Oct
4

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Magician’s Skull 2

I’m pretty much busy night and day these days. I’m not complaining, because I’m having an absolute blast with all this writing and editing. But I haven’t quite figured out how to fit in time to update the blog regularly. My new theory is that I’ll try to prep stuff on the weekends, so we’ll see how that works. I still have a couple of more interviews with writers from Tales From the Magician’s Skull to take live.

Speaking of the skull, issue 2 hasn’t gotten many reviews. I’m not sure what’s up with that. But here’s a glowing one that just went live over at Black Gate, courtesy of Fletcher Vredenburgh.

Here’s the kickstarter for a new game by the talented (and award-winning) Sarah Newton, kind of a Dying Earth sort of thing that looks waaaay cool. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of Sarah’s work, which is always loaded with clever plot hooks and fascinating backgrounds.

And my old friend, that brilliant essayist and award-winning short story writer Ryan Harvey, has a kindle short story just right for a cool October evening.

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, especially the Skull, who doesn’t want to spread the news yet, but I’m working away on issue 3 of Tales From the Magician’s Skull.

Now I must away. I have tales to write and tales to edit…

Sep
24

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Heroes of Normandy

At some point late last year I’m sure I mentioned another secret project I was working on. At long last I can unveil it.

Regular visitors are no doubt aware that the Lock ‘n Load Tactical series of games is among my favorites. Well, I was contacted by Lock ‘n Load Director of Operations David Heath early last year about the feasibility of writing some stories utilizing some of the characters from the game.

I had never, ever, contemplated writing stories set in World War II, but David was persistent, and a super nice guy, and the publisher of one of my absolute favorite games, so I decided to try. And I had a blast. Things were made a little simpler for me, research wise, because I’d been on a huge WWII reading kick. The timing couldn’t have been better because scores of facts were still fresh in my mind. Who knew that by reading for pleasure I’d actually been laying a lot of ground work for future fiction?

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Sep
21

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For the Killing of Kings

Look what turned up on my porch the other day!

I now have 20, count them, 20, Advanced Reader Copies of my new book, coming to stores near you in February of 2019!

Advanced Reader Copies are a finite resource I use to seek out blurbs and reviews. If you are a reviewer, or know anyone with powerful review mojo, please drop me a line, because I need to start spreading word about the new book!

Sep
5

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For the Killing of Kings Preorder

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 Kings, and Mick and Troy and others for keeping me informed about that button’s disappearance. You can find both the book and its pre-order button here.

By a curious coincidence, this week I am reading final page proofs of the very same book. Next to me is a huge stack of paper, and a pen, and a little notebook. The stack of paper is the near final version of the text. The pen isn’t red, but maybe it should be. And the little notebook is to make notes of items I probably should have been tracking all along. The color of a character’s horse, for instance, or the character’s age — sorts of things I’ll really need to know going forward.

A few years ago I went so far as to purchase a program named Scrivener that is really supposed to help you track these kinds of details, but I was already working on the book in Word and didn’t switch. Probably I should have used Scrivener when I started work on book 2… but I’m pretty used to Word at this point. Maybe I’ll use it for book 3…

Speaking of book 2, I’ve tentatively titled it Upon the Flight of the Queen, and I’ve just sent it off to my agent. It will be heading out to my editor early next week.

I actually have some really neat things to blog about, and some more interviews from authors I’ve conducted. I’m just so busy with writing and editing that I may not update the site here as often as I like. I’ll still try to post updates a few times a week. I won’t leave it to the tumbleweeds…

Aug
29

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Karate Form

I’ve realized a curious fact about the way I learn katas taught at my karate school.

If you’re not in the know, katas, or forms, are the somewhat dance-like patterns that martial arts students perform to master various techniques. The longer you’ve been practicing, the more katas you learn. Continued rehearsal of the katas improves not just your ability to perform them, but provides physical benefits. Once you stretch every day and run some katas, you’ve definitely performed a workout. But the benefits are greater than this. After a while you notice the stances and practice of balance intercalate themselves into your daily habits. Your reflexes improve profoundly.

For instance if I’m surprised — say a kid’s running past me at a pool — I do a quick sidestep without thinking about it. After learning an upper-level kata with multiple crane stances, which were extremely challenging at first, my own balance improved overall. If I’m bumped, I immediately ground myself into a more sturdy stance. And don’t be the person who grabs me from behind in jest, for you may find me spinning to face you with hands ready to strike. I alarmed a friend (and myself, a little) when she was just giving me a surprise shoulder squeeze.  Read More

Writing

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…

Novel Lessons 4: Stalking the Beast

Monday, June 18, 2018

After delivering a draft of The Bones of the Old Ones and while waiting upon editorial comments I wrote my second Pathfinder novel, Stalking the Beast. And while it…

Updated Hard Writing Lesson: Word Count

Monday, June 11, 2018

I’ve run out of time to write a lengthy essay this morning about my fourth book, so I’ll resume that series of essays next week. Today I thought…