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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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    Beyond the Pool of Stars

    Monday, June 25, 1066

    Mirian Raas comes from a long line of salvagers, adventurers who use magic to dive for sunken ships off the coast of tropical Sargava. When her father dies,…

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Jul
29

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Character Design, Part 3: Character Voice

hulk thinkThe other day my friend Mick swung by the site and asked if I had any advice about character design. Specifically, he was curious about how I: “find a character’s voice to begin with? Just feel it out? Or focused, prescribed exercises?”

I’ve offered advice about character creation before (here, where I discuss character design, here, where I added an addendum, and here, where I talk about loving your character.) But looking over all of that I see that I’ve never really discussed how I find a character voice. Everything I’ve written about is advice to use AFTER that point.

So I gave the matter some thought. I’m not sure how other writers do it, or what works for them, but I can tell you what works for me. Read More

Jul
27

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B-17 Leader

b17From time to time I talk about solitaire gaming here on the blog, as any frequent visitors know, and recently I mentioned I’ve been testing a game.

Yesterday evening that game went live on Kickstarter, and I sat down with both that game’s designer and the company’s owner, the award winning game designer Dan Verssen, to chat about both B-17 Leader and gaming in general. You can find my interview with Dean Brown over at Black Gate, and you can find the newly launched B-17 Kickstarter here. Read More

Jul
25

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Gray Maiden

graymaidenI had a longer post in mind, but I need to get to some yard work before it heats back up today. So here’s a great old short story series that any heroic fiction appreciator ought to snag.

I remember when it was only possible to get some of the Gray Maiden stories. Now you can snag them all in a single book.

Gray Maiden is a series of short stories originally published in that great old pulp, Adventure, about a sword that’s handed down through the ages. There are minor notes of the supernatural in most of the stories (very minor, but still notable given Adventure being reality based) but what’s most appealing is just the slam bang action of the tales.

I’ve written about Gray Maiden before (and Black Gate‘s Matthew David Surridge has written about one earlier collection here). Some of the stories are pulpy, some are dry, but at least half are top notch action pieces. The one set in Viking times, for instance, is one of the best Viking stories I’ve ever read, and then there’s the one about the Carthaginians trapped behind in Italy after Hannibal evacuates, and their desperate effort to escape…

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Jul
22

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Point of View Arcs

HJ Sagan TreeAfter my first three published novels I’ve begun to play more and more with multiple point of view. I still miss writing from the restricted first person narrative of the Dabir and Asim novels (and I still hope to write some more of those) but I’m getting more and more used to writing with multiple third person point of view.

I played a little with it in my first Pathfinder novel, then experimented even further with the second, switching point of view every chapter, being careful to give each character something interesting to do as the camera changed to their perception at the same time the plot advanced. Because the characters were all together rather than split off on separate quests, it was necessary to write the events chronologically.

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Jul
20

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48

Howard ZebrasOwning to his presence at an out-of-town summer camp the last few years during the week of my birthday, my son hasn’t been around to celebrate with me on that one day for a long while. He was here this time, though, and, marred only by the absence of my daughter at a summer camp of her own, this 48th birthday has been my favorite in recent memory.

heroes normandyI woke up after having dreamed I was a Beatle hanging out with Paul and John and some other Beatle named Phil at some time in ’65, judging by our hair, answering press questions and being fab together. That was pretty gear.

I wrote until about noon, then did some calisthenics with the first born, had lunch with him, then played a couple of war board games of Lock ‘n Load Tactical: Heroes of Normandy. Following on that, we traded off playing piano and guitar and hashed out a couple of songs together.

By then it was supper time, so we drove downtown and met my wife for a swank dinner (I had duck!). Upon our return home the first born dialed up a college friend via Skype then ran a science role-playing game for her, my wife, and me.

A grand time was had by all. I got to write, game, eat great food, play music, and hang out with (most) of my immediate family. It doesn’t get much better.

Writing

Character Design, Part 3: Character Voice

Friday, July 29, 2016

The other day my friend Mick swung by the site and asked if I had any advice about character design. Specifically, he was curious about how I: “find…

Point of View Arcs

Friday, July 22, 2016

After my first three published novels I’ve begun to play more and more with multiple point of view. I still miss writing from the restricted first person narrative…

Book News

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

With the first novel of my new series now in my editor’s hands, I started to work revising my rough draft of book 2 — only to get…

Dabir and Asim Return

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

For the first time this year I’ve sold a short story. I’m delighted to relay that the upcoming Skelos magazine will be carrying a never-before-published Dabir and Asim…

Chandlering Around

Friday, June 3, 2016

Between a whole lot of revising, thinking about revising, and a mess of home repairs and organizational stuff, spending much time updating the site has felt like a…