Date Published: 1 November 2018
Publisher: Black Spot Books (https://blackspotbooks.com)
When destiny calls on the Winter Witch to save the North Pole, will she pretend she’s not in?
Once upon a time, the North Pole was a very noisy place. A kingdom cowered under the maniacal rule of the White Queen, The Vikings raided and pillaged as they were wont to do, and the Winter Witch avoided talking to any of them.
When her peace and quiet are obliterated by threats of war and Ragnarok, she’ll try anything to get them back. When casting spells to become nearly invisible and dealing with otherworldly powers fail, the Winter Witch needs to forge an alliance with Santa—a retired warrior who’s anything but jolly—to save the North Pole from calamity.
Will the Vikings take up arms against the frost giants? Will an evil necromancer keep the kingdom in the grip of fear? And for the love of Christmas, will everyone who isn’t the Winter Witch please stop meddling with dark forces beyond mortal comprehension for a bit?
Deck the halls and bar the doors! We’re in for a long winter’s night.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Throwing out jokes. I write several drafts before a book is finished, and part of each draft is making it just a little bit funnier than the last one. More often than I like to admit, I’ll read a joke that I wrote in the previous draft, and think “what did I think was funny about that? It’s just stupid! I need to either salvage that right now, or give up writing immediately!”
After I’ve cried about it for a while, I’ll either figure out what was funny about the joke and fix it, or I’ll throw it out and move on. In the latter case, I like to think that I’ll find that spot on the next draft and think “oh, I know a really funny joke that can go right here,” and get it right that time.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I listen to a lot of movie scores while I write. Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer are in heavy rotation. Also instrumental music from artists like Phillip Glass and Zoe Keating. I wish I could write to music that has lyrics, but I just can’t. I get sucked into the words and lose my concentration.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
My wife Shelly always reads a very early draft and gives me excellent feedback. I also get a lot of great advice from my editor and my publisher. Beyond that, while I see the potential benefits of critique and review, I’ve never really sought it out. I’m open-minded about the possibility in the future, though.
What book are you reading now?
“Bury the Lead” by Cassondra Windwalker, and “Inspector Hobbes and the Blood” by Wilkie Martin. There’s a never-ending pile beneath them, mostly humorous fantasy, some grimdark, some horror, and at least a couple of biographies.
How did you start your writing career?
To quote just about every writer who’s ever written about writing, “a writer writes.” It’s the greatest and most terrible thing about the profession. All you have to do to be a writer is start putting words on a page.
I probably started—and never finished—a couple of dozen novels before I really found my stride. I’m glad for each and every one of them. No one will ever read them, which is lucky for everyone. They were terrible. But every time I tried, I failed by a little bit less, and I eventually wrote something worth reading.
“The Winter Riddle” will be available everywhere books are sold on November 1, 2018. It’s the tale of a deeply introverted witch who lives at the North Pole. She’d rather not be bothered to save the world from the ridiculous hijinks of her sister, the White Queen, and her idiot friend Loki, but it doesn’t look like she’s going to get a moment’s peace until she does. A retired warrior named Santa may be able to help her get the Vikings to do their part, but he won’t be happy about the gender-bending fashion faux pas that happen along the way.
I’m also nearly finished with the second book of my “Terribly Serious Darkness” series. It should be on shelves in mid-2019. The first book of the series, “Peril in the Old Country,” is currently available everywhere.
Thanks for having me!
About the Author
Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy. He is an entirely serious person, regardless of what you may have heard. Originally from Texas, he now resides in southern California with his wife, son, and dog.