Tag Archives: books

Fantasy and Mystery Author Barbara Hambly on Off the Shelf

We were so pleased to welcome this episode’s guest, Barbara Hambly, a well-established writer who seems able to turn her hand to any genre with the same aplomb. Our only problem was how to fit in all the questions we wanted to ask. Everything she has written deserved comment, yet time constraints meant we had to  pick and choose, Our apologies if we glossed over something you think should have been covered in more depth, but I am sure you will find the things we did have time for almost as fascinating

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Additional links to the interview

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Don’t forget to listen to the show on one of the Radio Riel stations.

Show Notes

Author Website | Author Blog | Amazon Author Pages: US / UK
This show’s music: “Venom in My Denim” by Ninety Pounds of Ugly on the album Richmond Motel Room 3 available on

The interview begins with Barbara talking about her early days as a sword and sorcerer fantasy novelist for Del-Ray Books and about her writing process. Some of Barbara’s early writings were works-for-hire for series such as Star Trek and Star Wars and mentions some of her favorites from those series such as Crossroads, Ishmael and Children of the Jedi. As someone who sometimes draws on cultural icons in her writing, she discusses the challenges of doing so.

Simeon asks Barbara about her fantasy series The Windrose Chronicles and Sun Wolf and Starhawk. In particular, they talk about Barbara’s inspiration for characters and setting. We also discuss The Bride of the Rat God and how Barbara’s love of language lead to her character Jonathan Asher’s background as a philologist.

Many of the authors we interview choose to self-publish their backlist. Barbara chose a different direction and explains why choosing Open Road Media was a better option for her.

E-books lead into a discussion of cover art – some work, some don’t and some feature American beer. Visuals lead to Barbara’s work on graphic novels. She mentions her first experience working on a graphic story with Neil Gaiman on House of Dreams.

Moving onto Barbara’s current series, we talk about James Asher and her old school vampires. She doesn’t romanticize vampires; they are very dangerous. She makes some great points about the nature of people who are willing to become vampires and their tendency to be control freaks after they have been turned.

Barbara’s Benjamin January series features a free man of color as a detective in the pre-Civil War, American South. This set up provides Barbara with an opportunity to expose readers to a time and place many are not familiar with, as well as creating some unusual boundaries for a detective.

Barbara is writing a second detective series, this one featuring the historical figure Abigail Adams, under the pen name Barbara Hamilton.

Additionally, Barbara is revisiting her old Del-Ray series and writing new short stories and novellas. She is selling these pieces on here website under the section titled The Further Adventures of…

Barbara’s newest releases:

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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Bookstacks News


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5 Questions with Jandai Writer

Jandai Writer is, of course, the person on the Bookstacks team who compiles the quiz questions. She is also creator of the Myst-inspired puzzle island, Crux Isle, located in Second Life (slurl). It seem though she does not like answering questions herself. Still I persisted and this is the result.

The Questions.

What was the last book you read and who was it by?

The Fourth Bear by Jasper FForde

What is a favorite book from childhood?

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

What book do you absolutely hate but were forced to read?

I have spent many hours in counseling to forget such a travesty of the written word and do not wish to revisit such memories.

Are you a book collector, avid library patron, or do you use the revolving door at the used book store?

Book collector

What book would you recommend to others?

It depends on their taste. 😛

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in 5 questions, Bookstacks News


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Off the Shelf

Discover the Story Behind the Book from the Author
Sponsored by Second Life Literary Foundation and Bookstacks


Off the Shelf, the first literary talk show in Second Life, will have its first live program on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 pm slt on Radio Riel and at Awen, the home of Bookstacks.

Kghia Gherardi and Simeon Beresford, the talk show hosts, will interview invited writers, poets, publishers, editors, literary agents, librarians and literary venue owners. We expect to have some best selling writer guests from US and UK.

This week our first guest, Jenaia Morane, will discuss the World Storytelling Day.

The second guest, Derry McMahon, will talk about West of Ireland Library and the related charity they raise funds for.

Expressions of interest, suggestions and participation requests should be directed in a notecard form to the Production Manager, Dilana Llewellyn.

Off the Shelf Producer
Xinoxi Han

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Posted by on March 14, 2009 in off the shelf


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Horror Fest – March 7 & 8

Last year, Emz Mazie (author Emerian Rich) and Bearon Schoonhoven (author Mark Eller) sponsored the first Horror Fest, and this year Bookstacks is picking up the reins. We have several co-sponsors offering events as well: The Guild of UK Writers; West of Ireland Library; authors Mark Eller, Emerian Rich, and Michael A. Stackpole; and Age & Country Hotel.

In addition to author readings and storytelling, we have are holding a monster/creature avatar meets fashion show titled “Beauty and the Beast.” We have also included some social time as well. First up is a murder mystery event at Age & Country Hotel — expect a few spooks to participate in that one.  On Sunday the band Born Again Pagans will perform in the afternoon, and we will hold a Horror Costume Party as our closing event. Start planning your outfit now!

For more information, contact Simeon Beresford  ( or Kghia Gherardi (

Events Schedule (All times are PST)

Saturday, March 7


10 a.m. – Frankenstein Discussion lead by Kghia Gherardi
Bookstacks Isle

11 a.m. – Beauty & the Beast “Fashion” Show
Bookstacks Isle

Noon – Storytelling by Aianna Oh and Cora Hawker
MilkWood – StoneCircleAwen

1 p.m. – Horror Quiz
Bookstacks Isle

2:00 p.m. – Irish Horror Stories
West of Ireland Library

3 p.m. – Nobel Charon (Michael A. Stackpole) Reading “Wildest Dreams” – a dark fantasy
Third Life & FarPoint

4 p.m. – Murder Mystery
Age and Country Hotel

6 p.m. – SL Horror Writers Showcase
Bookstacks Isle

Sunday, March 8

10 a.m. – Podcast Horror Discussion with Emz Mazie (author Emerian Rich)
Hell Hole Tavern

11 a.m. – Horror Poetry reading with Emz Mazie (author Emerian Rich)
Hell Hole Tavern

Noon – Paranormal Book Club Meeting – Dead Witch Walking lead by Kghia Gherardi
Bookstacks Isle

1 p.m. – Horror in real life, the Vlad story with Bearon Schoonhoven (author Mark Eller)
Hell Hole Tavern

1:30 p.m. – Poe’s Cask of Amontillado
West of Ireland Library

2 p.m. – Music Guests: Born Again Pagans
Bookstacks Isle

3 p.m. – Storytelling by April Kohl
MilkWood – StoneCircleAwen

4 p.m. – Edwardian Ghost Stories
Bookstacks Isle

5 p.m. – Horror Costume Party (DJ Walton Vieria)
Bookstacks Isle

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Posted by on March 3, 2009 in Bookstacks News, events


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Book Events: May 5 – May 12


I’d like to announce a new series I’m hosting at Bookstacks – “Book to Film.” On the last Monday of each month, I’ll host a discussion about a terrific book which has also been made into a film. There will be more details to come as I work them out. The first book/film we are discussing is THE PRINCESS BRIDE on MAY 26 (in case you want to start reading). I hope to see you there. ~Dame Kghia

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 5:00-7:00 pm
Fairy Tale Discussion Group….This week is Cinderella

Fiction and Lattees Coffee House

How many different renditions of one tale can be told?  Want to read the original that hasn’t been disneyfied!   Have a copy of this tale sitting around you want to share?  Come join the group….it should be fun…A new fairy tale every week! This discussion group is being held in Text Chat.  Please be prepared to turn off your voice feature and type away!

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Steelhead Library Poetry Writing Workshop

Steelhead Public Library, Steelhead

Come enjoy the Pleasures of Composition at the SteelheadLlibrary. Dov Whiteberry (known in RL as Vermont  poet and teacher David Weinstock) will lead a poetry writing workshop. No previous experience is required. If time permits, we will share the results with each other.

THURSDAY, May 8, 6:00-8:00 pm SL time
Discussion Group at Fiction and Lattes….British Romantic Poets

Fiction and Lattees Coffee House

Discussion this week is dipping into the past, and talking about the British Romantic poets. We will be talking about Keats, Shelly, and maybe even Coleridge.

FRIDAY, May 9, 2:00 p.m
SLT Trivia Quest

Guild of UK Writers

As the name implies, it is all about trivia –  a night of trivia to be exact (or as we Brits like to call it a PUB QUIZ). Pit your brains against the man in the machine – whoever he might be. Highest score at the end of the night wins L$300.

SATURDAY, May 10, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Musical Guest: Blue4u Nowicka

Bookstacks’ Pub

Blue4u Nowicka, Debbie Henning in RL,  is a singer, songwriter and an accomplished guitarist. She couples her unique harmonies with 12 and six string acoustic guitars. She has been influenced most by the rock, folk, and blues styles of music.  Blue4u always puts on an excellent show.

SUNDAY, May 11, 11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m
Moocher’s Meet Sunday Social

Shiva’s Home

In the winter we ice skate, and in warm weather, we go fishing! Shiva has invited it to see her new home and fish – or not. 🙂 Sunday Socials are slightly bookish, but they tend to be more social and cover a wide range of interests.

SUNDAY, May 11, 2:00 p.m.
Second Annual Compliments Duel, to benefit Relay for Life

Caledon Loch Avie

JJ Drinkwater and Exrex Somme request the pleasure of your attendance (and your kind donation of Lindens to RFL) at their Compliments Duel II – The Return of the Backhanded Compliment

The purpose of the duel, as it was last year, is to raise funds for the Relay for Life. Five Judgeships will be auctioned to the highest bidder – the first judgeship sold shall be the senior judge. The panel of Judges will determine the ultimate winner of the duel, based on such criteria as they determine.

Each of the duelists will pay their opponent five compliments, with the first passage du politesse determined by a coin flip made by the senior judge on the day. There is no restriction on the length, type, nature etc. of the compliments (although JJ is NOT allowed to bring a library with him to the duel).


MONDAY, May 12, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Story Session at the Falling Anvil: Bringing in the May

The Falling Anvil Public House, Caledon Tamrannoch

The Lusty Month of May brings with it Maypole Dances, frolicks in the greenwood amongst the springtime flowers, and suchlike fertile and fecund shenanigans. Tammuz returns from the underworld to dance in the fields with Inanna, Persephone is freed from Hades and reunited with her mother, Demeter, and Jack-in-the-Green bids wood and meadow put forth leaf and blossom…and we all take Mom out for a nice Sunday Brunch. Come and share your stories of springtime rituals, and all that increases and multiplies.

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Posted by on May 6, 2008 in events, trivia


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