Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Day After the Day After

It's been a while since I've posted anything political, but I’ve had a day to reflect on the election, and, well, here we go:

Unity. I see so many calls for “unity,” mostly from the winning side. Principally, I agree with them. One of the beautiful things about our country is the peaceful transfer of power from one party to another. But unification isn’t made any easier when the call goes something like “you lost, fair and square, now get back in line (or leave the country).” I’ve got a theory on something that might help with the unity thing, though, and that’s empathy. I’m grateful for those of you who have attempted to empathize with the pain and anguish that some of us feel. I would sincerely love, and appreciate, seeing more of that. Saying things like “I see how this has been a rough campaign, I know the winning candidate said and did some awful things, and I can’t imagine how hurtful that must have been, and how hurtful it is now that he will actually be our president,” could go a long way. I truly believe that. Same goes for the losing side: if some of my liberal friends would seek to understand the emotions, concerns, and feelings behind those who voted for the President-elect, it could only help. Honestly, I can’t think of anything that would help unify us more than seeking to understand one another.

To be clear, I’m not talking about anyone changing their beliefs or ideas. I’m not even talking about compromise. Empathy isn’t a meet-in-the-middle sort of thing; it’s a temporary journey to see something from another perspective. Sometimes, sure, that journey can make you want to change your position. But, more often than not--and as quickly as you like--you can return to where you feel comfortable, but hopefully having become more open and understanding in the process.

Stereotypes and generalizations are the enemies of empathy. They obstruct our ability to relate to one another, to acknowledge the humanity in all of us. I’ve seen liberal friends, in their anger and despair, post scathing rebukes of all conservatives or all of those who voted for the President-elect, and I don’t think that’s right. One of my own posts, while not intended to target any specific group, was nevertheless emotionally charged and generalizing, and I’ve since deleted it because it only engendered divisive comments. On the other side, I’ve seen many of my conservative friends post condemnations of “liberal logic” or complaints about how all of their liberal friends have only been posting angry attacks on conservatives. It seems clear that these generalizations--that “all those who voted for the President-elect are racist,” for example, or that “all liberals think in a fundamentally flawed way”--cannot possibly be true. Please, everyone, let’s stop with the generalizing. That is only harmful, and it hurts our ability to empathize.

For my part, I’ve been seeking to understand those who may have voted for our President-elect, and believe it or not, I think I’ve been making some progress.

I can understand, on some level, those who voted for him just because he was the Republican nominee, and Republican ideals still reflected most accurately their own, and they considered a third-party vote wasted. I can understand that.

I can understand, on some level, those who voted for him simply because they did not want HRC in the White House. While I, quite clearly, would not have minded HRC in the White House, I can acknowledge that she was a very flawed candidate, and certainly not my first choice from the Democratic Party. I can understand simply not wanting her in office.

I can understand, on some level, those who voted for him out of fear--fear of an imbalanced Supreme Court, fear of a liberal agenda, fear of losing aspects of their nation that they value highly. I’ve felt that same fear (although probably for different reasons), and can understand it.

I can understand, on some level, those who voted for him out of anger. I acknowledge there is an entire class of people in our country who feel they have been marginalized, who feel their voices have been forgotten, and are absolutely done with it. I can understand wanting to throw the now-proverbial molotov cocktail into our political structure in the hopes that something better will rise from the ashes.

I’m sure there are many other reasons why people voted for the President-elect, reasons I don’t yet understand--and some, perhaps, I never will--but I think, for the most part, it’s worth the effort.

In my ongoing efforts to understand, I haven’t changed my mind much. I still disagree, on many levels, with those who voted for the President-elect. But, again, that’s one of the wonderful thing about empathy: I don’t have to change my views to try to understand someone else’s.

Now let’s look at the other side of things. There are people hurting right now. Many of them are liberals. Many are conservatives who voted for a third-party candidate. Some of them even voted for the President-elect. There is a lot of pain going around, and it does no good to criticize it, marginalize it, or sweep it under the rug. We should talk about it, why it’s there, and figure out how to ease it, make it better.

As for the why: Please acknowledge that racism and misogyny played significant roles in this campaign. Please acknowledge that hurtful things were said and done--by both sides, I’ll absolutely admit it, and corruption still worms its way through our political structure like a cancer--but chiefly, and most publicly, by the President-elect. Acknowledge the fear that those targeted by his language must feel. I mentioned above an entire class of people who feel they have been marginalized, and hopefully now their voices will be heard--but please don’t forget about the many groups of people who were marginalized further (“further” because many of them have been discriminated against for centuries already) by the President-elect’s rhetoric. Please, don’t dismiss your brothers and sisters who are hurting. You may not have similar views, but express your desire to stand up for them. To protect them. To make sure that their voices are heard, too. We can champion our own causes while standing up for the rights of those that oppose us. We can hold to our values while empathizing with the views of those opposite us. That's the unity we’re seeking, I think. Not a unity of ideals, but a oneness of compassion and humanity.

I hope the President-elect proves those of us who are hurt, frightened, and numbed by his election wrong. I hope his presidency is wildly different from his campaign in all of the best ways. But, whatever the President-elect’s actions--even, and especially, if our worst fears come true--it’s up to us to stand up for one another. Both sides of the isle. All religions. All races. All genders. We are the people. We all are the people.

Let’s not forget it.

Monday, October 31, 2016

DUSKFALL Reading, Q&A, and Signing in Portland!

Next stop on the Duskfall book tour is Powell's in Portland, OR! They'll be hosting a Duskfall event at their downtown location (1005W Burnside St.) on Wednesday, 23 November @ 7:30 PM! 

I'll be doing a reading, a brief Q&A, and a signing at the event. There'll be books, swag, cool folks, and overall an awesome time being had by all (or so I predict). Come one, come everyone!

EDITED (20.11.2016): Updated location to Powell's City of Books in downtown Portland instead of the Powell's location in Beaverton.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

World Fantasy 2016

I'll be at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, OH next week.

World Fantasy always seems a different animal than some of the other conventions I've attended. It has a more intimate feel; they usually cap the attending memberships at around 1000, I believe.

This year I'll have the pleasure of participating on a couple panels (see schedule below)! I'm very much looking forward to that, and if you're one of the folks attending, come say hello. I don't know as many people going to this con as I usually do, so I'll be looking for new friends :-).

Friday 28 October at 1PM (Delaware CD): Fantasy Emerging from Crisis
Are there trends in fiction that can be tied to global crises? E.g., certain kinds of fantasy emerged from the instability that led up to WWI. The Lord of the Rings is a clear response to the Great War. Are there directions we can anticipate with near-future environmental conflicts (water wars), destabilizing natural disasters, rising seas, income inequality issues, etc. perhaps leading to more political works (especially considering the popularity of Game of Thrones)? 9/11 produced Lavie Tidhar’s World Fantasy Award winning Osama and also inspired stories by Lucius Shepard, Richard Bowes, Jack Ketchum, and others. Fantasy inevitably arises from the zeitgeist. It can also come right out of the headlines.

Saturday 29 October at 5PM (Delaware CD): How George R.R. Martin Has Changed Fantasy
Will imaginary-world fantasy ever be the same? A whole generation has grown up reading A Song of Ice and Fire. As Martin’s epic fantasy comes to a conclusion, where will those readers turn next? ASoIaF is rife with strong female characters, both good and evil, disabled characters with real power, and lack of security around the characters they love. What kinds of stories should we be writing for those fans? What is the long-term influence likely to be, beyond the obvious cash-ins and knock-offs? Great works inspire real growth. What should we anticipate?

Sigur Rós

So, this happened a couple weeks ago:

It was breathtaking and phenomenal.

Basically: if you haven't heard of Sigur Rós, you need to go listen to them right now. I suggest starting with Ágaetis byrjun, but really any one of their albums is a great listen. Fun fact, by the way: Sigur Rós produces some of my favorite writing music. Honestly, though, my favorite way to listen to them is in the dark, lights out, headphones turned up--the way beautiful, powerful music deserves to be consumed.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


The most common complaint I hear about Duskfall criticizes the lack of a map in the US/UK editions.

First of all, I'm quite content with the fact that the #1 complaint about my first book is something that was largely out of my control. (If I could've dictated everything about the publication of Duskfall, of COURSE it would've had a map; it would've also had a hardcover edition, and a collector's edition, and a platinum-plated "edition" edition where the text of the book was made up of little diamonds embedded in the metal. What I'm getting at, here, is that it's probably a good thing I wasn't in charge. Also, it's my first published novel for crying out loud--I'm just ecstatic to see it on shelves, to see that it has a beautiful cover, and to see people reading it and reviewing it and talking about it. All that is pretty amazing stuff, you know.)

Ahem. Anyway.

Secondly, the wonderful irony is that my German publisher actually did decide to put a map in their edition of the book--and I love how the map turned out. The artist responsible (Andreas Hancock--you can check out his webpage here, although it's in German, so good luck) was kind enough to allow me to post the image on my webpage for all of my US/UK fans.

So, without further ado, and with great pleasure, I present Roden and Northern Khale, the small portion of the Sfaera in which Duskfall takes place:

Most of the proper noun names are quite similar to, if not exactly the same as, the english version, so I don't think you'll have much trouble figuring out which city is which, etc. That said, the legend in the top left corner is obviously in german, so I'll provide a little legend for that legend. I won't try to write out the german words because I don't even think I could transcribe them correctly; the words below correspond with the words in the legend, going from top to bottom.

Legend legend:

  • forest
  • mountains
  • lakes
  • rivers
  • roads
  • small cities/towns
  • large cities
  • capital cities
So there you have it, folks! A real, genuine, official map! I hope that helps everyone's reading of the book.

* Wait. They don't love you like I love you.

See also:

Kindle Daily Deal RESULTS

So, as I mentioned last weekend, Duskfall was a Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon--and the results were pretty fantastic.

Duskfall peaked at #3 in Epic Fantasy,

#1 in BOTH Dark Fantasy categories (!!!!!!!),

and #213 overall in the Kindle store, which is pretty awesome (I mean, that's out of, like, millions of books).

So I'm quite happy with the results for the Kindle Deal--I hope everyone who purchased Duskfall enjoys it--and spreads the word :-)!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Kindle Daily Deal!

Hey folks! Duskfall is today's Kindle Daily Deal!

That means you can get my novel for just $1.99 on Kindle. Usually it's, like, FIVE TIMES more expensive, so if you or someone you know have been on the fence about whether or not to read an awesome dark epic fantasy novel about assassins, magic-addicted elves, religious upheaval, and kick-ass vampires, this should totally win you over.

Tell your kids! Tell your wife! Tell everyone you know!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DUSKFALL is a Whitney Awards Nominee!

It's true! Duskfall has been nominated for the Whitney Awards! There's still a few rounds left in the process, but it's an honor to be nominated. Here's hoping...

Thursday, September 01, 2016

SLCC16 Day 1

Day one of Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 was a success!

My MO for the con has been different this time around; I usually go to the panels I'm participating in, attend a few others that look interesting, and then wander the dealer's room to say hi to people I know and look at all the cool stuff.

This year, however, the awesome folks at  Wordfire Press have seen fit to let me sit at the table with them--quite literally. While I'll of course be participating in my two panels and signing tomorrow, the majority of my time today, tomorrow, and on Saturday will be spent hanging out at the WFP booth selling books--mine, of course, but also the books of the dozen+ talented authors that work the booth with me. There are some high caliber folks in that group, and I'm privileged to share space with them! 

I've admired the WFP booth for a few years now, not just because of their huge banners and top-notch brains, but also because of the camaraderie and selflessness that seem to permeate the kiosk's atmosphere. Everyone seems invested in not only selling their own books but selling the books of everyone at the table as well. That creates a cool atmosphere not only for the authors selling but for the customers as well--I think we're much more equipped to the individual wants of individual customers when we have a wide variety of folks intent on selling a wide variety of books to the right people. It works out pretty well, and I'm really grateful to work with the WFP crew this weekend. 

As you can see, Duskfall fits quite nicely nestled between James A. Owen and Kevin J. Anderson. I even sold a few today :-). It's been a blast, and exhausting, draining, blast, and I look forward to more of the same tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Staff Pick at Powell's!, this happened, and I'm OVER THE MOON ABOUT IT, YA'LL! Powell's is one of my favorite bookstores, so this is pretty surreal. And awesome. :-D

Monday, August 29, 2016


The Duskfall Book Tour kicks off next week! Here's where I'll be:

Salt Lake Comic Con Signing - Friday 2 September 7-8 PM
Salt Palace Convention Center Booth 1807
We'll kick things off at Salt Lake Comic Con with a signing! If you didn't get your book signed at the release party, or just want to come say hi and chat (and/or get some Duskfall swag), come on by! Also, throughout SLCC I'll be hanging out at the WordFire Press booth, signing and selling books, so if you can't make it to the signing, stop by the booth! (Unfortunately, Comic Con isn't free, but the rest of the events on the Duskfall Tour will be! And if you can't make it/don't want to drop the cash for Comic Con, I'll be doing other events in SLC/Utah Valley in the near future.)

Mesa Signing - Tuesday 6 September 6-8 PM
Mesa Barnes & Noble
1758 S. Val Vista Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85204

Los Angeles Reading and Signing - Friday 9 September 7-8:30 PM
Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse
1010 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011

Gilroy Signing - Saturday 10 September 3-5 PM
Gilroy Barnes & Noble
6825 Camino Arroyo
Gilroy, CA 95020

If you live in any of those areas, come say hi! Come check out the book! Come get free swag (stickers, postcards, wristbands, maybe even some t-shirts, etc)! Tell any folks you know to come check it out, too!

If you don't live in any of those areas, fear not. Other event locations for the tour--soon to be nailed down--include Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, St. George, Cedar City, Boise, and Anchorage, with other events in other locations in the works as well. Stay tuned for more info on all of that.

Looking forward to seeing you on the tour!

EDIT: I'll add later events for Duskfall to this page, just so I can have them all in once place.

Portland/Beaverton Reading and Signing - Wednesday 23 November 7:30-9 PM
Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005

Anchorage Signing - TBA

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Salt Lake Comic Con Schedule!

Hey folks!

I'm excited to once again attend Salt Lake Comic Con in a week and a half! I have the pleasure of being on two panels this time around:

Friday 2 September at 2:00 PM (Room 253A) - "Young Adult Heroes in Film and Television"

YA literature, film, and television have a pretty awesome pantheon of heroes, and I'm excited to talk about everyone from Harry and Hermione to Katniss and Bella; from Elena, Damon, and Stefan to Tris, and many more. Oh, and you KNOW I'm going to bring up Clarke from The 100, too, because she's one of the best YA heroes to come around in quite a while. So, yeah, I'm definitely excited for this panel.

Friday 2 September at 6:00 PM (Room 253A) - "Writer's Retreat Part Two: Writing Your Novel"

Come join us for part two of the SLCC Writer's Retreat panel where we discuss best practices, tips, and tricks when it comes to the actual work of writing a book. It's gonna be awesome! (And, if you're interested in seeing the other parts of the "Writer's Retreat" series, check out Part 1 on Outlining or Pantsing Your Novel, and Part 2 on Revising, Editing, and Query Letters, both at 6:00 PM in room 253A on Thursday and Saturday respectively.)


7:00 PM (Booth 1807) - Duskfall Signing!

If you live in the area and missed my book launch event but still want to get it signed, come to my signing at Salt Lake Comic Con! Friday night at 7 PM! I'll have swag (stickers, post cards, wristbands, business cards, maybe even some wristbands), so come one, come all!

Other than those two things, I'll just be hanging out at the WordFire Press booth selling books, so if you find yourself at Comic Con, come say hi!

Monday, August 22, 2016

MidAmeriCon II

By the way, I went to Worldcon last weekend! It was a blast. One of the fun things about going to cons is that they've become less about the paneling for me (when I first started going to them I planned my panel schedule religiously, hardly missing an hour of programming) and much more about relationships and people. It's been a lot of fun to meet, hang out with, and get to know other writers, fans, and people in the business.

MidAmeriCon II was no different--I can't say no to a weekend of hanging out with some of the best folks in the business!

Monday, August 15, 2016

DARK IMMOLATION (The World Turned Upside Down)

Folks, this morning I (FINALLY!) emailed my agent a revised draft of Dark Immolation (Book 2 of the Chaos Queen Quintet).

I could not feel more relieved.

Revising this book has been incredibly difficult, and that's putting it lightly. I'll likely write a post or two in the future talking about the specifics, but here's the short of it: because of (1) life circumstances and problems and (2) the learning curve behind writing a five-book series, this book took me forever, and it's easily the most difficult thing I've ever written. I'd heard that once I started writing professionally there'd be times where the writing would just become straight up work, losing basically any attraction or redeeming quality that might've drawn me to it in the first place. The last six months, more or less, have been one long instance of that.

The good news? That moment has now passed, and I can RELAX.

That said, let's talk about the book!

Some of you may remember that when I finished the first draft of Duskfall, I wrote a blog post about it. It was actually the very first post on this blog, so that's kind of cool thing to remember. But I neglected to do this for the first draft of Dark Immolation (mainly because my daughter was born right around the time I finished it, but also because the feels of existential dread and agonizing inadequacy regarding this book were already setting in), so I'm going to give you some stats about the book right now. Check it:

  • Title: Dark Immolation - Still a working title, but the fact that it's in the frontmatter of Duskfall makes me think it might be permanent. I don't mind; I like the title, I came up with it after all, and I've been playing with some new tentative titles for books 3 and 4 that compliment "Dark Immolation" help with the symmetry of the series.
  • Version: 2.4 - So this is technically the second draft, (that's what the 2 stands for), although I've made so many passes at it over the past 8 months that you could technically count it as the third or fourth draft if you were so inclined; that's what the 4 represents--some other revision passes during this aggregate "second draft" phase. There were also a few minor drafts between 2.3 and 2.4 (2.3.1, 2.3.2, etc.), so, yeah...this novel has gone through the wringer.
  • Total Word Count: 212,500 words - For reference, the first draft of Duskfall was around 184K, while the final draft clocked in at just under 150K. The first draft of Dark Immolation, on the other hand, ended up being a whopping 265K, so I feel pretty good that I've already gotten it down to 212. That said, there's still a lot of trimming that needs to happen. I'll feel happy if I can get it under 190K by the time it's in final draft form. We'll see!
  • Chapters: 52 and an Epilogue
  • Viewpoint Characters: 7, with a number of other minor viewpoints at varying degrees of inclusion. That's two more major POVs than the first book, for reference.
  • Start date: October 2014
  • End date: August 2016 - Those numbers are slightly deceiving, as I finished the first draft sometime in Julyish of 2015, and started the second draft in December of that year. That said, that was a lot longer than I'd hoped to spend on this book. I'll really just need to write an entire post about why, but again, to summarize, DI has been incredibly difficult, but also a huge learning process, and what I've learned will profoundly affect how I move forward into Book 3.
So, that's the gist of it! Stay tuned for more info on the DI process, a mini Southwestern US book tour we're doing in September, Salt Lake Comic Con info, and more!

In the meantime, here's the song that's been playing over and over in my head (and through my speakers) since I hit the send button on that email to my agent. The fiery adrenaline, strange emptiness, and sweet relief of victory, my friends*:

* Yeah...I've become total #Hamiltrash and I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.

Monday, June 27, 2016


As many of you have already observed, I've had the awesome privilege of writing a few guest blog posts and doing some interviews to promote Duskfall's release. So, without further ado, here's the tour!

Check out the posts that interest you, and of course, if you haven't looked into Duskfall already, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Do it now! :-D


Interview with Civilian Reader

Aggie's Books: "The Magic of the Mundane"

Mary Robinette Kowal: "My Favorite Bit"

John Scalzi: "The Big Idea"

Book Mood Reviews: "TV's The 100 and the Inexorability of Death"

Interview with The Qwillery

Interview with Daniel Riding

Suvudu: "Five Favorite Works of Dark Fantasy"

Forces of Geek: "Top Five Books that Influenced Duskfall"

Interview with A Fantastic Librarian

Interview with SFFWorld

Interview with WordFire Press

Interview with Dungeon Crawlers Radio


I'll update the list with more as they're published, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What people are saying about DUSKFALL

Reviews for Duskfall are rolling in, and so far they're quite positive! I'm going to keep this page up and continue to update it as an index of all the good things people are saying about the novel. Without further ado...


"Christopher Husberg’s breathtaking debut fantasy novel Duskfall manages to be dark without being hopeless, savage without being ugly, and wise without being pedantic. This is a stunning debut, and bodes well for the four books to come in the series." - Dave Butler, author of The Kidnap Plot

"This is a dark epic and a gritty page-turner, with complex characters making hard decisions and wrestling with the past. It's a great fantasy debut and shouldn't be missed." - Martha Wells, author of The Edge of Worlds

"A delicious mix of Jason Bourne, dark fantasy, and horror. The kind of debut that has me thrilled for the future of fantasy." - Steve Diamond, author of Residue

"This is one of my favorite epic fantasy novels ever....Duskfall is a novel that moves, the characters are compelling, and the world is awesome and well-drawn. Seriously, you should read it right now." - Janci Patterson, author of Skipped and A Thousand Faces

"A fascinating mystery that slowly unfolds, and cultures and religions in conflict. Enjoy." - Melinda Snodgrass, author of The Edge of Reason

"One of the best books I've read this year....I love books that make me feel, make me care and inspire and challenge me to improve my own work. Duskfall? Yeah, it had all of that." - Erlebnisse

"Absorbing and unputdownable....A speeding horse of a good read." - The Book Bag

"Beyond what I could have hoped for....a must for any fantasy lover." - SFReader

"Wonderful characters that leap off the page..." - Crossroads Review

"With this book Husberg has crafted a really strong opening book in his Chaos Queen series, which in this bloggers humble opinion is sure to be one of the top new fantasy series over the coming years. And, for Duskfall itself, well it has to be ranked as one of the debut fantasy novels of the year." - The Tattooed Book Geek

"Husberg weaves real life issues within his fantasy world--trust, family ties, addiction, and racism are all incorporated into the pages of the novel....I was completely consumed by this story from the start." -
"Duskfall is an entertaining and strong debut novel that beckons fans of epic fantasy to explore its fascinating world and realistic characters. I have a feeling that it will strongly appeal to everyone who loves well-told fantasy stories. It will please those who have read epic fantasy, dark fantasy and grimdark fantasy. If you're looking for a new epic fantasy novel to read, please consider reading Duskfall, because it's excellent entertainment. Highly recommended!" - Rising Shadow
"[Duskfall] is a solid setup for a great new fantasy epic, perfect for fans of Daniel Abraham and Brandon Sanderson." - Library Journal

"What a debut!! Husberg has proven his talent with just one book and I feel like we will see much more of him in the future. I certainly can not wait to see what comes next. Utterly original, magical, and impossible to put down.Aggie's Books

"Absolutely blew me away! ... If you are looking for a novel with an amazing storyline and something that will suck you in and keep you entranced from beginning to end, you have to read this book!" - Bookaholic Banter

"I really enjoyed how...addiction was handled in Duskfall. Husberg did a good job showing both sides of the issue....a unique take on the typical epic fantasy....solid, entertaining, and left me eager to read the next book." - MySF Reviews

"Wonderful from the very first pages....I know I will be recommending it to everyone!" - impedimenta

"I liked the characters and how well their motivations tied in with their actions, but what I especially liked was how gently Chris unfolds the world he built.... At every turn it was clear there was more to learn, but I felt guided rather than blinded." - Read In, Breathe Out

"Husberg's prose is assured...and some of his tweaks—particularly his variation on vampires—indicate that the series may develop in intriguing ways." - Publisher's Weekly

"Once you get started you will be drawn in and the story will keep you interested from beginning to end. This is one super exciting book." - Vic's Media Room

"Duskfall is a fantastic book that is great for people who love fantasy, or for people who have not really tried fantasy before." - Abi's Book Reviews

"I'm happy to say I'm eagerly awaiting the next volume in the Chaos Queen Quintet. If this was Christopher Husberg's first effort, fantasy has a bright future indeed." - Adventures in Poor Taste

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

DUSKFALL Book Trailer!

Here it is, ya'll!

A HUGE thanks--and round of applause--to Garret Gibbons and Cosmic Reach Media for producing such an incredible trailer. The acting was awesome, the music was awesome, the directing and choreography were awesome...I'm very happy with this. I think it's a perfect way to welcome my first novel into the world :-).

So, without further ado, I present to you the Duskfall Book Trailer!

Pulled from the frozen waters of the Gulf of Nahl, stuck with arrows and near to death, Knot has no memory of who he was. But his dreams are dark, and he can kill a man with terrifying ease. Winter, a tiellan woman whose people have long been oppressed by humans, is married to and abandoned by Knot on the same day, when robed assassins attack their wedding. Her nascent magical abilities will lead her to a deadly addiction— and phenomenal power. And Cinzia, priestess and true believer, has returned to her home city to find that her own sister is leading a heretical rebellion. A rebellion that only the inquisition can crush... Their fates will intertwine, in a land where magic and demons are believed dead, but dark forces still vie for power.

Duskfall is the first novel in the Chaos Queen Quintet, and is available for now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's, iBooks, and Kobo:
Book trailer produced by Cosmic Reach Media (
Knot: Jordin Mitchell
Winter: Kseniya Sovenko
Lian: Hans Luther
The Tokal: Kyle Robinson
Astrid: Nichole Hrouda
Ildur: Douglas Herring
Directed by Garrett Wesley Gibbons
Music by Mark Hoy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Just Like That

Just like that, Duskfall is out in the wild.

It's incredibly weird to think that this is a day I've looked forward to for years. Certainly since I finished the first draft of Duskfall back in 2010, but if I'm honest I've been dreaming about publishing a book since high school.

I don't know what else to say other than that, really. This is incredible. I feel grateful to be surrounded by so many supportive, loving, generous people in my life.

It's the summer solstice, we've got strawberry moons going on, and my first novel has been unleashed upon the world. If that isn't the planets aligning, I don't know what is :-).

DUSKFALL Teaser #3: Winter

Winter, a tiellan woman whose people have long been oppressed by humans, is married to and abandoned by Knot on the same day, when robed assassins attack their wedding. Her nascent magical abilities will lead her to a deadly addiction—and phenomenal power.
Available for pre-order NOW on Amazon:

Book trailer produced by Cosmic Reach Media (
Winter: Kseniya Sovenko
Directed by Garrett Wesley Gibbons
Produced by Cosmic Reach Media
Music by Mark Hoy (MarkHoyMusic)

Monday, June 20, 2016

How to Support Your Local Authors

Well, tomorrow is the big day, folks. My first novel shall be released upon the world!

In anticipation of that, I thought I'd try and answer a question that I get asked in varying forms more and more often, and that's along the lines of "how can I best support you as an author?"

Well, the short answer is that there are a LOT of things you can do--but some help more than others. Let's start with the most obvious (and I'll frame it referring to a sort of nebulous grammatically questionable plural-form author, because just referring to myself feels super pretentious...even though that's obviously what I'm getting at here...).

  • Buy the book! Again, obvies, but of course it's true. A few other perhaps less obvious things in regards to buying the book, though:
    • Having trouble thinking about what to get someone for a holiday/birthday/whatever? Get them the book! There is LITERALLY no limit to the number of people you could buy a book for ;-). This also goes without saying, but the more copies you buy of an author's book, the more you support them. (That said, I certainly don't expect anyone to go out and buy a bunch of copies of my book. Seriously, I'm going to be ecstatic if you pick up just one!)
    • Buy the book during the first week of publication. The sales numbers during the first week are what matter the most--they're weighted the most when it comes to algorithmic ranking and search engines, and it shows my publisher that they maybe aren't wasting their time with the author, strengthening the possibility that you'll see more of their books in the future.
  • Post reviews! Amazon and Goodreads are the most helpful places. Reviews are almost as helpful as someone buying the book. They don't have to be long, just a few sentences, but they help IMMENSELY. They're really a form of word-of-mouth marketing, but with the added benefits of aiding search algorithm placement.
  • Tell people you enjoyed the book! Word-of-mouth is still the single most powerful marketing tool. If you enjoyed the book, don't be shy about telling people.
  • Post about the book on social media, and/or re-share the author's posts!
  • Attend the book launch, signings, readings, etc.!
If you're looking for even more ways to support a local author, or an author who might be a friend of yours, Dave Butler (a fantastic author in his own right, by the way) compiled a great list of a ton of items to consider. Check it out!

One more thing. All of the above is helpful, but you should never feel obligated to do any of it. I for one would be immensely appreciative if you did anything on that list to help me out, but I don't expect it from you or anyone. You don't owe me or any other author anything. But, if you know me, like me, want to support me, and most importantly, if you enjoyed the book, then please consider doing any one or combination of the the things above :-).

DUSKFALL Teaser #2: Astrid

Astrid seems just a girl, but she’s impossibly strong, has lived for centuries, and her eyes glow strangely at night. Uncover the mystery of what she is—and what she fears—in Duskfall.
Duskfall is the first novel in the Chaos Queen Quintet, released June 21, 2016. Pre-order now on Amazon:

Astrid: Nichole Hrouda
Knot: Jordin Mitchell
The Tokal: Kyle Robinson
Directed by Garrett Wesley Gibbons
Produced by Cosmic Reach Media
Music by Mark Hoy (MarkHoyMusic)

Saturday, June 18, 2016


As many of you are aware, we've been working with Cosmic Reach Media to make a book trailer for Duskfall, and I'm super excited to announce that we're going to start premiering content today!

We'll unveil three teaser trailers: one this morning, one tomorrow morning, and one Monday morning, and then premier the full trailer at the book launch party Tuesday evening.

It's gonna be awesome, folks!

So, without further ado, I present the first Duskfall Teaser: KNOT.


Knot was pulled from the frozen waters of the Gulf of Nahl, stuck with arrows and near to death, Knot has no memory of who he was. But his dreams are dark, and he can kill a man with terrifying ease.
Duskfall is the first novel in the Chaos Queen Quintet, released June 21, 2016. Pre-order now on Amazon:
Knot: Jordin Mitchell
The Tokal: Kyle Robinson
Astrid: Nichole Hrouda
Directed by Garrett Wesley Gibbons
Produced by Cosmic Reach Media

Friday, June 17, 2016

DUSKFALL Release Party!


It still feels surreal to me, but everyone keeps insisting that my debut novel, Duskfall, will officially be released upon the world next week. We'll be having a book launch party at Weller Book Works (the bookstore at Trolley Square) in Salt Lake City, UT next Tuesday 21 June from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

For more details and updates, check out the EVENT PAGE ON FACEBOOK!

If you're in Utah, you should consider stopping by to celebrate with us! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell everyone (EEEEEVVVVRRRYYYONNEEE*)!

If you aren't in Utah, fear not! We'll be live streaming the first hour of the event (6:30 - 7:30 PM MST) on the interwebz. Just check in here, my professional Facebook page, the event page, or my twitter account for the link a few minutes before the event begins, and that should connect you!

But if you can make it, you're in luck! There'll be plenty of swag at the launch party for everyone who attends, as well as t-shirts for the first 30ish people! And refreshments, too :-).

The swag is coming together quite nicely :-).

As many of you may be aware, we've been working on a book trailer for Duskfall, and if all goes according to plan, we're going to premier that at the book launch party! We're very excited to show that to everyone; we've been working with an awesome media studio  (Cosmic Reach Media) to make it as cool as possible.

But, most importantly--and best of all--you'll be able to buy signed copies of Duskfall, hear me give a brief spiel and a reading from the novel, as well as a Q&A with the author (yeah, the author is totally me...I just wanted to say it). That stuff will make up the first hour of the event (6:30 - 7:30ish PM), and the second hour will be devoted to signing, hanging out, and generally having a good time!

It's gonna be a cool think, ya'll. This has been in the work for quite some time, now, and we are excited, grateful, and looking forward to this as well as whatever else life has in store.

Come celebrate with us!

* If you don't get that reference, allow my friend Gary Oldman to contextualize it:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rain (Also: World Horror Convention 2016!)

The weather has been cloudy, wet, and dreary in Utah as of late, and I'm loving it. Writing while it's raining outside, and I'm nice and cozy inside, is one of my favorite things.

There's rain in them thar hills.

It's also perfect weather for the WORLD HORROR CONVENTION*! (Cue crash of lightning and Vincent Price-style dramatic musical intro)

It so happens that the 2016 World Horror Convention is right in my backyard this year in Provo, UT--which means, of course, I'll be attending! I'm fortunate enough to have made it onto a few panels as well. I'm pretty excited about the whole experience--I've never been to WHC before, despite the con taking place in Salt Lake City just a few years ago. I think this will be a slightly different experience from the normal Sci-Fi/Fantasy and media cons I usually attend, and I'm looking forward to that.

Here's my official schedule for WHC 2016 (descriptions in quotations marks "" are WHC's descriptions of each panel):

Thursday 28 April at 2:00 PM - "Horrific Fantasy: A Touch of the Macabre"
"Dark fantasy as a sub-genre that often dances across the line between fantasy and horror. Is there a line, and how can you effectively cross it?" I'm very much looking forward to this panel. I usually tell people I write "epic dark fantasy." A large part of why I classify my work as "dark fantasy" is the fact that I like to integrate elements of horror into my writing.

Friday 29 April at 9:00 AM - "Using Social Media Effectively"
"Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Goodreads, etc. are all good places to promote  yourself as a writer, but how do you do so effectively?" This will be an interesting panel, as I'll get to represent the group of writers who maybe have a book deal in the works or a book coming out soon, but have not had much of a social media presence before breaking in to the industry. I've done quite a bit of research on this, and have a solid plan for moving forward on social media before, during, and after the release of my first book.

Sunday 1 May at 9:00 AM - "Graduate School Possibilities for Writers"
"For those who are interested, there are a lot of places you can get an M.A. or M.F.A. that will help you as a writer. Come find out some of the possibilities." Considering I have an MFA in Creative Writing, and that I learned about the process of preparing, choosing, and applying to MFA and MA programs (both through research and trial and error), I think I'm an ideal candidate for this panel, and I'm looking forward to sharing what I've learned.

I'll also be attending other panels and presentations, and generally just stalking the halls of the hotel looking for fun things to do and interesting people to talk to. It'll be a good time.

So if horror, dark fantasy, and awesome authors and artists strike your fancy, you should definitely come check out WHC 2016.

* Notate bene: correct pronunciation is key, here. Don't make the same mistake I did and accidentally tell someone that you're attending the "World Whore Convention."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

German cover of DUSKFALL!

Okay, have I mentioned that Duskfall is getting a publication run in Germany this fall?

Well, it totally is, by the pub house Dromer-Knaur. And they just revealed the cover:

That is a fantastic cover, amirite? I particularly love the color scheme. Anyway, if any of you folks are from Germany, check out my publisher's website here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Daredevil Season 2

In case any of you are hiding under rocks, Netflix's flagship Marvel series, Daredevil (hereafter DD), released Season 2 a couple weeks ago.

Folks, this show is phenomenal.

DD's first season was groundbreaking stuff. Phenomenal fight scenes that paid homage to some of the greatest cinematic fights of all time. Profound, multi-faceted characters. Social relevance. Great acting. And, of course, one of the greatest MCU villains of all time. DD also opened the gate for three other Netflix superhero programs (Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist) that would eventually culminate in a Defenders series tying them all together, Avengers-style.

That's all very exciting (and intimidating, and overwhelming, as the MCU is quickly becoming..but that's a rant for another day). And when Jessica Jones came out last fall, it blew me away--even edging out DD's first season, imho (JJ offered all of the incredible things from DD's first season, but Jessica's arc was even more compelling to me than Matt Murdock's).

Unfortunately, I think DD2 falls short of DD1 and JJ.

[This seems like as good a place as any to say SPOILERS FORTHCOMING, PEOPLE! BE YE WARNED!]

Don't get me wrong--DD2 is still really fantastic television, and has some great stuff in its favor:

  • Pretty much everything involving Jon Bernthal as the Punisher was phenomenal. Bernthal somehow expressed the Punisher's over-the-top violence while still making him seem very human (not a comic-book cut-out), and that's no easy task.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk once again delivers. He's only in a few scenes, but he steals the shit out of those scenes and makes them his own. He's a dominating, compelling, fascinating villain, and I'd venture to say he's the greatest villain the MCU has yet to produce (with Killgrave and Loki coming in at a very close second and third, respectively).
  • The main cast shines once more, and have great chemistry together.

But, of course, I did find some flaws with this season...and they all sort of revolved around Elektra.

I actually really liked Elektra's character, and I totally ship her and "Matthew." Elodie Yung makes Elektra sophisticated, captivating, and edgy. It was pretty much everything involving the Hand that I didn't particularly enjoy. The faceless ninjas. Zzzz. The lack of a solid villain (I was really feeling the gap left by Fisk). The seeming lack of real motivation on the Hand's part. (So you're after a weapon. Fine. That means you want to kill people, I suppose. Fine. BUT WHY DO YOU WANT TO DO THAT?! GIVE ME SOMETHING MORE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.) The storyline involving the Hand wasn't terrible, but compared to the awesomeness that went into the Punisher's plot, and DD1 and JJ, it really fell short for me. Also, that ending? Elektra dying and then showing up in the regeneration coffin thingy? I totally called that. Like, in episode six I called it. That isn't a good thing.

The other aspect of the season, again tangentially bordering Elektra, was Matt's proposal to her at the end of episode eight. He convinces her to drop Stick and start a life of pious vigilanteism with him instead, and Elektra finally agrees, letting Stick go and fully committing to Matt.

Then, basically at the beginning of episode nine, when Elektra kills a kid that was about to kill Matt, Matt's like "Um...about that spending the rest of our lives fighting crime together thing? Yeah, never mind."




That drove me crazy, in case you can't tell.

I get that she killed someone after basically committing to Matt that she wouldn't. But the dude doesn't have at least one ounce of FORGIVENESS in him? Isn't that what he's trying to instill in her--that people--even people who do bad things--deserve second chances?

That whole sequence was a huge miss for me. If it had happened over much more time, with accompanying character arcs (because that bit not only affects Matt and Elektra, but Karen as well), it'd be fine. If they had just shown me a bit of Matt's motivation behind what went on, I'd at least be able to let it go. But, as is, it does none of those things, and that really bothers me. For a show with such phenomenal writing, I'm very disappointed to have seen something so mishandled.

So that's my take on DD2. I'd like to rewatch DD1 and 2 together in the near future, and I might change my mind once I do that. But (a) it doesn't look like I'll have time to do that anytime soon, and (b) even if I do, I highly doubt I'll change my mind about this.

DD2 is great television, and absolutely worth the watch. I'm nitpicking at it because I've seen the writers do such great things in the past. But, for me, it just wasn't as strong as DD1 or JJ.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Retreat to the House on the Hill II

As some of you may remember, last year I attended a writing retreat here in Utah and it was amazing.

Well, I attended the same retreat two weeks ago, courtesy of the eclectically brilliant, academic-hating, ice-giant-of-a-man Dave Butler, and once again triumphed over my writing foes.

I can't say for sure exactly how much work I got done this time because it was mostly revision, but I revised upwards of 80,000 words, and re-outlined the main story braid of book 2 in the Chaos Queen Quintet for further revision. It was fantastic.

The retreat is a cool thing for a number of reasons. (1) I get a lot of writing done. Writing happens pretty much from the moment everyone wakes up until dinner that evening, with itty-bitty breaks here and there for lunch and shooting the breeze with the other retreaters. (2) I get to hang out with some other awesome writers--we all eat dinner together, and then play board games until the late hours. It is a lot of fun, and this year I got to hang out with Jon Rock, Daniel Braithwaite, Scott Taylor, Aaron Michael Ritchey, Eric Patten, Michael Dalzen, and Marion Jensen. We had a special guest in the form of Nick Dianatkhah, and of course were hosted by Dave Butler.

It was quite an enjoyable week.

Highlights include the Edward M. Kovel Awards:

Remind me to tell you why these awards are so amazing sometime.

A delightful, over-too-soon game of Twilight Imperium:

The greatest board game on the planet (or in the galaxy, for that matter). And this was only a six-player game.

And, of course, making significant progress on version 2.0 of CQQ2. That, my friends, adds up to a very successful week.

Monday, March 28, 2016

ARCs are in!

And they are gorgeous.

The cover looks even better in person.

Thanks to my daughter for being willing to model the book for everyone. They are both chic AF, ya'll.
So, yeah. Life is good.