May
12

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Skelos Magazine

raidersSo here’s a cool thing: a kickstarter for a brand new sword-and-sorcery e-zine from some real sword-and-sorcery experts. The mag’s going to be called Skelos, and it’s masterminded by none other than Mark Finn, Chris Gruber, and Jeffrey Shanks, Robert E. Howard scholars all. Hearing that these three are behind it fills me with glee — I look forward to reading whatever treasures they unearth, and, heck, I look forward to submitting some day as well.

I hope you’ll join me in backing this one.

In other news, I’m closing on the conclusion of the second major arc of my new book. It seems hard for me to believe, but I might actually be finished with the rough draft for the whole thing by the end of the month. This arc should conclude no later than early next week, and then I’ve got a couple of chapters from minor arcs to draft. This is pretty rough still, and some of it is mostly framework with dialogue, but it feels solid. I suppose I’ll know how solid after I let it sit unread for a few weeks and return to it. A writer’s fear is always that it’s much, much worse than you think it is…

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!

Writing

Pies and Plans and an Update

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I finished reviewing galleys for the second Dabir and Asim book yesterday, The Bones of the Old Ones, drove them over to the post office, and sent them…

Galleys, then ARCs, then… the Book!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My galleys arrived the other day. Those are the printed copies of pages as they will look (as far as spacing and fonts) once they’re actually bound into…

Writing Tips from Doctor McCoy

Monday, July 16, 2012

At Black Gate Monday I’m going  live with a long post about how writers sabotage themselves, and I thought of a corollary that I’ve been thinking of as…

An Arabian Memoir

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When I get asked about good resources and research materials on the ancient Middle-East, one book I always suggest is the memoirs of Usamah Ibn-Munqidh, a warrior from…

Wandering the Web

Monday, July 9, 2012

With my writing schedule back under control I’ve been wandering around spreading good cheer and talking about great fantasy writers. On the off chance there are some people…