May
9

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Return to Evenmere

The High HouseJust last week I discovered from an interview Nick Ozment held with the talented James Stoddard that there’s a third Evenmere book. I also learned that Stoddard had revised the second of the two previous books (The False House) to raise it to the standards of the first.

The first meaning The High House, which is among my favorite novels. It’s a house that sort of contains the universe in its myriad passages, attics, and hidden ways, and is a loving homage to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series from the late ’60s and early ’70s. (And no, you wags, not THAT kind of adult. Once upon a time it had to be stressed to readers that fantasy wasn’t just for kids.)

The High House is a wonderful men’s coming of age story. It’s not a child’s story of a boy learning to grow up, it’s a man learning to stand on his own. Main character Carter Anderson has to come to grips with his vanished father, learn how the world works, seek wisdom, overcome heartbreak, find common ground with his estranged brother, etc. And it all happens under a backdrop of mystery with wondrous places and fantastic scenery and beautiful writing and amazing magical tools. I love it.

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May
5

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Introductions

HJ Sagan TreeSometimes I think it’s interesting to chart your life by your interests/obsessions. I suppose for a lot of men my age it starts with dinosaurs or indian tribes or trains, or maybe all three, then branches out into differences depending upon where we grew up, what toys we had, who we played with, etc.

The other day I started thinking about who introduced me to which things that have had a huge and lasting impact upon me, which is perhaps a healthier way to think about all of it.

For instance, my mom introduced me to The Beatles and fantasy fiction, and my father introduced me to sports and gentlemanly behavior. The sports never stuck until I found karate about twelve years ago, but I’ve tried to be gentlemanly. Both had a love of music and reading, and had a wonderfully empathic way to look at the world. Boy, did I love talking story theory with my father. They made sure to introduce me to the playing of musical instruments as well.  Read More

May
3

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Dedications

beyondpoolstarsI generally put a little thought into each book dedication I write, but yesterday the one I drafted stopped me cold and left a very long shadow through the rest of the day.

As I’d hoped, I finished revising my fourth Pathfinder novel last week and sent it back in first thing Monday morning. The only part left on its to-do list when I got up was to draft the acknowledgments and dedication. The acknowledgments were simple enough — I was grateful to several people who’d provided guided and feedback, and thanked them accordingly.

But the dedication… When I sat down to write this book two summers ago, my friend Kris was alive and well. And last summer, when I revised it, he was doing fine. Last fall he passed away on an operating procedure after a perfectly normal minor surgery went terribly wrong. And so the book is now dedicated to his memory. Read More

Apr
29

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Revising Away…

pool of starsI’m nearly through the revisions of my fourth Pathfinder novel, and you know what, I quite like it. I just finished Chapter 6 and it’s one of the finest chapters I think I’ve ever written.

Wish I had the sense that more people were reading these… I’m just not seeing a whole lot of comment about them either out there on the ‘net or even on the Paizo boards. I’m starting to think that those Pathfinder fans who’re reading the books are reading them in the order they were written and haven’t gotten to the more recent books yet, like my third Pathfinder book. And I’m starting to think that maybe people who ordinarily read lots of fantasy don’t read tie-in novels? I dunno.

Right — got to get back to revising. Have an excellent weekend!

Apr
25

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Of Hats and Teeth

deckerI’m getting ready to switch hats and work on something else. I’ve been steaming full speed towards the conclusion of my newest book, but, as often happens, a previous book has popped up with editorial comments. This is my fourth Pathfinder Novel, Through the Gate in the Sea. The comments aren’t too extensive, so I hope to finish it before the week’s end and get back to the new book. Of course, if the other book needs more time, I’ll have to give it, because I want it to head to print in the best shape I can manage.

In other news I’ve been enjoying the fantastic weather here upon the sea of monsters. I’m heading into town in just a few moments to learn just why I have shooting pain when I chew on the right side of my mouth. It’s probably those darned tooth crowns. You see, when my wife and I were first starting out and were very badly off, financially, I thought I could save us a little money by not visiting the dentist for a few years. I had incorrectly reasoned that because I brushed and flossed appropriately my teeth would be okay.

Turns out that I was wrong. I ended up with three tooth crowns and root canals. I’m pretty sure that there’s no living root beneath this crown, so I’m not sure where the pain’s coming from, but I assume I’ll know very shortly.

 

Writing

House Rules

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

If you’re not a tabletop gamer or have no interest in tabletop gaming you should read no further unless you want to be bored or roll your eyes….

Hard Writing Lessons 6 – Head Games

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I’ve been writing fiction since I was in grade school, and I noticed the other day that my first published novel hit the bookstores in 2009, which is a…

Hard Writing Lessons 4 — Word Count

Friday, April 1, 2016

I’ve been busy drafting the new novel but not very busy blogging. When things are going smoothly it’s easy to whip up a quick blog post and still…

Full Tilt Wednesday

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Drafting this new, eh, draft, is going so well I didn’t want to take too much time out to create a post for the day, but I did…

The New Year Begins

Friday, January 1, 2016

Bill Ward and I will return next Friday with a look at one of the most famous Conan stories of all, “Beyond the Black River.” For now, here’s…