• 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…

    Read More

  • 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…

    Read More

  • 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…

    Read More

  • 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,…

    Read More

  • 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…

    Read More

  • Through the Gate in the Sea

    Saturday, July 7, 1066

    Deepwater salvager Mirian Raas and her bold crew may have bought their nation’s freedom with a hoard of lost lizardfolk treasure, but their troubles are only just beginning…

    Read More

  • 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,…

    Read More

  • For the Killing of Kings

    Saturday, January 7, 1065

    Their peace was a fragile thing, but it had endured for seven years, mostly because the people of Darassus and the king of the Naor hordes believed his…

    Read More

Dec
11

Author:

Comment

Ask Me Anything

All day today I’ll be over at Reddit Fantasy, ready, willing, and able to talk about the writing craft, editing, or just about anything else writing related you want to chat about. You can find me at this link. Hope to “see” some of you there!

Dec
10

Author:

6 Comments

Brood of the Witch Queen

Are there any Sax Rohmer fans among my regular visitors?

I’m finally reading one of his novels, although it’s not a Fu Manchu title. I’m about halfway through a supernatural menace novel titled Brood of the Witch Queen. Rohmer can turn up the dial on the menace really well, and is really strong on the description — sometimes I stop and re-read paragraphs because they’re so nicely composed. The heroes are a little wooden and pulpy but the rest of the prose definitely has enough strengths that it’s worth a look, if you’re at all curious.

I’ll have to try some Fu-Manchu now, although I might first finally get around to reading Calgaich The Swordsman, the famed Gordon Shireffs historical that’s supposed to very good and quite Howardian.

Dec
5

Author:

Comment

Behind-the-Scenes

You wouldn’t know it by looking at the site, but life’s pretty busy here. Nearly every day I’m doing editorial work for Perilous Worlds. Several times a week I’m editing things for Tales From the Magician’s Skull. And every day I’m working on either the promotion of book 1 of the Ring-Sworn trilogy, or working on the first draft of book 3. This morning it’s that draft I’m contemplating. Wrapping all the threads up by the end of the book is proving a little challenging, and so I’m still tinkering with the outline.

I’m also managing some wargaming to relax, courtesy of the dedicated spot in our new remodeled basement. In the last couple of weeks I’ve played four scenarios of one of my favorite games, Ambush!. (While I do enjoy playing, that exclamation point is part of the game’s title.)

I hope to share details about all of the publishing stuff as everything gets closer to release…

In the meantime, here’s a snapshot at the end of a recent Ambush! scenario. And here’s a link back to my thoughts after a first few plays, as well as a description of the game for the curious.

Nov
28

Author:

Comment

Marvin Albert Westerns

I got a grab bag of duplicate paperbacks from Chris Hocking a few years ago and discovered a lot of gold. One of the standouts was a detective novel from “Nick Quarry,” which turned out to be one of the pseudonyms of Marvin Albert. Albert also wrote under Al Conroy, and Anthony (or Tony) Rome, Ian MacAlister, and J.D. Christilian. Mysteries, westerns, “men’s adventure;” Albert could do it all, and he always delivered. I’ve read over a dozen paperbacks by the man at this point, and I’ve yet to read a bad one. Now maybe I’ve read only one that comes close to being a true classic, but they’re always good books. The plots make sense, the characters are compelling, the action scenes are crisp and clear, and the pace never flags.

Over the last few years I’ve been trying out a number of “new-to-me” authors of old westerns and mystery fiction. A lot of it is uncharted territory for me. So if I’ve tried a few authors who’ve left me cold, I know I can always retreat to another old Albert novel and be entertained. He’s dependably good. Read More

Nov
21

Author:

Comment

Notecards

In the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time talking about outlining stories because I’ve been trying to find a way to write without getting lost down paths that yield moments that don’t work. I’ve gotten better and better at getting it right earlier on, in part due to outlines, but admittedly in part just due to practice.

The sequel to the upcoming novel, For the Killing of Kings, was much easier to write than its predecessor. One reason is that by the time I started work on book 2 I had a good handle on the world and the characters. I believe it’s always going to be a challenge starting a new work when you’re writing of an invented place because you need to get familiar with the world and the characters moving through it. 

But another reason it went well is because of the outline permutation I developed. I don’t know if it would have helped me in the past, but I know it helped me in the composition of the second book, and it’s helping me outline book 3. Read More

Writing

Notecards

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

In the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time talking about outlining stories because I’ve been trying to find a way to write without getting lost…

Leaves

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This morning the leaves outside the kitchen window are gorgeous. I seem to appreciate autumn more and more as I age. Or maybe Im learning to better appreciate…

Speeding Along

Thursday, October 18, 2018

As I make final choices for the contents of the third issue of Tales From the Magician’s Skull I took a couple of weeks off novel writing and…

For the Killing of Kings Preorder

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I’d like to thank Jennifer Donovan at St. Martin’s for clearing up the issue at Amazon with the pre-order button on my upcoming novel, For the Killing of…

GenCon 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

I’m back from GenCon with some amazing memories, some fine stories, and some gaming treasure, and I’ll probably be talking about some of it in the coming days….