Today, please help me welcome author Philippa “Pip” Ballantine to Preternatura. Her latest book, Harbinger, will be released on July 30 by Ace and is the fourth and final book in her Books of the Order series. I had the chance to…well, “meet” is a strong word…share the airspace with her at the Authors After Dark con last August in New Orleans; she and her husband Tee Morris were there in full steampunk regalia promoting their Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. But Harbinger takes her back to her fantasy roots.
Though born in New Zealand, she currently lives in Manassas, Va., with her husband, daughter, and a mighty clowder of cats. She is also the author of: Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger (2013) from Ace Books and Hunter and Fox and Kindred and Wings (2013) from Pyr Books. Pip also is co-author (with Tee Morris) of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, an Airship Award-winning steampunk series.
You can learn more about Pip by visiting her website, on Twitter, or by visiting her on Facebook. And read on for a chance to win your choice of her books.
The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves.
After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.
Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing.
And now, let’s hear from Philippa Ballantine:
Influences and heroines
by Philippa Ballantine
As I come to the end of my series, the Books of the Order with Harbinger, I find myself getting a little reflective. I hope some readers out there are feeling the same way, and maybe someone is encouraged to write by what I have written…just as these people did for me.
CJ Cherryh— this writer has a career varied and brilliant. My first book of hers that I read was the Morgaine Cycle. I loved the strong female character and her huge plot that spanned worlds. Cherryh has also managed to have a career that started in the 1970s and is still going, a few Hugos, and many, many series. She is basically who I want to be when I grow up. I anticipate that happening sometime soon.
Tad Williams— this is my favourite epic fantasy writer. He manages to write sweeping sagas that, at the same time, reach into you head and make you think. His characters are charming, realistic, and just people you want to spend time with. The series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn gave me hope for the epic fantasy genre. Then he wrote Tailchaser’s Song, which was an easy sell to me since I have always loved books written from animals’ points of view. However, it was such a thing of beauty that it became an instant classic of that genre. Then he went and wrote the Otherland series. These are huge books, but then their worldbuilding is of the master class variety. He dives into the future, virtual reality, and what they both mean for humanity.
Charles de Lint—the master of written beauty and ethereal charm, he was one of the first masters of the urban fantasy genre. Yeah, the one that become so very, very popular. My favourite of his books is probably Someplace to Be Flying. I also think it is an awesome title. I love how de Lint makes his writing so lyrical and haunting, yet it never strays into the purple prose area…which some who try too hard to get the same effect often tall into.
So those are my heroes. I’ve met a lot of neat, talented people at conventions, but only one on this list. Tad Williams was at a convention in my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, when I was just starting out on this journey to publishing. I was far too nervous to talk to him closely, but I do remember how kind and generous he was with those that clustered around him. I can only hope to meet my other two heroes someday.
Thanks, Philippa! It’s always interesting to read about who and what has influenced a fellow author along the way. Have you read any of the books by Tad Williams, Charles de Lint, or CJ Cherryh? Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of Philippa’s (or Pip and Tee’s) books.