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Author Update: BR Kingsolver

BR Kingsolver is a prolific author of 19 novels published in the speculative fiction genre since 2012. Readers find Kingsolver’s books to be “engrossing with great world building, believable characters who enlist your emotions, and masterful storylines.” BR’s latest release is Soul Harvest (June 2021), the third and final installment in The Rift Chronicles. Find all the author’s books on and Amazon, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and read SWW’s 2020 interview.

What would you like readers to know about The Rift Chronicles?
It’s a science fiction fantasy cross, set about two hundred years in the future. The premise of the book was having technology that can be manipulated by magic.

Between the three books in the series, which was the most challenging to write?
The last one—Soul Harvest. The first book in a series is always the easiest. The premise, the characters, are all new and exciting. By the time I get to the last book, there are a lot of things that have to be dealt with. Plot lines, characters, things that have happened in previous books, and making sure I tie up all the loose ends.

What was the inspiration for the first book, Magitek?
The idea of magic manipulating technology. In most fantasy, you either have technology or magic. Very rarely do the two things interact.

Tell us a little about your main characters.
Danica James is a cop, a detective, who deals with the Magi—the magicians who rule the world—and the Rifters, the monsters who crossed a rift in space-time from other dimensions. She’s from one of the wealthy ruling families, but feels like an outsider because she’s a magitek. Her best friend is her roommate, Kirsten, a witch who owns a shop that sells magical potions, charms, and that sort of thing. Kirsten thinks Dani is too serious, works too much, and has too little love life.

What is the main setting, and why is this the perfect place for your story to unfold?
The primary setting is Baltimore, which is a place I know well after living there for a dozen years. The books take place after a series of nuclear wars and pandemics. Washington was bombed, but Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware, survived as two of the only major port cities on the East Coast. Since the ruling magical families are all about business, trade, and wealth, seaports are central to control of trade and wealth.

How did the books come together?
I started Magitek in the spring of 2020 and published it the end of August. The second book, War Song, was published in December, and Soul Harvest was released in June 2021. So, three books in a year. That’s a little slow for me. I prefer to publish four to five times a year. The editing cycle usually takes about a month. I send a manuscript to my editor, she returns it with corrections and comments, and after I work through that, she takes another swing at it. I’ve worked with the same editor for twenty-three books, so we know each other pretty well.

What did you do to make your world, with its social structure and magic system, believable and logical?
The big thing with world building in science fiction and fantasy is consistency. Reality has rules, and so should a fantasy world. An author can’t violate the rules or just use handwavium to get around problems unless that handwavium fits within the rules. The social structure I used in these books is an oligarchy with a magical class system. As in most social systems, the powerful rule and reap the riches. Everyone else serves them.

You have five complete series so far. What key issues do you focus on to keep readers coming back for more?
Relatable characters and an interesting story. Good writing is third. There are lots of poorly written best sellers, but they tell a story that interests people.

What are the hardest kinds of scenes for you to write?
Sex scenes, so I stopped trying to write them.

Any advice for beginning or discouraged writers?
Some of the best advice I received when I started was BICHOK—Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard. There is no substitute for writing. You have to do it to get better at it.

What writing projects are you working on now?
My new project is an urban fantasy novel in a cozy mystery setting. I know there’s a market for that kind of book, but I have to pull it off. I’ve read lots of mysteries, and I think they’re difficult. Cozies are very hard because the tropes are so specific. I’m hoping to catch people who read both urban fantasy and also like cozy mysteries.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
I didn’t start writing fiction until I was sixty years old. I always wanted to, but didn’t think I had any talent. Whether I do or don’t, people seem to like my stories. You’ll never know if you can do something until you try.

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

2020 New Releases for SWW Authors #3

Authors William Fisher, Cornelia Gamlem, Larry Kilham, BR Kingsolver, RJ Mirabal, and Lynne Sturtevant represent the diverse membership of SouthWest Writers (SWW) with 2020 releases in the genres of historical fiction, business, biography, and several speculative fiction sub-genres. The releases in this post couldn’t fit into this year’s interview schedule, but look for interviews or updates for most of these authors in 2021.

At the end of this post, you’ll find a list of interviewed SWW authors for books published in 2020.

William Fisher’s debut novel, Cruel Road (October 2020), is a mid-eighteenth-century historical drama. John Fraser, Scots-Irish gunsmith and militiaman, faces a difficult dilemma when his new and pregnant wife is taken captive by a local tribal chief. This is the story of real-life John and Jane Fraser, among the first settlers of western Pennsylvania. Their lives are challenged by Indian conflicts, French and English fighting over territory, and survival in the Pennsylvania wilderness. The book is a dramatization of true events. Most characters are actual historical characters. John and Jane Fraser are the author’s direct ancestors. Some characters are fictional, and certain actions and descriptions are conjecture.

Visit Bill’s Amazon author page.

They Did What? Unbelievable Tales from the Workplace (September 2020) is Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell’s newest nonfiction release. People have been misbehaving at work since work began. If you’ve ever been curious about workplace misbehavior, this book just might hold some answers. A compilation of stories collected from HR and other business leaders have been woven into a narrative that showcases the challenges HR professionals face daily in dealing with employees. They Did What? is funny, sad, and most definitely unbelievable—except it is all based on actual situations.

Visit Cornelia’s Amazon author page.

In Destiny Strikes Twice: James L. Breese Aviator and Inventor (November 2020), Larry Kilham tells the true story of the flight engineer on the first transatlantic flight in 1919 who went on to develop 130 patents for home and military space heaters. Dismissing a high society Long Island life, Jim moved to New Mexico in 1929 to start fresh in the unencumbered West. There he built his oil burner business with sales in the millions of dollars. The twists and turns through his adventure-packed life reveal lessons for everyone including many insights for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs.

Visit Larry’s Amazon author page.

BR Kingsolver published three novels in 2020 (read the interview for Knights Magica here). The two most recent releases are in the new Rift Chronicles series. In Magitek (book 1, August 2020), the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Danica James’ grandfather wanted to end war. Instead, he broke the world. Through the Rift came demons, vampires, and monsters. Danica is a cop with the Arcane Division. She’s also a magitek. Her job is to clean up her grandfather’s mess. She’s not making much progress.

In book two, War Song (December 2020), Danica James is still a cop with the Arcane Division who works to protect humanity from monsters — whether they be human or creatures from the Rift. It beats sitting in a factory cubical all day, which is where magiteks usually work. Most of humanity hates the magic users who rule the world, but for a hundred years, the Magi have kept the demons, vampires, and other monsters in check. But now one Magi Family has allied itself with the demons in a bid for world domination. It was ugly before, but now it’s getting worse.

Visit the author’s Amazon author page.

RJ Mirabal’s newest release is the young adult fantasy Dragon Train (December 2020). Jaiden, a 15-year-old farm boy, dreams of a more exciting life in a world where people have enslaved dragons as beasts of burden, guard animals, and soldiers. He has never been more than a few miles beyond his farm and the quiet village of Hilltop. Yet Jaiden desires escape from his grouchy and somewhat abusive father. And then the dragon train makes an unscheduled stop in Hilltop. Skye, the huge Blue Dragon pulling the train, may die of exhaustion unless someone can help. Thus, a boy and dragon embark on an epic adventure in the hopes of fulfilling their longing for freedom, excitement, and happiness.

Visit RJ’s website and his book page.

Fairy Trouble (September 2020), by Lynne Sturtevant, is a contemporary Celtic fairy tale. People used to know the truth about fairies and they were afraid of them. When visiting homemaker Ginger Stewart encounters a troop of fairies in the wild, green hills of West Virginia, she learns magic is real. She also learns our ancestors were right. There are reasons to be afraid. Ginger is astounded when a fairy attacks her while she’s calling on an elderly client, Violet. Violet has spent her life hiding the fairies and protecting them from the outside world. But something has changed. The fairies have become angry and aggressive and she has no idea how to pacify them. As the mayhem escalates, Ginger and Violet negotiate a maze of folklore, ancient symbols, and dark family secrets. Will they find a way to restore equilibrium to the fairies before it’s too late?

Visit Lynne’s Amazon author page.

SWW Author Interviews: 2020 Releases

Connie Flores
Our Fascinating Life: The Totally Accidental Trip 1979
Sue Houser
BR Kingsolver
Knights Magica
Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin
How My Brain Works: A Guide to Understanding It Better and Keeping It Healthy
Manfred Leuthard
Broken Arrow: A Nuke Goes Missing
Shirley Raye Redmond
Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God
J.R. Seeger
A Graveyard for Spies
Lynne Sturtevant
Hometown: Writing a Local History or Travel Guide and The Collaboration Kit
Patricia Walkow
New Mexico Remembers 9/11

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

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