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#TorChat April 2012 Sweepstakes

Did you participate in today’s #TorChat? We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to your participation in next month’s chat on May 16th!

In the meantime, here’s your chance to win some books. Two lucky winners will receive a bundle of books from today’s special #TorChat guests. Leave a comment below to enter.

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And again we’d like to thank Suzanne Johnson, Alyx Dellamonica, and Deborah Coates for joining us on Twitter today.

Sweepstakes closes to new entries on April 25th.

To find out who the guests will be for next month’s #TorChat before anyone else, check out the #TorChat sidebar in our newsletter! In the meantime, keep your eye on our Facebook and Twitter where we’ll have details as they’re available. We’ll see you all next month!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins April 18, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ET. and ends April 25, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

April #TorChat Lineup Revealed

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This month, #TorChat is celebrating the start of warmer weather by talking about a hot genre: urban fantasy! Joining us on April 18th from 4 to 5 PM EST are Suzanne Johnson, Deborah Coates, and A. M. Dellamonica, to talk about urban fantasy, magic, and some kick-butt heroines!

Tor Books (@torbooks) is thrilled to announce the April #TorChat, part of a monthly series of genre-themed, hour-long chats created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter.

Spring is well and truly here as we get into April! The days are getting warmer, and the books are getting hotter. To celebrate, we’re talking with three amazing authors about the urban fantasy genre and the amazing heroines that populate their worlds. Our special guests this month are Suzanne Johnson (@suzanne_johnson), the debut author of Royal Street, about a junior wizard sentinel in a New Orleans recently devastated by Hurricane Katrina; Deborah Coates (@debcoates), the debut author of Wide Open, about an army veteran who comes home from Afghanistan for her sister’s funeral, and is greeted at the airport by her sister’s ghost; and A. M. Dellamonica (@alyxdellamonica), the author of Blue Magic, a powerful story of private lives changed by earthshaking events and magic. These incredible rising stars of the urban fantasy world will discuss their books, magic, and the popularity of the urban fantasy genre.

The chat will be loosely moderated by Tor/Forge Digital Marketing Manager Cassandra Ammerman (@leanoir), and fans are invited to follow or join in using the Twitter hashtag #TorChat!

About the Authors

  • Suzanne Johnson (@suzanne_johnson) is a magazine editor and feature writer with more than fifty national writing and editing awards. A longtime New Orleans resident, she helped rebuild for two years after Hurricane Katrina. She now lives in Alabama. Royal Street, published April 10th, is her first novel.
  • Deborah Coates (@debcoates) lives in Iowa and works for Iowa State University. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s and Strange Horizons, as well as Year’s Best Fantasy 6, Best Paranormal Romance, and Best American Fantasy. Wide Open, which published in March, is her first novel.
  • A. M. Dellamonica (@alyxdellamonica) is the author of Indigo Springs, which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Sci-Fiction and Strange Horizons, and in numerous anthologies; her 2005 alternate-history Joan of Arc story, “A Key to the Illuminated Heretic,” was short-listed for the Sideways Award and the Nebula Award. Blue Magic is her latest novel, published on April 10th. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

About #Torchat
#TorChat is a genre-themed, hour-long chat series created by Tor Books and hosted on Twitter. Guest authors join fans in lively, informative and entertaining discussions of all that’s hot in genre fiction, 140 characters at a time, from 4 – 5 PM EST on the third Wednesday of every month. Each #TorChat revolves around a different genre topic of interest, often of a timely nature, and strives to provide a new media opportunity for readers to connect with their favorite authors.

About Tor Books
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books. Founded in 1980, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. In 2002, Tor launched Starscape, an imprint dedicated to publishing quality science fiction and fantasy for young readers, including books by critically acclaimed and award winning authors such as Cory Doctorow, Orson Scott Card, and David Lubar. Between an extensive hardcover and trade-softcover line, an Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperbacks, books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields, and has been named Best Publisher 24 years in a row in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF.

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The Pirate Who Just Won’t Leave

Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson

By Suzanne Johnson

Every author has one in the closet: the throwaway character who just won’t go away, the one-scene wonder who tries to hijack the story and refuses to be relegated to a walk-on role. When the stubborn minor character is a historical figure and one is writing fantasy set in the modern world, things can get interesting fast.

New Orleans and some of her legendary citizens played a starring role in Royal Street from rough draft onward—the book title comes not only from NOLA’s famous Rue Royale, but also pays homage to the city’s royalty. Louis Armstrong, Huey Long, Marie Laveau, and Tennessee Williams are all larger-than-life Louisianans who epitomize the enduring spirit and character of the state’s larger-than-life city after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Each made his or her appearance in the book, served a purpose, and moved offstage with grace and good humor.

Then there’s arguably New Orleans’ most famous citizen, the early 19th-century French pirate Jean Lafitte, who double-crossed the British Royal Navy and threw in his lot with Andrew Jackson to win the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 in exchange for presidential pardons for past crimes.

Jean Lafitte appeared in one scene of the first draft, in the book’s opening, playing the role of a Jack Sparrowish piratical parody. And then he demanded more.

In self-defense, I read a biography to learn about this stubborn man, thinking to expand his one scene a little and pacify him. Then I made an author’s biggest mistake—or the most fortuitous mystery of authorhood, depending on how you look at it: I fell in love with a character. He seduced me as surely as he tries to seduce my lead character. Who is a wizard. In modern New Orleans.

You see the problem here.

Jean Lafitte, I was to quickly learn, is the type of historical figure who needs no augmentation. His past was shrouded in mystery before he appeared on the scene as a young man of 24 in New Orleans, his final demise left to speculation sometime around his fortieth birthday. He was smart, handsome by all accounts, held as many as a thousand pirates, gypsies, and ruffians under an iron rule, and was quite morally ambiguous. Jean Lafitte liked to win.

Now, six biographies later, I have given in, and Le Capitaine has won another victory. Jean Lafitte has shaped the direction of the Sentinels of New Orleans series, carving a “technically undead” niche for himself and his fellow celebrity New Orleanians of the past in an urban fantasy that might otherwise have taken a different path.

So, what do you do when a minor character has delusions of stardom?

My recommendation: give in, and run with it. And in case you really go overboard: eBay has some great Jean Lafitte action figures for sale.

Related link: Stories set in the world of Royal Street can be found at my website.

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From the Tor/Forge April newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from our April newsletter:

Spring Fantasy Collection Sweepstakes

Sign up for the Tor/Forge Newsletter for a chance to win the following prize pack:

Blue Magic by A.M. DellamonicaCrysanthe by Yves MeynardGlamour in Glass by Mary Robinette KowalRange of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear Royal Street by Suzanne JohnsonSongs of the Earth by Elspeth CooperTouchstone by Melanie RawnWide Open by Deborah Coates

About our newsletter: every issue of Tor’s monthly email newsletter features original writing by, and interviews with, Tor authors and editors about upcoming new titles from all Tor and Forge imprints. In addition, we occasionally send out “special edition” newsletters to highlight particularly exciting new projects, programs, or events.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you can enter too. We do not automatically enter subscribers into sweepstakes. We promise we won’t send you duplicate copies of the newsletter if you sign up for the newsletter more than once.

Sign up for your chance to win today!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins March 1, 2012 at 12 a.m. ET. and ends April 6, 2012, 11:59 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. For Official Rules and to enter, go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

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