“No Quarter” Day: Hello, everyone!

April 3, 2012

Hi everyone!

I’m L. J. LaBarthe and I’ll be chatting here on the DSP blog today, talking about my new release, “No Quarter,” and other things.

First things first, I’ll tell you all a little about myself. I’m approaching the big 4-0, although some days I keep forgetting. I’m not sure if that forgetfulness is a good thing or a bad thing, particularly as some days, I swear I’d forget my own head if it wasn’t secured to my neck. This is a roundabout way of saying I’m a little forgetful – and as I tend to write plot intense novels, I have notebooks filled with scribbles of things so I don’t forget who, what or where, or so I don’t repeat myself, or even worse, write myself into a corner. “No Quarter” is my first professionally published novel length work, but it’s not the first novel length piece that I’ve written. I’m extremely happy with it, though, and with the two sequels that follow it up.

Apart from writing, I love films, music, reading, urban exploration, abandoned places, history, reenacting, and photography. Some of these pursuits I physically can’t do these days for various reasons, but I do like reading other people’s experiences about them on the internet. I am a link hopper extraordinaire, and also a bit of a magpie, so it’s very often that I’ll start out researching something, only to find myself several hours later, a million topics away from what I was meant to be looking up. My favourite TV shows are “Spartacus,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Supernatural”; I have a very eclectic taste in music, everything from hardcore, punk rock, and gothic metal to K-Pop, techno and electronica. I have a deep fangirl appreciation for Daniel Craig and Yoo Seung Jun, which is a cheesey way of saying that I’m shallow. LOL. My favourite films include “Red Cliff,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Thor,” “La Reine Margot,” “Night Watch,” “Day Watch,” “Don 2,” and many others.

I am a history geek, too, unashamedly so. My period of interest is late Byzantium and the Third Crusade (which sounds like a great name for a metal band, now I think about it), which is the eleventh to thirteen centuries. I’m working on a novel called “City of Jade” which is set during the late Byzantine period, on the Silk Road, and is a sequel to “City of Gold,” my short story that is out with Dreamspinner. It’s taking a while, as I have a LOT to research, and, well, see above mentioned link hopping.

In my life, I’ve been the manager of a punk rock band, a fanzine editor, a telephone tarot reader, offered a job at the Sydney Hellfire Club, and nearly set fire to a linoleum floor with the louche of a glass of Absinthe I was preparing for one of my besties. Now, I write. I write pretty much full time, in between other personal things. I’m also a cat herder, my cat, Castiel, alternates between adorably cute and outrageously evil. He thinks he owns this sofa, but no, no, he doesn’t!

I’m Australian, French on my father’s side, and born and raised in the city of Adelaide. It’s supposed to be autumn here, but you’d never know it. Today it’s hot and muggy with a side of sticky, so it feels like I live in a fishbowl. Mm, chewy air, yuck! Adelaide is a great city, though, I love living here. Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia, the middle bottom state of the country. SA is the driest state in Australia. Droughts are common, and our summers are long, hot and usually very dry. Having said that, though, SA is home to some of the best vinyards in the world, and SA cherries and apricots are divine.


Left: View of Henley Beach, one of the many beautiful beaches here. Right: Jacobs Creek Winery, one of the many in the SA wine region. (Photo by Amanda Slater.)

SA is also the only state in Australia that was a free colony, that is, settlers chose to come here and there were no convicts. Because we’re a free colony, the city of Adelaide was planned and designed. So it’s laid out with much less laisez faire and clutter than the eastern cities. We also have a height restriction on our buildings, so the skyline is always attractive, you can see from the hills down to the sea without any impediment in your view. Adelaide is known for being the City of Churches, because we have so many per capita. We’re also less happily known as the city and state of bizarre murders. We have the dubious honour of more murders per capita than anywhere else in *the world*.


Left: The Malls Balls in Rundle Mall, one of the central shopping drags in the center of the city. Right: The Torrens River which runs through the city.

What else… my favourite colours are black and red, my favourite season is winter, my favourite number is 13, and I was born in the Chinese year of the Rat.

I hope you’ll stick around and hang out with me today, as I’ll be posting snippets from “No Quarter” and having a giveaway.

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