Queen of Curses Update

The next book in the Coren Hart series is nearing completion, and I have to say I’m pumped! In my humble opinion, it’s the best one yet.

Things are rapidly coming together. The novel’s final draft is complete and is now going through final proofing and editing. The cover artwork is with the designer, and we’ve already received some initial sketches of their proposed concepts. I’m optimistic we can meet our target of an April release date.

Sample Chapter

To give you a taste of what Queen of Curses will be like, I have posted the book’s description and the first chapter on my web site. This one picks up right where the first novel left off, and all your favorite characters return. As a warning though, there is a bit of a twist at the end of the chapter that may make you say… 

What?

A Look Back And A Glance Forward

Where did the year go? Seems like 2019 started just yesterday. They say time goes faster as you get older. Well, I can certainly attest to that.

Since this is the time to wax nostalgic, I thought it would be appropriate to do a quick review of 2019 and then take a glance forward into 2020 and beyond. Bear in mind that my crystal ball is broken, so any forward-looking comments are strictly my plans and could change.

A Look Back

A lot happened in Eaker-land over the last year, on both professional and personal fronts. During the first of the year, I completed drafting the third book in the Coren Hart series. This made me confident, I would be able to have books two and three out shortly after the first appeared. So in March, I finally decided it was time to publish Thief of Curses.

I had not published a book before so I knew it would be a learning experience (and was it ever!). I had no idea how much work it took to publish a novel. But with the help of friends and family, as well as some excellent professional help we were able to prevail. I think the end product turned out well.

The one thing I would say I learned about myself in 2019 is that I love the bookmaking process. Everything from writing it, to editing, to publishing (I haven’t learned to love the marketing part yet, but I’m working on it.)

I also wrote a short story for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress 34, which was published in November. If you liked Thief of Curses, I strongly recommend reading it. It’s sort of a prequel story and provides just a hair more background on the two female leads from Thief of Curses.

A Look Forward

This year promises to be a very busy one. I’m currently working on the next novel in the Coren Hart series, Queen of Curses. It picks up a few months after the end of book one. My plan is to have it out by April.

After that, I plan to continue work on the third novel in the Coren Hart series. I’ve tentatively titled this one Assassin of Curses. It likely won’t be published until late 2020 or the first of 2021. The current plan is to wrap up the series with an untitled, fourth novel. Unfortunately, the plot for it is getting too complex and I may have to split it into a fifth novel (no promises.) Depending on how the series is received, there is room for at least two prequel stories and maybe a couple more short stories.

I also have a new series in the works and the first novel is tentatively titled Unlikley Survivors. I love mixing genres and this humorous tale pulls from fantasy, horror, and science fiction. I’m hoping to have this one out mid-2020, but it really depends on how Queen of Curses goes.

Beyond 2020, I have a contemporary fantasy series I’m dying to start (with faeries, believe it or not), as well as a science fiction series based on a short story I did a while back. Definitely no shortage of things to write about.

I hope you’ll stick with me during this journey. I think it will be fun.

Thief of Curses Is Now Out!

I can hardly believe that my book has finally been published. It has been a long time coming. This is my first published novel, so needless to say, I am exceedingly excited about it.

Basically, the novel is a heroic adventure, with lots of swords and magic, along with just a sprinkling of humor, mystery, and of course, romance. If I had to compare it to other works, I’d say it’s a bit like Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion or Piers Anthony’s A Spell for Chameleon. Or maybe more recent examples (but not nearly as broad in scope) might be Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, or Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind.

The story itself follows the adventures of Coren Hart, one very cursed young lad, and his attempt to prevent a world disaster. For more information, check out Thief of Curses on my web site.

For those that have read my short story, “Trouble Follows Her” in Sword and Sorceress 34, you’ll be pleased to see that those two characters continue their tale in this book. You might even get to see how those two got to be in their situation (hint, hint).

Be sure to grab your Kindle or print versions. These are currently available from Amazon.

Sword and Sorceress 34

Sword and Sorceress 34 is now out. Both ebook and print versions are available.

My short story, “Trouble Follows Her” will be my ninth story in the Sword and Sorceress volumes.  It is a sort of prequel / side story to my new novel series, Thief of Curses.  The tale is a short adventure of two of my favorite characters from the novel.

As the Sword and Sorceress title implies, the general theme in these volumes are strong women characters in a fantasy setting. But be warned, some of the authors are men (like myself). Elisabeth Waters does an excellent job of editing the volumes and you will find them filled with enjoyable stories. 

Be sure to check it out.  I’m sure your bookseller of choice will be more than happy to fix you up with a copy.

The First Post

Welcome to my blog.  Come in, have a seat, get comfortable.  I sincerely hope you enjoy the visit.

Within these fine pages, I will be providing not only news, but my perspective on writing related topics and other things which may interest my readers.  I intend to post new articles roughly every month, but please forgive me if I go wild and post the occasional off-cycle article.

Oh, and a word from my legal team… All opinions are my own and are not intended to insult or injure anyone.  I plan to keep this light, family-oriented, and I promise not to be too grumpy.  If I happen to cause offense, then it is completely accidental.  (And if you think I have a legal team, then you don’t realize just how little writers make!)

Speaking of writing, I have a new short story which will be appearing in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress #34 in the November timeframe. This will be my ninth story in the Sword and Sorceress volumes and is titled “Trouble Follows Her”.  It is a sort of prequel to my new novel series, Thief of Curses which is planned for late 2019.  If you’re interested, you can check out some of my more recent works appearing the Sword and Sorceress volumes on Amazon.

Elisabeth Waters and Deborah J. Ross always do an excellent job of editing the volumes.  As the Sword and Sorceress title implies, the general theme in all these volumes are strong women characters in a fantasy setting.   Check out the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) for a history of the volumes.  Many of them are still in print on Amazon. 

Back when the first volume came out in 1984, most fantasy stories centered around men slaying dragons, flashing their swords and flexing their biceps, while the women stood off the side wearing something less than naked and watched in awe at the display of masculine power.

It was around that time that several female authors were also producing fantasy works and they showed us that women were much more than a pretty face.  And I feel the world has become better for it.  (Who knows, I might even do a future article on this very topic.)  Marion Zimmer Bradley was one of those authors, and the Sword and Sorceress volumes encouraged other new writers to enter the field.  At least it did for me.

When I first started attempting to write stories for Sword and Sorceress, I made a bunch of mistakes and not just the grammar ones.  All of which got me promptly rejected. As a male writer, I had consumed a bunch of the male-oriented fiction and had several misconceptions. (What you do mean ancient women didn’t wear a metal bra and loincloth!!!) I had to really step back and do my research.  Sure, this is fantasy, but the best fantasy has a firm grounding in reality.  That was when I went through my great re-learning which continues even to this day.

Not that I dislike male-oriented fiction, there is some good stuff out there.  However, I just prefer the females in my fiction to be presented in a little more realistic fashion.  And for as long as I write, I plan to keep it that way!

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