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    The Desert of Souls

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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    The Bones of the Old Ones

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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    The Waters of Eternity

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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    Plague of Shadows

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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    Stalking the Beast

    Monday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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Aug
27

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Character Death

Most people reading popular modern fantasy are used to seeing characters die, maybe even popular characters. On the other side of the text it can be hard to pull the trigger even if the plot demands it. You grow attached to those characters.

Sometimes, though, it’s harder than usual. Yesterday as I was writing some of the final scene of my newest book I suddenly realized the scene would be heightened if one of the characters died.

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Aug
25

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Blog Hop: My Writing Process & 3 Writers You Want to Meet

howard confusion 2014Many thanks to my old friend Lillian Duggan for inviting me to take part in the “My Writing Process” Blog Hop. I’ve known Lillian since we were proofreaders and then editors at Macmillan Computer Publishing some twenty years ago when we were barely in our twenties ourselves. We’ve kept in touch through the years, and she’s developed a passion for writing and all things Spanish, especially Spain. In recent years she’s honed her español skills and begun translating from Spanish to English. Over the years she’s been paid to write and/or edit textbooks, news articles, financial articles, and computer books, and had her short story, The Orchid, published online in August of 2013. You can find her online here.

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Aug
22

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Sailing with Sabatini

I returned from GenCon with a whole host of goodies I’ll slowly be working through, and I still mean to dedicate an entire post to the work of the talented Kevin Crawford. Briefly, though, I want to talk Sabatini.

You may know Sabatini from Captain Blood, or Scaramouche, or, possibly, The Sea Hawk. The odds are fair that you know those titles more through Errol Flynn movies than through prose.

I’ve had mixed luck with Rafael Sabatini. Knowing that he was a giant in the historical fiction field which, naturally, has a huge influence upon fantasy adventure stories, I first tried out his work some twenty years ago. I remember enjoying Captain Blood but bouncing off of Scaramouche because the opening didn’t grip me. Read More

Aug
19

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Return from the Con

great hall 2014

A low traffic moment in the Great Hall.

Last year I wrote a long account of my many GenCon adventures in part so those who’ve never been to the convention could have some sense of what it’s like. You can find those accounts here (part 1, 2, 3, and 4) if so inclined, as well as a post on why conventions are worth attending. This year I’ll be a little more to the point, owing to book deadlines and my own worry that so many blog posts about the convention might have bored visitors. Read More

Aug
15

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Elyana Action Figure

elyanaI’ve had limited Internet access and limited time, so I didn’t get to an update this morning. I’m having a fantastic time at GenCon and the Writer’s Symposium. The Paizo crew has always treated me wonderfully, but I had a special treat when I arrived at the booth Friday. Publisher Erik Mona handed me a MiniMates pack that features the main character from my first two Paizo Pathfinder novels, Elyana Sedrastis.

I’ve got to tell you — it’s pretty cool seeing an action figure based on a character that you created, and I heartily thanked Erik. Read More

Ancient Arabia

The Wily Dalilah: Arabian Nights Feminist

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In a work as varied as The Arabian Nights there are naturally some portions more popular than others, probably because some are more easily adapted into standalone tales…

The Fantasy Adventures of Alexander the Great

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I think my favorite parts of Alexander the Great’s life involve his fight with the dragon, and the time he climbed to a mountain summit and saw the…

Link Day

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I need to hit the ground running today, so I’m going to hook you up with some nifty and eclectic links. First, a post from my talented writer…

Authorial Voice, Scheduling, and a New Review

Monday, January 14, 2013

I wrote my most recent post about Guy le Strange’s book on ancient Baghdad in one long sustained burst, and upon revisiting just noticed that I use the…

Ancient Baghdad’s Street Plan

Friday, January 11, 2013

When you’re researching you sometimes stumble onto books that seem to have been written just for you. I’ve read a long shelf’s worth of interesting and sometimes wonderful…