Nov
14

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First Reviews

As the book promotion gets fully under way more and more blurbs are coming in, along with the first major review. Publisher’s Weekly just awarded For the Killing of Kings one of it’s highly desirable stars! This is great news and I hope it’s a sign of good things to come.

I had the opportunity to read from the book at the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore last month and I was pleased by its reception. I had HOPED that Kyrkenall’s little one-liners were funny, and judging by the lively crowd, he came off pretty well.

World Fantasy Con itself was a blast. It had been most of a year since I’d hung out with my good friend John O’Neill, Black Gate mastermind, and eight long years since I’d been in the same place with the talented Bill Ward, frequent blog guest here.The first night I was invited to dinner with Arin Komins, Rich Warren, L.E. Modessit, John O’Neill, Doug Ellis and his wife Deborah, among others. Soon after, I met Tales From the Magician’s Skull alumnus Setsu Uzume, and made many new friends, like Lancelot Schaubert, Jennifer Brinn, Marie Bilodeau, and Clarence Young, who I joined for an expedition for Baltimore seafood only to discover a Trekker cut from the same cloth as myself. I got to reconnect with talented friends I only ever see at conventions, like Al Bogdan and Ilana C. Myer and Tom Doyle and Chris Cevasco and Patty Templeton and Claire Cooney, and finally met brilliant Claire’s brilliant husband Carlos Hernandez. I met up with Ilana and a number of her friends for a tasty dinner outside the convention then spent most of that meal nerding out about The Beatles with Michael Damian Thomas. Read More

Oct
30

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Leaves

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 the things around me. Click to enlarge, and you’ll see the colors really pop.

I was traveling all of last week, and the way my phone has been glitching it just made Internet access a challenge. So I’m a little late getting this Black Gate link to you. My friend Myke Cole was interviewed by yours truly about his new book, the second in his new series. We also make casual reference to a really nifty sounding military history book he wrote. You should check out his work, and the interview. Read More

Oct
26

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Remodeling for the Future

While my long planned site remodel is still delayed (owing to the influx of work stuff) the actual physical space of our home has changed over the last few months.

Here’s a pic of what our basement has looked like for the last sixteen years or so. Concrete floor. Waterproofed walls. A bunch of junk — although here it is looking a little more organized because we were setting up for a high school graduation party.

Months later, the same space looks much, much nicer. And this next photo was taken before the carpet went in! Read More

Oct
18

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Speeding Along

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 have been working furiously on some short stories. Between books is about the only time I have anymore to draft short fiction. I’d thought I might get three or four, but one of them proved a really tough not to crack, and took me down multiple dead ends and many false starts. But yesterday I finally finished a draft of the third (chronologically) Hanuvar story. I’m nearly done revising a fourth, although there’s a rough of a fifth on my computer as well. Those last two don’t fall into the same chronological sequence.

I’d hoped to finish a new Dabir and Asim story that’s about two thirds complete, but it may have to wait for another break. It’s time to get to work outlining the third novel of my new trilogy, and it’s just about time to start gearing up for the big promotional push on book 1. Ugh. Promotions.

Today, though, I take a rare day off. Seems like every day lately, even weekends, I’ve had lots of work. Not that I mind the work. I just haven’t been able to game. In just a few minutes my friend Dean Brown, all around great guy and talented game designer (B-17 Leader is his) is coming by for a visit. Seems like I’ve known him for years now, but we’ve never met in person. We’re going to take a day and just wargame. Should be a grand time!

Oct
15

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Revisiting Some Sword-And-Sorcery

As I work away on various projects, I thought I’d link back to some earlier posts.

First, having just re-read “Queen of the Black Coast,” I recently revisited observations Bill Ward and I had about an earlier re-read. Bill knocked this one out of the park.

Second, Bill and I looked at a great Brackett story, “The Moon That Vanished.” We’d meant to analyze more, but we’ve both gotten pretty busy.

Lastly, here’s a post I penned back in 2013 discussing and contrasting the way Jack Vance and Robert E. Howard depicted women in their fiction. I don’t want to spoil the post, but I have to say that after binge reading a huge amount of Vancian fiction I hold even more strongly to my conclusions, and came away with some rather icky observations about some plot preferences Vance liked to return to again and again. And I don’t think they were employed, like some Robert E. Howard features, because he knew it would get him a cover. (If you’re not in the know, REH figured out that if he wanted a cover illustration for Weird Tales, the editor would be highly inclined to give him one if he put a whipping scene in the story. I can’t say for sure whether that actually meant more sales, or if it’s something that editor really enjoyed.) For all that I love Vance’s amazing world and culture building, he repeatedly has young women, just barely mature, being raped. Sometimes it’s depicted as “lighthearted” and one time it preceded the woman’s death.

Writing

Novel Lessons 4.5: Between the Novels, Part 2

Sunday, July 15, 2018

One of the reasons I wrote last week of learning from other genres is because of one of the problems plaguing me in the as-yet uncompleted The Maiden’s…

Beta Readers

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The other day I was asked what the best way to find beta readers was. In short form, you have to network with other writers. I found my…

Novel Lessons 4.5: Between the Novels Part 1

Monday, July 9, 2018

After I took my last post about novel writing live I realized that I’d left a few things out. I’ve written before on the importance of reading outside…

Writing Epiphanies

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I had a great writing epiphany yesterday morning, and I’ll be darned if I can find a way to apply it globally. I tried explaining it to Hocking…

Editorial Choices

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Back in May, my friend Keith asked for a few more details about what goes on behind the scenes at a magazine. Specifically, he wrote: “I’d love to…