Nov
20

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Gasping Apologies

Man, it’s just crazy busy here. I feel like someone wrote  a terrible script and insisted I perform in it. Or maybe like I’m gasping for air because the same crazy women who stole my best friend’s brain put some kind of electronic overacting collar on me.

In any case, I’m likely to have posts few and far between. I have a lot of work to do.

I’m also ashamed to say that I’ve lost track of the address of some kind fellows who wanted me on their podcast for some time in December. The last time we exchanged a note I was in the middle of the deadline for book 1 and the Kickstarter for Tales From the Magician’s Skull. I just spent a half hour digging for their e-mail and couldn’t find it. If that sounds like you, I’m sorry, and I hope you’ll write me again.

 

Nov
15

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Deadlines

I heard from Joseph Hoopman yesterday that there was an essay that mentioned The Desert of Souls over on Tor.com, and lo and behold, there was. It pleased me mightily to hear nice things said about my book, both in the main article and in the comments section. It also saddens me a little, because on some shadow Earth Howard is hard at work on the fifth or sixth novel in the sequence. There were going to be nine, and multiple short stories in between.

There will definitely be more short stories, and perhaps, if the fates are kind, I can publish a few more on my own in between the books I’m writing for my publishers.

The essay was written by S.A. Chakraborty, whose own Arabian historical fantasy, The City of Brass, debuted just yesterday. I’ll be adding that to the TBR pile and wishing her far better luck than my own brave Arabians had in the publishing world.

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Nov
9

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Great Western Reads Part 1

Everyone’s heard of Louis L’Amour. It seems like most “best western” conversations begin and end with him, although you might hear a mention of Max Brand or Riders of the Purple Sage. But there are scads of additional western writers, and there’s lots of great stuff out there hidden amongst the dreck. The trick is finding a guide to it.

A good place to start might be the new book by Scott Harris and Paul Bishop, 52 Weeks 52 Western Novels: Old Favorites and New Discoveries. In it, Harris and Bishop and a handful of other contributors discuss overlooked westerns of excellence. They don’t waste your time by giving a two-page spread to stuff you know about, like Lonesome Dove. They do dig deep into the L’Amour catalog to point out a couple of strong ones, but mostly they present things you probably aren’t aware of. It’s the kind of list Chris Hocking and I have been looking for.

 

Nov
6

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Manic Monday

Whew. Well, as of about 20 minutes ago, the revised version of For the Killing of Kings is with my editor, or at least his in-box. I would liked to have read it straight through a couple of more times, but as I strive to be a man of his word I delivered the manuscript on the first day of the first full week of November. This draft would not have been possible without the editorial aid of a wicked and beautiful enchantress whom I have surely mentioned before.

In celebration, I’m wearing one of my favorite t-shirts, which, alas, is beginning to show its wear.

Today I’m going to spend some time putting the house back together after about a week of neglect, and that will include some last minute pre-winter garden work. Maybe this evening we’ll start watching the second season of Stranger Things.

I need to get back to work on issue 2 of Tales From the Magician’s Skull. And, partly because I’m a madman, but mostly because it took longer than I expected to address all the changes to book 1, by the first week of December I need to turn over the first draft of book 2. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Read More

Nov
1

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The Pledge of the Sword

Today, on the final day of the Kickstarter for Tales From the Magician’s Skull, I poured my heart out to tell you just why I love sword-and-sorcery and why I’m determined to bring the best of it your way.

I hope you enjoy the essay; I hope, also, that you’ll join forces with us and pledge for the magazine, and if you’ve already done THAT then I’ll prevail upon you to help me spread the word one last time!

 

Writing

Undisclosed Location

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I’m writing from an undisclosed location, in the midst of a secret mission. Most of the assignment involves writing copiously every day, but I must also infiltrate fine…

Writing Tests

Monday, September 18, 2017

A while back I talked about one of the questions I ask myself to make sure I’m on the right track, and that’s the Doctor McCoy test.  Sometimes…

Appendix N and Fantasy Exploration

Friday, August 25, 2017

While I’d been introduced to fantasy fiction when my mom read me The Hobbit, it was Dungeons & Dragons that sent me exploring for more of it. Appendix…

Previews

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Yesterday I got to see some thumbnail sketches of covers for my upcoming novel, and I have to tell you, that was pretty cool. This book is starting…

Book on the Way

Monday, July 31, 2017

My posts may be a little spare in the coming weeks as I put pedal to the metal and start revision of the first novel of my new trilogy…