Wednesday, November 15, 2017


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.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Salt Lake Comic Con 2017!

Salt Lake Comic Con is this week! And of course I'll be there. Here's the schedj:

Friday 22 Sept 6-7pm - Family Feud, Salt Lake Comic Con Edition! (251A) - If you want to see the coolest, nerdiest, awesomest gameshow panel of all time run by the fantastic Aaron Yeager (thanks Aaron!), you won’t want to miss this one. It’s going to be a blast!

Saturday 23 Sept 12-1pm - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 20 Years and Counting (255E) - Of course I’m on the BtVS panel, and I can’t wait! We’re going to talk about how BtVS changed the television landscape as we know it today. It’ll be a lot of fun.

Saturday 23 Sept 1-2pm - Christopher Husberg Signing (Shadow Mountain Booth 1807) - I get my very own signing! Stop by to get your books signed, pick up some swag, and chat with me about books, Buffy, writing, or anything else!

I’ll also be hanging out at Bard’s Tower—an awesome traveling bookstore where you not only buy books but also get to meet the authors, get books signed, chat about writing, and so forth. I’ll be one of MANY fantastic, talented writers at the booth, so you’re sure to find something you like.

If you’re already planning on attending SLCC, I hope to see you there! (And if you aren’t, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Gen Con 2017

I'll be attending Gen Con for the first time next week! For those of you unaware, Gen Con is actually a very cool board game convention, but has lately garnered a reputation for having a very strong writing track as well. I'm quite excited. They've been gracious in letting me participate in quite a few panels and other events, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun (and a lot of work for me, but it's work I'm excited and happy to do)!

Check out my schedule (no descriptions for the panels, yet, but the titles should give you a general idea of the content), and if you're attending, hit up one of these panels, come to my signing and/or reading, and come find me in general!

Thursday 17 August at 11:00 AM: "Real Monsters & Vicious Animals" (Capital I)

Thurs 17 Aug at 3:00 PM: Reading (Congress I)

Thurs 17 Aug at 5:00 PM: "Is it Tension? Or Just Torture?" (Chamber)

Friday 18 Aug at 11:00 AM: "How to Know When You Need an Agent" (Causus)

Fri 18 Aug at 12:00 PM: "Writing a First Draft" (Chamber)

Fri 18 Aug at 3:00 PM: Signing (Exhibit Hall)

Saturday 19 Aug at 10:00 AM: "Dark Fantasy" (Chamber)

Sat 19 Aug at 1:00 PM: "Turning Tropes Upside Down" (Cabinet)

Sat 19 Aug at 2:00 PM: "Making Magic New Again" (Capital I)

Sat 19 Aug at 5:00 PM: "Writing a Series" (Chamber)

Sunday 20 Aug at 10:00 AM: Read & Critique - Session C (Cabinet)

Monday, August 07, 2017

Worldcon in Helsinki, Finland!

Hey alls!

In case you don't know, I'm currently in Sweden, and getting ready to cross the Baltic Sea tomorrow night for Worldcon in Helsinki, Finland later this week!

Before I share with you some decent photos of cool stuff we've seen so far, let me first share with you my official Worldcon schedule, which includes one panel this year, on one of my favorite topics of all time:

Saturday 12 August at 11:00 AM: "Legacy of Buffy" (203a)
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show premiered 20 years ago in 1997 and brought with it an unusual mix of supernatural horror, comedy, and interesting characters. Supernatural elements are very commonplace in television these days, but what is the real legacy of Buffy and the Scooby Gang?

Hey. I'm excited about this panel, ya'll. If there's one thing I love more than BtVS, it's nothing, and you can take that to the bank. (?) But really, though, I like the show a lot, and I think all of us on the panel will have a lot to say about the legacy this program left behind, particularly in relation to what many are now calling the "golden age" of television we're experiencing right now.

Other than that, I'll just be hanging around the convention center, talking to folks, and probably resting up a bit from our rigorous travels around Scandinavia! Speaking of which, here's a teaser photo for some more images to come, that I'll share in a later dedicated post:

Scandinavia is cool.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Signing in LONDON at Forbidden Planet!


I'm excited to announce (again, and with more detail) that I'll be appearing at Forbidden Planet in two weeks for a book signing in London. If you're in the area, do stop by, say hello, and get books signed!


And here's the general info:

What? Duskfall and Dark Immolation book signing!
When? Wednesday 2 August 2017
18:00 - 19:00 GMT
Where? Forbidden Planet Books
  • 179 Shaftesbury Avenue
  • London
  • WC2H 8JR

I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy 4th and photos from the DARK IMMOLATION launch party

Happy 4th of July, ya'll! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ’ฅ

I hope, if you're in the USA, you're having a delightful Independence Day. (And if you're not, you know what, you go ahead and have a delightful day anyway!)

In other news, we had a pretty phenomenal launch party for Dark Immolation a few weeks back. For the full video of the reading and Q&A sections of the event, check out the live Facebook video below!

And for those of you who don't want to spend an hour, you can just check out these awesome photos from the event, courtesy of my awesome sister :-).

I read publicly from Dark Immolation for the first time.

The good word was received well.

Indoor lamp posts are a thing, apparently.

We had a pretty awesome turnout.

Folks got their books signed.

More folks got their books signed.

One particularly eccentric fan got his chest (hair) signed.
I had a good time, and I hope everyone else did, too. I'm looking forward to another event next year for Blood Requiem, and in the meantime if you're looking for me or more info on the Chaos Queen Quintet, check out the Dark Immolation Blog Tour, the Witchy Eye/Dark Immolation Book Tour, and my general schedule for 2017!

Monday, June 26, 2017


Hey folks!

Let's talk about some more tour-related stuff. First of all, if you haven't already, check out my post on the Dark Immolation Blog Tour. Some cool stuff coming your way via the interwebz.

But, for those of you more physically-minded, I'm SO FREAKING EXCITED to announce the joint Witchy Eye/Dark Immolation Book Tour!

Some of you may recall my praise of D.J. Butler's flintlock American epic fantasy novel, Witchy Eye. (I've also recently placed it on a "top 5" list of fantasy novels--trust me when I say it's an awesome book written by a brilliant author. For those of you wondering, if you're enjoying the Chaos Queen Quintet, chances are high you'll love Witchy Eye. It is, in a word, delightfullybrilliantandspectacular.)

Well, he and I are officially going on tour together, beginning July 10th! We'll start in San Diego, work our way up the west coast to Seattle, then head inland to end our tour in Boise.

Seven stops, six cities, four states, three of the coolest people you'll ever meet*, and two top-notch fantasy novels make for one freaking awesome book tour. Prepare yourselves, world. The Witchy Eye/Dark Immolation Book Tour is coming.

Here are all of our official stops:

Monday 10 July 7:30 PM (PDT) - Mysterious Galaxy Books
San Diego, CA
Facebook Event Page (San Diego)

Tuesday 11 July 7:00 PM (PDT) - Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
Facebook Event Page (San Francisco)

Wednesday 12 July 3:00 PM (PDT) - Reader's Guide Bookstore
Salem, OR
Facebook Event Page (Salem Afternoon)

Wednesday 12 July 7:00 PM (PDT) - The Book Bin
Salem, OR
Facebook Event Page (Salem Evening)

Thursday 13 July 7:00 PM (PDT) - Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Portland, OR
Facebook Event Page (Portland)

Friday 14 July 7PM (PDT) - University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
Facebook Event Page (Seattle)

Saturday 15 July 7PM (MST) - The Rediscovered Bookshop
Boise, ID

If you're in the area, do come say hello, bring a friend, buy a book (or two!), etc. We'd love to see you!

Also, Rachel and I are working on Phase 2 for the Dark Immolation book tour, and those plans should come to fruition in September. That phase will include more of Utah, the Mesa/Pheonix area, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, so stay tuned for news on that front.

Basically: awesome things are happening and life is good.

* We'll have a stowaway of sorts accompanying us :-).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

BabyB (is no longer a baby...)

Baby B* says to buy my new book, Dark Immolation! And according to her shirt she'll be patrolling tonight, so you'd better do as she says...๐Ÿ˜†

* Also "Baby B is clearly no longer a baby anymore...I might have to advance her moniker to "Little B"...๐Ÿ˜ข

Friday, June 23, 2017

Check out the DARK IMMOLATION Blog Tour!

As part of the promotion for Dark Immolation, I'm making the interwebby rounds! Keep your eyes peeled for the following posts on Dark Immolation and the Chaos Queen Quintet!

Also, check out these other guest posts that didn't quite make the banner in time:

I'll be posting links to each of the blog tour sites as they're published, so stay tuned for those!

26 June: The Tattooed Book Geek

27 June: Titan Books Extract*

28 June: Books for Life

29 June: Laura Patricia Rose

30 June: Alice R. Dempsey

3 July: Bookish Outsider

4 July: Angel Wings and Petticoats

5 July: Abi's Book Reviews

6 July: Japan Reviewer

7 July: Literary Wisdom

* Book Mood Reviews unfortunately had to bow out of the tour due to some personal matters that arose, so Titan Books stepped in and posted an extract from Dark Immolation in place of this review.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Here we are, folks! Dark Immolation, book two of the Chaos Queen Quintet, has been unleashed upon the english-speaking world! (It was technically unleashed two days ago, but I've been so busy I forgot to post about it! Hopefully you've been following me on all other forms of social media and have kept up ๐Ÿ˜.)

The book is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, so choose your preferred format and have at it!

Overall I'm quite happy with this book, and I cannot wait for all of you to read it. Check out the synopsis:
A new religion is rising, gathering followers drawn by rumors of prophetess Jane Oden. Her sister Cinzia--once a Cantic priestess--is by her side, but fears that Jane will lead them to ruin. For both the Church and the Nazaniin assassins are still on their trail, and much worse may come.
Knot, his true nature now revealed if not truly understood, is haunted by his memories, and is not the ally he once was. Astrid travels to Tinska to find answers for her friend, but the child-like vampire has old enemies who have been waiting for her return. And beyond the Blood Gate in the empire of Roden, a tiellan woman finds herself with a new protector. One who wants to use her extraordinary abilities for his own ends...
And, of course, the phenomenal cover:

Thanks, everyone! Now please excuse me while I continue revising book 3!

Friday, June 16, 2017


Hello awesomes!

For those of you who don't know, Dark Immolation, the sequel to Duskfall and book 2 in the Chaos Queen Quintet, comes out next Tuesday (20 June). I'm SO excited for everyone to read this book. A lot of work went into writing it, rewriting it, and smashing it all up only to then cram it back together, and I'm very happy with the final product. I think it's a worthy sequel to Duskfall, and, again, I just can't wait for everyone to read more of the CQQ!

For those of you who might be in the Utah area, you're cordially invited to the launch party! We'll be holding the event at Weller Book Works again--they did a fantastic job hosting the launch party for Duskfall last year, and I'm happy to be working with them again.* Here's the general deets:

Dark Immolation Launch Party
Tuesday 20 June, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Weller Book Works
607 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City, UT

We'll start with a sneak-peek reading from Dark Immolation, and then roll into a Q&A session. After that, we'll get to the signing! We'll have swag, including t-shirts, and of course lots of books. It's going to be pretty great.

Similar to last year, we'll be broadcasting the reading and Q&A live, this time via Facebook Live on my official Facebook page, so if you're not in the area but still want to participate, you can!

For updates on the event, it's best to stay tuned to the Facebook event page.

I'll see you on Tuesday!

* Incidentally, while we had an extreme shortage of books last year, we should have plenty this year!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Fyrecon Schedule

Fyrecon is a science fiction/fantasy conference in Utah making it's debut this year, and I'm excited to be attending and participating! Fyrecon places a bit more emphasis on classes over panels and refining one's craft (as you can see in their banner above), which I think is a great idea. It'll take place at the Davis Campus of Weber State University next weekend, 8-10 June. Check out my schedule below.

Fri 9 June at 4:30 PM - "Comic Books as Literature" (Building D3 Room 203)
This will be a class I'll be teaching solo, and I'm very excited about it. I love comics, and I think it's clear they have every bit as much "literary" potential as conventional prose. Here's the description:
Comics, even today, too often carry with them connotations of immaturity, laziness, and low-brow writing. That could not be further from the truth! In this class we'll discuss why comics are important and powerful. We'll look at a few specific examples of fantastic comics and see what we can learn from them.

Points the Class Will Cover:
a) Comics as Literature 
b) Maus and Watchmen 
c) What can we learn?
Sat 10 June at 11:30AM - "Understanding Story Archetypes" (Building D3 Room 307)
As many of you know, story structure is something I've taken great interest in. A few years ago I wrote a number of blog posts detailing my adventures through story structure, and I've slowly been developing that (and doing more research) and developing a presentation of sorts. So this will be a two-hour presentation where we talk about numerous versions of story structure, why it's important in general, and what we can do with it.
We'll explore a few different archetypes of story structure, and then apply our understanding of those structures to our own stories, hopefully coming to a deeper understanding of the stories we are trying to tell.

Points the Class Will Cover:
a) The Hero's Journey 
b) The Virgin's Promise 
c) Dan Harmon's 8- Structure 
d) Foolscap Method 
e) What can we learn? 
Sat 10 June at 1:30PM - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Breaking the Tropes with Style" (Building D2 Room 110)
Well, it's a BtVS panel, so of course I'm on it, and of course I can't wait!

Sat 10 June at 5:20PM - "Is the Ultimate Evil Dead: What Are We Losing by Justifying Bad Actions? (Building D2 Room 110)
I'm looking forward to this one--it should be an interesting discussion. I have a lot to say about good, bad, shades of gray, and the differences between empathy and justification.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

They're heeeeeere...

First of all, today is the last day to vote for Duskfall for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award. If you haven't yet, you totally should (just go here). If you already have, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support! You folks are amazing ๐Ÿ™Œ!

In other news, look what I recently received in the mail:

The release date is getting close, folks--June 20th! Check out the Facebook event for more information on the launch party!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


As you can tell by the progress bar to the right, I've finished the first draft of Book Three of the Chaos Queen Quintet, Blood Requiem!

I'm quite happy about this--not only because finishing a draft of a novel is always a pretty awesome feeling, but also because this one realized itself much more smoothly than Dark Immolation. DI took me, all things considered, more than two years of writing time--about a year for that first draft, and more than a year for subsequent revisions. Two plus years was far more than I'd intended to spend on that draft, but, well, life happened, and turns out my first sequel was a pretty beastly undertaking.

That said, as difficult as DI was to write, it was a pretty phenomenal learning experience, and BR would not have  been nearly as smooth without that. That's life in a nutshell I guess, huh? Anyway, the process went so well that I've more than made up for how far DI put me behind schedule. A revised draft of the book is due to my editor in August, and two months is more than enough time to make that happen (and might just mean I'll have time to work on a different project or two before I start work on Book 4).

So, I usually do a little rundown of my process and the production itself when I finish a book (check out the one for Duskfall--the first thing I ever posted to this blog!--and the one for Dark Immolation), and of course I'll do the same with BR!

  • Title: Blood Requiem. I'm quite happy with this title, actually, and for how it ties into the events and themes of the novel. Can't say much more than that at the moment, obviously, but suffice it to say I think it's a solid title!
  • Version: 1.0, which means this is the first full complete draft. I'm trying something a little different with my process this time, which is to send version 1.0 to my agent and get some preliminary feedback (the first version of Duskfall my agent saw, for reference, was, like, 3.4 or something, and the first full version of DI he saw was 2.4). My preference is to do one pass on the novel myself before letting anyone read it, but that's what I tried to do with DI, and that's part of what got me into the hole I was in for so long with that book--I wanted to make it perfect, more or less, before anyone else read it, which was and is a complete impossibility, especially when only going at it with my own brain. Turns out, with the sort of release schedule I'm on for the Chaos Queen Quintet, I simply don't have time to do that. I'm okay with that now, however. While BR 1.0 is certainly rough around the edges, I think the story is pretty much all there, and I know a lot of what I need to do to trim, polish, and beef it up where necessary. Things are looking good, folks.
  • Total Word Count: 127,091 words, as you can see in my Scrivener screenshot above. This is an interesting one. 127k is by far the shortest draft of a novel I've ever written. The first draft of DF was 184k, and the first draft of DI was a whopping 265k--twice the length of the BR first draft! I attribute this mostly to the fact that I did much more outlining for BR than I ever have in the past, and in doing so cut out a lot of the tangents I'd often pursue when left to my own novel-writing devices. In fact, I know of numerous things that I'm going to expand and others I'm going to add when I start the revision of BR. I'll usually expand a few things when revising a novel, but most of the time I cut far more than I insert, and I don't think that will be the case here. In fact, I'd estimate that when I turn in a revised draft to my editor in August, it'll be closer to 145k--roughly the same size as the final drafts of both DF and DI.
  • Chapters: 48, not including a Prologue, an Interlude, and an Epilogue.
  • Viewpoint Characters: 9 major points of view, with another four or five minor. Yikes. I'm going up by about two major viewpoints for each book--we'll see if that trend continues. (I sort of doubt it will, at least not at that pace, as 13 viewpoints for Book 5 just sound ridiculous...but we'll see!)
  • Start Date: This one depends. I started pre-writing in November of 2016, but took December and January off to do the final revision of DI. I did some more prewriting in February, and technically started writing some of the novel in February, but ended up scrapping much of what I'd written towards the end of March and more or less starting from scratch. So, depending on how you look at it, I either started in November 2016, February 2017, or late March 2017. I personally prefer the latter of the three, as that most accurately represents the time I spent writing more or less uninterrupted prose for the novel, from beginning to end.
  • End Date: 30 May 2017, and two days before the deadline I'd set for myself! I'm pretty happy about that. I'm also happy about the fact that I basically wrote an entire novel in two months, especially considering the first draft of DF took me about six months, and the first draft of DI took me more than a year.
And, well, that's the gist of it. Long story short, I'm happy to be done with a draft of Blood Requiem, and feel very good about the story at this point in time as well as where I think it will go in revisions.

Stay tuned for some stuff on the two writing retreats I participated in that helped me plow through Book 3 in so short a time, as well as information on the Dark Immolation book launch, and more!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Morningstar Award Short List!

Duskfall has officially made it as a finalist on the David Gemmell Morningstar Award ballot!

That means Duskfall is considered by many to be one of the best debuts of 2016, and it's in great company--overall pretty stellar stuff, if you ask me. I'm flattered and very happy that the book has gone this far.

If you're interested in helping it go a little bit further, go vote for it now! Before the end of the month!

The winner will be announced on Saturday, 15 July at Edge-Lit 6 in Derby, UK. I will, of course, keep you posted on how that goes.

Thank you to all of you who have voted, and who will vote in the near future! I'm grateful so many people are enjoying the book, and I can't wait for all of you to get your hands on book two in just a few weeks.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Authorpalooza at Orem Barnes & Noble

Hey Utah folk!

I'll be at the Orem Barnes & Noble THIS SATURDAY from 2-5 PM for their Authorpalooza event. Come get signed books and other swag from myself and my ilk (if I can call awesome authors like Jessica Day George, Dan Wells, and Christopher Paolini my ilk...which I shall...). I'll be on a panel at 3:30 on "Adult Genre Writing," and will otherwise be hanging around signing books! It's gonna be great, so come check it out.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Passing Time

My daughter holding an ARC of Duskfall, roughly one year ago.

My daughter holding an ARC of Dark Immolation, roughly one week ago.
In other words, time advances PDQ, and I'm treasuring every moment.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Morningstar Award Long List

ICYMI, Duskfall has made the long list for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award!

The Gemmell awards are, of course, inspired by the legendary (see what I did there?) fantasy author David Gemmell, and recognize general awesomeness in the fantasy genre. They give out three awards each year: the Legend award for best fantasy novel, the Morningstar award for best debut fantasy novel, and the Ravenheart award for best fantasy novel cover art.

Guess what? Anyone can vote! And you can actually vote for Duskfall for both the Morningstar award and the Ravenheart--just go here to the voting section of the Gemmell awards website. The first award listed is for the Legend, but you won't find Duskfall there, although there are some really fantastic books on that list as well (and the long list for the Legend award is, indeed, long this year). Just scroll down on the same page, and you'll see the Morningstar and Ravenheart awards. Easy peasy!

It's honesty a huge honor to even make the long list--to be associated with David Gemmell in any way, and to be on the same list as every author who's been nominated this year, is pretty incredible. I'm happy to have made it this far!

If you enjoyed Duskfall, consider voting for it!

Thursday, March 09, 2017


They're in, folks--and they look fantastic! I'll probably be doing a giveaway of one or two copies in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for that :-). In the meantime, you can of course pre-order the book over at Amazon, Powell's, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble--it'll be released on June 20th!

Also: it has a map! :-DDDDDDD

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Book Launch Day for WITCHY EYE!

Happy book launch day to brilliant author and friend Dave Butler! Everyone, and I mean EEEVVEERRYYYOONNEEE, should check out his latest novel WITCHY EYE. I've already talked about it on my blog, but basically it's a flintlock fantasy set in Jacksonian America with deep, meticulous world building and awesome characters. If that strikes your fancy (and, honestly, whose fancy WOULDN'T it strike?), you should check out the book. Like, now!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Upcoming (and tentative) 2017 Schedule

Hey folks! Figured I'd post a schedule of all the conferences, conventions, books tours, etc. I'm hoping to do in 2017. A few things are still up in the air but once I have those nailed down I'll get it up on my website as well. I'm excited for the year--there's some really cool stuff ahead!

16-18 February  |  Life, the Universe, and Everything - My Schedule  |  Provo, UT

2-5 March  |  Emerald City Comic Con - My Schedule  |  Seattle, WA

8-10 June  |  Fyrecon  |  Layton, UT

20 June  |  Dark Immolation Release Party!  |   Weller Book Works - SLC, UT

July  |  Dark Immolation and Witchy Eye Book Tour!  |  PNW

Monday 10 July - Mysterious Galaxy Books
San Diego, CA

Tuesday 11 July - Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA

Wednesday 12 July - Reader's Guide Bookstore
Salem, OR

Wednesday 12 July - The Book Bin
Salem, OR

Thursday 13 July - Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Portland, OR

Friday 14 July - University Bookstore
Seattle, WA

Saturday 15 July - The Rediscovered Bookshop
Boise, ID

2 August  |  Reading/Signing  |  London, UK

9-13 August  |  Worldcon  |  Helsinki, Finland

17-20 August |  Gen Con  |  Indianapolis, IN

September  |  Dark Immolation Book Tour Part 2!  |  UT, NV, AZ, CA

Details and Locations TBA

21-23 September  |  Salt Lake Comic Con  |  Salt Lake City, UT

2-5 November  |  World Fantasy Convention  |  San Antonio, TX

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Emerald City Comic Con!

I'll be at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend! I'm on one panel:

Thursday 2 March at 4:00 PM: "Inconceivable! A Game of Nerdery and Nonsense" (WSCC 617)

Inconceivable! is a game that tests panelists’ knowledge of the nerdy, the useless, and the obscure. Two teams face off to answer diabolical questions about TV shows, comics, movies, books, games, and more. Watch our players bluff, pun, and rack their brains for the ultimate prize: bragging rights.

Other than that, I'll be spending most of my time at Bard's Tower selling DUSKFALL and other awesome books (as well as signing, doing photo ops, etc.). It'll be awesome. If you're in the area, come check it out!

Monday, February 27, 2017

GraphicAudio Version of DUSKFALL!

Hey everyone! For those of you who aren't aware, the audiobook version of Duskfall has been available since the book's release date last year (on Amazon/Audible, iTunes, and pretty much anywhere audiobooks are sold). The audio version of Duskfall is fantastic--Adam Verner does a wonderful job with the narration (and says some nice things about the book on his blog)--and if you're into audiobooks at all, you should definitely check it out!

Great news, though--another audio adaptation of Duskfall was released TODAY, and this time it's from GraphicAudio! GraphicAudio does some pretty cool stuff--their tagline is "A movie in your mind," and they basically produce dramatic adaptations of books, a la the radio dramas of the early 20th century, with soundtracks, a full cast, and sound effects. I've already listened to the first bit of GraphicAudio's Duskfall adaptation, and it is awesome. If you like audiobooks, if you like Duskfall, or if you're just looking for something different, you should definitely check out this version. You can purchase the digital version of Duskfall from GraphicAudio for $13.00, or the CD version for $19.99. If you want a sample, here's a 5-minute sequence from the middle of the book (slight spoilers, of course, but nothing huge). It's pretty intense, and very cool. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 25: Pimp a Pub-Sib

I haven't forgotten about #AuthorLifeMonth, I swear! I've just been busy, you know, writing Book 3 and all. I'll likely come back to some of the posts I missed in the near future, while some of them I'll probably ignore. Today is a cool one though, and I want to make sure I got to it, even if it's almost the 26th.

"Pimp a Pub-Sib" day is when I get to talk about another awesome author, either represented by my same agency or published by the same house. I'm in the pretty awesome situation of having dozens of folks whose work I could rave about, but because I have a special place in my heart for steampunk, I have to go with the inimitable Megan O'Keefe. She makes soap for a living, ya'll, and she's a fantastic writer. She also happens to be up for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award, along with yours truly. I'll talk more about that in a later post, but you can vote for either of us (but, unfortunately, not both) here. Go do it now!

Megan's current series, the steampunk Scorched Continent trilogy, is freaking awesome. And, for those of you who don't like to buy books until the entire series is out, I have good news for you: the first two books in the series, Steal the Sky and Break the Chains, are already out, and the third book, Inherit the Flame, comes out in April! So get your hands on these books, because they're awesome. Here's the blurb for Steal the Sky:
Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet - the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia. 

But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful - there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship.

Monday, February 20, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 20: Favorite Chapter Ending

I had a few favorite chapter endings from Duskfall that I thought I'd choose from, but I skimmed through the chapter endings in Dark Immolation and just can't resist positing my favorite from that novel. I won't say much about it, other than that it's from Chapter 29, because I don't want to spoil anything (and I don't think the chapter ending itself will spoil anything, it's just too far out of context), but it's a pretty awesome chapter, and a pretty awesome ending too imho.
Astrid limped away, felt the burning heat and crushing pain of her charred left hand, the raw soreness in her throat. She fled Cabral's great hall, already feeling her body heal, already wondering whether her soul ever would. When she reached the entrance of Cabral's tower-house, she ran. She ran and ran, until she left Turandel, until she left everything and all of it far, far behind.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 18: Research

Right now I'm researching two subjects in particular. On the left you see ancient warfare, particularly the Punic Wars (Blood Requiem is going to be a war novel, folks!), and on the right you have Quantum Electrodynamics (for the Chaos Queen Quintet in general). Exciting stuff ahead!

Friday, February 17, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 17: Where I Relax

Two places. Our living room, because that's where I watch tv and movies with Rachel and play PS4:

And, once again, the desk in my office, because that's where I play Dota 2:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 16: Where I Write

Our apartment has three bedrooms. One, of course, belongs to Rachel and I, and another to Buffy. The third, I'm happy to say, contains my office and where I do about 95% of my writing. I think it's a pretty awesome space. On occasion I'll get outside of the house and go write somewhere public (usually a coffee shop), but most of my writing is spent either at my desk:

Or the nice little chair in the corner of my office:

It's a pretty awesome setup. I seriously love my office, ya'll.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 15: SWAG

Who doesn't like swag??? I've got a bit of it, myself. Most of it's Duskfall related, but I just got some new promo postcards for Dark Immolation, and as the release date for DI approaches (June 20th, y'all!) I'm sure I'll expand my collection. I've got wristbands and other stuff not pictured, too. I love doling this stuff out at events, so if you ever see me at a con, signing, or whatever, ask for some and I'll hook you up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 14: Favorite of Your Covers

Well, considering I only have two covers to choose from, this choice was surprisingly difficult. But I have to go with the Duskfall cover.

I love this cover. I love the look of the trinacrya. I love the ice/crystal theme. I love the subtlety and abstractness of it all. I love the color scheme.

I'm not the only one, either. As I've toured a few locations and sold a few books, I've gotten a lot of compliments on this cover. Most of the time, if someone approaches with genuine interest, it's because they're intrigued by the cover. That's pretty cool.

So, yeah. My book covers are amazing. I really like the Dark Immolation cover as well, and I can't wait to see what we'll come up with for the rest of the covers in the series!

Monday, February 13, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 13: A Favorite Book in Genre

I've gone into detail here about why I love Alden Bell's The Reapers are the Angels so much. So, I won't bore you again with the details. But I love to spread the word about this book every chance I get, because I think it's brilliant and incredibly under appreciated. If you haven't read it, you absolutely need to do so.


Friday, February 10, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 11: A Favorite Review

I've been really happy to see that most of the reviews of Duskfall have been overwhelmingly positive, and that I actually have a whole bunch of awesome reviews to choose from. This seems like an opportune time, in fact, to thank everyone for reading the book and, if you're able to write a review (whether an official review or one on Amazon or Goodreads--they are all incredibly helpful)! So, everyone, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You folks make the whole process worth it!

All that said, I think I do have a favorite. Part of the reason I love it so much is that there's a pretty funny story behind it. I also enjoy it because it's simply fun to read. Oh, and, yeah, it has some pretty awesome things to say about my book, so that doesn't hurt either :-). Nicole Evans wrote the review on her blog, ErlebnisseCool side note, she recently wrote a "Waiting on Wednesday" post on my forthcoming novel, Dark Immolation. But anyway, without further ado, here's the review:

Check it out!

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 10: Non-author Photo

Because I like hiking. And just. Look. At. My. Baby. So freaking cute. Also my wife is in the background, which I don't think reflects the actual role she plays in my life. She's the best and I love her a lot.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 9: Challenge Overcome

Yeah, I missed Day 8 (Awesome Moment). I've actually drafted a post for that but didn't get around to revising or publishing it, so if I find time to do that, I'd be happy to do it retroactively :-). But, for today, I'm going to talk about a "challenge overcome." And this one's easy so easy I can say it in two words:

Dark Immolation.

But what kind of blog post would be only two words?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this book was rough on me. Let's look at the timeline first.

I began writing DI in the fall of 2014. I finished a very rough first draft a little less than a year later, I think sometime in the summer of 2015. I took a couple months off from the book (to hang out with my brand new daughter and do some work on a YA novel I've had swimming around in my head for a few years now), and then started revising it in December of 2015. Revisions spanned from December 2015 until August 2016. Then, after a long talk with my agent, more revisions happened between August and October. After getting some feedback from my editor, my writing group,  and some beta readers, the final round of major revisions took place in January of this year.

So, yeah. DI took me almost 2.5 years to write. (In case you're wondering, that is a long time to spend on a book--even in epic fantasy.)

What made it so difficult, you ask? Well, let me count the ways:

  1. I've never written a sequel before. That may not sound like a big deal--and I did not think it would be--but I was absolutely not prepared for what writing a sequel would be like. I typically think of myself as a discovery writer, and that's how I approached DI, but I didn't take into consideration the events I'd already set in motion and the promises I'd made to the reader in Duskfall, and how much they would dictate what I needed to do in later books. This was one major reason writing the book took me so long; I used my regular discovery writing approach, letting the characters sort of do as they wished, but as I wrote I saw myself moving farther and farther away from some of the promises I'd made to readers in DF. That frustrated me, made the writing process more than a bit confusing and daunting, until finally I finished a very weak first draft. Revisions, in turn, took me so long in part because I had to spend a lot of time cleaning up and fixing and rewriting all of the crap I produced in the first draft. Let's talk about word count for a moment: DI, at it's largest, was over 260K words long. The ARC draft that's being produced right now is barely 150K. That means I cut at least 43% of the book (and that doesn't even count all of the stuff I cut and then rewrote in revisions). That is insane.
  2. A lot of crazy life events happened in the span of DI, and I hadn't prepared myself enough to juggle them efficiently. My beautiful daughter was born, we moved, my wife started working longer hours at her job for a while, among a few other things. Most of those things were actually incredibly positive, but did not make it easy to write a book that was already giving me a hard time in the first place.
  3. Some other personal issues that I don't feel inclined to expound on at the moment took a lot of my mental energy in 2016. Suffice it to say that, while on paper, 2016 should have been one of the best years ever, it was, in fact, hands down, the absolute worst. Like, there isn't even another contender for the bottom slot. 2016 was, far and away, unquestionably awful. (And, for the record, I'm not talking about celebrity deaths or anything on that level. While I'm certainly saddened by talented people passing on, it doesn't shake me up that much unless it seems significantly premature.)
Those three aggregates developed into a perfect storm of execrableness and writing hell. Each compounded the other until I was so depressed and discouraged that it was almost impossible for me to get any work done at all, some days.

To be clear, I'm not looking for sympathy. Things are actually exponentially better in my life right now, on all fronts--my life seems to have stabilized once more, I'm learning to either let go of or face and resolve the personal issues that came up last year, and, most visibly (and getting back to the subject of this post), Dark Immolation is FINISHED! The relief I felt at turning in that final draft was immeasurable. Ineffable. All of that means I'm feeling quite good right now, thank you very much.

To get back to the book, my relief (and sense of accomplishment, I might add) doesn't only come from the fact that DI is finished, but also from the fact that I think it's a pretty freaking awesome book. I'm very happy with the character work and events that occur in book two of the Chaos Queen Quintet, and I love some specific scenes in particular. (And I can't wait for you to find out what those things are!)

One more thing. As terrible a process as writing Dark Immolation was, there are some really great things that've come from it (in addition, of course, to a freaking awesome book). Namely, it's been a huge learning experience for me. I've approached the first draft of Blood Requiem much differently than I usually approach writing first drafts, and it's going quite well so far. I absolutely attribute that to everything I learned in writing book 2.

So, yeah. As a professional writer, the work isn't always cool fight scenes and character epiphanies. It's rarely that stuff, actually. But the cool thing? The end results are always worth the effort.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 7: Writing Music

Ahhhh, writing music.

Some writers cannot write while music is playing, but I, fortunately, am not of that breed. I usually avoid music with lyrics while I'm writing, but that is certainly not always the case. So, without further ado, let me share with you some of my absolute favorites when it comes to writing music.


From their website, Audiomachine is "a boutique, motion picture advertising music collective, specializing in original epic music and bone crunching sound design for theatrical trailers, television commercials and video game advertising campaigns." Audiomachine is my go-to writing music. I own every single one of their albums, and I think each track of theirs has 50+ plays in iTunes (with the exception of their newest albums).

I love their music first and foremost because it is awesome—"epic" to say the least. It's powerful, atmospheric, and conveys a number of different tones that are all perfect for writing dark epic fantasy. But I also love their music because I don't really associate it with anything--while I'll occasionally recognize a track of theirs on a movie or video game trailer, most of their music is not on official soundtracks, but on their own albums. This means that, for all intents and purposes, their music is the soundtrack to my writing. That's how I think of it, anyway, and it's pretty cool to (pretend to) have your own soundtrack, I must say.

Their most popular album is Chronicles, and that is a great one, but my current favorites are actually Phenomena, Decimus, and Magnus: B-Sides. If you are a writer of fantasy of any kind, and you remotely like music at all, you NEED to check them out.

Max Richter

Did you see Arrival? Did you wonder what that gorgeous composition was that opened and closed the film? I did, and that's how I came across Max Richter. (That track from Arrival is called "On the Nature of Daylight," by the way, by Max Richter of course. You're welcome.) Richter's music is subdued and subtle, but impeccably composed and capable of moments of great power. When I want music that isn't quite as bold as Audiomachine, I go straight to Max Richter. I've particularly fallen in love with his magnum opus, Sleep--an eight-hour tour de force that I've now listened to many times over.

Soundtracks (particularly from Game of Thrones)

While I enjoy soundtracks to a lesser extent, they do provide some variety to my typical Audiomachine- and Max Richter-induced music euphorias. My favorites include just about any season's soundtrack to the television show Game of Thrones (Ramin Djawadi is incredible) and the Skyrim video game soundtrack (which is surprisingly atmospheric). Both are worth a listen.

Sigur Rรณs

I've talked about Sigur Rรณs before, and they are easily one of my all-time favorite bands. The only problem with listening to Sigur Rรณs while writing, however, is that sometimes I get too into the music. SR creates the type of music in which you need to fully immerse yourself to fully appreciate. I like listening to them when I'm brainstorming and world building, and sometimes when I'm outlining, but I rarely listen to them when I'm full-on composing (unless a song of theirs fits perfectly the scene I'm writing, which has actually happened on a few occasions).

So, if you haven't listened to Sigur Rรณs, they are an absolute must. They are one of the true sources of beauty in this world. Buy an album of theirs, turn up the highest-quality stereo or headphones you own, turn all the lights off, find a comfy chair, and let their music take you.

Monday, February 06, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 6: Fan Art!

Well, I've yet to encounter any fan art for Duskfall or the Chaos Queen Quintet (yet ๐Ÿคž--consider this an official invitation, folks!). While of course I'd love to see fan art of any kind, I'm totally cool with the fact that I haven't come across any so far. tMy first book only came out, like, seven months ago! And it's the first of five, so...I think I've got time. :-)

That said, there is something I've been meaning to share with everyone. It's not even close to fan art, but more like a form of wishful thinking on my part. Many people who've messaged me, emailed me, found me on social media or in person and spoken with me about Duskfall have told me that Astrid is their favorite character, and I totally understand why. She's easily the most fun character to write in the book, and she has a special place in my heart. For that reason, I get pretty excited whenever I see similar characters on the big screen. Athena from the Tomorrowland film came pretty close, but there's one that I think comes even closer, and that's (who I assume to be) X-23 from the new Wolverine film Logan. Just check this out:

If you've ever wondered how I visualize Astrid fight scenes, this trailer will tell you a lot. Goes without saying that I'll definitely be seeing this film when it's released, and I'll let you know at that point whether the projected fight scenes (and the character of X-23 in general) lives up to my expectations.

She's no Astrid, obviously, but she's pretty damn close.