, Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth (Vault); Ping Pong (VIZ Media)
  • Aditya Bidikar, Barbalien: Red Planet, Grafity’s Wall Expanded Edition (Dark Horse); John Constantine, Hellblazer (DC); A Map to the Sun (First Second); The Department of Truth, Lost Soldiers (Image); Giga, The Picture of Everything Else (Vault)
  • Clayton Cowles, Aquaman, Batman, Batman and the Outsiders, Strange Adventures, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC); Adventureman, Bitter Root, Bog Bodies, Die (Image); Reaver (Image/Skybound); Morbius, X Of Swords (Marvel)
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)
  • Rus Wooton, Wonder Woman: Dead Earth (DC); Decorum, Monstress (Image); Die!Die!Die!, Fire Power, Oblivion Song, Outcast, Stillwater (Image/Skybound)

Best Comics-Related Journalism/Periodical

Best Comics-Related Book
  • American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason, by Brett Dakin (Comic House/Lev Gleason)
  • Ditko Shrugged: The Uncompromising Life of the Artist Behind Spider-Man and the Rise of Marvel Comics, by David Currie (Hermes Press)
  • Drawing Fire: The Editorial Cartoons of Bill Mauldin, edited by Todd DePastino (Pritzker Military Museum & Library)
  • The History of EC Comics, by Grant Geissman (TASCHEN)
  • Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books, by Ken Quattro (Yoe Books/IDW)
  • Masters of British Comic Art, by David Roach (2000AD)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • Comic Art in Museums, edited by Kim A. Munson (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Comic Studies: A Guidebook, edited by Charles Hatfield and Bart Beaty (Rutgers University Press)
  • The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging, by Rebecca Wanzo (New York University Press)
  • Webcomics, by Sean Kleefeld (Bloomsbury)
  • Who Understands Comics: Questioning the Universality of Visual Language Comprehension, by Neil Cohn (Bloomsbury)

Best Publication Design
  • Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in California deluxe edition, designed by David Chisholm and Tyler Boss (Z2 Comics)
  • Dbury@50: The Complete Digital Doonesbury, by G.B. Trudeau, designed by George Corsillo and Susan McCaslin (Andrews McMeel)
  • J & K, designed by John Pham (Fantagraphics)
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, designed by Adrian Tomine and Tracy Huron (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Original Art: The Dan Clowes Studio Edition, designed by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)

Best Digital Comic
  • Friday, by Ed Brubaker and Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate) 
  • Genius Animals? by Vali Chandrasekaran and Jun-Pierre Shiozawa,
  • Gentlemind, by Juan Díaz Canales, Teresa Valero, and Antonio Lapone, translation by Jeremy Melloul (Europe Comics)
  • Promethee 13:13, by Andy Diggle and Shawn Martinbrough (comiXology Originals/Delcourt)
  • Olive, by Véro Cazot and Lucy Mazel, translation by Jessie Aufiery (Europe Comics)
  • Soon, by Thomas Cadène and Benjamin Adam, translation by Margaret Besser (Europe Comics)

Best Webcomic

  You can find more information about the 2021 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards here.