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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Hallowe'en Miracle! Knights Magi Audiobook is Available for Pre-Order!

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Knights-Magi-Audiobook/B076VW7L7C/ref=a_search_c4_2_13_srTtl?qid=1509455539&sr=2-13


Knights Magi cover art

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Blatant Self-Promotion Post!

Necromancer is steaming along beautifully in both sales and free reads (did you know that you can borrow and read everything in the Spellmonger Series as a member of Kindle Unlimited?) and I'm terribly excited about next month's proposed (which means it ain't set in stone) release of Knights Magi on audiobook.  The audiobook response has been particularly gratifying, and I will be spending much of the next year on the Great Rectification that brings each audiobook to life. 

That's partially because such work needs my attention, which I can't spare while I'm composing in the same universe, and that's partially because I need to take a breath and spend a year plotting out the next ten books in the series.  I know where I want to end that arc, it's a matter of selecting which books/characters will get me there.  I also want to fill in the cracks in the first ten books, releasing promised stories and some bits on favorite characters who deserve some attention.  Looking at Olmeg, Sire Cei, Zagor, Gareth, Banamor, Reiel, Iyugi, and other wizards in the Greater Sevendor Metropolitan Area.  That's in addition to the stories about Tyndal, Rondal and the Kasari getting rescued by Ruderal, the Ugliest Maid in Castal, the Bathhouse of Sevendor, and other tidbits I have lingering, half-finished, in the murky depths of my hard drive.

Plus, I can get back to and finally finish Trask's Odyssey.  It appeared that it was going to be the next book, but then momentum and excitement got in the way.  At a certain point it became clear I couldn't continue giving equal time to both, and one, unfortunately, had to yield.  I'm pushing to have it done by Christmas.  If my wife lets me.

But first . . . I'm  preparing the edits to correct Necromancer.  I'll announce when the "final" version is out.  It will mostly be minor things to correct typos and such, and I'm still waiting on some of my edits to get back, but that's in the near future, for you spelling-and-continuity mavens.  Briga bless you.

Now, on to the "blatant self-promotion" portion of the post . . .

I am, currently, available for interviews and participation in some regional (think East Coast, but I'm open . . .) conventions in order to help promote The Spellmonger Series, the auidiobooks, Necromancer, etc.  If you know of a blogger, vlogger, or other fantasy-oriented venue who wants to sully their medium with my opinions in a craven attempt to garner viewership, y'all know my email address: tmancour at gmail dot com.  

I will also be holding a Book Release Party (experienced authors know not to schedule such things until after the book is released and is a hit -- I'll take #359 on Kindle Total Sales as a "hit") at Gallery 71 in Hillsborough, NC, in the near future to celebrate.  More deets as they emerge.

Some random notes:

1) Necromancer's cover was done by my 15 year old daughter, Morrigan Mancour, with surprisingly little direction or oversight from me.  It's an "indy" cover, and I'm totally cool with that.  It's her first cover, but not her first commercial sale nor am I her first commercial client.  But I'm more than willing to take advantage of her cheap labor.  Thankfully, under North Carolina's draconian Right to Work laws, I can force my children to work for a family enterprise, free of charge.  That said, I'm paying her proper journeyman's wages for her work.  Into her savings account.  Because my brilliant, artistically talented daughter is still a fifteen year old girl who pierces her ears without her parents' approval or consent (both of which were forthcoming).

2) I cannot express enough my appreciation to superfan Aaron Schwartz, who (likely to the detriment of his academic studies) gave me enough important insight on the first 20 chapters to know how to contend with the rest of the book.  There are a few of you Spellmongrels who go way above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to my work, and I am eternally thankful for your vigilance.  The contributions you make through your discussions and passionate opinions have an affect on the course of the series even if it isn't obvious.  I had a two-page email this morning discussing the exact weight and density of snowstone.  That sort of thing leads to plot points.

3) I am continuing to agitate for seeing the Spellmonger Series in other entertainment formats.  If you, too, would like to see either a live-action or animated format, consider contacting Amazon Pictures or other production studios.  'Cause I haven't even gotten to the exciting parts, yet.  Ditto comics.  I'm actively searching for a comic publisher who would like to licence Spellmonger.  Preferably indy.  There are more cloaks than capes, but I can bring a bit of an audience.

4) I'm very excited about the Atlas of the Five Duchies.  For one thing, it will be more than Atlas.  A lot of my notes on the development of the region will be revealed in the work, including at least one new story and several excerpts from ancient scrolls.  It will also cover the historical destruction of Perwyn, and trace the original colony back . . . some.  A lot was lost in the Inundation and the Conquest.

5) I'm also very excited to be developing Spellmonger in an RPG format, in response to both huge fan request and my own selfish desire to roll dice.  This is still in the formative stages, but I'd consider working with an indy RPG publisher on the project.  Tell your geeky, dice-rolling friends.

6) MERCHANDISE: It's coming.  During the four cons I attended this summer, the fans were very enthusiastic about the prototypes I was showing, and I got suggestions for more stuff.  With this book, I've gotten even more.  Including plushies of Lord Fuzzypaws.  I'm looking at several specialized items, from wizards' pipes to mageblades to posters to really cool t-shirts, so if you have suggestions, leave them below. 

7) Message from my wife: "Speaking on behalf of the chronically ill, Terry is the most productive chronically ill person I know.  He is dedicated to his fans and his writing.  He hits the pavement, meets his fans, and asks them what they want to read - to the extant that he has annoyed other, more introspective vendors.  Most writers don't do that.  He reads every review, every YouTube video review, and while he sometimes doesn't have time to respond, he absorbs the feedback.  It's beautiful to watch the process of how he engages his fans and the public at large, and include their voices to the final product.  So much so that I am resigned to do without a husband during the final stages of the process.   This busy year has convinced me what an impact he's made, and the opportunity to meet and speak with his fans at the Raleigh ComicCon revealed just how much they enjoy the work.  The fan art, and when I saw the video (below) it has really blown my mind how much they get into Spellmonger.

"Terry's family is willing to suffer -- a little -- to see this work published.  Then we want him back for awhile.  We get Christmas.  And we're looking forward to a much-needed family vacation.  So enjoy Necromancer thoroughly, because he's MINE now!  Until the next one . . ."

8) There is a website in the works, beyond this shallow blogging tool.   It will have far more functionality and be generally prettier.  I hear they're all the rage, now.  And don't forget to like me on Facebook, even though I avoid FB for anything but book promotion, these days.  That's frequently where new announcements get made. 

9) As I close in on my first thousand sales and my first half-million page reads, I want to sincerely thank all of my fans, casual and adamant, for their continued support.  Thanks to y'all, I'm running out of dream jobs.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Necromancer is up (in UK/EU). Spoiler thread discussion.

Love it?  Hate it?  Feel betrayed?  Feel fulfilled?  Talk about it here, it's cheaper than therapy.  SPOILER WARNING!


Friday, September 29, 2017

Necromancer has been submitted.

                     Necromancer: Book Ten Of The Spellmonger Series by [Mancour, Terry]




It's in.

Whether or not it will be out on time is up to Kindle.    When I set up the book, I tried to do it for pre-order, as many fans requested.  Because of this it may have gotten delayed, because of a technicality.  That's my fault, for not understanding the pre-order system.  I'm guessing that it might be sooner than that, once someone shows up and processes it properly, but we'll see.

There will be a minor update likely later on this month as the remainder of the book goes through final editing.  You'll know it's the final when Emily Harris' name pops up.  I'm expecting the edits to be minor, so I wouldn't worry too much.  As usual, feel free to submit any errors and I will try my best to include them in the corrections.

Oh, and my earlier report that the book was only 340,000+ words long?  I messed up.  It's embarrassing, but I forgot to add ten chapters.  I corrected that.  New word count is 386,000 -- closer to my 400,000 goal.

To tide you over, here's an extended excerpt of the first chapter.  Because you shouldn't have to suffer.

Much.


Prologue


I watched my son’s face contort into an expression of fascinated terror as he ran for his life.  His face was red and flushed, and his eyes had the wild look of one desperately dodging a predator as he searched for the danger he knew lurked nearby.  A moment later a blood-curdling, ear-splitting scream from his sister informed him of where his predator was hiding.
Desperate, he rolled across the floor and under the trestle table, just as his foe appeared.
“WHERE IS THAT TASTY LITTLE BOY?” a great voice boomed, making him shiver in terror.  “WHERE IS MY BREAKFAST?”
Minalyan clapped his hands over his mouth to keep from screaming in horror.  When the huge figure finally crept into the room, one could see why the lad was terrified: the great beard and hair of the creature was a chaotic sight, standing up and out like so many spikes.  The eyes between were wide and scary, and the mouth that called for the unlikely meal was smeared with the residue of his previous victims . . . raspberry tarts.
“Here I am!” Minalyan finally announced, rolling out from under the trestle and leaping atop a stool with surprising alacrity.  He brandished a three-day old long baguette in his hands like a greatsword and challenged the monster.  “You will not eat me!”
“I will eat every tasty morsel!” the Flour Monster roared, as he charged.  Minalyan didn’t hesitate – with a mighty swing of his stale weapon he leapt across the kitchen and delivered a fury of blows that defeated the beast and broke the batard into two, sending it flying across the kitchen as the Flour Monster howled and growled at the heat of the combat.  Almina stood in the doorway, eyes wide and hands over her mouth as she watched her big brother duel with the giant ogre who periodically snuck into their home after work and terrorized them.
As valiant as Minalyan’s attack was, no one defeats the Flour Monster.  I’d learned that a lifetime ago.
He picked up the little boy and swung him into the air, ripping up his tunic and burying his bushy, floury beard into his tender belly and began chomping.  Minalyan erupted into a squirmy, giggly scream that was only slightly less nerve-slicing than his sister’s, until he begged for the Flour Monster to relent and release him.
“Run along now,” my father said with an exhausted sigh, as he gave each of them a raspberry tart from the shop and sent them outside to play in the yard.  “That is so much fun,” he admitted, out of breath from the infant-eating effort as he sat on the stool Min vacated.  “But I don’t remember being this tired when I ate you and your sisters for breakfast.”
“We were easier to catch,” I assured him with a smile.  “And twenty-odd years ago, children were slower and more docile.”
We both chuckled at that – my father had been enjoying his grandchildren immensely, both my two and the brood that Urah and Borsa brought with them when my family came to Sevendor.  While the other two sisters and their husbands were preparing to return to Tudry-on-Burine in Varune with my father, Urah’s and Borsa’s husbands had elected to stay in their brother’s barony and run the prosperous bakery here. 
My father was surrounded by his grandchildren – and then some.  All four of his girls and his son had spent the last year or so keeping him in a state of paternal bliss as he got to know them all.  The entire family had taken residence in the Baker’s Hall – an elaborate home I’d had constructed for the purpose – within the outer bailey of the castle. 
Dad spent most of the day at the bakery, as he had since long before I was born, but when he was ready to turn the day’s bake over to his apprentices, he brought home a basket of whatever goodies he’d made that day and – on certain occasions – would slick up his hair with flour and water to create the role that had terrified and delighted us since we were tots.
“You’ve got a brave one, there,” he nodded admiringly to my son chasing his little sister into the yard.  “I’ve been whacked by more stale bread this year than in the twenty before.  He doesn’t shy away from being scared, like Almina,” he observed.
“She enjoys being scared too much to attack – she’s three,” I reminded him.
“Reminds me of Borsa, at her age,” he recalled fondly.  “Always a squealer, that one.  But that boy of yours is braver than them all,” he said, referring to my three nephews who’d arrived with the rest of my family.  All good, strong boys . . . but with more sense than boldness.  Minalyan, on the other hand, was fearless.  He must get it from his mother.
“He’d better be,” I sighed.  “He’ll have to defend this place, when I’m gone.  Timidity is not oft a characteristic of a magelord.  It’s like he wants to fight the world.  He’s gotten worse about it since . . . since his mother went away,” I said, trying to say the words casually.  “He’ll approach a stray dog, bold as brass, and demand it identify itself.”
“When is he going to get to see her again?” my father asked, hesitantly.  It was a touchy subject, and he knew it.  For months I’d been obsessed with discovering some way, either mundane or arcane, to restore my wife Alya’s mind to her after it had been shattered during the Wizard War at Greenflower. 
She was fine, physically – on that the brightest medical and magical minds of the kingdom could agree.  But her psyche had sustained a powerful shock by a witchstone she’d destroyed.  Since that fateful night, she’d been in the care of the priestesses of Trygg at the Holy Hill abbey.  I visited every fortnight, sometimes more. 
But there had been scant improvement for months, until I’d discovered that the legendary Sorceress of Sartha Wood was, in fact, a slightly-batty Alka Alon rebel imprisoned with her staff in a small compound in the middle of the upper Riverlands – one who was trained in ancient human medicine and advanced Alka Alon magic.  Lilastien, as she was properly known, had taken over Alya’s care at Yule and she’d shown some immediate improvement.  But there were limits to what even the Sorceress could accomplish.
“Soon, I hope,” I answered, non-committally.  “She’s getting a little better every day.” 
It wasn’t a lie.  She was.  But “better” is a relative term, judged by condition.  On any given day she wasn’t as bad as the previous day – therefore she was “better”.  It wasn’t a lie.
But the truth was Alya wasn’t going to get much better on her own.  That, at least, Lilastien the Sorceress had been able to tell me.  In fact, the only treatment she even suspected might help was locked away deep in a cavern under a ruined city inhabited by humanity’s deadliest foes.  The only way it could be of help was to recover an ancient spirit from inside a rock and somehow bring it back to Sevendor, where it might be able to glue Alya’s fractured mind back together.
Maybe.  Possibly.  If I could figure out and overcome more obstacles and barriers than any mage had before.  If I could manage an enchantment that no one had any idea how to cast, much less cast properly.  If I could manage all that and do so without getting myself killed, Alya might, possibly, with the help of the gods and more fortune than I was ever due, recognize her children again.  Maybe.
“So, you’ve decided to go after it, then?” he asked, softly, knowing my thoughts without me speaking.  Dad is quite intuitive, for a baker.
“I don’t see that I have much choice,” I said, resigned.  “The Handmaiden is the only thing I’ve even heard about that might work.”
“It seems a hard thing, depending upon an old legend for hope,” he offered.
“I wish this was an old legend,” I snorted.  “Most old legends have a grain of truth to them.  This is just a half-remembered encounter from the mind of a half-crazy old Alka Alon lady from centuries ago.  And it’s the best course I have left.”
“Minalan, you said that Handmaiden was in a cave, deep under a city that you’ve already seen ruined once,” he reminded me.  “On an island in the middle of a lake in mountains higher than these, guarded by dragons and covered with goblins.”
“Yes,” I nodded.  “That is what I said.”
He sighed expressively, and started to shake the dried flour from his beard.  “But you’re going to go, anyway,” he concluded.
“Yes.  Yes, I am.  Alone, if I have to.”
“No, you won’t go alone,” he said, shaking his head and sending a shower of flour to the wooden floor.  “You have too many friends who are too eager to help you.  But be careful, Min,” he cautioned.  “I know you’re a big, tough warmage and wizard and all, but . . .”
“But walking into Olum Seheri like it’s a baronial fair and expecting to find what I need is suicidal, stupid, and hopelessly na├»ve?”
“I knew you were a smart one,” he snorted.
“I know the dangers, Dad.  Or at least I suspect I do.  And it’s far, far more dangerous than you think,” I informed him.  “Olum Seheri isn’t just full of goblins, it’s full of undead.  My apprentices made a full report, and the place is crawling with walking corpses.  Led by Korbal the Necromancer.”
“The ‘demon god of the Mindens’,” he chuckled, wryly.  “Now that is an old legend.”
“And one with more than a grain of truth to it,” I agreed.  “He’s actually not a god at all, just a powerful Alka Alon necromancer who pissed off the Council, a thousand years ago or so.  They imprisoned him in a tomb along with his followers.  Unfortunately, he was awakened by yet more of his followers.  Now they’re building an army, raising dragons, and generally threatening . . . well, everything.”
My dad shook his head again.  “I don’t know how you wizards do it,” he admitted.  “I’ve watched you pursue your craft for years, one way or another.  Warmagic, spellmongering, and now . . . all this,” he said, gesturing toward my barony at large.  “It seems too much work.  Compared to baking,” he added.
I didn’t take offense – I am in a profession that prides itself on obscurity and obfuscation.  And while the practice of magic, on its own, doesn’t mandate that sort of mysterious approach, the business of magic encourages it. 
“Honestly, the heart of a wizard’s work isn’t even about magic,” I decided.  “It’s about getting things done.  Either for a client or yourself.  Mostly by convincing other people to do the hard parts for you.”
“That’s what apprentices are for,” he nodded and smiled.  Over the years Dad had trained at least eight or nine apprentices.  Four of them had married my sisters. 
“Oh, they’re helpful,” I agreed, “but that’s not what I’m speaking of.
“A wizard’s Talent provides access to power, but even with a witchstone that’s not usually enough to accomplish much.  Oh, I do things with magic all the time – but being a wizard goes beyond mastering the arcane.  It is far more about knowing when and how to use magic to change the universe.  And when not to use magic, and use more subtle means instead.”
“So what’s the point of studying so damn much magic?” he asked.  It was a common complaint of his that I had Ruderal and Dara, my two apprentices, constantly reading and taking notes on seven centuries of accumulated knowledge and lore about our profession.  Dard considered that excessive.  But then most bakers weren’t even literate. 
“The magic opens the door,” I explained, struggling for a metaphor.  “But it is your understanding of the universe that gives you the ambition to go through it.  To be honest, most of my work these days involves wandering around, talking to people, listening to things, and quietly arranging for them to want to do what I want them to do.  Sometimes by persuasion, sometimes by coercion, but one of the benefits of wisdom is understanding enough about the limitations of your own power that you can get other people to do the heavy lifting.”
“Sounds more like a priest than a wizard.”  Dad wasn’t unfamiliar with the priesthood.  As a master baker, he was a high-ranking lay member of the Temple of Briga. 
“The two are not dissimilar,” I agreed.  “The difference is that – ideally – a wizard is convincing other people to do things for the greater good.  A priest does so for the glory or adoration of his divinity.  The two are not always the same.”
“So what was Dunselen doing for the greater good?” he asked, curious.  It was an insightful question.  Anyone who dismissed Dad’s wit because of his choice of profession was an idiot.
“Believe it or not, I think Dunselen was trying to figure out how the Snowstone spell worked.  Which would have been for the greater good.  His methods, on the other hand, were not particularly ethical.”  I wasn’t even going to mention Isily’s role in his researches – or his ethical breeches.  Dad knew enough of the story to not bring her up.  He’d even met the two grandchildren Isily bore me, against my will, when Taren brought them briefly to Sevendor for examination.  “Dunselen was a good mage, objectively speaking, but a very poor wizard.”
“So what makes you a good wizard?”
“I get other people to do stuff for me as much as possible,” I decided.  “And I try not to lose sight of the important things.  Like the greater good.”
“Or providing a mother for your children,” he added, as he watched Almina chase her brother, now, as he chased a chicken through the yard. 
“Or defending the kingdom against goblin invasion, undead incursions, and the occasional dragon.  Yes, there is a lot to it.  Especially at my level.  And to be honest, there are limits to what I can do.  Magic might give me leverage, but it’s often as problematic as it is helpful.  I think I probably accomplish as much by subtlety and a whispered word in the right ear as I do with incantations and irionite.  But I must continue to study it,” I continued.  “Indeed, I have an appointment with Kedaran the Black this afternoon.  To study necromancy.”
Dad shivered, involuntarily, and I couldn’t blame him.  He hadn’t even seen a walking corpse before.  I had.  I didn’t have the heart to explain to him that the reality was far worse than his imaginings.
“That’s the part of this profession I don’t like,” he admitted, through pursed lips.  “The enchantments are helpful.  The spells have turned this place into a going concern.  But when you delve into such dark places, Min . . . I worry.”
“You should,” I agreed, emphatically.  “Necromancy is . . . it’s not something Imperial magic has encouraged a study of for a reason.  Reanimation is creepy, and fraught with ethical dilemmas.  It’s one step beyond human sacrifice, according to some scholars, and merely a natural extension of already-existing magical principles to their logical conclusion, according to another group.  A smaller group,” I added.  “And yes, everyone thinks they’re creepy.”
“Well, you play around with dead people, folk are going to talk,” he observed.
“It’s not something you can get away with in the village,” I agreed.  “Necromancy was all but forbidden by the Censorate.  It was a moot point, for the most part, because without irionite, it took a necromancer three or four days to accumulate enough power to cast the spell.  It only lasted a few hours, and the results were usually . . . disappointing.  So very few went past basic theory.  And those who did were subject to penalties.”
“So why do it at all?  Seems . . . creepy.”
“Because Korbal is a necromancer, and he’s studied necromancy for longer than humanity has been on this world.  Not only are he and his followers undead, the creatures he’s creating out of the corpses of slaves are far more sophisticated than anything human necromancers have ever produced.  I need to know more about the practice, at least in theory, if I am going to be able to challenge him.”
Dad winced – he’d never gotten over the idea of me risking my life, and I’m sure the idea of me fighting against some undead ghoul was abhorrent.  “Son,” he said, which he almost never called me unless he was about to impart some profound piece of fatherly wisdom, “perhaps I’ve been too preoccupied by the possibility of my own death to see the subject as one for much study – except in how to avoid it.  But it doesn’t exactly seem wholesome to be mucking around with such things.”
“Wizards do a great many things that aren’t very wholesome,” I chuckled, thinking of some of my warmagic buddies.  “Death magic is particularly slippery to consider, for a host of technical reasons beyond the mere moral issues.  It’s a natural human fascination,” I pointed out.  “You yourself admit to thinking about it.  Too much,” I emphasized.
“When a man has this many grandchildren, he knows his time among them is limited,” he sighed.  “Don’t worry, I feel hale enough . . . for my age.  But every winter is harder, and one more closer to the last one.  Any father understands that,” he said, gently.  “Nor is there shame or worry in it.  But I wouldn’t mind not dying,” he added.
“The quest for immortality has been constant among humanity,” I said, philosophically.  “The Wenshari magi had an entire cult around it.  Necromancy is a natural magical extension of that desire, with dreadfully disappointing results.  No human spell has managed more than the simplest reanimation.  Your soul doesn’t get popped back into your body.  Your dead flesh is merely propelled by magic at the direction of another.  Like I did with the water elemental in the pond, only with rotting human flesh instead of nice, clean water.”
“But not Korbal,” Dad said, as he poured water into the basin to wash the flour off of his face.
“No, Korbal’s necromancy does allow some bit of your mind to return,” I conceded.  “That’s the problem.  He’s using a very sophisticated necromancy . . . and I don’t even know simple necromancy.”
“You’ll figure it out, Min,” he said, confidently, as he patted his face dry with a towel, and then tossed it on the side of the basin where my mother could complain about it.  “You’re a smart lad.  Always were.  We’re going to miss you,” he sighed.
“I’m going to miss you all, too,” I agreed.  “The kids, especially.  They’ve kept Min and Almina distracted, and that’s worth a lot to me.”  Dad and Baron Lithar had come to an arrangement to re-open the bakery back in Tudry, after the Temple of Briga lifted its interdiction on the barony. 
They were planning on leaving in just a few more weeks.  Dad was only taking half of the household he left with, as two of his former apprentices would be staying on here, with my sisters, and continue to run the Sevendor Town bakery.  Mom and Dad had enjoyed getting to know their grandchildren and their daughter-in-law, but it was time for them to head back home and we all knew it.
“They’re beautiful children,” he assured me.  “As pretty as their mother, as smart as their father.  All your children are beautiful.  But they’ll be happier with their mother.  If you can find a way to restore her . . .”
“I’ve done almost nothing else,” I agreed.  “This is likely the best option I have.”
“Then do what you have to do, Son,” he said. 
For no particular reason, his words filled me with confidence I hadn’t felt before.  I wasn’t exactly fishing for his validation, but getting it unexpectedly made it all the more potent. 

“I will, dad,” I promised.  “If it means chasing Korbal into his darkest cellar and beating him to death the bloody stump of his own arm, then I’ll find a way to do it.  Are their more tarts?  Those were delicious!”

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Terry's at the Baltimore Comicon This Weekend!

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I will be at the Baltimore ComicCon this weekend, in Artist Alley with Lance Sawyers (Lanse of Bune) of Gallery 71/Lance Sawyers Studios. He will be selling art. I will be selling autographed copies of Hawkmaiden, Spellmonger, Warmage and . . . the first few proof copies of Magelord. 

Since I only have a limited amount of the last, I will be selling them only as part of the three-book (so far) package there. After the con, you'll be able to order autographed copies of all currently-available Spellmonger books (1-3, plus Hawkmaiden) from Gallery 71. I'll be dishing the deets later.

In fact, I'll be making a lot of announcements about release dates and such at the con. I'm hoping to be able to get the technology to do a Facebook Live post, but we'll see what happens. I love the Baltimore con, and I always have a great time -- looking forward to it.

Lastly, I am in the final phases of revision on Necromancer. It's already going through editorial review. Emily says its good. We'll see.

If you're at the con, stop by. It's your shot to ask the author anything. I might even tell you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Updates! (UPDATED!)

Now that we've hit the mid-point of summer, I figured I'd give y'all an update on my progress.

As of this morning I've completed 40% of the rough draft of Necromancer.  And a goodly portion (about a third) of Trask's Odyssey.  I took about two weeks off for Scout camp, swim meets, and general summer maintenance, as well as a couple of great conventions where I promoted the heck out of Spellmonger.  New books have been ordered in preparation for the Baltimore Comicon, in September, so put that on your calendar if you are local and want to see me.

In other news, Magelord Audiobook is up for pre-order, and will be available July 25th!  I'm hoping to have the hard copy version available around the same time.  I'll keep you posted.

Back to the word mines.

UPDATE: Just approved the proofs for Warmage - you may now order the book in hard copy at the following address:

https://www.createspace.com/6939137

I will also be offering autographed copies for sale at the Baltimore Comicon and at Gallery 71.

That is all.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Terry Mancour will be appearing at Heroes comic con in Charlotte this weekend!

 I will have a limited number of signed copies of Hawkmaiden and Spellmonger available for sale (this is the last bit of the old cover, before we switch over to the new), as well as a couple of other goodies. If you're a hardcore fan, stop by and see me and chat. I'll be in the booth with my art director, Lance Sawyers ("Lanse of Bune") and other good folk. I might even have a few goodies to give away to superfans . . . Look for the banner with the Dead God's face and let me know what you think of the prototype t-shirts. I will be ducking out early on Sunday, Father's Day, to spend some time with my young-uns, but I should be there all day Friday and Saturday. Hope to see you there!

(https://www.heroesonline.com/heroescon/


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SPECIAL AUDIOBOOK BONUS OFFER! The Spellmonger's Yule, Read By John Lee!

As a special promotional offer by Podium.com, a special audiobook of my recent short story, The Spellmonger's Yule, is now being offered by audfans.com!  It's a free sign-up, and you get the entire short story (for new fans, this will contain some serious spoilers, but will also introduce you to the direction the series takes)

This is an amazing endorsement of my work by my publisher, and I feel grateful that they invested in this promotion.  Please show them it isn't wasted by taking a listen.

And yes, I've started Necromancer.  No, I don't know when I'll be done.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Terry at Tidewater Comicon this weekend

I'll be manning a table for Spellmonger at the Tidewater Comicon in Virginia Beach, VA. this weekend, although I'll be cutting out early on Sunday to go see my mom for mother's day.  I'll have hard copies of Hawkmaiden and Spellmonger to sign.  Stop by and see me, if you're in the area!

http://tidewatercomicon.com/

Also, Warmage is kicking ass on audible.com and Hawklady is burning up the charts, for a YA book.  Thank you all for making me a success!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hawklady Now Available For Pre-Order, Release May 9th With Warmage Audiobook!



Hawklady, the second in my Spellmonger Cadet series, is now available for pre-order via the link below.  It will be released the same day as the Audiobook version of Warmage (which is also available for pre-order).  It's a trim 85,000 words, but it's a good adventure story featuring Dara.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711DCPND?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

The  cover ugly.  It's also the temporary cover.  It says so right on the cover.

And don't forget that you can order a hard copy of Hawkmaiden at this link:

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=1535050853&index=default

I'll have a hard copy version of Hawklady as soon as the art is done.

I really enjoy doing these cadet novels, and I think I'd like to do at least one a year from now on.  But I'm considering changing to a different character for the next one.  Perhaps one we haven't seen before.  But what kinds of characters (young people, please) would you like to see in the future in the Cadet series?  Discuss.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Trashy Summer Beach Reading Season Has Begun! Pick Up A Bad Penny!

                 The Tawdry Story Of A Time-Traveling Serial Rapist On A Mission To Save Humanity!






                                WARNING! SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONTENT! ADULTS ONLY!

When they brought in the handsome man in a straitjacket to the Dixmont Psychiatric Hospital in Pittsburgh, 1958, it was obvious that the patient was not only a madman, but a dangerous, if charming, sociopath. As "Tom Doe" reveals his story to the disbelieving psychiatrist he spins a tale out of the wildest pulp fiction: he's from the future, and he's here to impregnate as many women in the past as he can . . . to save humanity's future! He's a Casanova Agent, employed by the future Department of Public Health in the late 21st century, where a deadly genetic virus has rendered the bulk of the population sterile, and he has a mandate to knock up the cream of 1950s femininity to implant the corrective code. 

As the tale turns from pure sociopathic sexuality and the worst kind of lurid behavior to a paranoid fantasy involving a beautiful enemy agent and a war between competing timelines, the fantastic story of seduction and passion, pursuit and eroticism is laughably insane . . . until Tom produces a penny from 1964 that seems to support his story. With the future fate of humanity on the line, will this madman find a way to free himself and save the world . . . or is he just a sex-crazed pervert spinning the biggest lie in all of history?



Complete with typo in the series title . . . you know it's good!


Tired of Fifty Tame Shades of Mediocrity? Waiting eagerly for the next Spellmonger book, but wishing there was a lot more explicit sex and vintage Cadillacs involved? Consider the book that will likely ruin my reputation! Blatantly pornographic and bordering on sociopathic, this pulpy, tawdry tale is YOUR chance to indulge in a guilty pleasure that mixes bold-faced erotica with intriguing sci-fi time travel adventure! Read the book that's been rejected because no one knows how to market it! Get the opportunity to throw your Kindle down in disgust at just how far the world has slipped into decay! First in a trilogy, don't forget that Amazon Prime members don't have to waste a DIME of their own on this experimental trashy novel! 

And, in case you missed it . . .

WARNING! 
ADULT SEXUAL CONTENT! 
ADULTS ONLY!


You have been warned.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Spellmonger's Yule up, so is Audiobook Spellmonger!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CJL0W


The Spellmonger's Yule: A Spellmonger Series Short Story by [Mancour, Terry]


http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Spellmonger-Audiobook/B01N264EEK/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1486471539&sr=1-1



Spellmonger Audiobook

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Official Audiobook Launch Date for Spellmonger!



I received word yesterday from Podium Publishing that the audiobook version of Spellmonger will be available at Audible.com on February 7th!  Behold the new, professional cover they came up with!  Delight in the amazing tones of John Lee (incredible work, I'm very pleased)!  Amuse yourself for hours hearing how the character names are actually pronounced!

The cover price will be $39.99, or thereabouts, but that's a lot of hours of entertainment.  Additionally, Podium has graciously allowed me the use of the art for both my Amazon and Createspace works.  That means that you only have a limited time to buy the old version, destined to become valuable collectables after my inevitable death.

In other news, my writing schedule (which was hashed anyway) is undergoing revision, a familiar place for me to be.  I'll be releasing the short Spellmonger's Yule in conjunction with the audiobook, and then turning my attention to finishing up Hawklady before moving on to Trask's Odyssey.  After those, I'll be focusing on Necromancer, which I'm pushing to be out by midsummer.  Or late summer.  Regardless, I won't Martin you.

But there's more to do than merely write: I'm taking some time for valuable Series Development work.  Next week I'm meeting with my creative team, during which we will map out a convention schedule for the next year.  At this point, the only firm date I have is the Baltimore Comic-Con, but I'll be looking at others east of the Mississippi.  I'm also open to panels and such.  If you know a con you'd like me to appear at, let me know - and let THEM know you want me to be there.

The point of this exercise is blatantly and unapologetically commercial: I'm at the point in my career where I have a wonderful, magnificent base of fans, and a work that is primed for Prime Time.  Developing the creative elements of the series into a visual medium - either live-action or animated - is the logical next step.  That means a lot of groundwork, and I've been building a great team for just that purpose.

But wait, there's more . . . more audiobooks.  Warmage will be hot on the heels of Spellmonger, and Magelord soon after.  The smooth and professional way in which Podium does their art should see at least two or three more of the series turned into audiobooks this year.  That also implies some work on my part, because each book requires me to go back through each line and find all of the mistakes and fabricated words for inclusion in the work, so all those mistakes everyone hates get fixed.  While this is great, it takes time.  So scheduling reliably is . . . problematic.

But fear not: Necromancer will not mark the end of the series, just the end of the first third of the series.  I have twenty more novels in the main plot arc to get through.  Plus shorts, one-shots, the Cadet series, and stuff I haven't even thought of, yet.

Plus, there's the Super Secret Project, which will be released suddenly, unexpectedly, and likely to the dismay of some of my fans.   I've kept it on the shelf long enough, though, and I think it's time.  (cue dramatic music)

Thank you to everyone who expressed their sympathies for my father's passing.  He was the greatest single influence in my life, and every word I write originated, in one way or another, from him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Wisdom of Irv

This is a piece I did ten years ago about my dad, who passed away on January 3rd.  At the time he had just had a scare with a stroke, and I felt compelled to prepare my thoughts against the inevitable day when he would die.  While I didn't use this at his service, in part because it was dated (the lad referenced is about to turn 13) I felt compelled to re-post it here (for lack of a more appropriate space).  He did, indeed, teach me many, many valuable lessons betwixt then and his death.  Including the proper way to die.

But first and foremost, he taught me how to be a dad.  This was written for my 38th birthday, and my 48th now looms.  The sentiment, however, is as authentic now as it was then.

I was struck recently by how good I’ve got it. I live in the greatest civilization the world has ever known, with all the world’s knowledge available for my study in the time it takes to Google, enjoy a standard of living undreamt of by the vast majority of history’s royalty and superrich, and just a century ago the likelihood that I’d be dead by now would be pretty high. It would make a great story to tell you how hard I struggled against overwhelming odds and untold suffering to achieve my current life, but that would be fictional bullshit. I’ve had it good from the start, and I can directly pinpoint the reasons that are most responsible.

This thought occurred to me the other day as I was passing by the playpen where my youngest son, not yet two, had grown dissatisfied with the entertainment value of Noggin and pleaded with me to pick him up, with his customary cry of “Holdju! Holdju!”, accompanied by raised arms and frantically waving hands. Cute.

Just then a flood of comprehension washed across my soul, and the planets aligned, and I had what some would call a quasi-mystical experience. I’d say it was a flashback, except that I was no where near as pharmaceutically liberal in my youthful experimentation phase as most of my peers. I just remembered being in a similar situation when I was around the boy’s age. And that made me appreciate my father, Irv, who himself just had an ostensibly important transitional birthday, his 60th.

If you don’t know Irv, you are the poorer for it. He, like me, is a father to three children, three boys, no less. He was a “Sedimentation and Erosion Control Technician” (read: “Dirt Inspector”) for Durham County for a decade and a half, and had other, less glamorous jobs before that. On paper, he was completely unexceptional: middle class, two-year degree, wife ‘n’ kids. But read between the lines there and you find out just how subtly exceptional he was.

My Dad is the wisest man I know, bar none. While our opinions on many subjects (politics included) have diverged slightly over the years, he remains the most astute analyst of human social interaction and behavior that I have ever known. The lessons he has passed on to me have gone far beyond the “fatherly wisdom” variety, and delved into deep, rich territory.

Unlike the vast majority of his peers, he did not pursue affluence or wealth. Prosperity, yes. Having just enough was enough. “Friends are more important than money” was one of the many, many maxims he instilled in me, and he proved it, over and over again. Faced with the inevitable choices that a middle-class family has to make about expenditure, he consistently chose the path that led to investments in his family, not in things. Oh, he could have, easily, by making the choice to pursue a soul-killing job in middle-management somewhere. But he didn’t, and I am the richer for it.

He was not the typical Boomer Dad, thank the Goddess. He was an outstanding parent, conducting the brain-busting, wallet-draining task of raising three precocious boys to men without investing a shred of self-important ego into the task. He didn’t cheat on his wife, indulge in cocaine or fundamentalist religion, go through some self-delusional pity-party midlife crisis, or any of the other asinine stunts his generation was prone to. He lived life well, a life to be envied, and he had no regrets about the way he did it. If he had disappointments in his life, I rarely knew about them, and bitterness was not in his nature. When I take a survey of my closest friends, I find myself in the enviable position of having the same set of parents, in the same household, that I started out with – which makes me an aberration. I don’t mind.

Perhaps I suffer as a writer because I didn’t experience the agony of “daddy issues”, testosterone-laden competition between father and son, mutual disappointments, constant arguments, or the idea that he “just didn’t understand” me, but I can live with professional mediocrity if that’s the price of admission to greatness.

Irv always understood me. He never tried to dominate me, or live life vicariously through me or my brothers. He never tried to make me conform to an uncomfortable social stereotype, or worry overmuch what other people thought about me. We were never trans-generationally alienated. From adolescence on he treated me like an intellectual equal, if an undereducated one. He never tried to push me into a career, or really do anything but exploit my natural talents and interests. He ensured I learned the skills I would need in manhood, and did it in a non-coercive way. Seeing how my peers were raised, I know full well how lucky I was in this.

I know he had issues with his own father, and that makes his parenting that much more impressive. Faced with an occasionally belligerent and rigid-minded dad himself, he went out of his way to raise us with a healthy dose of affection and demonstrated love. He did not become his father.

I said Irv was wise. That’s not something you hear often these days, that a man is Wise; Wisdom is a highly undervalued commodity in our world, but Irv, in his wisdom, knew that, and took advantage of it. He taught us to look at a situation fully before acting, not act in haste without sacrificing the spontaneity essential for a well-lived life, and stay informed on everything that could potentially help or harm us. He taught us how to make strangers into friends, and friends into allies. He taught the art of the Hat Trick, solving your or your friends’ problems through networking, craftiness, and initiative. He taught us how to tell when we’re being bullshitted. He taught us drywall and auto repair and how to do little inexpensive romantic things to keep your marriage running. He taught us how to pay attention to those with wisdom (that is, learning from the mistakes of others; everyone can learn from their own mistakes.). He taught us to be our own men.

Irv was, and still is, a Boy Scout leader. Despite the issues that have arisen surrounding that organization, it still has tremendous value as a repository for knowledge and wisdom – merit badges are “survival tickets” and the moral codes taught by the BSA, while often viewed through a very narrow, conservative lens, are nonetheless strong and important values that are rarely taught any where else. In his retirement he and my mom have become Red Cross volunteers and Ruritans, because helping out your neighbors in a crisis and making your community a better place is the right thing to do. He taught us that community service isn’t just something a judge makes you do. He taught us that Enlightened Self Interest often looks like pure altruism, if you don’t look too closely.

Irv is a political animal, astute in recognizing power structures and adept at realizing their strengths and weaknesses. He is a shrewd negotiator, mostly because he doesn’t try to “get the better end of the deal” all the time. He frequently views the Big Picture, trying to put local issues in a greater context and seeing how trends in the greater world will have a local effect. During his tenure at Durham County, he became known as “the man with the hat”, and it was rare we attended any public event without at least a few folks shouting “Irv!” gleefully, then introducing their entire family. Irv once confided that the hats he wore were a sort of reverse camouflage – he could go somewhere without it, and most folks wouldn’t recognize him off-hand. He could disappear just by taking off his hat. Ingenious.

Irv is one of those rare and special Boomers who is not technophobic, which pleases me to no end. He gave me my appetite for high technology and science-fiction (he passed me Heinlein’s The Rolling Stones when I was 8, and it changed my life – not that the book was that special, but it was Real Grown Up Sci-Fi). He has a knack for seeing the social implications of a new piece of technology and projecting into the future what effect it might have. At this late stage he is embarking on a part-time job in computer hardware repair.

Irv knows a bargain when he sees it. While we were not the most affluent of families growing up, we usually lived much higher on the food chain than our family’s income would indicate, largely because my Mom is a demon shopper and my Dad can find hidden resources in the unlikeliest of places. He taught us that a two-year old car is better than a brand new car, and that the best car of all is one you got cheap and you can keep going until the wheels fall off. He isn’t above a good scavenge – he taught me that trash piles are unappreciated resources and that everything has value . . . eventually.

One of the most important lessons he taught me was that sometimes you just have to tip your head back and sing! That doesn’t seem particularly earth-shattering – lots of people sing. But in his immediate family such public displays of emotion were heavily discouraged – an unfortunate by-product, along with hard teasing, of our Scottish cultural heritage, I believe. He spent twenty years teaching himself how to play guitar and sing. After twenty years he became a pretty decent guitar player. He never became a good singer. Didn’t improve one iota. Couldn’t carry a tune in a gunny sack. Had little musical talent at all – but that never once stopped him from expressing himself in the media he preferred. He still sings – badly – but he doesn’t play guitar any more.

Which brings me back to the present, and back to my mystical experience, and back to my appreciation of my father in a way I hadn’t fully realized before. A few weeks before my youngest son (“Holdju! Holdju!”) was born, my father suffered his second stroke. The first had been bad enough; it had reduced his range of movement and strength on his right side.

With some physical therapy and determination he had come back to the point where you really had to look to notice any defect. This second stroke, though, struck hard. He is mostly paralyzed on his right side which, among other things, precludes his ever playing guitar again. That’s got to be devastating to a man who had little natural talent to begin with, and whose ability was almost entirely self taught. That was a tumultuous time for us all – my Dad came home from the hospital to live with me and my wife and kids, because they live out in the boonies and I was closer to the hospital, as well as having through no fault of my own a handicapped accessible shower and toilet.

A week later we went back to the hospital for the youngest to be born. He now walks with a cane (“Papa’s Hook”) and a leg brace, and there is just the barest hint of a speech impediment. But he walks, and he talks, and he still sings upon occasion. No, the stroke didn’t make that any better, either. But not much worse.

The reason I bring all of this up is that on my 38th birthday I am realizing that my father’s influence on my life, the lessons he taught me, didn’t stop when I moved out of the house. They continue to this day. The struggle he has faced these last two years have revealed a great deal of his character and his personal vulnerabilities that I was previously unaware of. I’ve seen dark parts of my Dad that I’d rather not have experienced – quite understandable, under the circumstances. He still faces depression on a daily basis, I know. But in facing that struggle, with all of its attendant heartbreaks, disappointments, and profound feelings of loss, my father has taught me lessons as valuable as any imparted in childhood. He has taught me how to face the abyss in your own soul, how to challenge adversity, and how to adapt to changing circumstances.

As he stood in the Ruritan hall at the surprise party my mother had so adeptly arranged (haven’t forgotten about you, Mom, you get your own article), he looked out at the crowd of Boy Scouts and grandchildren and friends, and in that moment he taught me how to age gracefully, love life, and deal with adversity. For a half-paralyzed, retired old man on a fixed income, my Dad remains active: he’s rebuilding a 1960s era John Deer tractor that he dearly loves – one handed. He remains a Red Cross volunteer and Scout leader, as well as an active Ruritan. He has a network of friends and allies that Karl Rove would envy. He has six active grandchildren that he remains very engaged with – he’s the perfect grandfather. For a man with one good leg and a quickly-retrained left hand, he accomplishes a remarkable amount. If that ain’t a lesson, I don’t know what is.

But it all started, if my flashback was accurate, when I was a baby my son’s age or thereabouts, with me looking up to his bearded face (God, when he shaved his beard off once when I was 11 I freaked!) from the daycare center near to Mott Community College where he got his 2 year degree, my arms extended, hands waving, shouting my own version of “Holdju! Holdju!” when he came to get me. And the smile on his face when he reached down and picked me up and played with me in a manner which most manly men would have avoided, clinging instead to their rigid idea of traditional masculinity and the very minor role that babies play in it. I saw that smile reflected back at his 60th birthday party, and now when I look at the long, slow journey of middle age and beyond, with the inevitable conclusion, I know how to handle it. Because Irv taught me. He continues to teach me. And I have many more lessons yet to come.

So I reached over and picked up my last child, hugged him tight, and went all Goofydaddy for a good five minutes when there was probably some important stuff I had to do. Because I learned from Irv that my most important job in the world is making sure that my kids have a happy childhood and that they have a friend, first and foremost, in their father.