Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Whitney Awards

Hey folks!

Did you read Dark Immolation this year?

Did you think it was awesome?

If so, please consider nominating it for the Whitney Awards!

Here's a link to the nomination page.

🙏 🙌

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Character Description

So I'm currently reading Misery by Stephen King, and though I'm only about 25% through it, I'm enjoying it immensely. It's suspenseful, but it's also fascinating from a stylistic perspective. I'll have to reserve my full judgment until I finish it of course, but right now it's shaping up to be one of my all-time favorite Stephen King novels--and that's saying a lot. (I'm also looking forward to watching the film once I finish the book, which I've also never seen.)

My copy totally has this retro cover btw.

When King's on, he's really on, folks. This guy is a professional that knows what he's doing. Check out one of my favorite sequences so far, the character description of the infamous Annie Wilkes:
That prescient part of his mind saw her before he knew he was seeing her, and must surely have understood her before he knew he was understanding her--why else did he associate such dour, ominous images with her? Whenever she came into the room he thought of the graven images worshipped by superstitious African tribes in the novels of H. Rider Haggard, and stones, and doom.
The image of Annie Wilkes as an African idol out of She or King or Solomon's Mines was both ludicrous and queerly apt. She was a big woman who, other than the large but unwelcoming swell of her bosom under the gray cardigan sweater she always wore, seemed to have no feminine curves at all--there was no defined roundness of hip or buttock or even calf below the endless succession of wool skirts she wore in the house (she retired to her unseen bedroom to put on jeans before doing her outside chores). Her body was big but not generous. There was a feeling about her of clots and roadblocks rather than welcoming orifices or even open spaces, areas of hiatus.
Most of all she gave him a disturbing sense of solidarity, as if she might not have any blood vessels or even internal organs; as if she might be only solid Annie Wilkes from side to side and top to bottom. He felt more and more convinced that her eyes, which appeared to move, were actually just painted on, and they moved no more than the eyes of portraits which appear to follow you to wherever you move in the room where they hang. It seemed to him that if he made the first two fingers of his hand into a V and attempted to poke them up her nostrils, they might go less than an eighth of an inch before encountering a solid (if slightly yielding) obstruction; that even her gray cardigan and frumpy house skirts and faded outside-work jeans were part of that solid fibrous unchannelled body. So his feelings that she was like an idol in a perfervid novel was not really surprising at all. Like an idol, she gave only one thing: a feeling of unease deepening steadily toward terror. Like an idol, she took everything else. 
Wow. That's a character description if I've ever seen one. I particularly love the third paragraph and the description of her "solidarity"--so vivid, so interestingly written.

I'll admit, the habit of extended character descriptions like the one above are sort of out of style these days--many authors, including myself most of the time, favor minimalist descriptions. I personally like leaving as much of my character to the reader as possible, although there are certainly moments when I want more concrete physicality for one reason or another and I spend a bit more time with description. That said, I think part of why they're out of style is people attempted something like what King did above, but failed at it, making it long, boring, repetitive, and useless. I have to say, if more descriptions like this one popped up, I'd be pretty happy about it.

Anyway. Character description. Stephen King. Misery. Good stuff.
 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Here's a great track

So I recently came across the trailer for the first Dead Island video game. It's...wow. It's beautiful. Incredibly well-done. I've never played the franchise, but I remember not picking it up precisely because reviews were not great and it didn't turn out being a type of play style I particularly enjoy. But say what you will about the game...this trailer is objectively good, and in large part because of the soundtrack: a track called "Dead Island Trailer Theme" (what it lacks for in titular creativity it makes up for in quiet, emotional, escalating loops) by a composer named Giles Lamb. I've looked up some of his other stuff, and it's pretty good, but I have to say I love this track and I really enjoy this trailer. It's become a staple in my writing soundtrack. So I'm sharing it with you today. Enjoy!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Signed Books and other Goodies in SLC/Utah Valley!

This one's for the Utah folks out there!
Every single Barnes & Noble in the area has signed copies of DUSKFALL and DARK IMMOLATION, along with some neat BLOOD REQUIEM postcards and other goodies embedded within. Hate coming up with Christmas gift ideas? You're welcome. Or just get them for yourself. Or don't get them at all? Just sayin' they're out there!


Here's list of all the B&Ns that have the signed goods:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

THANK YOU!


In the wake of Thanksgiving, there's one thing that's stood out to me that I wanted to express on the webs, but it'll take me a few paragraphs, so, *TL, DR: I'm grateful to be an author, and I'm grateful for every single one of you awesome folks who have helped, contributed, offered encouragement, and bought or talked about my books!*
I have two books on shelves, and three more in the pipeline. DUSKFALL is still doing very well where sales are concerned (🙌). I'd like DARK IMMOLATION to be doing better, but considering it's a direct sequel I can't be upset at its performance so far at all. And I'm ecstatic for BLOOD REQUIEM to hit the shelves in June! DF is already out in Germany, and DI comes out in Germany in May. DF should be out in Poland in the very near future. There are print, ebook, and audio versions of each of my books available.
Basically, I have a lot to be thankful for on this front, and I'm so grateful to be doing what I love for a living.
But I can't say that without thinking of all of you. So, this post is for you all! THANK YOU! 🙏
Thank you for telling me you've enjoyed my books! That, more than anything, helps me on the days where I wonder what in the world I'm doing and why I'm doing it. That helps me remember the why.
Thank you for talking about my books with other people! That's the single most helpful thing anyone could ever do for an author, I think--just talk to someone about a book, and how/why you enjoyed it.
Thank you for leaving reviews of my books on Amazon and Goodreads! While you may not realize it, that actually helps a lot as well.
Thank you for liking and sharing, or at least putting up with posts about my books!
Thank you, of course, for purchasing my books! Whether for yourself or as gifts, I sincerely hope you enjoy them (and, to those of my friends who have bought them with no intent on reading them whatsoever, of which I know there are a few--I hope you enjoy bragging about how you know an author! 😉 ).
And, most of all, thank you for reading. I'm so grateful I get to tell the stories of Winter, Knot, Cinzia, Astrid, and so many others. I hope you're enjoying their tales as much as I am--and I CANNOT WAIT for you to read what I've written in Books 3 and 4! 😁
So, again, thank you. It looks like I'll be able to do this for a while, and that is, in large part, thanks to you ❤️. I have the best friends, family, and fans in the world, and I love you all!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Forge and the Flame

Receiving requests to review manuscripts, read ARCs, and give cover quotes is a part of author-life. Unfortunately, if I said yes to every single one of those requests, I'd never have time to write, but I do try to acquiesce as often as I can, because that's part of the business--writers did that (and continue to do that!) for me, and I'd like to pass that on to others. It's a pay-it-forward system, and it's one of the parts of the business I appreciate the most.

Well, along those lines, I recently read The Forge and the Flame by Aaron Lee Yeager, and I'm happy to say that this book is one of the good ones, folks!


Beren Collier is shocked when Master Tannimbaugh--the greatest blacksmith alive, able to forge weapons that can summon dragonfire and call down lightening--chooses Beren as his new apprentice. But Beren, despite his unsophisticated upbringing, takes naturally to the apprenticeship, and quickly shows his quality as both a burgeoning blacksmith and a hero-in-training. But a rival apprentice who will stop at nothing to overtake Beren's coveted place at the foot of Master Tannimbaugh is the least of the young man's problems; dark forces stir in the corners of the world, threatening not only the tightly knit circle of friends and family Master Tannimbaugh has created around himself--of which Beren is now a part--but the entire world.

The Forge and the Flame is genuine in nature, epic in scope, and downright entertaining. I enjoyed the melding of magic with the well-researched, fascinating aspects of blacksmith life--there's a beautifully written sequence toward the middle of the book that had me reading on the edge of my seat as the characters raced to forge a special weapon to save Master Tannimbaugh's business. The characters, especially Beren, are vividly presented, competent but flawed, and powerfully hopeful. They solve complications as effectively as they create them, and that makes for pretty great storytelling.

Aaron Lee Yeager weaves an enchanting, uplifting tale with engaging characters and an intriguing magic system. The Forge and the Flame has the soul of a true classic!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BLOOD REQUIEM Cover!


Aaaaaand it's gorgeous and I love it. I have to say, Titan has done me right when it comes to cover art. I've been very happy with what they've done so far!

Also, I fully acknowledge I've been flying under the radar for a few months, now. That's more or less been on purpose; I've been getting a lot of work done and sort of keeping my distance from the really involved social media stuff, and it's been a very positive thing for me. I'll probably be diving back into things in the next month or so, but it's been good to take some time away and focus on work.

Speaking of work, I've started Book 4 of the Chaos Queen Quintet, currently titled Fear the Stars, and it's going very well. I feel really good about the outlining and pre-writing I've done. I have to say, it's pretty strange to be moving into Book 4 of a five-book series; I'm consciously trying to wrap quite a few things up in this book to prepare for the finale in Book 5, and that's, well...just kind of crazy.

Also, Book 4 is an interesting one, because a few of the key events in this book have been swimming around in my head for a long time, and a couple of them actually inspired me to write this series to begin with. It's really interesting, fun, and actually a bit emotional to be preparing to write some of those scenes. I'll let you know how they go when I get there :-).

So: I have a great cover for Blood Requiem, I'm plodding right along through Book 4, Thanksgiving is next week, and life is generally pretty great.