Saturday, August 25, 2007

SCI FI Wire Interview

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by reporter extraordinaire John Joseph Adams (He’s a great guy.) for the SCI FI Wire. I really enjoyed the process and decided to post part of the interview here. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do.

Princes Unlocks Fantasy

Fantasy author Nathalie Mallet told SCI FI Wire that her novel The Princes of the Golden Cage is a blend of fantasy and mystery and tells the story of how a prince wins his freedom.

"Even though I often refer to this story as an 'Arabian Nights whodunit,' it wasn't inspired by it," Mallet said in an interview. "Out of the blue [one day], I remembered a documentary I had seen ... on the great palaces of the world. The episode that came so suddenly to my mind recounted the story of a palace where princes were imprisoned until one was chosen as heir to the throne."

Although the details of the episode were still vague in Mallet's mind at that point, she knew she had found something, she said. "It wasn't one of Archimedes' 'Eureka!' moments, but it was darn close," Mallet said. "It took me only a few hours to hunt down the information concerning the palace in question. And as I dug deeper into the history behind it, I realized that the something I had found was a real treasure."More.

More reviews

I’m quite overwhelmed by the favorable reception given to THE PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE by reviewers.

Here's an excerpt from Graeme’s Fantasy Book review:

“The sense of paranoia within the Cage almost leaps off the page and grabs the reader by the throat and I don’t think I’ve read an ‘Arabian Nights’ style fantasy novel where the stereotypical Grand Vizier, dashing swordsman and beautiful princess have felt more at home. Considering this is a relatively quick read (298 pages), the characterization has to be spot on and Mallet handles this superbly.” Read more.

Excerpt from Bookgasm:

“a pretty darn good read. The Princes of the Golden Cage from Nathalie Mallet and Night Shade Books may not be your normal fantasy cup of tea, but it has an intriguing concept, and enough going on with its characters that you might look forward to a sequel.” Read more.

Another Good Review

What Jason Sanford at Monsters and Critics says about my book:

“There’s nothing new about novels mixing royal intrigue, romance, and magic. However, what elevates this book into one of the year’s most enjoyable reads is the novel’s oppressive setting. Just as submarine movies like Das Boot revel in the contained spaces which push all human interactions through a pressure-cooker of drama, so too does this novel’s upscale prison heighten every nuance of court intrigue and each whisper of romance. When combined with Mallet’s sympathetic characters and fast-paced writing, the result is a fun, addictive story that should appeal to readers of several different genres, from fantasies to historical and romance novels.”Read more.

Con-Version 23

I’m finally fulfilling my promise of Con report and photos—better late than never, they say! I’ll begin by saying that the experience was an entirely positive one. I’ve met a bevy of cool authors, participated in my first panel and had a reading of my novel—and yes party hardy. So here are a few choice snapshots of the Con.

First we visited downtown Calgary. I couldn’t resist posing with that cow!

There’s nothing like a trip to the sushi boat restaurant to prepare you for a Con. In the forefront is Nina Munteanu, author of Darwin’s Paradox, then Karl Johanson of Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine and at the back Dominic Maguire and Virginia O’Dine of Bundoran Press.

Now that we had acquired nourishment Nina and I could attack the Con. That’s us with the Dragon Moon publisher, Gwen Gades, in the pink Blazer with Nina Munteanu center and me.

Three wonderful ladies and talented writers I had the privilege to spend time with. On the left Allison Sinclair, Marie Jakober and Lynda Williams. I also met author Jennifer Rahn, Hayden Treholm and (drumroll) Jack McDevitt. I have an especially fond memory of eating breakfast with Adria Laycraft, a young writer on the rise. She showed me pictures of her lovely garden and we talked about plants, landscaping and writing, of course.

My first panel, Crossing Genres, (a hot topic these days) with Nina Munteanu.

Nina Munteanu and Jack McDevitt, they were on several panels together.

Historical European Medieval and Renaissance’s martial art, one of my favorite lectures/demonstrations.

Then there was Star Trek: the musical. It was mostly bad singing…but oh so fun.

As usual in conventions, we were invaded by aliens. There was so many of these creatures that some were sold at auction. This lady bought those two—in my opinion, money well spent.

We were never in real danger though, because the Men in Black were there.

At the end of a successful Con, writers were exhausted! Lynda Williams certainly was. I was still standing…but only barely.

Interview with Jeremy Brown

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by reviewer Jeremy Brown. He asked me a clever blend of quirky and insightful questions, which made for a fun interview. You can read it by clicking here:
I also suggest that you explore his blog and read his other reviews and articles.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chapter One

An excerpt of The Princes of the Golden Cage is now posted on my website. So, do you feel like reading the first chapter of the book? Here is a shortcut!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good news

This morning I received an email from John Joseph Adams containing a series of wonderful comments and reviews about my book and my publisher, Night Shade Books. Go ahead and check them out.


And this one from Jeremy Brown at The Fantasy Review—Fantasy Book news and Reviews, almost made me cry (of joy). Seriously—it got to me! So please give it a read.

Home Sweet Home

I arrived late last night form Calgary after a nine-hour drive. Right now I’m in the midst of gathering photos to complete my Con-Version post…and recuperating, of course. My thoughts are somewhat ragged at this point. But don’t worry. The post should be ready soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'll be back

I’m leaving for Con-Version 23, Calgary’s premier science fiction and fantasy convention, tomorrow morning, and I won’t be back until the 20th. (It’s my very first convention, and I’m a panelist—yikes! Oh well, I suppose I better get used to the taste of toe jam, because knowing me I’m bound to put my foot in my mouth a few times. I’m joking—sort of.) Besides that, I know it’s going to be a lot of fun, partly because I’m going there with a group of friends and authors. Thus, you can expect my next post to contain a detailed account of my experience, and, yes, there will be plenty of pictures too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Another good review

John Kilma has posted a great review of my book on his blog: EV Zine Blog. For those of you who do not know this, John Kilma is the editor of Electric Velocipede, a wonderful magazine that publishes a broad range of short stories in different genres…and some poetry too.

Here is the link:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Booklist review

*The Princes of the Golden Cage.*
Mallet, Nathalie (author).
Aug. 2007. 320p.
Night Shade Books (Publisher), paperback, $7.99

"In the later Ottoman Empire, instead of killing all princes but the imperial heir (an earlier custom), lesser princes were kept in luxurious captivity, more or less as backups. Middling prince Amir has become a scholar, which makes him suspect when his brothers begin dying of apparently supernatural causes. Aided by highest-ranking brother Erik, Amir must unravel multiple plots to avoid murder or painful execution. Mallet has realized a fascinating, historically derived world whose characters, especially Amir and Erik, are skillful variations of Ottoman archetypes. The plot is simple, but the pacing is excellent." Booklist

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The first review of The Princes of the Golden Cage! Psst...check out its brand-new cover.

By Faren Miller at Locus

Another killer stalks royal victims in The Princes of the Golden Cage by Nathalie Mallet, a first novel set in a Sultan’s vast palace that resembles something from the Arabian Nights. Tradition and their father’s fiat restrict his host of princely sons to a life nearly as constricted as that of their mothers in his harem, until their own feuds over posted individual “rankings” produce a suitable heir through something like a Darwinian survival of the fittest.

Prince Amir, the first-person narrator, wants none of this, preferring to stay unheeded on the sidelines and go his own way as a scholar/alchemist.

Then princes start dying at each full moon, mysterious deaths that smack of magic to the point where even a young alchemist could become suspect. Amir could use an ally, and he finds one in Erik, a half-brother with a Nordic mother and much broader, more extroverted scholarly interests in things like economy, politics, history, and law. The two make a good investigative team, whenever Erik isn’t busy introducing Amir into the mysteries of courtly life or sparring with him in friendly practice duels (elements closer to a Dumas swashbuckler than tales of old Araby).

In all, this is a fine debut, a vibrant blend of mystery, adventure, and the fantastic.
I'm ecstatic about this review. No kidding! Big thanks to Faren Miller. And have you noticed the new cover? GO AND CLICK ON IT.