Archives: News

For the Killing of Kings

Look what turned up on my porch the other day!

I now have 20, count them, 20, Advanced Reader Copies of my new book, coming to stores near you in February of 2019!

Advanced Reader Copies are a finite resource I use to seek out blurbs and reviews. If you are a reviewer, or know anyone with powerful review mojo, please drop me a line, because I need to start spreading word about the new book!

New Developments

I’m heading off to GenCon in just a few hours for a whirlwind of activity, but before I go I wanted to thank Troy and Dale and Mick for alerting me to the pre-order cancellation issue with my new book. Because you told me so swiftly, my publisher was able to get to the problem in a timely manner. For the Killing of Kings should be available for pre-order again by the end of the week.

I also had some exciting news to share. I’m now the Executive Editor of the Perilous Worlds imprint for Cabinet Entertainment. There’s an article here discussing the imprint itself. I’m very impressed with the team and their plans and thrilled to be a part of what they’re building. When I return from GenCon, one of my first duties will be to begin editing John Chris Hocking’s second Conan novel, Conan and the Living Plague. Any of you regular visitors know that I’ve been championing this book for years, and I am pleased and honored to be involved in seeing it finally reach the audience it deserves.


Every day, most of this week, I’m sitting down with the manuscript of For the Killing of Kings and slowly reading it aloud. I’m addressing any copyeditor questions and suggestions, and also making some minor tweaks. This is the next to last chance for me to make any changes, and the last real chance to make any substantive changes — adding entire lines and paragraphs and the like. I’ll have a final shot to correct typos, but this is about it. So it’s kind of important.

GenCon is taking place next week, and I’m looking forward to that. I’ve been leafing through some cool game stuff I traded away for on my birthday. One of my favorite acquisitions is a compilation of the first four issues of Fight On! magazine. I’m late to the party, for I think at this point the magazine is defunct. If the first four issues are anything to go by, it’s a wonderful resource for creative old school gaming, with inventive adventures and hex crawls and dungeons, suggestions for alternate rules and classes, and various other goods that are quite inspiring. It really is a treasure trove.

Things Just Got Real

My publisher just sent me a big stack of bound manuscripts of my upcoming novel. Here they are. These aren’t advanced reader copies, or ARCs, as they’re known in the industry, which are intended for reviewers so they can (hopefully) say wonderful things about your work to anyone who will listen. Bound manuscripts precede even that, and are to be used to obtain (again, hopefully) blurbs from well-known authors extolling the work.

Promotion is my least favorite part of this whole business because it’s hard to know if your hard work is paying off… but I’m a little more experienced now with this kind of thing, and I have a great deal of faith in this book. My God, but I’ve been working on it for a long time. The question is, how long? It’s hard to be sure. What stage do I count? Three of the principal characters have been trying to get me to tell stories about them for at least a quarter century, but those early efforts never reached the finish line. Fifteen years ago I completed multiple drafts of a first book, and even most of the draft of a second, that contained those characters, secondary characters that carried forward, and included many concepts I decided to keep.

Guilds & Glaives Released

Right here in my own tower by the sea I have contributor’s copies of the mighty Guilds & Glaives anthology. Along with numerous talented folks, my sword-and-sorcery colleagues and fellow Tales From the Magician’s Skull authors Violette Malan (writing of Dhulyn and Parno) and James Enge (writing of Morlock) can be found within its pages.

My story, “The Sword and the Djinn,” is an excerpt from the third, unpublished, Dabir and Asim novel. It doesn’t actually feature either character, but is one of several short stories composed for inclusion in the manuscript. The Maiden’s Eye, when finally complete, is going to feel even more closely tied to the Arabian Nights tradition than the previous works, because it will feature numerous stories within stories. At least, that’s my conception of it. My ambitions were one of the problems with the composition of that book, because how does one maintain pace when stopping to tell additional stories? Lately I think I may have figured it all out, but I’ve been too busy with other deadlines to sit down and do it.


It’s been a busy but happy weekend here at the Jones household. I didn’t have enough time to put a long essay together, so I thought I’d share some happiness instead.

First, my daughter came home from the camp where she’s a counselor all summer, went to college orientation with her mother, and then celebrated her (somewhat belated) 18th birthday with us. There were presents and ice cream cake and a weird spinning mechanical candle that blared “Happy Birthday” and refused to die. We went out to celebrate at a really nifty Chinese restaurant, a first for our city, so far as I know, for it serves dim sum as well as some other goodies.

Mighty Warriors Arrive

My brand new copy of The Mighty Warriors turned up in the post yesterday. I can’t remember when I had a NEW anthology chock full of sword-and-sorcery. I mean, I’ve had old anthologies that were new to me, but not one that was hot off the presses.

I’ve been friends with two of the authors for years, Charles Rutledge and Paul McNamee. Charles is the fellow who spoke so highly of Shotokan karate and therefore helped me choose which school to attend many years back (and I’m STILL there). I’ve known Paul since I used to edit the old Flashing Swords e-zine. He helped manage the related web site for a while when I was busy with grad school. Yet I’ve never read any of their work! Now I have the chance, because they both have a story in the volume, along with one of my favorite writers, Charles Saunders, my friend David C. Smith. There’s also work by friendly acquaintances and industry standard bearers. I’ve been hearing good things about Adrian Cole’s Elak pastiches for a while, so I’m particularly interested to see what he’s cooked up.

Anyway, I’m pleased to have a copy and eager to get to reading. Your own copies can be found here.


You may have noticed from the increased activity that I’m rethinking how I use my web site. I’ve got some more novel writing posts ready to go, and that will be a regular feature on Mondays for the next several weeks. I’ve also started exchanging notes with Tales From the Magician’s Skull contributors for the opening salvo in a new Friday feature I’m tentatively calling “Creatives Corner.” The plan is to post interviews or occasional guest posts on many Fridays, and I’m starting with some of the people who’ve worked with the mighty Skull.

The object is to point visitors to neat sites, good writers, editors, and fans. If you have ideas about questions you’d like me to ask, guests you’d like me to invite, or even subjects you’d like to cover, please let me know.

Likewise, if you have questions about writing or publishing, keep them coming. I’m still working on answers to a few that were asked last time I mentioned this, and I’m eager for more ideas.

I hope to hear from you. So does The Gorn.

Chainsaw and Corris

So this weekend I fired up a chainsaw and wielded it for the first time. I have the power! Also, I had protective chaps and gloves and helmet and face shield.

I have been binge reading the Australian mystery writer Peter Corris. He and Lawrence Block are among  the closest modern writers I know to hardboiled. I’ve loved Block’s Matthew Scudder’s detective novels, and I’ve discovered I love the different landscape and atmosphere of the Corris novels, which are all set in Australia.

There are about 40 books, and some of them are short story collections, and I’ve probably read 10 of them now, although not all in the last few days. The mysteries are strong and he’s great with characters. So far I’ve just been reading the ones he wrote in the ‘80s rather than the ones he’s written most recently, so maybe they drop in quality. Or maybe they get even better.

The other morning I finished The Marvelous Boy and I saved this bit of prose for you as our hero Cliff Hardy is walking into a weight lifting club to seek information:

Friday Update

I’ve finished the prose part of my Windy City recap now and just have to transfer the photos in from various electronic devices. I’ve received the preliminary pass of Tales From the Magician’s Skull issue 2 and am reviewing that, and I’m addressing some final changes in my novel. I’m also getting ready to paint the ceiling of our basement.

In other words, it’s a busy week!

I wanted to point all my visitors over to some nifty things I think they’ll find of interest…