Mar
3

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Secret Projects and the Wish for Style

HJ Sagan TreeMonday I briefly touched upon some secret projects and sparked some speculation. Rather than answering thedarkman’s question on that older post, I thought I’d open by touching upon it today. Yes, one of those secret projects is rich with old school sword-and-sorcery. So much so that your socks are going to be blown off when you get it in your hands. I am grinning with delight every time I think about the quality of the work involved, and the art I’ve seen, and other components, and when the time comes I’ll shout about project x from the rooftops and hope that you’ll help me spread the word about it so it can reach as wide an audience as possible. With a little luck and hard work more and similar things will come to fruition. Read More

Mar
1

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Of Gates and Parachutes

parachuteToday’s the day my new Pathfinder book, Through the Gate in the Sea, gets released! Kind of a strange feeling. I wrote it in 2015 and made a final pass through it last summer, so it’s been off my radar for a long while. Now I’ll have to see if I recall how to add books to my book slider on my home page!

I’ve been doing a lot of WWII reading in the last few weeks, as I think I’ve mentioned. One of the true standouts is Parachute Infantry, by David Kenyon Webster. If you watched Band of Brothers, he’s the central character of one of the later episodes. He wrote his memoirs of his time in Easy company after the war but never found a publisher.

Long after Webster’s death Stephen Ambrose read the book and championed its publication. It has a wonderfully engaging, descriptive tone. An immediacy stemming both from emotional honesty and crystal clear prose. That guy could WRITE. The people from the company that he interacts with live again through his words. Don’t believe me? Check out the glowing reviews of the book, because they’re not hyperbole. Highly, highly recommended.

It’s a crime that no one wanted to publish the book in his lifetime.

Feb
27

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Quick Update, Now with Conan

elephanttower5I’ll keep this brief. In my limited spare time I’ve been working on a couple of projects that I can hardly wait to reveal… but must. One of them is going to be of great interest to sword-and-sorcery fans, and the other is research for a genre I’ve never written in.

Most time, though, has gone to the creeping progress towards the conclusion of the revision of book 1 of my big new series. And darned if I can’t really talk too much about that, either. I just hope all of this hard work is going to pay off.

It’s probably no fun to read such a mysterious entry, so let me point you towards something fairly cool. Hocking noticed this a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to share it. Here’s an essay about Conan and Robert E. Howard that manages to see things from a new and insightful perspective. I especially like the part where the writer calls out the perception of “failings” in the execution of “The Tower of the Elephant.”

Right — back to the salt mines.

Feb
20

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Link Day

gate in the seaLast Friday Black Gate posted a mini-interview with me about my upcoming Pathfinder novel. While John was asking me questions it reminded me just how much I love the characters in these two most recent books.

…and there’s not a great deal else to report. I’m still putting finishing touches on a major rewrite on my longest novel yet. I’m working on a couple of secret projects on the sidelines. While those projects are back burnered, I’m researching them a bit with some World War II research that has included re-watching Band of Brothers, reading the book (I’d previously read Major Dick Winter’s memoir, Beyond Band of Brothers, and reading some of Sven Hassel’s novels about the German side of the war. And here’s a thankful hat tip to Chuck Dixon for recommending those books to me, because they’ve been highly enjoyable, and another hat tip to Chris Hocking for pointing me towards Dixon to ask, because he’d sure he’d heard about a series some years back but couldn’t recall the author’s name.

Feb
10

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Bear Power

voytekMy wife had “Mysteries of the Museum” on in the background last night. Usually I’m typing away or researching or reading while she runs the television in the evening, but I perked up during the story of Voytek the soldier bear. The details were so preposterous I had to stop what I was doing and look him up. I discovered that not only was the account true, there were even more stories about how awesome Voytek was. The bear so distinguished himself in the line of duty that his Polish unit actually changed their emblem to the image you see on the left.

I read several accounts of his life and adventures, and this was the most entertaining even if it employs ungentlemanly language. I think that’s the secret of some of its humor, but I’ve been kind of down on ungentlemanly conduct lately, so I thought I’d warn you. Here’s another article with a few additional details.

There’s apparently a documentary about Votyek as well. I swear, if I put this stuff in a story people would laugh at me for the sheer absurdity… But since it’s true, it’s pretty danged cool.

 

Writing

Manhattan Adventures

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I’m posting today from Manhattan in a mid-town hotel that’s walking distance from all kinds of cool stuff. Naturally I’m spending a lot of my time here simply…

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…