Monthly Archives: April 2013

Various and Sundry

A few weeks back I mentioned my inclusion in a nifty writing anthology, Writing Fantasy Heroes  (where I share a table of contents with some pretty talented and famous writers) and an essay about the book went live this week over at the blog of the talented William King, probably best known in North America for the creation of Warhammer’s famed Gotrek and Felix.

Not only is the essay (by editor Jason Waltz) of interest, there’s an ongoing discussion in the comment section about the nature of heroes that might well be of interest.

In other news, I stumbled onto a new review of The Bones of the Old Ones, this from The King of the Nerds. The majority of reviewers seem to agree with me that the second book is better than the first (and the majority of them seemed to really dig the first as well, which makes that kind of statement even more pleasing to the ear).

Of Deserts and Plagues

Last week I received the newest version of The Desert of Souls from my UK publisher, Head of Zeus. It’s a little smaller in height than the American version which gives it a slightly greater heft. I think it’s a pretty snappy look, and it’s always a pleasure to receive a box of your own books.

Note below that Mighty Max, Norman, and Virgil showed up to admire the books as well.

In other news, Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review seemed to dig my first Paizo Pathfinder novel, Plague of Shadows. Amongst other compliments, the one that brought me the biggest smile was “by its conclusion I feel that Jones could write a sporting goods shopping list and I’d be riveted.” You can find the whole thing here.

I don’t often have a sporting goods shopping list, but I could send him a copy of my supply list the next time I head to the lumber yard prior to fence repair. I’m guessing he’d find it less riveting than he supposes. Although, given the kinds of stuff I’ll be picking up, I suppose he could say that I “nailed it.” Hah!

Horse Adventures

This is one of our family horses, Trigger, so named by his previous owner because he somewhat resembled the famed horse ridden by Roy Rogers.

Trigger is my personal favorite of our horses. He’s never moody or indifferent. Don’t get me wrong — like most of the horses I’ve interacted with, eating is his number one priority, so he’ll almost always be head down standing in the pasture. But if you wander into the pasture he’ll usually mosey on over to see what you’re doing. And he has a playful streak.

I was out fixing horse fencing a few years ago (more on that later) which requires a number of tools, including pry bar, saw, hammer, drill, clamp, and supplies like nails and screws, and, of course, lumber. I sat everything down and turned to pry the broken board off of the fence, and Trigger wandered up. I said hello, he looked innocently at me, then, calm as you please, bent down, picked up the bag of nails with his teeth, turned and trotted away.

Spring Near the Sea of Monsters

Spring! Click for a larger image.

So, this happened in my front yard yesterday. Some to the east and north may not remember the term, but it is known here in the midwest US as Spring. Feast your eyes upon the blossoms and weep.

It’s been so pleasant the last few days that we’ve slept with the windows open. I have the windows open now as I type this, listening to bird song… as well as the barking of one of my dogs, who just won’t ever shut up. (Three years old now, and she still barks at everything that moves, as though there’s a little yipey dog trapped in that Lab mix body.)

Bones in the UK

When I returned from my trip to New York City I had a wonderful surprise awaiting me in my e-mail. It was the cover for the UK edition of The Bones of the Old Ones, by the talented Charles Keegan, who created the original hard cover painting for The Desert of Souls.

I’ve heard from a lot of people that they preferred the original cover to the paperback, and I’m already starting to hear from people who prefer this version to the one for the American release. What do you think?


Back from the Big Apple

My wife and I took our children to the east coast last week for a nice family getaway involving museums, a musical, subway rides, fine dining, and excellent company. I have a few anecdotes to share later this week that might be of interest, but tonight I simply wanted to log in and share a couple of interesting links.

First, while I was away last week writer friend (and fellow Pathfinder author) Elaine Cunningham posted an interesting essay about speculative fiction characters who aren’t white, and cultural appropriation. I was in New York when most of the conversation was going on, but I dropped by to add my own two cents earlier today. You can find her essay here.

My friend Nathan Long, writer of the Waar books, and some Gotrek and Felix novels, not to mention the fabulous Blackhearts books and other tasty stuff, put up a post on fantasy world building that’s likely to be of great interest to many writers of fantasy and science fiction. You can find it here, and the conversation is just getting under way if you want to join in.

On the long drive to New York I read the family The Graveyard Book, and on the long drive back, my wife read us Watership Down. I already knew both were excellent books, but I did not realize how fine both sound when read aloud. The best writing often has a rhythm and meter to it so that the prose has an ebb and flow.