GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Guest Post: D. B. Jackson/David B. Coe (The Dead Man's Reach book tour) + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Monday, July 27, 2015

Guest Post: D. B. Jackson/David B. Coe (The Dead Man's Reach book tour) + giveaway

“An Encounter with Sephira Pryce,”
by David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson

David: I’m delighted to be here at I Smell Sheep for this installment in my virtual tour. My name is David B. Coe, and I’m currently promoting two books. The first, DEAD MAN’S REACH, is the fourth novel in my Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy, set in pre-Revolutionary Boston, which I write for Tor Books under the name D.B. Jackson. It came out last week. The second, HIS FATHER’S EYES, is the second volume in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy that I write for Baen Books under my own name. It will be released next week on August 4th. I wanted to talk to you today about--
Sephira Pryce: Boring!

David: Excuse me?
SP: I said, boring. As in, you are boring these poor people to tears. It’s hard to believe that you could have such a powerfully soporific effect on these unfortunate souls. You’ve barely started, and already they’re nodding off. A few more paragraphs and you might actually kill someone.

David: You’re Sephira Pryce, the villain from the Thieftaker novels.
SP: Villain! You have some nerve! I’m the heroine of the series.

DavidNo, Ethan Kaille is the hero. You’re his nemesis.
SP: Potato, po-tah-to. 

DavidWell, no--
SP: Your little fairy tales would be nothing without me. The scenes I’m in sparkle, like sunlight on the waters on Boston Harbour. Even when I’m not actually in a particular passage, the mere mention of my name, a hint at my possible ire, the threat of my retribution, infuses all that you write. Without me, your novels would be as flat and dull as this post would have been had I left you to your devices. It’s hard to believe, really. I mean, you created me, so apparently you have some small capacity for writing words of interest. And yet the rest of what you do is so . . . lacking.

DavidI’m not certain that’s true.
SP: I’m reasonably certain I didn’t ask. I came to rescue you from yourself. You want to sell books, don’t you? Of course you do. So you have two choices: You can pick up where you left off and hope that putting these people to sleep somehow translates to sales. Or you can take advantage of my fortuitous arrival and rely upon my charm, my wit, my intellect, and, of course, my stunning physical beauty, to help you interest readers in that nonsense you write about Ethan and me. Choose. Quickly. I’m a busy woman. If you don’t wish to avail yourself of my services, I am sure there are others who will.

DavidFine. Why don’t you tell our audience a bit about yourself.
SP: Is that really necessary? Haven’t they all heard of me already?

DavidIt’s possible that some have not.
SP: Oh! The poor dears! Well then, yes. By all means. [Clearing throat] My name is Sephira Pryce, and I am the foremost thieftaker in the city of Boston. Some know me as the Empress of the South End, but you and our guests here today may call me Miss Pryce.

DavidYou are a contemporary of Samuel Adams, are you not?
SP: Yes, I am. But he is hardly someone of interest to those reading this piece. He solves no crimes, he has not fought his way up through the streets of this town to a position of power and respect. He is the son of a politician who has not managed to rise above his father’s middling station.

DavidBut his actions on behalf of liberty, and his role in forming the Sons of Liberty--
SP: Yes, yes, yes. He has his little cause. What is it they call themselves? Patriots? [Laughs] Really, I don’t think their actions will ever amount to much. Their movement is a trifle and little more. I hardly expect that the king fears this rabble. Ask me something else.

DavidAll right. Tell me about your rivalry with Ethan Kaille.
SP: I have no rivals. Kaille is a nuisance, but I hardly think he warrants consideration as a rival to me.

DavidHe has survived in Boston as a . . . a competitor for some time now.
SP: He has been fortunate, and I have allowed him to survive. Thus far. I am too filled with the milk of human kindness for my own good. I could have rid the city of him years ago, but I have tolerated his presence here out of charity. And let’s not forget his confounding witchery, which has saved him from his own carelessness more often than I care to say. If not for his spells, and his luck, no one would ever think to compare him to me.

DavidAnd yet, he has solved mysteries that you could not.
SP: Only by dint of his magick! I have nothing more to say on the matter! I do not wish to speak of Kaille, nor do I wish to have his name spoken again in my presence!

DavidAll right. Tell us what you think of the British occupation of Boston, which has been in effect now for well more than a year.
SP: It is a necessity. Adams and his ruffians may not amount to much, but they have been responsible for too much mischief to be ignored. They have destroyed property, disrupted commerce, harassed merchants of unimpeachable character simply because the men refuse to go along with Adams’ non-importation agreements. These rebels like to complain about the military presence, but they have no one to blame for it but themselves. Your questions grow tiresome. Don’t you wish to know more about me?

DavidI do believe my readers would be interested to know how you have enjoyed so much success in a city -- and an era -- so dominated by men.
SP: Ah! At last, a fine question! The answer is quite simple, really. Men are fools. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the company of some. And I’ll admit that Kaille, despite his annoying habit of getting in my way time and again, is a most compelling specimen. But generally speaking men expect women to behave a certain way, and when we don’t they become quite flummoxed. I confound their expectations. With my beauty and my charm, I distract and disarm them, and with my brilliance and ruthlessness I surprise and ultimately overwhelm them. Most don’t stand a chance against me. Kaille is more clever than the vast majority, and he is not easily intimidated. But he is the exception, and I told you already I didn’t wish to speak of him anymore.

DavidI didn’t bring him up. You did.
SP: Well, you tricked me into it. All this talk of men and their predilections. You knew it would lead back to Kaille eventually.

DavidActually I didn’t--
SP: I am done here. You had your chance. I could have helped you, but you would rather write your stories about Kaille. So be it. Farewell.

DavidThat was Sephira Pryce, the rival and nemesis of Ethan Kaille, my thieftaking, conjuring hero in the Thieftaker Chronicles. The newest book in the series, DEAD MAN’S REACH, has just been released by Tor Books. And watch as well for HIS FATHER’S EYES, book two of The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, due out next week from Baen Books.
Thanks to the great people at I Smell Sheep for hosting me!

Dead Man's Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles #4)
by D.B. Jackson

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by Tor Book
Boston, 1770. The city is a powder keg as tensions between would-be rebels and loyalist Tories approach a breaking point. One man is willing to light the match to ensure that he has his revenge.

The presence of the British Regulars has made thieftaking a hard business to be in. Ethan Kaille has to resort to taking jobs that he would otherwise pass up, namely protecting the shops of Tories from Patriot mobs. When one British loyalist takes things too far and accidentally kills a young boy, even Ethan reconsiders his line of work. Even more troubling is the fact that instances of violence in the city are increasing, and Ethan often finds himself at the center of the trouble.

Ethan discovers that some enemies don't stay buried… and will stop at nothing to ruin Ethan's life. Even if that means risking the lives of everyone in Boston, including the people that Ethan loves most.

About the Author:
David B Coe website-FB-twitter
DB Jackson websiteDavid B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of eighteen fantasy novels. Under the name D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and, the newest volume, Dead Man’s Reach, which was released on July 21. Under his own name, he writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books. The first volume, Spell Blind, debuted in January 2015. The newest book in the series, His Father’s Eyes, comes out on August 4. He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.


  1. Hi David,
    I definitely prefer villains!! They tend to make stories much more interesting!!

    1. Hi, Cherio! Thanks for the reply. I find that I like villains so long as they're interesting and multi-dimensional. Sephira, who you meet here, is a really fun villain to write, because she has many redeeming qualities, despite being cruel and ruthless. But you're absolutely right -- a good villain certainly make things more interesting.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for the response, Debby. I feel much the same way about heroes as I do about villains. If a hero is too good, she or he starts to get boring, at least from a writing perspective. I love to write complex heroes, who have heroic qualities but also a bit of darkness.

  3. I like both, however, it depends on the story.

    1. Nancy Ann, one of the things that has been so fun about writing the Thieftaker books is the interaction between Ethan, my hero, and Sephira, who you meet in this post. She is a more a nemesis than a villain. There are other villains in the books -- those whom Ethan has to confront and overcome in order to prevail in the mysteries. But Sephira shows up in every book, hampering him, hounding him, besting him at times and being bested herself at others. And so, I would say that I like both, too, and more I love the interplay between a good villain and a good hero. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I prefer heroes but a good villain makes a story very interesting

    tiramisu392 (at)

    1. Bison, yes, I agree completely. See my comments above to Nancy Ann and Cherio. I hope you enjoy the Thieftaker books. Thanks for your comment.

    2. Bison, yes, I agree completely. See my comments above to Nancy Ann and Cherio. I hope you enjoy the Thieftaker books. Thanks for your comment.

  5. A good antagonist always makes a story better, but my favorites haven't necessarily been villains.

    1. Hi, Kim! I think that's an important distinction -- antagonist versus villain. Sephira is most certainly an antagonist, but she actually might not qualify as a villain. She's too central to all the Thieftaker stories, and she's too complex. Thanks for the great comment.

  6. I like villains. They're more fun to portray on stage. However, an anti-hero can be as complex as a villain or antagonist. If the hero, villain, antagonist or anti-hero is well-written and involved in a fully developed plot then I'm happy.

    Deb K.

    1. This, Deb K. Yes, I totally agree. It is so much more fun to write characters in subtle shades of gray, to make likable antagonists and difficult heroes. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Well-written characters to me are neither pure good nor pure evil. No real hero or real villain, but a bith of both. Everybody has his good and bad moments, that's what makes a person interesting.

  8. I like villains. Villains can make or break a story just by how dedicated and involved in what ever horrible or bad things they are doing in a story. Sneaky slippery snake kind of things done by the villain are the spice of the story.

    1. " Sneaky slippery snake kind of things done by the villain are the spice of the story." I LOVE this. So well put. Thanks, Carol

  9. depends how they're written; no fav

  10. Congrats on your two new releases! Even though I root for the hero, I find a well written villain to be more interesting. Two of my favorite villains are Voldemort from the Harry Potter series and Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes.