Guest Blog & Giveaway: An Interview with Mister Ethan Kaille from D. B. Jackson & win A PLUNDER OF SOULS

July 1, 2014 Giveaways, Guests 19

A big welcome to D. B. Jackson who is here with an interview with Mister Ethan Kaille and celebrating the release of A PLUNDER OF SOULS, Thieftaker Chronicles #3 (published on July 8, 2014 by Tor). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.


Interview with Mister Ethan Kaille


D. B. Jackson

We at the Boston Gazette are delighted to be joined today by Mister Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker of some renown here in our fair city. His past exploits have been described by the author D.B. Jackson in his “Thieftaker Chronicles,” and Mister Jackson has a new volume, A Plunder of Souls, which will be available to all in another few days.

Mister Kaille has been a sailor in His Majesty’s navy, serving aboard the Stirling Castle at the Battle of Toulon during the War of the Austrian Succession. And he has had . . . other interesting experiences as well, before most recently engaging in his friendly rivalry in Boston’s streets with the Empress of the South End herself, Miss Sephira Pryce.

EK: ‘Friendly rivalry?’ Is that what you’d call it?

Gazette: Would you call it something else?

EK: Aye. Would you like me to show you the scar I bear from her blade, or those given to me by her toughs during the many beatings I’ve endured at their hands over the years. This is no idle sport we engage in, she and I. It is an ongoing battle, in earnest.

Gazette: And why is that? Have you given offense? Has she?

EK: As far as Sephira is concerned, my very existence is an offense. She brooks no rivals; if she had her way, she would be the lone thieftaker in all of Boston.

Gazette: Am I to take it then that you don’t care for Miss Pryce?

EK: We don’t care for each other. But that’s a trifle. As long as she allows me to ply my trade, I am happy to live with her enmity. For my part, I am more than willing to admit that she is a formidable woman: intelligent, canny, skilled with blade and fists, and beautiful as well. But that doesn’t mean that I will be sending a Christmas gift to her home come December.

Gazette: Very well. Perhaps we should move on. Since your return to Boston in 1760, you have been dogged by rumors. Some say that you are a witch, skilled in the ways of dark magick. Others claim that you are merely a charlatan who pretends to possess powers that remain well beyond your reach. How do you respond?

EK: I don’t.

Gazette: That’s all? Surely you don’t wish for this gossip to go unanswered.

EK: Idle gossip bandied about by the small-minded does not concern me. I can explain until I’m blue in the face that I am neither a witch nor a charlatan, but rather a conjurer, wielding powers that were passed to me by my mother, and to her by her mother. I have done tremendous good with the spells I have cast, and I have done some things which to this day I regard with deep regret. The conjurings themselves have no inherent evil, or virtue, for that matter. They reflect my own good intentions and human imperfections. But many simply assume that because they do not understand my powers, the powers themselves must be inherently dark, and I must be some sort of villain. And to that I say, so be it. I’ll not waste my breath defending myself when my protests repeatedly go unheeded.

Gazette: And what of those who would see you hanged as a witch?

EK: To them I would say that my execution, or that of any of Boston’s other conjurers, would be a grave miscarriage of justice. And then I would wish them luck finding a rope that would hold me.

Gazette: Again, I think it best that we move on. You have had dealings, we know, with no less a personage than Samuel Adams, a leading voice among those who agitate against the depredations of Parliament and for the cause of liberty here in the North American colonies. What can you tell us about him?

EK: He’s a good man.

Gazette: Once more, Mister Kaille, I find your reticence curious. Do you think poorly of Mister Adams?

EK: Not at all. A few years ago Mister Adams saved my life. But in the past, at least, he and I have disagreed on matters of politics.

Gazette: You’re a loyalist, then.

EK: I was. This occupation of Boston by His Majesty’s army has changed my thinking somewhat. I cannot abide armed British soldiers being garrisoned in our city, and I fear that before long the presence of these men will lead to bloodshed and death. But while Mister Adams and I agree on that much, we do not always see eye-to-eye on the proper tactics for making that case. I’m sorry if I have given offense; I know that the Gazette is Boston’s leading Whig newspaper.

Gazette: Yes. Mayhap it would be best if again we pursued a different subject. What can you tell us about a newcomer to our city: a merchant captain named Nathaniel Ramsey?

EK: His father was Nathaniel; he goes by Nate.

Gazette: So, you do know him.

EK: Aye.

Gazette: Rumor has it that he is a conjurer, like you.

EK: He is, but the similarities end there. He’s a dangerous man, someone to be avoided at all costs.

Gazette: Can we assume then that you think of him much the way you do Sephira Pryce?

EK: No. He is worse by far than Sephira. For all her cruelty and capriciousness, she is at least somewhat predictable. She acts always out of self-interest. She is rational, albeit in a manner that is colored always by avarice and a hunger for power. Ramsey is . . . there is no other way to say it: He is unbalanced. He has been consumed with grief and bent on vengeance for so long, that I fear his sanity has suffered. There is no predicting what he might do, or who he might harm in pursuit of his twisted aims. I am not above admitting that I fear our next encounter.

Gazette: Your past dealings with him did not go well.

EK: No, they did not. I was hired to protect two merchants who had hounded his father until the elder Ramsey took his own life. I failed to protect them, and after committing murder, Ramsey escaped Boston. I had hoped at the time that we would see no more of him. But now, it seems, he is back, no doubt with some nefarious purpose in mind.

Gazette: I would assume that you have heard as well that small pox has broken out in Boston. I am wondering . . . there is no delicate way to ask this. Do conjurers such as yourself fear the distemper as do the rest of us?

EK: Aye, we do. There is no magic — at least none of which I am aware — that can make a conjurer immune to the disease. I may be wrong about this, and I will inquire about it with a friend of mine who knows far more about conjuring than I do. Do not ask; I will not share with you this person’s name. But I will add that even if we did not fear for ourselves, we would fear for the well-being of those we know and love. Small pox is more merciless even than Ramsey. It spares no one.

Indeed, now that you have brought these matters to my attention, I feel that I must cut short our interview and see to more pressing concerns. Ramsey is abroad in the streets, and small pox threatens all of us. This is not the time for casual conversation. I have much to do. Farewell!

Gazette: But wait! Mister Kaille, please! There are readers here who wish a quick word with you. Will you not remain, at least briefly, and answer some questions from them?

EK: Yes, very well. A few questions. But then I really must go.

Gazette: Of course. Thank you, Mister Kaille. You have heard him, gentle reader. Other matters clamor for his attention, but our thieftaker and conjurer will entertain questions before he leaves. Won’t you remain as well and engage our guest in brief conversation?

 D.B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first two books as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasies, Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, volumes I and II of the Thieftaker Chronicles, are both available from Tor Books in hardcover and paperback. The third volume, A Plunder of Souls, will be released in hardcover on July 8. The fourth Thieftaker novel, Dead Man’s Reach, is in production and will be out in the summer of 2015. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged 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.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


1 signed copy of A PLUNDER OF SOULS

 A PLUNDER OF SOULS by D. B. Jackson


Available on July 8, 2014 by Tor


Boston, 1769: Ethan Kaille, a Boston thieftaker who uses his conjuring to catch criminals, has snared villans and defeated magic that would have daunted a lesser man. What starts out as a mysterious phenomenon that has local ministers confused becomes something far more serious.

A ruthless, extremely powerful conjurer seeks to wake the souls of the dead to wreak a terrible revenge on all who oppose him. Kaille’s minister friends have been helpless to stop crimes against their church. Graves have been desecrated in a bizarre, ritualistic way. Equally disturbing are reports of recently deceased citizens of Boston reappearing as grotesquely disfigured shades, seemingly having been disturbed from their eternal rest, and now frightening those who had been nearest to them in life. But most personally troubling to Kaille is a terrible waning of his ability to conjure. He knows all these are related…but how?

When Ethan discovers the source of this trouble, he realizes that his conjure powers and those of his friends will not be enough to stop a madman from becoming all-powerful. But somehow, using his wits, his powers, and every other resource he can muster, Ethan must thwart the monster’s terrible plan and restore the restless souls of the dead to the peace of the grave. Let the battle for souls begin in A Plunder of Souls, the third, stand-alone novel in Jackson’s acclaimed Thieftaker series

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19 Responses to “Guest Blog & Giveaway: An Interview with Mister Ethan Kaille from D. B. Jackson & win A PLUNDER OF SOULS”

  1. erinf1

    wow!! This looks and sounds awesome 🙂 Congrats to D.B. on the new release! I guess… after reading all that… I’d ask Ethan… what does he do to relax?

    • D.B. Jackson

      Greetings, Erinf1. Yours is an odd name, but much seems odd to me about your time. I do not have much time for relaxation, as I am often working deep into the night. And because I never know when Sephira Pryce and her toughs might harry me again, I must remain vigilant at all times. Still, on those occasions when I can steal a moment or two of leisure, I enjoy drinking the fine pale ales of Kent in the Dowsing Rod, a tavern here in Boston. Mister Jackson thanks you for your kind wishes and felicitations.

  2. Melgaye

    I love this series! I’m a huge urban fantasy fan and I especially like male protagonists so this is in my wheelhouse!

    • D.B. Jackson

      Melgaye, I am gratified to hear that you have enjoyed reading of my exploits. I do not know what a “wheelhouse” is, but it sounds like a rather loud and distracting place to read. Still, if this is your preference, I wish you well in your endeavors there.

  3. D.B. Jackson

    Greetings, Erinf1. Yours is an odd name, but much seems odd to me about your time. I do not have much time for relaxation, as I am often working deep into the night. And because I never know when Sephira Pryce and her toughs might harry me again, I must remain vigilant at all times. Still, on those occasions when I can steal a moment or two of leisure, I enjoy drinking the fine pale ales of Kent in the Dowsing Rod, a tavern here in Boston. Mister Jackson thanks you for your kind wishes and felicitations.

    Melgaye, I am gratified to hear that you have enjoyed reading of my exploits. I do not know what a “wheelhouse” is, but it sounds like a rather loud and distracting place to read. Still, if this is your preference, I wish you well in your endeavors there.

  4. Jamie Martin

    If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

    • D.B. Jackson

      Hi, Jamie. Many thanks for the question. The prosaic answer is that if I hadn’t become a writer, I would have remained on the career path I was following when I began to write. I would be a history professor, teaching U.S. political and environmental history.

      But then there’s also the “if you could do any other job what would it be?” And the answer to that is “nature photographer.” I’m a dedicated amateur photographer, and would LOVE to be able to do it professionally.


  5. stitchkat

    First, congratulations to D.B. Jackson for the release of the new book. I can’t wait to read this one, since I have enjoyed the previous books so much. I really enjoy Ethan’s exploits and the Boston setting.

    As far as questions for Mr. Kaille, will he ever withdraw his vow and marry Kannice.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Stitchkat — another name that sounds alien to my ears — I am sure that Mister Jackson is most grateful to you for your kind comment, and I am flattered that you find the tales of my work and life so interesting. Boston is indeed a fascinating city, despite the many ruffians who frequent its streets.

      As to my intentions regarding Kannice and our future together, I can only say that for now, my vow stands. She understands this, and accepts me for who and what I am. But I cannot see into the future — my conjuring talent, as powerful as it is, does not confer upon me the ability to predict future events. I will say, however, that you should continue to read the series, not only through the newest volume, A Plunder of Souls, but also through next year’s release, Dead Man’s Reach. Perhaps its pages will reveal something new in this matter . . .

  6. C.L.

    Mr. Kaille, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I am sure your time is extremely valuable and it is a great gift you bestow on us. While I have not yet read the volumes that chronicle your exploits, I have read of your meeting with Miss Pryce and was quite taken with your talents and tribulations. I am eager to learn more of your adventures.

    My question to you is that of all the things you have seen on land or sea, what or who has brought you the greatest sense of awe and joy? What has brought not just a smile to your lips, but also a deep ecstasy to your soul?

    With must gratitude to you and your chronicler, D.B. Jackson.

    • D.B. Jackson

      Good day, C.L. Thank you very much for your warm greeting. It is a pleasure to meet at last someone who has a firm grasp of the King’s English. Both Mister Jackson and I are grateful to you.

      My greatest moment of joy came many years ago. As you may know, for fourteen interminable years, I labored as a prisoner on a sugar plantation on the island of Barbados, enduring conditions that can only be termed barbaric. Scorching heat, back-breaking labor, food and drink that were barely adequate to keep my fellow prisoners and me alive. Many nights I went to sleep wondering how I could possibly survive the day to come. And so the moment when I was aboard the ship that finally transported me away from my island prison, the moment in the port of the Town of Saint Michael when our sails rose, catching a warm breeze from the west and beginning at last my journey back to the mainland — that was the greatest joy I have ever known.

  7. Stephanie F.

    This sounds like a really awesome book. Definitely one I will have to read soon.
    My question would be, do you have any regrets? Or anything you wish you had done?

    • D.B. Jackson

      Stephanie, thank you for your kind words. I hope you will enjoy reading of my adventures in Boston. I have many regrets, as a man who has lived a life as filled with trials and setbacks as mine is bound to. I regret having taken part in the Ruby Blade mutiny, for which I was first imprisoned so many years ago. I regret that I was a prisoner when both of my parents died, and so was unable to return to England and pay my respects. And . . . well, there are other things I regret as well.

      But I am a free man now, and I live a life that is comfortable if not luxurious. I am loved by a woman who is better than I deserve, and I have a few friends whom I trust. Not every man can say as much. I thank you for the question.

  8. Shantae

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    • D.B. Jackson

      Greetings, Shantae. I am not sure if you are truly a person, or what some in your time would call a “spam-bot.” But if you search Google for “D.B. Jackson” the D.B. Jackson website comes up first, the blog second.

  9. Scott

    I actually just finished the Blood of the Southlands trilogy. It sat in my TBR for way took long. (I was hoping there would be more novels in the series and I like to read a series straight through) I own all your novels and buy them the first week the come out (as I know it’s important for the author). Anyway on to my question. How man more novels can we expect in the series and will you be returning to the Forelands in the future?

    As an aside, when asked for recommendations for series. The Forelands saga is always in my top five.

  10. D.B. Jackson

    Hi, Scott. Thanks so much for the kind words about my books. Hope you enjoyed the Southlands books.

    There will be at least one more book in the Thieftaker series — DEAD MAN’S REACH will be out next summer. I would like to write more, but right now I don’t have any more books in the series under contract, and have not yet submitted proposals for any. I do have a new contemporary urban fantasy series coming out from Baen in January. The first book is called SPELL BLIND and it will be published under my real name (David B. Coe). As of now, I have no plans to return to the Forelands/Southlands universe. I love those books, but eight of them was enough, and I’m not sure how much more I could do with that world. But I do have an idea for a new epic fantasy series and I hope to begin work on a proposal for that early in 2015. Thanks again!

  11. Nicole B

    I’ve really enjoyed the first two “Thieftaker” books and am trying to wait patiently for the third. (Even though it’s out today, I can’t go to the bookstore til this weekend.)
    I must say I’m a little jealous that you’re in Boston. I live in what you probably know as the Ohio Valley Frontier, just south of Lake Erie, and while our autumns are very pretty it’s nothing compared to what I’ve heard about New England. I’d love to see it for myself someday.
    As for my question, have you ever thought about traveling to one of the other colonies? I’m sure with all the strain between supporters of the Crown and those who oppose it there would be an awful lot of excitement- especially where conjuring is concerned. And is there a possibility of us hearing of your adventures aboard the Stirling Castle, or before you came to the colonies?
    Thank you (both of you 😉 ) for taking the time to speak with us fans and help us get to know the series better. I’m looking forward to exploring 18th-Century Boston again in “A Plunder of Souls!”

  12. D.B. Jackson

    Well met, Nicole, and many thanks to you for your kind remarks. (Mister Jackson wishes to convey his gratitude as well, and he hopes you enjoy the most recent volume.) I have never traveled to the Ohio Valley, though I hear that it is — or at least was — a land filled with wonders.

    I have given some thought to traveling to other colonies here in North America. I am particularly intrigued by the southern town of Savannah in Georgia, and the city of Charleston in the Carolinas. I do not know if I will get there, but it has been in mind to make the journey. Right now it is a matter of convincing Kannice that she should accompany me, leaving her tavern in the competent hands of her barman, Kelf Fingarin.

    As for my adventures aboard the Stirling Castle, I believe that Mister Jackson has it mind to turn that particular tale into what is called a novella before long. Stay tuned, as people of your time are wont to say. Again, thank you very much for your kind words.