And We’re Back In Business!

Well it’s taken a while but The Last Guard is back! After a slight delay due to copyright issues with the original publisher, the new edition is up on Amazon and should be available for purchase in the next couple of days.

In other news, I have just recently signed a contract for an all new stand-alone fantasy novel with Odyssey Books! The working title is Shadow of the Skytree, and it’s currently scheduled for publication in about mid-2018. This one is a little bit different from my previous works in that it is in many ways primarily a romance. But it also contains the following: Black, Russian-speaking, fireball-throwing dwarves, Italian-speaking steampunk humans who ride clockwork horses, and a gnome who rides a very small dragon.

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And The Series Has a New Home!

Hi everybody! It gives me great pleasure to finally announce that I’ve just signed a contract to continue the Cymrian Saga with Black Phoenix Publishing, the publishing collective which did such a great job with The Price of Magic.

The Last Guard is scheduled for re-release in December of this year, and the sequels will follow in 2018.  The ridiculously talented Amber Goodhart is still on board to do the covers plus internal illustrations. For now, here’s a picture I drew of Cadfael the Scholar (last seen in Tales of Cymria) exploring the ruins of Old Eagleholm. Long-time readers may recognise the pub sign from the Sign of the Red Rat, where Arren Cardockson spent many happy evenings with his friends before their lives fell apart. To this day, Arenadd thinks of the Red Rat as “the place where we were happy”.

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Super Series Spotlight Multi-Author Promo Tour!

And I’m back with another blog post! I know it’s been a while, and I’m sorry for that, but don’t worry; there’s plenty more news coming down the pipeline.

For this promotional tour, I and a group of other authors will be talking about one of the series we’ve published. For me, the series chosen was the Drachengott quartet. What inspired me to write it, and why did I write it in the way I did?

There are a few answers for that. At the time when I wrote it I was just coming off the success of the Fallen Moon and Risen Sun trilogies, which were part of a series which is quite complex – not to mention long. The cast is huge, the plot is – dare I say – epic, and the events of the series take place at various points in no less than thirteen different countries (yeah, it gets bigger as it goes along, trust me). I was in the mood for writing something a little simpler, with a broader audience appeal. Less politics, more magic, and more spectacle. I also wanted to write something less bleak (the first book of The Fallen Moon was rejected by no less than three publishers for being “too depressing”). Something a bit more fun.

At that time I was taking evening classes in German, just for the challenge of it. I’ve always been good with languages and had already learned some German in highschool. So when it came to creating the setting, I thought why not do something a little different and specifically base it on Germany? Thus the place names are German, most of the character names are German, and most of the protagonists explicitly speak German. In the second book, I introduced a couple of French-speaking characters. During the “conceptual” phase I consulted my German tutor to make sure I’d gotten it right, and most of the place names actually have a specific meaning in that language. For example, “Drachenburg” means “dragon castle/fort”. “Zauberwald” means “magic forest”. “Hundberg” means, roughly, “dog mountain”. “Thaler” was a currency used in Germany before the Deutschmark came along. And so on.

Syn the dragon was originally intended to be the main protagonist, and though that didn’t really work out in the end, mostly because I realised Rutger worked better as the (initial) protagonist, she remains the driving force behind the story. It is her visions which show the four protagonists the way to go. But I deliberately left it ambiguous as to whether her visions are an absolutely accurate revelation of the future, or whether they only come true because she obsessively works to make it so. It’s telling that she never really questions whether her visions are real or not, or where they come from. Nobody else can see the future – just her. When the truth is eventually revealed, it all falls into place. There’s a reason why she never questioned her dreams of the future, and it all comes back to the Drachengott, who is easily the most mysterious figure in the series. Whose side is he truly on? What does he actually want? In all honesty, for a long time I wasn’t too sure myself.

I wanted to play with the idea of a prophecy/seer which may in fact be either a lie, or a trap. I also wanted to have a seer character who, not content simply to tell the hero what’s going to happen next and leave it at that, is so determined to make her visions become reality that she will stoop to absolutely anything – even murder. If you read between the lines of the series, Syn does some pretty heinious things behind the scenes and in some respects is probably a lot more evil than the Drachengott himself. But it’s all for the sake of a greater cause… or is it?

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The Status of the Cymrian Saga

After some mucking about and a lot of waiting, I have finally found a new publisher for the Cymrian Saga since Satalyte Publishing closed its doors. More details will follow once the contract is signed, but I can reveal that we plan to move forward with the series next year, and that Amber Goodhart is still on board to provide illustrations for the next three books, and hopefully the rest of the series after that!

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Good News, Everyone!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have just recently signed a contract with Burning Willow Press, a publisher based in the US! The deal is for a new fantasy trilogy called The Rebel Lion. It’s not related to any of my previous works, and takes place in an entirely new setting.

And yes, this is the “news” I hinted at before the site went down! The Rebel Lion has a lot more magic than the Cymrian Saga, but is about as dark and grim as it is because that’s just kinda how I roll. The covers will be done by the great Amber Goodhart, and the first book is tentatively scheduled for release at the end of 2018. Stay tuned!

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And We’re Back!

Hey everybody!  is back up and running at last! Many many apologies for the long absence. The site was temporarily taken down by the service provider thanks to a hack-in by person or persons who I sincerely hope will die a horrible gory  death. It took a while to find out how much damage they had done and then fix it. I’ve had to disable commenting on the site since this can be exploited by hackers to break in.

Either way we’re back now, thank all that’s unholy, and I will soon have some exciting news to announce! For now I leave you with this image, and a question. Why does destiny always choose the young and foolish, rather than the old and wise?

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