Aug
13

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Off to GenCon

Trigger 1Late this morning I’m headed out on a comparatively short drive to GenCon. I’ll be there in a little under three hours, which isn’t too bad at all. I’m arriving a day early to meet up with friends and fellow writers from the Writer’s Symposium, one of GenCon’s best kept secrets. In my absence the home will be protected by a black belt, a brown belt, two dogs, and four man eating horses. Read More

Aug
11

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Alchemical Storytelling

brotherhood2I chanced upon a show a few years ago that began with potential and then delivered on it episode after episode. I found fabulous world building and strong character arcs.  I watched half hour after half hour the way I devour chapter after chapter in a great fantasy novel, poised on the edge of my seat wondering how things would resolve.

The show that so enthralled me is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The series is set in an alternate world in the 1900s, one very similar to our own, except that alchemy is real. Those talented and diligent enough can transform matter from one state to another — fix a broken radio into one that works, or convert a metal bar into a sword. The story’s protagonists are a pair of young brothers of tremendous talent who used their powers to commit the ultimate alchemical taboo: they tried to bring their dead mother back to life. They paid a terrible price when the transmutation went horribly wrong, and spend much of the series trying to put things right.

As the young men search for solutions they uncover  hidden layers to the way alchemy, their country, and their world, truly work. As the mysteries deepen, so do the characters and the world. I really don’t want to say much more for fear of ruining the many unfolding surprises.

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Aug
8

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Princess Azula

tidesA few weeks back I mentioned that Azula was not only one of the finest villains in animated history, but that she was one of the finest villains ever scripted.

Part of the reason she succeeds so beautifully, of course, comes from the amazing voice work of Grey Delisle, whose delivery is always bone-chillingly perfect. According to some sources, at least one of her speeches was intended simply as a screen test, but was so well-done that the show creators worked it into an episode anyway.

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Aug
6

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GenCon AND More on Ki-Gor

A light traffic moment in the Hall of Treasure.

A light traffic moment in GenCon’s Hall of Treasure.

I wanted to follow up on two completely unrelated posts today.

First, I’ve mentioned that I’ll be spending a lot of time at the Paizo booth in the Great Hall at GenCon in Indianapolis next week (in addition to the hours I’ll be spending on panels during the Writer’s Symposium). As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Writer’s Symposium is chock full of good panels if you’re at all curious about the industry, or about bettering your own writing — or if you just want to find out more about your favorite writers!

Here are my hours at the Paizo Booth: Read More

Aug
4

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Strange Days

hulk think…or, possibly, strange careers. Like writing. I realized the other day that while I’ve been writing like a madman for at least twelve months, the three books I’ve been working on won’t be seen by readers for at least another twelve months.

Any fan who’s not visiting my blog to check up on my activities will likely assume I’ve given it up or am out of ideas. And yet I’ve written two books in the last year and am nearly through with a third. After it gets a polish I’ll start work on the next one, which will mean I’ll have been working on four separate books over the course of a year. Not too shabby, really, when it took me a year and a half to write The Bones of the Old Ones. Remember that one? No? It got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and made the Best of 2012 Barnes and Noble fantasy releases list, and had heaps of good reviews, I swear. Alas, it doesn’t seem like anyone apart from the reviewers and some loyal fans ever picked it up, at least judging from the small number of Amazon reviews. Sniff.

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Ancient Arabia

Music to Write of Arabia

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I’ve held various career plans over the years, beginning with my ambition to be a double-nought spy, a starship captain, or another Beatle. I also wanted to be…

The Map

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Last week I announced I was busy behind the scenes with the writing of book 3 and promotion of book 2, and that remains the case. But I…

Canals of Baghdad

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If you ever think about ancient Baghdad you’re likely to picture a sand-blasted landscape and a city growing alongside the river in a narrow band where the ground…

On Historical Research

Friday, August 3, 2012

I received a note from a German writer/reader the other week asking me about how I research my historical fiction. These days I’m pretty methodical about it, but…

The Real Caliph

Friday, July 20, 2012

When I decided to set the Dabir and Asim stories in historical Arabia, I likewise decided that while I would emulate the real world, I’d also pay homage…