BookBanter Episode 40 with Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Click on the episode title or photo to go to the interview.

Salman Rushdie is an author that most people know in one way or another.  He is the winner of the Booker Prize (what has been called the British equivalent of the Pulitzer), he has been appointed a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II, and has had a fatwā issued against him for his book The Satanic Verses.  His latest book is Luka and the Fire of Life, a fantasy tale about a boy whose father is sick and it is necessary for the boy – Luka – to travel into a fantasy world and capture some of this “fire of life” to cure his father; but he is up against unbeatable odds: no one has ever made through this fantasy world and survived; no one has ever managed to capture the fire of life; and no one has ever made it back to the real world with the fire of life.  The book was written for his second son, after he originally wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories, for his first son; they’d each asked for a story they could read and enjoy.

At a recent signing at the wonderful Kepler’s Books and Magazines, Rushdie took a moment to do an interview with BookBanter and Kaye Cloutman of the San Francisco Book Review. Angela from Kepler’s Books and Magazines also provided a question during the interview. Rushdie talks about how and why he became an author, the steps he needed to take to write a children’s fantasy novel, as well as some advice for writer’s living under oppression.

Luka and the Fire of Life

Many thanks to Angela and everyone at Kepler’s Books and Magazines for helping to organize the interview, and for being so accommodating. Also thanks to Jared Emerson-Johnson for cleaning up the interview and making it sound awesome.

BookBanter Episode 39 with N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin is the author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kings, the first two books in the Inheritance Trilogy. In this interview, Jemisin talks about how she got started writing, where she got the idea for “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms,” and what the final book in the trilogy will be about. She also has some advice for writers looking to get published, and goes in to detail about another big project she’s working on.

To hear the episode click on the title at the top of this post.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms The Broken Kingdoms

BookBanter Episode 38 with Brandon Sanderson

BookBanterPhoto by Kyle Cassidy

Brandon Sanderson is the bestselling author of the Mistborn trilogy and will be soon starting work on the final book of the Wheel of Time series, after completing The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. Two years ago — almost to the day — I had my first interview on BookBanter with Brandon Sanderson. Back then he had just begun work on the Wheel of Time series, after releasing the concluding volume of the Mistoborn series. We did the interview after a reading and signing, out in the open, with little interruption. You can hear the interview here.

Way of Kings

With the release of Sanderson’s own brand spanking new ten-book series, The Stormlight Archive, with The Way of Kings, and the recent release of the second to last Wheel of Time book, Towers of Midnight, I thought it would be fitting to have Sanderson be the first second interview with the same person on BookBanter, on the second anniversary of the podcast. This time, I was only given a fifteen minute window before a huge signing (there was no time for a reading) in a back office. I knew at the time of the original interview with Sanderson, that the next time would be a big affair, but I had no idea how big.

In the short but detailed interview, Sanderson talks about how he was able to get two extremely long books written and published in one year, why he thinks he won’t have any books out for a while, and some secrets to his favorite hobby: RPGs!

To play the episode GO HERE; to download, right click on THIS LINK.

Also, with regards to the BookBanter website, there’s a new page called Librivox. On the main Librivox page you will find a wide selection of free listening material to download and enjoy. It is essentially the audio version of the Gutenberg Project, where you can enjoy a number of books and stories that are available in the public domain (because their copyright has expired). All audio recordings are done on a volunteer basis, and a number of years ago — before BookBanter (which was no doubt an influence on the genesis of the podcast) — I decided to record some short stories and then some books by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells for Librivox. On the Librivox page you can find all these recordings, as well as the links to downloading the stories, and the chapters to the books. After receiving some wonderful feedback from a reader for one of the recordings, I plan to get started on recording some more books in the near future.

And stay tuned for the BookBanter Boon giveaway, which will be up shortly on this blog.

Until December, keep reading.

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 37 with Dan Wells

Dan WellsPhoto by Micah Demoux Eyeris

Dan Wells is the author of I am Not a Serial Killer and the recently released Mr. Monster. He likes to begin his readings with: “I am not a serial killer. My book is an autobiography.” His protagonist, John Wayne Cleaver, is a fascinating teenager who has his own issues to deal with, but when there’s a serial killer on the loose, John pushes these thoughts aside and does what he does best: gets into the mind of a cold-hearted murderer.

In the interview, Wells talks about how he got started writing, where he got the idea for John Wayne Cleaver, how many other books there will be, and a little on what else he’s working on. You’ll find out the unusual location of his everyday writing office and what hobbies he likes to get up to in his free time.

To play the episode go to Bookbanter; to download, right click on THIS LINK.

Until next time, keep reading.

Alex C. Telander.


BookBanter Episode 36 with Mitchell James Kaplan

Mitchell James Kaplan

Mitchell James Kaplan is the historical fiction author of By Fire, by Water, set in fifteenth century later Medieval Spain during the turbulent period of the Moors, Christians, and Jews, while Columbus was seeking out the distant Indies. The episode begins with the review for By Fire, by Water, followed by the interview with Mitchell James Kaplan, where he talks about how he got started writing, how much work and research his debut novel took, and what he’s working on next.

To download the episode, right click on THIS LINK.

Until next time, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 35 A Further Selection of Book Reviews

A new episode of BookBanter featuring a further selection of book reviews. I was originally planning to have an recorded interview with Naomi Novik, and while we did do the interview (Dancing with Dragons: An Interview with Naomi Novik), I had some “technical difficulties” and at the end of it had no recording of the entertaining interview. The episode features the following book reviews: Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik, Flood and Ark by Stephen Baxter, Pariah by Bob Fingerman, Warrior of Rome by Harry Sidebottom, New York by Edward Rutherfurd, Cro-Magnon by Brian Fagan, Test by William Sleator, and Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. To play the episode click on the player below; to download the interview, click on THIS LINK.

Until next time, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 34 A Selection of Book Reviews + Gardner Dozois Interview

Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois

A new month, and a new interview and episode for BookBanter. We start with an exlusive interview with Gardner Dozois, co-author of Hunter’s Run, but primarily known as the editor of many different publications, including The Years Best Science Fiction series, and has won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards.  One of his more recent anthologies is Warriors. In the interview Gardner talks about how he got involved in editing books, what he likes most about his work, how he comes up with and develops an idea for an anthology, and what he looks to do with his own writing.

There is also a new episode of BookBanter featuring a selection of book reviews, including some “From the Vault” and kid’s choices. “Coyote” by Allen Steele, “Reckless” by Andrew Gross, “Freedom” by Daniel Suarez, “Deep Fathom” by James Rollins, “Black Hills” by Dan Simmons, “Abarat” by Clive Barker, and “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman. The episode  can be downloaded by right-clicking and saving THIS LINK, or played on the player at BookBanter

Please join me next time, on September 15th for a new interview. In the mean time, be sure to keep checking back for news, updates, and lots more new book reviews!

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 33 with Justin Cronin

Just Cronin


Justin Cronin

(L-R) Alex C. Telander of BookBanter, Justin Cronin and Kaye Cloutman of San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews (Photo by Kaye Cloutman)

This is the first of hopefully many co-interviews for BookBanter, with Kaye Cloutman of the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews. Justin Cronin is the author of The Summer Guest and Mary and O’Neil, and the first book in a epic trilogy about vampires and a post-apocalyptic world called The Passage. In the interview, Justin talks about how he got started writing, where the ideas and storylines for The Passage came from (totally worth hearing), why he began writing The Passage, who some of his influences are, and how he feels readers should handle dealing with an almost 800 page book.

The Passage

For the first time, a BookBanter interview was recorded on video, which you can enjoy below, split into two parts:

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be on vacation, traveling to distant England and Sweden.  So with all things going according to plan, vis a vis Internet connection, the overdue written interview with Gardner Dozois should be up around August 15.

Gardner Dozois

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander

BookBanter Episode 32 with Richard Doetsch + New BookBanter Boon!

Richard Doetsch

Richard Doetsch

Richard Doetsch is the author of the heavily researched Thieves series, including The Thieves of Heaven, The Thieves of Faith and the forthcoming Thieves of Darkness (August 24, 2010). His latest book is the thriller, The 13th Hour, telling the compelling story of a man who finds his wife dead and with the aid of a time-traveling pocket watch travels an hour back in time for twelve hours, hoping to discover his wife’s killer and stop him or her before the murder is committed.

13th Hour

In the interview, Richard Doetsch talks about how he went from being a successful business man to becoming a professional writer, his daily method of coming up with a new and original story idea each day, how he wrote The 13th Hour as a personal dare in one month, and what he likes to do for fun.

Please join me on August 1st, where you’ll be able to enjoy a written interview with the great Gardner Dozois, as he talks about how he got started writing and editing, and what his process is when working on a new project.

Gardner Dozois

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Boon #5

It’s time for a new BookBanter Boon! Graciously donated by Elena Stokes of Wunderkind PR, we have a copy of the new book from bestselling author Margaret M. Liu, A Wild Light.

Wild Light

Obsidian shadows of the flesh…tattoos with hearts, minds, and dreams.  By day, they are my armor.  By night, they unwind from my body to take on forms of their own—demons of the flesh, turned into flesh.

For too long Maxine Kiss has felt an inexplicable darkness around her—a force she channels into hunting the demons bent on destroying the human race.  But when she finds herself covered in blood and crouched beside her grandfather’s dead body with no memory of what happened or of the man she loves, Maxine begins to fear that the darkness has finally consumed her.

With blood on her hands and her sanity in question, Maxine must face the truth about who she really is and embrace the love of the only man who can help her—before she loses what she cares about most: her family.

Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney, and the New York Times bestselling author of short stories, novellas, and two ongoing series: Dirk & Steele novels of paranormal romance, and the Hunter Kiss urban fantasy series. She wrote NYX: No Way HomeX-23, and Black Widow, for Marvel Comics, and is co-writing the ongoing bestselling Dark Wolverine series.   Liu divides her time between the beautiful state of Indiana, and Beijing/Shanghai, China.   For a complete listing of all her work, please visit her website at:

Praise for Marjorie M. Liu:

“This pivotal book in the Hunter Kiss series proves Liu’s dark side is a haunting place to be as she pushes Maxine to the brink as a sharp-witted, uncompromising defender, not immune to self-doubt but tempered and made stronger for it.”—Booklist on A Wild Light

“One of the key mysteries of the Hunter Kiss novels has been the truth about Maxine Kiss’ genetic heritage.  Clues have been dropped, but in the third chapter of this amazing series, real answers are given.  Liu’s craftsmanship grows with each novel, but it is the emotional undertones that give this story its devastating kick.  Truly on of the most darkly intense and spellbinding series in UF today!  Every Liu book should be an auto buy!”—Romantic Times Top Pick on A Wild Light

“I adore the Hunter Kiss series! Marjorie Liu’s writing is both lyrical and action packed, which is a very rare combination.”—Angela Knight, New York Times bestselling author

“Readers of early Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and the best thrillers out there should try Liu now and catch a rising star.”—Publishers Weekly

“Liu’s ability to deliver kick-butt action and characters whose humanity resonates, even when they’re anything but human, is a testament to her outstanding storytelling skills.  Liu’s imagination is an amazing place to visit.”—Romantic Times (Top Pick) on Darkness Calls

To be entered into the competition to win this ARC of A Wild Light by Marjorie M. Liu, simply leave a comment on THIS POST of the BookBanter blog about why you like reading Marjorie M. Liu.

Anyone within the US can enter, and I’ll be accepting entries until July 31st at 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time.

If you have any questions, please email me at

The winner will be announced on August 1st on the BookBanter Boon #5 blog post.

BookBanter Episode 31 with Cory Doctorow


Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow keeps himself busy with his nonstop writing and publishing of books, his many blog postings, the work he does for Boing Boing, as well as raising a child. He is the author of a number of books including Little Brother and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. His latest books are Makersfor adults and For the Win for young adults.


In this interview, Cory Doctorow talks about what is was that got him into writing, how he got started with Boing Boing, where he got his idea for Makers from, and the new book he’s working on. He also talks about where he thinks technology and the Internet are head in the near future. Featured in the episode are my reviews for MakersFor the WinUnder Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan.

Please join me next time, on July 1st, for a written interview with graphic novel artist and writer Brian Wood, who is the creator and writer of the graphic novel series DMZ and Northlanders.

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.