Monthly Archives: September 2012

Heading for the Shadows

What I’m actually doing is heading for Shadowlands, a book by my writer friend Violette Malan. I got to read and blurb the book, but for some reason my blurb wasn’t incorporated on the book jacket. I describe it as “Inventive, compelling, and crammed with action.” And it is. It’s urban fantasy with engaging twists, fascinating characters, and stirring action sequences, but it seems to be flying under the radar so that reviewers are missing out on it. Thus I am spreading the word. I hope you’ll check it out.

Here’s the official cover copy:

“The war in the Land of the Faerie has finally ended. Prince Cassandra dispatches Stormwolf, formerly a Hound but cured by his prince’s magic and restored to the Rider he once was, to the Shadowlands to call home the People who remain refugees there. But Stormwolf finds the Hounds of the Wild Hunt now prey upon the souls of the humans, draining them of the magic which is the very lifeblood of the People. With the help of Valory Martin, a mortal psychic, Stormwolf must find the magic needed to defeat the Hunt before it’s too late.”

It’s the second book in the series, but I was able to catch on to what was happening pretty quickly without feeling like I’d walked into the second half of a movie.

SF Signal Podcast

While SF Signal’s Patrick Hester was at Worldcon a few weeks back, he went on a whirlwind series of adventures. Seriously, starting from his long drive from the western United States until his long return, I’m not sure he got in more than a few hours sleep every night.

Along the way he corralled Black Gate’s John O’Neill, World Fantasy Award nominated James Enge, and me, which was a little like herding cats, except that I was so tired I was pretty easy to get moving. James and I talked about our new and upcoming releases (so, plenty of info on Morlock and the writing thereof, as well as Dabir and Asim and the writing thereof). And John O’Neill talked about the past and future of Black Gate, and what lies in store for writers and readers of my favorite magazine.

Patrick kept the interview moving along with thoughtful questions and insightful follow-up, and I think the result is pretty interesting — if you’re into Black Gate, sword-and-sorcery, or historical adventure, that is. I hope you’ll drop by and give it a listen!

The interview can be found by following this link.

The Writing Life

Things have been a little more quite on the web site here as they’ve gotten busier in the real world. I’m involved in promotional efforts for The Bones of the Old Ones— far more time consuming than I would have realized a few years back — and I’m putting a polish on the first two-thirds of the third Dabir and Asim novel. I wish I was polishing all of it, but I don’t have all of it written.

As of this weekend, though, I must switch gears to begin work on my next Pathfinder Tales book for Paizo. As I’ll be busy with that for several months, I don’t want to come back to a bunch of messy first draft pages on book 3 of Dabir and Asim (with plot arcs that fizzle, character names that change, and long slow bits that don’t go anywhere) so I’ve spent several weeks shoring things up and doing some tweaking.

It may be because of my work on the upcoming Pathfinder novel, but I’ve been feeling a real itch to do some gaming. Or it may be because I’m feeling a little stressed and need to decompress. The sitcom stereotype is, of course, that when women get stressed they go shopping for clothes. Me, I open up the closet of cool strategy and tactical boardgames I never get to play because I’m always so busy, and sigh longingly.

Happy Birthday

Today is my father’s birthday. He would have been 80 years old today. I still feel a little twinge of jealousy when one of my friends tells me about heading out for a visit with their dad, or when I see someone hale and hearty on television in their mid-seventies — especially if they’re espousing something hateful — for my father died when he was 68.

I had a fortunate childhood. It was idyllic in a lot of ways. I’d never let my kids ride their bikes all over the city the way I used to do. It seemed like there was more freedom then just to be a child. And while I had homework, I wasn’t slaving away for hours every night the way my children are doing. I had time to play and learn and grow on my own. I could read whatever I wanted, not just what was mandated, because there was time.

A Word From the Author

This blog was created to support my writing, which is why I steer clear of political and religious discussions. I figure that people drop by to find out more about my writing, or writing in general, or that Google mis-directed them here when they ran a search for Snookie.

Sure, I have political and religious convictions, and if I see you at a convention some time and you buy me a drink, maybe we’ll talk about them. But I’m kind of a private person and don’t think anyone visiting here is interested in hearing my views about such things anyway. I don’t claim to be a religious or political expert.

Sometimes I hear from people who assume that because of my obvious interest in the ancient Middle-East I must be an expert in the modern Middle-East, and they want to know what I think about this or that. In light of recent events, I’ve heard from people wanting me to justify an opinion they assume I have, or don’t have, about an entire religion and region.

So just this once, I’ll say something.

The Map

Last week I announced I was busy behind the scenes with the writing of book 3 and promotion of book 2, and that remains the case. But I have emerged from my cloak of secrecy to reveal the map that will be printed within The Bones of the Old Ones.

Topography and icons were drawn by the brilliant S. Jones (my wife!) and lettering was done by the talented Omar Chapa.

The map is not meant to show all important places in the region, merely those places Asim himself would find of interest. For instance, he never once mentions Damascus over the course of his narrative, but Asim would surely think the city important because of its fame as a manufacturing center for wonderful swords.

Map follows the break. Incidentally, if it wasn’t already clear, my wife is wonderful.

More Soon

Behind the scenes here at Casa Jones I’ve been working on promotional stuff for The Bones of the Old Ones, helping steer a map for the next book into shape (yes, Bones will have a map!) and drafting a very long Worldcon report for Black Gate.

Thus I will keep today’s post very short. I need to get to some actual prose writing. More soon, I promise. Maybe I can even tease you a bit with the map when it’s finalized…

On Saladin Ahmed, and How He Rocks

Two years ago I was talking with the brilliant and charming Mary Robinette Kowal at DragonCon about my upcoming novel (The Desert of Souls, not The Bones of the Old Ones, which wasn’t even written yet) and she happened to mention that another fellow had been writing stories about a duo of Arabian fantasy characters fighting things man was not meant to know. I feigned polite interest, but I knew a sudden chill. That was my thing! Who was this other guy?

Well, it turns out his name is Saladin Ahmed, and at this point you’ve surely heard of him. He’s talented, gracious and damned funny, but I didn’t know any of that two years back. All I knew was a fear that someone was doing my shtick. What I didn’t know is that he’d heard about Howard Andrew Jones in much the same way, with a similar reaction (when we traded stories at ConFusion he mimed the moment of learning about me by shaking his fist at the heavens and cursing my name). We had a good laugh.