Author Spotlight: Dylan Birtolo

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Coming in partway through a series can be problematic. What has been done before, where have the characters been, how did they act? The list goes on and on. Fortunately with the Shapes in the Smoke series by Dylan Birtolo, only one novella had been published before the series transferred to my desk.

When I read the published work, imagine my delight in finding a diverse crew out of Seattle with the lead being a woman of Japanese descent. Her support system includes her best friends from college. They each bring something to the table, creating a solid team. I looked forward to seeing the rest of the series and adding some polish.

I got to work on Deep Currents, Predator & Prey, and the in-process conclusion of the series, Weathering the Storm.

Primarily a game designer (with the Lynnvander team) as well as part-time knight, Mr. Birtolo still has found time to write some books including the Shapes in the Smoke series and a few Shadowrun tie-in books. His voice is both romantic (like a knight) and action-packed (like a game developer). Once you know about his teamwork in game designing, the integration and balance of skills within Ichirin’s monster hunting team comes as no surprise.

If you are interested in seeing what the difference an editor makes in a story, you might want to read Novellas 1 and 2 of this series. (The Omnibus edition with all four novellas should be out sometime in December 2019.) While I was limited by the style choices of Book 1, Mr. Dylan and I worked well together to highlight the strengths of his tale.