25 October, 2013

Digital Necromancy Launched

The world faces an uneasy peace as it realizes a war between Light and Darkness is inevitable. Everyone sketches a different line between sides, some wanting to stop the war and some trying to take advantage of it. But the worst threat is building in the realms beyond Earth, where several groups scheme to reshape all of reality before the war can even begin.

During the calm before the storm, Aki, Blake, and Keisha have been doing their best to prepare. As they draw the attention of ever more powerful forces, they realize their preparation isn't enough. The question becomes if this is a war they should be fighting at all...

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Author Notes
Another book that follows an uncommon arc not so much because it's innovative but because the arc isn't necessarily a good idea. This is the last relaxed book for a while before the series starts moving in a more climactic direction.

07 October, 2013

Blog Tour

Today kicks off the blog tour for Sorcery and Scholarships. Glad there was so much interest, and I'm happy to direct you to the people who got onto the list. They'll be posting reviews, promos, excerpts, and other things in due time.

October 7-13
Monday: Alfaniel's Blog (Review)
Tuesday: Books Are Love (Review)
Wednesday: Giovanni Valentino (Review)
Thursday: Bunny's Review
Friday: These Are But Shadows (Promo)
Saturday: The Undercover Reviewer
Sunday: Judith Leger (Review)
Sunday Part II: Making Connections Blog (Interview)
Giveaway: Rafflecopter

From the 11th to the 15th (Friday-Tuesday) my short story The Bloody Veil will be available free to Amazon Prime members.

On October 25th, the fourth book in The Dying War (Digital Necromancy) will be available on all channels.

15 August, 2013

Things of Assorted Varieties

Life continues. I'll soon be moving to work abroad and beginning a new job. Professor Tiddlebottoms had kittens I'll have to find homes for. Etc etc.

Relevant to this blog, the fourth book in The Dying War will be coming out soon. It's basically done, but the editing process has led me to want to run it by more beta readers before releasing it. This will be my first late release, but fortunately I don't have rabid enough fans for anyone to care.

I also just finished writing the fifth book in the series. It was the kind of book I could only write after the first four moved enough story elements into position, so the payoff was satisfying. I'm past the halfway point of this experiment, in my own writing if not release or editing.

The fantasy overview is finally done, long after the friend I wrote it for had read the rough drafts. I'm not sure I'll replace it with anything, but I'm glad at least several other people enjoyed it.

Having said that, this blog will now go back into inactivity mode.

10 August, 2013

Fantasy Overview: Classic Fantasy

The eighth and final part of my fantasy overview.

I've mostly focused on authors who have relatively recent careers, but I wanted to at least mention the reading possibilities for older writers you may have missed.

JRR Tolkien
If you somehow haven't read Tolkien, remedy that.

Eric Eddison
Read The Worm Ouroboros as a good parallel to Tolkien and consider how what we consider standards of the fantasy genre are just one take on an older formula.

Ursula le Guin
Her books are frequently shelved with children's books only because they don't have high sex and violence content. This is thoughtful fantasy that takes a turn for the philosophical at times and comes from a distinctly non-dualistic worldview. If you haven't read her work as an adult, definitely consider it.

George McDonald
Though he wrote more than fantasy, his Phantastes is interesting for fans of the genre. It is like a transitional form between fairy tales and modern fantasy.

Jack Vance
One of the forerunners of modern fantasy. George RR Martin cites him as an influence and you can see the similarities in the mixed whimsy and brutality of the Lyonesse trilogy. His Cugel trilogy also brought antiheroes to fantasy and was a major source for Dungeons & Dragons.

RA Lafferty
He wrote fiction of many types, always requiring thought to interpret. If this is to your taste, definitely read his fantasy.

05 May, 2013

Everything Continues

This is basically a mid-inactivity update, since I expect the blog to be quiet for some time yet. The following items are in order of (roughly) decreasing relevance to this blog.

Book IV, Digital Necromancy, is completed. Over half my beta readers are busy at the moment, so I'm not sure when it will be ready for release. August seems overoptimistic, thanks to later updates.

The Currently Writing page is updated after months of inactivity, for those who care.

I haven't finished my fantasy overview for no legitimate reason. I will try to get this done over the next several months.

I've completed a doorstopper. Epic fantasy, 250k+ words, etc. I have a specific market in mind for this one, so it won't be seen any time soon, but that explains what's been consuming all my writing time recently. This is my first time sitting down and intending to write something this long, and I think it went relatively well, though I've learned things for next time.

The completion of my current contract approaches. My next jobs are lined up, but I will be moving twice over the next several months. The permanent move will be in August, and I may lack internet access for a while, hence an additional reason for delays.

22 February, 2013

Guest Post: Epic Fantasy

Joyce Alton asked me to write about the fundamental elements of epic fantasy, so I came up with a semi-lengthy post that's over on her blog, Yesternight's Voyage. Go read it, by the curly beard of Bupkis the Terrible.

Otherwise, things are likely to remain pretty quiet here for several months at least.

20 January, 2013

The Rainbow of Doom Launched

As war draws closer, the first shots have already been fired at Axis University. The attacks have thrown three students together into an unlikely alliance: Blake, scion of Darkness; Keisha, servant of Light; and Aki, a wildcard with powers that don't fall anywhere on the continuum. That alliance grows tenuous as Aki's powers turn sinister, Keisha desperately searches for a deadly imposter on campus, and Blake has to pay his debts to Darkness.

This semester, the students face a bigger threat than attacks from outside - the faculty are taking sides and they aren't afraid to use their students as pawns. This time, they're not going to stumble into someone else's battle: they're the target.

Author Notes
This book was more difficult than the others, because for the first time my beta readers were extremely divided on multiple issues. I tried to write something focused directly on the university, with less of the plotlines from other realms so that I could wrap up several things ongoing around campus. And of course, I was able to do a mystery plot the way I wanted to, even if it wasn't necessarily a good idea...

11 January, 2013

"The Bloody Veil" available free

For the next five days, for anyone with Amazon Prime. But if you fall into those categories, feel free to check out one of my favorite short stories I've put online:

Blurb: "In three hours, Hecate will be forced to marry a man she'd rather kill. They both know she'll sacrifice herself to save her fellow witches. But as Hecate considers the bloody path that led her to the altar, she realizes that there is one last chance to escape. A love story with more killing than your average romance."

Last time I made the story available free, I got a very kind review from someone going by ireneQ. It's always nice to get unsolicited reviews from people you don't know in real life, online, or anywhere else, especially when people enjoyed a story that much.

The deal ends on the 15th, though of course after that it's still available for free via Kindle Lending Library. Actually, the deal may not have started yet for all of you in North American time zones. But soon, probably before anyone reads this.

09 January, 2013

Mailing List Revamp

I never planned to heavily use my mailing list, but I did plan to use it more than once a year. So take a look to the right to notice the signup form, with it's car salesman style incentives.

This short story is a bit of an interesting case. You'll see why it wasn't in Sorcery and Scholarships, but if you want more clarity on the magic system or to see the characters again, you might enjoy it. If there's anyone who wants to join the mailing list but doesn't care about The Dying War, I intend to get something else for you. Note that I say "intend" instead of "plan."

I've finally updated the Currently Writing page (though not with anything exciting) and also added one more FAQ, though getting asked one time is stretching the definition even further.

01 January, 2013

2012 in Review

2012 was a long year. I changed jobs and moved to different city. One of the biggest personal decisions of my life was resolved. A great deal of my time was spent researching some topics that will have a substantial impact on my life long term. I read a lot, gamed some, and watched a little. I reshaped some of my habits into a mix that I hope to sustain for life. My work took me to every country in East Africa.

Oh, and I started this writing experiment. That happened too.

2013 is unlikely to be as eventful. My current work contract expires mid-year and I'm not sure what I'll be doing after that. There will be a few other significant decisions as well.

But for things relevant to the blog, here's what's coming up in the near future:
 - January 11-15, The Bloody Veil will be available for free on Amazon Kindle Select.
 - Mid-January, a new short story will be available free via this blog.
 - By January 25 at the latest, The Rainbow of Doom will be released.

In August I'll release the 4th novel in the series, Digital Necromancy. Otherwise, I hope to focus on other projects, so the blog will be as quiet as usual.