by Terrance Mc Arthur
This week we have a review of the latest fantasy novel by Anne Bishop, and an interesting interview with Anne. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Wild Country. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Wild Country: The World of the Others by Anne Bishop
Review by Terrance McArthur
Humans think of themselves as the top of Earth’s food chain. Suppose the world was a bit different. What if there were creatures that could clear out entire sections of a country overnight? What if they looked on humans as “prey”?
In the Others series by Anne Bishop, there are vampires that don’t need to touch you to suck out your life force, shapeshifting wolves, bears, birds, and coyotes that can look human, and massive living things known as the planet’s “teeth and claws.”
Wild Country is the second book in the companion series, The World of the Others, overlapping with the end of the timeline of the earlier books. A human attempt to drive out the Others unleashed a terrible revenge, and the town of Bennett had no survivors. The Others want to repopulate it with selected humans, but keep it run by the dominant species. Tolya Sanguinati, a vampire, is the head of government, with Virgil Wolfgard, a pack survivor, as the town enforcer. Intuits are humans that have various mental powers, and Simple Life groups live by laws that seem quaint and old-fashioned to many. Into this new community mixture comes Jana, the new deputy, who couldn’t get a law enforcement job in the cities because she was a woman. Diverse families move into this Brave New Town; same-sex, multi-cultural, and Down Syndrome are added to the population. It’s a community where tolerance and acceptance blossom…unless humans break the harmony by their actions. A disruption is caused by the arrival of a clan of Intuits who function as a criminal organization, jeopardizing the delicate balance of humans and Others.
Bishop has a knack for mixing humor and horror with her fantasy. Humans who think they can take over a frontier town do not realize that they are dealing with a merciless power. The Others are mystified by human customs, leading to silly misunderstandings. It all leads to a High Noon/OK Corral showdown with some major surprises.
Wild Country is a rip-roaring variation on Bishop’s themes, and it promises to be another series to watch. Of course, if you treat yourself to the “other” Other books, you may become as hooked on her work as I am. Happy reading!
Interview with Anne Bishop:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Anne: Always or since 1985, which is when I began to get stories published in tiny, tiny markets.
KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?
Anne: My first novel was Daughter of the Blood, a romantic dark fantasy full of sex, violence, magic, honor, and love. It is celebrating its 21st year in print, and I’m very proud of that.
KRL: Have you always written fantasy? If not, what else have you written?
Anne: I’ve written some stories that were science fiction or horror, but mostly I’ve written fantasy spiced with other genres.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Anne: Mostly I write to entertain because we all need a break from the real world. But if readers find some emotional truths that resonate for them as they follow the characters through the story, then that’s a gift for both writer and reader.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Anne: I write five days a week. I usually start right after breakfast and end when I’ve made my word quota for the day.
KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Anne: I don’t outline. I’m an organic writer, so I can think about a story for a couple of years, making simple notes about things of interest that might be included or tearing pictures out of magazines of an image the resonates in some way. I may look at them several times during the gestating period; then I don’t look at them at all once the story begins to take shape.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Anne: In the mornings before the world intrudes.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Anne: It took a while for Daughter of the Blood to find a publishing home because it didn’t quite fit any category at that time.
KRL: Future writing goals?
Anne: I’ve just finished writing a new Black Jewels book and have another under contract. After that, I will wait and see what the Muse wants to do.
KRL What do you read?
Anne: A little bit of lots of things, depending on what stage I’m at in the writing cycle. Mostly I read fantasy, mystery, romance, thrillers, and some nonfiction.
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Anne: Favorite TV is Foyle’s War and Shetland. Favorite movie is Lord of the Rings.
KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Anne: I am a pressure cooker of mayhem and glee – which, actually, isn’t a surprise to anyone who has met me!
KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?
KRL: Your Others books often feature law enforcement characters. What place does law enforcement have in your life…and how does it stand in the world of the Others?
Anne: From a story point of view, the police are the only individuals who have the training and authority to defend and protect the humans who live in that world. They would be the ones who would be directly involved in conflicts with the Others, and they would also be the ones in a position to defuse a potentially fatal confrontation. It seemed natural for them to be major characters in the stories.
KRL: Which of the species of the Others would you like to have as your neighbors?
KRL: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Anne: Depends. Vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge.
To enter to win a copy of Wild Country, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “country,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 13, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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