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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Release Date Of The Next Spellmonger Book . . .

. . . how about . . . NOW!

First, this isn't the next novel in the Spellmonger series -- Knights Magi will take a bit to write, though not near as long as Magelord.

This is the very first Spellmonger Anthology: The Road To Sevendor.  Those who put off buying the three shorts that bridged the gap (or filled in some details) between Warmage and Magelord can find all three of them anthologized in one place.

But that's not all . . . also included in this volume are FOUR previously-unpublished shorts set in the Spellmonger universe of Callidore.

They include:

"The Wizard of Birchroot Bridge" in which Rondal gets tasked to build a bridge . . . whether it wants to get built or not.

"The Secret of Westwood Hall", in which the Hawkmaid moves up to the big castle and Minalan learns some of the secret history of Sevendor.

"The Road To Sevendor", in which a woman who evolves a very nasty magical talent seeks out the Spellmonger  Sevendor to help her with her curse.

and "The Iron Band", in which a group of rugged warriors is given the impossible task to venture into the Penumbra and establish the headquarters for the new Royal militant order . . . if the goblins will let them.

Combined, the stories total more than 100,000 words.  While they aren't essential for reading the novel series, every now and then an important plot point gets made.

So check out The Road To Sevendor: A Spellmonger Anthology, and get a little dessert after the massive meal of Magelord!

(And it's cheap at $2.99 -- where it will stay)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Map of Sevendor

Some folks have complained that the map in the book did not display properly on their devices.  For those who want to refer to it, here it is, the original deed map to the Domain of Sevendor, before Minalan arrives:

Also, if you want to discuss the book, here's your space to do so.  Like it?  Hate it?  Why?

Thanks to everyone who's reading it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Surprise! Magelord Is Up On Kindle

As promised, more details.

Magelord is up on Kindle now.  It's not the final version, which will be ready in about a fortnight, but it is complete and more-or-less edited . . . just not the final form.  So I'm knocking a bit off the cover until the final edition is complete.  Those who wish a pristine Spellmonger experience can wait and pay the extra little bit for the polish; those who can't wait (and apparently that's a LOT of you) can indulge in the almost-finished product at a discount.

Some might argue that this is an unprofessional way to proceed.  I would argue that the dictates of the Kindle market reward this kind of tiered-release in ways you just can't get away with in the paper market.  There are also timing considerations to figure, and the fact that no matter how polished you feel a book is, when you re-read it you realize how you should have done things differently.  The Kindle market encourages a writer to back over their book every now and then.  In my case, the recent re-edit of Spellmonger fixed a lot of issues and filed off some of the rough edges folks were complaining about (justifiably).  I also took the opportunity to bring the book in line with the sequels in certain minor but important ways.

So here is Magelord.  317,000 words.  Yes, I raised the cover-price, but considering the research, the time investment, and the fact that this is the 20th book I've written (although not necessarily published) I feel that my craft is worth that much and y'all can take the hit.  That's an awful lot of words for your money.  I guess ultimately y'all will let me know if you think it's worth the price.

The re-edit, due in a couple of weeks, will bump the price up a little, but you'll get a little more for your money, too, in terms of maps and such.  And if the reviews start coming in (hint hint) strongly enough, there may be another trick or two up my sleeve before the end of the year.

So spread the word.  Come put some medieval in your Medieval Fantasy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I've been paying attention to the boards, and I know all of you are anxious (except you, there, in the third row -- wake up!) for the release of Magelord, as am I, so I felt obligated to at least throw y'all an update.

I'm essentially waiting my editor returning the last portion of the book.  I'm not going to bug her about it because a) it was a real bitch to edit, 300,000 words (yep, you read that right) and parts of it were very rough; b) her day job is a Professor of Journalism, and classes just started c) she's a mom, and school just started and d) she's one of my wife's best friends from childhood, and undue pressure on my end could conceivably result in marital strife.  As I'm allergic to marital strife, I have resigned myself to be patient.

The good news: I like the book.

The bad news: Some of you won't.

I say that because I've learned that different fans like different things in my books, and I'm good with that.  Those who are looking for a lot of action and a high body count might be disappointed (there is a body count, promise).  Those who are looking for exposition and world-building are going to be orgasmic.  That's not to say that there isn't action, it's just not a war story.  Even though there are two wars in it.  Maybe three.  I lose count.  It's the story of what it means to be a magelord.

But even as I wait, and you wait, I'm writing my ass off.  On three other projects.  And going back through my corrections on Magelord to see if I missed anything.  And getting my own kids to school, working my day job, and other stuff.  But I'm even more anxious than you to get it out, and it's requiring a lot of patience.

Here's the even better news: I've used some of my "free time" (when real people are sleeping) to publish a Second Kindle Edition of Spellmonger, along with a new map of Boval Vale and a revamp of the Ugly Cover.  It should be up shortly.  Those who bought the book early will be pleased to note that the 2nd Edition has 70% less typos.  I also smooth out a lot of rough spots.

Which brings me to another point: some people complain I am wordy and put in too much exposition.  Some writers do this because they can't plot - that's not why I do it.  I'm wordy and I put in too much exposition because I'm on Book 3 of a book series I've plotted to at least a dozen novels, and in some cases guns I put on the mantelpiece in Spellmonger won't be used until Book 8 or 9.  Indeed, there are goofy parts of the story that become vital plot points, later on.  Pay attention.

Now, to whet your appetite a bit, may I present . . . the cover blurb:


When you defeat the invading goblin army, get knighted on the field of battle by the Duke himself, and are gifted with lands and gold, usually your happily-ever-after is . . . happy. 

But now that Minalan the Spellmonger has been enobled and enfiefed, Sire Minalan has a task cut out for him that makes defeating goblins seem like child’s play: moving his very pregnant bride and a few thousand refugees from Boval Vale into the remote, sparsely-peopled Domain of Sevendor.  

But when he arrives, he finds the land withered from neglect, filled with superstition and suspicion, a third of his domain has been conquered before he got there, and the castle he now owns hasn’t been maintained in decades.  As Minalan manages the challenges of being a noble, being a mage knight, being the lord of the manor, being a landlord, and fending off a belligerent (and well-armed) neighbor, he also has to learn how to be a husband, father, and a leader of a people.

Then the fateful night his son is finally born, Minalan learns the nature of fear, as he, his family, and his very realm are forever changed when the spell he casts to save their lives transforms the land.  Minalan, his apprentices Sir Tyndal and Sir Rondal, his dour but efficacious castellan Sir Cei, and his moody wife struggle through the winter and defend their domain in his attempt to prove what a Magelord can do for his people when he puts magic in their service.

But in the distance, the threat of a renewed invasion of goblins looms as they approach the the cotton-rich Gilmoran baronies that are the heart of the Riverlands.  The contentious High Magi convene to constitute the new Arcane Orders while the fanatical Royal Censorate of Magic plots defeat them.  Thousands of hedgemagi, witches and footwizards the Censorate once terrorized now see Minalan as a hero.  The sinister Family schemes to promote Duke Rard II to become King Rard I of the newly-united Kingdom of Castalshar – over a pile of bodies, if necessary.  And suddenly, out of the sky fall dragons in the service of the Dead God to strike at the strength of the nascent Kingdom.

How can Sire Minalan fight goblins, plots, poverty and politics, all from his remote and rustic vale while keeping the peasants in line and the 'Warbird of West Fleria' at bay?  With wit, courage, determination, and a healthy dose of magic. 

And when the new King tasks him to find a way to slay a dragon, an ordinary knight might shy away from the quest.  For Sire Minalan, it’s just another day on the job as 

Hope that gets y'all excited.  And yeah, I read the forums every day.  I just don't write very often . . . because I could be writing fiction instead.

So release date?  Real Soon Now.  Heck, I'll even take a couple of questions while we're waiting . . .

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"The Spellmonger's Wedding" Short Story is up on Kindle

This is the last short story before Magelord, which is in the final editing stages.  It is available here, for the low, low price of $.99.  While it's not essential to read before you read Magelord . . . well, why the hell wouldn't you?  It's Minalan's WEDDING, for Trygg's sake!

I had a lot of fun with this, as I've been kicking it around for a while now.  I hope you enjoy it.

Now back to the word mines . . .

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just Completed The Rough Of Magelord Last Night

That's really good news, because my editor has already returned the first 20 chapters to me, so after the briefest of vacations I can begin the rewrite.  It will be extensive but not exhaustive.  When she returns from vacation she'll finish the rest so . . . barring any more abductions or other felonies, it's safe to say that you'll see Magelord on Kindle before the end of August, and probably before.

But here's the thing: when you write, and especially if your fiction isn't your full-time job, you do so when you can.  Between all of my pseudonyms and my day job I churn out about a million words every year.  The Spellmonger stuff is usually about 10% of that, and while it is one of my favorite parts, it is far from the only thing on my schedule.  As much as I'd like to make it more than that, the reality is that if I ignore the fan bases my pseudonyms have generated over the years, it's unfair to them.  Hell, I'm getting fan mail from pseudonyms I abandoned years ago, begging me to do more.

So here's my new policy: I won't give an exact release date for something until I'm sure, and I'm not going to announce any more rough estimates without so heavily qualifying them as to make them pointless.  I write as much as I can, and while some authors prefer to spend their time validating their egos by interacting with their fans on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, my present situation doesn't allow for that.  In fact, the more you see here on the blog, the less fiction I'm writing.  When given a choice between working on my craft and gratifying my ego . . . well, I think we can all agree my craft needs work.

But the Magelord rough is done.  The rewrite should only take a few weeks.  I'm pretty happy with it, and for those who keep track of such things, you'll be happy to hear that I DO NOT split the narrative into two timelines this time.  One big ugly timeline.  It is, unlike the Talry story, told in First Person, from Minalan's POV.  It is thick, fifty chapters thick, and likely to grow in girth if not in organization.  There are several places where I need to flesh out a character or a setting, or I need to elaborate some obscure point -- that's what rewrites are for.  And to give you a hint of the plot . . . let's just say that Minalan gets medieval.

After that, I have Super Secret Project #1 on the front burner, but that should only take another week or two to finish up at this point.  (SSP #2 was completed and went live to healthy sales, thanks for asking - and no, you can't know what it is if you don't already.)  After that I fully intend to devote my time to finishing Trask's Odyssey, which I've got more than 100 pages written on so far.  Then there will be the next Spellmonger book, Knights Magi, which will be out sometime next year.  It will be a rollicking medieval adventure story, real swords-and-sorcery, featuring Tyndal and Rondal, Minalan's two apprentices.  Yes, we'll get back to Min and Co. eventually.

In the meantime, likely just before Magelord's release, I'll be publishing the third interstitial short story, the one about Minalan's and Alya's wedding.  I've been saving it for last as a reward to myself for finishing Magelord. I'll probably release it a week or two before the book, just to help drum up interest.  I'm opportunistic that way.

Thank you all again for keeping track and making this a worthwhile endeavor.  I know it sounds like I ignore you sometimes, but the truth is I read everything.  I would just rather crank out some fiction than discuss the stuff I plan on writing someday.  It's more professional.  And to be honest, the one who is most interested in seeing how the story turns out is . . . me.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

"The River Mists of Talry" Spellmonger short now live

Folks, I know the silence has been deafening, but it has been legally advised and, thank goodness, is now over.  I published the 40-odd page short "The River Mists of Talry" yesterday, and it's available on Kindle for a mere $.99.  It's a bit of a departure from the rest of the series as it is told in third person, not first.  It deals with a little adventure Tyndal had in Minalan's home town before he joined his master at Timberwatch.

As to the silence . . . as I said, I was advised by my attorney to "go dark" during a process.  The whole tangled issue involves one of my children being abducted (and safely returned) and the aftermath, which has been significant.  I've written tens of thousands of words in the last six months, but alas most of them have involved legal papers and police reports.  Because of the delicate nature of the issue, I was advised not to make so much as a facebook posting (not that I do Facebook, the Evil Universal Time Suck), much less publish anything, including a blog post, under my own name.   Needless to say, I cannot comment on any legal case or on-going investigation, so while I appreciate your words of support, I can't give any details.  For Reals. It's like That.

It was frustrating.  I didn't stop writing (Magelord nears completion, but I don't want to give a date...let's just say that I'm working on it furiously) and I didn't stop composing (slightly different processes), but real life stress and anxiety, anger, frustration, and righteous indignation all take a toll on the creative process.  The good news is that ultimately all this crazy bullshit will make me a more "colorful" writer.

In any case, that's the reason, there's the story, and yeah, I'm cranking on Magelord.  More updates as I can give them.  Thanks for your patience.  And thanks for reading my stuff.  I promise to make lots more of it as quickly as I can.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wow. Just . . . wow.

Do y'all have any idea how gratifying it is to know that your fans are actually bitching that you aren't writing fast enough?  Really?  It's freaking amazing.  And a little scary.

But when an actual argument breaks out, and someone invokes Gaiman's Martin Isn't Your Bitch?  

I feel like I just won a freakin' Hugo.  Thank you!  I needed that distraction.

So, you folks do deserve an update for your patience, which is very much appreciated.  Magelord is in the final stages, but it's been in the final stages for a while now.  I'm just as impatient as you are, and even more frustrated.  It's largely a matter of time.  Unfortunately our family crisis has become an enormous time-sink, and once the lawyers got involved . . .

Still, I find writing - especially the Spellmonger stuff - enormously therapeutic.  So I've been working, when I can find the time, on both finishing up Warmage (and no one wants it done more than I) and finishing the second short story.  Indeed, I'm hoping to have it done, edited, formatted, and up by the end of this weekend.  Note I said "hope" - our crisis is still very fluid, so my time gets unexpectedly hacked quite often.

The title of the short is "The River Mists Of Talry".  It features Tyndal, before he arrived on the scene in Warmage, hiding out with Minalan's parents, protecting Alya.  It's also the first Spellmonger fiction to be told in third-person, instead of first-person.  It should fill in a few more gaps and explore Tyndal's character a bit more.

Oh, and he loses his virginity.  Just to keep things interesting.

In addition to the Spellmonger series, I actually had an attack of Space Viking a few weeks back that moved Trask's Odyssey forward a bit.  I'm eager to get to work on that one, too, and since I now have a running start on Knights Magi, it's looking like it will probably get done by this summer.

So when will Magelord be out?  Not before the end of April . . . but (finger's crossed) likely before the end of May.  It's already half-edited, so we're really down to the details at this point.  I just want to get it right.

Thanks for holding on, there, folks.  I'll try to make it worth it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Yes, I have another family crisis, this one a pretty big one.  But I'm nearly through with Magelord, and inadvertently wrote about 20,000 words of Knights Magi while I was at it.  No firm release date yet, but Real Soon Now.  You'll probably see the next short story soon, though.